Shipped from abroad: Manchester City’s wane and an English Premier League Sunday

2 Comments

It was just short of 6:00 p.m. London-time that the 2011-12 Premier League race ended. Then, Mikel Arteta scored a late winner against visiting Manchester City, leaving the Citizens eight points back of Manchester United with six to play. Even with one more Manchester derby left this season, there’s no chance we’ll see City lift their first Premier League trophy. United, on the other hand, will win their 13th title in 20 seasons.

For those who want to evoke “it ain’t over `til it’s over,” I hope you’re talking about the Lenny Kravitz song, because the Premier League race is done. United is on pace for 93-94 points. City? 84-85. Even if City runs the table (which would mean beating United at the Ettihad on Apr. 30), their max point haul is 89, meaning Manchester United (who can max out at 97) would have to stumble at least twice in their last six games.

That’s not the stretch. City running the table is. Roberto Mancini’s side has won only once in their last five league matches and were dominated at the Emirates on Sunday. Arsenal out-shot them 12-4, with City only testing `keeper Wojciech Szczesny once. The Gunners were allowed 64 percent of the possession (per STATS) and put in an amazing 42 crosses to City’s 16. On the face of it, it’s amazing that Arsenal needed 87 minutes to seal this one.

So a checklist: City not only needs to beat United on the 30th; they need to run the table; have United stumble (2-3 times); and do this without their best player, who is gassed.

The odds of them winning six in a row at this point are already pretty long. Even if you use their season-long, 22 wins in 32 matches form as the barometer, the odds are about 9.5-to-1. Consider that they need help from United and we’re being generous in considering their season-long form? This race is over …

Which is a bit sad, and not because we all would prefer races be exciting at their finish lines. It’s rare that the team that’s the most talented and has played the best for most of the season won’t win the league (though you could argue it’s happening in Italy, too). Manchester United supporters might take umbrage with that description, but they shouldn’t. In fact, it should be a source of pride. There’s more to managing a league than your dominant spells, no matter how long those crests last.

Manchester United have one thing City will never have: Alex Ferguson, again proving his ability to navigate a season is United’s most powerful advantage.

source: Getty ImagesElsewhere in England

All results: Manchester United 2-0 Queens Park Rangers; Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City

Stuff that stuck out:

  • People are going to complain about United’s good fortune, having an opposing player sent off in the first quarter hour. Shaun Derry saw red, Wayne Rooney converted from the spot, and the game was settled. Not to gloss over the arguments (perceptions) that United somehow benefits from a league-wide bias toward their success, but do we think QPR was going to otherwise push United in this one? It always sucks when a potentially good game is thwarted too soon, but that’s a much better refrain than conspiracy.
  • For the second straight day, I’m burying a potential lead, because Arsene Wenger deserves some credit. Perhaps off the pitch, he was a bit of a disaster this summer, but on the field, he’s completely reconstituted a team that was gutted by the losses of Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Samir Nasri (City) and Jack Wilshere (injury). People will want to credit Robin van Persie’s magnificent season, but that’s a bit overplayed at this point. You see today’s result and it occurs to you that, at some point in the last seven months, Wenger had to completely reconstruct this team’s psyche. You don’t win a game like today’s (eschew settling for one) unless you believe you’re capable. Today was further evidence that Wenger’s rebuilt that mentality, while most thought (after the summer window debacle) this would be the year Arsenal dropped out of the top four.

Up next: Five matches on Monday, with fourth place firmly in focus: Tottenham hosts Norwich; Newcastle hosts Bolton; while Chelsea is at Craven Cottage for the latest West London derby.

Brentford vs Southampton, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos

0 Comments

Brentford will try to extend their unbeaten run, which began all the way back in October, when they host bottom-of-the-table Southampton at Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday (watch live, 10 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE BRENTFORD vs SOUTHAMPTON

The Bees’ (30 points) eight-game unbeaten run (4W-4D-0L) has taken them up to 8th in the Premier League table, now closer to the top-four (nine points) than the relegation zone (13 points) in their second-ever season in the PL. Saints (15 points), meanwhile, are living dangerously at the bottom, though the gap between themselves and safety in 17th place is just two points.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Brentford vs Southampton

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Brentford vs Southampton live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Much better from Southampton but they need a goal soon to try and launch a massive comeback.

A good start to the second half for Saints, as their two new deadline day signings are on for their debuts: Can Paul Onuachu and Kamaldeen Sulemana get them back in the game?

GOALLL! 2-0 to Brentford. Mbuemo slots home. The Bees are buzzing and catch Saints on the counter. Two goals in three minutes for the hosts. Saints look stunned.

GOALLL! Right before half time Brentford take the lead. Ben Mee bravely heads home a brilliant cross from Mbuemo. 1-0 to the Bees.

Not much going on in west London. Saints happy to sit back and Brentford struggling to create chances on the counter.

An even game so far with Saints having a few chances early on and Brentford have caused problems with crosses into the box.


Key storylines & star players

Last time out, Brentford settled for a frustrating 0-0 draw with Leeds, but before that they rattled off successive wins over West Ham, Liverpool and Bournemouth with just one goal conceded in three games. Ivan Toney is 3rd in the Premier League with 13 goals, trailing only Harry Kane (16) and Erling Haaland (an absurd 25). After initially struggling to replace the creativity of Christian Eriksen (4 assists in 11 appearances last season), Thomas Frank’s side is firing once again thanks to Mathias Jensen (4 in 20), Toney (3) and Josh Dasilva (2) picking up the slack.

