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Patrick Vieira

Jurgen Klopp: Nunez knows he let his teammates down; Vieira proud of Palace

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Jurgen Klopp isn’t panicking yet, but as Liverpool dropped points for the second straight game to start the Premier League season and injuries are threatening to derail the Reds from a title race in the opening month, it was clear that all is not well at Anfield right now.

[ RECAP: Liverpool vs Crystal Palace: Reds battle back for another draw (video) ]

Darwin Nuñez was sent off for making head-to-head contact with Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen in the sides’ 1-1 draw on Monday, leaving the Reds a man and a goal down at the time, before Luis Diaz struck magnificently to draw level. Klopp made no excuses for his star summer signing, putting it plainly “[he] knows he let his teammates down.”

It was that kind of night for Liverpool, while Patrick Vieira was every bit as proud as Jurgen Klopp appeared frustrated. It’s difficult to go to places like Anfield where you know you’ll be defending most of the game, he said, and you must be opportunistic and clever as they were.


Jurgen Klopp reaction: “Darwin Nunez knows he let his teammates down” with red card

“I cannot really be disappointed with the result because of the story of the game. I am proud of the performance. This was a proper LFC game, the way we started and put them under pressure. Palace had an idea, to sit deep and look for counter attacks.

“It is really uncomfortable to play against them, especially with the quality, speed and technique they have. I don’t know how many shots they blocked in the first half.”

“Not the start (to the season) we wanted, but two points is the least of our problems right now. It’s really tricky with injuries. We have to use next week to maybe bring one or two back, although I don’t know if that is possible.

“We have lost Darwin now as well, which does not help, but [Roberto Firmino] might be back, we will see.”

“Darwin knows he let his teammates down. I will talk to him. It was not a reaction we want to see. He knows he will be challenged in this way, center halves will do that, but it is not a reaction we want.

“But we will use the time productively. We will use the suspension for physical work to make him strong — not a punishment, but to make him stronger.”

“Everything went against us in the week before, it was like we had a witch in the building with all the injuries, so I am proud in the way we responded.

“We needed direction to get in behind the line of five and I thought we were really strong. That was the message before the game.”

Nuñez is likely to be suspended for three games due to his offense being deemed violent conduct, leaving Liverpool three attackers short for next Monday’s trip to Old Trafford to face bitter rivals Manchester United, with Firmino and Diogo Jota currently out injured.


Patrick Vieira reaction: “We were prepared to suffer, and did”

As for Crystal Palace, it was yet another workmanlike performance from Vieira’s daring Eagles. They had pressure little of the ball and manufactured just two scoring chances all game, yet they fought tooth and nail for their point and looked the likelier side to score a winner as the 10 men of Liverpool faded late on.

“I am really pleased. It is not an easy place to come and we defended well as a team. We were prepared to suffer, and did. In our counter-attacks we were good. We needed a big team performance and we had it tonight.”

“When you come to these places, you accept you will go through difficult periods. It is about how you manage those and I think we did it will. The first 20 minutes, half-hour was tough, but we were really composed, calm and disciplined. That helped us perform well.

“If we don’t bring those ingredients, it is really difficult to get something from that game. We competed against them and worked hard. This is the minimum we can do. Then we need the organization and discipline. We got the point and I am really pleased with that.”

Follow @AndyEdMLS

USMNT’s Chris Richards unveiled by Crystal Palace

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USMNT center back Chris Richards agreed personal terms with Crystal Palace and has been unveiled by the Premier League outfit in a surprise move from Bayern Munich to London’s Eagles.

[ MORE: USMNT transfer news, live! Latest reports, rumors, updates ]

The deal, which was initially reported by Sky Sports in Germany last week, and a transfer fee of close to $20 million is attached.

VIDEO: Transfer chat: USMNT players potentially on the move this summer ] 

As things stand, Richards would probably start the USMNT’s first game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar alongside Walker Zimmerman, but his place in the first team is tenuous at best with Aaron Long re-inserting himself in the conversation during the June international window.

Cameron Carter-Vickers will also draw consideration from Gregg Berhalter following a fantastic season for Celtic, prompting the Scottish Premiership champions to make his loan from Tottenham a permanent transfer.


Chris Richards scouting report – What type of player is he?

Chris Richards’ game should be wonderfully suited to the way Patrick Vieira wants his side to play. The Birmingham, Alabama, native is a well-rounded, ball-playing center back who’s comfortable playing the ball with either foot. That fact was probably key in Vieira’s desire to sign Richards, given Crystal Palace ranked in the top half of the Premier League in terms of possession during his first season in charge (50.8 percent, 10th-most).

