EPL

Premier League is back: Liverpool get 101 points, Chelsea 4th – Stats Perform AI completes the season

By Sports Desk May 28, 2020

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  • Barcelona must be self-critical after letting LaLiga slip – Suarez Barcelona must be self-critical after letting LaLiga slip – Suarez

    Luis Suarez insisted Barcelona only had themselves to blame for letting LaLiga slip away, saying winning the title was now impossible.

    With two league games remaining, Barca are four points adrift of rivals and leaders Real Madrid.

    Quique Setien's men looked on track for the title but have dropped points in three of their past seven matches.

    Suarez said Barcelona needed to take responsibility for letting the league slip, admitting it was impossible to win – even with Madrid yet to officially seal the crown.

    "In the league you have to be self-critical – we let it escape ourselves," he told Mundo Deportivo.

    "We are aware that we depended on ourselves and do not find any excuse. Now, for our pride and for the prestige of Barca, we have to win the remaining two games and then focus fully on the only title we can fight, which is the Champions League.

    "If we perform at the level of why we are at this club, we can fight anyone. A failure in a match can be expensive, so we have to be very vigilant and we need everyone to be able to get the Champions League."

    Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and defender Gerard Pique have been among those to question the use of the VAR after several decisions went Real Madrid's way in recent matches.

    However, Suarez refused to use that as an excuse for his side, instead lamenting the draws against Sevilla, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid.

    "It is clear that if we had been up to the task in games like against Sevilla, which is a rival that can tie you, but especially in Vigo, which was a very hard blow and Atletico Madrid right after," the forward said.

    "Minimising the details of the VAR is sometimes difficult. Yes, Gerard and the president made their demonstrations public, but I think that the rivals were also fighting important things like Athletic [Bilbao], Getafe … and they were the ones affected.

    "This time, not only were we harmed, but I think we shouldn't look for so many excuses, but rather be self-critical and face reality."

  • Sarri ignoring criticism as Juventus chase trophies Sarri ignoring criticism as Juventus chase trophies

    Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri insisted he was unworried about criticism as his team continue to chase trophies this season.

    Ahead of a trip to Sassuolo on Wednesday, Juve are six points clear atop Serie A with six games left to play, and also in the Champions League last 16.

    Sarri, who has lost the Coppa Italia final and Supercoppa Italiana this season, has faced some criticism, but the Juventus coach is not bothered.

    "Honestly, I don't pay much attention to criticism, I always try to be focused only on what I can do," he told a news conference.

    "I don't know what people say on social media because I'm not on them and I will never be in my life.

    "If we talk instead of people in the streets, I only receive support and affection."

    Juventus are winless in their past two games and needed a pair of penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo to draw with Atalanta last time out.

    Sarri was asked about his side's lack of goals from midfield, but he has no concerns about their firepower, although Ronaldo (seven) and Paulo Dybala (four) have netted the majority of their goals in the past six games.

    "We scored 17 goals in the last six matches and I'm not concerned about our scoring ratio frankly," he said.

    "We all know that among our midfielders [Aaron] Ramsey is the one that can potentially score more goals considering his individual characteristics.

    "Then we have two players that are growing a lot and in the future, I'm sure they will score more like [Rodrigo] Bentancur and [Adrien] Rabiot."

  • Lampard urges Chelsea to focus ahead of 'tough' finish Lampard urges Chelsea to focus ahead of 'tough' finish

    Frank Lampard believes it will be tough for Chelsea to secure Champions League qualification despite consolidating third place on Tuesday.

    Olivier Giroud's first-half goal was enough to see Chelsea edge Norwich City 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, moving four points clear of Leicester City and Manchester United, who are fourth and fifth respectively and have played one less game.

    But Lampard's men have league matches against Liverpool and Wolves to finish their campaign as they look to secure a top-four finish.

    The Chelsea head coach believes Chelsea still face a battle to secure their place in next season's Champions League.

    "I keep talking about mentality and I don't like the word bottle too much, but when you're coming up against Liverpool away and Wolves at home, it's just two very good opponents," Lampard told a news conference.

    "We just have to focus on those games one by one, prepare right, show the right attitude, I thought we showed it [against Norwich] in a way, those two games will look completely different to what tonight did.

    "But rather than talk about bottle, I want to talk about focus and I want to talk about attitude and then hopefully we have enough to get through, but it's going to be tough."

    In Lampard's first season in charge, Chelsea are also in the FA Cup semi-finals and Champions League last 16, although they suffered a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the first leg.

    The 42-year-old has been pleased with Chelsea's progress, although accepted they still had a long way to go to catch Liverpool and Manchester City.

    "We can be pretty happy with where we're at right now," Lampard said.

    "I don't want to jump the gun because we have games that are going to be really pivotal on where we actually finish, but if we were to have said we would've been in third and contesting like we are and in the FA Cup and Champions League, I know it's going to be really tough but we got through the group stage, and you see the transition of the team and the youth and the issues we had, a lot of our players were on loan last year and most of those in the Championship, I think we can be pretty happy.

    "But I really do feel like there's a lot of work to do, I don't think we should get overly excited, the gap is clear with Liverpool and Manchester City in terms of points.

    "We are in a situation here, we're in a work in progress and there is a lot to do so I'm happy and I want a lot more and when we come back for the start of next season however this season ends we have to tackle it and say, 'Can we start closing that gap?' And it's going to be a tough job."

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