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‘He Must Start From Now On’ Arsenal Fans Pleased With One Man vs. Bayern Munich

Arsenal left Germany last night having the same feeling they did last season, with groundhog day well upon the Gunners after falling to a 5-1 defeat at the Allianz Arena in a truly embarrassing display.

After going 1-0 down in the opening 15 minutes, there was a feeling around suggesting “oh no, not again” but after surviving a one-way onslaught for 30 minutes they somehow found themselves level going into half-time and were unfortunate not to be leading by one or two goals as chances were wasted by Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil. Despite conceding four goals in the second half after a disastrous horror show, there was one man who could leave the Allianz Arena with some dignity, that man being David Ospina.

The 28-year-old has been majestic for the Gunners in the Champions League this season and was the main reason why the North Londoners topped their group in the group stage. After consistent performances at a high level, there were question marks raised to why Ospina is not the Gunners number one goalkeeper in the Premier League too, especially with the out of form Petr Cech underperforming massively.

The Colombian was influential vs. Bayern despite conceding four goals against the Germans, and if it was not for the man between the sticks I am fairly certain Carlo Ancelotti’s men could have hit double figures. As he has been all season, he was brilliant, an immense shot stopper and was not putting Arsenal under pressure from his goal kicks, which Cech has been heavily criticised for in recent months.

Ospina does seem to have a mistake in him, though. He was caught out in the RB position where he then went on to injure himself, but thankfully recovered to carry on. That said, he should seriously consider why he is not ahead of Petr Cech. Is it because the former Chelsea man was the Gunners marquee signing in 2015? or because he has won big trophies? it is as if Wenger’s loyalty has got the better of him again, something that is slowly tarnishing his career with the Gunners.

Of course, the result means all the headlines will be about Arsene Wenger and his future, but the Arsenal goalkeeper has certainly given the manager a headache after yet another great performance. Great? really? Arsenal conceded four? yes, they did but without him, it would have been double figures and Arsenal would have no chance to progress… despite even the most positive Arsenal fans only holding on to their 1% chance.

The Gunners fans were also impressed with Ospina’s performance, so we take a look at how Twitter reacted to his performance, with some wanting him to be our number 1.

Arsenal’s season is all but over, they are now hoping for a top four finish to ensure they are in the Champions League next season and for me, they have to play David Ospina in the Premier League and make him their new number one. He is a superb shot stopper and is arguably going into his prime years, despite possessing the odd mistake, his performances have been miles ahead of Petr Cech this season and he deserves some time between the sticks.

‘Chelsea’s Best Player’ Defender Praised For Another Great Performance vs. Burnley

It’s a funny old game. Who remembers the reactions surrounding David Luiz’s Chelsea comeback in the summer? Some of you may choose to forget it all.

The Brazilian defender first joined the Blues from Benfica back in 2011 for £21.25 million, and despite conquering the hearts of those at Stamford Bridge, Luiz never quite convinced the doubters in comparison to John Terry and Gary Cahill.

José Mourinho’s second stint in west London saw him incline towards the same pairing, so it was with great disbelief that much of the football world saw Chelsea receive a record-high bid for the out-of-favour defender, as he joined Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain for an initial fee of £42 million in 2014.

Luiz’s flaws were then on full show, alongside many of his Brazilian teammates, as his national team were infamously thumped 7-1 on home turf against Germany, the eventual winners of 2014 World Cup, with the queries into his reliability as a central defender escalating further.

Football in Ligue 1 took the ex-Benfica man out of the limelight, somewhat, so it’s perhaps no surprise to see the amount of eyebrows raised when his eventual return had been announced.

Chelsea had formerly been interested in other big names to fill the void Antonio Conte believed needed to be plugged in, as they failed to land the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Kalidou Koulibaly.

The opportunity to bring back Luiz arose on deadline day, adding a scent of panic buy to the deal, but the Brazilian has silenced those critics by coming on leaps and bounds since his latest transfer.

Chelsea’s latest bout versus Burnley accentuated the £30 million man’s growth in popularity, with social media quick to show their appreciation for the curly-haired character.

Such has been Luiz’s zero-to-hero rise that, even with a heavily strapped knee away to a physically imposing Burnley side, he’s kept club legend John Terry and hot prospect Nathan Aké parked on the bench, becoming Conte’s go-to-guy in the lauded 3-4-3 formation.

The Brazil international’s typically good construction of play shun through the pain barrier, a role maximised by the added cover of two more central defenders either side of him, whereas Luiz also racked up the most amount of interceptions (8) in a tight contest.

Luiz continues looks a shoe-in for the PFA’s Team of the Year, as Chelsea set their sights on the Premier League title. Not bad for a panic buy!

‘He Must Start vs. Bayern’ Arsenal Fans Rave Over Midfielders Performance vs. Hull City

Arsenal needed to win when they hosted Hull City on Saturday evening, and they did just that. 

The goals came via a handball and a penalty, but the Gunners were in control of the game most of the time, although some late pressure from Hull did cause some nerves inside the stadium.

For the most part, the Gunners played well. One player who really impressed though was Oxlade-Chamberlain. He has been (forcefully) moved into a central midfield position, but he has played better than we’ve seen him play all season.

The Ox and Coquelin are not players that help the team dominate possession and that was reflected in the match statistics. Hull had more possession than the home side, which is a rare sight, especially for a team so close to the bottom of the league. However the Ox was efficient in possession and that’s the most important thing.

One of his best attributes is his running between midfield and attack, he completed 5 dribbles against Hull. The Ox completed 86% of his passes, including 4 accurate long balls. Defensively he made 2 tackles and 1 interception, he also used his energy to get back and help the team defend on several occasions.

Here are some of the best tweets about Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance. The performance was so good the fans are keen to see him play in Munich. 

In my opinion it is great to see The Ox developing in central midfield. He was showing little to no progression on the wing and it is now great to see him settling and improving in a position. Now, Wenger needs to give him the game time to continue that development and realise his colossal potential.

On the face of it, you wouldn’t expect him to be a central midfielder at all. But since moving to that position he has impressed with his passing range and immense amount of energy. He’s taken over Aaron Ramsey’s position and despite a lack of experience there, he has arguably outperformed the Welshman by far.

‘Pathetic’ Arsenal Fans Demand Key Player Is Dropped After Chelsea Performance

Arsenal succumbed to their 2nd defeat in a week when they traveled to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon. The Arsenal team were very poor collectively, but one of the players that have been heavily criticised has been Petr Cech.

Playing against his former club, Cech was a calamity and made several errors during the game, the most noticeable and most damaging one being his pass straight to a Cesc Fabregas, who scored and thus ended any chance of an Arsenal revival. 

And these errors were not the first we have seen him make. Although often exempt from criticism from the media due to his glittering career to date, Cech has endured a pretty terrible season to date. This has led to many fans questioning his place in the team, especially with his deputy, David Ospina, performing so well in the cup competitions. 

Cech is close to reaching the end of his career and many feel that now would be a suitable time to call it a day.

Here’s some of the reaction to his performance from Twitter.

Personally I would agree with most of the criticism. He hasn’t been good for us this year at all, and whilst pundits predicted he would win us 10 points a season, it may well end of that he will lose us that amount. I don’t think that based on his form over his time at Arsenal, he can still be considered world class. His reactions have slowed to a quite worrying rate, so much so that I believe it is costing the club points. He’s also terrible at saving penalties, he hasn’t saved one during his time at Arsenal (and he’s faced a lot).

Perhaps his main issue though is his struggle to defend shots at his near post. This is a weakness to Cech’s game that has been spotted by the Arsenal fans, and it seems some strikers are well aware of it too. There’s too many areas of weakness creeping into his game and it’s certainly something that needs addressing at Arsenal in the summer. 

