Premier League : GameWeek 31 | Liverpool two points clear at top

Premier League : GameWeek 31 | Liverpool two points clear at top

31st game-week of English Premier league 2018-19 action just concluded, slowly leading into the swing at end of the season. 

The recent set of fixtures, which also included Liverpool against Fulham and Chelsea against Everton, had some brilliant football on offer, added with some major surprises. Here are all the results and highlights from the week gone by:

West Ham United 4-3 Huddersfield Town

West Ham came from two goals down to secure a stunning win on Saturday. Javier Hernandez scored twice in the last six minutes as West Ham secured a dramatic 4-3 Premier League win over rock-bottom Huddersfield Town at the London Stadium. Goals from Mark Noble and Juninho Bacuna inside the first 20 minutes set the tone of the game until Karlan Grant put the visitors ahead. Angelo Ogbonna got his team back on the right track with set the scoreline of the game. Javier Hernandez was substituted on and he was the one that equalized, and ultimately won the game for the Hammers.

Burnley 1-2 Leicester City

Wes Morgan headed home a late winner as 10-man Leicester City claimed a 2-1 victory at out-of-form Burnley. Just four minutes in, City were reduced to 10 men after England defender Harry Maguire fouled Gudmundsson as he drove through on goal and was shown a straight red card. The expulsion encouraged Leicester who played very well. After half an hour played, they took the well-deserved lead at the free kick. James Maddison was fouled just outside the penalty area and got the goal with a delicate shot 0-1. The goal stood for five minutes when 19-year-old Dwight McNeil equalized 1-1. Leicester got the winning goal in the 90th minute when Youri Tielemans got away and helped Wes Morgan who nodded in 2-1.

Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle United

Matt Ritchie scored with almost the last kick of the game to earn Newcastle a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Salomon Rondon opened the scoring with a superb free-kick on the stroke of half-time but Joshua King turned the game in Bournemouth’s favour in the second half, sending Martin Dubravka the wrong way from the penalty spot before finishing coolly into the far corner from Dominic Solanke’s pass. Benitez was unhappy with referee Mike Dean’s decision to award the hosts a spot-kick following Federico Fernandez’s foul on Nathan Ake. The draw lifts Bournemouth above Everton into 11th place, while Newcastle remain 13th.

Fulham 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League but needed James Milner’s late penalty to avoid dropping points at Fulham. Leading through Sadio Mane’s 11th goal in as many games in all competitions, the visitors failed to put a limited Fulham side away, allowing the hosts back into the game. A dire defensive mix-up between defender Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson gifted Ryan Babel an equalizer against his former club on 74 minutes. But Fulham keeper Sergio Rico then made an equally poor blunder, dropping Mohammed Salah’s curling shot and fouling Mane as the Senegal forward went for the ball. Substitute Milner calmly hit his penalty down the middle as Rico dived right, sending a relieved Liverpool back to the top for the first time since 1st March.

Everton 2-0 Chelsea

Everton eased the pressure on Marco Silva and dented Chelsea’s top-four hopes with a morale-boosting 2-0 win at Goodison Park on Sunday. Richarlison punished Chelsea’s profligacy just after half-time and Gylfi Sigurdsson converted the rebound from his own saved penalty to secure only the Toffees’ second victory in nine Premier League games at home. Marco Silva’s men, who dramatically lost 3-2 at Newcastle United last time out, were thoroughly outplayed in the first half, but an improved performance from Jordan Pickford helped keep the visitors at bay. Defeat for Chelsea, their first since the EFL Cup final, leaves them three points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal with eight games remaining.

Also Read: Top 4 race in EPL

Analysing Premier League Top-Four Contenders

Analysing Premier League Top-Four Contenders

Securing Champions League football is of paramount importance to Premier League clubs. And with only eight matches left to play this campaign, the top-four race couldn’t be any more fierce. 

While Liverpool and Manchester City battle it out at the top of the Premier League table, some less-fortunate clubs are fighting tooth and nails to feature in next season’s Champions League.

