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Premier League Highlights & Review: Matchday 12

What an eventful set of games we saw in last weekend’s Premier League. England teammates, Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling got into a bust up on the pitch at Anfield, with the game also resulting in Liverpool storming eight-points clear at the top. Chelsea left Stamford Bridge with a clean slate against Crystal Palace, Leicester City cemented themselves in a second-place position, Spurs got a draw and Manchester United bagged a 3-1 victory over Brighton to sit a point outside the top six.

The gap widens between Man City and Liverpool

Manchester City moved into fourth place following Sunday’s loss to The Reds, who have extended their lead against their Northern rivals by nine points. It was a thrilling victory for Klopp’s men who secured a 3-1 win at Anfield, with Man City’s only goal coming very late in the game.

Fabinho put the Reds in front, scoring a sublime goal in the 6th minute, though it came after a handball controversary against Trent Alexander-Arnold. Bernardo Silva sent a cross towards Sergio Aguero which struck Alexander-Arnold’s arm and though City raised objections, the referee shut them down.

Alexander-Arnold defended himself by stating it came off Silva’s arm first but fans and even some pundits have protested in City’s favour. Ex-City captain Kompany, also commented, saying that Bernardo’s hand was in a natural position and Alexander-Arnold’s was not. He then went on to say that either way play should have been stopped regardless of the final ruling.

Mo Salah was next on the scoring sheet, driving a header into the bottom corner to double Liverpool’s lead. It was a lovely ball from Andy Robertson who ran down the left flank after receiving a wonderful cross from Alexander-Arnold. The Reds soon tripled their lead when Sadio Mane put one past back-up keeper Claudio Bravo, leaving Pep Guardiola fretting.

City managed to slip one past Alisson in the 78th minute. Bernardo Silva fired a low strike at the near the post but it wasn’t enough to make a real difference. In absence of Aymeric Laporte and Ederson, Man City are really struggling this season. There’s no denying that Pep’s men are an attacking threat but the cracks in their defence are deepening and it’s costing them.

Can the January transfer window save them or have Liverpool dismissed Manchester City as Premier League title contenders?

Chelsea’s young stars continue to rise

Chelsea FC: Mason Mount - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 18: Mason Mount of Chelsea celebrates his goal during the Premier League match (Photo by Clive Howes – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Frank Lampard’s tactical plan against Crystal Palace worked to full effect last Saturday as the Blues left Stamford Bridge with three points and a clean sheet, to mark their sixth win in a row.

Chelsea dominated in a frustrating first-half which saw a number of near misses and blocked efforts for the Blues. Palace goalkeeper, Vicente Guaita did well to deny some of the shots from Lampard’s men. American international, Christian Pulisic attempted first and did brilliantly to divert Joel Ward before firing the shot into the arms of Guaita and Willian’s efforts went wide after he recovered a ball that had been for Tammy Abraham.

Crystal Palace’s head coach, Roy Hodgson entered Stamford Bridge in trepidation, using a 4-5-1 formation which can be assumed was in hopes that a tight midfield and defensive line would be able to keep the likes of Mason Mount, Pulisic and Abraham out. Though that obviously didn’t work out too well for him.

Chelsea broke through in the second-half and Abraham was the first to go down on the score sheet. The goal started with Kovacic, who shifted through a pool of Palace players before laying off to Willian. He neatly flicked the ball into Abraham’s path and the Chelsea striker wasted no time to drive it into the bottom corner of the net.

Later, Pulisic had another go, dancing past a few players before curling it towards the goal but Gauita managed to get his fingers on the ball and deny him. Pulisic’s a phenomenal player when he’s in his rhythm and can become extremely dangerous, looking almost unstoppable on the ball. He got his chance later in the game, doubling Chelsea’s lead after picking up a deflected ball from Gary Cahill who had blocked Michy Batshuayi’s attempt.

Chelsea continue to edge closer to the top, eight points behind current leaders Liverpool but have tough competition next when they head to the Etihad.

Leicester City put pressure on Unai Emery’s Arsenal

Aubameyang ArsenalLeicester City are having an excellent run this season and are on track to finish way ahead of their ninth-place position during the 2018/19 campaign. At King Power Stadium it comes at no surprise that it was Jamie Vardy creating a ruckus for the Gunners.

The first-half was a dry half – if you don’t factor in the fact it was tipping it down with rain – and both sides were displaying a resilience to concede. VAR denied Leicester City a penalty when Mattéo Guendouzi roughed up Çağlar Söyüncü and by 15 minutes, Arsenal should have been ahead when a link up series ended with Lacazette who sent the ball wide.

Ayoze Perez had a near miss too. He fired through an open Arsenal defence but sent his efforts flying over the crossbar. The Gunners and The Foxes were energetic in the first-half and neither seemed too disappointed with themselves when the half-time whistle blew but the second-half changed the game.

Leicester had a new bout of energy and were strong on the attack, making quick, clinical and tactical advances. In fact, it could have been 3-0 had Ndidi not been so unlucky. He received a wonderfully controlled cross from Pereira and side footed it towards the Arsenal goal for it to connect with the crossbar and bounce back towards him – very unlucky.

But the Foxes soon got a breakthrough and in the 68th minute, Youri Tielemans tees up Vardy, who drives a low-ball past Bernd Leno to put Leicester ahead. James Maddison is next down on the scoresheet, sending a sublime one home to seal Arsenal fate at King Power Stadium.

Man United demand attention after 3-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion

Premier League Highlights & Review: Matchday 12

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 30: Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match on March 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

There’s no denying that Manchester United have struggled in the Premier League this season and are clinging on to a top ten position, never mind a top six. Of the twelve Premier League games they’ve played this season, they have only won two though the win at Brighton was certainly one to boast about.

There were entertaining and promising displays from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Andreas Pereira, as well as Brandon Williams who made his full Premier League debut and Fred who was simply incredible for the Red Devils.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær was thrilled with the result, claiming it to be Manchester United’s “best performance of the season” and you can understand why. The Red Devils were forcing Mat Ryan to make some key saves during the game, the first coming from a tee up between Martial and Rashford. Martial was soon back at it again, laying off a ball for Pereira who, after a quick shuffle of the feet made it Red Devils 1, Seagulls 0.

Two minutes later United added a second. Harry Maguire and Brighton’s, Lewis Dunk were fighting for the ball in the air which ended up falling at the feet of Davy Pröpper, who toe-poked it into his own net being under pressure from Scott McTominay.

