Impressive Arsenal beats Chelsea to regain top spot

5 Comments

Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought win at London rivals Chelsea.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]  

Gabriel’s second half goal was enough to make it 11 wins from 13 games so far this season, as Mikel Arteta’s side looked dangerous throughout and controlled vast swathes of the game.

Graham Potter’s Chelsea never got going in this game and they’ve now lost back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2020, when Frank Lampard was in charge.

Arsenal’s win (their third-straight at Chelsea) means they are top of the table with 34 points, as they sit 13 points above Chelsea who are seventh.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


What we learned from Chelsea vs Arsenal

The Gunners are the real deal: This is the kind of game you win if you’re going to be in the title race. On a stormy, wet afternoon in west London, the Gunners showed up. Big time. In previous seasons they would have lost or drawn this game but they stuck to their task, kept the ball well and played with the philosophy and style that Arteta demands. Their belief never wavered and they’re playing with so much confidence right now. They still may not match Manchester City over the course of a 38-game season but the desire, passion and belief of this Arsenal side tells us they will be very close when all is said and done. The stat below sums up their improvement against the big boys this season and remember: they are the youngest team in the Premier League.

Clunky Chelsea need patience: This was a pretty terrible Chelsea display. It was clunky from the start and they never looked comfortable in a 4-3-3 formation. Graham Potter has been hampered by injuries but he has tried pretty much every combination of players and formation at this point. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a terrible time up top against his former team and Chelsea just couldn’t get the ball forward quickly enough to the final third. It is going to take time for Potter to fully implement his playing style. Do Chelsea’s fans, and Todd Boehly, have the patience needed?

Jesus does everything but score: He often has the facial expression of someone who just lost their winning lottery ticket and that tells you how desperate Gabriel Jesus is to succeed. He missed a big chance in the first half but never stopped running and he knits Arsenal’s entire attack together. His runs, flicks and hold-up play gets them up the pitch and even though his drought continues, his importance to this Arsenal team is clear for all to see.


Tactical focus

Graphic via FotMob.com

Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 was dominant and so too were Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ben White. The two full backs tucked inside and Zinchenko’s return was a huge boost as he pushed in from left back and became the extra man in midfield. That allowed Arsenal to get on the ball further forward quickly and then Ben White on the other flank was often the spare man. It worked so well and Chelsea just couldn’t stop Arsenal getting up the pitch after a few slick passes.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Mikel Arteta lauds Arsenal’s performance

“Obviously we wanted to get back to the top but the competition is so difficult. The job, the challenge for us was to come here against a top team in the league and the way we did it – we deserved to win the game,” Arteta told BT Sport.

“For such a young team, the maturity, the composure they showed, the resilience and courage to play how we wanted to play was phenomenal to do it against these kind of players. Winning in this stadium is an extra thing, another step for this team to keep believing they can do it under pressure and against big opponents. The boys are willing and physically capable of doing it, the understanding of times and spaces is getting better every day, they feel comfortable playing these type of games.”

Speaking to the BBC: “What Manchester City are doing is what they’ve been doing for six years, they’re the best team in world, with the best coach in the world. We have taken another step against a really difficult opposition and to convince ourselves we can do it.”

Graham Potter concedes Chelsea ‘lacked quality’

“We played against a team in a really good moment, a confident team and you can see the points they have so credit to them. The boys gave everything, it was huffing and puffing but missed that last bit. The goal was disappointing, but overall they deserved it,” Potter told BT Sport.

“Arsenal are in a good moment and have been working together for a long time with a good understanding of what they want to do. We lacked a bit of quality. The effort was there, we were just beaten by the better team. It was not a great goal from our perspective.


Stars of the show

William Saliba: Dominant defensive display and looks so confidence and composed.

Gabriel Jesus: Ran himself into the ground and even though he didn’t bag his one big chance, was so unselfish.

Thomas Partey: He and Xhaka dominated midfield and the Ghanaian midfielder always looks in control.


What’s next?

Chelsea head to Manchester City on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the League Cup, then travel to Newcastle in the PL on Saturday, Nov. 12. Arsenal host Brighton on Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the League Cup and Wolves in the league on Nov. 12.


