Roy Hodgson

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Pochettino: ‘We didn’t respect the plan’ v. Olympiacos

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A “very disappointed” Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino was left seething after his team threw away a 2-0 lead in Greece, drawing Olympiacos in its first UEFA Champions League match of the season.

Even with that lead at halftime in Piraeus, Pochettino warned his players that it wasn’t going well.

[ RECAP: Olympiacos 2-2 Spurs ]

“From the beginning we had a plan,” Pochettino said, via Football.London. “We didn’t respect the plan. I told the players at half-time. We scored two goals but if you only analyze the performance it wasn’t great. We conceded a lot of chances to them and the first goal was so painful. We didn’t translate that type of aggression these type of games demand.”

Olympiacos entered the match with a reputation for fine defense, allowing only one goal in their last 10 outings, so Pochettino would’ve been happy with the finishing.

But Spurs were again sloppy at the back, and blew the same lead it tossed aside in last month’s North London Derby.

Olympiacos away is a step up from Palace at home, but this did not often look like the team that bossed Roy Hodgson‘s Eagles to the tune of 4-0 at the weekend.

“How many times we didn’t anticipate today and how we weren’t proactive like we were against Crystal Palace? At this level you need to match your opponent. That is the first demand.”

Tottenham has three matches before its next UCL encounter, Oct. 1, versus Bayern.

Pukki, Klopp win Premier League monthly awards

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Jurgen Klopp and Teemu Pukki have won the Premier League‘s Manager and Player of the month respectively.

Klopp has Liverpool top of the table after four wins from four, while Pukki has scored five goals in his first four PL games for newly-promoted Norwich City.

It is no surprise that Klopp won this award, as although his Liverpool side haven’t been firing on all cylinders they’ve been ruthless to secure four wins from four. Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson have impressed early on with Leicester and Crystal Palace punching above their weight, but Klopp seems more focused than ever to deliver a Premier League title.

As for Pukki, the 29-year-old has hit the ground running in his first-ever season in the Premier League. The predatory forward has been typically clinical and after being named the Championship Player of the Season in Norwich’s promotion campaign last season, he is going to be the key man if the Canaries are going to stay up this season.

Pukki scored a consolation against Liverpool, then a hat trick in the 3-1 win against Newcastle and was also on target in Norwich’s defeat to Chelsea.

Premier League monthly award nominees announced

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Six players have been nominated for the Premier League Player of the Month for August, with three players from Manchester City in the running.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are all up for the monthly award, while Roberto Firmino flies the flag for Liverpool and in-form strikers Teemu Pukki and Ashley Barnes also get the nod.

De Bruyne has racked up five assists and one goal, while Aguero has six goals to his name and Sterling has scored five times. Firmino has two goals and two assists after a perfect start for Liverpool, while Barnes has four goals for Burnley and Pukki has five goals for Norwich as he continues to be on fire in his first season in the Premier League.

It is likely that De Bruyne and Firmino will be the favorites to grab the award, such has been their overall important to Man City and Liverpool in the early weeks of the season.

Four managers have also been nominated for the Manager of the Month awards, with Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson.

With four wins from four, Klopp is the favorite to win the award, while Guardiola and City are flying once again. Rodgers has led Leicester to an unbeaten start, while Hodgson has masterminded a very good start for Palace.

Below is a look at the candidates for both awards, plus details on how to vote.

Player of the Month nominees

Manager of the Month nominees

Palace beat 10-man Villa amid late drama


Crystal Palace beat 10-man Aston Villa 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday, as the game finished in dramatic circumstances.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Villa had Trezeguet sent off and Jordan Ayew sealed the win with a second half strike, but Villa thought they had equalized in the 96th minute but referee Kevin Friend had whistled seconds earlier for simulation by Jack Grealish, when the decision looked questionable. And that is putting it kindly.

Palace now have seven points on the board, while Villa have three.

3 things we learned

1. Referees have to let plays develop: Kevin Friend reacted too quickly to whistle Jack Grealish for simulation in the box, and VAR would have surely seen it as a clear and obvious error as Gary Cahill took down the Villa skipper in the box. Lansbury scoring has nothing to do with this. Friend should have let the play develop, then given a foul or a penalty kick had Lansbury not scored. Villa should feel very hard done by.

2. Palace still lack a proper finisher: Ayew and Zaha worked their socks off and Palace had five decent goalscoring chances in this game. They only took one and that is the real issue here, as they struggled to break down a dogged 10-man Villa. Roy Hodgson‘s side are solid as a rock, but they just lack a natural finisher.

3. Villa hamstrung by Trezeguet’s madness: Getting booked either side of half time, Trezeguet put his team up against it at Selhurst. The second challenge on Zaha was just plain silly and even though Villa didn’t play well at all, the Egyptian winger was instrumental in them not grabbing a point.

Man of the Match: Jordan Ayew – He scored the winner and worked so hard for the team. He is not a natural finisher at all, but he delivered a big three points for Palace who have now won back-to-back games.

Villa started off on the front foot and Douglas Luiz whipped a free kick over the bar.

Palace should have taken the lead after Jeffrey Schlupp found James McArthur in the box but he somehow sent his shot over form close range.

The Eagles went close again in the first half as Jordan Ayew slid in at the back post but couldn’t get on the end of a ball fizzed across the six yard box. Wilfried Zaha almost got on the end of another cross as Villa dropped deeper and deeper.

Luka Milivojevic‘s low free kick was then deflected and saved by Tom Heaton as Palace had the better chances in the first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

In the second half both teams sat back and looked to launch counter attacks, but Villa were reduced to 10 men as Trezeguet received his second yellow card for bringing down Zaha.

Palace were buoyed by their man advantage, and Milivojevic curled a shot from distance which Heaton pushed away superbly.

Ayew curled a shot over as Villa restricted Palace to efforts from distance, but the Ghanian forward scored the winner moments later.

Schlupp played in Ayew down the left and he cut inside, bundled his way through challenges and curled home to make it 1-0.

Villa thought they had snatched an equalizer in the 96th minute as Henri Lansbury slotted home, but referee Kevin Friend disallowed the goal as he had blown the whistle for an earlier foul by Grealish in the penalty box which looked like it should have gone the opposite way and been a penalty kick to Villa.

What a dramatic end to a fierce encounter.

AT HALF: Man City, Chelsea cruising; 10 goals in 6 matches

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New boys and old alike are scoring, as surnames De Bruyne and Aguero have been joined by Haller, Abraham and… Abraham again on the score sheets of England.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Here’s where the scores stand after 45 minutes.

Man City 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion

Kevin De Bruyne had the champs on the board after just 71 seconds, taking a David Silva cut back into the goal. Sergio Aguero added a goal just before half.

Aymeric Laporte left the match on a stretcher with an injury prior to the break.

Chelsea 2-0 Sheffield United

Tammy Abraham got a second bite at the apple thanks to the off-putting hustle of Christian Pulisic, and the Blues are up at half. He’d add a second before the ref whistled for the break.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Aston Villa

Nothing cooking as Roy Hodgson and Dean Smith match wits.

West Ham United 1-0 Norwich City

Sebastien Haller is scoring goals for fun.

Leicester City 2-1 Bournemouth

Jamie Vardy‘s delightful 12th minute goal was answered by Callum Wilson within three minutes, but Youri Tielemans delivered a 41st minute goal to put the Foxes ahead.

Newcastle United 1-1 Watford

The host Magpies were absolutely terrible in the first 15 minutes, highlighted by a Will Hughes goal within 90 seconds of kickoff. But Fabian Schar lashed home in traffic to put the hosts level and keep Javi Gracia‘s seat hot.