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Premier League Hot Takes: Week 24, Wednesday edition

Man City/Brentford

Someone needs to tell Thomas Frank and company Manchester City do not need any help winning games. Let them do their thing, get into a groove and then City will systematically pick you apart. While it was a clear foul by Rasmussen, Sterling put forth a valiant dive to sell it. Mahrez to clean up; 1-0. Raya, who I was very happy to see back after a near 4-month layoff, showed every bit of rust in a poor play from out the back to concede the second goal; one that looked like he would save not once but twice. Gone are the day where I thought The Bees were a decent squad, but it seems like they just don’t have the depth to withstand any of the starting eleven missing action. Stars on 45: The Etihad playlist featured ‘Hey Jude’ during the warm-ups, a song normally heard at Community Stadium. The announcers thought it a nice gesture; I thought, “Damn, they be trollin’.”


What goes around, comes around. After watching this one, I was reminded of the late game comeback orchestrated by Spurs (Bergwijn) against Leicester; albeit more competitive. The return of Son and his go-ahead goal late in the match was ruined by a complete breakdown on defense only minutes later. Before we go off and say, “just Spurs being Spursy,” I want to go on record by saying Southampton played their hearts out in this one. They kept their heads and the attack up from whistle to whistle. They deserved the result. Good on you, Ralph Hasenhuttl; maybe that draw vs City wasn’t such a fluke. Summer vacation suggestion: Do whatever it takes to sign A. Broja. That boy good!

Norwich/Crystal Palace

A much better showing by the Canaries in this year’s rematch, especially with Pukki powering up in the first minute for the score. But on a day where all three points would have done wonders for their positioning in this crazy relegation battle, it all disappeared with the flick of Wilfried Zaha’s right leg. His goal from the corner of the 18 yd box was absolute quality. Not sure what Patrick Vieira has been telling Zaha but it’s starting to work. Unless I missed it, it seems like, in a rare showing, Zaha held his composure throughout the match. Magic 8 Ball sez: It won’t last for long.

AVFC/Leeds United

I’m saving the best for last because this may have been the best god damn match I’ve seen in a while. I never saw this going 3-2, let alone 3-2 by half time. If you remember my hot take on Villa from a few weeks ago, I had mentioned how much I looked forward to watching the link up play between Ramsey and Coutinho. I was not wrong. Their hook ups were things of beauty; brilliantly crisp passes and calm, cool finishes. I just hope Steven Gerard hasn’t broken his new toy. Speaking of new toys, Dan James had his coming out party today. If in his match against West Ham was filled with almosts, today’s match was filled with nearlys as in he nearly had a hat trick. It has been a real joy watching this kid grow into his role under Bielsa. And to refuse to come off at the end, Cajones!! My question is this: If he continues to grow into the striker role, what happens when Bamford is back healthy?

Ben Ireland


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