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  #51  
Old 12-05-2018, 07:06 AM
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Usually it's a delaying tactic by a team keen to hold of for a win/draw, though it can have other uses as noted by madsircool. Referees should be adding on at least as much time as the substitution takes, though, so it's probably more for breaking up play/letting the rest of the team have a quick breather before the final onslaught by the other side. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to compile stats on its effectiveness? Probably too difficult/too many other variables to learn much about it.
  #52  
Old 12-16-2018, 04:02 PM
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Today's Liverpool v Manchester United result shows just how bad the situation at United has gotten. Unable to compete evenly over the course of 90 min. Scoring only on a bad mistake by the opposing 'keeper; no other serious threat offered to the Liverpool goal. Allowing an endless number of shots, corners, and so forth. And, most importantly, once again leaving the most expensive, and, arguably, best player on the bench the entire game against an opponent of the highest caliber. Yeah, it was a bit of bad luck that they had to swap in Bailly for Smalling right before kick-off, but still, the real trouble with the team wasn't the back line.

Standing 6th after almost a full half-season, one has to think it's been done with smoke and mirrors. How likely is it that the rest of the season will produce substantially better results?
  #53  
Old 12-16-2018, 09:07 PM
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Today's Liverpool v Manchester United result shows just how bad the situation at United has gotten. Unable to compete evenly over the course of 90 min. Scoring only on a bad mistake by the opposing 'keeper; no other serious threat offered to the Liverpool goal. Allowing an endless number of shots, corners, and so forth. And, most importantly, once again leaving the most expensive, and, arguably, best player on the bench the entire game against an opponent of the highest caliber. Yeah, it was a bit of bad luck that they had to swap in Bailly for Smalling right before kick-off, but still, the real trouble with the team wasn't the back line.

Standing 6th after almost a full half-season, one has to think it's been done with smoke and mirrors. How likely is it that the rest of the season will produce substantially better results?
And those two game deciding lucky deflected goals for Liverpoo. I get that things are bad at Man U and Mourinho is evolving into paranoid 1944 Hitler, but Man U should have gotten a draw today and that is a good result for a visiting side.
  #54  
Old 12-17-2018, 06:53 AM
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And those two game deciding lucky deflected goals for Liverpoo. I get that things are bad at Man U and Mourinho is evolving into paranoid 1944 Hitler, but Man U should have gotten a draw today and that is a good result for a visiting side.
ManU was absolutely played off the pitch the entire game. A draw would have been extremely kind to them. 64% possession and 36(!) shots, 11 on net. ManU had 2 on net. 3.1 vs 0.7 expected goals. The score line, if anything, flattered ManU.
  #55  
Old 12-17-2018, 08:22 AM
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ManU was absolutely played off the pitch the entire game. A draw would have been extremely kind to them. 64% possession and 36(!) shots, 11 on net. ManU had 2 on net. 3.1 vs 0.7 expected goals. The score line, if anything, flattered ManU.
I don't disagree the stat line was unflattering for them but again it was two lucky deflected goals on the last 20 minutes that decided the match. It was both funny and disturbing when the camera would find Pogba on the bench obviously trapped in his own personal hell. I have the feeling that if Man U fired Mourinho this morning almost any competent coach could turn them around quickly.
  #56  
Old 12-17-2018, 08:40 AM
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I didn't see the game, but reports I have heard all agree there was no way United deserved a point. If you allow the opponent a lot of shots on goal, how "lucky" is it that one or two are deflected in?
  #57  
Old 12-17-2018, 08:58 AM
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I don't disagree the stat line was unflattering for them but again it was two lucky deflected goals on the last 20 minutes that decided the match. It was both funny and disturbing when the camera would find Pogba on the bench obviously trapped in his own personal hell. I have the feeling that if Man U fired Mourinho this morning almost any competent coach could turn them around quickly.
You can't claim that ManU deserved a point because Liverpool scored two deflected goals when ManU's only goal was based on luck and also ignoring all the goals Liverpool didn't score because of bad luck.

