Chelsea wins! The Blues are Top Dog. Shitty wins! Arsenal wins!

After a scoreless first half my Gunners put this puppy to bed with two goals in a minute span of the second half at Toons house St. James Park to defeat Newcastle 2-1.

EPL Match Report on the guys win;” Second-half goals from Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Jacob Murphy had the best chance of the first half, but his header was saved by the outstretched Peter Cech.

Xhaka opened the scoring four minutes after the restart, curling a 25-yard free-kick into the top-right corner.

Their lead was doubled nine minutes later, Ozil reacting quickest to the loose ball after Alexandre Lacazette’s shot had been blocked.

Substitute Ciaran Clark scored a consolation header one minute into stoppage time, but Arsenal held on for the three points.

The result means Newcastle are third from bottom with one point. The Gunners rise to seventh on nine. “

https://www.premierleague.com/match/38353

Chelsea jumped all over Cardiff City winning a blowout city special 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are now in first place over Liverpool on goal difference. Both have 15 points however Chelsea is a plus ten while the Reds are a plus nine.

Man Shitty took care of business with a blowout 3-0 win over Fulham at Shitty’s house. Shitty is third with twelve points.

Bournemouth had their way Leicester City 4-2.

Crystal Palace defeated Huddersfield 1-0.

De Futebol Liverpool Stays perfect with a 2-1 win over Spurs!

Liverpool is five for five.  The Reds won a thrilling 2-1 win over Tottenham at Spurs home away from home Wembley.

The score is closer than the match really was. Liverpool was in control and totally dominated Tottenham.

EPL Match Report: Liverpool’s perfect start to the new season has continued with a 2-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur.

The visitors began strongly and they thought they had taken the lead in the opening minute but Roberto Firmino’s effort was ruled out for offside.

Liverpool finally made the breakthrough six minutes before the break when Georginio Wijnaldum’s header just crossed the line for his first away Premier League goal.

Lucas Moura struck the post for Spurs before Liverpool added a second on 54 minutes when Firmino tapped in from close range.

Erik Lamela scored a stoppage-time consolation as Liverpool move to 15 points, three ahead of Chelsea and Watford, who play later on Saturday, while Spurs are fifth with nine points.

https://www.premierleague.com/match/38355

Why Not Start Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang together.

Here is something to think about.

The Guardians Ben McAleer suggest this idea why not start Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang together.

This could really be a novel. It really could work.

Why not do it?

“It was no coincidence that Arsenal won with Alexandre Lacazette in the starting XI on Sunday. Despite the best efforts of Petr Cech between the sticks, Arsenal came away from Cardiff with a 3-2 victory. Lacazette provided the assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first league goal of the season before firing in the winner 10 minutes from time.

Lacazette was making his first start of the season, having featured from the bench against Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham. The 27-year-old didn’t disappoint, putting in a man-of-the-match performance. Unsurprisingly, Arsenal looked more threatening in the final third with both Lacazette and Aubameyang starting, the latter moving from a central role to the left flank, where he can maximise his speed to put opposition full-backs on the back foot. Aubameyang’s best work comes when the ball is in front of him where he can either hit the back of the net from close range or has a through ball to run on to.

It’s a fairly limited approach compared to Lacazette, who is effective at both utilising his speed to burst past opponents as he is with his back to goal to hold up the ball for teammates. Lacazette is top for key passes per 90 (2.9) of all Arsenal players this season. Indeed, Arsenal are a far more rounded side going forward with the former Lyon man leading the charge.

He is able to knit Arsenal’s attacking play together in Unai Emery’s preferred 4-2-3-1 setup, particularly with the variety of players at the Spaniard’s disposal in the final third. On Sunday, Emery went for an attacking trio of Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey and Aubameyang behind Lacazette and each of that trio bring something different to the attack, which adds to the unpredictability of the side.

