Hi there! It's already been an exciting week in the soccer world, and it's only Wednesday. I'm Pardeep Cattry with a recap of the latest, plus a look at what's coming up.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Wednesday, Dec. 6
🇪🇺 Europa League: Villarreal vs. Maccabi Haifa, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramoun+
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Manchester United vs. Chelsea, 3:15 p.m. ➡️ Peacock
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City, 3:15 p.m. ➡️ Peacock

Thursday, Dec. 7
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 EPL: Tottenham vs. West Ham, 3:15 p.m. ➡️ Peacock
🌍 Copa America Draw, 7 p.m. ➡️ FS1

⚽  The Forward Line

🌍 End-of-year women's soccer drama

The final women's international window of 2023 delivered plenty of entertainment with a mix of good and bad news for some top teams. In some ways, yesterday's action provided a fitting ending to a year that changed the sport's world order as well as the foundation for next year's biggest storylines.

USWNT's come-from-behind win

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The USWNT ended the year with a 2-1 win over China, but the victory did not come without complications. Interim head coach Twila Kilgore made seven changes to her team from Saturday, delivering on the promise that fresh faces and new ideas would take center stage during this month's friendlies, and though the team was dominant throughout, it was China who scored first.

Some halftime changes allowed the USWNT to notch 16 shots in the second half and find the goals they needed to secure the victory, one of which came from midfielder Sam Coffey. The NWSL MVP candidate started and Sandra Herrera recognized her as one of the standouts, both during a sluggish first half and during an improved second half.

  • Herrera: "I think what I liked the most out of Coffey's performance tonight was her ability to make those quick adjustments. I think in a game where we wanted to see players not look so sluggish or try to play with a little bit of urgency, Coffey was the player that stood out a little bit in that we saw her trying to go to the ball or try to read the play to meet the ball. … I think it says a lot about her as a player, when we saw maybe a little bit of disjointedness, a little bit of lack of cohesion, that this was a player that was still trying to find herself on the ball or disrupt China whenever they were trying to transition."

Great Britain misses out on Paris Olympics

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The UEFA Women's Nations League group stage came to a dramatic end yesterday as spots in the semifinals -- and the prospect of maintaining Olympics hopes -- were on the line. England and the Netherlands were locked in a goal difference battle throughout the day as both sides had the edge at different points of the night. It was the Netherlands who ended up on top, but not without some chaos towards the end.

Heading into stoppage time, England had a 5-0 lead over Scotland but needed one more to surpass the Netherlands's 2-0 advantage over Belgium. That sixth goal came in the third minute of stoppage time courtesy of Lucy Bronze, which seemed like just enough. Then, the Netherlands' Damaris Egurrola scored twice in stoppage time to give her side an unassailable lead and ensure the World Cup finalists would not travel to Paris next summer.

The Dutch will play in the Nations League semifinals alongside World Cup winners Spain, France, and Germany. France already qualified for the Olympics as the hosts, meaning just two of the three teams left will join them in the City of Lights.

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 'Tis the season for Premier League chaos

It may not officially be the festive period in the Premier League, but the spirit of entertainment that is usually a trademark of the holiday period in England is already fully underway after Arsenal's come-from-behind win yesterday and seems poised to deliver even more with two major matchups today.

Arsenal leave it late

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Declan Rice's 97th minute winner ensured Arsenal would pick up a 4-3 win at Luton Town yesterday, but the back-and-forth game delivered imperfections and drama in equal measure. The Gunners took the lead through Gabriel Martinelli in the 20th minute, only to relinquish it nine minutes later with a goal from Gabriel Osho. Luton then took the lead twice after errors from Arsenal 'keeper David Raya, but the visitors rallied back successfully not just to level the score, but to eventually take the lead with seconds left on the clock.

Scoring late goals is becoming a habit for Arsenal. They have five goals in the 90th minute or later this season, the most in Europe's top five leagues, and two game winners during that period, tied with Tottenham Hotspur in league play.

