Premier League Week 1 is in the Books!

Premier League action is back in full force, no more of those preseason cash grabs filling the television. All the action started on Friday afternoon, American time, with Manchester United hosting a reinforced Leicester City.

Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City

God’s gift to the Premier League got off to a hot start with a victory against a Leicester team who in my opinion are gonna do very well this season. This performance by United was almost a surprise considering the amount of controversy clouding the club leading up to the season. The drama has since continued with Pogba’s tweet after the game.

This could be disheartening to read, it shows that he’s mostly being professional with a tinge of discontent. United fans will definitely be in their #pogfeelings.

Overall, the team didn’t play amazingly but Pogba scored a great penalty, and Shaw scored his first pro goal for United. The people who needed to score, did.

Rapid Fire Recap

Tottenham scraped past a surprisingly good Newcastle, unfortunately American fullback and Seattle hero Deandre Yedlin left with a bad knee injury, score: 1-2.

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Yedlin can’t be that hurt … right?

Bournemouth comfortably beat Cardiff City, the only promoted side to not have huge signings entering their Premier League campaign, 2-0.

American team abroad Fulham FC went down to Crystal Palace, a game that was closer than the score suggests, but they will need to bounce back to justify their signings, 0-2.

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Kante stays winning after World Cup glory

Huddersfield were victim to a new look Chelsea team under the direction of Sarri. Jorginho, the player Sarri brought from his former club Napoli,looked great and while Sarri’s tactics may take awhile to catch on this is a great start. Huddersfield are definitely contenders for relegation this season, but this shouldn’t discourage them too much.

Watford beats Brighton 2-0, nothing very interesting here. A Pereyra brace to help them out. Watford are gonna need this wins if they hope to stay up without their former manager Marco Silva, now at Everton.

And on the topic of Everton, Marco Silva went up against newly promoted Wolves, which are anything but a minnow from the Championship. This game went down to the wire and a good indicator of what we should expect from Wolves in this season. Everton are under a new and much better manager with plenty of reinforcements. The clash looked to be in favor of Everton but Neves hit a glorious free kick to tie it up and when they went down a goal Mexican striker Raul Jimenez punished Everton with a great header. The Wanderers’ fans got a real show for their first game back in the top flight.

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The beauty Ruben Neves scored on Pickford

Sunday’s final match ups (the most dull of the weekend).

Arsenal lose to Manchester City 0-2 as was expected. Southampton and Burnley scrap for 0-0 draw, and Liverpool show their scintillating form will not be slowed down carrying over from last season, they win 4-0 against West Ham United.

Thank ya for reading, the beginning of EPL is not always the most exciting considering the sluggish return to form, but many new faces and revamps which will hopefully make this season much more competitive than the last.

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Premier League Title “Race” Finished! Champions League Semi-Finals set!

The Champions Get Their Silverware

The long wait to see when City would clinch the title has finally ended, and in the most anti-climactic way. Yes, Manchester United lost to West Brom in embarrassing fashion, but in the end what they truly did is rob City of a romantic and glamorous finish to their amazing dominance of the Premier League. The league wasn’t clinched with a bang during the Manchester Derby, but with a whimper on the pitch with a surely relegated team from the West Midlands.

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“Silver Linings,” said West Brom Player

Of course, a title win is still a great accomplishment, especially in the Premier League where there’s so many worthy competitors. However, it seems to not have that same glow since it has been in City’s grasp for the past couple month’s. Also, isn’t this what every City fan expected when they got Pep Guardiola? Dominance in the home competitions and a regimented style of play. Furthermore, putting more of a damper on the win is the ugly exit from the Champions League to Liverpool (lost by an aggregate score of 5-1 for those unaware, more on that in a bit).

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[Pep’s Head] How do I do the smile again? Nailed it.
While City could not get that treble, they have played attractive football and won the league. A great building block for the next season and they seem to only be getting better. Also, it has created an interesting dynamic, where every achievement for Pep looks bad on Mourinho. Who knows how long the ‘Special One’ will last at this rate.