Crucially, though, it lessens the defensive burden on Aubameyang and grants the Gabon player more space to switch on the afterburners and leave full-backs for dust. Traditionally, with fewer players out wide than in the middle of the pitch, this plays to Aubameyang’s strengths, particularly with the defensive-minded Nacho Monreal operating at left-back, thus ensuring the January signing doesn’t have to drop back as frequently, which then allows the forward to maximise his energy in putting opponents to the sword.

n this instance, among others, Lacazette is key. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Arsenal’s win ratio with Lacazette starting in the Premier League (59.3%) is better than it is without the France international (33.3%), with Arsenal’s goals per game increasing from 1.53 to 2.19 when the striker features from the off. There may have been a hint of fortune about Arsenal’s capture of Lacazette, with his move to Atlético Madrid falling through and allowing the Gunners a clear shot at the forward, but he’s proven that their loss has been the Premier League side’s gain.

Emery will have his reasons for why Lacazette didn’t start any of the opening three league matches, yet it’ll be harder to keep him on the bench in the foreseeable future. Given his all-round approach, Lacazette is the ideal forward to benefit the team as they appeared far more comfortable in attack on Sunday with Aubameyang out wide and the Frenchman spearheading the charge. He’s honed his game excellently to play the role of the lone frontman in France and with his array of talents in both scoring and providing for others, it would be in Emery’s best interests to continue with a similar attacking setup.

Aubameyang would rather be the main man, but he is unlikely to dislodge Lacazette as the primary frontman unless the latter endures a dismal run. Even so, his work both on and off the ball means Lacazette is the better suited of the two to lead the charge on the frontline. That being said, with Aubameyang operating on the left and Lacazette deployed through the middle, Arsenal were more effective last season with the blossoming partnership between the pair playing to their respective strengths and after at long last earning his first league start of the campaign, the latter is more than deserving of a regular spot in the starting XI.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2018/sep/05/why-arsenal-should-start-alexandre-lacazette-alongside-aubameyang

Why is David De Gea So Good for Man U and Below par for Spain?

The Guardians Jonathan Wilson asked this question Why is David De Gea so good for Man U and so hot for Spain?

Let’s look inside what Wilson has to tell us. “David de Gea has been named in the PFA team of the year in five of the past six seasons. He has been Manchester United’s player of the year in four of the past five seasons. Last December, in Manchester United’s win at Arsenal, he equalled the Premier League record of 14 saves in a game. He is, by any measure, an exceptional goalkeeper, perhaps the best in the world. And yet De Gea’s position in the Spain starting lineup is far from certain after a run of indifferent form for the national side, the peak of which saw him allow a Cristiano Ronaldo shot to squirm under his body during Spain’s 3-3 draw with Portugal at the World Cup.

All goalkeepers make mistakes, of course, and the nature of the position means theirs tend to be remembered rather more distinctly than those of outfielders. But this was part of a pattern. De Gea does not play as well for Spain as he does for United. Trying to work out why that may be perhaps explains some of United’s difficulties under José Mourinho.

There is one aspect of the game in which De Gea does not excel. His pass completion rate this season is 50%. Last season it was 57.5%. That is not terrible for a goalkeeper but it is not great. Ederson, for instance, was at 85.3% last season. Of course, Manchester City play a very different game to Manchester United. If Ederson went to United his score would drop and if De Gea went to City his score would rise. But even under Louis van Gaal, when there was an onus on playing out from the back, De Gea’s pass completion rate was only 60.7%. De Gea has brilliant reflexes and great positional sense but he is not especially comfortable with the ball at his feet.

That is not necessarily a problem, so long as the preferred style of the team and the goalkeeper are aligned. For an example of what can happen when they are not, you need only look at Petr Cech’s struggles at Arsenal this season.

Or take Cameroon in the late 80s, when they were blessed with arguably the two greatest goalkeepers in African history, Thomas N’Kono and Joseph-Antoine Bell. N’Kono liked to sit deep. He was a reactive goalkeeper who was noted, like De Gea, for his reflexes and his positional sense. Bell, by contrast, would regularly leave his box to sweep up behind the defensive line. Cameroon’s hierarchy could never quite decide between them, with the result that the defence would play with one style of goalkeeper in one game and a very different style in the next.

Bell blames Cameroon’s exit to England in the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup, when N’Kono played, on that deficiency. “If I’m not there and they move up then the through ball is really dangerous,” he explained. “You could see the way we were playing was not always quite the same. Players would go up if they knew they had somebody who could cover behind. But you have to have a coach who understands. It was not something we were always able to plan because sometimes you didn’t have a coach who could make a difference.” England’s equaliser and winner in that game came from penalties awarded after Gary Lineker had been fouled running on to through balls – exactly the sort of passes Bell’s style of proactive goalkeeping was designed to cut out.

