Mourinho shows Tottenham-Arsenal gulf, Bayern, Leipzig entertain, Man United need consistency

What a weekend of football! Tottenham put their rivals Arsenal north of London in the doldrums by winning the derby, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig gave the Bundesliga a treat, weary Liverpool scored another big victory and Man United entered the final fairy tale with a victory over West Ham. Elsewhere, at Real Madrid reunited for Zidane, in Barcelona not for Ronald Cuman, in Milan it turned out that they do not need Zlatan Ibrahimovich (although he fits well), while Dortmund seems poor without Erling Haaland.

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It’s Monday and Gab Marcotti responds to last week’s football highlights.

Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump! Bayern Leipzig’s lessons | Liverpool’s stability | Barca a step back | Milan not dependent on Ibra | Dortmund lost without Haaland? | A Real Rally for Zidane | Eriksen’s Inter Drama Tale | PSG Gambling | Juva gets lucky | Man City needs a striker | Athletico continues to win | Chelsea’s next test | Gattuso moves to Naples

The gap between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal is clearly

The advantage of football is that there is more than one formula to win. Good managers find out what they can do, what their players can do, and then they manage to get them to buy it. That’s exactly what Jose Mourinho is doing in Tottenham.

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Critics will point out that the difference between the tracks and Sunday’s lackluster arsenal was an early Seon Heung Min world player and scored a goal when the injured Thomas Party rushed to the sidelines. You’ll notice that Spurs managed to deliver a shot after the break, that Mourinho strengthened his four defenders with Joe Rodon and Ben Davis until the final whistle, while Pierre-Emile Hoybjerg and Moussa Sissoko acted as extra midfielder, and that he was content with counterattacks throughout the match.

Maybe, but that’s what Murigno had to do to win. And not only did it work, with a 2-0 victory in the end, but his players seemed to believe it completely. They played with so much confidence, not fear. It’s a textbook.

It is not a magic formula, and as we have already written, there will be games if you need another way to play. He works well if you score first, of course, but even then he’s not stupid: The witness to the fall of the tracks came in a traumatic time against West Ham and Newcastle. Against opponents who give you the ball, you will have to miss out on everything, and the ability of the Spurs to fight legally for the Premier League title will depend on their results.

Fault! The file name is not specified. Mourinho, on the left, sets up his Tottenham Hotspur side perfectly to face the limited threat from Arsenal on Sunday. In general, it is clear that the two sides of North London are far apart during the holidays. FULL CHILDREN / PULT/APP via Getty Images

Because we like great generalizations and because we are not aware that people (especially men in their 50s) can change, the reflex reaction in some circles is that Mourinho is a dinosaur, that the game has overtaken him and that the flaws of Manchester United – on and off the field – determine who he is. The game has really changed and evolved, but to assume that Mourinho’s football is the same as in the dark days (Old Trafford, Chelsea or Bernabeu in recent years) is just stupid. It is so stupid to think that what we see today from the Spurs is a copy of what we saw in happier times at Stamford Bridge, Inter or Porto.

As for the Arsenal, the fact that they are now in 15th place is neither here nor there. You’re closer to fifth place than the decommissioning zone, and that’s what counts in many ways. (Except, of course, at the end of the season, where it’s very important, especially for a club that’s already out of breath, whether you’re in the Champions League against the European League, in the European Conference or watching half a week of football on TV).

The most disturbing thing is how little this Arsenal team produces and the poor quality of their defense. The fact is that they have not only scored once in a Premier League opener in the past two months. The armoury is below the League average for expected goals (xG), which is 1.18. They are both lower in terms of xG (1.04) and significantly higher in terms of xG concession (1.31). What bothers Artet the most is the fact that last season after his arrival at xG (1.25, compared to the championship average of 1.23) they were not good. And they were also bad at xg-friendliness (1:37).

So is it a system or a personnel error?

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Gab and Jules discuss Pierre-America Aubameyan’s performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur.

Arteta changes between three and four backs. He actually played on two fronts (Pierre Emeric Aubameyan and Alexander Lacazette) with two wings (Bucayo Saca and Willian) after having played with one man for most of the season. Whatever the combination, he doesn’t seem to get enough from the press for him to soften the damage done by the opposition during the transition, and this leaves his back line open. But a couple of bouncers won’t help him here. Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are big players, but the former is better suited for the three and the latter for the four full-backs these days – unless he’s playing in the centre, but that’s hard because they don’t have competent centre-backs, and when you play with him there you don’t know where to put Saku.

