Kylian Mbappe, Neymar 8/10 as PSG flatter in rout of Lyon on fifa15guide

Kylian Mbappe found his scoring touch in the second half, scoring four goals in 14 minutes to lead PSG to victory over rivals Lyon.

Kylian Mbappe scored his first Paris Saint-Germain hat trick as part of a four-goal haul in a 5-0 thrashing of Lyon at Parc des Princes on Sunday. The defending champions set a new Ligue 1 record with a ninth consecutive win from their opening nine matches and also maintained their eight-point lead at the summit. Neymar opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first half, while Presnel Kimpembe, as well as Lucas Tousart, saw red before half-time.

Positives

To win by such a convincing score against arguably the best footballing team aside from themselves is a bizarre achievement, but that is what happened. PSG were not as superior as the final score suggests, particularly in the first half, yet they took their chances and capitalised on Lyon’s collapse when it came. Of particular note is the fact that the hosts once again maintained their intensity and hunger, having already scored a few times. Something is brewing under Thomas Tuchel.

Negatives

It might seem a bit ungrateful after a 5-0 win over one of the best teams in Ligue 1, but PSG could have been better against Lyon. The defence could and perhaps should have been punished more than once by the visitors, while the midfield missed Adrien Rabiot as chances to add further gloss to the score were missed.

Manager rating out of 10

7 — PSG went goal crazy, but it was not a perfect tactical match from Tuchel; Marquinhos is still far from convincing in midfield, while the defence still leaks chances. However, the players clearly believe in the German tactician’s vision because the intensity and hunger on show were impressive once again.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Gianluigi Buffon, 7 — Busier than you would expect from a glance at the score, he was forced to make a number of saves over the course of the game.

DF Thomas Meunier, 5 — In difficulty at times, though not as often as Juan Bernat on the left, he could only watch as Neymar and Mbappe did most of the attacking.

DF Thiago Silva (c), 7 — Bizarrely, one of the skipper’s stronger performances because of the volume of chances enjoyed by Lyon and Presnel Kimpembe’s first-half red card.

DF Presnel Kimpembe, 3 — Solid up until his dismissal, it was a deserved expulsion and endangers his hopes of featuring against Marseille in Le Classique — avoidable.

DF Juan Bernat, 4 — Another tough night on the left, his struggles are a significant reason PSG continue to look unconvincing in defence.

MF Marco Verratti, 6 — Formed a decent enough pairing with Marquinhos in midfield, though it lacks the balance of his combination with Adrien Rabiot and picked up a booking when things got heated toward the break.

MF Marquinhos, 5 — Still continues to find midfield a difficult transition from defence, but he did grab an assist as Mbappe went nuts in front of goal.

Kylian Mbappe scored four goals vs. Lyon, but amazingly, he rarely hit top gear.

FW Kylian Mbappe, 8 — Despite his quadruple, once he warmed up, he still took a while to calibrate his finishing, and he could and perhaps should have finished with more than the four he got — a scary thought. His relationship with Neymar went to a whole new level once Edinson Cavani was substituted as Tuchel sought balance after Kimpembe’s red card.

FW Neymar, 8 — Aside from a booking, it was another balanced performance. He might have finished with only one goal (a penalty) and an assist each, but he created much more than that, and Mbappe’s wasteful finishing at times denied him tangible proof of that creativity.

FW Angel Di Maria, 4 — Found it tough going after Kimpembe’s dismissal as he moved into midfield, it was a surprise that he lasted 82 minutes until he was replaced by Moussa Diaby, but Tuchel is not exactly flush with midfield options.

FW Edinson Cavani, 5 — The unlucky victim of Kimpembe’s red card, he did not even make it until half-time, and it was still a contest when he left the pitch.

Substitutes

DF Thilo Kehrer, 6 — Solid enough in Kimpembe’s place, he looks more comfortable now than he did in his earlier outings.

MF Julian Draxler, NR — Given 16 minutes at the end in place of Verratti, his teammates had already pulverised Lyon in terms of goals.

FW Moussa Diaby, NR — Sent on for the final eight minutes in Di Maria’s place, he perhaps could have been introduced sooner to lessen the Argentina international’s struggles.

