Manchester City have been criticised over a video that appears to show players and staff joining in a song that celebrates Liverpool fans being “battered in the street”.
The video is thought to have been captured on an aircraft as the clubs travelling party returned from a 4-1 Premier League win at Brighton.
The Premier League champions are under investigation over alleged financial irregularities and could be dealt a hammer blow if found guilty.
The song – which City described in a statement as a “regular chant during the 2018-19 season” – recalls Liverpools defeat in last years Champions League final in Kiev.
It cites fans being “battered in the streets” and “crying in the stands” and includes a line on Liverpool forward Mo Salah being injured – but with the original culprit, Real Madrids Sergio Ramos, changed to City defender Vincent Kompany.
“Its honestly embarrassing that some Man City fans think its OK for their players to sing about fans being beat up,” one Liverpool fan tweeted, while many more responded saying the video was “classless”, “unprofessional” or “naive”.
After a pulsating title race and intense battle for survival, the 2018/19 Premier League season is over.
We’ve seen Manchester City and Liverpool go head-to-head for the biggest prize, Manchester United and Arsenal slip outside the top four and Wolves impress everybody by finishing a comfortable seventh in their first season back in the Premier League.
“Manchester Citys published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false, and comprehensive proof of this fact has been provided to the CFCB IC.”
And with the end of the season, comes every club’s Player of the Year award. Goalkeepers making a host of saves to scoop the award in a struggling side, defenders keeping their goalkeepers quiet in the league’s elite and goalscorers stealing the limelight can often give a strong indication about what kind of season their team has had.
Claims Manchester City song mocks Hillsborough tragedy have no foundation – club
So what do this year’s Player of the Year winners tell us about the teams they’ve played for? Please note, a few latecomers are yet to officially announce their club awards.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played 35 and 36 Premier League games, respectively, for Arsenal this season, while the pair are the only players at the club to reach double-figures when it comes to goalscoring with totals of 13 and 22.
Lacazette has been involved in 18 of the Gunners’ 21 Premier League wins this term, while Aubameyang played a part in 20. It had to go to one of them.
Lacazette has more assists (8), more touches in the opposition box (203) and has completed the joint-highest number of dribbles (46) of any other Arsenal player in the league this term. His goalscoring in all competitions hasn’t really improved, sitting at 19 in 48 games this season after notching 17 in 39 last season, but his influence on Arsenal’s play has, courtesy of a lethal partnership with Aubameyang.
Manchester City facing European ban over alleged FFP breaches
This can be directly mirrored in Arsenal during their first season under Unai Emery. Have they vastly improved their league position? No. They’re still sitting outside the top four.
However, even the Arsene Wenger’s biggest fans will tell you Emery has improved the side, pushing them closer to the summit of the Premier League and reaching a Europa League final along the way. Small changes for both Lacazette and Arsenal have seen player and team edge that little bit closer to where they should be.
No club can sell 20 players and replace them in a window, so who’s to say the 4-5 players we get this summer won’t end up going rotten like nearly all of the most recent 25 additions have. For those blaming Pogba for creating a toxic atmosphere, please get real. Everyone who’s shared a dressing room with him at Juve or France has spoken glowingly of him. The problems were there before he joined and I’m far more inclined to believe he’s fallen victim to the same foul smell stinking out both Old Trafford and whoever dares set foot in it. Sari (trying to fix manifestations instead of the cause is like someone trying to scoop water out of a sinking boat rather than plugging the holes) MUFC
Bournemouth’s highest individual honour is the Player’s Player of the Season award and it’s hard to envisage anyone but Ryan Fraser winning it this season.
Fraser sits only behind Eden Hazard (15) on 14 Premier League assists this season and his partnership with striker Callum Wilson has been excellent. Like Bournemouth, Fraser hasn’t been totally consistent and the Scotland international went eight Premier League games without a direct goal involvement between 13 January and 2 March.
Right on, Brighton? I’m a resident of Brighton and a huge admirer of Chris Hughton as both a manager and, as far as I can tell, a person. But I’m still not sure I understand Troy Townsend’s point. Is he saying Brighton shouldn’t have sacked Chris Hughton because he’s black? Also, is it really so shocking that Nuno Espirito Santo is now the only black manager in the Premier League? That’s still five percent. Current percentage of the UK population that is black? Three percent. It’s almost as though Troy is trying to find racism where it doesn’t exist. Matt Pitt
However, all in all, it’s been another strong season punching way above their weight for both club and player with the Cherries scoring more goals (56) than any other side outside the Premier League’s top six.
A season that promised vast improvement in the early stages very quickly turned into a nervous slog for Brighton as they scrambled for survival. In the end, Cardiff turned out to be worse than Chris Hughton’s side but it should come as no surprise that Shane Duffy scooped the Player of the Year award for the Seagulls.