Even before matchday 30, the standings looked a bit straightforward. Tottenham, sitting four points clear at third, looked on course to feature in Europe’s elite tournament for the fourth successive campaign. However, a defeat to Southampton, combined with Arsenal’s win over Manchester United, has made things complicated. 

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have picked up just a solitary point from their last four Premier League matches, which has allowed their North London rivals, Arsenal, to move within a point of Spurs. Manchester United’s unbeaten start to the league under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also came to a screeching halt as the Gunners thumped them 2-0 at the Emirates.

The win helped Arsenal bounce back strongly from their 3-1 Europa League to Rennes. They played fearlessly, full of confidence, and, in the end, deservedly walked away with all three points. Unai Emery’s Arsenal haven’t always been the most consistent, but in the final stretch, they are really looking like a force to be reckoned with. 

Since Jose Mourinho’s dismissal, Manchester United have looked a lot sharper, more confident. Yes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finally tumbled in the Premier League, but that shouldn’t undermine their progress under the Norwegian in any way. They are only a couple of points behind Arsenal right now, and with eight games still to play, there is plenty of twists and turns still in store. 

Finally, in the sixth position, we have Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea. The Blues have been highly inconsistent this season, but they are still in the running to book a place in Europe. They currently have a four-point deficit to overturn and seem to have enough firepower to pull it off. This weekend, they fell to a 1-1 draw against the Wolves and were lucky not to walk away empty-handed. Sarri’s men are also in the Europa League, and considering their form in the competition, they look like one of the front-runners for the pole position.

The next eight fixtures will decide the teams’ fate, and some teams are more fortunate than others. 

Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool (A), Brighton (H), Huddersfield (H), Manchester City (A), West Ham (H), Bournemouth (A), Everton (H), Crystal Palace (H)


Newcastle (H), Everton (A), Watford (A), Crystal Palace (H), Leicester (A), Brighton (H), Burnley (A), Wolves (A)

Manchester United 

Watford (H), Wolves (A), West Ham (H), Everton (A), Manchester City (H), Chelsea (H), Huddersfield (A), Cardiff (H)


Everton (A), Cardiff (A), West Ham (H), Liverpool (A), Burnley (H), Manchester United (A), Watford (H), Leicester (A), Brighton (H)

After analysing the four sets of fixtures, it’s safe to say that Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea have their work cut out for them. Manchester United, too, have a couple of relatively tough fixtures in there, but Arsenal — fourth in the Premier League table — seem to have the easiest run-in and are the favourites to book their place in Europe. 

Also Read: PL GameWeek 30 – As it happened

Premier League : GameWeek 28 Round Up | Reds one point clear at top

Premier League : GameWeek 28 Round Up | Reds one point clear at top

The 28th match-week of English Premier League 2018-19 came to a conclusion on Wednesday and brought with it some breathtaking action, last-gasp goals and the usual dose of excitement and drama. 

Match-week 28 of Premier League witnessed plenty of excitement and emotions. Liverpool, returned to their winning ways after a huge victory over Watford, while it was a comfortable week for teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United and Man City too, who secured all three points. Here are some results from the week gone by, and some of the key talking points.

Huddersfield Town 1-0 Wolves

A stoppage-time winner from Steve Mounie helped Huddersfield beat Wolves 1-0 to clinch their first Premier League win in three months. Mounie forced home a rebound in the first minute of time added on to halt the Terriers’ run of five straight defeats and secure them just their third win of the season. Huddersfield, who had taken only one point from their previous 14 matches, also secured their first points under boss Jan Siewert. Huddersfield remain bottom of the table, still 11 points from safety.

Newcastle United 2-0 Burnley

Newcastle have pulled seven points clear of the Premier League relegation places with a 2-0 win against Burnley at St James’ Park. Newcastle took the lead on 24 minutes with a stunning 25-yard strike from Schar which flew into the top corner of the net off in the inside of the post. They got the second goal of the night on 38 minutes when Matt Ritchie’s cross from the left dropped over Salomon Rondon in the middle and fell to the feet of Longstaff who took a touch before drilling a low angled drive into the far corner of the net.

