EFL Cup round 4 has just been played and gave English football fans some key learnings:
Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
The score does not reflect the dominance of the Reds in this tie. Liverpool outrageously dominated the London side and the team is a serious contender this year for winning the Cup and maybe the Premier League. Following the 2016 Europa League Final loss to FC Sevilla, Jurgen Klopp seems to have found the chemistry with the team in his second season, as http://www.tipstersreview.co.uk/ had predicted a few weeks ago in terms of results for the club. The German coach is getting the best of his talented midfielders with the likes of Coutinho and Firmino combined with a solid balance in front. The club is tied with Man City for the best League offense with 20 goals scored in 9 games.
Coach Klopp reacts after the win:
“We had the opportunities, we had the chances, we could have scored two, three or four [more] times. But we don’t live in dreamland and it’s not that you can think about closing the game at 3-0 or 4-0 early enough that everybody knows we go to the quarter-final. No, we had to do the job. We didn’t score in the moments when we could have. They scored the penalty. 2-1 is close but now it is not interesting anymore because we are in the next round.”
West Ham 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea alternates between great and mediocre performances. Last weekend the club scored four goals to Manchester United for an emphatic win and they lost 3-0 to Arsenal and again today in the League Cup. It reveals a deeper problem, one of consistency that the new appointed coach Antonio Conte has yet to have found. However he finds a lot of positives. His reaction following the loss:
“The performance was good because we knew they would play a strong game, but I think we played with a good intensity and created many chances to score a goal. I saw a good spirit in my players because until the end they tried to change the result. Tonight we were a bit unlucky.
We have good young players and they need to play. I think the youngsters played a good game with the right intensity and concentration. When you lose it’s normal to see bad things but tonight I found a lot of positives. But we must continue to work. I’m optimistic because I saw the right spirit and that’s very important.”
Arsenal 2-0 Reading
The latest confrontation in October 2014 went to overtime and saw Arsenal winning with an incredible score of 7-5! It was one of the craziest games coach Wenger had witnessed in his whole life. He comments on a much more modest victory this time around:
“It was a dynamic game between two teams who tried to play passing football and build up the game from the back. For me, it was also good to see some young players who practice every day with a top team, and also give them a chance with the other players who needed competition. It was positive. It was an interesting game which we were able to win in a comfortable way in the second half.”
Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City
It has been a difficult transition to Jose Mourinho’s era for Man Utd so far, whereas coach Pep Guardiola has had a smoother start with the Citizens topping first place of the Premier League and in a good position to move on to the Champions League knockout round. This victory seems more important for Mourinho’s squad as the coach played his best team for this Cup tie while Guardiola made a few changes… Mourinho describes the importance of this win:
“It is an important result because this is a knockout competition: if you lose you are out and if you win you are in. It is especially important because it was a way to create a better feeling for the absolutely wonderful fans that I have never seen before in my life. After the defeat at Chelsea, to have this support is incredible.
The performance was good, it was not phenomenal, but it was good. What was phenomenal was the spirit, the effort and the solidarity. This is the minimum that we can give to the fans.”