Ratings – Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal: Giroud & Firmino shine in Anfield thriller

January 13, 2016

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“Liverpool and Arsenal shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller that saw Joe Allen as the unlikely hero behind his side’s late equaliser. The hosts were six points off the top four going into this fixture and while they may not have made the head-way they would have liked by sharing the points on the night, they did at least help to produce a game worthy of being played under the famous mid-week floodlights of Anfield.” Squawka

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FA Cup’s declining status to continue in modern Premier League world

January 13, 2016

“As the cliché goes, the third round of the FA Cup is the most romantic weekend of the season; but it’s some time since the cliché has been true. Instead, a new tradition has sprung up, that of bemoaning the FA Cup’s declining status. The first week of January is now when English football gets together and makes some half-baked suggestions about how to restore the competition’s relevance. It seems bizarre now that the FA Cup was until the late 1980s the premier competition of English football.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Real Madrid looks rejuvenated as Zidane wins first game in charge

January 13, 2016

“Zinedine Zidane wore the number five shirt during his time as an iconic player at Real Madrid, so it was somehow fitting that Real Madrid beat Deportivo La Coruna 5-0 on his coaching debut Saturday night. This was a first game that even the Frenchman could not have imagined, with two early goals settling the nerves and a last-minute Karim Benzema strike that underlined a huge improvement in performance, attitude and atmosphere.” SI


Tactical Analysis: Sevilla 2-0 Athletic Bilbao| Athletic dealt knockout blow by hardworking Sevilla

January 13, 2016

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“Sevilla took on an impressive Athletic side in a potential six pointer in La Liga. With just 2 points between them and fourth place up for grabs, a tense encounter awaited. Athletic came into the game on an impressive run of form having just lost 2 in the last 10 games, one of which was against current leaders Atletico. Having defeated Villarreal (currently 5 points clear in 4th place) in the Copa del Rey, facing a team like Sevilla who are considered in the same bracket as them came at the right time.” Outside of the Boot


How Bad Are Aston Villa?

January 13, 2016

“Coming into this season I was somewhat bullish on Aston Villa. Okay that’s not quite true but I thought they’d at least be semi-competent. Admittedly, some of this was colored by the fact that Villa bought four Ligue 1 players in the summer and I liked three and a half of them (the half being Jordan Ayew). I loved the Jordan Amavi signing and thought that he’d do good things at LB, Idrissa Gueye knows who he is as a CM and Veretout produced interesting playmaking numbers at a young age even though he mixed it up between playing CM and as a #10. I had my issues with Ayew because I thought he was inefficient when on the ball, but overall I thought Villa did well with their French recruitment.” Stats Bomb


The Argument: Is There Too Much Football on TV?

January 13, 2016

“When did being a football fan start to feel like such hard work? It’s not that there’s more football in the world than there used to be. What’s changed is the availability and exposure of it all. Anybody with the right sort of television package, mobile phone contract or internet connection should never go more than 24 hours without a game to watch. Live football dominates the sports channels’ schedules throughout the weekend, from Friday evening to Sunday night and into Monday. Then the Champions League and Europa League pick up the slack between Tuesday and Thursday along with cup ties, replays, and seemingly endless midweek rounds in the Championship.” thetwounfortunates