Southampton 2-0 Fulham

Southampton gave their fans a performance to cheer about on Wednesday night at St Mary’s, as the Saints lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with a win over Fulham. They scored with their first legitimate attempt on goal in the 23rd minute when Rico’s attempted punch from a corner dropped perfectly to Romeu on the edge of the area and he fired a half-volley through a crowd of players and into the net. The Saints Saints grabbed the second goal of the game on 41 minutes when Rico could only parry a curling Nathan Redmond attempt into the path of Ward-Prowse and he slid the ball into the net.

Arsenal 5-1 Bournemouth

Arsenal’s top four push looks to be building up ahead of steam as they dismantled Bournemouth 5-1 at the Emirates. The Gunners were fluid and ruthless in attack as Mesut Ozil opened the scoring before Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it two in the first half. Having given themselves a glimmer of hope with Mousset’s goal, a sluggish start to the second half from the visitors gifted Arsenal a third when Laurent Koscielny’s deflected effort got the better of a desperate Boruc, who clawed the ball out but only after it had crossed the line.

Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku’s dual strike helped Manchester United to an easy victory over a lethargic Crystal Palace side. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team took the lead in the 33rd minute when Lukaku curled a shot past Vicente Guaita after more good play by Shaw. Two minutes after half time Paul Pogba headed Diogo Dalot’s cross over the bar before Lukaku scored his second goal of the evening in the 52nd minute when he cleverly clipped the ball over Guaita. Roy Hodgson’s team did score in the 65th minute when Joel Ward fired a close-range shot past David de Gea after Schlupp had created the opening. United put the seal on their victory when Ashley Young finished off a fine move by the visitors with seven minutes left.

Liverpool 5-0 Watford

Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk both scored twice as Liverpool returned to winning ways with a dominant performance against Watford to stay top of the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s side were 2-0 up in 20 minutes at Anfield as Senegal forward Mane headed the first before doubling the lead with an outrageous back-heel, Trent Alexander-Arnold providing both assists. Mohamed Salah hit the post before Divock Origi beat Ben Foster at his near post to make it 3-0. Van Dijk scored two late headers as Liverpool eased to their biggest win of the season and stayed one point clear of Manchester City.

Also Read: Who is Klopp’s best signing so far?

Manchester City 1-0 West Ham United

A second-half penalty from Sergio Aguero proved enough for Manchester City as they defeated West Ham 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium. City’s pressure paid nicely just short of the hour whenas substitute Bernardo Silva entered into the box and appeared to go down easily under a challenge from Felipe Anderson. Stuart Atwell had no doubts and Sergio Aguero calmly rolled home past Lukasz Fabianski.

Despite the controversy, the lead was deserved and it almost felt like game over from there as the match petered out somewhat.

Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea registered a 2-0 win in a rather dull London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. An opening goal from Pedro was added to by an own goal from Kieran Trippier as Spurs leave the Bridge red-faced. hosts who edged the keenly-contested London derby with Pedro scoring 13 minutes into the second half, before a late howler of an own goal from Kieran Trippier sealed the points. The win keeps Chelsea in sixth position, three points off Arsenal in fourth but with a game in hand, while Spurs remain third but are now nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool after a second successive defeat.

Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur | Match Preview & Analysis

Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur | Match Preview & Analysis

The Premier League’s high-profile clash of Matchday 28, Chelsea vs Tottenham, takes place at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night

Chelsea vs Tottenham

Tottenham saw their title hopes suffer a big blow with a surprise defeat to Burnley and the Blues lost to Manchester City on penalties in the EFL Cup final, possibly leaving Maurizio Sarri with this one game to save his job. The Blues do at least still have the Europa League to aim for and they are in contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

The Blues

Chelsea heads into the game after the disappointment of their penalty shootout loss to Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday afternoon at Wembley. The Blues missed the chance to win their first trophy under the Italian boss despite producing a solid display against the defending Premier League champions. But, on a broader context, Maurizio Sarri could potentially be preparing his troops to save his job as Chelsea manager after seeing his side lost the final against City. But The atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge could quite easily turn hostile, as this Chelsea side have lost three of their last four in the Premier League, and have now dropped to sixth place, three points off of Arsenal, albeit with a game in hand. Chelsea will be aiming to take full advantage and not drop any points as the race for the top four starts to boil.

