Running Them into the Ground: The EPL Holiday Fixtures Bonanza Gamethread (26-12-19 - 02-01-2020)

SocrManiac

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That was hilarious before the kickoff in Leicester. AWB is a fast tackler without a shred of positional awareness or passing ability.
 

Kliq

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I will say, it is going to take a massive conspiracy theory to bring this LFC side down, they are a wagon.
 

SoxFanInCali

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That was a joy to watch.

Leicester are a very good team, but the last couple games for them have been a reality check.
 

Vinho Tinto

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The only questions left are how big of gap does Liverpool win the league by and how many points do they finish with.

League record for points is 100 and wins is 32.
 

Clears Cleaver

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that was as good as I have seen them the last couple years, Barcelona included. Gomez and VVD were amazing and TAA was absolutely elite. They could have easily had six today and I don't think Leicester had one really good chance
 

CPT Neuron

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Ironic, as I was contemplating a post here that AWB looked to have regressed since his transfer. It is hard to contemplate that he is even in the same area code as Trent in terms of quality right now.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Ironic, as I was contemplating a post here that AWB looked to have regressed since his transfer. It is hard to contemplate that he is even in the same area code as Trent in terms of quality right now.
He was never that good.
 

Zomp

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Nobody in their right mind would say awb is as good as taa. Awb is probably a better tackler but sometimes I think he relies too much on his tackling ability because he doesn’t read the game as well as he should.

Awb is fantastic defensively but a black hole in the final third. I don’t think he’s regressed at all but I didn’t see much of him at Palace.

United fans, reasonable ones anyway, should be happy with his level of play this year and happy to have him as our right back for the foreseeable future. I mean Dlew did say fans on Twitter...who we all know can be very reasonable and level headed...
 

PedroSpecialK

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I don't think Wan-Bissaka has necessarily regressed, he's just been placed in a team that has less support from midfield on his side, and much less tracking back than Townsend provided him at Palace. He's a top 3-5 RB in the division even without having great instincts yet going forward (though he put some great balls in today)

On another note - TAA will rightly get the plaudits for the Leicester match, but I can't stress how instrumental Firmino was tonight. His ability to serve as an outlet for the midfield and recover possession under duress was on full display for the third goal. And I mean come on, the touch to cushion Trent's bullet cross:

View: https://streamable.com/1kdlu
 

SocrManiac

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Firmino is as streaky as anybody, but his valleys don’t dip that low- he’s always working and serving the team. His peaks can be pretty high, though, and he’s certainly on top of one over the past week.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Firmino is as streaky as anybody, but his valleys don’t dip that low- he’s always working and serving the team. His peaks can be pretty high, though, and he’s certainly on top of one over the past week.
A lot of what he does makes it possible for Salah and Mane to grab the glory and the headlines. They don't put up the numbers that they put up without Firmino.
 

allstonite

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A lot of what he does makes it possible for Salah and Mane to grab the glory and the headlines. They don't put up the numbers that they put up without Firmino.
There was something I saw on (I think) LFC reddit a few weeks ago that said something like "With Harry Kane* you get 1 world class striker. With Firmino you get 3" He's such a unique and fun player to watch

*this isn't an indictment of Kane who I also enjoy watching except against LFC
 

SoxFanInCali

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Ederson sent off for City 10 minutes in against Wolves.

Aguero is brought off to get Bravo into the game.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Now City get a penalty, and Sterling has it saved, but Coady is in the box early.

Sterling takes it again, it's saved again. But Sterling has a tap in off the rebound.
 

SoxFanInCali

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This seems like a good time to point out that when Liverpool beat Boro 14-13 in penalties a few years back in the League Cup, the only miss for Liverpool was Sterling.
 

teddykgb

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And if you’re wondering “is he really whining about not getting penalties minutes after being awarded a dodgy penalty and a dodgy retake?” the answer is yes
 

SoxFanInCali

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There really wasn't anything dodgy about the penalty. Mahrez doing the exaggerated swan dive doesn't change the fact his foot was stepped on. Unfortunate for the defender, but legit.

The retake is never called consistently but the fact that Coady cleared the ball after the save means it's legit. I just get annoyed about the ones where a guy has a toenail in the box while the other team also has guys in but a retake is given.
 

Clears Cleaver

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those were two shit penalties...interesting to see this game 180 from the first time they played when Sheffielde scored on the counter after MFC dominated possession
 

SoxFanInCali

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I'm just hoping Bravo gets himself sent off so we can have the Kyle Walker - Texas Goalkeeper experience in the Premier League.
 

67YAZ

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Wild to see Bernardo Silva sprint over to double Traoré every time the ball goes wide to the right. About a year ago Traoré was a failed wunderkind.
 

