live sky – Observing The Sky Sat, 19 Mar 2022 17:37:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 live sky – Observing The Sky 32 32 Steven Gerrard: Aston Villa boss’ exchange with BT Sport’s Des Kelly in full after Arsenal defeat | Soccer News Sat, 19 Mar 2022 16:07:30 +0000

An ’emotional’ Steven Gerrard was involved in an exchange with BT Sport reporter Des Kelly after Arsenal returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa to move four points clear of Manchester United in the race for Champions League qualification.

Bukayo Saka scored the only goal of the game in the 30th minute with a shot from the edge of the area.

The Gunners, who also have a game in hand on United, saw a five-match winning run ended by Liverpool in midweek but they completely dominated the first half at Villa Park.

Villa improved in the second half and hit a post through Ollie Watkins but they were unable to prevent a second straight defeat. Their final chance came in the last minute of injury time when Pepe fouled Douglas Luiz, and Philippe Coutinho at last forced Bernd Leno into a save with a free-kick from the corner of the area.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win at Aston Villa in the Premier League.

It was Villa’s first shot on target – coming in the 96th minute – and BT Sports reporter Des Kelly put the unwanted statistic to Gerrard shortly after the final whistle. Here’s the interview in full…

Kellys: Can you pick through the pieces of that? It has been a tough afternoon for Villa today…

Steven Gerard: I thought it was a tough first half because we allowed it to be tough. I thought we were indecisive in a lot of the things we tried to do, I thought our performance lacked belief and it wasn’t really until half-time that we showed that we could improve and be much better in the game.

But at that point you are obviously 1-0 down, you’re chasing it, you’ve obviously got to take a few gambles and a few risks that normally you didn’t want to do in the original game plan. But we were much better second half, first half we deserved to be behind. I thought we were second best.

Steven Gerrard was unhappy after the Arsenal loss
Gerrard during Aston Villa’s defeat by Arsenal

Kellys: They pinned you back for long periods. Were you giving them too much respect, perhaps?

Steven Gerard: Yes, I think individually and collectively we maybe done that. We wanted to be organized, we wanted them to have the ball in certain areas – ie with the centre-backs and going outside of our shape – but we set up today to be aggressive and in that shape I thought we didn’t.

I thought we lacked a little belief in what we were doing and I thought certain individuals lacked a bit of belief. It’s difficult to execute a game plan, what you want and how you want it to look, if not everyone believes in it. Second half I thought we believed in it a lot more, OK we went back to front a little bit quicker, we wanted to test the centre-backs and make it a little bit more about their defense second half.

Arsenal were dominant in the first half at Villa
Arsenal were dominant in the first half at Villa

But I think across the board we had more belief, we were less indecisive and off the back of that we created three or four interesting moments in the game. But overall, we certainly have no complaints in terms of the scoreline.

Kellys: I don’t think you got a shot on target until right at the death, there.

Steven Gerard: Yeah, that is exactly how I described the game to you, though, is it not? Not good enough first half and then improved second half. We pushed at the end, got some good crosses in, created some more interesting moments, and I thought the performance was a lot more positive second half.

But well done for spotting that.

Kellys: [Laughs] Since April you’ve made a lot of progress, but you’ve lost to Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal – so there is still that gap that you have to close…

Villa endured a frustrating afternoon
Villa endured a frustrating afternoon

Steven Gerard: Well done, Des, for recognizing that. If you asked me that question, I would say the league does not lie and I’d say that Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, West Ham, Wolves, at the moment, are ahead of us for a reason and there’s a gap and that is what we are striving to do. But if we want to take one of them places, we’ve got to be positive, got to believe in it, can’t be indecisive, and we’ve got to go and grab it off them, we’ve got to believe what we’re doing, to keep learning and get support from up above and grab it.

I do like the way you work those things out pretty quick.

Of the Kellys: I think you’re aggressive in the interview, and you should tell your players to do the same thing (laughs).

Steven Gerard: I’ll tell you what I am in the interview, I am emotional, I care, I don’t like getting beat and I actually thought your questions would be a little bit more better, in all honesty. No disrespect, Des, I am not making it personal. But you’ve just said to me there’s a gap to Manchester United and City, blah blah blah and we know that. And you also said we had one shot on target towards the end of the game, that’s how I described the game as well.