“Pure Class” Fans Heap Praise On Manchester United Midfielder After Stellar Show Against Leicester

Manchester United capitalised on Arsenal and Liverpool dropping points on Saturday with a solid 3-0 win against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. The result means the gap between the Red Devils and the top four is now down to just two points.

The game got off to a sluggish start, with neither side really testing the opposition in the opening stages. However, two quick-fire goals on the stroke of half-time from Henrik Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic before a clincher from Juan Mata ensured that United ended their run of three consecutive draws in the Premier League.

After 41 minutes of frustration, Mourinho opted for a change of tactics, moving Mkhitaryan away from the left wing, where he was placed to accommodate Rashford and Ibrahimovic, and into a more central role. It worked a treat for the Red Devils, who quickly starting turning up the gears following the change.

Mkhitaryan provided the moment of quality to open up the game for Mourinho’s side, beating Robert Huth to the ball just inside the Leicester half before running through on goal and slotting past Kasper Schmeichel. The Armenian midfielder then turned creator for United’s third, playing a wonderful one-two with Juan Mata before the Spaniard steered in at the near post.

Here’s how twitter reacted to Mkhitaryan’s display. Do you agree?

It’s crazy to think that just two months ago, the midfielder was being cast aside, much like Anthony Martial at present. Following a poor performance in the Manchester derby in September, Mkhitaryan has responded exceptionally from his early-season exile and his performance against Leicester typified just how far he has come.

Since being given another chance by Mourinho,  Mkhitaryan has started 12 games, scoring five goals in the process. Moving into the number 10 spot has caused a significant rise in his performances and against Leicester he looked like United’s greatest threat – a stark contrast from his early season woes.

Scoring just 36 goals, the side are the lowest scorers of any of the big six – 10 goals behind Spurs, but Mourinho may have found a solution with Mkhitaryan providing the side with an extra edge and zip to their play from the middle of the park.

Despite getting off to a rocky start at Manchester United, Mkhitaryan has shown his quality in recent weeks, injecting a much greater attacking impetus into the side. Fans will be hoping to see more of the same from the 28-year-old as Mourinho’s side look to keep up the pressure on the top four and try and secure Champions League football for next season.

Fans Brand Liverpool Midfielder As The “Epitome Of Average” Following Another Poor Performance vs. Hull

Liverpool’s season suffered another setback after a 2-0 loss against Hull City on Saturday in which the side looked bereft of ideas and energy. The result leaves Jurgen Klopp’s side’s hopes of Champions League football for next season up in the air.

Hull perfectly executed the blue-print that so many have come to adopt against Liverpool. Sitting deep and defending in numbers, the Reds were gifted no space in between the lines and once again struggled to stretch the opposition. It was an all too familiar performance at the KC stadium, with the pedestrian and lacklustre performance raising serious questions about the future of several squad members.

After suffering similar defeats against Bournemouth, Swansea and Burnley earlier in the season, Jurgen Klopp’s side have failed to overcome a clear weakness in their game – something that has seen them crash out of the title race and put hopes of a top four finish in doubt.

Most worryingly is the way in which Liverpool yet again looked devoid of innovation going forward. The return of Sadio Mane to the side, along with Coutinho and Firmino was set to see Liverpool regain their early season form in which fast, fluid and attacking football was a huge feature. However, even the Senegalese international couldn’t prevent Liverpool from coming unstuck against a so-called ‘weaker’ Premier League team.

After securing a 1-1 draw with runaway leaders Chelsea, things seemed to be looking up for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Solid displays from both Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum provided the German with a selection headache prior to kick off. Going with his national compatriot, Klopp’s decision to go with a more robust presence in midfield proved to be costly for Liverpool, who certainly missed the energy of Wijnaldum.

Emre Can completed just 84% of his passes, winning only one aerial battle and two tackles in the entirety of the match. His leisurely demeanor in the first half was indicative of Liverpool’s pedestrian football and marked the decline he has experienced this season.

Here’s some reaction to Emre Can’s performance from Twitter. Do you agree?

Emre Can was a key player for Liverpool last season and he clearly has all the right tools to be a good player for Jurgen Klopp’s side. However, his performance against Hull marked the regression he has experienced this season and with his future currently up in the air, questions will be raised over whether Can will be at Anfield for much longer. With Liverpool looking to play fast, free-flowing football, WIijnaldum’s energy in the middle makes for a much better fit.

Fans Call For Midfielder To ‘Never Play For Arsenal Again’ After Awful Performance vs. Chelsea

Arsenal put in another limp performance at Stamford Bridge, losing 3-1 to see their title hopes all but ended at the hands of Antonio Conte’s men, who will surely go on to lift the trophy in May. 

Chelsea were not brilliant, but they were ruthless, and Arsenal were a lot worse. The Gunners started the game pretty brightly, but the second Chelsea went ahead through Marcos Alonso, Arsenal fell flat and never really looked like getting anything from the game from that point on. It was an all too familiar performance from Arsenal at the Bridge, and many fans have questioned the manager because of the result.

Whilst the manager certainly can be held accountable, several individuals were extremely poor on the day. The big boys, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil did not turn up, whilst Petr Cech, another senior figure in the squad, was simply horrific. He doesn’t look comfortable passing out from the back and his reactions are worryingly slow.

But a lot of the blame will fall on the shoulders of midfielder Francis Coquelin. With Ramsey, Elneny, Cazorla and Xhaka unavailable, Wenger did have little choice but to select Coquelin, but his performance was truly worrying. Arsenal missed a midfielder that could dictate the play from deep, as Coquelin seriously struggled to get a grip on the game. His individual error saw him fail to stop Eden Hazard in the build-up to Chelsea’s second goal, which killed the game.

Coquelin completed just 82.8% of his passes, completing 0 of his attempted crosses, and 0 through balls. With just 58 passes in total, the Gunners needed someone to take more control of the game in Coquelin’s position. Xhaka would’ve been perfect, and the Gunners desperately need him back.

Defensively he made 0 interceptions – considering he offers pretty much nothing in an attacking sense, it is vital that he does more defensively, especially in big games like this.

Here’s some reaction to Coquelin’s performance from Twitter. 

Personally I think Coquelin is a good squad player, but honestly he is no more than that and deserves no more than that. A team like Arsenal, who try to control games, need a more efficient deep lying playmaker. Coquelin didn’t even do his defensive duties well today. It was a game to forget for him, and pretty much all of the Arsenal eleven. It will be interesting to see how Wenger selects his team for the crucial Champions League trip to Bayern Munich in 10 days time.

Arsenal need a fresh approach, players like Coquelin need to get out of the eleven and perhaps we need a new manager.

 

Man Utd Fans Say Midfielder ‘Needs To Play More’ After Influential Performance vs. Wigan

Manchester United fans were extremely happy with one midfielder’s performance against Wigan on Sunday afternoon.

Mourinho’s men strolled into the last 16 of the FA Cup with a comfortable 4-0 home win.

The German international was famously sent to the reserves by Jose Mourinho who had concerns about his fitness and overall quality. But the midfielder has come back with a bang, scoring and assisting in the game against Wigan.

He boasted a 93% pass accuracy rate, with 111 passes and 131 touches overall, a lot more than any other player on the pitch. Playing in the holding midfield role, Bastian dictated the play, impressing in his short and long passing with 5 of his 6 attempted long balls finding the target.

Defensively he made a respectable 3 tackles and 3 interceptions. Going forward he didn’t offer much throughout, but crucially provided an assist and scored an acrobatic goal.

This type of display will have reassured fans who previously could see a dependence on Michael Carrick in midfield. But Schweinsteiger is of a similar ilk and if managed correctly, the 30+ duo could effectively share that role and be the platform for United’s more attack-minded midfielders to flourish.

It is this type of midfielder that Manchester United need to ensure they always have in the team. For all the quality that they have within the squad, balance plays a huge part in how a team performs and they need a midfield conductor, like Schweinsteiger to provide that balance. For all the skill and flash Pogba offers, he does not give you that authority and reliability on the ball in deep areas. Schweinsteiger or Carrick appear the perfect foil to enable Pogba to play his best football.

