10 things we learned in the Premier League – Championship Sunday

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What did we learn on Championship Sunday, the final day of the 2021-22 Premier League season?

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

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.


1. 10 years on, 2012 heroics given a run for their money (Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa): The drama was unreal. 2-0 down with 14 minutes to go, while Liverpool were drawing 1-1. That meant City would still win the title if Liverpool drew, but Liverpool scored a few late on to win easy. City knew they had to win and they scored three goals in five minutes to win the title in the most dramatic fashion. Well, that was almost the most dramatic title win they’ve had in their last decade. Amazing. (JPW)

2. When the story of this day is told… (Liverpool 3-1 Wolves): it will go down in history as one of the most remarkable stories to ever hit a Premier League season. Liverpool needed club legend Steven Gerrard and former hero Philippe Coutinho to deliver a surprising win over a historically great Manchester City team and looked en route to perhaps a multi-goal win. Who knows what might’ve happened if City knew Liverpool was ahead of Wolves, which they never were. Two of the best teams in the history of this league each tried to give each other the title, both eventually snaring what was required to have hope for a title but the team in the driver’s seat scooping up the spoils. (NM)

3. The difference a manager can make (Norwich 0-5 Tottenham): In seven short months, Antonio Conte appears to have revolutionized Tottenham and taken the club into an all new era, leaving behind not only the woeful times of Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo, but more importantly, the halcyon days of Mauricio Pochettino. A handful of key players (Kane, Son, Lloris and Dier) still remain from the Argentine’s tenure, but the mentality and belief of everyone at the club has changed under Conte’s leadership. He comes across as brash and demanding, but it’s hard to argue, based on the evidence (3rd-most points won in the Premier League since Conte arrived, behind only Manchester City and Liverpool), that he hasn’t improved Tottenham’s present and future by leaps and bounds. The players no longer hope to be in the UEFA Champions League; they expect to be there, like their manager. (AE)

4. Top four bought and paid for in January (Norwich 0-5 Tottenham/Arsenal 5-1 Everton): Speaking of changing the unchangeable, Conte (and director of football Fabio Paratici) convinced chairman Daniel Levy to spend big during the January transfer window. Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur arrived and immediately transformed Spurs, particularly in attack. The Swede is the perfect complement to Kane and Son Heung-min, in every way that every Spurs manager wanted Lucas Moura to be (consistently) — he’s big and strong and always ready to do the defensive work, and he’s a brilliant dribbler, only something typically comes of the final ball after beating two defenders. Bentancur is as robust as he is smooth, a fantastic fourth attacker in the final third, never afraid to try something audacious. (Arsenal, at the same time Spurs made their two big signings, brought in no one and loaned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona.) Now, imagine Conte having an entire preseason to drill this side tactically. Imagine, also, the caliber of players that will be hoping to sign for Tottenham with 1) Champions League football; 2) Conte to play for. (AE/NM)

5. Attack needs re-worked in the summer (Chelsea 2-1 Watford): Simply having a bunch of talented attacking players doesn’t mean you’re going to have a cohesive attacking unit that fits together nicely and operates at its best with any regularity. In hindsight, that’s where Chelsea struggled this season, with $135-million man Romelu Lukaku chief among the Blues’ strugglers. Hakim Ziyech appears an uncomfortable fit to Tuchel’s system as well, while Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner too often found themselves played out of position or injured. Havertz finished the season much better than he started it, so perhaps one Chelsea attacker will come away with positive feelings toward the 2021-22 season. (AE)

6. Where to begin with Man United (Crystal Palace 1-0 Manchester United): Does Cristiano Ronaldo return for another season at Old Trafford, to play in the Europa League, for a side that’s unlikely to make a giant leap forward in just one year? Will Jadon Sancho feature more prominently in Erik ten Haag’s plans next season, or will the $100-million youngster be an afterthought for yet another manager? Will it be another season of Scott McTominay and Fred manning the midfield together? How much say will Ten Haag be given over transfers (both incoming and outgoing) this summer, and for the long term? Those are just a few of the questions which must be answered over the next nine weeks. (AE)