How to watch Chelsea vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network 
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Key storylines

Chelsea lost at Brighton last time out and drew against Manchester United in their last home game as Potter’s side are going through a few issues, especially defensively. He continues to rotate his lineup, especially in attack, and despite just one defeat in 11 games it feels like Chelsea are still yet to fully come to life under the talented English coach. As for Arsenal, they are flying with 10 wins from their opening 12 games of the season and Arteta’s youngsters responded superbly after dropping points at Southampton. They battered Nottingham Forest from start to finish last weekend and they will need to replicate that slick attacking display to make the most of the chances they get at Chelsea. The Gunners will be looking for yet another fast start as that has been key to their early-season success and they will be dangerous on the break.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Raheem Sterling scored in the Champions League in midweek and Mason Mount put in a Man of the Match display, while Denis Zakaria scored on his debut and looked very decent in midfield after spending the last few months waiting for his chance. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard have been superb all season long, while Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey are dominating midfield each week. Everyone is in great form for the Gunners.


Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup

Ben Chilwell suffered a very serious hamstring injury right at the end of their win against Dinamo Zagreb and that is another big blow for the Blues’ defense. He joins Reece James and Wesley Fofana on the sidelines, plus N’Golo Kante is also out with a long-term thigh issue. Kepa Arrizabalaga is also out so Edouard Mendy starts in goal, while Mateo Kovacic is only fit enough for the bench. Thiago Silva, Marc Cucurella and Ruben Loftus-Cheek come back into the starting lineup.


Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup

Emile Smith Rowe is out, while Matt Turner is working his way back to fitness from a groin issue. Mohamed Elneny is back, while Oleksandr Zinchenko returns at left back which is a big boost. At the moment this is a very settled Arsenal lineup and Arteta has Gabriel Jesus up top with Saka (who has shaken off a knock), Martinelli and Odegaard floating around underneath him.



Lionel Messi goal, assist leads Argentina awakening vs Mexico

0 Comments

Lionel Messi’s second-half goal gave Argentina’s World Cup hopes a massive lift as the Albiceleste broke through against stubborn Mexico to win 2-0 in Lusail on Saturday.

Enzo Fernandez, 21, also scored for Argentina in the win, which comes after a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in the opener.

STREAM LIVE ARGENTINA vs MEXICO

Mexico’s brave performance was broken by Messi’s splendid finish and now Mexico (1 point) needs to beat Saudi Arabia (3 points) and get help from Argentina (3 points) vs Poland (4 points) to make the Round of 16.

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


Lionel Messi: Of course he did.

The world’s — maybe history’s — greatest ever player had a frustrating day and spent 65 minutes thinking this could’ve been his last World Cup match.

Twenty-five minutes later, he had a goal and an assist and Argentina was heading to Poland likely a draw or better away from going to the knockout rounds.

C’est la Messi.

Mexico executed Tata Martino’s masterful plan for over an hour and looked set to walk away with a point. Messi wasn’t getting the ball in dangerous spaces and Lautaro Martinez was so ineffective that he was taken off the pitch.

Then: One hesitation when Angel Di Maria spotted Messi. Two touches for the Atomic Ant. 1-0.

Messi would later assist young Enzo Fernandez’s goal to re-certify his status as one of the very best to do it in any team sport. Argentina only had 0.28 expected goals on the day but when you have two magic shots, it’ll get the job done.


Stars of the show

Lionel Messi

Nicolas Otamendi

Hector Moreno

Argentina vs Mexico
fotmob.com

Lionel Messi goal video: GOAT things

Enzo Fernandez goal video: Pearler of a finish delivers Messi assist


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

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday Nov. 26
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

It’s Messi, of course, who says he’s playing in his final World Cup, but it’s also about who’s going to step up as a difference maker for Argentina. Lautaro Martinez had a goal taken off the board for a razor-thin offside versus Saudi Arabia, while Julian Alvarez had a shot saved in his sub’s role and both Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa were unused subs in the opener.

Mexico’s midfield was excellent to start the tournament. Will Hector Herrera again join Edson Alvarez and Luis Chavez is setting the tone for Tata Martino’s team? And can El Tri find a finisher after Henry Martin and Co. failed to find the back of the goal versus Poland.


Argentina quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
World Cup appearances: 17
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez

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

Belgium vs Morocco: How to watch live, stream link, team news

0 Comments

Belgium will look to get back to their best and make it two wins from two in the group stage but Morocco will make it extremely tough for Kevin de Bruyne and Co.

STREAM LIVE BELGIUM v MOROCCO

Roberto Martinez saw his side totally dominated by Canada in their Group F opener but they took their one big chance and won the game, largely thanks to poor finishing from Canada and Thibaut Courtois saving a penalty kick. The No. 2 ranked team in the world has to improve. Fast.

Morocco caused Croatia plenty of problems in their opening game and a draw was a fair result as their high-pressing caused Croatia a lot of problems. They will look to do exactly the same against Belgium and could have plenty of joy if Hakim Ziyech is found in dangerous areas in the final third.