Could that lie behind De Gea’s lack of international form? It is never wise to be too definitive about aspects of psychology but Spain play in a different way to United. They might not press quite like a Pep Guardiola team but they play with a much higher line than a Mourinho side. Even if De Gea is capable of playing like that, it requires an adjustment, and it seems reasonable to wonder whether that process unsettles him.

Equally, Mourinho’s options at United are restricted. It would be a major change of policy for him to press high (although there were times at Porto when he did), and there has been no consistency of defensive selection at all over his two and a bit seasons in charge, but the presence of De Gea – and his excellence as a goalkeeper – means there is barely the option for even a slight tweak.

A defence sitting deep, in turn, means the midfield has to remain relatively deep if dangerous spaces are not to open up between the lines – which in part explains Paul Pogba’s frustrations. He has to be disciplined because there is no defence squeezing up – as there was, for instance, at Juventus, particularly under Antonio Conte – to fill the space behind him. And that deep-lying midfield in turn, explains why United are so often forced to play long and why, on a bad day, Romelu Lukaku can seem isolated.

The question is sometimes asked what would have happened if, in the summer of 2016, Guardiola had taken charge of United and Mourinho City. De Gea, it seems a fairly safe bet, would have been a Real Madrid player by now. A goalkeeper is never only a keeper of goals.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/sep/07/david-de-gea-manchester-united-spain-goalkeeper

Arsenal is Learning to Play the Game

Arsenal is now in the process of learning like to children according to the Guardians Sachin Nakrani.

“Alexandre Lacazette is not overly concerned by the defensive mistakes Arsenal are making under Unai Emery, with the forward claiming the team are “learning like children” under the new manager and will improve sooner rather than later.

Arsenal recorded their second successive victory under Emery, and first away win, at Cardiff on Sunday but their performance was again marked by a jittery defensive display, with no one suffering more than Petr Cech. The goalkeeper made a hash of playing out from the back on several occasions, adding to the nervousness he has shown in that facet of his game since the start of the season.

There was not a great deal of assurance in front of Cech, either, with Arsenal lucky to concede only twice. In total, they have let in eight goals in four games under Emery, with his insistence on an aggressive and progressive style clearly taking some adjusting to from players who worked under Arsène Wenger for so long.

“We learn a lot but the manager says if we do this kind of thing [defensive mistakes] we can concede a goal,” said Lacazette, who scored Arsenal’s winner in the 3-2 victory at Cardiff. “We did make mistakes because we are learning, like children. So it is OK, it is good. We will be better week after week.

“Overall it has been good [under Emery] even though we had two losses. They were against the two champions of the past two seasons. The quality of the games, it is good. Everyone can take pleasure to watch us play.”

Arsenal have thrilled in attack under Emery and showed character at Cardiff, having twice been pegged back. The win was also important in light of Arsenal’s away struggles last season, when under Wenger they managed to win only four out of 19 league games on the road.

“This season we want to be better away and it was the first game we won and I hope it will the first of many until the last day of the season,” Lacazette said. “It is good and important to win away.”

It was the first time the Frenchman had started a game this season and he delivered an impressive display as the focal point of Arsenal’s attack. He set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the second goal with a clever flick before scoring with a thumping near-post drive. The 27-year-old, who joined from Lyon for £52.7m in July 2017, is determined to show Emery he deserves to stay in the team.

“It is not because of one game that I will play every game – every day I have to work hard,” Lacazette said. “I am at one of the best clubs in the world and I know to be in the first XI is hard. I must keep fighting.”
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/sep/03/arsenal-learning-children-unai-emery-alexandre-lacazette

Jose Mourinho is on purpose putting the focus on himself!

Jose Mourinho is shielding the players according to the Guardians Jamie Jackson.

“José Mourinho’s habit of turning the focus on himself is calculated to help the team and it is working, according to Nemanja Matic.

After Manchester United’s 2-0 win at Burnley Mourinho claimed some journalists would be disappointed his side had not lost. This followed his demand for “respect” after the 3-0 defeat by Tottenham and also his description of himself as “one of the greatest managers in the world”.

