English Premier league | Sportzwiki

English Premier league

Alisson. Image Credits: Twitter

Liverpool Keeper Alisson Made History Last Night

Last night on the closing moments of the 36th gameweek of the Premier League, Alisson Becker made history when he scored a last minute winner for the defending Premier League Champions Liverpool.

This is first time in Liverpool’s 129 years’ history that a goalkeeper scored a goal for the side. And this was just not any other goal, it was a winning header from a corner kick. Alisson was literally in tears after scoring the goal.

Alisson. Image Credits: Twitter

Liverpool Keeper Alisson Made History Last Night

As mentioned, before nobody in the history in the Liverpool football club, a goalkeeper has scored any goal. This is also the first time in Premier League history as well that a goalkeeper scored a header. Of course there are instances like the Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard scoring against Bolton Wanderers, but none of them were headers like the one of Alisson Becker.

Liverpool had to win this game in order to keep their top four hopes alive. The opponent West Brom should not have been this difficult as the side has already been relegated. But it was a very difficult game for Liverpool as they almost dropped to points.

Alisson. Image Credits: Twitter

After missing chances after chances, Liverpool won a corner at the last minute of the added time. Liverpool’s goalkeeper coach John Achterberg told where Brazilian goalkeeper to stand up and get inside the opponent penalty area. And then, 28 year old did the unthinkable; he scored the goal that led Liverpool to their much wanted victory.

The top four Race for Liverpool is very much alive right now. If they win their remaining two fixture, they would seal their position into the top four. Unless Leicester City lose their next match against Chelsea and win their next match against Tottenham Hotspurs with a huge margin.

Alisson. Image Credits: Twitter

But the top 4 position for Liverpool should not be very difficult to achieve if they win their remaining two fixtures and it should not be very difficult because they have easiest fixture of the three sides. But Liverpool have a terrible history of dropping points against easier teams in past, so nothing could be said right now. So nothing can be confirmed by n

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly Defends Decision To Organize IPL 2021 In India As COVID-19 Cases Were Low At Beginning

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president has defended the decision to organize IPL 2021 in India amid the criticism that the league has copped due to Covid-19 cases both in the country and in several franchises even breaching bio-bubble.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) copped plenty of criticism for its decision to host the 2021 edition in the middle of a raging ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in the country. While there were those who hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for not organizing the league in UAE like last year, board president Sourav Ganguly has come out defending the decision.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sourav Ganguly: BCCI Did The England Tour Successfully And Covid-19 Cases In February Was Virtually Nothing

India seemed to have turned the tide in terms of Covid-19 cases earlier this year which prompted the BCCI to organize the T20 league in the country. Having successfully hosted the all-format bilateral series against England, BCCI received a huge boost in confidence but they didn’t realize that the second wave of the pandemic was to come.

In an interview with Indian Express, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was asked whether organizing the IPL in India was a mistake. He, however, maintained that it wasn’t considering how low the virus caseload was in the country when the plans were being finalized.

“No. When we decided, the number was not even close to this. We did the England tour successfully,” Ganguly answered.

India vs England - Virat Kohli and Jos Buttler
India vs England – Virat Kohli and Jos Buttler. Image Credit: Twitter

It was recently learned that the BCCI had the option of taking the league to UAE like last year but the officials decided against doing so.

When asked about the same, Ganguly said: “It was discussed, but the (COVID-19 cases) in India in February was (virtually) nothing. It has just gone through the roof in the last three weeks. Before that it was nothing. We discussed the UAE but then decided to do it in India.”

A few plans had surfaced in terms of hosting the IPL in India. The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games. Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier (both KKR), Laxmipathy Balaji, Michael Hussey (both CSK coaches), Amit Mishra (Delhi), and Wriddiman Saha (Hyderabad) tested positive during IPL 2021 prompting organizers to indefinitely postpone IPL after 29 matches were held.

