It's as if this anime is in a rush to finish! Still going at the same pace it has been for the past 4 episodes, it has managed to surprise me completely.
Since I have read the manga up to about 70 odd chapters, I was already shocked to see the anime progress to the high school stage so quickly whilst skipping through the rest of the middle school arc in an instant. But this week what came as a a bigger shock was how the anime decided to completely forego the parts of the story that had a lot of training in them and decided to end the episode with another time-skip of about two weeks at the point where the FC will face off against the SC for the right to represent the school.
The rest of the episode did stick to the content in the manga for the most part with certain aspect being amplified in the episode: in particular the most noticeable difference was the use of humour in the episode which seemed to be exaggerated when compared to the manga (instances such as Kakeru's reaction to finding out who Ryuchi is and the whole thing with Nana and her swimsuit) and gave the whole episode a rather "gag" feel to it. I'm still not sure whether it was a good move to mix it up in such a way but I didn't particularly care for it.
There wasn't much else to say about the episode since it did the characters justice (they were just as they appeared in the manga) but the speed of progression is what remains the most worrying part of the anime. I understand that the anime does need to progress at a nice pace and when necessary needs to omit some of the material in the manga to make the animation flow more smoothly but at this rate huge chunks of the story will be missed out. It really does feel like the anime's aim is to quickly close the gap with the 29 volumes that have been released in order to not only boost the manga's popularity but also to remain interesting for the viewers of the series.
Since the main focus of the episode was setting up the fight between the underdogs and the favourites, it was in a way fitting to have the "battle" take place the next episode, the only question now is whether the match will end within one episode and allow anime to continue at this ludicrous pace or will it take it's time when it comes to matches