10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 36

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What did we learn during Matchweek 33 of the 2021-22 Premier League season?

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Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

VIDEO: PL highlights ]

Let’s get to it.

10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 36

1. Manchester United finally hits rock bottom (Brighton 4-0 Man Utd): This will be their lowest-ever points tally in the Premier League era. They will not finish in the top four. They have conceded more goals this season than any other campaign in the PL. The list of unwanted records goes on and on. Man United have been heading this way for a while this season but they’ve finally hit rock bottom. The only way is up from here but this is a real mess for Erik ten Hag to sort out in the summer and beyond. Many of these players know they won’t be around next season and they’re all over the place. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick probably won’t be around either given the shambolic nature of the second half of the season. United need a ruthless and rapid rebuild. These last few months will probably allow that to happen quicker. That is the only positive. ‘Shambles’ doesn’t explain how bad this was. (JPW)

2. Klopp’s unstoppable force = Conte’s immovable object (Liverpool 1-1 Spurs): As good as Liverpool is, the Reds learned a lesson in how hard it is to break down a team playing a near-peak version of Antonio Conte ball. Ben Davies had a tremendous block on Mohamed Salah in the second half, which showed that Spurs are not just disciplined but bought-in to what Conte demands from them. Liverpool fans can join Jurgen Klopp in complaining about Tottenham playing not to concede, but Tottenham’s the team that scored a goal without a freaky deflection involved. (NM)

3. Man City makes UCL exit a blip, gets back to business (Man City 5-0 Newcastle): Before the game, Pep Guardiola said that City’s players’ moods had largely improved since their late capitulation to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. That was pretty clear over 90 minutes at the Etihad, as few Newcastle players other than Allan Saint-Maximin seemed to put City off balance. Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham opens the door wider for City’s possible fourth Premier League title in five years, something that’s only been done by one team in the last 40 years (Manchester United, thrice). (NM)

4. Lukaku, Pulisic make their cases (Chelsea 2-2 Wolves): USMNT star Christian Pulisic’s contributions to Premier League action had lasted 12, 45, 14, 19, and 22 minutes in his last five appearances, and his return to the starting lineup saw him collect an assist when his quick reaction off a Wolves gaffe played Romelu Lukaku toward the box. Pulisic last start, March 5 versus Burnley, saw him back a goal and an assist but he soon got sick and lost his place. Let’s see if this bright start elevates the end of his season. As for his big Belgian teammate, Lukaku looked like the answer to Chelsea’s striker concerns when he scored against Arsenal on his “re-debut” and then bagged two more in his third Premier League outing with the club, but fell out of favor due to injury and coronavirus, not scoring his fourth and fifth of the season until the last two games of December. Saturday’s goals were his first Premier League goals since the calendar turned to 2022. Are both men gone this summer? (NM)

5. Arsenal’s Nketiah increases his stock (Arsenal 2-1 Leeds): He turns 23 at the end of the month and will be out of contract one month later. Eddie Nketiah scored goals against Wimbledon, Leeds, and Sunderland in three-straight League Cup games but that didn’t inspire Mikel Arteta to use his young forward in more than a substitute’s role until mid-April. Now he’s got two braces in five starts and has nine goals across all competitions. Surely, he’s going to get a big raise and a bigger chance somewhere come July 1. With 22 goals in 88 senior appearances and still 22 for the moment, it seems unlikely he’d want to stick around Arsenal. The former Leeds loanee now has three goals against them between cup and league play. (NM)

6. Everton have momentum in relegation scrap (Leicester 1-2 Everton): This is so important in the relegation battle and Lampard’s boys have it. The Everton fans have almost willed them over the line in the last two games and Pickford is playing superbly, while every single player is doing their individual jobs and the simple things well. That, coupled with holding on for big wins, is why Everton have momentum and right now they look very likely to stay in the Premier League ahead of Burnley and Leeds. Everton’s final four games are against Watford, Brentford, Crystal Palace, and Arsenal and you can see them winning at least two of those to get over the magic 40-point marker. (JPW)

7. Hammers hungry for sixth place (Norwich 0-4 West Ham): Yes, they were devastated to lose to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semifinal on Thursday as they just came up short in their quest for European silverware, but they responded so well to that heartbreak. Yes, this was bottom of the table Norwich, but the hunger was there from the first minute to the last from David Moyes’ side. If they win their game in-hand they will leapfrog Manchester United into sixth and they look determined to seal another Europa League campaign. They face Man City and Brighton in their final two games and this hunger could be bad news for City. (JPW)

8. Shambolic Saints could get sucked into relegation zone (Brentford 3-0 Southampton): They have won once in their last 10 Premier League games and they’ve conceded 24 goals in that run and they badly need to recruit a better goalkeeper and center backs. Saints were all over the place defensively and they could be sucked into this relegation scrap. Everton have played three games less than them, Burnley has played one game less and Leeds has two games in-hand. Southampton have a habit of spiraling out of control and right now it looks like they’ll have to get something from one of their final two games of the season at home against Liverpool and away at Leicester. (JPW)