Lewis Dunk slotted one home for Brighton to make it 2-1 and close United’s comfy lead but Rashford soon cancelled out all hope for the Seagulls to make a comeback. Just two minutes later he restored United’s two-goal cushion by driving home an effort from 12-yards. The England international could’ve made it 4-1 too if he hadn’t sent an easy goal wide.

Manchester United have a long way to go but with determination and improvement, they may be able to challenge a top four position this season.

VAR disallow Sheffield United goal in Spurs clash

Tottenham Hotspur

(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC)

Sheffield United left Spurs New Stadium more than a little frustrated on Saturday evening having been denied the opportunity to walk away with three points thanks to VAR.

The decision took more than four minutes to make but on-pitch referee, Dermott Gallagher said the right call was made as the Blades midfielder, John Lundstram was marginally offside. The decision caused a bit of uproar amongst Sheffield United fans, with some calling out VAR officials for being biased.

But Chris Wilder’s men, who currently sit fifth in the league table behind Manchester City played extremely well. They were fearless in attack and resilient in defence against last year’s Champions League runners-up who are also challenging for a top four finish.

Spurs showed fleeting displays of excellence in the game, which doesn’t serve as testimony to their outstanding mid-week performance. Heung-Min Son opened the scoring for Tottenham, firing the ball through the legs of Dean Henderson to put the Lilywhites ahead. Twenty minutes later Sheffield United equalised when George Baldock’s cross fired into the back of the net.

Spurs continued to push but Sheffield United were a tough opponent and created chances that caused Mauricio Pochettino’s men some problems but no doubt Tottenham Hotspur will continue to work hard.

After the international break will there be more shocks and surprises in the Premier League?

A Man City loss, Chelsea victory & Liverpool lead eight points clear!

Manchester City suffered a 2-0 defeat to Wolves at Etihad Stadium, leaving the reigning Champions eight points behind Liverpool in the title race. Adama Traoré left City dazed at the Etihad with a late double in the final ten minutes of the game.

Wolves first capitalised on a mistake by Joao Cancelo, who gave the ball away cheaply. Raúl Jiménez came racing down the left flank and sent an excellent cross into Traoré’s path. Ederson had also come out of the six-yard box, leaving the goal exposed allowing Traoré to fire it home with ease.

Rui Patrício did have to make some key saves against City, blocking efforts from Raheem Sterling and David Silva, who had also missed out on a goal earlier in the game when his attempt hit the crossbar.

Traoré slotted the second one home into extra time, with Jiménez providing the assist again. Fernandinho made pace but wasn’t quick enough and the Spaniard drilled a low ball into the net without having to get into a tussle with the midfielder-turned-defender.

Wolves had put an end to the Premier League Champions winning streak on home turf and their first win at the Etihad since 1984. It was a morale-boosting performance from the Midlands team who have experienced a shaky start this season.

Both sides had been in European combat in midweek, City in the Champions League and Wolves in the UEFA League. But City were at home whilst Wolves had to travel 4,000 miles to Turkey and back.

City have now shelled five points in their opening four home games of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign. In the whole of last season, they dropped just three and then seven the year before that. Though, Pep’s men are having to contend for the title without key players at this stage of the season.

Kevin Du Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are all out due to injury, with the former two arguably being City’s most creative players.

Fernandinho has had to step in as a centre back to make up for City’s dwindling defence and though he has flourished as a stand-in during some games, it’s becoming apparent that this makeshift defence is proving to cost Pep Guardiola.

City are the best in England and potentially, even in Europe but with so many players out are they still capable of closing the eight-point gap, or more importantly overtaking their Northern rivals? Last season they did well to beat Liverpool to the line but this latest setback has sparked reason for concern.

Nuno Santo’s forwards ran free three times in the first half, more times than Man City should be allowing if they want to achieve the triple title.

In an interview with BBC Sport, Pep Guardiola said: “We were not at our best. We had chances to score but it was a bad day and we lost the game.”

A bad day indeed.

Leicester City miss out on a point in the final minutes

Meanwhile, James Milner, one of the unsung but most effective players of his era, notched an injury-time penalty to maintain Liverpool’s winning streak in a controversial victory over Leicester City.

Mane, pressing hard for the win, came under contact from Marc Albrighton and the referee awarded the Reds with a penalty, sparking controversy and an on-pitch scuffle. Some pundits accused the Senegalese striker as diving after the contact with Albrighton but VAR allowed the penalty and so Liverpool maintain their flawless start to the Premier League this season.

Liverpool now have 17 successive Premier League victories under their belt, beaten only by Manchester City’s 18 wins that took place between August and December 2017. They also top the table for the longest unbeaten home run in any of Europe’s five elite leagues (Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, La Liga & Serie A), being undefeated in 44 consecutive league games at home.

But Leicester City continue to present themselves as a top four force as Brendan Rodgers’ side posed a real threat to the Reds and looked to be on course to end Liverpool’s winning run at Anfield. It came after Perez found James Maddison, who scored a low finish between the legs of Adrian to equalise ten minutes before time.

The Foxes, well organised by Rodgers continued to show resistance and came close when James Vardy received a brilliant ball from Albrighton but the former England International couldn’t see it through. Then, moments before City equalised Dennis Praet’s effort just skimmed wide.

On BBC’s Match of the Day, Klopp acknowledged: “It was a super game. We upped the tempo. The football we played was so important.”

“The penalty was obviously a penalty. We knew it would probably happen, we knew we were going to fight for the win – and we did. Without luck, we cannot win the amount of games we have won, but over the 90 minutes we deserved it – we deserved the three points. Milner held his nerve and that was superb.”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers had other thoughts, stating: “It’s cruel to concede so late. I am very proud of the team. We’re playing against the European champions and we looked like we could get goals. We were always a threat in the game, we had the confidence to pass the ball. We are showing our personality in how we played.”

Spurs suffer a 3-0 defeat

Sadly, Tottenham Hotspur‘s woes continued as they fell at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion following a disappointing result at home to Bayern Munich. For Brighton it was good news as the Seagulls picked up their first win of the 2019/20 campaign at the AMEX Stadium.

After Spurs 7-2 loss in the Champions League, head coach Mauricio Pochettino was expecting his players to have a much better performance on the South Coast but perhaps it was a game damned from the start, as within the first three minutes, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was being carried off on a stretcher.