Jose Mourinho gets a reprieve at Man United, fresh concerns for Tottenham and Crystal Palace – fifa15guide.net

Nick Miller breaks down all the highs and lows from matchday eight of the 2018-19 Premier League season in our Weekend Review.

Goal of the weekend

After an uncomfortable first season at Everton, Gylfi Sigurdsson looks back to his best. His astonishing goal against Leicester — a perfect Cruyff turn followed by a thumping shot into the top corner — proved as much. In most weeks, Ricardo Pereira’s extraordinary solo strike would have stood out, but ultimately it wasn’t even the best goal in that game.

Missed opportunities of the weekend

Pep Guardiola declared it a “good result.” Jurgen Klopp said he was “really happy with what the boys did.” It seems everyone was satisfied with the 0-0 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool on Sunday, except perhaps those of us who had to watch this rather dubious form of public entertainment.

But should the managers have been quite so pleased? Before the game, they would both have justifiably been delighted with a draw, Liverpool playing the best team in the country, while Guardiola was facing the manager with the best record of anyone against him and one who seems to get in his head the most.

And yet, both teams were so bad that they can only blame their own poor performance for not taking three points. It will surely never be easier for Liverpool to beat Manchester City and for Manchester City to beat Liverpool, but both teams wasted their chance. A point is useful, but both could’ve had much more.

Optimists of the weekend

From a neutral perspective, it was quite nice just to hear Arsenal fans enjoying their team again.

“We’ve got our Arsenal back,” they sang during the 5-1 deconstruction of Fulham, their ninth win in a row. Considering their next two league games are against Crystal Palace and Leicester, you’d imagine that run will be extended, meaning they’ll go into the home game against Liverpool at the start of November high on confidence.

Suddenly, this looks like an Arsenal team that could do something.

Papered cracks of the weekend

A reprieve then, for Jose Mourinho, who nonetheless emerged from Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Newcastle with an air of paranoia that you might actually excuse him for, this time. But even in victory, there were indications of exactly why his job might be in jeopardy.

“The second half was the way we should always play football,” said Romelu Lukaku afterwards.

“That’s what the fans want to see, that’s the way we want to play. I don’t know why we don’t always play like this but we won the game and have to move on.”

It’s always possible to read too much into these things, but that’s the second senior player this season to openly and almost casually question Mourinho’s approach. It was a fine win and a rousing comeback, but ultimately it might prove a temporary sticking plaster, a delay of the inevitable.

Luckiest moment of the weekend

Luckiest moment of the season? Whether Alexis Sanchez’s late goal will actually save Mourinho’s job remains to be seen, but it was aided greatly by referee Anthony Taylor’s failure to spot one of the more blatant handballs you’ll see this season, when Ashley Young raised his arm to block a free kick from Jonjo Shelvey in the penalty area. To compound the disbelief, Taylor’s unique interpretation of physics led him to not even give a corner after the ball went out.

That was in the 40th minute, the score at 2-0 to Newcastle. Manchester United’s comeback from that point was unlikely, but had Newcastle converted the penalty, surely it would have been impossible.

Veteran of the weekend

Glenn Murray gave an interview to the Times last weekend in which he said he didn’t let himself have breakfast at the Brighton training ground these days, because he’d stay there too long, get chatting and fill up with unnecessary food.

It’s always easy to ascribe on-pitch success to off-pitch marginal gains like this, but it is indicative of a 35-year-old who wants to wring every last drop out of his career. Murray’s goal against West Ham on Friday night was his fifth in seven league starts this season: Whether it’s the light breakfasts or not, whatever Murray is doing is working.

Concern of the weekend: Part one

Ultimately it didn’t prove costly, but Hugo Lloris’s latest error will still prove concerning for Tottenham. The mad dash off his line that donated a goal to Barcelona last week was at least sort of consistent with his all-round career. He’s always been a goalkeeper who comes for everything, for good or bad, but one wonders whether the mistake in the Champions League got into his head against Cardiff.

This time, after a ball over the top was overhit and provided a theoretically easy claim for any alert keeper, Lloris dithered, then advanced at just the right time for Jacob Murphy to lift the ball over him. Toby Alderweireld saved his bacon, but if Lloris is now second-guessing himself rather than just making mistakes, it is a real worry.