The Lillywhites


Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed a good run of form other than the loss to Burnley in their last match. They have 60 points in 27 league outings and a win against Chelsea will help them to put further pressure on Manchester City and Liverpool. The North London side will have been buoyed by the return of star striker Harry Kane, who scored against the Clarets, they will be disappointed in the manner of the defeat and will want to bounce back strongly. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have beaten Chelsea twice in three games this season, once in the league and once in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. But, Spurs were defeated in the second leg, which led to their elimination. Apart from producing a strong reaction to Burnley’s defeat, revenge will also be on Spurs’ mind when they take the field at Stamford Bridge.

Team news:


Chelsea is expected to make multiple changes, Arrizabalaga being one of them. Gonzalo Higuain didn’t feature against City but could play a part in London derby replacing Pedro. Marcos Alonso could also start at left-back replacing Emerson. Gary Cahill is still struggling with a back problem and Davide Zappacosta has had the flu, leaving both players – who were unlikely to play a part anyway. So, in true sense, the Blues have no injury worries ahead of the game against the Spurs. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri might give Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus Cheek some minutes after their impressive show against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.

Also Read: Chelsea 0(3)-0(4) Man City – Talking Points

Tottenham Hotspur

Dele Alli is still on the sideline for Tottenham Hotspur, the midfielder would not be available for the clash against Chelsea due to injury. Janssen is also injured and Eric Dier is doubtful for the clash. Harry Winks is likely to continue his fine form in the midfield alongside Moussa Sissoko, with Christian Eriksen positioned ahead. Harry Kane made a goalscoring return against Burnley at the weekend and will be expected to start alongside other in-form forward Son Heung-min.

Predicted Line-ups

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Willian, Higuain, Hazard

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Sissoko, Winks; Lucas Moura, Eriksen, Son; Kane

Fantasy Premier League: Players to Avoid for Gameweek 28

Fantasy Premier League: Players to Avoid for Gameweek 28

Gameweek 27 didn’t offer many goals but still presented an abundance of entertainment to  Fantasy Premier League managers. We saw Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool return to the summit with a frustrating 0-0 draw at Manchester United on Sunday, opening up a one-point lead over second-placed Manchester City. Second-placed Manchester City and Chelsea took part in the final of the Carabao Cup, hence didn’t participate in the Premier League. 

Top-four contenders, Arsenal picked up a comfortable 2-0 win over Southampton, while Tottenham Hotspur succumbed to a shock defeat at Burnley on Saturday.

Tottenham Hotspur’s trip to Chelsea headlines Matchday 28, but there are many other mouth-watering clashes to enjoy, as well. Fantasy Premier League managers are in for an unpredictable Matchday, and this section is all about making their task a little easier. 

Here are four players to avoid for Matchday 28: 

Eden Hazard – Chelsea vs Tottenham – £10.8m

Eden Hazard undoubtedly is one of the best players in the Premier League, but the last few weeks haven’t been very kind on the Belgian skipper. He did his best to force a result against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final but couldn’t force a breakthrough. And considering the way Chelsea are playing right now, he’s not expected to enjoy much against Tottenham, either. 

Alternative: Paul Pogba – Crystal Palace vs Manchester United – £8.9m

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s favorite midfielder is arguably the most in-form player in the world right now and should be having a field day at Crystal Palace on Wednesday. 

Also Read: Lesser known facts about Eden Hazard

Roberto Firmino – Liverpool vs Watford – £9.2m

Premier League leaders, Liverpool, are set to be without first-choice striker Roberto Firmino for the foreseeable future after he rolled his right ankle in Sunday’s 0-0 stalemate at Manchester United. Watford aren’t always the easiest teams to play against and the forward will certainly be missed at Anfield on Wednesday.