The Republic of Ireland international tops the Premier League in terms of clearances (243) and headed clearances (170), while no Brighton player has won more aerial duels (188) or made more blocks (43) than Duffy this season. In short, he’s been an absolute rock. He’s had to be.
The problem now is simply keeping up with historical standards might no longer be good enough. Pep Guardiolas Manchester City team have taken 198 points over two seasons. That is not normal. This year Liverpool joined them in the 90-something club and still that was only good enough for second. Those are norm-defying improvements. The rest of the teams have only committed the crime of standing still.
Man City hit back at UEFA probe; question leaks to press
Brighton ended 2018/19 with nine winless games and the two points they picked up against Arsenal and Newcastle recently simply wouldn’t have been possible without Duffy, who made a match-high five tackles and won more headers (4) than any Brighton player against the Gunners. Brighton have been on the backfoot and Duffy has been busy.
During Burnley’s recent 1-0 defeat to Manchester City, Ashley Westwood was level with Aymeric Laporte on three interceptions – more than any other player on the day. The midfielder was everywhere, charging around to break up City attacks as Pep Guardiola’s men struggled against Sean Dyche’s resistance.
Tottenhams 71-point total as the fourth-place team this season is pretty much in line with the 10-year average of 71.7. There is no great shame in finishing with that number of points. Its not quite the fourth-place high of 79 points that Wengers Arsenal won in 2013-14, nor is it the low total of 66, got by Manchester City in 2015-16 under Manuel Pellegrini.
Man City players mock victims Liverpool and sing Kompany injured Salah after winning Premier League title
If this doesn’t sum up Burnley’s season, what does? The Clarets struggled to juggle their European commitments with domestic obligations early in the season but after a harrowing 5-1 defeat to Everton, they went on a run of just one defeat in 10 games across all competitions. It’s once again been industrious and disciplined and nobody personifies that better than Westwood, who also has seven assists.
Cardiff have been up against it right from the very first whistle this season and, in all honesty, they’ve done well to finish 18th. It should, therefore, come as absolutely no surprise to find out Neil Etheridge was awarded the club’s Player of the Year award.
Only Lukasz Fabianski (149) has made more saves in the Premier League than Etheridge (141) this season, while the Philippines international sits level with Jordan Pickford on three penalty saves, the highest in the English top flight. Cardiff have worked hard but have massive shortcomings. As a result, Etheridge has had to grow extra limbs.
At so many times this season, Chelsea have been labelled as a one-man team. If Eden Hazard hasn’t done it, neither have Chelsea. The Belgian has 19 goals and 16 assists in all competitions this season and absolutely nobody will be shocked to see him clean sweep Chelsea’s Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards – the first player in the club’s history to do so.
Published2 hours ago Manchester City have said that any suggestion a chant apparently sung by some of their players and backroom staff as they celebrated winning the Premier League title mocks Sean Cox or the Hillsborough disaster is entirely without foundation.
Reds awards night for 2018-19 will not be taking place
🏆 Goal of the Season🏆 Men's Player of the Year🏆 Men's Players' Player of the Year
Eden Hazard is the first player in Chelsea history to win all three awards in the same year at the club's end-of-season ceremony. pic.twitter.com/54VT5Mvnnp
Without Hazard, the Blues simply wouldn’t be in the top four, nor would they have reached the Europa League and League Cup finals. Another nervous summer awaits Chelsea’s supporters and Maurizio Sarri.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made more tackles (129) than any other Premier League defender this season and only sits behind Wilfred Ndidi and Idrissa Gana Gueye (both 142) in this regard, although those two have been stomping around in midfield and doing this for years on end.
Wan-Bissaka also sits just behind Etienne Capoue (86) on 84 interceptions, the second-highest total in the Premier League. The young right-back has been solid as a rock in his debut Premier League season, as have Crystal Palace, who were widely tipped to struggle before a ball was even kicked. Roy Hodgson’s men have conceded 53 goals this season and although that doesn’t look overly impressive, only Newcastle (48) have conceded fewer among the division’s bottom 11 clubs.
Second-season syndrome hit Huddersfield Town like a steam train and their desperate points total of 16 is one of the lowest the Premier League has ever seen.
Wolves impressed after their promotion from the Championship, beating most of the top teams as they finished seventh. Everton and Leicester followed them home and West Ham made up the top-half with all of those clubs hoping to push for Europe next season. Watford finished 11th but they do have an FA Cup final to look forward to as they attempt to stop Man City from completing an unprecedented domestic treble. Brighton, Southampton and Burnley all moved themselves away from the relegation zone with a couple of games to spare condemning Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield to the Championship.
The Terriers have been terrible, scoring just 22 goals all season. The fact that Christopher Schindler is the club’s Player of the Year having made more blocks (34) and clearances (134) than any other player at the club should really explain all you need to know. The German centre-back’s solitary goal also accounts for 4.54% of Huddersfield’s entire tally this season.