The French man dislocated his elbow after falling awkwardly in his attempt to keep hold of Pascal Gross’s cross. Pochettino stated that losing Lloris “changed the emotions of the game, the team suffered a lot and couldn’t find the way to be solid and play football.” Lloris has now been ruled out of the EURO 2020 Qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey.

Aaron Connolly added insult to injury for Tottenham by doubling Brighton’s lead and in his first Premier League start too. Gazzanga, who replaced Lloris denied the 19-year-old Irishman’s first attempt but couldn’t clear his second effort.

And although Spurs picked up in the second half, renewing hope with a change of formation, they couldn’t recover. Brighton continued to threaten and Connolly sought the double, producing a well-taken strike in the 65th minute to seal Brighton’s first home win since March.

The youngster described it as, a “dream come true” and it was a truly remarkable debut for the teen, who is the first teenager to appear and score for the club in this Premier League era.

Spurs had some opportunity after the third goal, as Lucas Moura was denied twice by Matthew Ryan, Harry Kane fired over the crossbar and Son Heung-Min just failed to get a foot on the ball following a pass from Moussa Sissoko.

Manchester United head further down the league table

One team it’s not looking good for is Manchester United, who lost 1-0 to Newcastle United last weekend. The Red Devils now sit in twelfth position on the Premier League table, having won only two of eight games played so far this season and talks have already ignited about Ole’s future at Old Trafford as Man United seem to be in a crisis.

Whilst Man United struggled to find their groove, Newcastle were dancing after Matty Longstaff’s decisive goal. In his Premier League debut for the club, the 19-year-old drove a low finish home, leaving the Red Devils just two points above the relegation zone and fifteen points behind leaders, Liverpool who they will go head-to-head with after the international break.

And Matty, playing in midfield alongside his brother Sean Longstaff, could have made the score 2-0, after a first-half effort rattled the crossbar with a 25-yard drive.

This has been Man United’s worse start to the league since the 1989-90 campaign, where the Red Devils finished 13th in the league. Solskjær is missing six of his first team players to injury but that cannot be used as an excuse for much longer, given United’s downwards spiral has been apparent since the start of the campaign. But who would takeover should they decide to get rid of Ole?

He needs to find a solution, and quickly at that.

Chelsea climb to fifth

Down at St. Mary’s Stadium, ‘Super’ Frank Lampard could have put his feet up as Chelsea made an example of the Saints. Tammy Abraham scored his eighth league goal of the season, with Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi also all going down on the score sheet for the Blues.

Chelsea dominated from the outset, taking the lead after Abraham drilled a shot into the home sides net following a cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi. Saints defender, Maya Yoshida attempted to volley it clear before it had crossed the line but his efforts turned out to be in vain.

Mount soon doubled the Blues lead, firing a lovely ball from Willian at close range, before Danny Ings halved the deficit, to give Southampton a foothold back in the game. But they were no match for Lampard’s men.

From the edge of the box came N’Golo Kante with a stunning strike that took a destructive deflection off Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and past Saints goalkeeper, Angus Gunn.

Batshuayi and Christian Pulisic combined to seal the fourth. Pulisic sent a fine pass to Batshuayi, who came on just six minutes from time before slotting it home. The duo has since acquired the nicknames of Batman and Captain America following their impressive link-up.

Chelsea continue to improve week by week and Lampard has made sure to mention that his side have much more to offer. Let’s hope Chelsea continue as they mean to go on after the international break, when they will take on Newcastle.

Premier League: 10 Talking Points from the 2nd Matchday

Manchester City hit with VAR again, Frank Lampard unsatisfied with Chelsea draw & Wolves equalised with Manchester United.

 

MAURICIO POCHETTINO’S SPURS END MAN CITY’S WINNING STREAK AT HOME

In the 2018/19 Premier League campaign Tottenham Hotspurs lost both their home and away game to Man City, unable to get a single shot past the Citizens ballproof defence. In their first game of the 2019/20 campaign against the current Champions, Spurs got two!

Man City started out in front after an incredible header by Raheem Sterling before Erik Lamela drew the equaliser, curving the ball around Ederson to score a stunning goal. Sergio Aguero slotted another one home for City and then substitute Lucas Moura drew Spurs level again within 16 seconds of coming on the pitch.

Pochettino’s strengthened squad exhibited their determination to equal Man City and Liverpool as genuine contenders for the title, even if VAR did save them from losing the match. New boys, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso made big impacts on the pitch, with Ndombele dominating in midfield against Man City, achieving 100% tackle, dribble and duel success.

Spurs walked away from a 2-2 draw on Saturday 17th August. Pochettino must be delighted with the way his new team are progressing and committing themselves.

FRANK LAMPARD WAS HAPPIER WITH 4-0 LOSS TO MANCHESTER UNITED

Chelsea drew 1-1 with Leicester City at Stamford Bridge but Frank Lampard wasn’t impressed. The former Chelsea midfielder admitted to being happier with Chelsea’s 4-0 loss against Manchester United and that his side need to be tougher and show more personality.

Chelsea had played against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday which went all the way to penalties but Lampard didn’t want tiredness or fatigue to be an excuse. He hopes that in their away game to Norwich City, the team will do more to control the ball and prevent chances for the opposition on the counter-attack.

The Blues boss now has a loss and a draw under his belt as manager and still waits for his win.

NEW ARSENAL TEAM LOOKS A WORLD APART FROM LAST YEAR

Arsenal spent big £££ on their transfers and signings this season and its certainly been worth it as the Gunners are producing some fine performances. New additions Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe have shifted the dynamics in the team.

In the game against Burnley at the Emirates Stadium, dangerous duo Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put in work to put two home for the Gunners but it was Ceballos and Pepe that helped shake things up on the pitch.

Ceballos dominated in midfield, covering more ground than any other player and no doubt has become a quick fan favourite with his pace and technicality. £72M signing Pepe appeared from the bench after half-time but his late start didn’t stop the former Lille star from tearing through Burnley.

Arsenal lost their opening two matches last season and have won their first two this season. The Gunners seem to be on the right track for top-of-the-table success but will face a bigger challenge this weekend when they meet Liverpool and play under the shadow of the Kop.

