Liverpool 2019-2020 English Premier League Champions

Starting Lineup: 4-3-3
1
Becker
66
Alexander-Arnold
12
Gomez
4
van Dijk
26
Robertson
14
Henderson
3
Fabinho
5
Wijnaldum
11
Salah
9
Firmino
10
Mané
Substitutes

Liverpool have clinched the 2019-2020 English Premier League title after only 31 match days. After missing out on the 2018-2019 title by only one point Klopp and Liverpool worked hard on taking the next step and win the EPL. The summer 2019 transfer window saw relative little activity as Liverpool worked on using and improving on what they had.

Klopp’s famous all over the pitch pressing 4-3-3 has looked better and more effective with a goalkeeper trying to play a sweeper role when possible. The central defence which due to injury has more often featured Joe Gomez – instead of Joel Matip – with Virgil van Dijk has played impressively in keeping the the opposition from even getting into Liverpool’s penalty area. Fabinho has been just as impressive a central or defensive midfielder allowing Henderson and Wijnaldum to press, pass and more importantly provide the movement to open up spaces for the fullbacks. The system has allowed the full backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson to become one of the most effective combos in world football with impressive runs and assist stats. The front three have been a constant and played many minutes offering pace and finishing and all working hard to play their part in using and creating space. Firmino has assisted more often and Salah and Mane have been prolific.

As the pandemic interrupted season heads for its conclusion Liverpool have and are making history.

Penalty Shootout Alternative

Use previous results to determine a winner

The penalty shootout is one of the more debated parts of a football match. Its existence is often mentioned in terms of excitement. It can be exciting for several reasons. Arguably the foremost reason is that it provides a relatively quick result. The darker side of the shootout, however is its undoing. The winner of the penalty shootout can very easily not be the team that played better during regular and extra 90+30 minutes of actual football.

baggio_penalty

So what can be done about the penalty shootout? What alternative is there to the shootout? The more historical approach of playing a replay after a tie is not really practical, one should be mildly surprised it was ever possible but certainly with today’s schedules it is not. There are less usual ideas that pop up once in a while. For example one is that a tie be decided by the number of corners taken during a match with the team having taken the most corners being declared the winner. Another suggestion was to do the shootout before a match so that the teams know their possible fate before hand. Of course there have been other ideas too and also rules to make it less likely to get to a shootout by making an extra time goal a golden one so less games, may in theory, even reach the penalty phase.

Another idea that came to me – and I don’t recall seeing elsewhere – is that a winner be declared by taking the teams’ previous three games into account. Let’s say a second round World Cup game reaches the penalty shootout stage, how about letting the team with the better group record (in this case the 3 group games) win? Of course this would seem unfair to a team that has finished second in the group stage –  and is playing a first placed team – but why not? A World Cup semifinal match would take into account the quarter final, second round and last group matches to decide, not really unfair. A champions league quarter final second leg would look at the results of the quarter final first leg and the two round of 16 matches, again not really unfair. Of course applying the usual tie breaker rules if the two teams have equal number of wins/points in their last 3 games.

The potential benefit would be to provide an extra incentive for playing for the win in more matches and also of course to avoid the dreaded penalty shootout in the process.

Let football matches be decided in game situations and not walking up to shoot the ball.

Messi V Ronaldo – The Battle for the Ballon D’Or

The latest edition of El Clasico ended with Messi’s Barca beating Ronaldo’s Real 2-1. This infographic courtesy of NeoMam Infographic Agency explores the dominance of arguably the two best players in the world.

MESSI V RONALDO – THE BATTLE FOR THE BALLON D’OR [Infographic] by the team at Unibet

The infographic is no longer available from the source