Here’s some of the reaction to his performance from Twitter.

My concern would be that whilst he performed very well in this fixture, is he capable of such quality performances against bigger and better teams? His drawbacks are his slowness and lack of mobility and these were never going to be exposed against a team like Wigan. The Germans performance has done enough to make Mourinho take notice though, and he could now expect a longer run in the first eleven.

He is though, of a different ilk to the other United midfielders and his presence is certainly beneficial in some scenarios, especially when Carrick is missing. My worry would be that with so many months out the team and squad, will he be physically ready to play in the Premier League? Time will tell, if Jose gives him a chance.

‘He Was Unreal’ Fans On Twitter Heap Praise On Arsenal Midfielder After Performance vs. Southampton

Arsenal cruised to a 5-0 victory in the FA Cup on Saturday, helping Wenger’s men again reach the final 16 of the competition. There were several brilliant performers on the night but one midfielder really stood out. 

With Mohammed Elneny at the African Cup of Nations and injury concerns with Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin, Arsene Wenger was stuck for options at the base of his midfield for Saturday’s FA Cup tie. He opted with the inexperienced Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who impressed, but alongside him Wenger selected the man of the match, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Ox has seriously struggled to impress for the Gunners on the wing since he arrived, and his progression has been terrible to say the least.

But his performance in the middle of the park on Saturday was enough to give encouragement for his future. Perhaps he should be developed in this position and with the Gunners lacking options currently, now could be a good time to let him progress in that position.

The Ox was dynamic in midfield, showing quality both offensively and defensively with his energy and passing range particular highlights from his performance. Although he didn’t score, the Ox was the best player on the pitch without a shadow of a doubt and Arsene must’ve been incredibly pleased watching on from the stands.

Here’s how some of the fans reacted to The Ox’s performance on Twitter.

Personally I had pretty much given up all hope of Chamberlain succeeding at Arsenal. With just over a year left on his contract, I couldn’t see him realising his potential at the club. I still have serious doubts but this performance is enough to bide him more time. He now deserves a run in the team in central midfield, his performance was certainly more impressive than someone like Aaron Ramsey’s has been of late. With Santi Cazorla out, Chamberlain could make that box-to-box role his own and finally show his ability.

Klopp Out? Liverpool Fans React To Consecutive Cup Exits On Twitter

Given the geopolitical spectrum, 2017 promises to be a difficult year for us all to stomach, even by 2016’s standards, but Liverpool fans will be the ones gazing at the skies questioning why they are among the first to be feeling the burn.

Jürgen Klopp’s men enchanted the Premier League world with the German’s infamous ‘Gegenpressing’, imported from his days at Borussia Dortmund, as big results over the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City saw the Merseyside club propel themselves into the hat of potential league winners this season.

Among the charge at the upper echelons of the league table, Liverpool were also fighting for multiple domestic honours too, but that scenario has now changed drastically.

Welcoming Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield for a fourth round tie of the FA Cup this Saturday, the visitors were on hand to stun the hosts with goals by Richard Stearman and Andi Weimann, whereas a late Divock Origi goal wasn’t enough to see Liverpool into a draw and subsequent cup replay.

The defeat not only concluded the Reds’ elimination from the FA Cup, but also sees them fall out of a consecutive cup competition, after Southampton’s 2-0 win on aggregate in the EFL Cup in midweek.

Liverpool’s 2017 woes go on, having lost once more versus Swansea City in the league, drawing a further three games and winning just once in seven matches since the turn of the year. That game was a 1-0 victory away to Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup replay. Glamourous.

As a consequence, social media was awash with criticism for the Scouse outfit’s boss, Klopp, ranging from rival fans to former subscribers of the German’s managerial capabilities, whereas others stayed true to their man.

Other more popular figures within Britain’s footballing hub maligned Klopp’s squad selection for the clash versus Wolves, which saw the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga champion make a total of nine changes to the team that faced Southampton in midweek.

Despite bearing the blame for chopping and changing too much on this occasion, Klopp has felt the force of complaints coming in the opposite direction in recent days, claiming he overworks his first team too much.

The frenetic, self-proclaimed “Heavy Metal football” has been pinned against the German’s management, suggesting he’s both one-dimensional and culpable for the physical mismanagement of his players’ fitness, meanwhile the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho aren’t placed into the same equation anywhere near as much as they should be by Klopp.

With first-placed Chelsea waiting in the wings for Tuesday’s main card in the Premier League, calling on rotation made sense, but Klopp has, nonetheless, claimed full responsibility for Saturday’s additional slip-up in Liverpool’s season.

“We put in a very bad performance, we started badly and could not improve,” Klopp told BT Sport following the 2-1 defeat at home to Wolves.

“We tried, but were not good enough in the first half. The second half was better, but not enough. I am responsible, not the young players. You learn a lot about players in games like this, but I am responsible.”

Onto Tuesday night…

‘He’s The Best In The League No Doubt’ Twitter Reacts As Chelsea Star Gives Them 3 More Points

Much has been made of Diego Costa in recent weeks, with the media fuelling speculation that the striker could be on his way out of the club amid a huge bid from China. The Spaniard was rumoured to have a fall out with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, with the manager not happy with Costa’s supposed injury troubles that have seen him out of action for the Londoners.

However, Costa scored on his return to the side as Chelsea strengthened their grip on the Premier League title, moving eight points clear at the top. The Blues top goalscorer was applauded throughout the match by the home fans, as his side won against a struggling Hull City side.

He got the opening goal of the game, converting Victor Moses’ low cross from eight yards out  and his celebration of moving hands seemed to put an end to speculation of his departure – much to the delight of Chelsea fans, I’m sure.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Diego Costa’s performance. Do you agree?

Costa has been at the heart of Chelsea’s title bid this season, proving a real handful for defences with his strength and finishing ability. The Spaniard was the only player to have more than one shot in the side (6) and his return to the side couldn’t have been better timed, with the Londoners set for a showdown at Anfield next weekend.

It could have been a very different game had Costa not found the net just before the half time interval, with Hull doing well to frustrate the home side. They looked at risk of not making the most of their rivals shortcomings over the weekend, but Costa, once again, delivered when it mattered.

The mood following kick-off was a stark contrast to last weekend when Chelsea’s run was halted by Spurs. Diego Costa’s future was up in the air and fans were understandably worried about what that could mean for their title hopes. His return, and goal, will have certainly lightened the mood at the club as they moved closer to another Premier League title. Any risk of instability or distraction has dissipated – Chelsea are back in control and continue to roll on.

Any risk of instability or distraction, after the defeat at White Hart Lane and Costa’s wantaway strop, has been seen off now. Chelsea are back to normal, back in control, and looking likelier than ever to stroll to this year’s title.

Costa’s record at the club speaks for itself, with the 28 year old’s quality clear for all to see. Coming up with important goals for Chelsea, he is the most important player to club have, thus Antonio Conte and co. will be delighted to have him back. It would take surely take something miraculous for Chelsea to not end up lifting the trophy at the end of the season.

‘Absolutely Terrible’ Manchester United Fans React To Forward’s Performance vs. Stoke

Manchester United continued their unbeaten run on Saturday afternoon, but only thanks to a very late Wayne Rooney goal. Still, 1 point will not have been want Jose Mourinho was looking for from this fixture. 

A lot of Manchester United players were not at their best in this fixture, but one player who caused serious frustration was summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan seriously struggled all afternoon. Stoke more than matched his physicality and then there wasn’t much more the Swede could give. He was slow on and off the ball and was wasteful in his finishing.

Let’s take a look at some statistics. Shocking in possession, the big Swede completed just 61.9% of his attempted passes. He only made 50 touches in the game, which will be far less than Mourinho would want and expect from his focal point in attack.

