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Arsenal and Manchester City draw puts Liverpool in Premier League control; Arsenal win FA Women’s League Cup

Happy April! It was a very busy weekend in England between the Premier League title race and the FA Women’s League Cup final, and things aren’t slowing down anytime soon. I’m Pardeep Cattry with a look at the weekend that was.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Monday, April 1
🇮🇹 Serie A: Inter vs. Empoli, 2:45 p.m.➡️ Paramount+
🇪🇸 La Liga: Villareal vs. Atleti, 3 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+

Tuesday, April 2
🇮🇹 Coppa Italia: Juventus vs. Lazio, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: West Ham vs. Tottenham, 3:15 p.m. ➡️ Peacock
🌍 Concacaf Champions Cup: Columbus Crew vs. Tigres, 7 p.m. ➡️ FS1

⚽ The Forward Line

🔴 Everything’s coming up Liverpool after Man City-Arsenal draw

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The Premier League title race tilted in Liverpool’s favor yesterday after the Reds were the only one of the three contenders to actually win, beating Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 while Manchester City and Arsenal tied 0-0 in the weekend’s most anticipated matchup. The combination of results means Liverpool currently have a two point advantage over second place Arsenal and three points more than third place City with nine games to go.

Liverpool survived an early deficit as Danny Welbeck scored just two minutes into the game, but a 30 shot performance eventually paid off for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah scoring to ensure they’d win. Those would be the only goals in the Premier League yesterday, with neither City nor Arsenal finding a go-ahead goal in a match that was not lacking in narrative, but fell short on quality chances.

The unglamorous display was by design for an Arsenal team that prioritized defense against the reigning champions. James Benge reports from Etihad Stadium that Mikel Arteta was the happier manager of the two post-match, especially after taking four points off of City in their two matchups this season.

  • Benge: “Across 180 minutes of Premier League football this season, Arsenal have held the English and European champions goalless. In that time City have registered 16 shots and 1.43 expected goals (xG), both numbers below what they average in 90 minutes across the league campaign as a whole. Almost half of that xG has fallen to Nathan Ake, whose diversion of Kevin De Bruyne’s corner straight at David Raya was the best chance the hosts created. Indeed, it was the only save Raya had to make. Haaland remains without a shot on target against the Gunners, another opportunity to break that coming when he couldn’t decide whether to hit the ball with his left or right when Josko Gvardiol flicked a corner in his direction.”

Liverpool might have come out of the weekend with a 47% chance to win the title, per Opta, but the margins remain tight with several weeks to go in the Premier League’s most competitive title race in years. City still have a 34% chance and Arsenal sit at 19% ahead of a thrilling finale that’s poised to provide its own challenges. All three still have to face teams at all ends of the Premier League table, including the two best teams not in the title race — fourth place Aston Villa and fifth place Tottenham Hotspur, who will be locked in a fight for perhaps England’s only unclaimed guaranteed Champions League berth.

A thrilling race to the finish could be in the cards for all of the Premier League’s top spots, with very little decided with less than two months to go until the final day of the season.

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🏆 Drama at the FA Women’s League Cup final

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Arsenal won their first FA Women’s League Cup since 2018 yesterday, beating Chelsea 1-0 thanks to Stina Blackstenius’ goal in extra time, but the match was overshadowed by events that had little to do with the actual scoreline.

Shortly before extra time began, the match was halted for about nine minutes after Arsenal midfielder Frida Maanum collapsed on the pitch. She was treated on the field and regained consciousness before she was eventually substituted, and the club confirmed that she was in “stable condition” and talking not long after the incident. No other details are publicly available about Maanum’s condition, but manager Jonas Eidevall said post-match he had spoken to the player and that she would travel back with them as she continues to be under medical supervision, per The Athletic.