Truth is the scoreline was pretty reflective of the game, ManU was dominated and didn't deserve any points. The argue they deserved a draw is pure homerism.
  #58  
Old 12-17-2018, 10:25 AM
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As a Man U fan, I have to grudgingly tip my hat to Liverpool, who dominated the game. Only Liverpool's goalie mistake prevented a shutout.
  #59  
Old 12-17-2018, 10:36 AM
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I think almost any game at any level is better with a motivated and happy Pogba in it but it appears that the gloom and doom permeating the atmosphere at United has wreaked its havoc on him as well. There appears to be some concern, as voiced by Jose, that United can't simply use its vast wealth to buy trophies with the ease it once did and that seems to be infecting the whole organization.
  #60  
Old 12-17-2018, 11:14 AM
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Well, despite the stats, the whole game wasn't as bad as the score line appeared. Here's my take:

The first 5 min. showed that United came in with resolve to be plucky contenders. They were controlling the ball, looking for ways to get Young and Dalot forward, probing for chances to slip the ball to either Rashford or Lingard. Liverpool were up to the task of stopping them.

The next roughly 25 min. were a demonstration of how Mourinho's set-up was over-matched by Klopp's set-up. Young especially was neutered by the way Liverpool flooded his side of the pitch, forcing him to stay back and play as a fourth back line player. Matic and especially Herrera looked uncomfortable with their roles, acting as if they had to be fifth and sixth players in the back lines at times (Herrera, especially, was giving the ball away a LOT as they tried to transition out of defense). A goal for Liverpool was inevitable, and came exactly as you'd expect, by taking advantage of the space Herrera and Matic were ceding to the Reds just outside the penalty area (where the excellent Fabinho had time to bake a freakin' cake before lifting the pass to Mané).

Then came the United goal against the run of play, and for the last 15 min. of the half, there was a stalemate as Liverpool lost their aggressive attacking poise and let United get more settled on the ball. But the tactical side hadn't changed, so United weren't able to do much with this period.

After the half, the introduction of Fellaini for Dalot changed everything for United. Dalot hadn't shown that he could do much down the right (certainly incapable of beating Robertson). Fellaini was used to neutralize the Liverpool midfielders (especially at this point Keita, who became mostly anonymous); Young was simply moved into the back line where he was playing anyway, and that made it easier for Matic and Herrera to move forward a bit and help shut Liverpool down. Klopp let his team have 20 min. of trying to re-assert their dominance tactically, then gave in and changed things up by removing the ineffective Keita and getting Shaqiri on the field (given the results, no wonder he was impatient at how long it took to get Shaqiri instructed on set piece positioning!).

And that leads to the last 20+ min., where Mourinho failed to react to Shaqiri's introduction. Shaqiri made all the difference. He recognized that Herrera and Matic were still leaving plenty of workable space just outside the penalty area, and that Fellaini was incapable of covering three men at once. So he just buzzed around finding space and doing something useful with it. And this energized Liverpool, and flummoxed United, and thus that last 20 min. was all Liverpool. Yes, the two goals were "lucky", but you make that luck by having enough chances. And the introduction of Martial for the poor Herrera didn't make an iota of difference; not sure Martial managed to even touch the ball more than a handful of times after coming on.

Which brings us back to Paul Pogba. £83M spent on him, and Mourinho is saying that Matic, Herrera, Fellaini all are better? That they all were more likely to stop Liverpool's midfield? Hell, Mouinho's last introduction was Juan MATA, for goodness sake, rather than Pogba. It's ludicrous. A manager is supposed to be someone who brings out the BEST in his players, not turns them into sulking pine-splinter sufferers. Why even put Pogba on the bench in the first place, if he's not going to use him? Which of the players on the pitch would Pogba have come on for, prospectively, if he never got introduced into this game?

And contrast Liverpool. Every time I watch Virgil Van Dijk in a Liverpool kit, playing like the dominant center-back that he is, I can't help but feel that it's the ultimate indictment of United the last six years, because in the Ferguson days, you just KNOW Van Dijk would have been wearing a red and black strip instead. £75M spent by the 'Pool does NOT just sit on a bench wasted. Is it any wonder that United are scratching to even make Europe at all next year, while the Reds are challenging for a title?
  #61  
Old 12-17-2018, 11:17 AM
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In other, sadder news, My Beloved Foxes™ are continuing to wallow mid-table with no apparent zeal for challenging for Europe. 1-0 losers to Palace at Selhurst Park, though in fairness, they did have some chances (chances that seemed to always go in that magical season three years ago!). I give Puel his props for improving the team so that it won't be dragged into a relegation fight, but it would be nice if we could simply take the next step that so invitingly sits on our doorstep and start fighting to be in 7th place. Or, given Manchester United's issues, sixth place!
  #62  
Old 12-17-2018, 07:16 PM
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I really do wonder if Man U would have fired Mourinho had it not been so soon to the very busy end of year fixture schedule? If they look this bad after the 1st of the year, he’s likely to be gone.
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  #63  
Old 12-17-2018, 10:37 PM
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Speculation is that he'll be sacked immediately after they get dumped from the UCL. Which will probably be around Feb. 20 or so, since I don't see them getting past PSG.
  #64  
Old 12-18-2018, 03:44 AM
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On the other hand, the nature of a cup competition is that it could be Mourinho's (only) salvation. It's not uncommon for teams doing poorly in the league to perform well in a cup. See Liverpool 2005, for example. Winning the CL might be United's best chance of qualifying for next season's event, though it won't be nearly as probable as the Europa League a couple of years ago when a similar situation applied.
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:55 AM
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I have to wonder, with a guarenteed UCL place for the winner, and no realistic chance of winning the competition this year and less liklihood of qualifying through league positiuon, won't it been almost better for ManU to take the relegation to the UEL?