Of the Kellys: Well, we both agree.

Steven Gerard: Cheers Des. All the best, fella.

Arteta hails ‘a big win’

Bernd Leno, Ben White and Rob Holding celebrate beating Aston Villa
Bernd Leno, Ben White and Rob Holding celebrate

The result saw the Gunners bounce back from defeat by Liverpool in midweek and move four points clear of Manchester United with a game in hand in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Mikel Arteta had complained about the scheduling, with Arsenal having to play at lunchtime having hosted Liverpool on Wednesday evening, and he said: “It was a big win.

“After the defeat against Liverpool we wanted to come here and play well first, which we did, and get the three points because we want to keep the momentum going. I think the team showed today a lot of personality to come and play the way we played. We dominated the game.”

Bukayo Saka scored the only goal in the 30th minute and shone during the first half before being substituted with 20 minutes left.

“He was really tired and after Liverpool he had an issue with his hip,” said Arteta. “He’s played a lot of minutes and you could tell. We don’t want to risk (anything). He needs to go with England now and we decided the best thing to do was to take him off.”

Analysis: Big step along the road for Arteta

Mikel Arteta issues instructions to his players
Mikel Arteta issues instructions to his players

Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds:

It was a sign of where the game was that Rob Holding replaced Martin Odegaard with five minutes to play. It is all about results for Arsenal at this stage of the campaign and there is no need to entertain. The prize is huge if they can finish in the top four after five years away from the Champions League and they strengthened that position at Villa.

Mikel Arteta needed holding back by fourth official Martin Atkinson as he continued to point at his players to track back during an attritional second half. After Leno clawed away one last fizzing free-kick from Coutinho, the final whistle was greeted elastically by Arteta as he embraced his assistant Steve Round on the touchline.

The Spaniard is striving to take Arsenal back to where they feel they belong – and here you could sense the importance of this victory in one of the more awkward hurdles that remained this term.

Bukayo Saka performs acrobatics to celebrate his opening goal
Saka performs acrobatics to celebrate his opener

This was an off-day for Villa, as Gerrard slumped back into his seat during the closing stages. Arteta never stopped gesticulating. He has got his players set up in his image now – “he knows exactly what we need” goes the song from the jubilant Arsenal fans – and while trips to Tottenham and Chelsea still lie ahead, there is nothing flaky about Arsenal anymore.

Only Arsenal have regularly fielded a starting XI whose average age is under 25 – but they are growing in experience with each passing week. This was another big step for Arteta and his side.

Ramsdale to miss England matches

Aaron Ramsdale
Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale will be sidelined with injury

Arteta has revealed Aaron Ramsdale will not be fit enough to play for England in the upcoming internationals against Switzerland and Ivory Coast due to a hip injury.

The 23-year-old was absent from Arsenal’s squad to face Aston Villa on Saturday and faces a spell on the sidelines.

Before the game, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told BT Sport: “He’s got an injury, he had an injury in his oblique muscle and he will be out for a few weeks.”

Ramsdale has been an ever-present for the Gunners in the Premier League since his arrival from Sheffield United in August. His injury will be another disappointment for Gareth Southgate after Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold also withdrew from his squad due to a hamstring issue.

Arteta later confirmed in his post-match press conference Ramsdale would be unable to feature in the Three Lions’ two friendly fixtures.

“Aaron won’t be able to play for England,” the Arsenal boss said after the 1-0 win at Villa Park.

What’s next?

Following the international break, Aston Villa return to Premier League action against Wolves at Molineux on Saturday, April 2; kick off 3pm.

Arsenal visit Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday Night Football on April 4, live on Sky Sports; kick off 8pm.

Liverpool strike force could trump Manchester City for Premier League title, says Gary Neville | Soccer News Wed, 16 Mar 2022 10:11:42 +0000

Liverpool’s attacking wealth would have taken them over the line at Crystal Palace, unlike Manchester City – and the Reds’ firepower could be the difference in the title race, says Gary Neville.

Premier League leaders City’s goalless draw at Selhurst Park saw Palace become the second team to prevent Pep Guardiola’s side from scoring home and away in a Premier League season, after Manchester United in 2020/21.