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As for the attacker’s departure, against teams that have no ball possession, Dani Ceballos is needed on the pitch, ideally from the start. He’s the most creative midfielder next to Mesut Ozil, but we won’t see him. The creation of endless streams of crosses for Aubameyang and Lacazette – none of which is Duncan Ferguson’s second arrival – against enemies who defend themselves closely does not help either.

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Artete needs options in his game models. He’s supposed to know. He also knows he needs time to work in the training field. But for the 2020-21 season, that’s very little for the teams working for Europe.

He probably needs a chance to put his boys in order, too. Willian and Aubameyang do not produce. It’s easy to be cynical and attribute it to their newly signed mega contracts. This is probably a difficult area for most players to navigate. Okay. Okay. Okay, okay. He’s gotta help her through this. The same goes for Mr Bellerin, who is increasingly given a defensive responsibility after losing a step of his previously undulating recovery pace.

The best thing the Arsenal hierarchy can do is to remind Arteta (and the team) that a few results will bring them back to the Champions League. Nothing is lost. The rest, however, depends on Arteta. Some of his problems are structural, the result of bad decisions and bad team building from the people above him. These problems will not be solved immediately. Some, however, have to make the decisions he makes. He just needs some time to work, assess the situation and hopefully make the right decisions.

Bavaria, Leipzig, at the service of.

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Jan Aage Fjortoft explains why Niklas Sule and Jerome Boateng Bayern earned a 3-3 tie against RB Leipzig.

One way to look at Bavaria and Leipzig is to see how the two managers Hans Flick and Julian Nagelsmann deal with adversity, whether the players are tired or unavailable. (And there are a lot of them in both clubs.) Flick sticks to the script, replaces the guys who aren’t there with others and hopes they can do a similar job. And since Bavaria is a big and very talented club, they often do it. Nagelsmann digs into the tools of his alchemist, mixes things up and offers you a completely different perspective.

Saturday’s draw at 3:03 a.m. may have been a good result, but it also showed the value of chemistry and form. Niklas Sulet and Jerome Boateng sometimes seemed never to have played together. Javi Martinez and Joshua Kimmich may be central midfielders, but in the sense that Cardi B and Marilyn Manson are both musicians: What they do is very different, especially when the Spaniard is 32 years old and has already packed his suitcases to leave. It’s no surprise when he gets hurt and Flick is forced to throw on 17-year-old Jamal Musiala. The boy played well, he even scored a big goal, but he’s not the central midfielder. Not yet. Not yet.

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The best solution in this situation would probably be to move David Alaba to a central position in midfield, but given the injuries of Alfonso Davis and Lucas Hernandez it is necessary to place him on the left flank. (Flick doesn’t trust Mark Rock, of course.) And so, despite Leon Goretzky’s superhuman efforts, the Bavarian midfielder was unable to keep up with the Leipzig team, so the Sulet-Boateng partnership is more exposed than desired.

For Flick, there was no need for Leroy Sanah and Robert Lewandowski to have games of poor quality. They give Lewandowski a pass – everyone has the right to withdraw, but it’s harder for Sanah. Bavaria has invested about $50 million in it (and the tax could go up even further), and so far it has shown a touch of grandeur, combined with long breaks, especially with the ball. He turned 25 in January and missed most of last season due to an injury – give him time. But it was also a missed opportunity in the big game.

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Kingsley’s band, Koman, was pointed all the way to the end, and Thomas Mueller was wearing his superhero jacket again. Müller does not go away, only a few players in the world offer a combination of tactical skills and athletics. If you can get to where you need to be first from time to time, you don’t have to be technically gifted.

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Jan Eige Fjortoft says that the German coach Joachim Loew can regain his confidence by calling in Thomas Muller from Bavaria.

As far as Leipzig is concerned, it must feel like it has lost two points. Nagelsmann has once again demonstrated that he is able to choose the right game plan for his opponents, despite the fact that his team is playing a tough Champions League game in the middle of last week – Bayern, who had already qualified, rested with seven boys from Sunday – and will play a decisive big game against Manchester United on Tuesday.

