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Weekend numbers: Messi's 43rd hat trick for Barcelona; Ronaldo gets Juve's 5000th

Mon, 17 Dec 2018 04:08:00 GMT

The FC crew answer your tweets on Liverpool's chances of winning the Premier League, Jose Mourinho's ability to manage a top side again and more. Are too many Liverpool stars excluded from Gab Marcotti's Premier League team of the weekend after their win over Manchester United? Gab Marcotti believes the personality issue between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho is merely the Man United manager's attempt to create a scapegoat. Manchester United's Jose Mourinho believes he can still reach the top four in the second half of the season despite trailing fourth-placed Chelsea by 11 points. Following Manchester United's resounding defeat at Liverpool, Craig Burley slams the club's lack of leadership, from the boardroom to the pitch. Jose Mourinho was happy with his team selection and has no regrets about not playing Paul Pogba Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp rated the 3-1 win over Manchester United as one of the best performances he has seen since he has been at the club as he reflected on what he called a perfect night. Jose Mourinho did not appreciate getting asked if he has the backing of the dressing room following Manchester United's loss to Liverpool. Chelsea's Mauricio Sarri admitted that Eden Hazard's injury is not a serious one and that he was substituted as a precaution during their win over Brighton. With Liverpool getting their first league win over Manchester United since 2014, FC's Shaka Hislop examines the gulf in class between the two sides. Alexis Nunes and Shaka Hislop break down Arsenal's surprising loss to Southampton, and determine if more defensive struggles are on the horizon for the Gunners. Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League table with an emphatic 3-1 win over Manchester United, while Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juventus to yet another milestone with a goal in their 1-0 derby win against Torino. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi did Lionel Messi things (scored three, assisted two) as Barcelona thrashed Levante 5-0. Here are the best numbers from the weekend's action: 1 Lionel Messi is the first player to reach double figures for both goals (14) and assists (10) in the top...

Eden Hazard earns 8/10 as Chelsea's false No. 9 in win over Brighton

Sun, 16 Dec 2018 09:40:00 GMT

Eden Hazard assisted the first and scored the second goal for Chelsea as the Blues escape Brighton with all three points. BRIGHTON -- Chelsea survived a late Brighton rally to emerge from the Amex Stadium with a 2-1 victory that moved them clear of Arsenal into fourth place in the Premier League, thanks to goals from Pedro Rodriguez and Eden Hazard. Positives Hazard's masterful performance for more than an hour in the false No. 9 role will only embolden those who believe he can succeed as the focal point in Maurizio Sarri's system. Chelsea also showed good resilience to withstand a late Brighton barrage after being...

Giroud earns 7/10 for coming off the bench to salvage Chelsea draw at Vidi

Thu, 13 Dec 2018 12:30:00 GMT

Olivier Giroud's superb free kick secured Chelsea a Europa League draw at Vidi. Chelsea's flawless record in this season's Europa League group stage came to an end in Budapest on Thursday as Vidi held them to a lively 2-2 draw at Groupama Arena, but they remain unbeaten. Olivier Giroud's spectacular free kick rescued a point for the visitors after an own goal from Ethan Ampadu and sensational volley from Loic Nego had erased Willian's dead-ball strike in the first half. Positives With their passage to the knockout stage as group winners already assured, this was all about...

Where could Pulisic land in January: Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United or Bayern?

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 06:56:00 GMT

Steve Nicol has his say on where Christian Pulisic is most likely to go should he leave Borussia Dortmund this campaign. Raf Honigstein explains why he feels Christian Pulisic still has more to prove at Dortmund before making a big-money move elsewhere in Europe. "We will not sell a player in winter who's essential to us achieving our sporting aims, of course," Borussia Dortmund's Michael Zorc told Sport-Bild in relation to Christian Pulisic this week. "I strongly expect Christian to be wearing the BVB shirt in February," the sporting director added. The league leaders' overriding concern is to ensure that the squad stays strong and deep for the second half of a campaign that promises to deliver a championship for the first time since 2012. At the same...

Chelsea's 2012 Champions League commemorative jersey unveiled to unfavourable reviews

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 05:16:00 GMT

Chelsea won the 2012 Champions League over Bayern Munich but the new commemorative jersey for that occasion has not fared as well on social media. Nike have unveiled a special '"Shirtholder's edition" Chelsea shirt to commemorate the club's 2012 Champions League triumph -- and it's fair to say that it has not been well received. The shirt, which was designed in consultation with supporters who bought the club's light blue third kit, is being marketed as the first-ever fan jersey designed by fans.  It features a heavily textured blue and purple pattern punctuated by two bold orange horizontal hoops, while "19/05" is included in large...

