EPL

Liverpool dominate nominees for Premier League season awards

By Sports Desk August 07, 2020

Liverpool dominate the nominations for the Premier League Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season and Manager of the Season awards for 2019-20.

Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year Jordan Henderson, along with team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane, are up for the league's Player of the Season prize.

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy, Southampton striker Danny Ings and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope are the other nominees.

Alexander-Arnold is also up for the inaugural Young Player of the Season, as are Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Chelsea duo Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount.

There are four Manchester United players on the shortlist: Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Dean Henderson, who is on loan at Sheffield United.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp leads the nominees for the Manager of the Season prize, with Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers and Sheffield United's Chris Wilder also selected.

Frank Lampard, who took Chelsea to a fourth-place finish and lost the FA Cup final to Arsenal, is the other nominee.

Each award will be decided through a combination of fan votes and input from a panel of experts.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was named the Player of the Season in 2018-19, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has won the manager's accolade for the past two campaigns.

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    All good things must come to an end, and that proved the case for Manchester City on Sunday.

    Their remarkable winning run of 21 games in all competitions came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the derby.

    City hold an 11-point lead over their neighbours at the top of the Premier League, however, and the real battle seems set to be for Champions League places.

    Tottenham boosted their hopes with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min combining for a record-setting goal, while Liverpool's dismal form continued as they suffered a sixth successive home defeat. Fortress Anfield is well and truly a thing of the past.

    At the bottom, West Brom and Newcastle United played out a goalless draw. We take a look at the best Opta facts from Sunday's games.

     

    Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United: Winning streak grinds to a halt

    If there was one team City did not want their incredible run of wins to come to an end against, it would have been United.

    It was the first time City have lost since November, when they went down 2-0 at home to Spurs, ending a run of 28 games without a defeat across all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team had won their last 21 in total, including 15 in the league, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have the better of his counterpart.

    United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions at City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000, and among the managers Guardiola has faced more than three times across all competitions as a top-flight boss, Solskjaer is the only one to have beaten the Spaniard (four) more often than he has lost to him.

    Solskjaer is also the first manager in United's history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with City. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, three of City's five home defeats in all competitions have come against United.

    The Norwegian is now the only manager to have won three away games against sides managed by Guardiola.

    Bruno Fernandes scored the opener from the penalty spot inside two minutes. Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, he has scored 12 of the 13 penalties he has taken in the competition. 

    After just 101 seconds, Fernandes' penalty was the earliest goal that City have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, and the first they have conceded within two minutes at home in the competition since Steed Malbranque's strike for Fulham at Maine Road in January 2003.

    Liverpool 0-1 Fulham: Reds' Merseyside misery rolls on

    It is hard to believe that before their defeat to Burnley on January 21, Liverpool had not lost a league match at Anfield since April 2017. 

    Liverpool have now lost six home games in a row, their longest ever such streak, while they are the first side to lose six in a row on home soil in the Premier League since Huddersfield Town in February 2019 (seven).

    The Reds' six league defeats at Anfield this season is their most in a single campaign since 1953-54 (also six), when the Reds finished bottom of the top-flight, with Fulham the first promoted team to win away at Liverpool in the top flight since Blackpool Town in October 2010.

    Jurgen Klopp's side are winless in their last eight league home matches, only embarking on a longer winless top-flight run at Anfield once before – 10 games between October 1951 and March 1952. They have won just one of their last seven matches in the competition.

    Fulham, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games (W2 D6) – their longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history – and are now level on 26 points with 17th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

    Excluding penalties and own goals, Liverpool have failed to score with each of their last 115 shots at Anfield in the Premier League (including 16 against Fulham). This is the longest such scoreless run of shots on home soil by any side.

    Tottenham 4-1 Crystal Palace: Bale and Kane rampant as Spurs boost top-four hopes

    Only leaders City (35) have earned more points at home in this season's Premier League than Tottenham (24), and Jose Mourinho's men were in fine form against Palace.

    Gareth Bale scored either side of Christian Benteke's equaliser – since the 2012-13 season, only Olivier Giroud (32) has more headed goals in the competition than the Belgian – with both of the Welshman's goals teed up by the brilliant Kane.

    Bale has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

    Kane then curled in a sensational third goal, before he headed home a fourth from Son Heung-min's cushioned cutback.

    Son and Kane have now assisted one another for 14 Premier League goals this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's all-time competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.

    Kane's second goal was also Spurs' 100th strike in all competitions this season, seeing them become the second club in Europe's "top five" leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

    Spurs talisman Kane is the first Tottenham player since Jurgen Klinsmann in May 1998 to score twice and provide two assists in a Premier League match, while he has been directly involved in 40 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season (24 goals and 16 assists), the most of any player for a top-flight club.