Champions League Quarters Review and Preview

(Quarterfinals)

AS Roma 3-0 Barcelona (4-4 agg) Roma advance on away goals

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“Never Say Never” – Justin Bieber

Barcelona just completely unraveled in Rome, they had placed themselves in an amazing position to move on to the semi’s but just could not settle the game and create a productive possession. Barcelona had 57% of possession, yet only had 3 shots on goal (out of 9 total) compared to Roma’s 6 on goal and 17 shots overall. Obviously that’s not all that dictates productive possession but the stat sheet clearly tells a tale of good creation of chances for Roma. If Barcelona complete their invincibles run this is gonna be a major negative mark on the season, but on a positive note it has given neutrals a true underdog to root for in the semifinals.

Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool (1-5 agg)

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Mo Salah, Mo Problems

As mentioned earlier, Liverpool took apart City like no one would’ve expected. It seems like Klopp has had Guardiola’s number unlike anyone else in the Premier League, winning three out of the past five meetings. Not mentioning the one loss Klopp had to Pep with a score of 5-0.  It seems the high press of Liverpool, which at times hurts their defensive posture, is the perfect antidote to Pep’s controlled movement out the back, and it showed. Liverpool deserved to go through, maybe next time City will get a better match up, or adapt better to Klopp’s game plan.

Real Madrid 1-3 Juventus (4-3 agg)

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Breaking News: Ronald is good at penalties.

Real Madrid can take a deep breath, they’ll continue their streak of trips into the semifinals. However, it was not easy in large part to Juventus’ and Allegri’s great approach to going away to Madrid already down three goals. Simply put Zidane’s plan failed quite spectacularly, and in reality if Benatia had been more disciplined they could’ve been on their way to the semifinals and one of the favorites. While Madrid, unlike Barcelona’s gifting of three goals, was creating offense and chances, they weren’t as deadly as Juventus when it came to finishing, and Buffon was having a decent game. On the penalty drama, Buffon should’ve kept better cool, it was definitely a penalty and it was time to just do your best and get in goal.

Bayern Munich 0-0 Sevilla (2-1 agg)

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James “Robben isn’t the only one who can make a cut” Rodriguez

Bayern won ugly, but winning ugly is much better than losing beautifully. Perhaps that is also unfair to Sevilla who had shown against United they could be a disciplined and talented team. They frustrated the offense which found daylight in Manchester, and were simply the better team. Bayern were the favorites and that was never really in doubt, especially not after a late red to Sevilla’s Correa.

(Semifinals)

The match-ups have been released for the semifinals and from a neutral perspective will be pretty great.

AS Roma vs. Liverpool

Liverpool are definitely favorites for this one, in my opinion they can pull it off but it will depend on which defense shows up and whether Salah will be have his moments of brilliance against his former club which will be very familiar with him. Roma of course also received the best hope of getting to the finals with this draw, also this Champion’s League run may be a good way to salvage a rather lackluster Serie A performance.

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

The heavyweights of the tournament will be against each other, and Real Madrid is definitely the safe bet if you’re a betting man, but this may not be the Bayern Munich of old. Jupp Heynckes has completely transformed this Bayern Munich team back into a confident dominant force to be reckoned with, and James may be looking to prove Zidane wrong for sending him away. People shouldn’t forget, last time Heynckes took the reigns of Bayern he won the treble and is in position to do so again.

Thanks for reading! Hope you liked this Rabble, there will be more coming up and definitely for FA Cup action this weekend.

Premier League Rundown

The hiatus is over, we’re back, again. The international window was long and a break for cup fixtures, all on top of a league race that us all but over. However, this week is the week to return from our Sports Rabble spring break. Manchester Derby, how could you not.

Drama at the Etihad! Manchester United come away with the 3-2 win destroying Pep’s second string team, the Fraudiola is revealed.

In all seriousness, Pogba just decided to go off on the City defense, two goals in 97 seconds. He made amazing passes to the right places and even put themselves in the right position to head it home.

A welcome surprise to all those that were shook after Pogba’s tweet following a response from Guardiola suggesting Pogba could’ve gone to the blue side of Manchester

However, the game would not be complete without a game saving reflex save from the United keeper. Aguero was in shock that it didn’t hit the back of the net. Now City will not win the league against rivals and will have to wait another two weeks, unless United lose to West Brom, which is technically possible.

Mourinho is definitely going to have the press off his back for a bit now, he’s won against both rivals and almost completely secured second place, and a Champions League spot. While the cross town blues will have the title, they’ll likely crash out the Champions League which would kill the hopes of several silverware coming home.