LIVERPOOL CLIMB TO THE TOP AFTER SOUTHAMPTON WIN

Liverpool sit in the number one spot on the Premier League table after their 2-1 win at St. Mary’s against Southampton and with Manchester City being denied a goal thanks to VAR, the Reds are two points ahead of their Northern rivals.

Jurgen Klopp, with three ex-Southampton players in his midst (Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane) had to thank them along with the rest of the team for their glorious efforts against the Saints.

Mane’s superb opening goal put the Reds out in front before Roberto Firmino doubled Liverpool’s lead with a low finish past Angus Gunn – he celebrated in true Bobby Firmino style. Either way, Southampton gave Liverpool a good game and should be proud to have only conceded two goals to the Champions of Europe.

Liverpool walked away from the game having had 63.8% possession and 6 shots on target compared to Southampton’s 3. This victory also propelled the Reds on to a club-record win, though it was a near triumph as the Saints almost equalised with Ings attempt in the final minutes.

LEANDRO TROSSARD MAKES A THRILLING PREMIER LEAGUE DEBUT

Leandro Trossard started for Brighton & Hove Albion in their game last weekend against West Ham and the Belgian netted twice for Albion, though one was denied by VAR (VAR has been catching out a lot of players this season).

The score remained 0-0 until Javier Hernandez put the Hammers out in front in the 61st minute but after four minutes Trossard equalised with a fine goal from the edge of the box. The Seagulls continued to create chances for them to take the lead, determined to get Graham Potter a win against West Ham but just fell short.

Trossard, named ‘Man of the Match’ should be happy with his performance and is even hoping Eden Hazard will be proud of his goal!

NORWICH CITY V NEWCASTLE – TEEMU PUKKI’S HAT-TRICK

Daniel Farke must be ecstatic with the Canaries performance last weekend, especially in knowing that their lead goal scorer was a free transfer. There’s been no better bargain!

Teemu Pukki must be on every football enthusiast’s dream team by now as he continues to light things up on the pitch. In the Championship last season, he helped propel his team to the title, scoring 29 league goals and he seems to be heading in the same direction in the Premier League.

Pukki left Newcastle’s defence spinning, scoring a hat-trick for his side and earning Farke his first three points for this season. The striker has proved to be a revelation. Though that’s not to stay the rest of Norwich sat back and did nothing, Farke’s men surged forwards, were innovative and strong on the attack.

Next, they take on Europa League winners, Chelsea, which could be a thrilling game with the Blues set on those three points and Norwich looking to extend their winning streak.

SOUTHAMPTON STILL HAD REASON TO CHEER

The hosts were down 0-2 until Liverpool goalkeeper, Adrian, blundered and allowed his attempted clearance to deflect off Danny Ings shin and into the net, edging the Saints a step closer to the Champions of Europe.

Alisson Becker had done the same thing last season against Leicester City, though more fear seems to have sparked around the back-up goalkeeper’s error. It’s said that there have been talks over his reliability and consistency despite his crucial save in the UEFA Super Cup.

Though the Reds were victorious, Southampton still have much to smile about. They suffered a harsh defeat to Burnley but against Liverpool they stepped up, taking the initiative to drive forwards and gave the Reds a good game. The Saints almost equalised four minutes from time when a wonderful ball from Yan Valery fell in Ings path, who just failed to capitalise on the cross. Nevertheless, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side certainly shouldn’t be disappointed.

Let’s home to see more play like this from the Saints!

MAN CITY DÉJÀ VU WITH VAR HANDBALL

Manchester City were denied a late win in their game against Spurs due to VAR. Spurs equalised with their only two shots on target, whereas City had 30 shots on target, an unfortunate result for England’s reigning Premier League champions at Etihad Stadium last weekend.

The dismissed shot came after an infuriated Sergio Aguero was taken off the pitch for Gabriel Jesus. He and Pep Guardiola were seen to be in a heated discussion over his substitution, which was quickly forgotten about when Jesus netted the ball to give City, what they thought was the win. City had even ended their celebration by the time news came back that the goal had been ruled out, ending City’s 15-match winning run.

Pep described it as déjà vu as a similar matter happened between the two teams during the Champions League quarter-finals. In injury time, Sterling put one away for City in the last minute igniting a euphoric celebration at Etihad Stadium, only for it to be chalked off by VAR deciding Aguero, who crossed the ball was offside.

MANCHESTER UNITED UNDER FIRE AFTER 1-1 DRAW WITH WOLVES

Manchester United are under fire with a ton of criticism for their game against Wolves yesterday. With Man Utd and Wolves level at 1-1 and twenty minutes to go it didn’t look there was much chance for either side to get ahead until Conor Coady tripped Paul Pogba in the penalty area.

Outrage sparked over the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left it down to Pogba and Marcus Rashford to decide between them who should take the penalty. A great number of people have stated that it is Ole’s duty as the manager to designate that responsibility and in not doing so has left a taste of bad management in the mouths of some.

But Pogba has scored 7 of 11 penalties in the Premier League, whereas Rashford has scored 1 of 1 and only just last week. However, many seem adamant that the two deciding between themselves is an embarrassing look for Man Utd by implying that there is a lack of leadership.

But if Pogba hadn’t missed the shot, would people have as much to say? What are your thoughts?

SHEFFIELD UNITED DEFEAT CRYSTAL PALACE

Hosts, Sheffield United impressed manager Chris Wilder with their “full-blooded and committed” performance against Crystal Palace. Wilder’s men gave a strong performance and deserved to secure the win, which was their first Premier League win in over 12 years.

Crystal Palace did have a higher possession rate but failed to cause any real damage and thanks to John Lundstram, the Blades got off to the perfect start! There was an early scare when Christian Benteke fired a shot into the palms of Dean Henderson but things picked up and started to look promising for the hosts there after.

Baldock especially was causing a lot of stir on the pitch as the Eagles struggled to get past him down the right. England International manager Gareth Southgate was also in attendance for the game, perhaps on the lookout for some talent as Wilder’s squad is largely made up of British players.

To experience the finest football hospitality head over to Eventmasters Football hospitality page and secure the best views of the pitch as you watch your favourite teams battle it out for the Premier League title.

The Next Gen: Chelsea’s Rising Stars

The Next Gen: Chelsea’s Rising Stars

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Despite a heavy loss in their first Premier League fixture, Chelsea have a number of up-and-coming stars that could help the Blues take the Premier League by storm.