LIVE Transfer Talk: Chelsea's Alvaro Morata offers himself to Barcelona

Wed, 12 Dec 2018 03:59:00 GMT

Stevie Nicol weighs in on the latest transfer rumours including Marcus Rashford or Alvaro Morata to Milan, Miguel Almiron to Newcastle and more. The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs might be closed, but they are still working tirelessly behind the scenes to line up the arrival of their next star. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives. TOP STORY: Morata offers himself to Barcelona Transfers How a transfer works With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli, we show you a step-by-step guide to a transfer. What's a medical like? Can a 44-year-old man cut it in the Premier League? Our writer suffers -- and suffers some more -- through a medical at Everton. Watch live games, ESPN FC TV and MLS Rewind on ESPN+ in the U.S. FC Exclusives - Arsenal want Bailly, Cahill - Pogba not for sale; Juve keen - Steffen on brink of Man City transfer - Under eyed by City, Arsenal, Chelsea - Real Madrid interested in Diaz Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has offered his services to Barcelona ahead of the summer transfer window, according RAC1. That should go down well with fans of his former club Real...

Transfer Talk: Manchester United's Marcus Rashford an AC Milan target

Tue, 11 Dec 2018 03:59:00 GMT

Stevie Nicol weighs in on the latest transfer rumours including Marcus Rashford or Alvaro Morata to Milan, Miguel Almiron to Newcastle and more. Alejandro Moreno examines the latest transfer rumours involving Chris Smalling, Edinson Cavani and more. Jose Mourinho feels Man United fans cannot point the finger at any of his players following their 4-1 win over Fulham. The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs might be closed, but they are still working tirelessly behind the scenes to line up the arrival of their next star. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives. TOP STORY: Milan could move for United's Rashford After ruling out a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan could turn their attention to Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Milan technical...

Why the Premier League should be afraid of 'Sarri-ball' once Chelsea master it

Tue, 11 Dec 2018 01:43:00 GMT

The FC crew answer your tweets on N'Golo Kante's positioning under Maurizio Sarri, what Unai Emery will do with Mesut Ozil and much more. Stewart Robson analyses how Maurizio Sarri's tactics mixed with quality individual performances were enough to inflict Manchester City's first loss of the season. The Premier League currently finds itself with the most impressive array of managers in its 27-season history, and the eclectic cast includes three managers who have contributed significantly to the evolution of modern football. The first is Manchester City's Pep Guardiola. His hugely successful Barcelona side repopularised possession football across the continent before he became an increasingly flexible manager during his period in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. The second is Liverpool's Jurgen...

Chelsea's win over Man City says a lot about Sarri. PLUS: Sterling stands up, River claim Copa Lib

Mon, 10 Dec 2018 07:33:00 GMT

Manchester City's first league defeat of the campaign probably says more about their opponents, Chelsea, than it does Guardiola's crew. Without Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy, they marched into Stamford Bridge and dominated the first half, only to be punished by Eden Hazard's quick thinking, N'Golo Kante's finish and Leroy Sane's brief daydream. The goal allowed Chelsea to tighten up further and play on the counter even more; they added a second through a David Luiz header later...

Weekend numbers: Lionel Messi's free-kick record, Romelu Lukaku ends home rut

Sun, 9 Dec 2018 10:05:00 GMT

Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders. Gabriele Marcotti outlines Lucien Favre's tactics in Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 win over Schalke. Craig Burley and Adrian Healy breakdown Manchester United's thrashing of Fulham and Jose Mourinho's cryptic comments after the match. Pep Guardiola insists anyone can win the Premier League title and there is no favourite after Man City's loss to Chelsea. Jose Mourinho praised Paul Pogba and outlined what he needs to do to get back into the starting XI. Jurgen Klopp insists he isn't surprised by Mohamed Salah's desire to score after he stayed on his feet during Liverpool's second goal. Mauricio Pochettino has immediately switched his focus to Barcelona after Tottenham's 2-0 win in the Premier League over Leicester. Niko Kovac admits Borussia Dortmund would have to make mistakes in order for Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga title. Jose Mourinho feels Man United fans cannot point the finger at any of his players following their 4-1 win over Fulham. Maurizio Sarri was quick to rule out Chelsea's title chances after their victory over Manchester City. Jose Mourinho jokingly suggested Man United were trying to save money for January after he found no water at his press conference. Chelsea stunning Manchester City and Liverpool thrashing Bournemouth to go top have made the Premier League title race exciting again. In Spain, Lionel Messi eviscerated Espanyol with a display of supreme skill, while in Italy, Juventus continued their remorseless march to an eighth straight scudetto with a 1-0 win over Inter. Here are the best numbers from an action-packed weekend of football. 15 Here's a ridiculous Messi stat: Messi has more free-kick goals over the last four La Liga seasons (15)...

