Tag: Liverpool

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.

MCUWBA
“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).

PepHappy
[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

ROMABARCAUCL
“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)

MOSALAHUCL
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)

CR7PEN
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)

BMSEVUCL.jpg
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.

Champions League: Round of 16 (Day 5)

uclr16d5

The most exciting time of the round of 16 is here! Day 5 took its fair share of victims, most notably today however, Unai Emery..

Liverpool 0-0 FC Porto (5-0)

Salah and Van Dijk are the notable names that started the game on the bench. This is understandable since Liverpool are coming into this game five goals ahead on aggregate and they will have a crucial derby game this Saturday against Manchester United. There was plenty of chances for Mane and he just kept narrowly missing. Unfortunate for Porto and Liverpool fans as well, as it ended a scoreless affair.

Paris St-Germain 1-2 Real Madrid (2-5)

While PSG showed signs of life in the first half, none of their attacking players could get it done. It’s somewhat understandable missing Neymar and being behind already by two goals, but they have so much talent Emery is still to blame here. After the offense finally started getting real chances the whistle was blown for the end of the first half and Real Madrid was able to regroup.

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the second half by putting away Vazquez’s cross with his head. It felt like a demoralizing blow. Matters only got worse with a Verratti red card. Not until Cavani scored an equalizer did they seem to regain the faintest hope. Which was quickly stomped out a small while later with Casemiro’s shot taking a nasty deflection past Areola. The rest of the game was just a training exercise for Real Madrid. Zidane lives to fight another day as Real manager and has kept showing his skill for managing the game.

The quarterfinals are next and the draw should be announced this Friday, stick around here to read about it.

Premier League Rundown 3/3/18

plrundown3318t2

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.

Champions League: Round of 16 (Day 2)

uclr16d2t2

The last day of this week’s Champions League match ups has finally come to an end. And the most anticipated round of 16 match between PSG and Real Madrid did not disappoint.

FC Porto 0-5 Liverpool

Liverpool took care of business on the road just like Manchester City did yesterday. The goals kept falling to this dangerous offense, Mane bagged the hat trick, while Salah and Bobby Firmino got one each as well. Liverpool took the wheel and never let go, the goals kept coming and the defense held strong with a clean sheet. With this help Liverpool will be able to focus much less on the return leg and focus more on the league.

Real Madrid 3-1 Paris Saint-Germaine

Real Madrid gets the win at home, and what a way to do it. This round of 16 draw is gonna be a big decider for the fate of each manager, with each team having so much pressure to perform in this tournament. Both teams started the game quite aggressively, not always characteristic of the first leg of a draw. Leading to the first half ending in a tie, with PSG netting that crucial away goal.

There’s a couple things that Unai Emery is going to think here at the half time, this Real Madrid team hasn’t been in the best goal scoring form, and you already have the away goal, a 1-1 result would be great to take home. So at the 66th minute he takes out Cavani and puts in Meunier, a very defensive minded substitution. In my opinion, as soon as you make the decision that attacking isn’t a priority, you’re at a huge disadvantage, you cannot trust a team with the quality of Real Madrid to not have multiple great chances for 20 minutes.

Now here’s where Zidane made the right choice, between the 68th and 79th minute, he makes three key offensive substitutes bringing in Vazquez, Bale and Asensio. Instead of being complacent he pushed for another goal knowing the return leg at PSG was going to be as challenging as it gets. Asensio makes an instant impact, and passes the ball into the corridor of uncertainty where Ronaldo hits it home off his knee. To put the icing on top Marcelo scores one more time to make it three, his work rate this game was nothing short of incredible.

The whole entire defense of Real Madrid shined this game, Varane made multiple great clearances, and Ramos made many goal saving blocks maybe preventing some goals that could’ve thrown the momentum of this match the other way.

PSG’s goal keeper Areola was having a great game right up until those last goals, and Emery’s attempt to salvage the game with the Draxler substitution was too little too late.

Real Madrid is in a great position to go through now, but it would be a mistake to count out a team with as much talent as PSG, it’s gonna be a nail biter.

Both return legs for these fixtures will be played on March 6th.

 

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 2/4/18

Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United

Gritty game from these two teams. Newcastle gets away with the point to get out of the bottom three. Crystal Palace pushed really hard and will feel hard done to not have gotten the win.

Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Lastly, the most anticipated match of the weekend by many, but not without a controversial end. The first goal was a very cool Mo Salah finish thanks to a big mistake from Dier. The response was an absolutely blasted shot from Wanyama who picked a spot from outside the box and hit it with the laces. Then, very late in the game (90+1) the reds got a goal provided by the amazing dribbling of Salah. However, it wasn’t over, Spurs kept pushing and got a penalty awarded (90+5) which tied up the game.

It wasn’t quite as drama free as that summary might suggest. Kane bagged his 100th goal on the late penalty, but not before missing one earlier by going straight down the middle into Karius. Spurs were also diving all over the ground like it was swim practice. The first penalty call in their favor was iffy because it should’ve been offside. The second was atrocious from Lamela. Van Dijk goes for a clearance and stops his leg before any meaningful contact, but Lamela goes straight to the floor anyways. After a few seconds of deliberation John Moss decides to ruin the night of every Liverpool fan and awarding the penalty. Kane finishes it as expected and Liverpool is fuming at the call.

In all seriousness, very poor refereeing seriously making a case for VAR. The excuse it slows the game down is nonsense when the controversy creates just as much time wasting and would prevent huge matches like this feeling ruined.

So that is all here for Sunday. Tomorrow is the last match for this week’s Premier League action, catch our review here right after!