9. Putting Burnley’s plight in focus (Burnley 1-3 Aston Villa): Burnley would’ve loved anything from this home match with Aston Villa considering they’ll now trek to Tottenham and Aston Villa — yes, you read that right — before welcoming Newcastle on the final day of the season, and they definitely traded blows with the visitors. The Clarets’ 3-2 midweek win over Everton early last month may well be the result that keeps them in the Premier League, but they do not control their own destiny with Everton holding a match-in-hand. (NM)

10. A familiar story as Watford go down (Crystal Palace 1-0 Watford): This could have been the Watford team we watched get relegated in the 2019-20 campaign. This relegation has been eerily similar and the Pozzo family has once again felt the impact of chopping and changing managers. From Xisco to Claudio Ranieri to Roy Hodgson, there was no clear plan or identity about this team. Yes, they have some talented players in attack but they never looked comfortable back in the Premier League. Maybe they will when they seemingly inevitably come back (JPW)

Serbia vs Switzerland: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Serbia and Switzerland seek a win that could seal a place in the World Cup Round of 16 when they meet Friday in Doha.

The Swiss can qualify with a win, or a draw if Cameroon beats Brazil and tiebreakers stay in Switzerland’s favor. The Swiss beat Cameroon 1-0 in Al Wakrah but lost to Brazil by the same score in Doha.

STREAM LIVE SERBIA vs SWITZERLAND

Serbia started its tournament with a 2-0 loss to Brazil In Lusail before drawing a wild six-goal thriller with Cameroon In Al Wakrah.

Serbia qualifies with a win if Cameroon doesn’t beat Brazil. If Serbia and Cameroon both win, Serbia would need to take the lead in goal differential.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Serbia vs Switzerland.


How to watch Serbia vs Switzerland live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Friday Dec. 2
Stadium: Stadium 974, Doha
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Three different goal scorers hit the sheet in the draw with Cameroon, and Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrovic remains a threat to score every game. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic continues to show huge value in the center of the pitch.

Breel Embolo has Switzerland’s only goal and will be continue to be a focal point, while Man City defender Manuel Akanji, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, and Nottingham Forest’s Remo Freuler make the Swiss a tough team to break down.


Serbia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 21
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified from UEFA via playoffs
Coach: Dragan Stojkovic
Key players: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Luka Jovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Dusan Tadic

Switzerland quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 15
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 12
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Murat Yakin
Key players: Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, Yann Sommer, Remo Freuler

Cameroon vs Brazil: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Cameroon needs to upset qualified Brazil and get help from the other Group G game when the World Cup group stage hits Lusail on Friday.

The Indomitable Lions lost 1-0 to Switzerland before drawing Serbia 3-3 In a thrilling second encounter.

STREAM LIVE CAMEROON vs BRAZIL

Beating tournament favorites Brazil is a big ask but it will be a heavily-rotated and Neymar-less Selecao who faces Cameroon. Brazil blanked Serbia 2-0 in Lusail before beating Switzerland 1-0 in Doha.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Cameroon vs Brazil.


How to watch Cameroon vs Brazil live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Friday Dec. 2
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Cameroon defender Jean-Charles Castelletto has joined forwards Vincent Aboubakar and underappreciated Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in becoming one of the stories of Group G.

Brazil still needs to find its answer if Neymar cannot return to the fold this tournament. Richarlison and Raphinha have impressed but still need to show they can really carry the attack without Neymar. Could Gabriel Jesus shine in his absence?


Cameroon quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 43
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 8
How they qualified: Qualified from CAF playoffs
Coach: Rigobert Song
Key players: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

Mexico fall short of miraculous escape in win over Saudi Arabia

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Mexico scored the first goals and picked up their first win at the 2022 World Cup on Wednesday, beating Saudi Arabia 2-1 to close out play in Group C, but the margin of victory wasn’t large enough to advance to the knockout rounds.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY

Instead, Poland (4 points) will join Argentina (6) in the round of 16 by way of their superior goal difference (0 to -1) to Mexico (4 points). For nearly 45 minutes, the tiebreaker in question was fair play points (yellow and red cards) with the sides matching one another identically at this World Cup.

After failing to score a goal in either of their first two games, Mexico needed an offensive explosion on Wednesday, and to some degree they got one. Their 2.10 expected goals were more than double their outputs from games no. 1 (0.72 vs Poland) and 2 (0.27 vs Argentina), combined.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Henry Martin got Mexico on the board just two minutes after halftime, turning home Cesar Montes’ flick of a corner kick at the near post. Five minutes later, it was 2-0 after Luis Chavez smashed a dipping free kick home from 32 yards out.

As Mexico pushed more and more numbers forward in pursuit of the third goal that would send them through to the knockout rounds for an 8th straight World Cup appearance, El Tri were hit on the counter-attack. Salem Al Dawsari’s stoppage-time consolation goal was the final, decisive blow.