After losing 3-1 to Newcastle over two legs in the League Cup semifinals, Southampton return their attention to the ongoing relegation battle. Having won just one of their last nine Premier League fixtures (1W-1D-7L), Saints made four first-team signings to strengthen the midfield and attack. They brought in some experience (30-year-old midfielder Mislav Orsic from Dinamo Zagreb and 28-year-old forward Paul Onuachu from Genk) along with some youth and potential (a pair of 20-year-olds, midfielder Carlos Alcaraz from Racing Club and winger Kamadeen Selumana from Rennes).


Brentford team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Pontus Jansson (thigh), Frank Onyeka (hamstring), Shandon Baptiste (adductor)

Southampton team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Kyle Walker-Peters (hamstring), Juan Larios (adductor), Alex McCarthy (ankle)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Wolves vs Liverpool, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

0 Comments

Liverpool hopes it can boost its top-four hopes by hurting Wolves’ plans for Premier League safety when the duo meet Saturday at the Molineux (watch live, 10am ET Saturday online via Peacock Premium).

It’s the third meeting since early January between the sides following a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup and a 1-0 Liverpool win in the replay.

STREAM LIVE WOLVES vs LIVERPOOL

Wolves sit 17th with 17 points, only outside of the bottom three due to Bournemouth’s poor goal differential. Last place is just two points away, as there are seven teams within three points between 14th and 20th.

Liverpool, meanwhile, is 10 points off the top four but has played at least one fewer match than all but two of the eight teams ahead of them (Sixth-place Brighton and leaders Arsenal).

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Wolves vs Liverpool.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Wolves vs Liverpool score: Wolves lead 2-0 on early o.g., Dawson debut goal


How to watch Wolves vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
Online: Premier League on Peacock


Liverpool own goal video: Wolves 1-0 Liverpool

Craig Dawson goal video: Debutant makes it 2-0 to Wolves with rare goal

 


Key storylines & star players

Winning games is about scoring goals and only two Wolves players have more than one. Daniel Podence has collected five, while Ruben Neves has four. Even more surprising, Wolves are still waiting on a goal from Raul Jimenez, Diego Costa, or injured Pedro Neto. Perhaps Matheus Cunha or Pablo Sarabia will chip in soon.

Liverpool has one win from its last three Premier League outings, but there’s a heaping helping of bad luck to their struggles. The Reds have 24 goals from open play and 20 allowed in that same situation. Their expected goals in those spots is 34.6 – 24. Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez have been especially unlucky despite combining for 12 goals and six assists on the season.


Wolves team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Boubacar Traore (undisclosed), Chiquinho (knee)

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Virgil van Dijk (thigh), Roberto Firmino (calf), Ibrahima Konate (hamstring), Luis Diaz (knee), Diogo Jota (thigh), Arthur Melo (thigh)

Brighton vs Bournemouth, live! Score, updates, stream link, video highlights

0 Comments

Brighton will continue their chase for European qualification, while Bournemouth try to climb out of the relegation zone, when the two sides meet at Amex Stadium on Saturday (watch live, 10 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE BRIGHTON vs BOURNEMOUTH

Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi have, between them, guided Brighton (31 points) all the way up to 6th place in the Premier League table. The gap to 5th-place Tottenham is five points; the gap to Manchester United in 4th in eight. Bournemouth, meanwhile, are in the bottom-three for the first time this season after picking up just one point from their last five PL games.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Brighton vs Bournemouth

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Brighton vs Bournemouth score, video highlights: 0-0


How to watch Brighton vs Bournemouth live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Alexis Mac Allister (suspension), Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Lallana (undisclosed), Levi Colwill (undisclosed), Evan Ferguson (ankle)

Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: David Brooks (thigh), Lewis Cook (knee), Neto (thigh), Dominic Solanke (knee), Marcus Tavernier (thigh), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace, live! Score, updates, how to watch, stream, videos

0 Comments

Manchester United looks to keep climbing up the Premier League table when its hosts improving Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday (watch live, 10am ET online via Premier League on Peacock).

United has won all three of its cup matches since a Jan. 22 setback at Premier League leaders Arsenal, and now face Palace before two matches with Leeds

STREAM LIVE MANCHESTER UNITED vs CRYSTAL PALACE

Palace hasn’t won in 2023, though the Eagles managed back-to-back draws with Manchester United and Newcastle in their past two matches. Both of those were at Selhurst Park.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester United vs Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Manchester United vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
Online: Premier League on Peacock


Key storylines & star players

Man United’s lost Christian Eriksen through April but acted quick and in impressive fashion with the loan addition of Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich. Desperate for playing time and a more attacking role than what was asked of him by Bayern, the Austrian star may be just what the doctor ordered even before Eriksen went down. This is a hard-edged player with plenty of attcking firepower to boot.

Palace, of course, is still all about their creative players, as Wilfried Zaha, Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, and Odsonne Edouard can deliver the goods with just a half-chance, but look out for Deadline Day adds Albert Sambi Lokonga, on loan from Patrick Vieira’s former team Arsenal, and Naouirou Ahamada, who they hope will add a needed ball progressor in the heart of the pitch.


Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Jadon Sancho (undisclosed), Anthony Martial (undisclosed), Diogo Dalot (thigh), Luke Shaw (illness), Scott McTominay (undisclosed)

Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Wilfried Zaha (hamstring), Joachim Andersen (calf), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed), James McArthur (groin)