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

Here is everything you need for Belgium vs Morocco. 


How to watch Belgium vs Morocco live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 8am ET – Sunday, November 27
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor 
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Kevin de Bruyne was almost apologetic after being named man of the match against Canada as he said he and his teammates really struggled in their World Cup opener. Belgium have to give their back three more protection as they are really susceptible to speedy wide players cutting in wide and teams playing direct and cutting out their midfield playmakers. Roberto Martinez will surely start the likes of Meunier and Onana in this game to try and give Belgium a little more control and solidity. Michy Batshuayi is expected to continue to fill in for the injured Romelu Lukaku once again.

Morocco will try and do exactly what Canada did to Belgium and they have the players to do it. Ziyech and Boufal will cause problems out wide and Morocco looked solid defensively against Croatia. There is a real whiff of an upset in the air around this one as Morocco will be roared on by their large group of supporters in Qatar.


Belgium quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 2
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Roberto Martinez
Key players: Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard

Morocco Rica quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 22
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CAF
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
Key players: Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bounou, Youssef En-Nesyri, Romain Saiss


World Cup 2022 Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica schedule, fixtures, rankings

0 Comments

Japan and Spain sent early messages in Group E with an upset of Germany and demolition of Costa Rica, respectively, to start the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

Japan reached the Round of 16 at the last World Cup and gave Belgium everything it could handle before bowing out 3-2, while Costa Rica surprised everyone in 2014 when it emerged atop a Group D with England, Italy, and Uruguay, then beating Greece in the Round of 16.

Of course, Spanish boss Luis Enrique and Germany’s Hansi Flick will be fancying themselves the favorites to emerge from the group, but the latter now knows better than ever before that anything can happen in Qatar after a 2-1 loss to Japan. Spain hammered Costa Rica 7-0 in their opener and they look the real deal.

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

Below is everything you need to know on World Cup 2022 Group E.


Group E schedule (all times ET)

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Sunday, November 27: Spain vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
Sunday, November 27: Japan vs Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
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

How To Watch Group E matches live

  • When: November 23-December 1 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group E table

1. Spain — 3 points (+7 GD)
2. Japan — 3 points (+1)
3. Germany — 0 points (-1)
4. Costa Rica — 0 points (-7)


Spain

Current FIFA world ranking: 7
World Cup titles: 1 (2010)
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Luis Enrique
Key players: Rodri, Pedri, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba

Germany

Current FIFA world ranking: 11
World Cup titles: 4 (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
World Cup appearances: 20
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Key players: Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka

Costa Rica

Current FIFA world ranking: 31
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF via interconfederation playoffs
Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez
Key players: Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz

Japan

Current FIFA world ranking: 24
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 7
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Key players: Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Takumi Minamino, Daichi Kamada

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

0 Comments

Newly famous international darlings Canada will try again for a number of firsts, when they face Croatia in their second game at the 2022 World Cup on Sunday.

STREAM CROATIA vs CANADA LIVE

Canada outshone many of the tournament’s heavyweights during the first round of group games, ultimately falling just short of their first World Cup point and, had things gone just a bit differently, their first win.

Group F is an intriguing one, with favorites Belgium struggling in their opener and Croatia and Morocco both failing to impress against one another. As things stand, it’s wide open for anyone (and everyone).

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

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Canada. 


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

Kick off: 11am ET, Sunday (November 27)
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

On one hand, Canada were downright brilliant when they made their World Cup return, 36 years in the making on Wednesday. On the other hand, they lost 1-0 to Belgium and are the only team in Group F without a point thus far. The Canucks won plaudits (and new fans) as they showed no fear whatsoever playing against the no. 2 team in the world and were comfortably the better side on the day, so said Belgium boss Roberto Martinez after the game. Alphonso Davies was denied by Thibaut Courtois from the penalty spot, with the game still 0-0 and Canada seeking its first-ever World Cup goal (yeah, that too). Sunday, perhaps.

As for Croatia, their opening draw with Morocco raised a few red flags for a nation that went all the way to the World Cup final just four (and a half) years ago. With five of 11 starters age 30 or older, Croatia have very little range and mobility, and no explosiveness anywhere in the side. Despite holding nearly 65 percent of possession in the game against Morocco, Croatia managed just five shots in 90 minutes (two on target) and a paltry 0.52 xG. If things don’t turn around on Sunday, it’ll be the end of an iconic era that, unfortunately, lasted one cycle too long.


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

Canada quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 41
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF (1st place)
Coach: John Herdman
Key players: Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Milan Borjan, Jonathan Osorio

Follow @AndyEdMLS