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Fuel Soccer Talk Sunday Edition: A shocker in the Premier League; Instructional video on possession; MLS News & Notes

Manchester City falls to Norwich City in one of the biggest upsets ever

I admit. I couldn’t watch the second half.

As a Manchester City fan I could see there was no reason to watch. Lethargic. Uninspired. Lazy. And shockingly dumb – or at least not the smart play we are used to seeing from City. Norwich City played with passion and intelligence. They simply wanted it more and knocked off Goliath in one of the biggest upsets ever in the Premiere League.

Coming off the International break, Pep Guardiola rolled the dice and sat Kevine De Bruyne believing his team could still get the victory. The move backfired. Maybe coming off a break isn’t the best time to gamble especially when you are going to need every point to stay within striking distance of Liverpool.  But no one saw this coming. No one.

Oleksandr Zinchenko was awful for City – as he usually is. I have no idea what people see in him. What I see is a player who makes poor decisions and poor passes. He either makes the safe pass or turns the ball over. He adds nothing to the flow of the game – but he does have nice hair.

Norwich City was a club “patched up with reserves and constructed for the price of a Manchester City fullback.” Yet, they played like champions.

It’s one of the reasons that makes the Premiere League the best league in the world. Anything can happen at anytime.

Instructional Video Sunday: Possession with Purpose

Championship Productions offers instructional sports videos. Learn tips, techniques, and drills from America’s top coaches!

In this video, coach Frank Kohlenstein teaches “Possession with Purpose: Turning Your Possession into a Dangerous Weapon.” Developing a quality possession game requires more than counting consecutive passes – there needs to be a directional objective. Kohlenstein shows you how to implement drills and games that teach possession with a purpose, giving your team the ability to turn any offensive possession into an opportunity for attack. Kohlenstein is Colorado School of Mines Head Men’s Coach and a three-time NCAA Division II South Central Region Coach of the Year.

MLS News & Notes from around the league

New York City FC 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1: Keaton Parks scored his first MLS goal and Alexandru Mitrita added his ninth three minutes later to put first-place New York City FC in front en route to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Wondolowski’s 14 goals are his most in an MLS season since he scored 16 during the 2015 campaign. The 36-year-old could yet post 16 goals for a fifth time during his 15-year career. Meanwhile, NYCFC have now taken seven of nine points since losing their leading scorer, Heber, for what is expected to be a layoff of roughly a month total with a hamstring injury.  – Ian Quillen  

Chicago Fire 4, FC Dallas 0:  CJ Sapong posted his second brace of the season as part of a four-goal onslaught before halftime, as the Chicago Fire romped to a 4-0 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon at SeatGeek Stadium. The Fire did their part to prolong their postseason hopes, but will certainly be watching other games later tonight in hopes of some help. A perfect finish to their season would see the Fire finish on 46 points, with the New England Revolution (the current No. 7 seed) on pace to hit almost exactly that number. Meanwhile, Dallas travel to Seattle in a midweek Western Conference six-pointer, but will play their last two against teams currently beneath them in the West standings. – Ian Quillen

Columbus Crew SC 3, Atlanta United 1: Gyasi Zardes and Luis Diaz scored a goal apiece in the second half and Columbus Crew SC got an own goal five minutes from the final whistle, bagging a 3-1 road victory over Atlanta United at Mercedez-Benz Stadium on Saturday. Josef Martinez scored the lone goal of the contest for Atlanta in the 19th minute, but Columbus struck for all three of its goals after second-half kickoff to take all three points.  It doesn’t do much to help the Crew’s faint playoff hopes, but it was nonetheless an encouraging performance for Caleb Porter’s men in one of the league’s toughest venues. They can build on this performance as they look to close out the stretch run of the season on a positive note. Atlanta still find themselves comfortably above the playoff line at 15-11-3 and 48 points, but they were soundly outplayed for much of the match. Their shot at claiming the No. 1 seed in the East may have come and gone on Saturday as they are now nine points behind NYCFC. – Ari Liljenwall 

For more excellent coverage of this weekend’s MLS action  

Do you have a story idea for a post or a comment on a recent post? If so, email Terry at tajacoby@comcast.net