He was frustrating in attack, having just 1 shot which did not week the target and getting caught offside 3 times! He completed 0 dribbles successfully and had 3 unsuccessful touches, which was more than any other Manchester United player.

Here’s some of the reaction to Zlatan’s performance on Twitter. It’s safe to say the United fans were far from satisfied with what they saw.

Personally, I think that although Zlatan has been scoring a lot of goals lately, Manchester United perform better as a team when he is not in the lineup.

He obviously is a goal threat at all times due to his height, strength and experience. When United inevitably resort to a more long ball tactic, he is ideal. But it hasn’t worked too much this season. With young and talented forward like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on the bench, I can’t help but think that Jose should freshen things up in attack. It’s almost like United are attempting to build their team around a 35-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is not wise. Rashford and Martial are the future of the clubs attack and they are nothing like Zlatan, completely different players that would form a completely different attack.

‘Time To Ditch Him’ Liverpool Fans Fume At Defender’s Performance vs. Swansea

Few would have envisaged Liverpool coming up short against Swansea on Saturday afternoon, with the Reds holding the record of highest scorers and the away side conceding the most goals thus far. However, the Swans took full advantage of Liverpool’s defensive errors to gain a vital three points as they look to beat relegation.

Defensively, Liverpool have always been questionable. Conceding sloppy goals and failing to do the real basics provided a thorn in their side. However, that was thought to have been somewhat put to bed this season, with victories against Chelsea, Arsenal and City suggesting the Reds could battle at the top of the Premier League. The phrase “old habits die hard” is rather fitting in this situation, with Jurgen Klopp’s side coming unstuck by their own sloppiness at the back.

Dejan Lovren gave away a needless corner for Swansea’s first goal, heading the ball out of play under no pressure. The resulting corner was put in by Fernando Llorente, after the Croatian in the air to compound his earlier error.

After a performance fuelled with mistakes, Liverpool fans have been left pondering the long term future of Lovren at the club. Joel Matip is clearly the first choice centre back for Jurgen Klopp, but with neither Lovren nor Klavan covering themselves in glory at Anfield, many have called for the German to invest – be it in January or in the summer.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Dejan Lovren’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

Despite heavy suggestions that his time at the club is up, many have been calling for the return of Mamadou Sakho to partner Matip. The Frenchman has fallen out of favour with Jurgen Klopp, but the defensive frailties within the side highlight the need for change in the centre back positions. Liverpool fans certainly seem keen on the idea of a Sakho-Matip pairing.

Neither Klavan nor Lovren are consistent enough to provide the defensive pairing for a side wanting to challenge at the top of the Premier League. Klopp himself reflected on the quality of his back four following the defeat, and surely it is only a matter of time before he looks elsewhere for a quality defender.

Has Klopp’s trust in his players been thrown back in his face? Many suggested Liverpool needed external recruitment to address their defensive issues, but he said he believed in his squad and would rather educate them into becoming better players. But with the defence continuing to be the clubs Achilles heel, surely it is time to invest?

Liverpool Fans ‘Really Impressed’ With Teenage Midfielder’s Performance vs. Plymouth

Harry Wilson was the latest in a line of Liverpool youngsters to be given a crack in the first team by Jurgen Klopp. The German has provided the academy players with a number of opportunities of late, most recently in Liverpool’s FA Cup replay with Plymouth.

Wilson has enjoyed a fine season for the Under 23’s so far this season, scoring a total of 19 goals and registering 9 assists. As a result, the Welshman has established quite the name for himself within the club, and fans were intrigued to see what he could do at Home Park.

Coming on in the second half, Wilson conducted himself well, showing little signs of being overwhelmed by the occasion. The 19-year-old almost got a debut goal for the Reds when he closed down Plymouth’s goalkeeper, as the ball ricocheted off the midfielder narrowly missing the back of the net.

Furthermore, Wilson showed some bright moments down the right-hand side, providing further indication of the bright future he has at the club. Brilliantly dummying the ball, Wilson passed it off to Ben Woodburn before Sheyi Ojo’s attempt at goal.

In his 30 minutes on the pitch he completed 15 passes, including 1 key pass. His enthusiasm and determination to impress almost led to a goal and it is that hunger and desire that will surely impress Klopp, a manager who demands such an attitude from all his players.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Harry Wilson’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

The Welsh duo, which have an average age of 18.5 years old, shows the quality within the club’s academic set up and the youngsters are getting ample opportunities to showcase their ability under Klopp’s tutelage.

Having already made his international bow for Wales, it is clear that Harry Wilson is highly thought of by many. 19 goals for the Liverpool U23’s shows he has the quality to find the back of the net on a continuous basis, and there is few clubs that provide such a chance for young talents to grow as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

It’ll be interesting to see if Klopp continues to utilise his youth products at the competition progresses into the latter stages.

‘Superb Performance’ Liverpool Fans Heap Praise On Defender After His Performance vs. Manchester United

The news that Nathaniel Clyne was ruled out against Manchester United due to a rib injury sustained against Southampton in midweek definitely shook several Liverpool fans. Clyne has been one of the most consistent figures for Klopp’s side so far this season, and his absence was thought to be a real blow for the Reds in such an important fixture.

As a result, Trent Alexander Arnold was handed his first Premier League appearance for Liverpool, thrown in at the deep end by his manager. Many thought he’d sink and struggle against the pace and trickery of United’s Anthony Martial, but the 18-year-old stood firm throughout the match to do himself, and his manager proud.

Alexander Arnold made three key tackles in the match, and showed a calm and collected presence despite the magnitude of the fixture. It was never going to be an easy task for the youngster but apart from a few wayward passes, he handled the occasion superbly and showed just what a bright future he has at Liverpool.

A look at his defensive statistics help highlight how well he did. Up against Anthony Martial, many thought the youngster would struggle and be easily beaten but he managed 8 clearances, 3 tackles and 2 interceptions – he also committed 0 fouls. That’s very impressive considering who he was up against and the occasion itself would have gotten to many other young players.

Liverpool fans have been quick to praise the defender, who could see more chances at first team action in the coming games if Clyne is sidelined for an extended period of time. He certainly didn’t harm his case today.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Alexander-Arnold’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

When you consider it was his first Premier League appearance for the club, and the fact that he is only 18 years of age, Arnold’s performance was exemplary. He took a while to settle into the match, initially struggling with the pace of Martial, but he produced what was needed of him.

He wasn’t shying away from tackles, and he didn’t show the fear or nerves of a player making his Premier League bow – that in itself says a lot about his quality.

Few players can come into a side on such a big occasion and do a job, especially an 18 year old. Hats off to Trent Alexander Arnold for putting in a stellar performance for Liverpool. The future looks bright.

Manchester United Fans Criticise ‘Woeful’ Midfielder For Poor Display vs. Liverpool

Manchester United snatched a late draw against Liverpool in a game which truly lacked quality throughout. 

Despite the millions of pounds of talent on display, both teams failed to conjure up much inspiration in the final third and it was a scrappy game. Manchester United had a £90million midfielder in their team, but he failed to make any sort of difference and in fact was perhaps one of the worst players on the field on the day.

The hugely poor moment for him was when he handballed inside the area to gift Liverpool a 1st half advantage. After that he did very little to redeem himself with passes going astray frequently.

Pogba completed just 72% of his passes and was dispossessed 3 times. He received a 5.6 match rating on WhoScored, less than any other player on the pitch. Offensively he offered nothing, completing just 1 dribble, 0 key passes and making 0 shots. Defensively he failed to make an interception and completed just 1 tackle. The Frenchman normally prides himself on being effective at both ends of the pitch, but he was shockingly bad defensively and offensively today – certainly an afternoon to forget for the world record transfer signing.

Here’s some reaction to the players performance against Liverpool.

