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April 15, 2021

blog – the match

With Real Madrid’s triumph over Liverpool, a fourth Champions League title would be Zidane’s finest

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Zinedine Zidane is on track to win his fourth Champions League title as Real Madrid manager. Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images This may be the year that Zinedine Zidane finally earns full recognition for his achievements as Real Madrid coach because, if he guides this squad to Champions League......

Havertz, Pulisic show they can be solutions to Chelsea’s biggest attacking questions

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It would be an unexpected bonus for Chelsea if Kai Havertz discovered his best form while also solving what has become a problem position for Thomas Tuchel. The expectation remains that the Blues will sign a centre-forward this summer with senior figures at the club believing they are competitive in......

Limping Man United turn to Greenwood to get them over the finish line

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5:44 PM ET Rob DawsonCorrespondent MANCHESTER, England — Mason Greenwood has found scoring goals a little harder this season, but he popped up with a big one in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Sunday night. Heading for a 1-1 draw against relegation-threatened Brighton with seven minutes to go,......

Man City need Haaland or Kane to get even better

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LEICESTER, England — The day before Manchester City moved three points closer to the Premier League title with a 2-0 win at Leicester, Pep Guardiola had the rest of football breathing a sigh of relief when he said that his club cannot afford to sign a world-class striker as replacement......

Fred’s failings reflect Man United’s lack of quality

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3:57 PM ET Rob DawsonCorrespondent LEICESTER, England — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret of desire to win competitions more important than the FA Cup, but Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to Leicester at the quarterfinal stage will remind the Norwegian that, ultimately, he needs better players to get him......

Another domestic treble for Man City feels inevitable

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LIVERPOOL, England — It is a testament to Manchester City‘s achievements under Pep Guardiola that making history has become so routine that it barely seems to register. But after beating Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday to seal a place in the FA Cup semifinals, City are as good......

Chelsea are bought in to Tuchel’s ways. How far can he take them?

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LONDON — Thomas Tuchel last week described a squad Frank Lampard often lamented for being too big as of “perfect size,” and here Chelsea proved why his opinion carries more weight. The Blues are through to their first Champions League quarterfinal since 2014 with a 2-0 win (3-0 on aggregate)......

Man United win kicks off pivotal week that can prove Solskjaer’s claims of progress

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6:29 PM ET Rob DawsonCorrespondent MANCHESTER, England — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be talking a lot about “progress” between now and the end of the season: how much Manchester United have made, whether it’s enough and how they take the next step forward. It will be an easier conversation if......

Man United derby win shows how far they have to go

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MANCHESTER, England — In this wildest of Premier League seasons, another unexpected twist. Manchester United’s 2-0 derby win extended their record unbeaten away in the Premier League ended Manchester City’s winning streak, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players will rue the 11-point gap that remains between themselves and Pep Guardiola’s league......

Chelsea position themselves for top-four place, leaving Liverpool behind

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LIVERPOOL, England — There is no good news right now for Liverpool. The reigning Premier League champions are falling apart at the seams and Chelsea‘s history-making victory at Anfield was only one element of the misery that is now threatening to consume Jurgen Klopp’s team. The image of Mohamed Salah......

Arsenal must prioritize Europa League after settling for defeat vs. Man City

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LONDON — There often comes a point when European competition takes on greater significance than domestic pursuits, and Arsenal have surely reached that juncture now. The same is true of Manchester City, especially given the responsibility Pep Guardiola feels in delivering Champions League success as the ultimate validation of his......

Everton send Liverpool into full-blown crisis

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LIVERPOOL, England — Jurgen Klopp has grown accustomed to making history as Liverpool manager, but he and his team are now creating it for all the wrong reasons. Times have been bad in recent weeks at Anfield, but the reigning Premier League champions are now in a full-blown crisis after......

Werner’s goal shows progress of Tuchel’s revitalisation efforts

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LONDON — Chelsea‘s 2-0 win over Newcastle United was comfortable, but this was a night when droughts were broken and confidence restored. Timo Werner was superb, while Kepa Arrizabalaga repaid Thomas Tuchel’s faith in his first Premier League start since October. While Newcastle offered little in attack, this was a......

Arsenal’s attack clicks vs. Leeds. Can they recreate it against better teams?

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LONDON — Perhaps Arsenal supporters can begin to expect the unexpected again. One persistent criticism of manager Mikel Arteta is the Gunners’ rigidity in attacking positions that has often led to an inability to translate possession into clear goal-scoring opportunities. Leeds United may have been willing accomplices at Emirates Stadium,......

Man United’s title challenge on hold until they upgrade defensive options

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12:24 PM ET Rob DawsonCorrespondent WEST BROMWICH, England — It took 83 seconds for West Bromwich Albion to show why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants — and Manchester United need — a new centre-back. Conor Gallagher swung in a hopeful cross from the right and Mbaye Diagne barrelled through Victor Lindelof......

Pep’s Man City march towards the title as Mourinho’s Spurs merely limp along

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MANCHESTER, England — It’s not all bad news for Jose Mourinho. The Tottenham Hotspur manager can still claim to be the last coach to mastermind a win against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, although that distinction might not have provided much consolation as Spurs headed back to London after a 3-0......

Liverpool collapse shows ‘mentality monsters’ are now tortured souls

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LEICESTER, England — There is a reason why Jurgen Klopp regretted publicly doubting Liverpool‘s confidence: it is completely shot. Nothing else can adequately explain the seven-minute capitulation against Leicester City that saw the Reds surrender a 1-0 lead to lose 3-1 at the King Power Stadium and leave them facing......

Pulisic’s performance will do little to convince Tuchel of his worth

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BARNSLEY, England — As Christian Pulisic left the pitch at Oakwell, substituted in the 80th minute of Chelsea‘s 1-0 FA Cup fifth-round win at Barnsley, the United States captain bore the expression of a man who had just left an audition with the feeling that he had forgotten his lines.......

Everton-Spurs FA Cup thriller showcases all that makes football great

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LIVERPOOL, England — Football doesn’t always have to be beautiful to deliver 10-out-of-10 entertainment. It can also be crazy, error strewn, infuriating and enlivened by flashes of brilliance to be as memorable as the most majestic team performance. Anyone who doubts that should just re-run the 120 minutes of Everton‘s......

Champions-elect Man City make emphatic statement at Liverpool

ESPN
LIVERPOOL, England — The Premier League trophy still sits on display in Liverpool’s club museum at Anfield, but they can start to take off the red ribbons and label it for a return to previous owner after Manchester City’s rampant 4-1 victory made this season’s title race a formality and......

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