Matic said the players understood the manager might be acting like that to shield them. “He knows what he is doing,” the midfielder said. “You [the media] probably know that also. It’s good for us.”

Matic, reflecting on Sunday’s victory at Turf Moor, said Mourinho had not shown any strain. “I think he is dealing very well with the pressure. That is why he is here at Manchester United. I don’t see any difference. He was very confident before the game – he prepared it in a very good way. We knew where they could cause us problems with the long balls; that is why Marouane Fellaini played close to our defence, to stop the long balls.”

Despite two defeats from four matches, Matic believes United can challenge for the title. “I think this performance shows how we need to play football and we can still compete for the title,” he said.

Fellaini supported Mata’s stance. “We have the quality, that’s for sure,” he said. “We have to stick together and play like we did last week in the first half [against Tottenham]. OK, the second half was bad but we have to keep this spirit and think about every game and be positive. I think when we play positive football we do well. The season is long – it’s the beginning.”

The Belgian midfielder pointed to a togetherness that helped drive United to the win at Burnley.

“The spirit was great,” Fellaini said. “Everybody wanted to win. The challenges, the 50-50 balls, everyone wanted to win them; the second balls, too. The spirit is there. The most important thing is the three points. All week we were focusing on this game because we wanted to win.”

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/sep/03/jose-mourinho-manchester-united-headline-shield

Flamengo Sucks. The Guys Have Lost two Straight

Boo-Mengao really sucks big time. The guys have lost two straight. This time Flamengo lost to Internacional 2-1.

The loss dropped us to fourth place with 41 points.

Colorada is the top dog with 46 points.

Sao Paulo lost so Tricolor is second with 46.

Palmeiras is third with 43 points after 2-0 win over Atletico PR.

Globo Esporte:” Dois anos depois, o Internacional está de volta ao topo da tabela do Brasileiro. São exatos 810 dias entre a oitava rodada do Brasileiro 2016 até a vitória sobre o Flamengo (2 a 1) pela 23ª do Brasileiro deste ano. Sem brilhar, mas consistente, marca desta equipe de Odair Hellman, o Colorado marcou com Pottker e Rodrigo Dourado – o Rubro-Negro carioca, que caiu para a quarta colocação, descontou num bonito gol de Vitinho. No fim, Marcelo Lomba garantiu a vitória em defesa nos pés de Matheus Savio para completar a festa colorada.

Não demorou para o Inter mostrar que o momento das equipes era diferente. Bem diferente. O longo lançamento de Edenilson encontrou a cabeça de Pottker, as costas de Léo Duarte e morreu nas redes de Diego Alves com a canhota do atacante colorado. Do outro lado, o colombiano Marlos, que não marcava há 72 partidas antes do apito inicial em Porto Alegre, não teve uma, mas duas chances à feição. Não fez o gol.

O Internacional aproveitou todo o ambiente favorável em casa. Mas não teve noite tranquila. A melhor defesa teve sorte nas conclusões erradas do colombiano rubro-negro. Com Lincoln como novidade no comando do ataque e Vitinho na posição de Diego, o Flamengo avançou do jeito que podia. Mas os gaúchos administraram o empate até o intervalo.

Ameaçado pelo Flamengo após o gol no início de Pottker, o Inter perdeu duas grandes chances, a primeira com Nico López, depois de lindo lançamento de Rodrigo Dourado. A segunda, com Patrick, em grande defesa de Diego Alves. Num contra-ataque, o Flamengo marcou com Vitinho.

O camisa 14, ex-Inter, pegou lindo chute de primeira. A bola quicou dentro do gol. E Vitinho, pressionado, comemorou emocionado de joelhos no gramado do Beira-Rio. Quem não comemorou muito foi a torcida rubro-negra. Dois minutos depois, Dourado subiu entre Léo Duarte e Rhodolfo e explodiu o Beira-Rio: 2 a 1.

No fim, com Willian Arão, Uribe e Matheus Savio o Flamengo foi para cima. Savio teve grande chance nos pés de Lomba, mas o goleiro colocado, formado na Gávea, brilhou e garantiu a vitória colorada.

https://globoesporte.globo.com/rs/futebol/brasileirao-serie-a/jogo/05-09-2018/internacional-flamengo.ghtml