In my opinion, Pogba once again proved that he is in no way worth the £90million Manchester United paid for him. He’s a very good midfielder, don’t get me wrong, but his valuation was ludicrous and considering the amount of bad press the likes of Mesut Ozil have received for bad performances, Pogba deserves every bit of criticism he will get for this lacklustre showing.

Many have suggested Pogba should focus on his football rather than his off the field promotion, and I certainly agree there. The Frenchman spends a lot of time with Adidas and on social media to create more revenue for him and his brand, fair play to him, but the fans just want him to be the best he can on the football pitch, and with all that other activity it cannot be helping him perform his best on the pitch.

To be honest I think Pogba is a good player, maybe even a great player. But after moving for such a large amount of money, he will always be compared to that £90million price tag, and for that amount of money you need to be making the difference in nearly every game, especially big games like today against Liverpool.

Fans On Twitter Praise ‘Magnificent’ Everton Midfielder In 4-0 Man City Victory

There was a strong sense of intrigue surrounding the auto-claimed ‘Super Sunday,’ as two of Liverpool’s and Manchester’s biggest names split to fight for their cities in a two-part special of Premier League football.

Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford will have undoubtedly held the majority of the limelight this Sunday, but Everton’s welcoming of Manchester City, as two of Barcelona’s greats in Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman went head-to-head, promised to be equally as entertaining.

The narratives continued, as John Stones returned to Goodison Park for the first time since his £47 million summer move to Man City, meanwhile a big performance on his Everton debut from ex-Man United man Morgan Schneiderlin would’ve been a great way for fans of the Red Devils to kick off proceedings.

One name denied the Frenchman of that privilege, however, as Everton stormed to a shock 4-0 win over City, somewhat thanks to a certain Tom Davies at the tender age of 18.

As Belgian duo Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas powered the Toffees to a 2-0 lead, young Davies looked untouchable in the middle of the park and Koeman’s decision to keep the midfielder on ahead of the likes of Gareth Barry was further accentuated in the 79th minute.

Having turned Yaya Toure and Gael Clichy in a unique moment of individual brilliance, Davies was on hand to combine with Lukaku before dinking the ball past Claudio Bravo to score his first goal in only his third start for the Evertonians, leaving Goodison Park, as well as social media, in awe.

New signing Ademola Lookman will also take his fair share of plaudits for a well-taken finish in Everton’s first goal, immortalising his eagerly-anticipated debut following a £7.5 million transfer that saw him swap Charlton Athletic for life in the Premier League.

Lookman joins a strong nucleus of young stars at Koeman’s disposal, more prominently the likes of Mason Holgate and ex-Sheffield United man Dominic Calvert-Lewin, as well as the new man of the moment, Davies.

The latter will be news to many neutrals, but he is a player who the Merseysiders have kept tabs on for sometime after making his debut under Roberto Martinez in April 2016.

In his first start, with Martinez already confirmed as parting company with Everton, Davies collected somewhat low-key plaudits with an assist in his Man of the Match performance.

The midfielder had since seen his involvement limited to just seven appearances for the club in all competitions this season, but after a masterclass versus Guardiola’s men, complete with a goal, we might well begin to see a little more of Goodison Park’s new hero.

‘He Can’t Defend’ Fans On Twitter Criticise Manchester City Defender After Everton Horror Show

Manchester City put in perhaps their worse performance of the season as they fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon. 

It was another shambolic defensive display from City and Pep Guardiola, and that’s something we have said far too much this season. The club have now conceded 26 goals in 21 league games, no other team in the top 7 of the league have conceded as many, in fact, 16th placed Middlesborough have conceded less.

So who is at fault? One player to be heavily criticised today is John Stones. The man who left Everton for Manchester City in the summer returned to the lineup and put in a pretty dreadful performance.

City, as usual, played out from the back and whilst they started the game looking relatively comfortable with that style of play, they were punished for their expansive style by a lethal Everton team that took pretty much every chance they had. There was far too much space between central defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Stones and it was made all too easy for the hosts.

Another worrying performance from Stones has left many questioning his large price tag and it puts Pep in a real dilemma. The club clearly need to improve defensively, but having spent around £90million on Otamendi and Stones, they cannot afford to just dispose of their current options.

There’s no obvious statistics to highlight Stones’ poor performance, but if you were watching the game it was clear for all to see that he seriously struggled. This will be a worry not just for Manchester City and Pep, but for England and the national team, who seemed to be preparing to build their future defence around young Stones.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the player’s performance.

To be honest, I’ve never been the biggest fan of John Stones. I think the £50million Manchester City paid for him is absolutely horrific. He’s really not worth anything close to that amount of money.

Let’s not pretend that Stones was the only bad performer in that Manchester City team today. Pep’s men were second best all over the pitch and the defending across the back 5 was simply shambolic.

It’s hard to simply suggest that Stones should not play out from the back etc. but that is the style of play of Guardiola and of Stones. It’s why the player cost so much money and it’s why the club were so insistent on bringing in Pep. City must now focus on trying to perfect their unique style of play, but Pep, for the first time in his career, may actually need to adapt his approach slightly, or the English game will simply swallow him up.

‘He Was Unplayable’ Arsenal Midfielder Praised After Mesmerising Performance vs. Swansea

Arsenal put in an impressive 2nd half display to make light work of Swansea on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners attacking play was scintillating in the second period, and they have Alex Iwobi to thank for much of that.

Although he will not be attributed with a goal, both own goals came from his shots, the first of which was on target so it seems harsh to take the goal away from him. Here’s some of the best reaction to the Nigerian international’s performance on Twitter.

Iwobi has been hot and cold this season but against Swansea we saw him with one of his best displays in an Arsenal shirt to date. He moved around the pitch with confidence and often looked a level above the players around him. His majestic display has seen many fans refer to his performance as ‘unplayable’.

Iwobi is also comfortable playing in the number 10 role and you can see his creative attributes. Making 2 key passes, and 36 passes overall with an 89% accuracy. An area he is often criticised for is his defensive contribution, but with 2 tackles and 1 interception, we saw an improved defensive performance from him on Saturday.

Here’s some of the best reaction to the Nigerian international’s performance on Twitter.

My thoughts on Iwobi are what I said at the start of the season. Don’t get carried away with him, he’s still 20 and very raw, but what a talent he is. It’s great that he has come through the ranks and is playing as well as he is. He still lacks consistency and because he sets the bar so high, I feel he gets too much criticism when he struggles in matches. This is unfair on such a young player, especially when there are usually other, more senior players like Walcott or even Oxlade-Chamberlain, who have also performed poorly.

Hopefully Alex has a long and successful career at Arsenal ahead of him. If he can produce performances like he did yesterday more regularly then he will cement his place in the starting eleven.

Nobody would have anticipated him being as important to this team as he now is. With no obvious natural back up to Ozil, Iwobi is the most likely to replace the German there when he is unavailable. He could also be regarded as the clubs first choice left winger, especially when Alexis Sanchez is occupying the centre forward position.

‘He Was On Fire Today’ Chelsea Fans Rave Over Midfielder’s Performance vs. Leicester

Chelsea returned to winning ways and in convincing fashion on Saturday evening with a comfortable 3-1 win over Leicester City. 

Last season’s Champions continued to struggle and put in a very poor performance as Claudio Ranieri attempted to match the league leaders 3 at the back formation. But it didn’t work at all, and Chelsea took control of the game with left-back Marcos Alonso with two of the goals.

Alonso has not had too much praise since he joined Chelsea in the summer, with many suggesting that he was one of the weak links in the team, a team that has been incredibly strong, to be fair.

Playing on the left-hand side of the midfield 4, Alonso showed that he has plenty to offer in attack against Leicester, scoring two goals and putting in a very accomplished all-round performance.

Alonso won 4 aerial duels, 3 interceptions, 2 tackles and made 2 clearances, showing that he also put in a near flawless defensive display. Playing as a left wing back, you could forgive Alonso for not being too involved in the game, but he was completely the opposite, wanting to play his part in every phase of the play, making a huge 104 touches, only Matic (112) made more on the pitch. No Leicester player made more than 62.