MASON MOUNT

The under-21 England International impressed Frank Lampard during his time at Derby County and has fast become the new Chelsea starlet. In the Summer of 2017, he went out on loan to Eredivisie side Vitesse and quickly became a key player, going on to win the club’s Player of the Year award.

He joined Chelsea through the academy at the age of six and has climbed through the ranks. Mount made his top-flight debut for the Blues in their opening Premier League game against Manchester United and despite their 4-0 loss Lampard hailed the youngster’s performance.

Mount has an exciting future ahead of him at Chelsea, who are delighted with the his development and dedication to the sport.

CALLUM HUDSON-ODOI

Callum Hudson-Odoi has quickly become a household name across Europe. The 19-year-old teen attracted interest from Bayern Munich earlier this year and rumour had it that a transfer was on the cards but Chelsea F.C., who were eager to keep the talented winger managed to convince him to stay.

Hudson-Odoi had doubts over his playing time, as under Maurizio Sarri he was often benched and that must have been a big factor in him re-signing for the Blues. Unfortunately, he ruptured his Achilles in April and has since been side-lined but he, Chelsea fans and Lampard are eager for his return, which is looking to be soon as he has returned to training.

There’s hope for this young star to ascend to greatness and there’s no doubt he could be a key player for Chelsea and England in the years to come.

TAMMY ABRAHAM

Tammy Abraham rose out of the Chelsea youth system and was a storm on the pitch for Aston Villa during the 2018/19 Championships where he was out on loan. The talented striker is already an England International and his tally of 25 goals in 37 appearances during his time in the Championship resulted in all eyes on him.

During a pre-season game with Chelsea he even scored a goal against Spanish giants Barcelona and is thought to be a real asset for Chelsea this season. In his Premier League debut, he narrowly missed out on scoring for the Blues in their heavy defeat to Manchester United but Chelsea captain and teammate Cesar Azpilicueta sang his praises, insisting that the 21-year-old deserved to be with the team.

Members and fans of Chelsea believe he could be one of Chelsea’s brightest sparks with his physicality and pace.

RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a pivotal member in Sarri’s starting plans and for Chelsea’s 3rd place success in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign. He’s another that came out of the academy and has been with Chelsea from a very young age.

He also plays for England’s senior team. Manager, Gareth Southgate was impressed from his first appearance in the game against Germany during the Toulon tournament, which earned Loftus-Cheek the man of the match award.

He is currently recovering from a severe Achilles tendon injury but will hopefully be returning to the pitch very soon. Both Frank Lampard and Maurizio Sarri have been extremely praiseworthy about the 23-year-old, with Sarri going on to say he is a “more than important” player for Chelsea.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC

Some have deemed the 20-year-old midfielder as the most talented player in America’s soccer history. Pulisic is not only quick on the ball but manages to keep the ball extremely close to his feet, leaving defenders from opposing sides stumbling in his wake.

At Dortmund he made his debut into the first team in less than a year and was quickly labelled as the club’s wonderkid. There is an immense amount of pressure on the young star, given his American background and as his signing with Chelsea makes him the highest paid American football player ever, expectations are high.

Lampard believes Pulisic has a strong and empowering future with Chelsea. Many look at the up-and-coming midfielder as a replacement for long-term star Eden Hazard, who transferred to Real Madrid in the summer. But there’s no doubt that Christian Pulisic will be looking to make a name for himself.

To experience the finest football hospitality head over to Eventmasters Football hospitality page and secure the best views of the pitch as you watch your favourite teams battle it out for the Premier League title.

Chelsea suffer 4-0 loss to Manchester United

Overcome with ‘blues’, Frank Lampard encourages his players to maintain perspective after their loss to Manchester United.

The man, the ‘legend’ Frank Lampard and his Chelsea players came out of an unfortunate Premier League opening. The Blues lost 4-0 to their northern rivals, Manchester United at Old Trafford and currently sit one from the bottom on the league table.

Although the majority of Chelsea’s fanbase are giving him a free hall pass, ex-Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho questioned and criticised the ex-midfielder’s strategy. Mourinho accused the new Chelsea team as being too “soft” and that Lampard was naïve to leave more experienced players on the bench or out of play.

Frank fired back by stating: “Well, I can’t drag players out of the medical room to play if they are experienced or not, so these are the players that played in a game that we were clearly the better team for 45-60 minutes.”

In the first half The Blues dominated and looked the better team, narrowly missing out on two goals. Kurt Zouma did make a couple of crucial mistakes, fouling Marcus Rashford in the penalty box. It gave Man United their first goal and put the Red Devils out in front.

In the second-half the goals flowed for the Red Devils, who were creating destructive play. Former Chelsea player, Gianfranco Zola seemed to think that Chelsea lacked balance, especially in their defence and that they will need to drastically improve upon that should they want to advance through the league table and be perceived as a top-of-the-table threat.

Eden Hazard on the pitchPerhaps though, the Blues were at a disadvantage in their opening game as the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger were unable to play. We should also remember that Chelsea have been hit with a transfer embargo, sold David Luiz to rivals Arsenal at the last minute and star-player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. The Blues had to rely on their less experienced, younger players who are having to adapt to top-flight football very quickly.

It’s a shame that Chelsea faced such a heavy loss as in play it was evident that elements of a strong team were there. Lampard did account for the fact he was missing key players and was humble enough to let the press know that he wasn’t using that as an excuse but instead stated that there was much to learn from their 4-0 defeat.

In the end Man United’s ruthlessness got the better of Chelsea and as Roman Abramovich isn’t one to give managers time to cultivate a successful team, Frank Lampard will have to produce results quickly.

On Sunday 18th August, Chelsea will face Leicester City, who have also lost one of their most crucial players, Harry Maguire, to Manchester United for a world-record signing of £80m. This hasn’t seemed to faze Leicester who are aiming to break into the Premier League’s top six and with new additions Youri Tielemans, Ayoze Perez, Dennis Praet and James Justin it seems possible. The hosts seem very comfortable under Brendan Rodgers and the odds are leaning towards The Foxes, especially with the Blues competing for the UEFA Super Cup just a few days before this match, Chelsea players might struggle with fatigue.

But there’s no doubt Chelsea could make an epic comeback!

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Premier League 2019/20 Predictions: Who will finish on top?

In the height of British summer, footballs “Great Debate” gets underway. With teams like Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Tottenham & even Chelsea with newly appointed Frank Lampard as manager, it’s hard to predict which team will finish on top.

