As a precursor to the weekend's Premier League fixtures, the battle for promotion from The Championship saw Leeds take on West Brom on Friday.
In Saturday's action Spurs drew 1-1 at home to Arsenal in the lunch-time game, with Man City narrowly winning away to Bournemouth among the other games at 3 pm, thus going above Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table ahead of Sunday's Goodison derby.
There were some fine goals at Old Trafford as Manchester United edged Southampton 3-2 thanks to a very late goal from Romelu Lukaku after the Saints had gone ahead with a worldie.
Newcastle lost 2-0 at the London Stadium to West Ham in the evening game, allowing the Hammers to push Everton down to 10th place.
Reader Comments (43)
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1 Posted 01/03/2019 at 22:16:35
Bielsa is doing a superb job and he will be a delight to have among us. I have a special loathing for Leeds Utd, like a lot of older Blues, but they're a proper club.
Looking forward to seeing Dowell, I hope, in the Sheffield derby on Monday. He was my great hope, Kieran, with his lovely, elegant running and touch but he's let me down. It would be wonderful if he could inject stamina and achieve a tougher edge to his game, and so fulfil his native talent.
But Baningime is my new great hope. That boy is an absolute jewel and I do not want him to drift away from us. He's got a beautiful style and he's a natural Blue.
2 Posted 01/03/2019 at 22:24:07
Damn! They looked impressive. Our Mason Holgate for WBA stuck at it, but all over the park Leeds were snapping at the opposition heels with 2-3 players around them, similar to our all-conquering 1980s side out of possession.
There are a couple of very interesting pieces on the BBC right now about Bielsa, a written piece:
and a more in-depth podcast:
I flag them up because when you read and listen to how he has single-handedly transformed the mindset at Leeds (in the same time as Silva has been with us, remember) it rather makes a nonsense of some claims that a manager cannot be expected to radically turn around a club in a single season.
His attention to detail is extreme. In a new dormitory he had built for the players, he asked the constructor to re-align the plug fittings because they weren't exactly centred between the beds!
I'm guessing he has OCD - obsessive-compulsive disorder - the need to have everything 'just right'.
But it is his attention to detail on the football (as revealed by his 'Spygate' Powerpoint presentation) which is of course of most interest. Drill-drill-and drill again.
Patrick Bamford, their centre forward, commented he thought he was doing a particular drill well, but Bielsa pulled him aside and kept tweaking it until he got it right. Bamford told the interviewer he didn't understand why so much attention to detail...until he made the exact play in-game as the drill.
Unconsciously, the drill had improved his game.
Everyone at the club cannot sing his praises enough. A couple said even if he left tomorrow, the infrastructure he has put in place will make it very easy for a new manager to step into.
Well worth a listen.
3 Posted 01/03/2019 at 22:43:58
Two of them are currently out on loan at Championship clubs. Baningime is currently injured, I believe, but what I've seen of him... okay, only a kid but nothing special – not exactly a Wayne Rooney. Only one I've seen the last few years who looks half decent is Jonjoe Kenny.
Now I'm not saying he's the finished article, far from it, but the lad has got balls. Something a lot of the current first team haven't. Hope he plays Sunday and leathers one of them Red Shite bastards.
4 Posted 02/03/2019 at 12:10:08
City worry me slightly, the type of game where they have slipped up this season and the fact they have already lost four games this season suggests theres always a defeat in them not far off.
We can only hope we do our part tomorrow.
5 Posted 02/03/2019 at 15:51:28
6 Posted 02/03/2019 at 16:16:26
7 Posted 02/03/2019 at 16:36:19
Palace are right up our ass and we have a group of hard games on the horizon without showing disrespect to Cardiff, a different kettle of fish.
8 Posted 02/03/2019 at 16:39:14
9 Posted 02/03/2019 at 17:01:04
Only kidding! Come on, Blues – make our weekend now.
10 Posted 02/03/2019 at 17:06:18
Mind you, Fernando has been missing from those games, he's a big loss for City, so that is something to be thankful for.
Let's give them a lift tomorrow, a big lift.
11 Posted 02/03/2019 at 17:09:54
12 Posted 02/03/2019 at 17:58:25
The answer is miles better off!
I thought Bolasie would be a useful player for us when he signed, I liked him at Palace but it never once looked like happening for him here even before the injury to be honest.
Zaha is a far better footballer and has come on more in the last 18 months, he always had really good ability on the ball but he's got end product now too.
