While the Premier League’s big hitters are trouncing the lesser teams on a weekly basis, things are very much different when they come up against teams in European competitions.
Pep Guardiola will be glad to see the back of Maxwel Cornet, until he buys him in the summer. The Lyon forward has dazzled in both games against Man City and scored twice to put Lyon two goals in front on Tuesday night. You never quite know when Pep is happy. He’s prone to dramatics when speaking to his players (especially Sterling) in plain sight of the TV cameras immediately after the final whistle, whether they win or not. Here in France, his City team came from behind twice to secure a last 16 place. Smile Pep, smile.
Jurgen Klopp, who was turned on by a translator’s ‘erotic voice‘ in his pre-match press conference for PSG, lamented the role PSG’s play-acting played in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat in Paris. Bit rich, considering Liverpool were not exactly innocent themselves on the night. Ultimately, the firepower PSG possessed proved too hot to handle for the Reds.
Christian Eriksen has been consigned to the bench recently. However, he hasn’t moaned about it and came off the bench to score his first goal since September to beat Inter Milan 1-0 at Wembley. They’re still playing at Wembley. Nearly three months after their initial plans to open their new stadium against Liverpool on the 15th of September, an article by the Telegraph last month claimed they targetted the Burnley game on the 15th of December. Never going to happen.
Marouane Fellaini stoppage-time winner against Young Boys on Tuesday meant he has now scored more goals in Europe than Diego Maradona. With 9 match-winning goals for Manchester United, is he the new Ole Gunnar Solsjaer? Nobody cares about that. A clip emerged online of Fellaini somehow managing to lose his mascot in the tunnel. And all we want to know is how did that happen? And also, are there other versions of ourselves in other universes?
It has been a week that Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi will never forget. Handed his first professional start by Maurizio Saari for the Europa League game against PAOK, the highly-regarded winger scored Chelsea’s third in their 4-0 rout. Welcome to Vitesse Arnhem. Worth mentioning offside merchant Alvaro Morata was among the scorers.
Arsenal’s Europa League tie at Vorskla had to be hastily relocated to Kiyv following the introduction of martial law in some parts of Ukraine. The youthful Gunners took advantage of this to thrash their opponents 3-0. Youngsters Emile Smith-Rowe and Joe Willock grabbed a goal each. The former has been dubbed the new ‘Thierry Henry’. I hope not. All I hope is that goals are scored by players using their feet and their head. Not much to ask.
Scotsman Matt Ritchie, more than anyone, is glad that his Newcastle teammates held on at Burnley to win 2-1. He missed an absolute sitter when he hit the side netting despite having the whole goal to aim at.
Against Wolves, Huddersfield produced a performance worthy of bringing home the three points. It was Australian Aaron Mooy’s two goals that sealed the win. Apparently, when he emptied his pockets after the game, he found his keys, his wallet, and Ruben Neves.
Today is Neil Warnock’s 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, Neil. Now keep us up.
Have a great weekend, everyone.