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2021/22 Premier League Review: Matchday 22

Pintsized Background

It wouldn’t be a Pintsized weekend without a few shocks! Fresh off the presses, Rafa and Everton’s torturous fling is finally over. Not that it will offer recently shipped, Lucas Digne, nor adoring Toffee fans much comfort. Why is it that losing to Norwich was the straw that broke the camel’s back? The derby humiliation at Goodison Park should have been the wake-up call for all involved.

PI’s Preview: Premier League Predictions: Matchday 22.
PI’s Statistics: Premier League Statistics: Matchday 22.
PI’s Recommended Match: Aston Villa vs Manchester United.

Dropping a two goal lead, with the equaliser coming from a former Liverpool kingpin, is top-tier Manchester United banter | Premier League Review: Matchday 22
Dropping a two goal lead, with the equaliser coming from a former Liverpool kingpin, is top-tier Manchester United banter | Premier League Review: Matchday 22

The Good

Match of the Week

West Ham 2-3 Leeds. As a Hammer, it is with great pain I have to feature this goal-fest. An injury-plagued Leeds have found themselves on the wrong end of tight contests throughout the season. Jack Harrison refused to allow the trend to repeat with a special hat-trick. West Ham were woefully unprepared for Leeds lightning-fast counter-attacks but I’m certain it is just a blip in Moyes’ otherwise stellar 2021/22 tenure. 

Player of the Week

Jacob Ramsey (1 Goal, 1 Assist, 1 Key Pass, 1 Big Chance Created, 3/3 Dribbles). Through sheer spite, I have opted to ignore Jack Harrison’s hat-trick (admittedly, it was mentioned just one paragraph prior). Instead, praise is directed towards Jacob Ramsey, Villa’s academy turned first-team midfielder. A rocket inside the box left De Gea stretching at thin air, while a perfectly threaded first-time through ball found Coutinho for the emphatic equaliser. There are still three years left on his contract – will Ramsey still find himself at Villa Park come 2025?

Honourable Mention

Kevin De Bruyne (1 Goal, 2 Key Passes, 1 Big Chance Created, 4/6 Dribbles, 1 Clearance, 2 Tackles). Kevin De Bruyne turning it up a notch and putting it on the old employer, Chelsea, is always prime time viewing material. The fact that he rode a Kante challenge before pinging a long-range effort in the corner just makes it all the sweeter. Another day and De Bruyne could have notched a couple more.

The one that got away | Premier League Review: Matchday 22
The one that got away | Premier League Review: Matchday 22

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The Bad

Match To Forget

Liverpool 3-0 Brentford. Before anyone hops on their high horse, this isn’t to slight Liverpool’s victory in any way. It was an excellent weekend of football, so we’re having to scrape by with Liverpool steamrolling a dejected Brentford. Anfield isn’t a pleasant stadium for a team down on their luck, even with Liverpool missing several key figures to AFCON. 

Performance to Forget

Nathan Tella (62% Passing Accuracy, 0/1 Crosses, 0/1 Long Balls, 17 Times Possession Lost). A nightmare day at the office for Tella. Losing the ball to create the chaos and eventual penalty for Wolves’ opener. Energetic throughout, but unfortunately, you sometimes aren’t rewarded for the work you put in. There’s a bright future ahead for the youngster, however. 

Dishonourable Mention

Rafa Benitez. The big lad could count himself somewhat unfortunate considering the number of injuries to key players that Everton sustained early in the season. Unforgiveable, however, was Benitez extended drama with beloved club figure, Lucas Digne. Not only was Digne one of Everton’s top performers, but his departure also highlighted the reach he held in the dressing room. It left Benitez’s position untenable afterwards if the results didn’t pick up. Unfortunately for Spaniard, it was the single result against Norwich that hammered the final nail in the coffin. 

Rafa Benitez's thousand yard stare | Premier League Review: Matchday 22
Rafa Benitez’s thousand yard stare | Premier League Review: Matchday 22

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The Ugly

Top Prediction

Liverpool 3-0 Brentford (Steviano). The old man smashes the picks once again. Cream of the crop would be Steviano’s perfect scoreline in a game that felt like a potential coin flip in the buildup.  

Predictor of the Week

Steviano (4/8 Results, 2/8 Scores). Locking horns with Pintsized at the top of the ‘Results’ table, Steviano returns to blistering predicting form after an impromptu break. 

Dunce of the Week

Ryan (1/8 Results, 0/8 Scores). 100 lines of ‘must do better’ for Ryan.

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