[ MORE: Latest Group C standings, schedule, scores ]

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How to watch Saudi Arabia vs Mexico live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Wednesday Nov. 30
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

The Saudis have arguably been the most fun team at the tournament amongst non-powers, always running and getting exceptional goalkeeping. Salem Al-Dawsari was very good in both games but his missed penalty before halftime against Poland looms large of a match that could’ve been 1-1 going to the break and instead ended 2-0.

Mexico has not scored at the tournament so far, and Raul Jimenez has only been used as a super sub. Hirving Lozano and Alexis Vega combined for just three shot attempts before being subbed out of the Poland loss, while Lozano and Henry Martin combined for two versus Poland (Vega attempted five). They need better up top to keep up their streak of making Round of 16 appearances at the World Cup.


Saudi Arabia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 51
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group B)
Coach: Herve Renard
Key players: Salem Al-Dawsari, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Mohammed Al-Owais

Mexico quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez

World Cup tables – Group stage standings in full

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The World Cup tables are shaping up to be very intriguing viewing as the group stage unfolds in Qatar.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

With teams now scrambling to be in the top two in order to reach the last 16, goal difference will make a big difference and it is going to be very tight and tense over the next few days.

If you need a reminder on the tiebreakers for the group stage, here is everything which will help you work out the two teams who will make it through and the two who will go home from reach group.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Below are the World Cup tables from all eight groups, as fans across the globe will be glue to these standings as they try to figure out the permutations needed for their team to make it through.


Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

Group A table

1.  Netherlands — 7 points (+4 GD) – IN THE LAST 16 
2. Senegal — 6 points (+1) – IN THE LAST 16
3. Ecuador — 4 points (+1) – ELIMINATED
4. Qatar — 0 (-6) – ELIMINATED

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 2-0 Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Ecuador 1-2 Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan


Group B table

1. England – 7 points (+7 GD) – IN THE LAST 16
2. USA – 5 points (+1) – IN THE LAST 16
3. Iran – 3 points (-3) – ELIMINATED
4. Wales – 1 point (-5) – ELIMINATED

Matches played

Recap/highlights: England 6-2 Iran – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: USA 1-1 Wales – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: England 0-0 USA – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-2 Iran – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Wales 0-3 England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Iran 0-1 USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor


Group C table

1. Argentina — 6 points (+3) – IN THE LAST 16
2. Poland — 4 points (0) – IN THE LAST 16
3. Mexico — 4 points (-1) – ELIMINATED
4. Saudi Arabia — 3 points (-2) – ELIMINATED

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Mexico 0-0 Poland – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Poland 2-0 Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Argentina 2-0 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Poland 0-2 Argentina – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Saudi Arabia 1-2 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail


Group D table

1. France – 6 points (+3 GD) – IN THE LAST 16
2. Australia – 6 points (-1) – IN THE LAST 16
3. Tunisia – 4 points (+1) – ELIMINATED
4. Denmark – 1 point (-2) – ELIMINATED

Matches played

Recap/highlights: France 4-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Denmark 0-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: France 2-1 Denmark – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 0-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Tunisia 1-0 France –  Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Australia 1-0 Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah


Group E table

1. Spain — 4 points (+6 GD)
2. Japan — 3 points (0)
3. Costa Rica — 3 points (-6)
4. Germany — 1 point (-1)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Japan 0-1 Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Spain 1-1 Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Matches remaining

Thursday, December 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


Group F table

1. Croatia — 4 points (+3 GD)
2. Morocco — 4 points (+2)
3. Belgium — 3 points (+1)
4. Canada — 0 points (-4) – ELMINATED

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Belgium 1-0 Canada – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Morocco 0-0 Croatia – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Belgium 0-2 Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Croatia 4-1 Canada – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

Matches remaining

Thursday, December 1: Croatia vs Belgium – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Thursday, December 1: Canada vs Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 10am


Group G table

1. Brazil — 6 points (+3 GD) – QUALIFIED
2. Switzerland — 3 points (0)
3. Cameroon — 1 point (-1)
4. Serbia — 1 point (-2)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Brazil 2-0 Serbia – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: Switzerland 1-0 Cameroon – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah
Recap/highlights: Brazil 1-0 Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Cameroon 3-3 Serbia – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

Matches remaining

Friday, December 2: Cameroon vs Brazil – Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail – 2pm
Friday, December 2: Serbia vs Switzerland – Stadium 974, Doha – 2pm


Group H table

1. Portugal — 6 points (+3 GD) – QUALIFIED
2. Ghana — 3 points (0)
3. South Korea — 1 point (-1)
4. Uruguay — 1 point (-2)

Matches played

Recap/highlights: Portugal 3-2 Ghana – Stadium 974, Doha
Recap/highlights: Uruguay 0-0 South Korea – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Portugal 2-0 Uruguay– Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
Recap/highlights: South Korea 2-3 Ghana – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Matches remaining

Friday, December 2: South Korea vs Portugal – Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan – 10am
Friday, December 2: Ghana vs Uruguay – Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah – 10am