Burnley hold Liverpool as Pope’s heroics end home winning streak

Leave a comment

Liverpool – Burnley was about one man: Nick Pope. The Burnley goalkeeper made a string of fine saves as Andy Robertson’s header was canceled out by Jay Rodriguez’s goal.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

This marked the first time Liverpool had failed to win at home this season, as their run of 24-straight victories at Anfield in the Premier League come to an end.

The point sees Liverpool move to 93 points with three games to go as they must win out to set a new record for most Premier League points in a season. Burnley are in ninth on 50 points and remain in the Europa League hunt.


Three things we learned

1. Records may not be broken – Jurgen Klopp was chuntering away at the officials at the final whistle and he looked upset that Liverpool didn’t make it 25-straight home wins in the Premier League. They now have to win-out to set a new Premier League record for most points won in a season and if they don’t beat Man City’s record of 100 in 2017-18, there will be question marks about whether they are actually the best team in Premier League history. They have to now win the last three to record the most wins in a single PL season too.

2. Youngsters slot in nicely – Neco Williams and Curtis Jones did themselves proud and the academy products proved they can provide some much-needed depth to this Liverpool squad. Klopp says he wants a team full of Scousers and bringing through youngsters seems to be the way he wants to go with building this squad. He has a lot of experienced pros and that will help these youngsters bed in. Expect to see plenty of Williams, Jones and Harvey Elliott next season.

3. Nick Pope is England’s No. 1 – There has been debate about whether or not Pope should be England’s first-choice goalkeeper but this should end it, for now. Jordan Pickford makes some big mistakes but is good with his feet and while Pope isn’t great when it comes to distribution, he is such a solid goalkeeper and makes stunning saves. His three saves in the first half were world-class and England should make him them starter. Pope is battling with Alisson for the golden glove award and he’s the main reason Burnley are in the Europa League hunt with three games to go.


Man of the Match

Nick Pope – Kept Burnley in the game in the first half and just a calming influence at the back. He gets plenty of reps and made some fine saves and commands his area. What a fine goalkeeper he is becoming.


Liverpool had a few decent chances early on as Salah was denied by some fine Burnley defending. Firmino had a shot deflected over by James Tarkowski and Curtis Jones was denied by Nick Pope.

Pope then produced a stunning save to deny Salah as his volley looked destined to find the net but Burnley’s goalkeeper reacted superbly to keep it out. Burnley put Liverpool under pressure from set piece situations as the visitors were as robust as ever in the first half.

Pope then denied Salah with his feet as the Burnley goalkeeper continued to impress but moments later he was beaten. Fabinho’s clipped ball to the right found the onrushing Robertson who curled a superb header into the far top corner. Before the break Pope denied Mane brilliantly as wave after wave of Liverpool attack arrived.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

After a flick from Rodriguez was picked off, the ball found Firmino who hit the far post as he tried to roll the ball home. Curtis Jones then flashed a shot wide after a counter as Liverpool kept up the pressure.

Right after the drinks break a long free kick forward saw Tarkwoski head the ball towards Rodriguez and he slammed home a low shot to make it 1-1.

Liverpool wanted a penalty kick after Robertson went down in the box and VAR also showed that the free kick which led to Burnley’s goal should not have been awarded as Salah wasn’t offside.

Salah went close but Pope again saved as Liverpool struggled to recover from the equalizer. Late on Burnley went so close to securing a famous win as Alisson was put under pressure from a set piece and Johan Berg Gudmundsson hit the crossbar with the Liverpool goalkeeper off his line.

Pope denied Salah in stoppage time one more time to underline his Man of the Match display as Burnley became the first team to go to Liverpool and get anything since January 2019.

Transfer confirmed: Ferran Torres to Man City for $26 million

Ferran Torres to Man City
Photo credit: Man City
Leave a comment

Reports sending Valencia youngster Ferran Torres to Man City have been burning red-hot over the last 24 hours.