Premier League 2019/20 Predictions: Who will finish on top?

Manchester City

Last seasons Champions are in good stead to becoming this season’s champs too. Under Pep Guardiola, Man City conquered England in the 2018/19 campaign, achieving back-to-back titles, though it was a tough contest between them and rivals Liverpool. With a points difference Man City came out on top and with a goal difference of plus five.

City continued their journey to record-breaking dominance in the Community Shield, defeating Liverpool 5-4 on penalties. The game carried the same intensity as the title race in last year’s Premier League but this time around, it was Claudio Bravo who made himself the hero, stopping Georginio Wijnaldum’s attempt to take it home for the Sky Blues.

In the first half especially, City looked strong, utilising space and adapting to Liverpool’s play to shake things up on the pitch. They have the pace, defence and ability to create opportunity, which are all dangerous components for any opposing team. Guardiola’s transfers also put Man City in good contention of becoming three-time consecutive winners of the Premier League.

He sanctioned a £62.8M signing of Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Rodri, who, if not playing side-by-side Fernandinho, will be grappling with him for play time during this season’s games. Rodri is a more defensive midfielder than Fernandinho which benefits Man City greatly, who had been looking to strengthen their defence. The Sky Blues had originally set their eyes on Leicester City’s defender, Harry Maguire but were unable to meet his price tag but this is yesterday’s news.

Can the Citizens finish top of the League again?

Liverpool

Can Liverpool end their 30-year Premier League title drought in the 2019/20 campaign? The Reds proved they are force to be reckoned with, having only lost one game last season and dominating in Europe. But our Champions League titlists are hungry for that top position in the Premier League and there’s no doubt that Jurgen Klopp’s team will be fighting to the finish once more. Last year Liverpool broke a number of records, including most points scored by a second-place finisher in Premier League history and most points acquired for a second-place finisher in any ‘big Five’ league.

Maybe this year they’ll be looking to top Man City’s 100pt score too?

Their performance in pre-season has left room for doubt and the Reds have had a tough ride, with Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah missing for the most part due to international commitments. The Reds also lost three of their seven pre-season games though things seemed to brighten up in the final friendly against Man City, who scraped through 5-4 on penalties.

Is Liverpool too reliant on their prolific goal scoring trio?

Whether that is the case or not, we can’t forget players like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi who all played key parts in Liverpool’s success last season. In fact, Klopp has an abundance of top players under his wing who have all flourished in his management.

Despite a slow start in the pre-season against Man City, in the second half The Reds had 64% possession and 13 shots on target compared to City’s three. Both sides were being stretched in what was a thrilling game!

Liverpool have achieved the “impossible” before, defeating Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League, so who’s to argue they can’t blow the ball out the park again. Will domestic success elude them once more or will they be crowned Champions of England?

Tottenham Hotspurs

Mauricio Pochettino must be singing “glory days” having finally been allowed to sign some players and embark on the 2019/20 Premier League in a brand-new state-of-the-art stadium. Last season, Spurs did phenomenally against the odds, finishing in fourth place by a point to Chelsea and just missing out on a Champions League victory to Liverpool.

With the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Erikssen and Son Heung-Min, the team was already of high quality but Pochettino took advantage of the money pot by signing some real showstoppers and quite rightly so! Tanguy Ndombele joined Spurs in a club-record signing of £53.8M from Lyon, leaving fans jumping out of their seats. He could be a real asset to the Lilywhites, with his ability to create opportunity and drive his side forward in relentless fashion. Spurs are also close to finalising deals for the versatile left-sided Argentine, Giovani Lo Celso and Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon, who impressed in his Premier League debut last season.

There have been a number of times where Spurs have shown their strength, more recently in their pre-season match against La Liga giants Real Madrid, whom they defeated 1-0 and Bayern Munich, where despite dropping their two-goal lead, held it together to win on penalties.

The Lilywhites will be looking to make the new Tottenham Hotspurs stadium a fortress and could be real contenders for a first-place position this season.

Chelsea

Chelsea have taken a huge gamble, appointing team legend, Frank Lampard as manager given his short running with Derby County. Many argue that he lacks the experience needed for top-flight management and has no credentials to support him in this position, especially since he took Derby from sixth to sixth in the Championship. One thing he has done, is restore faith and drive in Chelsea players, who all show him a great deal of respect and admiration – which can only aid in driving performance on the pitch.

He’s also refreshed the team with younger talent, perhaps as a means to add some pace and depth to the squad who say goodbye to long-time star, Eden Hazard. Hazard is a rare player and contributed greatly to Chelsea’s success, so it’s understandable why questions are looming about The Blues ability to cope in his absence.

Chelsea have also been hit with a transfer ban which set them back a touch in terms of strengthening the squad but luckily enough and as mentioned previously, they’ve been able to rope in budding talents who were out on loan. And if the Blues play anything like they did in their pre-season against Red Bull Salzburg, then Lampard has absolutely nothing to worry about!

Chelsea seem to have a habit of achieving despite the odds, so don’t bet against them for a top-of-the-table position.

Manchester United

Man Utd finished a disappointing sixth last season and seem to be losing their edge as the “big beast” of the Premier League. Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turn it around and see the boys through to glory? Who knows.

Solskjaer has made a few game changing signings, one of which being Harry Maguire from Leicester City, who bagged a deal for £80M, making the England International the most expensive defender in the world. He also signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, and is on the verge of finalising a deal for wonderkid Hannibal Mejbri. The Red Devils are looking strong up front, in the middle and in defence with these new additions and fans could be in for a thrilling season.

With Paul Pogba looking unlikely to leave despite being eager to do so, fans can only hope that this won’t affect the rest of the teams play as he is a key figure for Man Utd. The Red Devils haven’t lifted a Premier League title since 2013 and it will be tough but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has created a strong attacking force and anything is possible.

Manchester United have won the Premier League a record thirteen times. Can the Red Devils do it again? Or will it be another disappointing finish?

Arsenal

Arsenal have missed out on a top-three finish in the last three seasons of the Premier League, finishing a disheartening fifth in the 2018/19 campaign. The Gunners will definitely be looking to break the mould this season and who’s to say they won’t be aiming for Premier League glory?

Unai Emery has a lot of work to do with this team who seem to lack a sense of leadership and old habits seem to be dying hard but they did reach the Europa League finals last year, only just missing out on a victory to their West London rivals Chelsea.