Richards’ advanced numbers, via FBRef, reveal an above average center back on the ball and an underrated, proactive ball-winner who’s used to defending in space off of it (stats below are over the last 365 days among center backs in Europe’s top five leagues).

As a passer, Richards was a high-volume player for Hoffenheim. He typically kept the ball on the ground rather than playing balls in behind or over the defense; the vast majority of his touches came in the middle third of the field while being given a fair bit of freedom to move into the final third as well; there were few, if any, center backs more comfortable under pressure, which is welcome news ahead of moving to the high-pressing Premier League.

Touches: 87th percentile (79.6 per game)
Passes completed
: 81st percentile (57.9 per game)
Passes attempted: 84th percentile (66.8 per game, with 57.3 on the ground or played in low)
Passes under pressure: 99th percentile (10.3 per game)
Left-foot passes attempted: 20.2 per game
Right-foot passes attempted: 39 per game
Touches in middle third: 87th percentile (40.2 per game)
Touches in attacking third: 73rd percentile (3.9 per game)
Carries: 81st percentile (49 per game)
Progressive carries: 62nd percentile (2.69 per game)
Progressive carrying distance: 58th percentile (111.7 yards per game)
Dispossessed: 33rd percentile (0.3 per game)

As a defender, Chris Richards tended to do the bulk of his work further up the field rather than on the back foot. He was an active presser for Hoffenheim, ranking among the best the further forward he went.

Successful pressures: 94th percentile (5.2 per game)
Pressures: 83 percentile (11.8 per game)
Pressures in middle third: 88th percentile (5.1 per game)
Pressures in attacking third: 91st percentile (1 per game)
Ball recoveries: 86 percentile (11.1 per game)
Passes blocked: 99th percentile (1.8 per game)
Shots blocked: 60th percentile (0.8 per game)
Blocks: 99th percentile (2.6 per game)

While most stats are quite system- and style-dependent, it paints a clear picture of a complete defender, even if we haven’t seen his very best while in a USMNT shirt (yet). Also, one who’s been vastly superior for club and shows all the signs of being capable of taking that next step up.


Chris Richards to Crystal Palace a good move for USMNT?

Ahead of the new season, Richards finds himself stuck somewhere between “probably one of the two best the UMSNT has to choose from” and “he’s still in limbo over his club future and that needs sorting immediately.”

After spending the last 18 months on loan to mid-table Bundesliga side Hoffenheim (11th- and 9th-place finishes), a move to Crystal Palace (14th and 12th in the same time) represents a realistic lateral move in terms of competition for playing time, but a significant step up in terms of the quality of competition he’ll face over the course of 38 games.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man United | Man City | Arsenal ]

If Chris Richards can win a regular place in Vieira’s side — and there’s zero reason to believe he won’t be given every opportunity, considering the fit and the manager’s track record of trusting and developing young players — he could be an entirely different player come November than anything we’ve seen for the USMNT to this point.

Of course, the opposite could also prove true, which makes this a somewhat risky, but incredibly high-upside, transfer for the USMNT.

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Vieira, Gerrard isolating after positive COVID-19 tests

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Both Patrick Vieira and Steven Gerrard will not be on the sidelines for their Boxing Day games as the managerial duo have tested positive for COVID-19.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

It was announced on Christmas Day that Gerrard would miss both Aston Villa’s home game against Chelsea on Boxing Day and the trip to Leeds United on Dec. 28 as he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Villa’s game at Leeds has since been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Leeds squad.

“Aston Villa can confirm Head Coach Steven Gerrard will be unable to attend our next two Premier League matches with Chelsea and Leeds United as he will be isolating after testing positive for COVID-19.”

Crystal Palace announced early on Boxing Day that head coach Patrick Vieira had tested positive for COVID-19 and would not be on the bench for their trip to Tottenham.

“We can confirm that Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira is self-isolating after returning a positive test for Covid-19, and will be absent from the touchline for today’s match against Spurs. Assistant manager Osian Roberts will deputise for Vieira for today’s match.”

Vieira is likely to miss Palace’s home game against Norwich City on Dec. 28 too.

How will this impact their teams?

Both of the first-year Premier League managers have had a massive impact early on at both Villa and Palace and it will be intriguing to see how their teams get on without them on the sidelines.

In theory, Gerrard and Vieira have done all of their work on the training ground and their coaching staff should be able to step in.

But just like in their playing days, the legendary Premier League midfielders have a presence and aura about them on the sidelines which seems to spur their teams on.

