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“What’s your reaction when people say that you aren’t killing off games and that you are coming out the second half and not being as attacking as you are in the first half?”

“My reaction is to say that is completely true, what is not true is that in the second half we do what I ask the players to do. It’s true, we have lots of chances to win matches in the first half, we are not scoring enough goals in relation to what we do. And then in the second half, opponents, they dominate us and it “looks” like we accept that dominancy and we pay the price of mistakes that we make defensively. …


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“One of the main things that I remember from being young was a piano. In the middle of the living room, because my father was playing piano. A lot, a lot. He was playing classical music. One piece of classical music, it’s like sentences. It’s like you’re reading — it’s like a poem. You have the first sentence, the second, the third, etc. And when you want to repeat it to make it perfect, you take one sentence and repeat it a million times until it’s just a perfection. It’s the same with tennis. Exactly the same. Practice a million times, until it’s perfect.” …


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A Shadow Fiend often resembles a dark evil spirit trying to conquer the world. Yet the noun Fiend can also translate to an enthusiast or a devotee, making a Shadow Fiend a person merely interested in shadows.

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea were chasing shadows. The shadows of Manchester City. Kindred spirits that are intangible, making them impossible to get hold of. The only physical feature they possess are legs and feet.

The first half left the Chelsea players and their manager mesmerized, unable to figure out how these shadows were attacking. The ball moved so smoothly between them that at times it felt part of the shadow. …


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The trouble upstairs at Arsenal has been indirectly affecting performances on the field. Agents’ powers, frustrated players in the dressing room, and indiscipline was only made worse with a seven match winless streak in the league stretching back to the first of November when they managed to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

It was surprising hearing Bernd Leno telling Sky Deutschland prior to kick-off that “bad attitude and lack of discipline” contributed to poor performances in the last few games. …


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Lady Luck smiles when she wants, frowns when she wants. At times you do everything you can, yet she doesn’t smile back. She hasn’t been smiling at Brighton lately.

Burnley’s latest win against Wolves dragged Brighton further down to 17th place, only two points above an inform Fulham who managed six points in their last five games.

Watching Graham Potter’s side gives you the feelling of a well structured passing team that knows what they are doing, while also being tactically flexible. They create numerous chances each game but don’t always convert them. According to FBref.com, …


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The rabbit-duck illusion’s earliest known version first appeared in a German humor magazine in the 1890s. “Which animals are most like each other? Rabbit and duck.” the caption said.


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On Monday Night Football, Jamie Carragher went through Chelsea’s improvement in defensive corners. A mix of zonal and man-marking systems eradicated the errors of last season.

The stats marry the eye test, Chelsea have improved massively in terms of defending corners as seen throughout this season. There are no more clueless Chelsea players, exclaiming what their job is while the corner is being played.

The improvement also transitioned to the attacking corners. As per Sky Sports Statto, Chelsea were scoring a goal every 35 corner last season, ranking 14th in the Premier League. …


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Puffed mouth, arms up high, Jose Mourinho was in awe of Heung-min Son’s strike, as was his assistant Joao Sacramento. “In the first half of course we put ourselves in a position of good advantage..”. The type of advantage Mourinho dreams of. Now, he could flip the switch and Mourinho the game as he did against Chelsea and Manchester City.

Another defensive display, another clean sheet, and no wonder who was grinning again in the post match press conference. Mourinho’s voice oozed of confidence and control. Control which he sought from the first minute of the game till the last. …


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The Phoenix rises again and again and again. A loop that has seen Manchester United impress after multiple disappointments. The second half against Southampton envisaged the Manchester United of old. The one that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used to play in. Yet for all the glory, the scenes seem familiar. A couple of unconvincing losses, followed by some unconvincing wins, then the odd convincing win.

It seems that everyone is operating normally in this simulation. The loop restarts, sorrow is followed by hope, hope is followed by euphoria, then it all resets. Istanbul is followed by Manchester, Manchester is followed by Southampton, then it all resets. …


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Four years ago, Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourinho was the ultimate box office. A rivalry through the years as the latter’s late peaks coincided with the former’s rise.

The Premier League awaited for their rivalry to extend to England, Manchester in particular. Yet, despite all the hype, it never reached the heights of their rivalry in Spain.

Mourinho’s Real Madrid embodied Mourinho, they were a visualization of his thoughts extended to the pitch. Something that didn’t materialize at Manchester United. …

About

Ahmed Walid

English Football. United

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