Do Liverpool deserve shock or sympathy?
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s win over Liverpool.
Has there ever been a collapse prefer it? A yr in the past, we ran out of superlatives for Liverpool. 12 months on, and with the reminiscence of the champions topping the desk at Christmas nonetheless recent, it is methods of expressing our shock which were exhausted.
After 68 unbeaten matches at Anfield, Liverpool have now misplaced all of their final 4 residence video games – their worst run in nearly 100 years. This is a collapse for the ages.
If the thriller is why and how, the unanswered – and unanswerable – query is whether or not it was really the primary Merseyside derby of the season, when Virgil van Dijk suffered his season-ending knee harm, that in the end ruined their bid for back-to-back titles. But as Jamie Carragher rightly noticed throughout commentary, Liverpool’s situation of late hasn’t been on the again however up entrance. “Going forward is as big a problem as what we’re seeing defensively from Liverpool now,” famous Carragher. “Very rarely do you see Liverpool play now when you expect them to score.”
On that foundation, it could possibly be argued that Diogo Jota’s harm is what actually did for Liverpool’s season, though whether or not the champions ought to have been so immediately depending on a late-summer recruit anticipated to play a reserve function is a state of affairs troublesome to rationalise and troublesome to defend. Anyone can play supervisor with the advantage of 20-20 hindsight, however Liverpool’s over-dependence on their ‘fab three’ ought to have been insured towards over the summer time with recruitment past simply Jota. Since being topped champions, Liverpool have signed Jota, Thiago and three defenders – Ozan Kabak, Ben Davies and Kostas Tsimikas. Some would say not sufficient, others not adequate. Both units of dissenters could be proper.
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Against Everton, Liverpool’s show felt neither good nor unhealthy. It’s solely noteworthy attribute was the absence of any combat. “It didn’t look like they had any aggression, or fight or energy about them,” concluded Graeme Souness. “Liverpool used to be horrible to play against. Now everybody wants to play against them. They are an easy touch.”
It was, at greatest, a flat show. A show of a staff which has merely run out of steam after an exhausting three years. What occurred to Liverpool? The reply is that nothing occurred – they tried to go once more with the identical staff and roughly the identical squad, solely to discover that this has been a season too far for a bunch working at full-pelt since 2018. Where as soon as there have been superlatives, now there’s solely shock. But after the shock, there could also be some sympathy too.
Viva Tom Davies!
Everton's Tom Davies was excellent at Anfield
“Viva Tom Davies” – the Everton followers would have sung within the away finish at Anfield. And I’m certain many have been boogying round their front room to the Elvis Pressley tune.
The Everton midfielder definitely had Liverpool all shook up with a damaging and tactically astute efficiency in entrance of his expertly organised defence. No participant made extra tackles than Davies (5) and no Everton participant gained possession for their aspect on extra events (8). Jurgen Klopp’s aspect could not discover Roberto Firmino within the pockets due to Davies’ elegant positioning.
- Liverpool 0-2 Everton: Match report and highlights
The 22-year-old is one other instance of Carlo Ancelotti’s skill as the highest man. Many had written off Davies when Everton snapped up Allan in the summertime however as a substitute of casting him apart, Ancelotti has saved Davies a part of his plans and he is now receiving the advantages for persevering with the midfielder.
In the absence of Allan, who had appeared a powerful piece of enterprise on his performances since signing from Napoli, Davies has slotted in completely to that function to the extent that the Brazil worldwide will not be getting again within the aspect with Davies in the sort of type.
Can Hudson-Odoi study from being subbed on the south coast?
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton’s draw with Chelsea.
No one likes getting hooked having solely simply come on as a substitute, however Thomas Tuchel hopes his younger ahead Callum Hudson-Odoi will study from the chastening expertise at St Mary’s on Saturday lunchtime.
The new Chelsea head coach introduced on Hudson-Odoi at half-time along with his aspect trailing 1-0 to Southampton on Saturday, changing Tammy Abraham.
However, regardless of the guests equalising, the German then raised eyebrows on the south coast when eradicating the 20-year-old with 14 minutes to go.
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Tuchel later confirmed Hudson-Odoi was not injured and that his substitution was down to the participant’s perspective.
The German did, nevertheless, maintain out an olive department to the England worldwide forward of Chelsea’s subsequent match towards Atletico Madrid within the final 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
“You know I trust him a lot as he plays every game for us, but today I was close to him and… I do not know, maybe it was unfair, but I did not get the normal feeling with him today that he can be decisive,” Tuchel stated.
“So it is a hard decision today, but nothing that will stick between us, or stick for long. Tomorrow it will be forgotten and we prepare for Atletico.
“But now it is forgotten and he has step up, study from it, swallow it, and there is no downside.”
So, all eyes on the team-sheet within the Spanish capital come 7pm on Tuesday…
Fulham’s large week continues
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Fulham’s win over Sheffield United within the Premier League.
“Let’s try and rack up some wins and put pressure on the other teams. That’s the main focus,” stated Fulham boss Scott Parker after one other essential win for his aspect.
