It was a volatile game. Non-stop attacking, eight goals, and an intensity and openness that has grown accustom to featuring in games starring Marcelo Bielsa’s promoted side. Expectedly, the game oversaw both teams attempt many shots, with 26 to 17, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United worked very hard on and off the ball, matching Bielsa’s Leeds United’s intensity, and was another example of Solskjaer successfully adopting an approach specifically suited to the game at hand.
You, the reader, and I (Ryan, editor), make predictions or offer educated guesses on what may or may not or, should or shouldn’t happen during games. I sometimes tweet my own or write them down in one of my many notebooks used across the season. Sunday’s encounter between two fierce rivals offered a mixed result for those I made prior to kick-off.
As a result, I thought noting on the takes themselves and what the actual outcome was and why it was would make an interesting piece, even though different to what is usually written.
In what has so far been a chaotic season, Southampton have been a consistently composed outfit challenging to change the order of the Premier League’s top six and top four. Ralph Hassenhutl’s side may have only earned a draw in their most recent match against Arsenal, but they’re currently third in the table and four points off of top spot.
This season, Southampton have 7 wins from 13 games, and have only improved over time under Hassenhutl, who was rightfully kept even amidst a poor stream of results in the earlier stages of last season.
And whilst Southampton have kept faith in their manager, Hassenhutl has, in return, kept faith in centre-forward Che Adams. Albeit a talent and dependable option, last season it took 30 games for Adams to register his first goal for the Saints, but has since continued to improve and become an even more important part of Southampton’s set-up.
Pedro Neto is certain to have a much larger part to play in Wolves season than compared to last season. So far, Neto has featured for 841 minutes in 11 games, less than 100 minutes shy of the 929 minutes accumulated in 29 games last season.
Therefore, more and more teams were similarly playing a 3-5-2 with a sweeper, and one of those was Brazil, who Argentina faced in the second round. The game was won by Argentina, but it was Brazil who were more assertive on the ball and created more chances.
Brazil started with a well-balanced set-up. Their defenders were composed in possession, and used midfielders willing to do the running without it. Unlike Brazil, Argentina were continuing to play with a no.10 in behind the centre-forward whilst maintaining the three in midfield.
November 25th was a day of mourning, as football lost not only one of its most finest players, but also a figure who transcended the game and gave his people, of Argentina and of Naples, hope, success, and joy. Diego Maradona captivated the imaginations of fans across the globe with his talent. Experiencing a career of fantastic highs and damning lows, Maradona’s finest hour came in the summer of 1986, as he guided Argentina to its second World Cup.
In winning the World Cup, Argentina established themselves as a side capable of being compact, whilst also playing flexible football when attacking, and Maradona was at the forefront of that. Here is an analysis of Maradona at the 1986 World Cup.
Everton ended their losing streak of three games as they clinched a close 2-3 win against Fulham.
This close win which proved a tale of two halves, did see Carlo Ancelotti’s side switch from a 4-3-3 to a back three set-up. Everton began the match in a 3-4-3 with Ben Godfrey at right centre-back, not at right-back as some may have expected prior to kick-off. Perhaps more interestingly, Alex Iwobi, a wide playmaker, was deployed at right wing-back.
Everton broke the deadlock after just a minute gone, as Fulham lost the ball close to goal following pressure from Everton, and Richarlison darted into the box and his cross was met by Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The away side dominated the games early stages, and arguably as a result of the 3-4-3, Iwobi and Lucas Digne as wing-backs were Everton’s main sources of creating chances.
After Sheffield United recorded a remarkable 9th place league position last season, the Blades, led by the coaching of Chris Wilder, sit rock bottom of the Premier League table after eight games, with one draw and seven defeats compounding United to just 1 point out of a possible 24. But although there are concerns, both tactically and towards injuries, it does seem an easier run of games is on the rise after a very tough start, and glimpses suggest there’s a good chance United can get out of this ugly hole.
Here is a look at United’s situation, broken down into two sections: Defending and Attacking.
Liverpool thrashed Serie A side Atalanta 0-5 in the third round of Champions league group stage matches, with Diogo Jota starting ahead of Roberto Firmino in the centre of Liverpool’s front three. Albeit not the out and out false nine integral to much of Liverpool’s success Firmino has been, Jota still offers an alternative in that role that differs in style.
And Jota scored his first hat-trick for Liverpool on Tuesday night, meaning he has scored 7 goals in 10 games. In comparison, Firmino has only scored 5 goals in the entirety of 2020.
Here’s a breakdown of Jota’s three goals, highlighting his movement and the quality of build-up leading to the goals.