I wonder if this will become a regular thing soon, clubs will calculate that a run in the Europa league is better than a R16 exit in the CL?
  #66  
Old 12-18-2018, 03:57 AM
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Speculation is that he'll be sacked immediately after they get dumped from the UCL. Which will probably be around Feb. 20 or so, since I don't see them getting past PSG.
I think PSG is a right winnable thing. Neymar probably is crying at the prospect of having to become Fellaini's bitch again. Twice!
  #67  
Old 12-18-2018, 04:20 AM
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Speculation is that he'll be sacked immediately after they get dumped from the UCL. Which will probably be around Feb. 20 or so, since I don't see them getting past PSG.
As it turned out, he just got sacked this morning.
  #68  
Old 12-18-2018, 07:27 AM
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I'm gonna miss Jose crying about how the most valuable club in world footy can't just purchase all the good players any more because there are too many other good teams. It's just not fair, dammit.
  #69  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:19 AM
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I can't say I'm shocked at Mourinho's sacking. In his post-game comments in the tunnel, he basically stated that the United players didn't have the quality of the Liverpool players, and that the result was inevitable because Liverpool were that much better. He also asserted that the best the club could fight for was fourth place, and made it sound like he didn't think they had a good shot even at that. When the manager of Manchester United starts saying he thinks his team is the rough equivalent of an Everton or a West Ham United, he's gotten pretty toxic.

And the sacking is right on schedule; it was almost exactly three years ago Chelsea got tired of his third season antics and tossed him out on his ear.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:32 AM
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I mean, it's true that Liverpool has a better roster and that ManU would be lucky to finish 4th. Whose fault is that though?

I wonder if they'll also see big roster changes in the winter window, or if that'll wait until summer. It definitely sounded like Pogba was on his way out. Will this change that?
  #71  
Old 12-18-2018, 12:09 PM
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Funny Tweet from Pizza Hut UK about Mourinho applying to work there.

https://twitter.com/pizzahutuk/statu...044419073?s=21
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  #72  
Old 12-19-2018, 03:57 AM
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I'm all for giving managers a chance but I think Mourinho had his, and then some. The question is, will history end up viewing him as a great manager with one or two bad spells, or an egotist who had fleeting success that he later couldn't replicate? Obviously that will depend on what he does next. If it's the former, it will be very frustrating as a United fan that I couldn't do it for us, but I would still blame him, not the club. Then again, you never really know what goes on behind the scenes.

Hopefully Pogba will stay if he likes whoever the new manager is. But I see they don't intend to appoint a permanent replacement until the summer, which I guess means they're basically writing this season off as trophyless. That seems odd to me.

Worse still, Solskjaer is the current bookies' favourite - loved him as a player and a person, don't think he's the right man for the job, Giggs would be better and that's not saying much. Next in line are Blanc and Zidane - both having had some experience but untested at more than one big club (like Mourinho...). Pochettino or Howe would be good, I think. Mark Hughes didn't even make the list - not surprisingly. But he would also be a better option that Solskjaer, in my uninformed opinion.
  #73  
Old 12-19-2018, 06:50 AM
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I'm all for giving managers a chance but I think Mourinho had his, and then some. The question is, will history end up viewing him as a great manager with one or two bad spells, or an egotist who had fleeting success that he later couldn't replicate? Obviously that will depend on what he does next.
Fleeting success? I think Mourinho is an egotist that hasn't adapted as well as he should have, but he's had a phenomenal coaching career. He won the Champion's league twice, the first time with Porto! 8 league titles in 4 different countries and a bunch of domestic cups. Out of current managers his legacy is maybe behind Pep (TBD on people like Zidane or Klopp).