Concern of the weekend: Part two

Crystal Palace now haven’t scored in their four home games so far this season, and only two of the bottom three — Huddersfield and Cardiff — have fewer overall. The inability to find a forward, other than Wilfried Zaha, capable of scoring could land them in deep trouble.

Team of the weekend

Watford vs. Bournemouth looked like the low-key game of the weekend before kick-off, the two surprise packages of the season facing each other in what promised to be a fixture of razor-thin margins. In the end, it was a rout, Eddie Howe’s team dismantling their opponents with precision and aggression.

Howe wasn’t getting too excited about the 4-0 win, the brilliance from David Brooks and Josh King and Jefferson Lerma, or their position on the fringes of the Champions League spots.

“Oh, we’ve played better,” he said afterwards.

But if you can’t get excited about Bournemouth climbing to fifth, as they were on Saturday evening, then this game might not be for you.

fifa15guide | Transfer Talk: Arsenal plot swoop for Atlanta United star Miguel Almiron

Arsenal win their 9th game in a row and have been on scintillating form since their consecutive losses to Manchester City and Arsenal back in August.
Arsenal win their 9th game in a row and have been on scintillating form since their consecutive losses to Manchester City and Arsenal back in August.
Arsenal win their 9th game in a row and have been on scintillating form since their consecutive losses to Manchester City and Arsenal back in August.
ESPN FC’s Craig Burley thinks Arsenal still has room to improve, but for now Unai Emery has the team thriving with a clear plan of attack.
ESPN FC’s Craig Burley thinks Arsenal still has room to improve, but for now Unai Emery has the team thriving with a clear plan of attack.

The transfer window for all of Europe’s big five leagues is closed, but that doesn’t stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January.

Gunners target Paraguay striker Almiron

Arsenal’s attack is looking pretty formidable after their five-goal show at Fulham, but the Mirror reports that coach Unai Emery is poised to strengthen it further.

It says the Gunners boss “is set to land Paraguay striker Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United, for whom Almiron has scored 12 goals this year, in January.”

Almiron has previously said his “objective has always been to go to Europe” and hailed the Premier League for what he called its “beautiful and competitive style of soccer.”

Meanwhile, reports that Aaron Ramsey, whose fine goal illuminated the thumping win at Craven Cottage, could be replaced by Porto captain Hector Herrera are gathering pace.

Ramsey appears all but certain to move after contract talks broke down, and the Sun says that although the Gunners are lining up a move for Herrera, they could face competition from Real Madrid whose coach Julen Lopetegui worked with him in Portugal.

The Mexico international’s contract runs out next summer, meaning he could move for “a cut-price fee” after Christmas or negotiate a pre-contract agreement to move come the end of the season.

Hernandez could leave, but Hammers won’t add

West Ham’s recovery may have shuddered to a halt in Friday’s defeat at Brighton, but Football London reports that although manager Manuel Pellegrini has no plans to add new players he could lose a big-name striker.

A summer overhaul saw the Hammers add stars including Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko to their ranks, with the additions leading to speculation that players including forward Andy Carroll may be on their way.

But the report says “Mexico international Javier Hernandez could be a possible departure given his £120,000-a-week wages, although the likelihood of the Hammers recouping the £16 million they paid Bayer Leverkusen looks unlikely.”

It adds that Robert Snodgrass, Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell and Pedro Obiang are set to remain at the London Stadium “until at least the end of the season” despite being linked with moves.

Tap-ins

– Liverpool winger Ryan Kent, starring on loan at Rangers, has said he would be interested in a permanent move to the Scottish club, managed by Anfield legend Steven Gerrard.

The Sun reports that the 21-year-old would consider a full-time switch to Ibrox, with Gerrard having said he would like a permanent deal to be done.

– West Bromwich Albion will make a second attempt to sign Blackburn midfielder Bradley Dack when the window opens, the Birmingham Mail says.

Blackburn rebuffed Albion’s interest in former Gillingham player Dack in the summer, but the Baggies are “ready to return with an improved bid in January.”