Of the weekend’s Premier League goalkeepers, David de Gea was one of only two not to concede. It is important to understand that we have different teams and competitions to other teams in Europe’. Ha ha! That’s a tricky trivia question for the future.
The Premier League is hailed as the best league in the world by many pundits, but part of the reason is big wages funded by TV rights attracting top class foreign players, which means less places in the top teams for English players to gain match experience. Is this the lowest a defending champion has been in the table outside August? Watford 12. West Ham 13.
The physical and competitive “rat race” that is the Premier League will hurt English clubs’ chances of progressing in the Champions League, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has said.
It came in 2000/01, and it saw Gianluca Vialli replaced by Claudio Ranieri after just one win from their opening five games, eventually finishing sixth and earning a UEFA Cup spot.
Matchday 1 of the Champions League brought the usual array of thrills and spills, but not exactly the results we were all expecting.
But in a factious affair in which defender Gabriel and midfielder Santi Cazorla were both sent off for the Gunners, Jose Mourinho’s side proved too hard to handle for the north Londoners and they succumbed to a 2-0 loss courtesy of a goal each from Kurt Zouma and Eden Hazard. They turned their season around that year, going on to finish second in the table, but only by replacing Mourinho with Avram Grant.
This year, English teams are also performing poorly in European competitions, which could mean if Italy repeat the feat of last year, the country could overtake England in the rankings. The streak was eventually ended by a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on April 29, 2000.
Another entertaining weekend of Premier League football draws to a close.
That will put the extra EUFA Champions League place given to an English team in jeopardy.
The truth is, I’m not really sure.
In Premier League history, 18 sides have lost four games in a row by a single goal, but none of them went on to lose their fifth game by a single goal as well. Aston Villa 8. Leicester 9. ‘One season we played nine games in December and nine games in January. Two weeks ago, everybody was raving about Man City and now, two weeks later, they are not playing the same way. Odion Ighalo and Yohan Cabaye (penalty) are the only names to get on the scoresheet there.
The England Under-21 worldwide, partnered in midfield by fellow England youngster Dele Alli, kept a far more experienced City midfield quiet for much of the game, and his goal from outside the box just before half-time did his growing reputation no harm either.