Nagelsmann made three changes, the most important of which was to play Emil Forsberg for him instead of one of his two center forward (Alexander Sorlot and Jusuf Poulsen), and he carefully gave Justin Kluwert only the second start of the campaign. Forsberg and Kluwert both scored, and both played a key role in tearing Bavaria apart on four backs.

Can he hold the 3-2 lead he had at the start of the second half with Muller’s equalizer in 15 minutes? Old school football leaders will say yes, and to be honest, his replacement was at first glance counterintuitive. He sent a target for Forsberg (Poulsen) at the specified time. Ten minutes later he pulled out his right defender (Nordi Mukhele) and sent in a midfielder (Kevin Kample) and his emotional leader in midfield (Marcel Sabitzer), who replaced him with another attacking midfielder (Dani Olmo).

Jose Mourinho probably wouldn’t approve, but it’s Nagelsman. In his world you defend your advantage by adding something to it. That’s what brought him here, that’s what he built his career on. And if Leipzig wins the Bundesliga, so do they.

Klopp must be satisfied with the elasticity of Liverpool

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Frank Leboöf sees arguments that one of the top six Premier League leagues could raise the title this season.

Jürgen Klopp would probably be more than happy with what he calls a dirty victory over the wolves from which Raoul Jiménez was abducted. Do your job somehow and then relax during the insignificant Champions League group match against Midtjilland. The Reds are already in the Tour of 16 and the Premier League has already been drawn with Fulham, allowing the Reds to go to the top of the table for the big game against Tottenham on 16 June. December: as many injured players as possible.

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For an hour it looked like the game was going that way… then Liverpool attacked the afterburners and won 4-0 against Enfield. Kaojhin Kelleher, who was appointed assistant to Alisson, did an excellent job and Curtis Jones showed again that he deserved to be part of the midfield rotation. In addition, Trent Alexander Arnold and Nabi Keita have left the bank and have come closer to full fitness.

Wolves without Jimenez is certainly another suggestion, but to be at the top of the Premier League together and discover that the boys who were destined to be players for the team (Kelleher and Jones of course, but also Diogo Jot) can also be important players, you even have to exceed Klopp’s expectations.

Cuman, Barcelona, step back.

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According to Ale Moreno, Barcelona players too often find their way to the result against weaker opponents.

Saturday’s match against Cadiz could be a great opportunity for Ronald Coeman and his team to try something new in Barcelona. A newly promoted opponent (despite having already defeated Real Madrid), an almost empty Champions League game in the middle of the week (Juventus would have had to beat them with four goals at the Camp Nou at the top of the group), why not revive Martín Braithwaite and see if Philip Cutiño can make his contribution?

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Coman’s plan was thwarted by two grotesque defensive errors that resulted in two goals from Cadiz in a 2-1 defeat. Oscar Mingesa is a child, and you don’t want to be too hard on him (especially since you need him now), but this return to his own goal was terrible. And God knows what the Trio Jordi Alba, Clement Langlet and Marc-André Ter Stegen thought when they made each other’s mistakes worse.

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But what is most disturbing – how individual mistakes can arise – is the inability to reopen a deep and well-organized defense. The vanity of Barcelona in this department has little to do with weak backs, and it seems that two children are taking a big step forward, a big step backwards.

Milan will prove they’re not dependent on Ibra…

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Gab Marcotti underlines the importance of Milan’s victory over Sampdoria in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Milan has once again shown that they are not dependent on Zlatan Ibrahimovic: He’s just a man who makes them better. The boy, Stefano Pioli, never lost his composure against the Sampdoria defense, eventually won 2-1 and kept five points at the top of the Series A.

These matches strengthen the credibility of Sandro Tonali (who replaced Ismael Bennasser), Brahim Diaz and Matteo Gabbia in the back line. When Zlatan returns (very soon), he will find a group to complement him, not one that depends on him.

… …but Dortmund depends on 20-year-old Haaland.

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Jan Aage Fjortoft responds to the draw of Borussia Dortmund with Eintracht Frankfurt without Erling Haaland.

It is utterly absurd to consider an injury to a 20-year-old with 23 league games as a threat that could undermine the club’s title ambitions. But if this guy – Erling Haaland, and he scored 23 goals in those 23 appearances (plus another eight in six Champions League tournaments), and if you – Dortmund Borussia, and order – is not exactly your thing … Yeah, it’s a big one.