Here’s how some fans reacted to Alonso’s performance on Twitter.

Ake was recalled from his loan spell at Bournemouth and he was reportedly going to be an alternative to Alonso – as well as being an option at central defence. Alonso’s best performance in a Chelsea came a few days after Ake was recalled, perhaps showing that competition for places really does bring out the best in players!

It was, of course a brilliant performance from Alonso on the night, but he will need to deliver these kind of performances more regularly if he is to justify his hefty price tag and keep the ever-improving Nathan Ake out of the side.

Arsenal Fans React On Twitter To ‘Stroppy’ Alexis Sanchez After Swansea Substitution

We’re all used to seeing Alexis Sanchez hitting the headlines in an Arsenal shirt, but the Chilean, as has become a habit of late, will be sure to find himself in the spotlight for reasons other than his goal-scoring traits.

As the Gunners stormed to a 4-0 lead versus Swansea City this Saturday at the Liberty Stadium, courtesy of another Olivier Giroud goal, two own goals and a strike from Sanchez himself, the ex-Barcelona man drew in the attention of a camera or two in the latter stages of the game.

In a clear attempt to tot up the minutes given to the recently-injured Danny Welbeck, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger selected Sanchez as the star to make way for the English forward, much to the 28-year-old’s displeasure.

The winger, known for his admirable work ethic, was later spotted seated away from the rest of the substitutes’ bench, visibly upset, with his head facing down on numerous occasions.

Sanchez’s reaction, which added a bittersweet taste to what had otherwise been a generally successful venture to South Wales, didn’t go unnoticed amongst the Arsenal fan base on social media over the Chilean’s repeated offence.

Sanchez is, of course, no stranger to snubbing a rest, more recently playing through a concerning hamstring injury in the last international break with Chile in late November, before returning to North London to do the same.

The forward’s complaints seem to extend beyond being given time off, however, as previous episodes exemplify.

Sanchez was left speechless and deep in thought as Arsenal slumped to a 2-1 defeat away to Manchester City in December, whereas many other fans were on hand to spot his less than accommodating attitude towards teammates throughout the festive period.

He was again very vocal when Arsenal took on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this month, demonstrating to be in no mood to settle for the Gunners’ 3-3 draw after going 3-0 down in the 58th minute, throwing away his gloves in rage at full time.

Although ultimately inconclusive, Sanchez’s recent behaviour is sure to worry some of the Arsenal faithful, as the much-adored star nears the final year of his contract with the London outfit.

With less than 18 months left on his current deal, reports of interest from Italy, like-minded Premier League clubs and, somewhat unsurprisingly, China has emerged, therefore the deep-lying hope will be that his head hasn’t been turned by the unavoidable details threatening a prolonged stay at the Emirates.

Liverpool Fans Claim This Player Was ‘The Only Positive’ From The Plymouth Game

Whilst a goalless draw against Plymouth was far from what Liverpool will have wanted, there were some positives to be taken, with some youngsters performing particularly well on the afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp made a lot of changes to his side, allowing his youngsters a chance to impress against the visitors, a League 2 side. One youngster was also a player returning from a long-term injury.

Making his first appearance for Liverpool in over 400 days, Joe Gomez put in a solid display for the Reds in their stalemate against Plymouth Argyle.

Since joining the club, Gomez has proven to be one of several exciting young talents. Before sustaining a nasty ACL injury that ruled him out for over a year, the ex-Charlton defender caught the eye of Brendan Rodgers and several fans with his solid, no nonsense style of defending.

The youngster’s ability to play with the ball makes him an ideal fit for Jurgen Klopp’ side and the German seems to have some faith in him with Lucas Leiva rumoured to be heading for the exit door in January. With Liverpool lacking an array of defensive cover, Gomez could see himself gain more chances in the second half of the season.

While not being tested often against Plymouth, Gomez proved to be a calming figure at the back, showing confidence to roam forward with the ball and help the Reds continue to tick over. Clearly it wasn’t the hardest game he will ever play, but given his time on the side-lines, it was a pleasing performance and perhaps a sign of what is to come.

With Lucas looking increasingly likely to move on in January and Mamadou Sakho out of favour at the club, the path is certainly clear for Joe Gomez to establish himself at Liverpool and force his way into Klopp’s first team plans.

The manager has faith in Gomez and if he can regain the form he showed before his injury nightmare, there’s little reason to suggest the defender can’t be a success at Anfield.

Although Gomez didn’t have a lot to do, he won more aerial duels than any other Liverpool player (4) and made a huge 76 touches. He also made 2 interceptions and blocked 1 shot. Gomez tried his best to help Liverpool attack well, completing 83.3% of his passes and being accurate with 3 of his 6 attempted long balls.

The good thing for Gomez is that despite his long injury, he is still just 19. Under Klopp he has a great chance of developing into a top level defender. Today was just the first step in a long journey for him in fulfilling his potential, I’m confident that under Klopp and in this system, he can do just that.

Here’s some more reaction to how Gomez performed on Sunday afternoon.

 

Fans On Twitter Label Arsenal Man ‘So Underrated’ After Preston Performance

Not all heroes wear capes, but perhaps Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud ought to look into that the next time he’s feeling inventive with his celebrations.

The Gunners came from a goal down versus Preston North End to win 2-1, courtesy of Giroud’s 89th minute finish, and thus secure their spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Arsenal’s victory sees them top up on Arsène Wenger’s proud record of never losing in the third round of the FA Cup, going 21 for 21, as the north Londoners boast an equally respectable feat of losing just once versus lower league opposition (Blackburn Rovers, 2013).

It could all have been so different for the Premier League outfit, however, as ex-Aston Villa trainee Callum Robinson put Preston 1-0 up within the first 10 minutes of the game.

The Lilywhites continued their search for a second and came close to doing so too on various occasions, more notably through Jordan Hugill and Paul Gallagher throughout the first half, as the Gunners edged closer to following Bournemouth, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion out of the tournament.

After a half largely dominated by the Championship side, Aaron Ramsey prepared to make Simon Grayson’s side pay for all the missed opportunities, as the Welshman returned to the scoresheet for the first time since his back-heeled goal against Tottenham Hotspur in March of last season with a well struck shot in the 46th minute.

But the headlines were reserved for one man and one man only, as Giroud pounced on a subtle heel flick from Lucas Perez to give Arsenal an 11th hour lead and clock up his fair share of attention on social media.

The marmite-esque striker has developed a healthy habit of coming up with clutch moments in recent weeks, with his strike versus Preston increasing his overall tally for the season to nine goals in 18 appearances.

After scoring for a fourth consecutive game, four out of six of Giroud’s goals have all come no earlier than the 86th minute of the game, subsequently earning Arsenal an additional five points in the league and propelling their name into the hat for the draw of the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Prior to that, Arsenal’s number 12 also came up with the goods against Sunderland back in October, scoring a brace within minutes of hopping off the bench to take the Gunners from a 1-1 draw to a 3-1 lead at the Stadium of Light.

The Frenchman’s red-hot form is now sure to continue giving Wenger a selection headache, with Alexis Sanchez also excelling as a centre forward role prior to the festive period.

Manchester United Fans Say Midfielder ‘Needs To Play Every Game’ After Great Performance vs. Reading

It was a comfortable afternoon for Manchester United as they made light work of Championship high-flyers Reading by winning 4-0 at Old Trafford in Saturday’s early kick-off.

There were several standout performers for Manchester United on the day, but one player who received lots of praise from the fans post-match was Anthony Martial, a player who has been used sparingly under Jose Mourinho.

A fans favourite since he signed, many have been bemused as to why he has not played more often, but this performance will have surely done his chances no harm. Originally a striker, Martial has been pushed out to the left wing at United and it looks as if that will be his long term position. He will be competing with Marcus Rashford, a player with similar attributes, strengths and weaknesses and also a player who can play in both his positions.