Sourav Ganguly: Covid Numbers Were Nothing When The IPL 2021 Started

There were suggestions of the entire league taking place in Maharashtra to reduce logistical headache but the BCCI went ahead with the initial plan to host the tournament in 6 cities. When asked if organizing the 14th edition of the league in only one or two cities would’ve been better, Sourav Ganguly responded with a sharp retort.

“As I said, when we decided all this, there was no (Covid spike) in India. So it’s very easy to say now, but when this tournament was organized, Covid numbers (in India) were nothing. We started with Mumbai and finished there without any case. And Mumbai was very high (number of active Covid cases) then,” said the former India captain.

IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Many even criticized the BCCI for continuing the IPL 2021 over the last couple of weeks despite seeing the havoc that the virus causing all across the country. On the criticism, Sourav Ganguly highlighted that leagues all across the world were held during the lockdown. The BCCI, hence, did nothing different.

“That answers your question (when asked if BCCI’s criticism was unfair). The English Premier League (when UK was in lockdown), La Liga, everything was happening around the world,” he asserted.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the most significant disruption to the worldwide sporting calendar since World War II. Across the world and to varying degrees, sports events have been cancelled or postponed. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was rescheduled to 2021. The English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, Spanish La Liga, and Turkey’s Super Lig are set to resume in June after a near three-month suspension. The Euro 2020 tournament has been postponed until 2021 while Copa America 2020 has been postponed until 2021.

Everton vs. Liverpool: Combined XI

Have Liverpool Lacked the Same Intensity This Season?

Following up their first league championship success in 30 years was always going to be difficult for Liverpool this season. However, the Merseyside club seems to be missing the spark which saw them become such a dominant force last year.

With a lot of football to be played remaining this season, Liverpool could still end the campaign with much silverware. They remain in contention for the Premier League title, in what appears to be a wide-open contest, while they are in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

It is Liverpool’s front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino who have proved unstoppable over the past couple of seasons. They scored 57 goals in all competitions between them last season, a large chunk of their teams’ tally. At the time of writing, they have 31 goals, which still a healthy total but it is likely they will fall short of last year’s number.

Firmino, in particular, is struggling to continue his excellent strike rate. He has five goals in 25 appearances this season. While it is worth pointing out that the Brazilian’s contribution is far more than finding the back of the net, the 29-year-old will have expected to score more often than one in every five games.

Liverpool’s front three have played a lot of football over the past few years. This intense run of fixtures may just be catching up with them, which would explain why the intensity isn’t quite as high this season.

Against Manchester United in a recent Premier League fixture, they were unable to break down their rivals at Anfield. They had a lot of possession in that 0-0 result but could not find the back of the net to secure the three points.

Injuries Have Hit Them Hard

There is no doubt the injuries that Liverpool have suffered this season have really hurt them. The most notable is Virgil van Dijk who has been out of action since the 18th October. The 2019 PFA Player of the Year has been invaluable since joining from Southampton in January 2018.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has had to shuffle his players and even play some of his squad out of position to cover these losses. In that goalless draw with Manchester United, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson both played at Center back.

Liverpool are in a similar position to what Manchester City had to encounter 12 months ago. They lost their best defender when Aymeric Laporte was injured long term. Pep Guardiola’s side struggled for consistency as a result which affected their form in the league.

Given the number of defenders who have been out injured, Klopp will be pleased his side have hung in there in the Premier League. As of the 19th January, Liverpool are +400 with Betway to defend their title at the end of the campaign. If van Dijk does return for the final third of the season, it will be a big boost for the German boss.

New Approach with Thiago

One of the big differences with this Liverpool team in the 2020/21 season is that Thiago is now in midfield. The Spaniard is a very talented player and has had a lot of success with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga since moving to Germany from Barcelona.

Thiago is a player who is not rushed in midfield. He takes his time to assess what is ahead of him and then picks out his pass. This is a very different approach to what Georginio Wijnaldum, Henderson, and James Milner had last season where they were known for their fast intensity.