Alternative: Raul Jimenez – Huddersfield vs Wolves – £6.9m

The Wolves forward has been directly involved in 17 goals this season, including 4 goals in the last 4 Premier League matchdays. Against the worst side in the division, he’s expected to get plenty of joy and hopefully a couple of goals. 

Marcus Rashford – Crystal Palace vs Manchester United – £7.7m

Manchester United forward, Marcus Rashford, has been a revelation under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He went into the match against Liverpool in blistering form but couldn’t finish the match unscathed. As his side were already out of substitutions, he had to continue playing through the pain, but the player won’t be fit to feature against Palace this Wednesday.

Alternative: Romelu Lukaku – Crystal Palace vs Manchester United – £10.7m

It’s pretty much a like for like substitution. The Belgian fell out of favor since Solskjaer’s introduction but is expected to enjoy an extended run over the next few weeks. 

Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City vs West Ham United – £6.0m 

Manchester City lifted their first silverware of the season beating Chelsea on penalties on Sunday night. But the Carabao Cup success came at a hefty cost. They lost Fernandinho and Laporte to injuries and are likely to be without their services for the next several weeks. 

Alternative: Lucas Digne – Cardiff vs Everton – £5.3m

The Everton defender has been in brilliant form lately and is expected to have another comfortable outing this week. Cardiff have managed to score 6 goals in as many league matches and should much threat to Digne‘s back-line. 

Carabao Cup – Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City | Report and Talking Points

Carabao Cup - Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City | Report and Talking Points

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City defended their Carabao Cup beating Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea on Penalties at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night. 

Fans, well aware of the pedigree of the two sides in action, anticipated a high-scoring Carabao Cup final. Sadly, it didn’t quite live up to the sky-high billing, but there still was plenty of drama for us to enjoy. 

Having thrashed Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium just a couple of weeks back, the defending champions started the match as outright favorites. Chelsea, on the other hand, were desperate not to repeat the mistakes they made a fortnight ago and focused on keeping things tight at the back. 

As anticipated, City dominated possession and looked effortless on the ball, but, thanks to Sarri’s tactical shifts, struggled to make inroads into the Chelsea box. Their passing, as always, was immaculate, and they were in charge of proceedings in the first half. Chelsea looked more than happy to soak up the pressure and play on counters. 

In the second half, Sergio Aguero hit the back of the net, only for his strike to be ruled out for offside. Ross Barkley and N’Golo Kante came close to putting the Blues ahead, but neither of the two midfielders could keep their efforts on target. 

Extra time commenced, and the teams picked up right where they left off in the second half. Chelsea, following their two decent attempts, looked a tad more confident going forward and forced the City defenders to be on their toes. Aguero and Raheem Sterling came close to scoring for the holders, but ultimately, neither of the two teams managed to find the back of the net. With a 0-0 stalemate on the scoreboard, the match went to penalties. 

Jorginho — Chelsea’s opening spot-kick taker — fumbled his effort and allowed Ederson to make a comfortable save. Leroy Sane and David Luiz also missed their chances, but Sterling’s thumping drive won the tie for the Etihad outfit. 

Talking Points

Manchester City Show their Gritty Side

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are hailed universally for their effortless, incisive football. Last night, they weren’t allowed much time and space on the ball, which made it difficult for them to influence play the way they generally do. 

However, despite failing to impose their style of play, City didn’t allow Chelsea to get a foothold and did their best to keep the Blues scrambling for answers. 

Sarri’s Plan 

Following the embarrassing 6-0 drubbing at the Etihad Stadium, Maurizio Sarri looked desperate not to let City have their way in the final of the Carabao Cup. So, over the last two weeks, he devised a perfect plan to keep Chelsea from getting outplayed.

Last night, his players stood by him to deliver a defensively astute performance. Eden Hazard, who was Chelsea most potent weapon going forward, made a few darting runs in the second half, forcing City to fall back. 