The only personal issue perhaps for Martial is that even though he scored and played very well, his teammate and competitor for his position, Rashford, scored a brace and continued to impress his manager. Mourinho publicly praised Rashford’s contributions post-match.

Martial took 4 shots, 3 of which hit the target. He was also creative, making 3 key passes. The other aspect to Martial’s game is his physicality, he managed to win 3 aerial duels.

He got on the scoresheet, but that was not Martial’s only contribution. The Frenchman was a menace for the Reading defence all afternoon and certainly will have made Jose Mourinho consider playing him more frequently.

Here’s some of the fans reaction to Martial’s performance. 

Manchester United spent an awful lot of money on Martial, and they cannot forget that. Mourinho needs to ensure he maximises the potential of a player with a huge amount of it. A run out in the FA Cup is nice, but Martial deserves more than that. He has surely earned a regular place in the team, perhaps not from what he’s done under Mourinho (has he had a chance?) but what he did in his first season at the club. What worries me is whether he is going to be given that game time that he deserves at a club that continues to look for external improvements. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was signed in the summer and Antoine Griezmann is reportedly being lined up. If they’ve got the money, you can’t criticise the club for spending it, however when they have young talent like Martial and Rashford, surely developing that duo would be a better idea that continuing to invest?

That’s the view of me, not a United fan. I’d love to hear what United fans think about this, should both Rashford and Martial be featuring more regularly?

‘He Must Be Drunk’ Arsenal Fans Slam This Man Following Out Of Character Display At Bournemouth

Arsenal somehow managed to rescue a point at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night against Bournemouth, despite being 3-0 down with just twenty minutes to go. 

Right-back Hector Bellerin was at fault for the first goal when Charlie Daniels picked up the ball just inside the box. The Bournemouth man Bellerin with ease before finishing under the body of Petr Cech to fire the hosts into the lead.

Eddie Howe’s side were two goals to the good just a few minutes later. Ryan Fraser surged into the Arsenal box before Granot Xhaka carelessly bundled the midfielder over. Michael Oliver pointed straight to the spot. It was Callum Wilson who stepped up to give the home side a two goal lead.

The Cherries were in dreamland on the other side of half-time. Ryan Fraser beat Hector Bellerin to the ball, although there were suspicions of a foul, Fraser burst into the box and finished under Cech to put Bournemouth three up.

Things couldn’t have got much worse for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger as they looked to be heading for their third straight away league defeat. However, they were given a lifeline with twenty minutes to go. Olivier Giroud flicked the ball on for Alexis Sanchez to nod in at the back pots. It was game on again at the Vitality.

Just five minutes later, Lucas Perez scored a stunner to close the deficit to one. Giroud was the creator again, laying the ball off to the striker, who powered an excellent shot into the corner from a difficult angle past Artur Boruc.

Bournemouth looked as if they were going to see the game out, but it was Man of the Match Giroud that rescued Arsenal a point. The ball was hoisted into the box and the Frenchman rose the highest, turning his header into the back of the net to give the Gunners the unlikeliest of points.

Hector Bellerin had a terrible game, one of his worst in an Arsenal shirt. He was at fault for the first, and arguably the third too. There have been suggestions that the right-back is still struggling with a previous ankle injury, but that takes nothing away from how awful his display at Bournemouth was.

Despite crossing the ball three times, Bellerin won 0% of his tackles, 0% of his aerial duels and didn’t complete a single take on. Here is how Arsenal fans reacted on Twitter to Bellerin’s terrible display.

The fans have suggested that Hector must have been drunk, but Wenger has since confirmed that the Spaniard was one of a number of players to be playing the game with slight knocks.

‘Oustanding’ Liverpool Fans Heap Praise On Defender After His Performance vs. Everton

When news of Joel Matip’s ankle injury was reported, Liverpool fans were left to question who could fill his role. Dejan Lovren has always seemed like a player with a mistake in him, while Lucas Leiva is more of a makeshift centre back.

Few would have foreseen fellow summer signing Ragnar Klavan having such a positive impact on the side in recent weeks and that was the case once again against Everton. Winning 100% of his tackles while also registering 7 clearances and 3 interceptions, Klavan kept Lukaku largely at bay for the entirety of the ninety minutes.

As a result, Everton found it hard to muster up any real attacking threat on Simon Mignolet’s goal. His performance built upon his impressive display against Middlesbrough as the Reds recorded back to back clean sheets.

The 31-year-old has been the reliable figure at the back for Liverpool, using his experience to help nullify attacking threats. Furthermore, his confidence on the ball has seen him fit comfortably into Klopp’s system. The Estonian managed a passing accuracy of 88% at Goodison Park, illustrating his composure in possession.

Not much was known of Klavan when he moved to the Premier League, but the defender’s recent performances in the absence of Jurgen Klopp’s first choice centre back illustrates the quality he possesses.

In response, Liverpool fans have been quick to praise Klavan, with their fears over the defence in the absence of Matip well and truly eased by the centre-half’s emergence.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Klavan’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

In his first Merseyside Derby, Klavan rose wonderfully to the occasion and produced exactly what was needed of him. Timely interceptions and incisive blocks were key to ensuring Mignolet was never called into severe action, thus the plaudits for the Estonian are warranted.

Not to mention a crucial tackle against Lukaku that prevented Everton from taking the lead in the first half. Jamie Redknapp certainly believes that the veteran has what it takes, stating that he “might be just what they need at centre-back.”

Having only finished higher than sixth place in the Premier League once in the last seven years, Jurgen Klopp will know the importance of keeping Liverpool’s back line tight.

Klavan’s no-nonsense style have given a much bigger sense of control to the defence and based on current performances, he could find himself partnering Matip in the near future.

Disgraceful: This Arsenal Midfielder Has Had A Shocking Season, And Needs A Wake Up Call

Mesut Ozil has put in a run of poor performances for Arsenal recently, and must improve dramatically if Arsenal are to make a push to try and catch Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table. 

The Gunners sit 4th going into Christmas after a toothless performance at Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, missing their opportunity to maintain their place in 2nd and widen the gap between themselves and Pep Guardiola’s side.

Mesut Ozil has been poor over the last few games, and has seemed to have disappeared a lot on the football pitch. On Tuesday night, Ozil was involved heavily in the Arsenal attack in the first fifteen or twenty minutes at Goodison Park against Everton. However, as soon as the game turned physical and the Toffees started to a put in some strong tackles, we saw very little of the German playmaker.

Ozil did find himself with space for a shot just inside the Everton box in the second half, but failed to take his chance as he fired his shot over the crossbar, a chance that he probably should have buried. The German created one chance in the first half, but when Everton drew level, Ozil didn’t create a any chances. He didn’t complete a take-on either in the whole match.

The 28-year-old’s display against Manchester City was just as poor. He was shrugged off the ball too easily, and failed to create chances for the Gunners in what was a gutless display at the Etihad Stadium. He was found walking in the midfield too many times, his work-rate was awful.

The German international did create one chance, didn’t have a single shot, nor did he have a single shot, or make a single tackle. The same happened at Old Trafford a month ago. Manchester United played a very physical game, and rather unsurprisingly, Ozil disappeared once again.

Costing Arsenal a hefty £42.5m a few seasons ago, Ozil needs to become that big game player for the Gunners, something that he has failed to do in his time at the Emirates, especially this season. When the rest of the team isn’t playing well, Ozil needs to step up and make things happen. Maybe a spell out of the side would actually have a good effect on the German.

The problem that Arsene Wenger faces is that Ozil is one of those undroppable players, and the French manager probably fears the reaction and stick he will face if he were to drop Ozil. However, Wenger needs to step up and make the big decision in my opinion, and give Ozil the wake-up call that he needs. The 28-year-old has provided just two assists this season, the same amount as Tottenham flop Moussa Sissoko. He needs to become more involved, and fast if Arsenal are to push for the Premier League title this season.

