Folks, I don’t want to get your hopes up, but we might have a legitimate title race on our hands for this Premier League season. In reality it will probably be City pulling away from everyone but for now let’s think of the possibility of a 3-horse race for the title. Liverpool, Chelsea, and City are all still unbeaten and don’t look much like slowing down and for the sake of exciting soccer lets hope they never do. As I stated in my other blog, this will be the recap blog with the preview one coming later in the week. I’ll be handing out winners on Friday so please click on the blog when it gets tweeted out I beg you. On to the games this past weekend:
City 1 – Tottenham 0
Well, it sure wasn’t pretty for Pep’s men but it got the job done. An early Riyad Mahrez goal proved to be the winner in this clash of perennial underachievers (Tottenham). The pitch at Wembley was awful let’s just get that out of the way. After 3 NFL games and a boxing match it wasn’t poor Wembley’s fault but wow that looked disgusting. You could see it affecting the game, the ball was bouncing around like a 7th grade Junior high game on a dirt patch. Not a good look for the English FA. Pochettino for all the praise he receives botched this lineup, how do you not start two of your best players in Alli and Eriksen? Fitness maybe but you’re telling me Eriksen couldn’t make it more than 8 minutes? Lamela missed an absolute sitter, possibly due to the turf but still you have to get that on target. 10 yards out by yourself and you hit it further than Mahrez’s penalty against Liverpool. Harry Kane has to be hurt because he sucks this year. On a breakaway and not even getting a shot off is unlike him. This game was all for the Spurs taking but they can’t seem to find any offense this year. On the flip side, City deserved the win. They controlled most of the ball and had the better opportunities. Mahrez opened the scoring with a tap in off some brilliant work from Sterling and some questionable defending by Trippier. After that it was pretty bland with City keeping possession and squandering a glorious opportunity in the second half, looking at you Big Dick Dave. Stones and Laporte have been so damn good this year and I know people are saying they don’t have to do much defending with the system but City haven’t let up a goal in over 10 hours! That’s longer than watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy! No goals let up away to Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham is an immense achievement and City honestly might have the best defense in the league. Coming for that record 2004-05 Chelsea. City moved back to the top of the table with the win and it was an impressive result.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 29, 2018
Chelsea 4 – Burnley 0
Didn’t watch any of this game so going based off highlights for this recap sue me. Ross Barkley has been a revelation under Sarri. Sarri is Michelangelo and Barkley has become his David. His first pass to Morata for the opener was literally perfect. The weight, the timing was sublime and good for Morata for finishing that. Barkley then fucked around and scored one of his own with his weak foot from outside the box. Willian and Loftus-Cheek rounded out the scoring but man this was impressive from Chelsea. Putting 4 past Burnley at the Turf Moor is always tough but doing it with Morata instead of Hazard should be borderline illegal. The Clarets are not good I get it, but the movement and quality of passing that was on display is something every Chelsea fan should be excited about. If the Blues sign a striker that isn’t named Giroud or Morata they could be scary good. Much like Arsenal, Chelsea need to be stronger defensively but when you’re seeing the ball 80% of the game, its kinda hard to get scored on. Little math for you guys there I’m not all opinion. With only Europa League commitments, Chelsea don’t have to worry too much about resting certain guys because they’re playing a B team in every Europa game anyway. This could help a lot as the long season trudges forward and is my weekly reminder that I fucked up putting them 6th at the start of the season.
GOALLL Alvaro Morata! With a sweet ball from Ross Barkley as well 🔥
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 28, 2018
Liverpool 4- Cardiff City 1
4 goals at home against Cardiff isn’t asking much but the quality of the goals were great. Adding to the greatness of the goals was Liverpool -2.5 was never in doubt. For all the warranted criticism I’ve given Salah this year, he knew I needed two more goals and set them up brilliantly. Shaqiri scored the third after some ballet quality footwork in the box and then Salah played in Mane for the cover where the Senegalese international chipped over whoever the Cardiff goalie is. I believe he is from the Philippines if that helps. A crazy stat about Cardiff scoring was that it is the first PL goal Liverpool has let up at Anfield since FEBRUARY. The VVD effect it appears but that is impressive especially for a Jurgen Klopp side. Heavy Metal football has become more refined and it’s now more like a long ballad with a heavy metal chorus. The score line was a little bloated with Liverpool scoring twice late but this was a dominant effort from them. Salah had to be man of the match, and it had much to do with his passing. If you’re having trouble scoring it’s good to help others score and the Egyptian prince did that.
Arsenal 2 – Crystal Palace 2
Ohhh Arsenal what are you doing?! Crystal Palace haven’t scored at home since WWII and you let up 2 against them? Two penalty kicks make it even harder to swallow as the Gooners 11 game winning streak ends. Arsenal did go down early and actually took the lead in the second half thanks to Pierre-Doc Emrick- Aubmeyang. It’s a little weird seeing him as a super sub but it’s working for the most part. Arsenal are so good attacking and will only get better under Emery. I think they’re just a year off from maybe contending for the title. The defense is still spotty especially on the outside. Xhaka had a wonder strike free kick goal but he isn’t meant to be a left back. His agility is negative 6 in FIFA, Willy Zaha was salivating at going at him. Arsenal will be alright in the long run, but this was a game they should’ve won. Needed to win if they’re going to be serious about the title, but a top 4 spot is all for the taking right now. Go on you Gooners.
Manchester United 2 – Everton 1
With every win, we get more and more of Joe-Say and I, for one am all for it. Pogba had probably the most obnoxious penalty kick run up I’ve ever seen. He took over 9 seconds to reach the ball, and he missed. The ball came right back to him and he did well to score but if you take 9 seconds to reach the ball you better be scoring. Why even put yourself in the line of all that scrutiny by doing that? Pickford had enough time to leave for International break, win a game in Spain, return from International break and still save that penalty. Brutal for the goal to still wind up going in but that’s soccer sometimes. United did look pretty good this game, if they get on the front foot they can be very dangerous. The problem is they usually only do that down a goal or 2. Tony Martial has been on fire lately and the second goal was magical. It was perfect pace, bend, placement. Poor Pickford, he has become one of the better goalies in the world but had no chance at stopping that shit. Everton did look good at stretches without a doubt, but ultimately United were too strong. Still not a convincing win, but a win nonetheless.
THAT CURL 😮 Brilliant from Anthony Martial! pic.twitter.com/atsbYfWCYt
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 28, 2018
Alright there you have it. Look for the preview blog on Friday which will be packed with free winners. Until next time.