Thursday, May 13, 2021

10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 31

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What did we learn in the Premier League over the weekend?

Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

Let’s get to it:

1. City punished for rotation (Manchester City 1-2 Leeds): After they struggled to beat Borussia Dortmund in midweek at home in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg, Guardiola made plenty of changes to the starting lineup and it showed. Even so, the team City put out should have still got past Leeds. City were sluggish from the off, John Stones and Cancelo were pushing too far forward and they paid the price for prioritizing the second leg in Dortmund in a few days. Kevin de Bruyne didn’t come off the bench and even though Gundogan and Foden made a difference when they did, City still missed that clinical edge in attack. They will still win the league, and that means Pep was correct to focus on Dortmund. Let’s see if his plan pays off. (JPW)

2. Pulisic has a big day (Crystal Palace 1-4 Chelsea): Boy, did he need this. Two goals and he was a threat throughout, as he looked sharp and fit. He had a big impact off the bench against Porto in midweek and after his hamstring scare last weekend he showed no signs of injury. Tuchel believes he will be a key player late in the season and Pulisic is playing with confidence and is in fine form. The USMNT star now needs to stay fit and is pushing to be a regular starter after three-straight stars in the PL. (JPW)

3. Liverpool have renewed energy (Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa): Last weekend against Arsenal and this weekend against Villa they looked the real deal. The energy and zip is back for Klopp’s side, at least in the league. Will it return against Real Madrid in midweek? They looked jaded in their 3-1 loss at Real, and that can happen, but their push for the top four seems to be on track as they have a very favorable schedule coming up. (JPW)

4. Same old story for Spurs (Tottenham 1-3 Manchester United): We’ve seen this before, many times. Spurs were 1-0 up and then sat back and had no control on the game. That allowed United to surge to victory and Jose Mourinho will have a serious case of deja vu as they have now dropped the second-highest number of points (18) from winning positions in the PL this season. This has happened so many times this season and as he keeps lambasting his players, you can see they have no confidence in their own defensive ability. If he’s in charge next season he basically needs a whole new defensive unit, or a different style of play. They cannot keep sitting back after going ahead. They have to fight fire with fire, for once. (JPW)

5. Leeds finishing strong (Manchester City 1-2 Leeds): . . .

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Editor’s Note: Be sure to catch the video!


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