Panic time in Manchester

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Manchester United's never-ending crisis has hit a new low this week, before today's game against Chelsea that could potentially make things worse. Several outlets were banned from Erik ten Hag's press conference yesterday after printing stories about tension between him and his players, and with just two wins in their last five and the prospect of Champions League elimination, it's no wonder the team tops Jonathan Johnson's panic meter.

  • Johnson: "Nowhere else in the Premier League is the panic as acute as it is at Old Trafford, though. Seventh in the Premier League and three points off the European places is not so bad when you consider how the Red Devils' Champions League hopes hang by a thread. Factor in six EPL losses on top of the disastrous showing in Europe and Erik ten Hag can feel fortunate that he has been shown extended patience. That leniency arguably owes much to the protracted arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe with a proposed minority stake of around 25% so it could be that the panic bells are set to ring louder in the coming weeks -- especially if United drop out of the UCL."

Their crosstown rivals, Manchester City are in a much better spot, but are in the midst of a rough patch of their own. They have tied their last three league games, each time the result of them taking a more lax approach in the second half, and need to rebound at Aston Villa today. It will be no small task, though -- Villa sit fourth in the league and have performed at a high level all season.

🔗  Top Stories

🇺🇸 USWNT recap: Here's more on the USWNT's win, including the attacking issues that still need solving and the waiting game ahead of Emma Hayes' May arrival.

🇨🇦 Sinclair's farewell: Canada beat Australia 1-0 in Christine Sinclair's final game for her country, capping off a 23 year career that showcased the progress of the women's game -- and the room for improvement that still exists.

🏆 MLS Cup: The Columbus Crew's Christian Ramirez pops into Morning Footy ahead of his side's appearance in Saturday's MLS Cup final.

🔴 Arsenal's highs and lows: The Gunners may have picked up an important win yesterday, but will be without Takehiro Tomiyasu for six weeks with a calf strain.

🌍 Around the grounds: Here's a deeper dive into Manchester United's big clash with Chelsea, plus a look at Antonee Robinson's strong season for Fulham, Roma's rebound, Chris Wilder's return to Sheffield, and Palemiras' title win.

🦩 Welcome to Miami: Lionel Messi was named TIME's athlete of the year, and could soon call ex-Barcelona colleague Luis Suarez his teammate once again as the Uruguayan is set to sign a one year deal with Inter Miami.

🔮 NWSL free agency: Sandra Herrera reports that the list of possible destinations for free agent Crystal Dunn could be down to three -- Orlando Pride, NJ/NY Gotham FC, and the Washington Spirit.

🏟️ Copa America hosts: Ahead of tomorrow's draw, CONMEBOL announced 14 host cities for the U.S.-set Copa America, including the New York metropolitan area and Charlotte, North Carolina.

💙 Brotherly love: Former Manchester City players Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips stopped by the Morning Footy studio to talk their top teammates, fashion, music, and their famous father, Ian Wright.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Premier League: Manchester United vs. Chelsea, Wednesday, 3:15 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: More than three goals scored (+103)
    -- Both of these teams score and concede in large numbers, so expect a multi-goal thriller that is sure to entertain a neutral viewer. Three just might be a conservative estimate, too.
  • Premier League: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City, Wednesday, 3:15 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Both teams to draw (+320) -- It is generally hard to bet against City, but Pep Guardiola's team is in the midst of a rough patch that has allowed the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham to find their way back into games. That sets up an ideal scenario for fourth place Aston Villa, where everything seems to be clicking.

📺 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, Wednesday and Friday evening): The leading women's soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. Just because the NWSL season is over doesn't mean that our coverage of the women's game is going anywhere. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT. NWSL offseason and European domestic season all winter long.

👟 Kickin' It (Tuesday, 7 p.m.): CBS Sports Golazo Network's new unfiltered interview show returns 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. 

🥅 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+.