Herrera had a great individual game, and Lingard was a positive influence. The amazing part was that after the comeback United was able to maintain the lead, the game was over and City fans will be sent packing, and some even crying.

Other notable fixture, the Merseyside derby also was today. It ended 0-0. Good result for Everton and decent enough for Liverpool who has a crucial match in just a couple days against Manchester City in the Champions League.

Thanks for reading, the Premier League is winding down, but MLS is still ramping up and that’ll be back too, stick around.

Premier League Rundown 3/10/18

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Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool FC

The most exciting derby of the past few encounters between these two teams. As you may have heard Rashford was unstoppable. In front of goal he was deadly. However, for a broader look at the game, United came out attacking with great offensive play from the attacking players Mata, Sanchez, Rashford and Lukaku. The biggest miss from the squad was most notably Pogba. However, it was no problem for Jose’s men. The hot start was not what Liverpool expected and caught them off, also Rashford murdered Alexander-Arnold when they were 1 on 1.

Klopp looked beside himself, he took a cool sip of his water after that second goal went in and accepted this was his life now. Meanwhile, Mourinho was happy to sit back and absorb the attack while just breaking after a turnover in possession. The game plan worked perfectly in Mourinho’s favor, the possession was 32-68 in Liverpool’s favor, and they didn’t manage a shot on goal in the whole second half. The only goal which would come was a back heel by Bailly into the back of his own net.

Overall, this puts United further cemented in second place, and now they’ll be prepared to receive Sevilla.

Highlights from the rest of the league:

Everton and Big Sam get a big win at home (2-0) and Brighton will be disappointed to not have done better here. They are in more than good position to stay midtable regardless.

Swansea and Huddersfield tied at 0-0 and it was a bad result for both, Huddersfield continue sputtering and Swansea did not get attainable points to move further from the relegation zone.

Newcastle United win 3-0 against Southampton who will probably sack their manager, and Newcastle keeps on churning on their march to stay in the Prem with this solid performance.

Speaking of managers to be sacked Pulis and his team West Brom lost four to one at home against Leicester City. Leicester would’ve been dismayed to not have gotten a result here.

Burnley beat West Ham United away 3 goals to nil. Burnley continue playing on fire and West Ham are back in the dumps after an almost promising run.

Lastly, Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 2-1. Cheslea despite their fair share of injuries and Crystal Palace’s inspired form they clearly dominate this one.

That’s a wrap for today’s fixture’s, tomorrow we’re back, and maybe some MLS review/preview tonight?

Premier League Rundown 3/4/18

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Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal

The Arsenal depression keeps on growing, and Brighton & Hove Albion is the next to steal some points from Wenger’s men. It was a dominant performance possession wise for Arsenal and Aubameyang scored one. However, the defense is still woeful for Arsenal, Brighton’s players had too much time in the box and of course were gonna put that those chances away.

Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea

Chelsea lose again, but to be fair they’ve had a very tough schedule, and it definitely won’t make their fans feel better. City are just head and shoulders better than its closest competitors. Chelsea didn’t even achieve a shot on goal, they didn’t exactly challenge City when it comes to the attack. Both will have a chance to get a win next week, Chelsea plays Crystal Palace and City will go up against Stoke. Also, not to be forgotten, Chelsea still have the second leg against Barcelona to be played, they have to pick up some form to win that one.

Not a crazy week for Premier League I know, but the Champions League action coming up should make up for it, also the return of MLS. Those reviews will be up here by the end of the weekend.

Premier League Rundown 3/3/18

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Happy March everybody, so we’re back with our review of Premier League action. Also, today is the return of MLS, I know that many aren’t a fan but as an American I try and support the league. I’ll have a review of that action at the end of the day on another review post, stick around for that!

Burnley 2-1 Everton

There was some beautiful football at Turf Moor today, amazing saves from Pickford, self guided through balls, and flying elbows at the very end. Pickford kept Everton in the game much longer than they deserved with how Burnley were playing, something out of De Gea’s playbook. Overall, great control of the game by Burnley, could’ve notched more goals, but Everton’s back line needs help, and now that Williams has a red card for his elbow, they have another unnecessary issue.

