That Was The Week That Was

It’s been another barnstormer week for our clubs in the top flight.

Manchester City remains THE team to beat. Not only domestically, but in Europe as well. To everybody but their own manager Pep Guardiola, of course. He has asserted that they’re not anything ‘special’.

Keen to redeem himself for his disastrous penalty kick at Anfield when he sent the ball into outer space, Riyad Mahrez had an outstanding game as he more than contributed to Man City’s tight 5-0 victory over Burnley.

In the Ukrainian industrial city of Donetsk, Man City bounced back from their defeat by Lyon to comfortably beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0.

If Spurs’s official Twitter account had unfollowed the Europa League recently, then I have no sympathy for the difficulty they have experienced in the Champions League. It was always going to be a short stay in the UCL. Their 2-2 draw against PSV, a game where Hugo Lloris was sent off, indicate it’s only a matter of time before they Arsenal in playing on Thursday nights.

Former Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh hasn’t been impressed with Usain Bolt’s footballing abilities in Australia. He has said his first touch is “like a trampoline” and he will never make it as a footballer. A bit harsh. It hasn’t prevented Romelu Lukaku.

The Man United striker is not solely to blame for his side’s inferiority complex that the club is currently experiencing. He did play his part in helping United pick up a respectable point in their 2-2 draw at Chelsea last Saturday. After the game, most of the attention was directed at Jose Mourinho, who was involved in a bit of a skirmish with Chelsea’s assistant manager. Only this time, it was not his fault.

For Chelsea, they were just relieved to preserve their unbeaten status. Some groundbreaking information there for you. A football club is happy they did not lose.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was given a start in the club’s midweek Europa League match against Bate at home. I don’t know him personally. However, with a hat-trick to his name, I’d guess he was pretty chuffed about that. Not sure Roy Hodgson was mind. Palace’s January transfer plans to bring him back may be dead in the water before it’s even begun.

For Ronaldo’s homecoming on Tuesday night, Juventus reminded us all just how far off Man United are from becoming a force again in the Champions League. When Paolo Dybala nodded the Italians in front early in the first half, the home side never really came close to an equaliser bar Pogba’s late effort which hit the post. Desperate to claw back a goal, Jose brought on Fellaini. Meanwhile, Massimiliano Allegri was able to bring on Douglas Costa.

Slight difference there.

There is a positive vibe around Arsenal at the moment that is making us all feel very uncomfortable. They’re playing great football and scoring lots of goals, both whilst still charging scandalous prices. German Mesut Ozil was at the heart of the voluptuous second half mauling of Leicester City on Monday night, in a game where the Gunners won 3-1.

Just imagine what a player he would be if he was able to perform to the same level in those big games when Arsenal really need their supposed ‘world class’ player to shine. Evidently, pundit Graeme Souness concurs.

Unay Emery felt Ozil was not required to obtain his optimal result in their Europa League game against Sporting Lisbon. He left him on the bench as Danny Welbeck made his mark and scored the only goal. They may win their last 10 in a row, but the fixtures they had were kind.

This week, Bleacher Report created a short documentary on how Liverpool came up with a song. You know, the song they stole from Napoli? On a lesser note, they scraped past Huddersfield 1-0 in the Premier League and thrashed Red Star Belgrade 4-0 in the Champions League.

Neil Warnock was full of praise for today’s opponents. He believes there isn’t a finer front three in world football today than Liverpool’s, who each scored on Wednesday. And in what does not make for great reading for us Cardiff fans, he has claimed it is virtually impossible for Cardiff to win at Anfield this afternoon. Meanwhile, the club’s captain Sean Morrison has backed Liverpool to win the title this season.

Something tells me that Liverpool will win this one.

The Bluebirds will be encouraged by the way they swept aside Fulham 4-2 last weekend to pick up their first win. A lot has been made about Cardiff in the Premier League. In particular, how much value they bring. With games like that, surely it’s not a bad thing? (Said the Cardiff fan).

Wolves suffered only their second defeat of the season when Watford came to town. In a refreshing turn of events, the losing manager (On this occasion Nuno Espirito Santo) resisted the urge to make excuses and simply accepted Watford were the better team.

Newcastle head into today’s match at Southampton sitting at the bottom of the table, after losing 1-0 at home to Brighton. Over 52,000 turned up to witness that. Hats off to the Newcastle supporters.

Away from the English league, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s next money making scheme consists of a revamped and expanded Club World Cup. If it were to happen, then it would threaten the Champions League. It seems to have been rejected, but it all appears inevitable at some point in the future. Although the Champions League does need one or two changes.