It wasn’t a bad week as far as the Premier League was concerned. Over 30 goals were scored over the weekend, makes a nice change. More of the same please.
Let’s kick things off with the next instalment of ‘Which Premier League manager has been sacked?’ Just like last week, and the week before that and so forth. Whatever happened to good ol’ trust in the man tasked with improve the club?! Tony Pulis was forced to hand all his gear back to the club shop when the long time calls from the West Brom supporters for his dismissal were answered by the board, shortly after the 4-0 defeat by Chelsea at home. I suppose it was an inauspicious start, now they require another man credited with keeping clubs away from relegation.
They’d only won two of the last 21 PL games since last April, and his negative style of football has always been notoriously horrible. Which is why I wouldn’t want him anywhere near the vacant Welsh manager’s job. Could you imagine a Wales team filled with promising young forwards such as David Brooks being coached by Pulis? He’d be sticking Real Madrid star Gareth Bale in defence (if he ever stays fit, that is). Having said that, he is still a decent manager and would keep anybody up.
It was good to see the first top flight player banned for diving. There has been a lot of debate whether Everton’s Oumar Niasse did actually dive to win the penalty in the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace. My thoughts on the matter? Honestly, I couldn’t say. There was obviously contact, however minimal. He certainly made the most of it, as would any other player.
Things didn’t go their way on Thursday night mind, when Atalanta basically walked all over Everton. Infamous Cardiff City flop Andreas Cornelius scored a brace. The one that got away? It’s not all bad news for the toffees. Everton had announced they’d reached an agreement to lease land on Bramley Moore Dock, ensure they could soon have the biggest stadium in the Championship with their 50,000 capacity.
It was a contrasting week for English clubs in Europe. Spurs again took the result of the round, winning 2-1 away at Borussia Dortmund. Are they now better than Real Madrid? Probably worth noting Dortmund are fifth in the Bundesliga. Although being nine points behind Bayern is hardly an unassailable lead. It was the best way to recover from the damage caused by Arsenal in the North London derby on Saturday, especially from the trio of Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette.
In Switzerland, Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by Basel, Manchester City beat a stubborn Feyenoord by the same scoreline, thanks to Raheem Sterling’s only goal. And in Germany, following Arsenal’s dominant win in the North London derby, FC Koln saw their one goal enough to seal the defeat for the Gunners. An early red card for Qarabag saw Chelsea take full advantage of their extra man when four goals coming from Hazard, Fabregas and Willian (x2) made sure of an easy night’s work for Antonie Conte’s Blues.
Liverpool letting in soft goals has been a recurring theme for a decade. Jurgen Klopp’s refusal to chip into the transfer market for a centre half or two because oh his trust in Lovren and Klavan appears more baffling. Three goals they were leading Sevilla by half-time on Tuesday night. Three.
Then in true Liverpool fashion, they let it slip (no pun intended, Reds) and Sevilla scored three goals of their own in the second half. How? Aren’t they very solid at the back? Referring to Istanbul 2005, it prompted two goal on the night Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder to later tweet ‘Hope AC Milan watched it’.