[ MORE: Ranking the new Premier League kits for 2020-21 ]

Man City confirmed their capture of the 20-year-old — one of the brightest prospects in all of Europe — on Tuesday.

Torres, who came through the Valencia academy, tallied six goals and seven assists in 43 appearances (all competitions), including two of each in the Champions League, for Valencia this season.

He broke into Valencia’s first team back in November of 2017, at the age of 17, before establishing himself as a regular over the last two seasons.

[ MORE: Man United, Dortmund in talks over $140 million Sancho transfer ]

Reports out of the UK claim it will reportedly cost just $26 million to bring Ferran Torres to Man City, plus possible add-ons, as he had just one year remaining on his contact with Valencia. Torres reportedly met with City sporting director Txiki Begiristain earlier on Tuesday, adding further fuel to the fire that a move was imminent.

Torres seems an obvious replacement for recently departed winger Leroy Sane. He’ll join Raheem Sterling as one of only two natural wingers in Pep Guardiola’s squad, offering more tactical flexibility — not to mention, width — after City were fairly limited in the wide areas during the 2019-20 season.

Championship playoff final: How to watch, start time, odds, prediction

Brentford - Fulham
Photo byJacques Feeney/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Fulham – Brentford: Team news is in with the two West London sides set to do battle for a place in the Premier League in the Football League Championship promotion playoff final at Wembley Stadium.

We can hardly wait to find out who’ll claim the 20th berth in the 2020-21 Premier League season in the richest game on earth.

[ MORE: Predictions, Odds for Europe ]

Kickoff is at 2:45 pm ET Tuesday at Wembley Stadium.

Team news


Key players

Fulham leading scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 26 goals were the joint-most in the Championship and more than three times as many as Tom Cairney, second amongst the Cottagers. He’s healthy for the first time after missing the semis with a hamstring injury.

Brentford’s Ollie Watkins scored the same amount of goals as Mitrovic, tying for the league lead, and he’s joined by Said Benrahma’s 17 goals (fifth in the league) and Bryan Mbeumo (eighth). The latter have combined for 16 assists, too. The Bees can sting.

Their seasons

Brentford won a even-straight league games to surge into the mix for automatic promotion but lost their last two, meeting Fulham on 81 points.

As for the Cottagers, Fulham finished the season on a seven-match unbeaten run which included five wins

Their playoffs

Brentford overcame a 1-0 first-leg deficit to oust Swansea City in the semifinal, while Fulham’s first leg win was enough to outlast Cardiff City’s strong second leg in their semi.

Odds and ends

Brentford beat Fulham twice, 1-0 at Griffin Park and 2-0 at Craven Cottage.

The Bees are favored to win the match at +108 odds, while Fulham carries +265 odds of a win.

Prediction

Mitrovic’s availability is huge for a Fulham side hoping to break down the league’s second-stingiest defense. Brentford feels like it’s the superior side but Fulham has been here and Cairney even scored the goal to beat Aston Villa in the 2017-18 playoff final. That experience is an X-factor, but we’ll still call Brentford 2-1 winners.

How to watch Fulham – Brentford

Kickoff: 2:45 pm ET Tuesday
Stream: ESPN+

Pulisic Watch: Goal, hamstring injury in FA Cup final

Pulisic injury
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Christian Pulisic had both a dream and nightmare outing in the FA Cup final, as he became the first USMNT player in history to score in the FA Cup final but looked to have severely injured his hamstring.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Pulisic, 21, scored a superb opener at Wembley as he dazzled for Chelsea early on but right at the start of the second half he raced clear of the Arsenal defense, again, but appeared to injure his right hamstring badly before he took a shot.

Injury update, latest news on Pulisic

Frank Lampard gave a Pulisic injury update after the game and said that the USMNT star would not be fit to play in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg game at Bayern Munich next Saturday. Lampard also confirmed that Pulisic will have a scan on his injured hamstring to determine the severity of the damage.

Here’s a close look at a superb display for Pulisic which ended in injury.