Kepa Fiasco

Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive shot-stopper in the world. And last night, he audaciously exercised his powers to undermine his coach. 

Before the penalty shootout, Sarri wanted to bring on penalty specialist second-choice keeper Willy Caballero. Kepa, who seemed to have a cramp at the time, made gestures and threw tantrums to stay involved, clearly insulting the coach and Caballero in the process. 

Also Read: Man City – All or nothing

Chelsea blocked from signing new players for next two transfer windows

Chelsea blocked from signing new players for next two transfer windows

The crusade of FIFA against the hiring of underage players has resulted in another harsh penalty against one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Chelsea. 

After the sanctions imposed in the last three years on Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, this time it is Chelsea who will have to take a penalty of two transfer windows without being able to register players.

The Ban and the Fine

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided this Friday to sanction Chelsea and the English Football Association for having infringed the regulations regarding the transfer of underage foreigners. The English club cannot hire players for any of their male teams in the next two transfer windows of signings for having skipped the rules at the time of incorporating 29 players to feed their subsidiary.

In addition to the ban, Chelsea must pay a fine of 600,000 Swiss francs (about 681,000 euros) and regulate the situation of young people signed in a period of 90 days. For its part, the English Football Association will have to pay 510,000 Swiss francs (about 579,000 euros) and regulate the situation regarding international transfers and registration of children under 18 years in English football.

“The protection of minors is a key element within FIFA regulations and compliance with this is fundamental, as has been confirmed on several occasions by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” says FIFA.

The Investigation

Chelsea was being investigated for more than 100 cases. Through a statement, “categorically refutes” the sanction and will go before the Appeals Commission. It is not the first time that the club receives a FIFA sanction. In fact, he received the same penalty in 2009 by the signing of French Gael Kakuta, a Rayo Vallecano player now. Finally, the sanction was in a single transfer period after Chelsea and Lens reached an agreement to resolve the conflict.

Eden Hazard case

It is a punishment that also complicates the arrival of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid next summer. The Belgian has already expressed on several occasions his desire to sign for the Madrid club, but the ban ends the contract in June 2020, just when he will conclude the sanction to the London club. And if there are no signings, it is difficult for Chelsea to let out their star and captain. The only possibility for Hazard to leave next summer is to refuse to renew his contract and the English club prefers to receive the money of his transfer, which would always be greater than one hundred million euros, to let him go free in the summer of 2020.

Club speaks

After knowing the penalty, the London team, whose owner is the Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, responded immediately to FIFA in a statement:

“We welcome the fact Fifa has accepted that there was no breach in relation to 63 of these players, but the club is extremely disappointed that Fifa has not accepted the club’s submissions in relation to the remaining 29 players. Chelsea acted in accordance with the relevant regulations and will shortly be submitting its appeal to Fifa.”

Also Read: How Chelsea can improvise themselves

What does Chelsea need to do as a Club to get better results?

What does Chelsea and Sarri need to do as a Club to get better results?

Chelsea and Sarri have had a Season marred by inconsistent Football and some very polar results. So what does the Club need to do to improve?

Maurizio Sarri came to Chelsea in the summer with the weight of expectation on his shoulder. Not only because he was signed as a new Manager for one of England’s biggest Clubs but also because he had come with the intention of changing the playing style and philosophy of one of England’s biggest Clubs. Following some poor results recently, including a 6-0 bashing at the hands of Manchester City and a 2-0 loss in the FA Cup 5th round to Manchester United, Sarri is under the pump and the Italian will be feeling the heat. But what a lot of people need to understand is that the problem at Chelsea is way more complex than what it seems like.