The Premier League has a title race; can Man City handle the pressure?

Sat, 8 Dec 2018 01:12:00 GMT

Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders. LONDON -- Pressure, heat of battle, mind games: they are all key elements of every title battle -- apart from when a team wins the Premier League by 19 points and leaves the rest trailing in their wake. Manchester City were so utterly dominant last season that the usual rules of engagement did not apply to Pep Guardiola's team. Indeed, such was City's brilliance that the "race" for the finish line became more a procession rather than an examination of their credentials. But after Chelsea's 2-0 victory...

Manchester City surrender unbeaten record, Premier League lead at Chelsea

Sat, 8 Dec 2018 11:35:00 GMT

Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. Maurizio Sarri was quick to rule out Chelsea's title chances after their victory over Manchester City. Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders. LONDON -- Three points from Chelsea's 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. 1. City surrender unbeaten record at Chelsea Manchester City suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season and surrendered top spot in the table to Liverpool after losing 2-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. N'Golo Kante's 44th-minute strike and David Luiz's 78th-minute header secured Maurizio Sarri's first-ever victory over a team managed by Pep Guardiola. But while...

N'Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta star for Chelsea in statement victory against Manchester City

Sat, 8 Dec 2018 11:33:00 GMT

Chelsea handed Manchester City their first league defeat of the season overpowering the league leaders at Stamford Bridge. LONDON -- Manchester City were handed their first Premier League defeat of the season at Stamford Bridge as goals in each half from N'Golo Kante and David Luiz gave Maurizio Sarri a timely statement victory after a poor recent run of form -- as well as a much-needed vindication of his philosophy. Positives Chelsea showed great resilience to weather the early storm of City's suffocating pressing, took their chances when they arrived and, once ahead, played with the courage and identity that Sarri...

Jorginho's path from new Chelsea player to leader and embodiment of 'Sarriball'

Fri, 7 Dec 2018 06:26:00 GMT

Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes muse on the latest round of fixtures in the Premier League, including the big one between Chelsea and Manchester City. A lone goal from Bernardo Silva a minute into the second half would be all Man City would need to down Chelsea back in March. LONDON -- Defeats to Tottenham and Wolves have dimmed the glow around Maurizio Sarri's start to life at Chelsea, but in reality, his team's first three months were more of a surprise than their recent setbacks. Sarri had been Chelsea's head coach for just five days when he was forced to take a depleted squad, absent a host of big names headlined by Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante due to World Cup commitments, almost 9,000 miles to Western Australia to play a preseason friendly against Perth Glory. No...

Premier League W2W4: Can Chelsea trouble Manchester City? Will Fulham stun Man United?

Fri, 7 Dec 2018 12:15:00 GMT

Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes muse on the latest round of fixtures in the Premier League, including the big one between Chelsea and Manchester City. W2W4 previews the week's Premier League action by highlighting its most compelling storylines ... Will Wolves loss spur Chelsea on against Man City? Maurizio Sarri had an "out." After their defeat to Wolves on Wednesday, various journalists asked the Chelsea manager if a few refereeing decisions that had gone against his side had a material impact on the result, but Sarri steadfastly refused to blame the loss on officiating, preferring to point the finger a little closer to home. "We were suddenly...

Transfer Talk: Chelsea's Sarri eyes reunion with Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj

Thu, 6 Dec 2018 03:59:00 GMT

Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota sparked the comeback for Wolves as they handed Chelsea their second loss of the season. Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota sparked the comeback for Wolves as they handed Chelsea their second loss of the season. Steve Nicol says that Chelsea's defeat at Wolves prove their not a title challenger and must resort to a top four battle with Arsenal and Spurs. Europe's biggest clubs continue to work behind the scenes as the winter transfer window approaches. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives. TOP STORY: Chelsea to return to Napoli for Hysaj Chelsea have already raided Serie A side Napoli twice this season, hiring coach Maurizio Sarri before returning for midfield metronome Jorginho. They look set to return for a third time with an offer for right-back Elseid Hysaj - that's according...