Against Eintracht in Frankfurt, Lucien Favre is confronted with Haaland’s absence and sprinkles his false nine with Julian Brandt in front of him. He didn’t score much at half time and left a goal behind, so he threw 16-year-old Yussuf Mukoko to the front. The company took over, Gio Reyna scored a brilliant equalizer and Favre was happy with the 1-1 draw that followed.

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Favre has suffered numerous injuries outside of Haaland and he has to deal with several players who are in a half-finished state. Think of these mitigating circumstances; Dortmund’s inability to make a real central plan without a real central plan is worrying. It was a time when many young talents – especially on the Rhine and near Sancho – who may have been somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of Haaland (in terms of hype and media attention), changed their position to assert themselves. And also where veterans – from Marco Reus to Mats Hummels, from Axel Witsel to Emre Kahn – have some advice to offer.

They don’t want Jaland to return to the camp that the Bundesliga has already left.

The united man should be more consistent for Solskjaer

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On the eve of UCL’s crystal chain with RB Leipzig, Julien Lawrence was impressed by their recent return.

Manchester United specialises in the glass half-space/glass half-empty debates. Referring to Saturday’s 3-1 victory at West Ham, this season they have won five Premier League games in a row – nine in a row, going back to last year – and if they win in an instant, they are in third place in the overall standings, two points behind last year.

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Or you could point out that they were in a deplorable state against West Ham in the first half and could easily have fallen 3-0. And that Ole Gunnar Solzquier prefers not to be called to the cavalry in the uniforms of Bruno Fernandas and Marcus Rashford (especially now that Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial have been expelled).

Probably the best indicator is the frequency with which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer delivers a solid 90-minute performance from every team he has put together, regardless of the result. He won against Southampton (despite a 2-0 defeat), he won against Leipzig in the Champions League, he succeeded several times. This should happen more regularly.

Business gets better for Zidane, Real Madrid

The future of Zinedine Zidane may still depend on what happens halfway through the week in the Champions League and the Madrid derby next weekend. But his Real Madrid won against Sevilla on the first Sunday.

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It doesn’t matter if he finished 1-0 or if the goal was scored by a goalkeeper’s mistake. They seemed balanced and confident, creating half a dozen clear chances against Julen Lopetegui (who, frankly, had a hangover after his Champions League replacement against Chelsea). Casemiro’s return to midfield was formidable, but no less important was the disciplined and hard-working performance of Vinichus Jr. and Rodrigo, who was given for him along with Karim Benzema.

Of course, you may smoke on Tuesdays, but so far the plates are good… …and Sergio Ramos will soon return strong and itchy.

What did Conte think when he subordinated Eriksen?

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Gab Marcotti looks at the tactical approach of Antonio Conte and the attitude of Inter Milan during their 3-1 victory over Bologna.

Inter bounced back with a convincing and thoughtful 3-1 victory over Bologna, with another first class result from Romel Lukaku and two goals from Achraf Hakimi, who is starting to fit well in the set of Antonio Conte.

Conte could have just bathed in this remanence; instead, he created a fight out of nowhere by sending Christian Eriksen during the injury. In Italy – and not only in Italy – it is considered humiliating to replace a star player (or at least the salary of a star banker) to waste time with two goals. They won’t know anything about them, they won’t change anything, and unless they somehow get a bonus for their looks, they won’t thank you for it.

Maybe it’s some kind of narrative psychology Eriksen is trying to get into shape. (If so, that’s interesting, given that the club just said they might go in January). Maybe this is a blueprint for the media to focus on the Konte-Eriksen relationship instead of increasing the pressure for the mandatory Champions League collision with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Maybe it’s just a little something. Who knows what’s going on with Conte.

The risky MTP strategy is not sustainable

Thomas Tuchel retired at Neumar and first left Kilian Mbappe on the bench (together with Alessandro Florenzi, Markinhos, Leandro Paredes and Danilo) for PSG’s trip to Montpellier, and for a while it seemed his game had relegated him to the background. Then Moise Keene came to the rescue with a great solo effort and Mbappe added his 100th birthday to PSG in a traumatic moment. goals and assured PSG’s victory with a 3-1 victory.