Ever since Roman Abramovich acquired Chelsea in 2003, the West Londoners have seen great success but have been very aggressive in their approach when it comes to running the Club. Chelsea’s approach has been very short-term and the Club seems to target immediate success, whether it was spending big on the most promising talents in Europe or it was not thinking twice before sacking a manager for a string of poor games. Abramovich was brutal, he had brought in a philosophy which required Managers to win consistently without faltering too much and a trophyless season would inevitably result in the sack. Chelsea have now changed things when it comes to their recruitment of players, you don’t see the Club spending too much money anymore and they seem to have invested a lot in their Youth Academy. Players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Andreas Christensen are products of their Youth Academy and though they may not play week in week out there is a clear change in the Club’s recruitment policy. Similarly, Chelsea needs to change their policy when it comes to Managers.

Abramovich needs to realize that as an owner he needs to back his Manager and his team a lot more often. Managers take time to instill their philosophy on the players and to curb the style of the Club and certainly sacking Maurizio Sarri will not change anything. Now if Sarri does get the sack this Season it may not come as a shock to many of us but it could be a very bad move for Chelsea as a Club. Firstly, the number of top Managers who will want to join the Club would reduce drastically and the Players will have no sense of security and predictability at the Club. Secondly, the Club’s ability to attract talent from around the world will go down drastically. 

Under Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea clearly lack imagination, penetration, and the ability to play effectively on the ball. Furthermore, Sarri seems to be a very stubborn Manager who will not adapt to his players but would rather enforce his philosophy on the players even though this Chelsea team clearly doesn’t have the tools to implement “Sarriball”. Sarri getting the sack seems inevitable at this rate but if the Board really wants to implement a more attacking style of Football they should give Sarri some time and the players need to certainly get a wake-up call.

Fantasy Premier League: Players to Avoid for Gameweek 27

Fantasy Premier League: Players to Avoid for Gameweek 27

Gameweek 26 offered an abundance of entertainment to  Fantasy Premier League managers. We saw Jurgen Klopp’s leaders return to winning ways with an emphatic 3-0 win over Bournemouth and restore their three-point advantage at the top of the Premier League table. Second-placed Manchester City responded in style, thumping Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad.

Top-four contenders Arsenal and Manchester United picked up comfortable wins, while Tottenham Hotspur kept pace with the leaders with yet another impressive victory.

Liverpool’s trip to Manchester United headlines Matchday 27, but there are many other mouth-watering clashes to enjoy, as well. Fantasy Premier League managers are in for an unpredictable Matchday, and this section is all about making their task a little easier. 

Here are the top five players to avoid for Gameweek 27: 

Leroy Sane – Manchester City – £9.5m

Leroy Sane, hands down, is one of the best players in the Premier League, but the last few weeks haven’t been very easy on the German. He seems to have fallen out of favor at the club and has looked pretty short of confidence lately. Manchester City also have blanks on Matchday 27th and 31st — yes, that means no Sergio Aguero either — making Sane an ideal candidate to offload. 

Alternative: Heung-Min Son – Spurs vs Burnley – £9.0m

The Tottenham Hotspur star has been in blistering form lately, scoring in each of his last 3 outings. He is one of the most dependable players right now and is expected to have a stellar impact against Burnley as well. 

Eden Hazard – Chelsea – £10.8m

It’s safe to say that the Belgian has been in stellar form for the Blues this season. The team’s leading scorer — 3rd in the Premier League — has led from the front, scoring 12 goals in 25 league appearances. Sadly, Chelsea have a weekend off in Gameweek 27, making him an ineffective purchase. 

Alternative: Paul Pogba – Manchester United vs Liverpool – £8.8m

Paul Pogba has been a revelation under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and we expect the fine run to continue even against the league leaders. The man, who has directly contributed to 14 goals in 9 league matches under Solskjaer, will be out for blood against the Reds at Old Trafford on Sunday. 

Roberto Firmino – Manchester United vs Liverpool – £9.3

Liverpool have one of the fiercest strikeforce in the Premier League, and each of the three members can be just as decisive. However, since the turn of the year, the Brazilian forward hasn’t been at his lethal best. In the last 8 matches across all competitions, Firmino has only managed two goals and an assist — a lackluster return considering his quality. 