7. Now, Marsch will build his own team (Brentford 1-2 Leeds): Marsch and Bielsa won’t have differed too terribly much on the players required to play their respective styles, but Marsch is certainly far more likely to bring a young USMNT star — Brenden Aaronson, perhaps? — to the Premier League for $30 million. And that’s precisely what he’s set to do, according to a report from Tom Bogert. The deal was obviously contingent upon Leeds avoiding relegation and remaining in the Premier League ahead of the 2022 World Cup in November. Unlike when Bob Bradley was at Swansea City, Marsch is likely to be financially backed to the end of the earth by an ambitious Leeds board as they will undoubtedly demand serious improvements in his first full season. (AE)

8. Hammers’ fine season fades away (Brighton 3-1 West Ham): They will be disappointed they didn’t win on the final day to finish sixth but this was still a great season. West Ham have finished sixth and seventh in their last two seasons and David Moyes has done a fine job. However, the lack of squad depth really showed up late in the season as they lost in the Europa League semifinals and came up short with just two wins from their final nine games. West Ham will still be in the Europa Conference League next season but this was an opportunity missed as they’ve looked sluggish in the last month. (JPW)

9. Foxes finish season on a high (Leicester 4-1 Southampton): This was not the season Brendan Rodgers’ side wanted but they finished with three wins in their last four and eighth place is very respectable after all of their injury issues. Add that to reaching the Europa Conference League semifinal and Leicester had a very respectable finish in the end. Also, not having Europe next season may well get help them return to challenge for a top six finish. (JPW)

10. Mike Jackson stopped before he got enough (Burnley 1-2 Newcastle): Had to do it, sorry. The universe seemed to agree that Burnley was taking a huge and arguably unnecessary risk in firing Sean Dyche, but interim boss Mike Jackson nearly surged the Clarets to an unlikely stay in the Premier League. Unfortunately the last step is always the most memorable one, and fans may long remember his starting Ashley Barnes over Wout Weghorst with the season on the line. Barnes is best known for playing dirty and has scored 10 goals over the past three full seasons (one this year). Weghorst has two in 19 PL matches after scoring 20 last year for Wolfsburg. Barnes wasn’t awful Sunday but it just seemed a dicey call. (NM)

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USMNT reportedly opens contract talks with Gregg Berhalter; Good or bad idea?

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Gregg Berhalter may be sticking around the United States men’s national team program, giving the USMNT coaching continuity as it moves from 2022 World Cup Round of 16 member to 2026 World Cup co-host.

ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle says that Berhalter is beginning contract discussions with the United States Soccer Federation but also interested in taking a job in Europe with his profile having risen alongside the USMNT at the World Cup.

Berhalter’s current contract ends at the end of the calendar year, and the Yanks have scheduled a domestic camp in January and friendlies against Serbia and Colombia.

[ MORE: USMNT transfer rumors for Musah, Dest ]

Berhalter has done some good things for the program, most notably winning the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup with two different groups. He also straightened out the defending, for the most part, and got out of the World Cup group.

Berhalter successfully recruited Sergino Dest and Yunus Musah, two of the program’s stars at the World Cup. He also convinced Malik Tillman, Gaga Slonina, and Jesus Ferreira that the U.S. was the right place for their national team futures.

He also, subjectively, was slow if not downright stubborn in acquiesing to certain points-of-view that made the team better. From Tyler Adams as a right back at the outset of his tenure to saying Tim Ream didn’t fit how he wanted to play about a month before the World Cup… then playing him every minute of the tournament.

But for the most part when lessons were learned, they stayed learned.

Should Gregg Berhalter continue as USMNT boss?

Let’s start here, because it’s necessary: It’s clear that Berhalter cared about his players and the project, whether you like the way he operated or not. This wasn’t a half-assed operation, but one with passion.

So does he still have that passion? Only he can answer that, and if he’d like to get more matchdays in his life then maybe he does want to go back to the club game.

And frankly, that’s fine either way, because his four years with the program were neither amazing nor pitiful. They can be described as anything from a slight disappointment to a minor success, depending on your perspective and expectations.