‘Never Hated A Player More’ Arsenal Defender Comes Under Strong Criticism After Manchester City Nightmare

Arsenal travelled to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a bid to close the gap on first-placed Chelsea, a gap which has extended to nine points after the Gunners dropped points against Everton mid-week.

Unfortunately for Arsene Wenger’s men, they conceded to consecutive defeats in the space of a week as their title hopes took a massive dent with the Gunners sitting in fourth place, nine points off top and looking very vulnerable.

Most Arsenal players carried on their abysmal form from Goodison Park but one player in particular was on the receiving end of some strong criticism, that being Brazilian defender Gabriel Paulista, who was atrocious against Manchester City as he showed why Arsenal miss Mustafi so much.

Gabriel, who arrived at the North Londoners in 2015, has failed to cement himself a place in the starting lineup for nearly two years and today showed exactly why, he was abysmal in possession, for someone playing in a team managed by Arsene Wenger you would be very surprised by how Gabriel was playing, he was constantly going long for Alexis Sanchez, just for Arsenal to concede possession and be put under more pressure.

Gabriel lacked the technical ability to string a few passes on the surface, he was not able to pass through to our midfield to help build up play from the back and was extremely wasteful with the ball, he would either go sideways or over the midfield, and straight to City defenders, this cost Arsenal crucially today and the signs are really showing why Mustafi is so key to this team.

As a central defender you have to be much more aware and more disciplined than Gabriel was, he can often be quite rash in his defensive duties and can be caught out of position very often.

Gabriel made just two tackles this afternoon, one more than Olivier Giroud who was subbed on in the latter stages of the game, that just shows what kind of defensive performance Gabriel has against Manchester City.

The Brazilian always looks very uncomfortable with the ball too, he looks like he does not know what to do with it, or has a lack of confidence in himself, to which he results to just giving the ball away or play wayward passes, something which will anger Arsene Wenger.

For some humour, Gabriel nearly caused Hector Bellerin to score an own goal after the Brazilian hoofed the ball at Bellerin’s face and it took quick reactions from Petr Cech to save the shot, no it is not that funny really, is it? But if you don’t laugh you will cry. That moment of madness just shows what kind of performance Gabriel had today.

It is really frustrating to watch, this is twice in one week we have taken a look at Arsenal players to cost the Gunners a vital points and ground in the title race. Each and every player should want to win and end this disastrous drought of having no Premier League in so many years, but they don’t, and to be honest, it’s frustrating and a disgrace for the Arsenal faithful.

It is certainly a performance to forget for Gabriel, it was embarrassing. We look at how Twitter reacted to his performance, and as expected some fans are really not happy.

As you can see, Arsenal fans were less than impressed with Gabriel’s performance and were quite ruthless on his overall display. Some people find strong criticism unfair and uncalled for, and sometimes it may be, but for Arsenal, they are desperate to end their title run, games like today will pay divalent on their title charge and it really does feel as if the Gunners will go another season without the grandest prize of them all.

Arsenal fans are calling for Rob Holding to start over Gabriel, and to be honest, I have to agree. The youngster has been immense whenever he plays in an Arsenal shirt and has bags of potential to fill and a lot more ability about himself.

The Gunners bottled two tough away days in the space of a week, they’re nine points off top, playing some woeful football and sitting here writing this I feel that’s another season down drain, and it’s only December.

‘Incredible’ Twitter Heaps Praise On Manchester United Man After Performance vs. West Brom

All talk was reserved for one man in particular, as Manchester United continued to brush up their fortunes with a 2-0 victory away to Premier League high-flyers West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns this Saturday.

As Wayne Rooney continues to set his sights on Bobby Charlton’s historic 249-goal haul for the Red Devils, denied the feat on the night by the crossbar, it was Man United’s other veteran in attack, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, that hogged the plaudits with his renewed stream of goals.

The Swede gave José Mourinho’s reviving side the lead as early as the 5th minute with a well-taken header from Jesse Lingard’s cross, whereas Ibrahimovic was on hand to double the dosage in the second half and ease any lingering worries that existed concerning a potential banana skin that was the trip to 7th placed West Brom.

Of the two shots taken by Ibrahimovic, all ended up in the back of the net in what was a Man of the Match performance, whereas the brace bagged tonight sees the target man hit his 34th goal in 33 league games throughout 2016.

Just the one goal was enough, however, for the 35-year-old’s name to dominate the reactions emerging from United’s evening in the West Midlands.

Ibrahimovic was widely expected to struggle in the Premier League when arriving at Old Trafford, in particular due to his age, but the striker’s first goal of the night told a very different story, taking him to double figures in the Premier League and pushing his total for the season to 15.

In response, United fans and loyal ‘Ibra’ backers were on hand to outline the former Paris-Saint Germain star’s good work, without a doubt aimed at those branding him a flop.

Ibrahimovic, a champion in Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands, has always had the question mark hanging over his head around these alleys of Europe over whether he could replicate his success in front of goal in the popular goldfish that is Premier League.

Now testing his capabilities at the ripe old age of 35, the odds weren’t as favourable as the man himself might like to think, but the striker has always strived to discard such claims that he’s “finished” at the highest level.

Even as recently as today, the well-preserved Ibrahimovic was keen to outline that he feels fresh in the prospect of being handed a rest in coming games.

“In football, sometimes you have to listen to everybody around you, but in my mind I’m a 20-year-old boy,” the Man United number 9 said. “I’m fresh and I’ll keep going, as long as the team needs me.”

A repeat of Ibrahimovic’s current goal scoring exploits in 2016 certainly wouldn’t go amiss in United’s bid to climb back up the Premier League.

He Made The Difference: Manchester United Fans Druel Over ‘Immense’ Midfielder’s Performance vs. Crystal Palace

Manchester United continued their mini-resurgence with a hard-fought 2-1 win away at Crystal Palace on Wednesday night. Whilst Jose Mourinho’s men were not at their best, there was one player that really helped them get the 3 points. 

Paul Pogba was absolutely immense for Manchester United on the night, scoring the first and assisting the second goal, but those were not his only contributions in what was a near faultless performance. Pogba won 100% of his tackles, 6 aerial duels, 4 take ons and managed 4 shots, with one crucially giving United the lead.

Pogba is effective both offensively and defensively and he showed that against Palace, making 4 key passes, 6 clearances, 2 interceptions and 2 tackles.

Pogba was involved heavily in the build-up for United, completing a huge 93 passes with a fairly impressive 82.8% accuracy rate. The Frenchman has never been the neatest in possession and he wasn’t again on Wednesday, but he is a different and unique breed of midfielder. Combining defensive & technical ability with athleticism, he completed 4 of his 5 attempted long balls and 1/1 through ball. Despite playing centrally, Pogba still managed to attempt 2 crosses – highlighting how he was involved all over the pitch and central to everything United did.

To be honest it is about time that Pogba produced such a dominating, match-winning performance. Costing the club £90million, his influence this season has been limited to date and the club certainly need him to make the difference in games like these more regularly. Mourinho will also surely want to see the club’s record signing produce performances like these in the big matches against their title rivals.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Pogba’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

I must admit, Pogba’s performance on Wednesday night was excellent. He finally produced a performance that justifies the price that United have paid for him. Whilst I think he has been good for United since signing, he has been great, enough of the time. Like any player that moves from a foreign league, there is a settling in period and Pogba is not immune to that. It may be the case now that he has fully settled and is ready to step up and produce more World Class performances like he did on Wednesday night.

That’s the key thing: when you pay so much for a player you need them to win you points, making the difference in games where you don’t play brilliantly. Mourinho may say otherwise, but United were far from brilliant against Crystal Palace and without Pogba on the pitch I severely doubt that they would’ve picked up all three points.