Alternative: Raul Jimenez – Bournemouth vs Wolves – £6.8m

The Wolverhampton Wanderers forward has managed to score 3 goals and provide an assist in the last 4 Gameweeks. Bournemouth don’t have the meanest defense in the division and should present enough opportunities for Jimenez to add to his tally. 

Chris Smalling – Manchester United vs Liverpool – £5.6m

Chris Smalling performance in Monday’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Chelsea was truly commendable. But his displays, so far, haven’t been that reassuring. He is still a very capable defender, but against Liverpool’s intimidating strikeforce, he is bound to have some difficulties. 

Alternative: Victor Lindelof – Manchester United vs Liverpool – £5.0m

Victor Lindelof has turned his Manchester United career around over the last seven months. He’s now one of the first names on the team-sheet and deservedly so. Not only is he an impeccable defender, but his ability to attack set pieces could also come in handy against the Reds. 

Also Read: Everything you should know about United vs Liverpool Rivalry 

FA Cup: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United |Match Report & Talking Points

FA Cup Fifth Round: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United – Match Report and Talking Points

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rejuvenated Manchester United booked their place in the FA Cup quarterfinals with a relatively comfortable 2-0 win at Chelsea on Monday night. 

Chelsea vs United, The two iconic Premier League sides played out yet another mouth-watering contest. But on Monday, there was only one winner.

Former manager, Jose Mourinho, had left the team in tatters, but Solskjaer’s exuberance still prevailed. He instigated an 11-game unbeaten run, finally giving the supporters something to cheer for. Solskjaer’s Red Devils tasted defeat for the first time in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain. Thomas Tuchel’s men outclassed the Premier League outfit to pick up a 2-0 win, handing them a harsh reality check.

So, in many ways, the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Chelsea was about bouncing back, proving that the PSG game was a one-off. Without the injured Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, the Norwegian was forced to switch things up. Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata were introduced and to good effect. Chelsea, on the other hand, were desperate to take some pressure of Maurizio Sarri. The Italian hasn’t been as successful as he would have liked and needed a positive performance against an iconic rival.

Both teams came out all guns blazing in the first half, but Manchester just looked a tad sharper in their decision-making. They looked hungrier and more eager to take their chances. The visitors upped the ante in the closing quarter of the first half and got themselves a two-goal cushion through Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba’s decisive headers.

Chelsea started the second half on the front foot, but couldn’t be decisive when it mattered. Eden Hazard mustered half a chance, which was never going to beat an in-form Sergio Romero.

Talking Points

Manchester United Shine

Against Chelsea, away at Stamford Bridge, with two first-choice players injured, Manchester United were supposed to have a difficult time. The Red Devils, however, had something else planned. Despite playing out an even first-half, they got themselves a comfortable two-goal cushion, thanks to their composure and incisiveness.

The second half was more about positivity and discipline. A two-goal cushion gave them plenty of confidence, yet they didn’t push forward mindlessly in search of the third goal. They held their ground, dug deep, and came away with the result they needed.

Pressure on Sarri

Maurizio Sarri came to England with a big reputation. His football made Napoli look like a world-class team, so, fans expected something similar at Stamford Bridge, as well. So far, the 2018/19 campaign hasn’t bode well for the Italian. His side have been oscillating between extremes, and Monday was one of his worse nights in England.

The Blues couldn’t match Manchester United’s tempo on the night and gave the ball away cheaply on a couple of occasions. Their defensive organization was also poor as they failed to mark the high-flying visitors numerous times.

Also Read: 5 Chelsea youngsters with unmatched potential 

Paul Pogba Makes It Look Easy

During the final few months of Jose Mourinho’s ill-fated Manchester United career, Paul Pogba slid down the pecking order, often due to non-footballing reasons. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment has turned his career around it seems. He has been absolutely superb since his appointment, and last night, too, was no exception.

Running the show from the middle of the park, Pogba played an inch-perfect cross to locate Herrera’s head for United’s opener. He then doubled his contribution — just before the half-time whistle — by heading home the Red Devils’ second.