13 Posted 02/03/2019 at 18:28:43
14 Posted 02/03/2019 at 19:28:28
Just proves that we are going to have to start winning more games if we are to have a top-half finish.
15 Posted 02/03/2019 at 19:33:41
Only way we'll ever crack the top 4 is by unearthing a bunch of gems, Dortmund style. I think Brands sees it that way too, luckily. Expect more 21- to 24-year-olds this Summer.
16 Posted 03/03/2019 at 13:09:26
17 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:01:33
18 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:07:12
19 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:08:11
20 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:09:58
21 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:11:19
22 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:12:07
23 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:15:15
24 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:22:13
I reckon the United player would have been made up he was getting a corner, because Im sure that shot was on its way over the bar, so to get a penalty was absurd, especially when you have to listen to people, justifying that it was the correct decision?
25 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:24:47
26 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:25:03
27 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:28:56
28 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:29:24
29 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:33:12
VAR is ridiculous. Ridiculous amount of time to make an incorrect decision!
This will cause more trouble than it's worth.
We need mistakes, arguments, Indecisions in the game to make it what it is. We need to spend hours arguing, disagreeing, having different opinions in pubs online wherever.
We are in danger of sanitizing the game. Ruining it
30 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:34:52
31 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:36:31
32 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:38:02
33 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:40:03
34 Posted 06/03/2019 at 22:48:09
35 Posted 06/03/2019 at 23:00:24
However, while VAR will never be perfect, it will still make the game better in the long run by taking referee prejudice and player influence out of crucial calls like that. There will never be another Collina, and that makes VAR worth it.
And as much as I despise Man Utd, the outcome was justified. PSG choked. Massively.
36 Posted 06/03/2019 at 23:03:50
If you have referral then its decided by the players, who frankly are in the best place to judge. The referee has no choice but to review. It also means the players dont review things that are frivolous, they will use it only for massive mistakes. Sure it may get used tactically, thats true but if you limit the review to one per half then it wont happen repeatedly.
Once the review is lost the players know theyre out of chances. With this system players can open ended, petition for a review as the game nears its conclusion.
Its a full on disaster for me. But as said above the genie is out of the bottle.
37 Posted 06/03/2019 at 23:12:39
Let's say Atkinson spends 4-5 minutes looking at VAR on an obvious Everton penalty against the RS and as expected doesn't give us the decision, the time is added on at the end of injury time and the RS score in the 100th minute. There'll be mayhem.
We are in danger of making the game too clinical and, let's be honest, some of the VAR decisions are nonsense.
You would know better but even the NFL who have a similar system for years can't get it right. Wasn't one of the Championship games this year fucked up? New Orleans Saints, I think?
38 Posted 06/03/2019 at 23:42:27
The NFL replay system works very well (although sometimes it still takes too long). The horrendous, season-changing play you mentioned was an obvious penalty not called -- a play that cannot be reviewed under the current NFL replay rules. Had replay covered a play like that, the correct team would have gone to the Super Bowl.
Furthermore, every major US sport now has some kind of VAR/replay system -- baseball, NFL, hockey, NBA, college football, college basketball and MLS -- and after various bumpy starts, all are now universally accepted and popular among players, coaches and fans. All have had to be changed/tweaked and the rules adjusted, a process that is ongoing, and none is perfect. But you'll find very few fans who would want them removed.
Watching that process in all these sports is what makes me support VAR for the Prem -- and be confident that within a couple of years it will work just fine.
39 Posted 07/03/2019 at 08:59:00
I felt sad for the game of football last night, made me feel sick actually, and this decision could have produced a riot in certain parts of the world, in places were passionate people don't like to see an injustice.
40 Posted 07/03/2019 at 09:10:42
41 Posted 07/03/2019 at 09:13:30
And we all know who will get the bad news first — Us!
42 Posted 07/03/2019 at 09:17:06
43 Posted 07/03/2019 at 09:32:20
Yes, these things are great when they go for you (I know quite a few Man Utd fans who are deliriously happy) but at some point, the boot will be on the other foot.
Kimpembe turned his back and had his arms by his side and that's a penalty?! Seriously? VAR will not stop the arguments, it will increase them because it still comes down to the interpretation of the stupid new rules and the way in which one person, the referee, see's them at the time.
I enjoyed the drama of last night. and part of me is weirdly happy to see Man Utd doing well again (shoot me down here if you like) but VAR is bullshit. Trying to sanitise the game more & more will ruin football.
The only technology I like is the goal-line thing, the rest of it, nah, leave the game alone.
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