67YAZ

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Did Kyle Walker rip his own shirt post game? Like a failed hulk hogan kind of move?
 

SocrManiac

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Wolves are what Leicester should have been the year they won the league: an incredible year from the underdogs. Leicester managed it in a year that all of the big clubs beat each other up and struggled otherwise.

I started to believe Leicester could win around Boxing Day. I'm starting to believe Liverpool can win now, too. They essentially have a five game cushion now. That allows for a big dip in form, more injuries (I thought Fabinho's would have sunk them for awhile), and some CL shenanigans. If Stevie G were still around, this could play out like Wakefield's "redemption" after the Boone HR. Neither deserved the pain they felt, but both shouldered the responsibility.
 

SocrManiac

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Just watching Wolves-City now. I watched Martin Atkinson send off a keeper, then either ask the replacement if he was ready or warn him the whistle was coming.

Atkinson must have gotten some coaching after his Liverpool fuckup.
 

teddykgb

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Wolves are what Leicester should have been the year they won the league: an incredible year from the underdogs. Leicester managed it in a year that all of the big clubs beat each other up and struggled otherwise.

I started to believe Leicester could win around Boxing Day. I'm starting to believe Liverpool can win now, too. They essentially have a five game cushion now. That allows for a big dip in form, more injuries (I thought Fabinho's would have sunk them for awhile), and some CL shenanigans. If Stevie G were still around, this could play out like Wakefield's "redemption" after the Boone HR. Neither deserved the pain they felt, but both shouldered the responsibility.
I was just starting to come to grips with you all winning this year and starting to feel acceptance and then you have to go and make this post
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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This is fantastic re Traore:

And as he advanced from the halfway line 10 minutes into the second half, perhaps the most surprising element of this utterly deranged game was that Traoré had played such a scant role in its derangement. He is, after all, the very embodiment of disarray: that enormous squirming frame, the ball spinning from foot to foot like a neutron in fission, the overlaps that confound physics, the crosses that confound geometry. In a game of systems and tactics, Traoré is a one-man system, a tactic in his own right, a barrelling bedlam that in many ways is the very antithesis of Guardiola’s City, a project based on sanity, gravity, control.


 

Warning Track Speed

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Ian Darke on the call and Ali Jahanbakhsh with his first goal for Brighton after a year and a half. Only his second appearance this season. What a bonus if they start getting some production from him. Lots of energy in this game so far.
 

PedroSpecialK

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He's definitely looked lively, some good link up play with Maupay - he would've been in alone around 62' if Mooy had spotted his run a bit earlier as well.

I think he's in the shop window now to go out on loan in January but maybe this changes Potter's mind
 

Warning Track Speed

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Nice to have three points in the bag before the sun comes up. Other than the last 10 minutes of the first half, when Bournemouth applied some good pressure, it was a fairly comfortable win for Brighton. As good as Mooy has been this season it's about time he got his first goal. And Dan Burn had his first too but it was VAR'd off by a nostril.

Chelsea at the Amex Wednesday.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Credit to Brighton today, but I can't get over how dire Bournemouth have looked overall this year. Their transfers in / out have been beyond dreadful over the past 3-4 years

In - regular starters bolded

Lerma (£25m)
Ake (£20m)
Solanke (£19m)
Danjuma (£16m)
Ibe (£16m)
Billing (£15m)
Kelly (£13m)
Mepham (£12m)
Brooks (£10m)
Begovic (£10m)
L. Cook (£6m)
Stacey (£4m)

Of the 5 starting within that group, I'd say Mepham's been a liability overall as well. £146m to get that group seems exorbitant for the overall return, particularly #3-5.

In that time, they've also let two nailed-on starters leave (Mings, Ritchie) for a combined £30m, and are sporting a ~£80m deficit in the past 3 seasons or so. I wonder how much Howe influences transfer decisions / targets, he's an astute coach but their scouting leaves something to be desired
 

PedroSpecialK

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Almiron had a penalty shout not 40 seconds into the match. If he just goes down from Keane's initial arm bar, it's awarded

And it's official, Calvert-Lewin has scored a goal with his feet

Feels like Baines has been Everton's best player today and is pretty much the only reason they've not yet conceded
 
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candylandriots

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Goal from Tomkins off a set piece to give Palace a 1-0 lead. They already had a beauty waved off from an offside armpit.
 

candylandriots

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If this holds up, I’m frankly astonished to have 29 points before the end of the year. It makes it a lot easier to let Zaha go in January if Chelsea come in with a big bid - though it would be typical Palace to see a chance at fighting for European football blown up by that.