The Premier League “Festive Fixtures” take place from Saturday, Dec. 18 until Monday, Jan. 3, and you can watch all the action across our platforms right here.

Top 30 Premier League moments: No. 24 – Keane, Vieira clash in tunnel

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To celebrate the 30th season of the Premier League, we are counting down and ranking our top 30 moments in Premier League history.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

That’s right, yours truly, Joe Prince-Wright, has selected the top 30 moments in PL history.

This is not only a huge honor, but also a huge headache. How on earth do you boil down 30 seasons of magic into 30 individual moments!?

Well, we did it.


How will our Premier League top 30 moments work?

On the Wednesday before each matchweek from now until the end of the 2021-22 season we will unveil the latest moment, as we count down the top moments in PL history from 30 to 1.

From incredible goals to late title drama and emotional sendoffs to legendary players dazzling awe-inspired crowds, we’re going to celebrate and rank the best moments this wonderful league has produced.

Click on the video above to see number 24, while below we take a closer look at one of the best rivalries between two players in Premier League history. Probably the best.


Premier League Top 30 moments: Number 24 – Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira clash in Highbury tunnel as epic rivalry boils over

Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira’s infamous row in the Highbury tunnel never gets old.

On the pitch they went at it for almost a decade, leading Manchester United and Arsenal respectively as two giants battled it out for the Premier League title on a yearly basis and were among two of the greatest teams England has ever seen.

Keane and Vieira were the heartbeats of their respective clubs and other superstar players looked at them for inspiration. The central midfield duo delivered that on so many occasions, but often things boiled over when United and Arsenal clashed.

At the height of their bitter rivalry (February 1, 2005), the Manchester United and Arsenal captains exchanged choice words before the game in the tunnel and had to be separated as Gary Neville and many others were involved in the ugly scenes.

Their disagreement carried out onto the pitch and during the game another one of their epic battles in the engine room had extra spice to it. The game ended in a 4-2 win for United as Vieira scored early on but Keane inspired United to a sensational victory.

After their playing careers were over both Keane and Vieira have spoken of the admiration they had for one another, as they go down as two of the best central midfielders in Premier League history.

Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira epitomized the brilliant, and fiery, rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal during the first 15 years of the Premier League. What a period that was in the PL’s history, as Keane vs Vieira was always appointment viewing.


Top 30 list

30: Dennis Bergkamp’s brilliant hat trick
29: Newcastle’s amazing comeback from 4-0 down
28: Heung-min Son’s stunning solo goal
27: Thierry Henry’s incredible volley v. Man United
26: Late drama in epic Manchester derby
25: Olivier Giroud scores sensational scorpion kick goal
24: Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira clash in tunnel


Patrick Vieira, Wilfried Zaha praise each other after Palace upsets Man City

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We should be talking about Crystal Palace more often than we do, considering they’ve lost just twice this young Premier League season.

In our defense, Saturday’s 2-0 win over Manchester City was just their second win, a half-dozen ties keeping Patrick Vieira’s win from sitting any higher than 13th in his first Premier League season as manager.

Palace led 1-0 on a Wilfried Zaha goal when Zaha drew a red card out of Aymeric Laporte. Clear-cut? Not really, but the Ivorian was a first-half force in making sure that Vieira’s taken four-of-six points away to his former teams: Arsenal and Man City.

[ MORE: Three things we learned, recap, video, Man of the Match ]

“He knows what he is talking about and we have all seen him do it,” Zaha said of Vieira, one of the best players in Premier League history. “It’s surreal because he was an amazing player. Every player is buying into it and slowly the results will come.”

The Eagles were good money for their win, even if City still controlled the proceedings once down a man.

Palace sealed the win late through Conor Gallagher, as the Eagles both snapped a five-match winless run and grew their unbeaten streak to five.

Draws, you know?

“It was about getting in their faces and not letting them play.,” Zaha said. “We know how good they are, we wanted to show them what we could do. … I feel like we have had a threat but the difference now is that we keep the ball from the back and build and make our chances. We are exploiting our talent.”

Vieira tried to downplay the win but couldn’t help but issue a lot of praise for Zaha and his teammates.

“You have to defend well and we did it,” Vieira said. “You have to take your chances and we did it and you need a bit of luck because of the quality of their players. When you have those three aspects you have more chance but I am really proud of the way we fought.”

“When Wilf is like that, taking his chances and working really hard.. he is somebody who is really strong on one versus one. His personality, his character he is a winner. Today he worked really hard and this is what I expect and want from him.”

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