Leicester City 1-1 AFC Bournemouth

Leicester were saved at the death by their superstar, Riyad Mahrez. After conceding a clumsy penalty in the first half, Leicester spent the whole game playing catch up at home. The result in my opinion was fair, and didn’t necessarily ruin anything for either team, so that’s that.

Southampton 0-0 Stoke City

Nothing too crazy this game, and definitely no goals. However, the one development here is the great goalkeeping from Butland, Stoke City, and England international. It should make for a great competition between Pickford and Butland for England’s starting spot this World Cup.

Swansea City 4-1 West Ham United

Swansea dominate this still struggling West Ham side, they’ve only won one in the past six games. Notable move here is Swansea are out of the relegation zone again, and maybe we can hear some Carvalhal quotes again about having their heads above water.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Huddersfield Town

Son scores a brace, and another game that wasn’t in any doubt all the way through, also didn’t place Huddersfield in the relegation zone. A very fortunate match up for Spurs because they need some rest coming up to the final leg against Juventus in a few days.

Watford 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

Watford receives West Brom to have their own wack at the bottom of the Premier League. Nothing has gotten better for West Brom and Watford still has Deeney scoring winners, so everything went as planned.

Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle United

Salah continues his scoring ways, he gets a nice pass from the Ox and megs the keeper for the go ahead goal. Then later Sane seals home some great team passing that just dismantles Newcastle. Karius made an amazing save as well, it looks like his new strategy of attempting to look like De Gea to play like De Gea is working. Even though Newcastle had some dangerous chances, Liverpool were the better side, and are in second place for at least the next couple days.

Still many more games to be played tomorrow and Monday, but City isn’t in any danger if you’re interested in the title race.

Manchester United vs. Chelsea Review

Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

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Our indepth match of the week is here! And it was a great game, really important points to keep pace in this cutthroat league.

Chelsea started out the stronger team, and Marcos Alonso made a great cross to Morata who hit the crossbar, they easily could’ve been up in the first few minutes. Credit to United though, they felt the strength of Chelsea’s attacking options and decided to settle the ball by keeping possession. This was helped by Mourinho finally freeing Pogba further up top instead of attempting to partner him with Matic in a more defensive role. Pogba’s ability to use his size to protect the ball, but still have the technical ability to get past whoever’s up against him. Still there wasn’t much bravery to go forward, it definitely felt like Mourinho’s pragmatic game plan.

Chelsea’s game plan was doing much better to start this game, the defense was solid and always were dangerous on the attack. They were also quick to be prepared for the counterattack, and hardly let United even get a shot on goal. To be fair not too hard when Manchester’s game plan mostly consisted of going down the wing and aiming at Lukaku’s head for a lot of the half. Fittingly enough that’s how the first Chelsea goal went in, on the counterattack from a well defended cross. Willian slotted it home at Da Gea’s near post. The argument can be made De Gea could’ve done better to defend the near post but regardless a great shot by Willian. The rest of the half was looking like Chelsea would score again but instead United scored late in the half thanks a great play between Sanchez, Martial, and Lukaku.

The second half started much better for United. Chelsea let off the gas quite a bit and let United keep the ball for awhile, which of course slowed it down by a lot. Eventually, this lead to a great cross that Lingard redirects into the goal. A great sight towards the end of the game for Manchester fans to see Bailly back on the pitch, of course he did well to help close the game out and neutralize Chelsea’s attack.

Individual Performances:

Pogba did great in his role this game, great passes overall and maintaining of possession.

McTominay and Matic dominated the back half of the pitch and did a great job controlling the tempo of the game.

Willian is by far one of the best creative players in the Premier League, he’s continued to be the spark in Chelsea’s game, not rated enough by many fans (excluding Chelsea fans).

Morata definitely needs to improve. He’s been a decent signing for Chelsea but he had many chances to change the game, whether it was in front of goal or on the build up, he just failed to make an impact.

Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Spurs

This post has been long enough, but just a quick nod to this game. Yes Spurs dominated the whole game and could’ve scored earlier, but Crystal Palace did really well to hold them off and it’s not a great look it took so long to break through the defense. A win is a win though and it’s one of the toughest leagues in the world, so good job Tottenham for getting a win when it was very much expected of you.

Thanks for reading if you stuck around all the way down here. We’ll be back this week with more all around coverage starting Tuesday, hope to see you all then!