Fulham’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United means it’s now seven factors from a doable 9 this week and it is bought a couple of golf equipment wanting nervously over their shoulders.
Parker’s males went into the sport six factors adrift of Newcastle however victory over backside aspect Sheffield United means they’ve closed the hole to simply three, forward of the Steve Bruce’s aspect’s journey to Manchester United on Sunday.
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“I’m really proud of this team because it’s a huge moment,” Parker added. “Not just this game but this week. It’s been massive. We need to rest now; we’ve had a tough week. We’ll get back to it on Monday ready to push again.”
Parker might be hoping his phrases ring loud in his participant’s ears as the job is much from executed for Fulham.
They have one other large sport subsequent weekend towards Crystal Palace earlier than the fixtures take a tougher flip with video games towards Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City on the horizon. However, to be proper on the heels of the likes of Newcastle and Brighton within the combat for survival will give Parker and his gamers all of the gasoline they want for their subsequent large push.
Blades pushed nearer to entice door
After a run of three wins from 5 video games between mid-January and early February which hinted at a late-season rally, it appears Sheffield United’s slim hopes of Premier League survival could lastly have been extinguished.
The 1-0 reverse at Fulham was their third consecutive defeat and leaves them 14 factors from security with solely 13 Premier League video games remaining. By the tip of the weekend, the hole may stand at 17 factors.
Chris Wilder is aware of what’s coming.
“There’s always something to play for,” he advised Sky Sports after Saturday’s sport. “I won’t accept relegation until it happens – and even then I still won’t accept it. But I can’t mug everybody off by saying we’re going to have a miraculous recovery.”
Not once they carry out as poorly as they did at Craven Cottage. The assembly with a relegation rival was a possibility to shut the hole on the groups above them however for all their endeavour, they solely mustered 4 pictures on purpose over the course of the 90 minutes.
“It looks like next season we’ll be in the Championship,” added Wilder afterwards. The achievements of final season won’t be forgotten however the spectre of what occurs subsequent has develop into unattainable to ignore.
Battling Baggies hampered by high quality disaster
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Burnley’s draw with West Brom.
Many sides in a extra beneficial place than the one West Brom discover themselves presently within the Premier League would have folded at Turf Moor.
With half an hour on the clock, the Baggies have been diminished to 10 males when Semi Ajayi’s handball was penalised by referee Mike Dean after comfort with VAR.
While the choice to give Ajayi his marching orders for denying a goalscoring alternative adopted the letter of the legislation, with the infringement occurring some 50 yards from purpose, it may even have been thought of harsh.
But with time ticking down on West Brom’s bid to keep away from relegation, there was no time for self-pity. Instead, the choice appeared to galvanise the Baggies, and swift reorganisation on the again set them on their method to one other encouraging efficiency.
- Burnley 0-0 West Brom – Match report and highlights
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Sam Allardyce’s profession in administration has been constructed, first and foremost, on clear sheets, so to safe the primary of his tenure at West Brom having performed an hour with 10 males spoke volumes of his work to date at The Hawthorns.
Those foundations alone, nevertheless, look unlikely to keep Allardyce’s file of by no means being relegated from the Premier League, with the Baggies’ failure to convert a number of probabilities at Burnley stopping them from securing a morale-boosting victory and slicing the hole to security.
The Baggies have 13 video games to bridge the present 11-point hole to security, however in current weeks they’ve demonstrated they’ve the defence and abdomen for the combat that lies in entrance of them. Big Sam’s problem now’s to unearth the standard.
Leeds loss fails to disguise Raphinha’s rise
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ win over Leeds.
Boss Marcelo Bielsa refused to blame unhealthy luck after Illan Meslier’s personal purpose condemned Leeds to a 1-0 defeat at Wolves on Friday evening.
But whereas his goalkeeper unwittingly turned in Adama Traore’s shot after it got here again off the bar to resolve this cagey contest, Leeds will take solace from one other bewitching show from Raphinha.
The Brazilian winger, signed from Rennes for £17m plus add-ons final October, has sparkled since his debut within the reverse fixture at Elland Road and was unlucky to be on the dropping aspect at Molineux.
- Wolves 1-0 Leeds – Match report and highlights
Three occasions his depraved set-piece deliveries discovered Liam Cooper unmarked however on every event the Leeds defender was unable to discover a well beyond Rui Patricio.
Bielsa stated: “Luck is not a factor in the result. It’s clear the result was defined by their efficiency. Luck and what you deserve is not always the same.
“Look on the probabilities we had, we had double they did, and we defended properly, we attacked properly. There have been just a few moments within the sport the place we did not dominate.
“We had 10 chances and we weren’t able to score a goal, they had five and scored one. That explains the game.”
No participant supplied greater than Raphinha’s six key passes throughout the 90 minutes, which bodes properly for the rest of the season. It was a sport of fantastic margins, and Leeds can have the chance to bounce again shortly once they host Southampton on Tuesday, stay on Sky Sports.
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