Emery seems to have played with team dynamics during pre-season, opting for different formations and a much younger field, which was most noticeable in the game against Angers where Zech Medley, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabriel Martinelli and Tyreece John-Jules were given the opportunity to shine. The Gunners won 4-3 on penalties but much punchier performances will be needed should they wish to secure a top-three finish.

Emery is hoping that his transfers will help solve the answers to his problems at Arsenal. Kieran Tierney has completed his medical and Chelsea defender David Luiz is set to sign for as little as £8M, Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid is out on loan to the Gunners, whilst Nicolas Pepe from Lille signed for £72M and St. Etienne’s defender, William Saliba for £27M. There’s no denying Emery has a pool of talented players in his midst and many believe this is the strongest transfer window Arsenal have completed in 15 years.

Are they in with a chance of top-of-the-table success?

 

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Liverpool F.C.: Transfer Talk & Rumours

A new deal for Divock Origi, Harvey Elliott to join The Reds and Phillipe Coutinho to return to Liverpool?

Liverpool F.C.: Transfer Talk & Rumours

Harvey Elliott: Up-and-coming star midfielder joins The Reds

The 16-year-old, who made his Premier League debut as a substitute against the Wolverhampton Wanderers, was the youngest ever player to compete in top-flight football and is now reported to have signed for Liverpool. This came after news that the youngster rejected a scholarship with Fulham, which understandably, caught the attention of a number of football giants. Aside from Liverpool, it seems Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and RB Leipzig are also interested in the budding star. But Elliott, who has quickly become regarded as one of the country’s brightest talents is said to have chosen The Reds as his next club.

Several reports infer that he cannot sign a professional contract due to his age and will not receive a professional wage until he turns 17, which is in April next year, so for the time being he will continue on a scholarship wage. Elliott is the second sought-after teen that Liverpool have signed for the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, as they have already secured a deal for the gifted Dutch defender, Sepp van den Berg.

Van den Berg, who is only 17-years-old also rejected offers from other European football clubs, deciding on Liverpool as his next venture. He and Elliott will have to work through the academy’s squads before making an appearance in the first team but there is a strong held belief, that they will consolidate the Liverpool team.

The race to re-sign Phillipe Coutinho

Just 18 months after releasing the Brazil international, rumours have it that Jurgen Klopp is considering re-signing the talented midfielder.

Coutinho was sold to Barcelona for £142m and the Spanish club were convinced he would replace club legend Andres Iniesta but his time at Barca has only seen him drop down the pecking order. Despite winning the La Liga in both seasons at Spain, it seems that Coutinho doesn’t get the same kind of love or respect that he received during his time with Liverpool, at Barca.

After a tough time with the Spanish team, reports suggest he is set on leaving but news of a possible return to Liverpool has sparked a conflict of interests. Some argue that given Liverpool have had better fortune without the star, they don’t need him and that his return could overshadow and hinder the potential of other top-rated players such as Naby Keita. However, others believe his return to Liverpool will only enhance the team and that Coutinho’s skills and creative prowess as a footballer shouldn’t be overlooked. There is no denying that he is a playmaker and if Liverpool are to cement themselves as Premier League and Champions League titlists in 2019/20, Klopp should definitely think long and hard about passing on this one.

Divock Origi: Happy to stay for the long-term?

Klopp made it a priority to convince Origi to re-commit and continue playing for Liverpool. Thanks to his exploits in the last campaign, Origi has secured legendary status amongst Red fans and has become a prolific figure for the team. So, it comes as no surprise that Klopp was eager to extend and renew his contract.

Origi only has a year left on his existing contract which means he’d be leaving on a free transfer next year and this has attracted interest from a number of other Premier League clubs but Liverpool have resisted any offers.

After releasing Daniel Sturridge, it became clear that Klopp wanted to secure an attacking forward, especially as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will be eased back into play following their involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations and Copa America. Origi is the kind of player you’d want to turn to in times of need and hopes are high for his continued progress and success with The Reds.

The Champions League-hero may have also been motivated to stay following a post-match chat he had with club legend Sir Kenny Dalglish, as reports suggest the 24-year-old is leaning towards staying with The Reds and is happy at Liverpool.

Head over to our Anfield News page for all the latest updates on the The Reds and don’t forget our Liverpool hospitality page for your chance to watch Liverpool play at Anfield stadium.

Manchester United: Transfer News

Welcome Back

It’s open arms as United welcome back Axel Tuanzebe after his loan spell at newly promoted Aston Villa. The 21-year-old was apart of the squad that saw the club promoted to the Premier League last season, where he made 25 appearances for the Birmingham club. His loan spell came to an end at Villa and Tuanzebe was welcomed back to United with a 3-year contract. Keeping the youngster at the club until June 2022.

Mr ‘goal of the season’, Andreas Pereira, is another of the United players to sign a new contract with the club. The Brazilian international has signed a contract seeing him stay at the club until 2023. Pereira has made his way from the United academy to making 15 appearances for the Red Devils last season. He conceded his first ever goal in the Premier League that saw him win the clubs Goal of the Season Award. The midfielder will be looking for more starts this season as he heads to Australia for pre season with the team.

Ready Or Not?

Inter Milan begin to slow down in the Romelu Lukaku race. United want a refund with a price tag of £75 million, the price they paid for the player in 2017 with the move from Everton. But the Italian club doesn’t seem to be budging with the price tag. This could see the Belgium international go on pre season with United. If inter make a last-minute deal it could mean Marcus Rashford manning the front line at Old Trafford next season.

Take It Or Leave It

Take it or leave it for goal keeper David De Gea as Manchester United make him a whopping 350k weekly wage offer. This would make the United goal keeper the highest paid goal keeper in the world of football. The Spaniard has interest from Real Madrid and PSG as he enters the final year of his contract. Previous talks with Real Madrid may give us hints on where De Gea next destination may be. Will he stay in the Premier League or will he head to the Santiago Bernabéu?

Where’s Pogba?

Everyone headed back to Old Trafford for the start of pre season on Monday. That was except one, of course. Pogba didn’t return to pre season with United, beginning speculation that the French star may be looking for a new move this summer. It’s rumoured that Real Madrid have their eye on Pogba, bringing him to Madrid, joining their newly signed summer transfer, Eden Hazard. The Red Devils have a £170 million price tag for Pogba but they continue to reiterate that he is not for sale. The move will all be down to whether Madrid are ready to pay out for Pogba or will United reject all bids?