Those were not the only questions Eidevall had to answer after the win. He and Chelsea counterpart Emma Hayes were involved in a moment of hostility once the final whistle blew, when the two managers shook hands but Hayes then shoved Eidevall after he appeared to lean in for a hug and then pointed a finger at him as she made a comment before moving on. Hayes said she was unhappy about Eidevall’s conduct towards Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert, per The Guardian, when he raced out of his technical area in anger as she took a throw-in, waving his arms in the air and shouting before Cuthbert threw the ball back into play. The player went towards Eidevall and made a comment before returning to the game.

  • Hayes: “Listen, I think there’s a way to conduct yourself on the touchline, I really do. I think it’s absolutely essential that we role model in the right way. I’m not down for male aggression on the touchline, I’m really not, and fronting up to players, for me, that’s unacceptable. I’m disappointed and I told Jonas that. I don’t think it’s okay to behave like that. He got a yellow card, and he should have probably been sent off. I’m all for competing to win, I’ve never been booked in 12 years, my time here, I totally accept he’s a winner and wants to win but his behavior on the touchline wasn’t acceptable.”

Eidevall disagreed with Hayes’ description that his conduct was an act of “male aggression.”

  • Eidevall: “I think that’s a very irresponsible way of labeling the behavior that I have, I don’t feel comfortable with that label, I don’t think it’s the truth to do that, so I think it’s very irresponsible to do that. The ball gets kicked away and Chelsea wants to take a new ball to throw a quick throw-in and I said: ‘You guys wanted to play with one ball, now we need to get that ball.’ Of course, Erin doesn’t get happy over that, I didn’t say anything more in that situation. If we decide to play with one ball we play with one ball. I like to play with multi-ball, the game is quick, but they didn’t want to do it and you can’t do it when it suits you. I think there is definitely a way you behave in the technical area, there is also a way you behave after the game, being a good winner, but you also need to be a good loser and be responsible in both those situations. I’m happy with the way I conduct myself and others need to look in the mirror and see if they’re happy with themselves.”

🔗  Top Stories

🏆 Premier League title: Here’s more on Liverpool’s chances to win the title, which teams have momentum heading into the final games of the season and a look at each team’s schedule with nine games left to go.

Weekend recap: Saturday was full of goals in the Premier League, though Manchester United’s stoppage time goal was not enough for them to take all three points from Brentford. Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, picked up another win as the Kylian Mbappe farewell tour continues and Bayern Munich registered another defeat as the Bundesliga title falls further out of reach.

🏡 Alonso stays: Xabi Alonso is sticking around at Bayer Leverkusen as they inch closer to the Bundesliga title, throwing the managerial carousel into chaos as several top-tier jobs remain up for grabs this summer.

🗣️ Korbin Albert’s statement: Rising USWNT talent Korbin Albert issued a statement after liking and posting “immature and disrespectful” social media posts targeting Megan Rapinoe and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

🇺🇸 Roster predictions: Here’s a look at the USMNT and U-23 USMNT’s player pools with projections of the Copa America and Olympics squads.

⚖️ Relevent vs. U.S. Soccer and FIFA: Here’s an explainer on the ongoing legal battle between sporting event company Relevent and U.S. Soccer and FIFA after the organizations rejected a request to stage international leagues’ matches in the U.S., a matter that could go to the Supreme Court.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Serie A: Inter vs. Empoli, Monday, 2:45 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Hakan Calhanoglu to score (+160)
    — As Inter’s third-leading scorer in Serie A this season with nine goals, he has as good a chance as any to score for the league leaders. That’s especially true in today’s mismatch, which will see first place Inter take on 17th place Empoli.
  • Premier League: West Ham vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Tuesday, 3:15 p.m.
  • 💰 THE PICK: Son Heung-min to score (+160) — He may not be generating a ton of headlines for it, but Son is once again having an impressive season for Spurs with 15 goals, just three short of league leader Erling Haaland. He also has three goals in the team’s last four games and just entered the club’s top five for all-time goalscorers, making a bet on Tottenham’s captain — especially on the day of his 400th club appearance — a straightforward one.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women’s game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Jesse Marsch and Charlie Davies cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

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