If you believe that picking up the pieces from the absolute travesty that was failing to qualify for the World Cup from the richest nation and one of the two most talented nations amongst CONCACAF men’s programs was really hard, then you think Berhalter getting the men to the 2022 World Cup and surviving the group with a young group was a solid step in the right direction and a minor success.

If you believe that the American soccer climate is such that you should always make the World Cup out of one of the world’s lesser confederations and that the Yanks progressed as the second team of a group in which they were the second-ranked team according to FIFA and Elo Ratings, well, you can have a different standard.

The Yanks will never again fail to qualify for the World Cup given the expanded field, but hosts have historically had a drastically-improved chance to reach the semifinals. THe federation would have to be confident that picking the best squad regardless of how it reflects on his previous selections — let alone a Best XI — is going to happen under a given coach.

Berhalter’s 49 and is far from the worst or best boss in USMNT history. Whoever’s in the job four years from now will have a chance to go down as either one. Choose wisely, fed. And Gregg! Who knows how far his star could rise with a solid run in Europe, and history says there will be the chance to reconnect with the USMNT job.

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Premier League table, 2022-23 season

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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

We’re at the 2022 World Cup break, and the final few rounds of Premier League fixtures caused so many shocks.

Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest.

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.

Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United are locked in a battle for the top four, while Liverpool have improved and will be back in the Champions League scrap and Chelsea are struggling.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Who are the early-season candidates for relegation?

Newly promoted Nottingham Forest moved off the bottom of the table with a win before the break, with Wolves and Southampton currently occupying the other two relegation places.

Leicester have picked up a few big wins, while West Ham, Everton and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom-three after a topsy-turvy start.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.


Premier League table – Matchweek 16

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England vs France: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Match 59 of the 2022 World Cup features a pair of European heavyweights duking it out for a place in the semifinals when England faces France on Saturday.

Didier Deschamps’ France is bidding to become a back-to-back World Cup winner, but Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are tournament-hardened and have shown their explosive nature three times this tournament.

STREAM ENGLAND vs FRANCE LIVE

France beat Poland 3-1 in its Round of 16 match while England overcame a dodgy start to pound Senegal 3-0.

Neither team can say its faced a test like this in the tournament, and this could be a fantastic fight in Qatar.

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

Here is everything you need for England vs France.


How to watch England vs France live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday, December 1
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

England will look to Harry Kane, though the question remains who will flank the Tottenham center forward. Marcus Rashford’s been very good but Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden got the starting spots against Senegal and it paid off for Southgate.

Kylian Mbappe has been borderline unstoppable and will test Harry Maguire, John Stones, and friends and Antoine Griezmann pulls the strings in behind and Aurelien Tchouameni continues to strengthen his reputation in the center of the pitch.


England quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Jordan Pickford

France quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann

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

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World Cup-savvy Croatia stands in the way of stylish Brazil’s pursuit of a sixth World Cup crown, and the pair promise a complex match-up on Friday in Al Rayyan.

Match 58 of the 2022 World Cup kicks off the quarterfinals as Neymar leads Tite’s star-studded CONMEBOL powers into a match against the 2018 runners-up.

STREAM CROATIA vs BRAZIL LIVE

Croatia got past Japan in penalties and will now dream of the two wins that could set it back in the final where France could again be waiting for a juicy rematch.

Croatia needed penalties to get past Japan in the Round of 16, while Brazil pasted South Korea 4-1.  Croatia has never beaten Brazil in four meetings, losing at the 2006 and 2014 World Cups.

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

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Brazil.


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

Kick off: 10am ET, Friday, December 9
Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic was fantastic in penalties versus Japan to get here, but Luka Modric continues to do the things that get Croatia out of trouble and puts the opponents into heaps of it. Josko Gvardiola has arguably been the defender of the tournament, and the 20-year-old looks to test his mettle again against the Selecao.

Pick a Brazil player who’s failed to impress and you’ve achieved a mighty feat. Neymar’s been fantastic when healthy while RIcharlison is in serious pursuit of the Golden Boot. Alisson Becker flexed his muscles once or twice versus South Korea and figures to be busier as the competition continues to heat up in Qatar.


Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol

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

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