2nd minute: Found on the ball and plays it back to Rudiger. Chelsea looking to play the ball direct early on.

7th minute: GOALLL! Finds Giroud centrally, then surges forward and finds Mount on the left.  A cross from Mount is flicked to Pulisic by Giroud and he dinks home over Emiliano Martinez. Pulisic becomes the first USMNT player in history to score in an FA Cup final.

9th minute: Man, is he up for this. Pulisic puts Bellerin under pressure and wins the ball back for Chelsea.

11th minute: Lovely feet from Pulisic as he ran past two Arsenal defenders and at another two, before hitting a shot right at Emiliano Martinez.

14th minute: A nice flick to Giroud who didn’t quite read it. Lovely creativity.

20th minute: Picks up the ball on the left and is calm and composed on the ball. Always looking to drift inside.

31st minute: Cuts in from the right and flies past two players but Alonso fouls and the attack is over. Chelsea struggling after Arsenal’s equalizer.

38th minute: Found by Kovacic and plays it wide as Chelsea try and possess the ball after losing captain Azpilcueta to injury, who had given away the penalty kick Arsenal equalized from.

41st minute: Almost gets away but Arsenal stop him. A real nuisance.

45th minute: Tackled by Kieran Tierney, as Arsenal win a free kick right on the edge of the box but it is flashed wide.

47th minute: Right at the start of the second half he accelerates towards goal and is away from the Arsenal defense, but he pulls up in agony with a right hamstring injury before getting a shot away which is just wide. Somehow he still had a shot despite being in agony.

48th minute: Pulisic is in agony as he is helped off the pitch and Pedro replaces him. A dream start to the FA Cup final ends in agony for the American. Chelsea and USMNT fans everywhere will be waiting anxiously to hear the latest Pulisic injury update.

UPDATE: Pulisic went straight down the tunnel and was seen late in the second half as the other Chelsea players sat in the stand and watched their team.

Ranking new Premier League kits for 2020-21

Premier League kit rankings
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Premier League kit rankings are absolutely one of our favorite things to do each summer.

New kits have been dropped by plenty of Premier League clubs ahead of the new 2020-21 season, with fresh looks galore.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Some teams have kept it simple, while others have gone for something very different.

With big name kit suppliers arriving on new deals at clubs, there will be some very different looks for next season and beyond.

Check out our 2020-21 Premier League kit rankings from the shirts released, so far.


1 – Sheffield United: Absolutely stunning design. Simple and striking at the same time. Love it.

2 – Southampton: Classy retro kits to celebrate their 135th anniversary, as Saints return to their original look.

Southampton

3 – Aston Villa: Clean, sharp look and you can’t go wrong with claret and blue. Love the larger badge too.

 

4 – Arsenal: Loving the retro vibes and yet another fine Arsenal kit.

 

5 – Brighton: Gone for an all blue number with white pinstripes. This is very good and a big chance from the bigger blue and white stripes. Retro, again.

6 – Tottenham Hotspur: Very sleek look and Spurs have kit it simple. Like the away kit, a lot.

7 – Manchester United: Nice little design throughout the kit which adds something extra.

8 – Liverpool: New Nike kits for the first time in history. The teal trim looks smart. Kept it simple and safe.

9 – Wolves: Another team which has gone for the retro look and it works.

10 – West Brom: The barcode stripes are slightly jarring but the colors, badge and design are good.

11 – Man City: A little too much going on with the home and away kits.

12 – West Ham: The Hammers are celebrating their 125th anniversary in style. Very nice. Classic look with a massive badge. Maybe a bit too plain?

13 – Chelsea: The new sponsor logo and the size of it has been ridiculed and it does ruin the very snazzy looking kits.

14 – Similar look for Leicester and this is a nice design. Big fan of the sleeves.

15 – Everton: Hummel are underrated and this has a nice retro look to it.

16 – Newcastle United: Does what it says on the tin. Black and white stripes, and that’s it.