Of course, Tuchel doesn’t want to take any risks in the Champions League – all it takes is a point against Istanbul to be sure of qualifying for the round of 16 – but it’s a risky strategy. Without those late goals, Lille and Lyon would have been the top of Ligue 1 with them.

What happened to Juventus?

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Gab Marcotti explains the blow that Weston McKenney Juventus struck from the bench during his back-to-back victory over Turin.

The former Juventus could have said that a victory is a victory, and a victory is the only thing that counts after the 2-1 victory over Turin in the derby. This one, Juve’s Andrea Pirlo, who promises to revise his philosophy and playing style, can’t do that. So it’s only fair to be critical when two goals in the last 15 minutes (thanks to Weston McKenney and Leo Bonucci) serve the same turbulent and unimaginable porridge for most of the match.

Paulo Daibala, the partner of Cristiano Ronaldo, was – again – poor, but he cannot be the only scapegoat. Ronaldo was also of poor quality and the lightning duo Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevsky did not lighten his wings. And that’s before we get to the lack of creativity and intensity in the middle of the park.

Bonucci said after the match that they had accepted Pirlo’s instructions in their heads, but not yet in their hearts. Sounds poetic. Maybe that’s not enough.

Will Man City pick up a robber in January?

Not surprisingly, Manchester City didn’t sweat much on Saturday when Fulham lost 2-0. Pep Guardiola said he was very happy that the city missed the last few games: Burnley, no shot at the target, only today. [Fulham] Porto is the same. As long as we create enough, we’ll improve.

Of course, he’s right… Football is not an exact science, but at this stage you can determine that the key to creating opportunities lies in seeing it through to completion.

Read the latest news and reactions from ESPN’s main author Gabriele Marcotti.

I’m less worried about that: The city has enough firepower and scoring chances (it has at least five players who scored twice last season in the Premier League) to end the scoring chances. The problem is that it is much easier to create an opportunity when you play with a really excellent center, whose movement opens up the space and passages.

That man is Sergio Aghero, although he is 32 years old and only played 109 minutes in the league this year because of an injury. This man could have been Gabriel Jesus, but that’s just not true: not yet, at least not, and maybe never. They wonder if Agüero’s contract will expire if the town doesn’t succumb to the temptation to return to the transfer market in January of this year.

Atletico Madrid continues to set the pace in La Liga

Athletico Madrid climbed to the top of the league and defeated Valladolid (2-0) against Real Sociedad (0-0 in Alava). Now, with two races in hand, they have one point lead, even if it wasn’t a smooth ride on one of the circuits. The future of the Atletico Champions League will be decided halfway through the week – a win or a tie against Salzburg’s Jesse Marsh is needed to make progress from Group A – which may explain why Coke and Joao Felix were originally on the bench.

The postponement was the performance of Marcos Llorent during the break, but also that of Thomas Lemar. Both are proof that Diego Simeone is good. Llorente arrived at Real Madrid as a substitute midfielder and now shows how almost every player on the field can contribute (two goals at Enfield last season). Lemar appeared to be bankrupt in the first two campaigns, but Simeone did not give up and can now play a bigger role.

Chelsea has won, but Lampard’s human management has been tested.

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Craig Burley praised Chelsea’s responsiveness after repeated attempts in their victory over Leeds United.

The matches against Leeds United are the worst criteria for judging teams, because Marcelo Bielsa’s football is very different from that of any other coach in the Premier League. But Chelsea did the job and did it effectively with a 3-1 victory.

The Blues are unbeaten in the second round at home in Liverpool with Kai Havertz and Christian Pulis in good shape and back in the race (although whether Havertz in midfield is an open question remains), Frank Lampard’s decision to put Olivier Giraud back in the rotation pays off, and they are two points away from the title pace set by Tottenham. Now that he has a lot of options, Lampard’s people management comes into play: choosing the right people in the right games to keep everyone happy. It’s easy to do that and still win…

Why the Gattuso is perfect for Naples

God bless Reno Gattuso. Most managers will be happy with the 4-0 victory that gave Lorenzo Insigna’s opponents an early goal. Not Reno. He said the goal against Croton had flattered his team – and frankly they scored three out of four against ten men – and there was still a lot of work to be done.

That’s one way of looking at it. If Gattuso means what he says, no more power for him. Too many managers do not seem to raise the issue of quality when they win. With Gattuso, that seems like the only thing he cares about.

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