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Manchester City: Transfer News

Manchester City made their first move in this summer’s transfer window and guess who’s back?! City paid £5.3 million to PSV as a buyout clause, bringing Angeliño back to Manchester. After two seasons out of the premier league, the young Spaniard is back for more English top flight football. Angeliño had a great season over in the Eredivisie league with 43 appearances and conceding one goal; the most appearances given to the young player. The four-year deal will see Angeliño into 2023 with Manchester City, hopefully the youngster will get more starts than his first season with City in 2012.

La Liga to The Premier League

City have set their sights on a record-breaking transfer for Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. The club have paid the £62.6m release clause for the La Liga player, and all that is left to do is get him to the Etihad to play with some of the best in the league! The Midfielder’s previous stats show 131 appearances in La Liga with 5 goals, winning the UEFA Super Cup with Atletico Madrid last year – clearly a player used to the title chase. Rodri ended his Atletico contract 2 years sooner than expected but when the Premier League champions make their call, you just have to pick up the phone.

The Window That’s Left Open

It’s a Maguire race as the Premier League goes crazy for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. Manchester United make the first move as they place a £70 million bid for the defender, which was later rejected by Leicester. The Foxes defender has made 69 Premier League appearances and 5 goals. However, is the English international really worth £70+ million?

Juventus manager, Maurizio Sarri, makes Cancelo an available man this summer and with interest from German giants Bayern Munich and City, the game really begins. It was reported by Sky News that ‘City wouldn’t make a move for Cancelo unless right back Danilo was going to leave’. So, it’s looking like a one man race for the German’s if Danilo doesn’t make a move from City any time soon.

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Two of the best title races in recent years – Liverpool F.C. raise the bar

A blockbuster semi-final and Champions League victory is not enough for Liverpool, who will chase the Premier League title in 2019/20 with a new kind of determination.

Liverpool have proven to be football giants after last season’s performance. In both the 2018/19 Premier League and Champions League, The Reds defied the odds and demonstrated that they are a major force in football.

As the Premier League title edged a little further away, the Champions League ebbed in. On May 7th, Liverpool produced one of the most astounding comebacks in football history, beating Barcelona 4-0 to reach the Champions League finals after a 3-0 deficit in their first leg. As the final whistle sounded, cheers from home fans thundered through Anfield whilst a bewildered Barca-side wasted no time to head towards their nearest exit. That night, the atmosphere at Anfield was special – it reminded all about the greatness of football, with its ability to shock and conjure up unforeseeable storylines as Liverpool achieved what was thought to be impossible.

It’s hard to determine which individual stole the show as there were heroes in red shirts no matter where you looked, though hats have to be taken off to Georginio Wijnaldum, Divock Origi and Alisson Becker. Liverpool were a true depiction of what a team looks like and how a team should act that night. So how did they do it? Without Mohamed Salah, without Roberto Firmino – how would they do it?

It started with Origi, who after just seven minutes of play, tapped in Marc-André ter Stegen’s parry off Jordan Henderson’s blow. In the opening ten minutes, Barcelona had just managed 38% possession of the ball but that did not mean they wouldn’t threaten. Barca responded on the attack and efforts were made by Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho to do serious damage but Alisson denied them any opportunities. It came very close when Jordi Alba attempted to remedy his mistake and sent a shot hurling towards a Liverpool goal but Alisson was there to meet the ball once more.

Things looked like they were going to take a turn for the worse when Henderson went down. After a medical check-up he was good to continue play but then like a game of dominos, Robertson fell and didn’t return to the pitch after half-time, due to a kick to the calf that came from Luis Suarez. Klopp sent Wijnaldum on as his substitute and dropped James Milner to left-back and to some unknown miracle, that turned out to be the best thing the German could have done.

The collapse of Barcelona was shocking for all – home and away fans, even Suarez was in disbelief as he stared vacantly into the crowds. Within the first 11 minutes, Wijnaldum had scored two goals –two minutes after the other – drawing Liverpool equal to their rivals. The first goal came off a low-cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Wijnaldum stroked the ball right under Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s torso. Two minutes later, he emerged unmarked to header in Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross, sending Anfield into a wild frenzy.

The Reds took the lead by another assist from Alexander-Arnold, who deceived a distracted Barca-side and pretended to walk off for Shaqiri to take the corner before dashing back and sending the ball in Origi’s path. Origi responded in a rapid manner and swept it home with eleven minutes to go. By now Anfield Stadium was rocking, trembling and shaking with cheers and roars of the Liverpool club anthem.

The Champions League finals lacked all the excitement of the game-changing semis that had seen Liverpool and Tottenham reach Madrid but nevertheless, it was a final full of suspense and euphoria.

Liverpool were handed their first opportunity and it was star striker Mohamed Salah, who put The Reds out in front. After just two minutes of play, Moussa Sissoko was punished for a questionable handball that came off Sadio Mane and Salah took the penalty. And Salah didn’t miss, firing the ball firmly down the middle. Tottenham tried to create pace and began to have more possession of the ball but didn’t create a shot on target until the 73rd minute, which fell right into the hands of Alisson.

The Lilywhites were starting to look more dangerous in the second-half and no doubt Liverpool were grateful to Alisson, for producing key saves. He first stopped Heung-Min Son’s strike and then hat-trick hero, Lucas Moura, who was given 30 minutes by Mauricio Pochettino to produce a miracle but just couldn’t get past the Brazilian keeper. Tottenham were growing in pace but under the sweltering Spanish heat just couldn’t do enough and Origi soon found the back of Spurs net three minute before time. Liverpool had won their 6th Champions League and Klopp, his first European triumph.

It was said that the Champions League was their “second prize” and that the Reds were set on achieving the Premier League title, so fans and football enthusiasts should expect the Premier League 2019/20 campaign to be a blockbuster show. Last season, Liverpool set a number of records, one of which being the most points for a Premier League second-finisher and it can be presumed that they’ll be outdoing themselves this time round.

In the 2018/19 campaign the Champions of Europe missed out on the Premier League title by a single point to rivals and reining champs Man City. It’s now been 30-years since Liverpool have been crowned Champions of England and they are hungry for that title. Who do you think will be victorious next season?

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