Ricardo Pereira sits only behind James Maddison (13) in terms of big chances created at Leicester this season with 10, while the England man has one more assist than Pereira’s six.
It’s been a season of transition for the Foxes, with a number of new players coming into the club, as well as a new manager in Brendan Rodgers. That has undoubtedly brought inconsistency but also promise, so it seems only fitting that it’s one of those new recruits scooping up the individual accolades. Even more will be expected of Pereira and Leicester next season.
Arsenal and Manchester United will both be competing in the Europa League next season unless the Gunners win the final against Chelsea later this month, with Jose Mourinho being replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford midway through the season.
It’s been a tough old season for Manchester United. A terrible start under Jose Mourinho was followed by a mini revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. That, of course, fizzled out and the Red Devils are now consigned to Europa League football next season, while most of England has made no secret of their pleasure in seeing United fail.
Hillside (UK Sports) LP is licensed and regulated by the British Gambling Commissioner (Licence number 39563). Registered Office Hillside (UK Sports) LP (registration number 117), Unit 1.1, First Floor, Waterport Place, 2 Europort Avenue, Gibraltar.
It’s probably just about right, then, that a player who takes a lot of flack from the neutral but has seen vast improvement on the pitch should pick up their Player of the Year award: Luke Shaw.
Those lamenting the end of the football season across the major leagues across the continent – with most title-chases sewn up – may do well to remember there is still a haul of silverware…
The odd hiccup aside, this has been Shaw’s best season since that horrific leg break and the left-back looks nailed on to be Solskjaer’s first choice next term. But despite the accolade, and just like Solskjaer himself, more will be expected next year if he is to hit true United levels.
Rafa Benitez has worked another miracle at Newcastle United, guiding them to the lower reaches of mid-table and keeping the Mapgies well out of the Premier League relegation battle.
Their ‘Three Amigos‘ of Salomon Rondon, Ayoze Perez and Miguel Almiron have been absolutely crucial to that, with the former standing above all the rest as Newcastle’s Player of the Year.
The Venezuelan striker managed 11 goals and seven assists for Benitez during his loan spell from West Brom but moreover, his hold up play has given Newcastle breathing space at vital times when their backs have been against the wall this season. Hard work and discipline personified.
Tottenham Hotspur academy coach praises Mauricio Pochettino
Enigmatic, mercurial and mightily frustrating. Earlier in the season, we could have easily been talking about both Southampton or Nathan Redmond here.
Riyad Mahrez happy to stay and take his chances at Manchester City
The Saints were terrible under Mark Hughes, as was Redmond – who didn’t manage to notch a single goal or assist prior to the Welshman’s dismissal. Since the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl, they’ve been much improved, climbing to Premier League safety with games to spare. And with that, we’ve seen a much more impressive Redmond, who has managed nine goals and four assists since the ‘Alpine Klopp’ was appointed.
With almost every Spurs player suffering from injury at some point this campaign, Heung-min Son has had to fill all sorts of roles for Mauricio Pochettino, including stepping in for Harry Kane as a centre-forward.
The South Korea international has, of course, filled in brilliantly with 12 goals in 31 Premier League games, helping the club finish fourth. But it’s in the Champions League that Son and his teammates have shone.
Son followed up his strike in the round-of-16 clash against Borussia Dortmund with three goals across the two legs against Manchester City in the quarter-finals as Spurs won a dramatic encounter on away goals, eventually reaching the final after an equally breathless clash with Ajax.
Report names Guardiolas six top transfer targets as Man City prepare £200m spending spree
This crop of players could still seal immortality in the final against Liverpool at the start of June but Son has just pipped the much-improved Moussa Sissoko to the Player of the Year award. And that tells you all you need to know about what this Spurs side is made of.
We mentioned before that Capoue tops the Premier League interception chart and it’s this kind of hard work and energy in central areas that summarises Watford’s season and Javi Gracia’s style of play.
Up against much bigger budgets, the Hornets have often looked like ‘the best of the rest’ in the Premier League this season. A few poor results knocked them down the pecking order but fuelled by Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucoure in the engine room, Watford have an FA Cup final to look forward to. Capoue’s hard work has helped Watford show exactly what you can achieve with a limited squad.
The Premier League’s busiest goalkeeper, Fabianski has made 149 saves this season and sits alongside Etheridge as the only two goalkeepers to be named Player of the Year at their respective clubs (so far).
Manuel Pellegrini’s first season in east London can be labelled as distinctly average, with defenders Issa Diop, Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks making a combined seven errors leading to shots this season.
These defensive lapses have kept Fabianski on his toes and makes the Hammers conceding just 55 Premier League goals a lot more impressive. Without the Polish stopper, this wouldn’t be possible and they must tighten up over the summer.