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  #74  
Old 12-19-2018, 07:34 AM
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Pochettino or Howe would be good, I think. Mark Hughes didn't even make the list - not surprisingly. But he would also be a better option that Solskjaer, in my uninformed opinion.
I agree with Snarky_Kong, Mourinho is going to go down as one of the all time greats even if he retires right now. He's been astonishingly good, but he's a jerk that people don't get along with.

As for the above, Poche didn't leave when Barca came calling, he's not leaving Spurs for ManU.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:48 AM
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Mark Hughes didn't even make the list - not surprisingly. But he would also be a better option that Solskjaer, in my uninformed opinion.
Since my fandom is recent enough that I don't know anything about Solskjaer, I guess you could be damning Hughes with faint praise. Because I don't think he has a creative bone in his body.

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  #76  
Old 12-19-2018, 11:54 AM
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Worse still, Solskjaer is the current bookies' favourite - loved him as a player and a person, don't think he's the right man for the job, Giggs would be better and that's not saying much. Next in line are Blanc and Zidane - both having had some experience but untested at more than one big club (like Mourinho...). Pochettino or Howe would be good, I think. Mark Hughes didn't even make the list - not surprisingly. But he would also be a better option that Solskjaer, in my uninformed opinion.
Solskjaer is a decent shout, IMHO, although I am surprised to see a club of Utd's stature prepared to write the season off in such a bald fashion. Keep the fans happy with someone who gets the club (LOL), he'll probably not be as bad as you would expect anyhow, and then make the play for a real manager season end. If they appointed a serious manager now, who was not their long term target, it would just complicate things. Good to see the club at least have some basic moral standards and pass over Giggs the lizard for the role.

Would love to see someone like Howe being given a crack at it but don't think it's realistic. The players couldn't be arsed putting in a shift for a legend like Mourinho, so can you imagine how they'd respond to a callow (in rel terms) guy like Howe? Bottom line is that there is a malaise about the club that appears deeply rooted - it's going to take someone special to drag them back into the light. Needs someone at that magic inflection point, an established winner but still hungry and plenty left to prove, so Poch and Zidane are obv frontrunners.
Won't be easy to land either of them, mind - Poch in particular must be pretty happy with what Spurs are doing on and off the field atm.
  #77  
Old 12-19-2018, 12:47 PM
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Ah - I was assuming Ole was favourite to be the permanent replacement next summer. I agree he would be a decent choice to see out this season (though even then, why wait? Surely the squad is good enough that if they can get a top manager now, progressing to the later stages of the European Cup isn't out of the question?).
  #78  
Old 12-19-2018, 12:58 PM
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I think Solskjaer's Norwegian club, Molde, have said that it's a temporary appointment i.e. they expect Ole back at the end of the English season.

I doubt Man U. see Ole as permanent - they're probably negotiating with a big name now...
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:27 PM
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The favorite to be wooed is Pochettino. He won't be available (if at all) until the year's end. Solskjaer is just a caretaker manager.
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:48 AM
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Arsene Wegner is available....
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:56 PM
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Arsene Wegner is available....
United want trophies, not 3rd places.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:45 PM
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Liverpool dominated Wolverhampton today, a very nice win.
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  #83  
Old 12-22-2018, 12:07 PM
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#FoxesNeverQuit!!!!! Chelsea 0 - 1 LCFC


Jamie Vardy strikes, finally!!
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:56 AM
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What a day. Man City loses to Leicester while Liverpool dominates Newcastle United.
A friend of mine went to Everton vs Burnley and said it was even worse than the 5-1 humiliation for Burnley and they’re going to be relegated.
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:56 AM
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Tottenham are in second place all by themselves with 45 points before new years!

If only Liverpool wasn't on such an amazing run...

I feel like I have said this about some team or other every year for the past 4 years.

If only Leicester, if only Chealsea, if only City...stupid everyone else. I'm really tired of being the second best team in the premier league every year while the top team keeps rotating. At least Liverpool have a history of slipping in the second half.

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  #86  
Old 12-26-2018, 06:20 PM
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I am going to bask in this moment of moments when my beloved Foxes have just knocked off both Chelsea AND City! Excellent football producing excellent results. Apparently, Puel got the dressing room shaped up!!!!

Now, we'll probably lose on the weekend to Cardiff.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:26 AM
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Yeah, I have nothing against you or Leicester, I just have a feeling that they won't exceed their current league position any time in the next 10 years. I don't hope that's the case, just can't see them breaking into the 'big 6' and in fact it's more likely they will be overtaken by others, sadly.
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Old 12-27-2018, 02:23 PM
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Tottenham are in second place all by themselves with 45 points before new years!