Liverpool’s number six has missed large parts of the season due to injury. He has now had a spell in the team, and it has coincided with the Reds struggling in front of goal. At one stage with Thiago in the team, they have gone three games without scoring, which is very unusual for a Klopp team.

It will be interesting to see if Klopp continues to start the Spanish international or if indeed, he changes his tactics to accommodate him in a different way. Thiago has a lot of experience of playing at the highest level in Spain and Germany, and he was part of the Bayern team which won the Champions League last season.

The next few months are going to prove interesting to see if this is a slight blip in Liverpool’s campaign. There is a good chance they will be back to their devastating best again. If they don’t get back in top form, next summer could be the time Klopp looks to freshen up his squad and some of his trusted stars may look for a new challenge in Europe.

Villa Park
Credit – Wikipedia / Ian Wilson

Who Out of the Promoted Teams Has the Best Chance of Staying in the Premier League This Season?

Promotion to the Premier League guarantees an entirely new way of life for those who achieve it. The riches and wealth in England’s top-flight ensure that a promotion, managed well, can change a club’s fortune for years.

Burnley, Stoke and Bournemouth have all proven in recent seasons that getting into the Premier League is enough to secure a long-term future if you can stay in the division. With more money than ever coming in from lucrative TV deals, Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Norwich are hoping to become the next promoted club to make the most out of their recent success.

Read More: India Vs South Africa 2019/20: First Test (Day Three) – Statistical Highlights

None of those teams coming out of the Championship made huge individual signings over the summer although two broke their transfer record; Aston Villa signed Brazilian Wesley Moraes for £22m (₹1.9bn) whilst Sheffield United picked up Oli McBurnie for £17m (₹1.4bn).

That was the fourth time over the summer that the Blades smashed their transfer record. They first signed Luke Freeman from QPR for a fee reported to be over £4m (₹349m). Callum Robinson was next, his undisclosed fee a club record, with Lys Mousset costing £10m (₹872m) and going through the record a third time.

They were a League One side little over two seasons ago but became a strong and organised unit as they established themselves in the Championship. An introduction into the Premier League new boys by Ladbrokes writer Billur Bakar explains how they’ll be playing three at the back and will be tough to break down, but they’ll need more than a good team spirit to remain in the Premier League.

Villa are returning to a level their supporters feel they belong at. Their promotion was earned on the back of Tammy Abraham’s goals, but since he’s left the club they’ve turned to their new signing for inspiration. The Pink Un reveals they’ve spent upwards of £130m (₹11.3bn) on new players over the summer.

Of all three teams that emerged from the second tier, Villa look the most likely to stay up. Their squad boasted top-flight quality despite only managing promotion via the play-offs. Jack Grealish had been interesting Spurs, according to an article by the Birmingham Mail and John McGinn, an import from Hibernian 18 months ago, looks to be a complete Premier League midfielder after just a handful of matches.

Norwich City are the side who perhaps surprised most people with their promotion. They weren’t particularly fancied at the start of last season, but Finnish striker Teemu Pukki proved to be a brilliant acquisition.

He’s already amongst the goals in the Premier League, but it looks like being a long season for the Canaries despite his heroics. They lost six of their opening eight fixtures in all competitions and seem to be in a battle for their survival already.

However, they’ve already beaten Manchester City in the league; Pep Guardiola’s side was surprisingly defeated 3-2 at Carrow Road proving that Daniel Farke’s side might still have the quality to survive.

Read More: To Stay Away From Cricket Was Very Difficult For Me – Ravichandran Ashwin

With the likes of Watford, Newcastle, Brighton and Southampton also expected to struggle, there’s every chance that one or two of the promoted sides can stay up. Aston Villa and Norwich look most likely, but Sheffield United’s battling qualities will ensure they remain in the hunt until the very end.