Friday, September 9, 2022

Premier League in Europe

Champions League
Chelsea and Liverpool both dropped their opening Champions League group matches. Chelsea were desultory in a 1-0 Tuesday loss to Dinamo Zagreb in Thomas Tuchel’s final game as Chelsea manager. Chelsea suffered its normal difficulty in converting chances and Graham Potter will  now be tasked in overhauling a stalled attacking scheme. Liverpool was even more dreadful on Wednesday as the Reds were smashed 4-1 at Napoli. Liverpool suffered failure at each level of the pitch in an embarrassing display which raises the level of alarm for a club which has been mediocre this season but for a thrashing of lowly Bournemouth in league play. On a more positive Premier League note in Europe’s top competition, Erling Haaland continued his magical season by scoring two goals in a 4-1 Manchester City walkover against Sevilla. Haaland’s goals made him the youngest player to score 25 goals in Champions League competition. Tottenham Hotspur’s Richarlison also had a brace this week as his two second half goals led his London club to a 2-0 victory over Marseilles after the French side went down to 10 men with a 47th minute red card.  

Europa League

Arsenal edged past FC Zurich to win their opening Europa League group match. The partnership of 19-year-old Brazilian winger Marquinhos and 23-year-old Eddie Nketiah featured for the Gunners in their European opener. Nketiah fed Marquinhos for the opening goal and Marquinhos returned the favor in the 62nd minute for Nketiah’s match winner. While the outcome may have been a bit close for comfort, Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta was able to secure the win while rotating his Premier League leading squad. Manchester United had less success in rotating some of its bench players as Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, Fred and Casemiro were all underwhelming in a 1-0 Europa League defeat to Real Sociedad. The winning goal for Real Sociedad occurred on a penalty kick following a handball verdict against Red Devils defender Lisandro Martinez. The loss stalled the momentum Manchester United had built up over the course of four consecutive Premier League victories. 

Europa Conference League

West Ham overcame a first half deficit to run away from Romanian side FCSB 3-1 in their Europa Conference League clash at London Stadium. Second half goal scorers for the Hammers were Jarrod Bowen, Emerson Palmieri and Michail Antonio.

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