If only Liverpool wasn't on such an amazing run...

I feel like I have said this about some team or other every year for the past 4 years.

If only Leicester, if only Chealsea, if only City...stupid everyone else. I'm really tired of being the second best team in the premier league every year while the top team keeps rotating. At least Liverpool have a history of slipping in the second half.
Newkie fan here. Wanna trade? I think i have some change in me couch. It will exceed the budget Ashley gives you.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:15 AM
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I am going to bask in this moment of moments when my beloved Foxes have just knocked off both Chelsea AND City! Excellent football producing excellent results. Apparently, Puel got the dressing room shaped up!!!!

Now, we'll probably lose on the weekend to Cardiff.
And, of course, I called it. Lost 0 - 1 in the 94th minute.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:28 AM
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Once again not PL, but one of the funnier goals I've seen in quite some time. Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo embarrasses the Sassuolo goalie and defender.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:28 PM
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Liverpool utterly dominates and destroys Arsenal. This team can seriously win the Premier League. Bring on Man City!
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:11 PM
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Liverpool utterly dominates and destroys Arsenal. This team can seriously win the Premier League. Bring on Man City!
Once De Bruyne comes back Man City will put Liverpool back in its place.
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Old 12-29-2018, 07:58 PM
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Once De Bruyne comes back Man City will put Liverpool back in its place.
Don't know if you've noticed, but he IS back.
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:18 AM
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Don't know if you've noticed, but he IS back.
He is still far from 100%. He should have allowed his knee to heal before returning.

I have to laugh at Barcalona. They paid over 250 mil for Dembele and Coutinho and neither has produced much. Alcancar, the striker they sold to Dortmund for peanuts, has been far better. Can't wait for Dortmund v Totty in the Champions League round of 16.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:06 PM
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Totally agree with announcer Peter Drury that Liverpool's Shakiri should have started sooner and more often, given his recent play.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:17 PM
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And, of course, I called it. Lost 0 - 1 in the 94th minute.
Once they missed that penalty, it just looked like it was going to be Cardiff's day, somehow. They've been playing well lately, especially at home. And the winning goal was fantastic.
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Once De Bruyne comes back Man City will put Liverpool back in its place.
I love Kevin de Bruyne. If I were creating a team from scratch, with an unlimited budget, he would probably be the first player I picked.

But if Man City can't win without him, they don't deserve to win. They've got so many talented players that, on any given day, they have a half-dozen guys on the bench who would start on basically any other team in the league. De Bruyne's absence can't be the excuse for their mediocre recent performances, especially since they were cruising so nicely without him for much of the first half of the season.

Last edited by mhendo; 01-01-2019 at 01:19 PM.
  #97  
Old 01-02-2019, 12:12 AM
DSYoungEsq is offline
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Fortunately, my Foxes came right back and took down the Toffees at Goodison 0 - 1! So I will take that as a sign that the Cardiff game was a one-off, and we really are about to make a run at 7th place!
  #98  
Old 01-03-2019, 06:20 PM
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Well, the league's not over yet. Very even game between Man City and Liverpool. Although I think I agree with Klopp that Kompany should have been sent off for his challenge on Salah. Likely a different result if that happens.
  #99  
Old 01-03-2019, 08:25 PM
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Some cracking goals in today's game, and an amazing amount of agonizing almost-goals.
  #100  
Old 01-04-2019, 01:45 PM
mhendo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
Some cracking goals in today's game, and an amazing amount of agonizing almost-goals.
Amazing stuff.

I was disappointed in the result, but not in the performance by Liverpool. They could just as easily have drawn or won the game. It's going to be a fascinating few months, and I'll be interested to see what effect European play has on the durability of the teams.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
Well, the league's not over yet. Very even game between Man City and Liverpool. Although I think I agree with Klopp that Kompany should have been sent off for his challenge on Salah. Likely a different result if that happens.
Yep. If Salah is an inch or two slower, and Kompany crashes into his shins instead of his foot, then he probably gets a red card. On the other hand, there are some referees who might have given City a penalty for the challenge on Sterling in the box. Both were judgment calls, and I'm not going to be too critical of the officials.

Small piece of trivia: no team in Premier League history has won 15 or more of their first 20 games and then failed to win the League. This year, that will happen to two teams, as Liverpool, Man City, and Spurs all won 15 (or more) out of their first 20, and only one of them can win it all.
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