The stalemate ended an 18-game Premier League run where City had found the net, dating back to Palace’s 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium in October, and meant the champions – who are four points clear top after playing one game more than Liverpool – had failed to score for the fourth time this season.

By contrast, Liverpool have only had one blank this season, with Neville highlighting the abundance of attacking talent available to Jurgen Klopp compared to Guardiola.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace’s goalless draw with Manchester City in the Premier League.

“If Liverpool play this game [at Palace]they win this game because they have better attackers and finishers,” he said. Monday night football. “They are more ruthless and there are more, five players you would bet your money on.

“While at City there are more wide players playing in those positions. Phil Foden is a midfielder but he plays centre-forward. Jack Grealish could be a midfielder, but he plays on the left of a three in front.

“City have exceptional players in this squad, fantastic players, but as brilliant as they are, they’re not the most ruthless or clinical in front of goal.

“The difference at the end of the season could just be because Liverpool have more strikers who are clinical and goal-scoring. We know all season with City, the only thing that could let them down, that’s it. “

Joao Cancelo shows his frustration at Crystal Palace
Man City had 18 shots without scoring against Crystal Palace, their highest goalless tally in the competition since their 18 effort against Tottenham in August 2021.

Neville continued: “City are top of the league but they haven’t scored four times this season. Liverpool have failed to score in a game once. Could that make a difference? Of course It could. Both teams are at the top level so you talk about what the difference could be.

“Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are all at Liverpool and they will score goals. City are a brilliant team and could still win this league, but it could be the difference.

“Liverpool are really dangerous. I look at those five forwards they have. They go into the last part of the season knowing they can win a lot of football games with those five forwards. City don’t have the same luxury in attack areas.

Carra: City should have chosen Kane over Grealish

Jamie Carragher believes City display the characteristics of a side without a proven striker and pointed to Harry Kane’s protracted and unsuccessful chase last summer as the root cause.

“When a team doesn’t have a striker, they often play better football because they will have more players who want to take the ball, will miss, and the teams won’t be able to take the ball away from them,” he said. he declares. “But there will be times when you need this guy to put the ball in the back of the net.

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Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City side had enough chances to win the game but weren’t clinical enough in front of goal.

“Would Harry Kane have made a difference? I always said this summer I was surprised they didn’t spend the money they spent on Jack Grealish on Harry Kane.

“I didn’t think City needed Grealish in particular; he’s obviously a quality player but with Foden, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling able to play there, it probably wasn’t the right choice.

“But let’s not forget that City can still win a treble this season. They missed chances [at Palace] that any player – midfielder or defender – should score. Not having a striker could make a huge difference, but City’s position in the league – and every competition – shows its quality.”

Neville thinks the positioning of Champions League fixtures could have a huge impact on the title race
Neville thinks the positioning of Champions League fixtures could have a huge impact on the title race

Will Liverpool take the lead at Arsenal?

As City drop points at Selhurst Park, the door is left ajar for Liverpool to take the lead in the title race on Wednesday’s trip to Arsenal, live on sky sports.

Although City and Liverpool have nine and 10 games to play respectively, Carragher believes Liverpool can deliver a psychological blow ahead of a series of crucial encounters that could well determine who gets their hands on the title.

Wednesday, March 16, 7:30 p.m.

Kick off 8:15 p.m.

“City have been six points clear of Liverpool in recent weeks but they have the game in hand,” he added. “I think the game at Arsenal on Wednesday is absolutely huge. If Liverpool can do it at Arsenal, it would really hurt City psychologically.

“Bernardo Silva says City are still the favorites because Liverpool have to go to their stadium, and I absolutely agree with that. Arsenal and Manchester City away are the two big issues on Liverpool’s fixture list.

“But if Liverpool win at Arsenal and come within a point and then go on to beat Watford, the pressure will be on City at Burnley before the two teams meet at the Etihad in April.

“I know there are still games to be played, but I think City’s next three games and Liverpool’s next four games are the toughest and on us right now.”

Jeff Stelling unleashes remarkable rant live on Sky Sports after his son was fined £100 Sat, 26 Feb 2022 15:40:34 +0000

The hugely popular broadcaster has shocked viewers after calling a private parking company live on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday show after his son was handed a hefty fine

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