Category: English Premier League

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.

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!

Premier League Rundown 2/24/18

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We’re back! The English Premier League has returned from the FA Cup break which had some magical moments (like Manchester City falling to Wigan), but now Manchester City will probably also resume playing the way they did before the break. Without further ado, this Saturday’s rundown.

Leicester City 1-1 Stoke City

Stoke escape with a draw, and it was really all on Leicester. Shaqiri stays being class, putting the Potters up one goal early on and extending his scoring streak. The second half was just all Leicester scoring chances, it was a miracle they didn’t score on a couple occasions. However, the only goal for the Foxes was on the mistake of the goalkeeper, Jack Butland, but he later made some great saves to keep them in the game.

AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle United

Missed opportunity, that’s the best way to describe this game for Newcastle. When you are only a point above the relegation zone and your team is up by two goals, you just can’t give it up in the last 10 minutes. The Magpies got seriously outplayed those last 10 minutes, but before then they were in cruise control with nothing looking to change. They won’t survive the season in the EPL like that, but fair play to a resilient Bournemouth side that kept pushing.

Brighton & Hove Albion 4-1 Swansea City

A second half of the table smack down. Swansea was starting to look much more improved under Carvalhal, and this might just be a hiccup, but they were thoroughly dismantled by this Brighton team. And they are now underwater once again, they’re next match is against West Ham, that should be a tight game.

Burnley 1-1 Southampton

Burnley are continuing their sputtering form, but it was a still a solid game from both teams. Good goal from Gabbiadini to equalize, but they’re still locked in a three way tie with Crystal Palace and Swansea for the top relegation spot. Burnley have Everton next, an even match up where nothing is sure for either side.

Liverpool 4-1 West Ham United

Not even Chicharito could save West Ham from Liverpool’s flourishing offense. They netted four goals, and made sure to distribute them evenly among the offense. While West Ham’s defense was holding on for awhile, they did not have enough to keep up. Liverpool were up by three goals before West Ham even could get anything on the score sheet.

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Huddersfield Town

West Brom woes continue, a tale that hasn’t changed all season, and won’t change today. Huddersfield have a decent team and are putting up better performances again, they weren’t gonna drop this one.

Watford 1-0 Everton

While this match seemed well on its way to being a simple 0-0 draw. Deeney, the Watford legend, banged a goal in the top corner putting them ahead. Leading up to this goal Watford was bombarding Everton with chance after chance on goal. Everton looked content to defend the draw, but after that goal they were quick to make some attacking substitutions that ultimately fell short. Watford still managed to keep the ball for most of the remaining minutes and could’ve easily made it 2-0 had Pickford not denied Deeney’s late shot on goal. Pickford wasn’t done quite yet, on the last corner he actually got his head on the ball and putting it in a very dangerous position, Everton almost steal the draw at the end.

That’s our Saturday summary, but tomorrow some much more interesting matches, especially Manchester United vs. Chelsea, our deep dive of the weekend, stay tuned!

Premier League Rundown (Part 2)

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

Well, nothing crazy really happened. Southampton lost to Liverpool, Huddersfield beat a skidding Bournemouth, and United lost to Newcastle exactly the way everyone expected. So without further ado let’s get into it.

Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United

The Magpies really needed a win and they were at home, but it came at the expense of Manchester United player’s dignity. Martial couldn’t finish to save his life, mind you the whole United team couldn’t. The build up play was good, but the saves by Newcastle were better. In my opinion, we weren’t in the race to win the league anyway. To keep pace however United needs to win these games. Mourinho may also have made some comments about a certain team being lucky, whether you agree or not that’s a huge moment for Newcastle and their fans, no need to stir the pot for no reason.

Huddersfield Town 4-1 AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth is struggling, and it seems that Huddersfield is on the up and up. They absolutely dominated a poor Bournemouth side that just wanted to get by the weekend with at least a point. Next Bournemouth plays Newcastle and will likely continue their losing, while Huddersfield plays United and will have a chance to continue their winning ways.

Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

Salah & co. had a great outing at Southampton’s stadium. In only six minutes Bobby Firmino cracked through Southampton back line and after that it was smooth cruising. Salah put the game away and made it 2-0 with great team-play. The defense held their ground and saw the game out, a clean sheet for Liverpool is much appreciated but is this the end of their defensive woes? They play FC Porto next in the Champions League, that will be a better decider of whether they really are a reformed team.

Only one more game of the week, and that’s Chelsea. They go up against a terrible West Brom side, but even Conte’s men should be able to put this team away right? I’d hope so, catch the review here, thanks for reading.

Premier League Rundown 2/10/18

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It’s here, the fun part of the weekend. The relegation battle is still tight as ever, Carlos Carvalhal is a leader of men and Manchester City have returned to running the league.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Arsenal

The weekend started with the North London derby and forced everyone in the US to wake up bright and early, especially the poor souls on the west coast. Arsenal kept it close, but that’s the best they can say, it always seemed like it was Tottenham’s game to lose. The scoring summary is just the single header from Kane on an amazing curved ball from Davies. Kane had a few more headed chances where they could’ve put the game away much much earlier. Arsenal also had their chances in stoppage time to tie it up, poor finishing from Lacazette is what eventually put the Gunners away.

Everton 3-1 Crystal Palace

Everton did what they’re supposed to do and took care of a 14th placed Crystal Palace, which is pretty remarkable for them. Sigurdsson opened up the scoring and they never looked back from there. Palace’s only goal was from the spot due to a glaring handball by Jonjoe Kenny, but it was only to destroy Pickford’s clean sheet as it did little else. Pickford actually was pretty upset about it, he used his body as a shield to protect the ball from Milivojevic in a funny, but quite petty way.

Stoke City 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

This will be the most underrated game of the weekend in my opinion, it had goals, drama and skill worthy of even the best Premier League matchups. Brighton’s first goal gave vibes of a prime Barcelona team, the link up play was a thing of beauty. However, it was not going to stop Stoke City, or more specifically Shaqiri who curled a shot into the goalkeepers right side to draw it level. The drama came when Stoke City’s Jese won a penalty kick and was quite upset that it wasn’t his to take, so Adam’s, the designated penalty taker, gave it a go. Of course it gets saved and right when Adam is going for the rebound he gets taken down, but no penalty this time. At the very end a goal line clearance from Brighton saves them the game, and the point. Stoke City are desperate, they sit currently at 18th place, somewhere a team with their quality should be far away from. And American Geoff Cameron was riding the bench, the lack of good new for USMNT fans continues, but hey Pulisic got a sponsorship!

Swansea City 1-0 Burnley

The upset of the week right here, I mean there was signs of it, but Burnley the 7th placed overachievers that gave Manchester United a hard time and drew with Manchester City, the league leaders, falls to Swansea City? Carlos Carvalhal has had an instant impact on his team for sure. The search for the next manager might be over, he picked them up from relegation zone madness, into 15th place, taking down Burnley at home. Carlos did it all with style giving us the gift of his wise quotes. This team is heating up and is just making the race to get out of the relegation zone even tighter.

West Ham United 2-0 Watford

Chicharitoooooooo scored.

Fans of ‘La Seleccion’ are gonna be happy their star striker, the little pea, is heating up at the right time as long as he can keep this on through the summer. He should be definitely fighting for the starting spot at this West Ham team that has stayed underachieving for the past couple seasons, and will take all the fire they can get. David Moyes might actually be doing something here, who knew, but they’re going up against Liverpool next week and that’s gonna be a rough one.

Manchester City 5-1 Leicester City

Sterling scored early to get Leicester City all shook, then Aguero pounced and put them four more goals underwater. At some point in there Vardy scored but there will be no party as it was a devasting defeat, albeit against the best team in the league by far. Not much else to say, it keeps looking more and more like its City’s league and we all just play in it.