Ruben Loftus-Cheek takes his chance, Marcos Alonso exposed in Chelsea defeat

Wed, 5 Dec 2018 02:44:00 GMT

Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota sparked the comeback for Wolves as they handed Chelsea their second loss of the season. Steve Nicol says that Chelsea's defeat at Wolves prove their not a title challenger and must resort to a top four battle with Arsenal and Spurs. Chelsea suffered their second Premier League defeat of the season at the Molineux Stadium as goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota gave Wolves -- inspired by dazzling youngster Morgan Gibbs-White -- a first victory since early October. Positives Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen took their first real Premier League opportunities, perhaps giving Maurizio Sarri more reason to trust them in the future, while the likes of Jorginho and David Luiz will at least be fresh for the visit of Manchester...

Marcos Alonso, Chelsea punished twice by Wolves for falling asleep at the back

Wed, 5 Dec 2018 02:08:00 GMT

Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota sparked the comeback for Wolves as they handed Chelsea their second loss of the season. Steve Nicol says that Chelsea's defeat at Wolves prove their not a title challenger and must resort to a top four battle with Arsenal and Spurs. WOLVERHAMPTON, England -- Three points from the Molineux Stadium on Wolves' 2-1 win over Chelsea in the Premier League. 1. Chelsea collapse after half-time As his side collapsed in a mad four second-half minutes, Maurizio Sarri bowed his head and crossed his arms, as if silently wondering what has become of the team that went deep into November before losing a Premier League game. In truth, Sarri has been warning about this for a while, like those scientists who have been telling everybody...

Transfer Talk: Ruben Loftus-Cheek contemplates Chelsea future as clubs circle

Mon, 3 Dec 2018 07:40:00 GMT

Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri admitted it wasn't easy for his players to bounce back in the Premier League so quickly following a defeat to Tottenham and a midweek victory in the Europa League. Europe's biggest clubs continue to work behind the scenes as the winter transfer window approaches. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives. England star chased by clubs at home and abroad Ruben Loftus-Cheek is finding it hard to secure game time at Chelsea this season and the England international is considering asking for a loan move in January, according to the Guardian. And it wouldn't take him long to find regular football...

By the numbers: Ronaldo equals 51-year-old record, Lukaku ends drought

Mon, 3 Dec 2018 02:00:00 GMT

The FC crew answer your tweets on where Divock Origi's goal ranks among the luckiest of all time, Kane vs. Aubameyang and much more. Arsenal's Unai Emery admits he 'didn't know' if Mesut Ozil attended the north London derby win over Tottenham, with the German missing due to back problem. Steve Nicol raises concerns about Liverpool's star-powered front three after substitute Divock Origi came on to score the winner against Everton. Everton manager Marco Silva admitted he didn't see Jurgen Klopp run onto the pitch to celebrate Liverpool's late winner in the Merseyside Derby, nor did he receive an apology from Klopp. Goals from Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were spoiled by Bordeaux, who stormed back to end PSG's 14-game win streak to start the season. Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino believes his side were mentally and physically tired from their Champions League win over Inter Milan during their 4-2 defeat to Arsenal. Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri admitted it wasn't easy for his players to bounce back in the Premier League so quickly following a defeat to Tottenham and a midweek victory in the Europa League. PSG manager Thomas Tuchel insists Neymar is ruled out of their midweek game with Strasbourg after being taken off against Bordeaux with an injury. The guys respond to your tweets about Sebastian Salazar's notepads, Jose Mourinho's future at Man United and who replaces him if he leaves. A feisty North London derby, a tepid Manchester United performance, a "rare" Real Madrid win, a ruthless Manchester City performance, a milestone for Cristiano Ronaldo, a madcap finish to the Merseyside derby, a first league draw for PSG... this weekend had it all. Here are the best numbers from this weekend's football. 5 Liverpool have scored more 90 (+) minute winners vs. Everton than any side has vs. another in Premier League history. They are now unbeaten in their last 21 games vs Everton...


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