    West Brom 0-0 Newcastle United: Bore draw does little for survival hopes

    There was not so much in the way of entertainment in the day's early kick-off, as strugglers West Brom and Newcastle shared the spoils.

    West Brom are unbeaten in three home league games against Newcastle (W1 D2) for the first time since January 2005, while only Southampton (seven) have gained fewer Premier League points in 2021 than the Baggies (10) and Newcastle (nine).

    Newcastle have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games (D1 L7), failing to score in six of those matches.

    West Brom had 13 shots at goal in the match, their joint-most attempts without scoring in a Premier League game this season (also 13 v Burnley in October).

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    United have reportedly renewed their interest in the 21-year-old Dutch defender.

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    Manchester United are set to target Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, according to TodoFichajes.

    United were heavily linked with De Ligt before the Netherlands international swapped Ajax for Serie A champions Juve in 2019.

    With United reportedly not advancing in their pursuit of Real Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, the Red Devils are eyeing De Ligt.

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    ROUND-UP

    - Calciomercato reports Paris Saint-Germain are poised to offer David Alaba a €25million-per year deal in an attempt to prise the Bayern Munich star to the French capital. Out of contract at season's end, Alaba has been tipped to join Madrid. Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester City have also been linked.

    United have been left alone in the fight to sign Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, claims TodoFichajes. Unwilling to match Villa's valuation, City have reportedly exited the race for Grealish. The report also says United could sell Marcus Rashford to fund the move.

    - Madrid stars Lucas Vazquez and Isco are wanted by Everton, according to Calciomercato. After prising James Rodriguez from the LaLiga champions, Everton are targeting another two players from the Spanish capital, though Milan and Juve are also keen.

    - Diario AS reports Madrid are prioritising a move for in-demand Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland. Chelsea, United, City, Juve, PSG, Barca and Bayern have all been linked but Madrid are reportedly shifting their attention from Kylian Mbappe to Haaland.

  • Bruno Fernandes dismisses critics after derby win: People will always complain about everything Bruno Fernandes dismisses critics after derby win: People will always complain about everything

    Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes insisted "people will always complain about everything" after scoring in the derby win away to Premier League leaders Manchester City.

    Fernandes was on target in Sunday's 2-0 victory over City, converting a penalty after just 101 seconds at the Etihad Stadium as United snapped the hosts' 21-match winning streak.

    The Portugal international was in the spotlight prior to United's success against City – his record against 'top six' clubs criticised following his performance against Chelsea in the goalless draw last time out.

    Tottenham were the only club among the established 'top six' that Fernandes had found the back of the net against this season – a penalty in Octobers 6-1 humiliation at home to Spurs – before opening the scoring versus City.

    "Every penalty has the same pressure for me," Fernandes, who has 16 goals and 10 assists through 28 games this Premier League season, told MUTV when asked if he felt the weight of expectation. "It's always pressure to take a pen, doesn't matter if it's against City, or another team. It's always pressure to take the pens.

    "I like that kind of pressure. It's good pressure. I knew what I had to do. I did it in the right way with the right power and I'm happy to score, of course.

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    "They will put open play no goals, it was a penalty [and say] it doesn't count! So for us the most important thing is winning the game.

    "It doesn't matter how you score, when the ball touches the net it's a goal. I will be happy and it doesn't matter if it's me or another one scoring."

    Luke Shaw was also on target five minutes into the second half as United extended their unbeaten streak away from home in the league to 22 games.

    United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions against City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000.

    But United remain 11 points adrift of City atop the table with 10 matches remaining.

    "I think it was almost perfect," added Fernandes of the performance. "We created a lot of chances where maybe we could finish better, or play a better last pass or last shot.

    "When we create chances it's always good because if you create it's a sign you're playing well and trying to do something different.

    "I think we played a little bit better in the second half because in the first half they pressed as well. We had more counters but in the second half we are clearer and we take more control of the game at times.

    "They have more of the ball than us, they pass more times with the ball. Anyway, [in terms of] opportunities I think we had the best ones and for me the most important in the game is the result. The result for us is on our side, so it's perfect."

    United captain Harry Maguire said post-game: "We have brilliant coaches and a brilliant manager and brilliant analysts as well.

    "Credit to them because they are the ones who sent us out in that formation and those tweaks when they have the ball. We knew they were going to keep the ball at times and the positions that they find themselves in, they have a lot of possession.

    "We've seen that in recent games, so we had to be patient at times, but we had to make sure we kept getting up to the ball, kept getting contact, keep making tackles. I felt that we did that really well. 

    "For sure we can improve, we can do better in parts of the game. But it's an important win, an important performance after a disappointing trip to London in midweek. Now we have to dust ourselves down and go again. We've got another big game on Thursday [against Milan in the Europa League last-16 first leg]."

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