Saturday, 26 September 2015

Game week 5 & 6

So I haven't done a blog on game week 5 and 6 and my ocd is kicking in so I've decided to do a quick review on two weeks wort of football, so if you've missed any of it, or just want read about the giant crushings and wonder goals over the past two weeks in the EPL, you're in the right place!

Game week 5

Everton vs Chelsea
The big story before this game was that Chelsea has only four pints in four games and they were hoping that John Stones would be playing for them rather then against them but the youngster remained at Everton over the summer and started the match. On the other side, John Terry made his return after suspension. Naismith scored in 17 minutes after coming off the bench because Besic had been injured earlier. And then Naismith doubled his and Evertons tally from outside the box with a great strike. But Matic got his own long distance strike and got one back for Chelsea. And then Naismith did the unthinkable and got his hat trick! Final score 3-1.

Manchester United vs Liverpool

Apart from a few blunders from Mignolet, the first half was absolutely boring! Second half saw Ashley young who won a freekick just outside the box which then Manchester took full advantage of by using a well practiced freekick which saw Daley Blind come up with a goal. Herrera won a penalty and made sure he put it in the back of the net. And then came Benteke with an overhead kick to remember! Anthony Martial didn't touch the ball for 13 minutes but when he did, he beat a few Liverpool defenders to make it 3-1 to Manchester! Welcome Martial to the premier league.

Crystal Palace vs Manchester City

2nd vs 1st. Aguero went down injured and had to go off a few minutes later, replaced by Kevin De Bruyne. And made an immediate impact on the game, even played in Navas who beat the keeper and managed to hit the side netting. On the 90th minute, number 72 Iheanacho scored a goal following up on Nasris shot to steal a victory for Manchester City. 

Arsenal vs Stoke City

It took arsenal a lot of attempts to beat Jack Butland and Walcott finally did it which was their first home goal this season. Giroud came on to head the ball in for a 2 nil win. 

Norwich vs Bournemouth

Brady started the match with a goal saving tackle for Norwich. Cameron Jerome finally got his first goal of the season in the premier league. Hoolahan who set up Jerome for his first goal, got his very own first goal as well. Then the ex West Hal man Matt Jarvis scored on his debut to make it 3 nil. Steve Cook got one back for Bournemouth. Norwich with a dominant game and got a deserved win. 

Watford vs Swansea
Ighalo out of nowhere scored an 83rd minute goal. But Behrami got a red card after stomping on Andre Ayew. Swansea pressed after that but Watford ended the game with their first win. 

West Brom vs Southampton
Disappointing 0-0 game. Steklenberg had a little blunder and that was as exciting as it got. 

Sunderland vs Tottenham
Both teams had not won a game so far in the league. Defoe hit the woodwork against his old team. Rodwell hit the woodwork once again but this was after Mason had put Spurs 1 nil up. So the North Londoners got their first win of the season as it finished 1-0.

Leicester vs Aston Villa
Jack Grealish got his first goal for Aston Villa to open the scoring. And Carles Gil with a deadly finish made it 0-2 to the Villian's. Then came the comeback! 71st minute De Laet with a header, 81st minute Vardy equalised and Nathan Dier won it for Leicester in the 88th minute but did also end up hurting himself in the process. Mahrez with another man of the match performance. 

West Ham vs Newcastle
Payet is making his mark at west ham and opened the scoring for his team. Then got his second after Moses hit the top woodwork and the match ended at 2-0 to the Homeside. 

Game week 6

Manchester City vs West Ham
City came in to this game with a perfect start to the league with 5 wins in 5, and West Ham came into with wins at both Liverpool and Arsenal. Victor Moses started the scoring with a goal out of nowhere in the 5th minute with a long distance strike right at the bottom corner. That was Manchester City's first goal conceded this season. West Ham took advantage of some bad defending at a corner that shouldn't have been given but Sakho took full advantage and made it 2 nil. Watching the game, the ball just would not go in for Aguero so he decided to play his new team mate Kevin De Bruyne in who took a great shot to make it 2-1 at half time and Kevin De Bruyne would easily be man of the match (Winston Reid fans would argue this) as he controlled the whole game as was everywhere but it wasn't enough as West Ham have now beaten Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. 

Chelsea vs Arsenal

Chelsea came into this game being the only English team to win in midweek in the champions league while Arsenal had a shock defeat to recover from. Match started cagey with a forced handshake between the two managers, then it was the Diego Costa show. Who elbowed, slapped and bumped Konscielny which aggravated team mate Gabriel who ended up getting a red card because of some terrible decision making from the referee. To be fair, I'm all for smart play, and that's what Costa does, he gets into players heads, and he did that splendidly well but then he takes it a step too far, hence why he'll be serving a three match ban while Gabriel won his red card appeal. The youngster Gabriel will need to make sure he matures a bit more and keeps a cool head because Arsenal were under the cosh from there and Chelsea's Kurt Zouma got in at the back post from a well placed free kick to put Chelsea ahead. The Mike Dean (referee) show continued as he showed Carzola a red card for his second yellow and only his second foul in the game. Then he goes ahead a blatantly ignored Costa's shove on Ox without the ball after Ox had out muscled the Spaniard off the ball and won it cleanly. Moirinho realised it and subbed Costa off before he did any more damage but still amuses me how Mike Dean did not see that or did not react to it. Hazard then finished off Arsenal in the 90th minute which was going off target but it takes a big deflection off Chambers. For me, I like Costa, but he crossed the line in this match. 

Newcastle vs Watford

Watford striker on form Ighalo started the scoring after some great pressing from the Watford attackers. Then he made it 2-0 to make Newcastle fans even more furious! After halftime Daryl Janmaat got one back for Newcastle. But that wasn't enough for Steve Mclarens team who are looking like they are in big trouble already.

Stoke City vs Leicester City

The ex Barcelona man Bojan got played in by Arnautovic and opened the scoring. Walters took advantage of Wes Morgan's error and made it 2 nil to the home side. Leicester were looking like they needed half time to come sooner. Mahrez put away a penalty in the second half and then Jamie Vardy tied things up at the Britannia. Another comeback from Leicester. 2-2 full time.

Bournemouth vs Sunderland
It was a quick started by Wilson who scored inside four minutes. And then Ritchie scored a potential goal of the season volley when he bought it down with his chest and struck it perfectly. All game Sunderland just seemed like they did not have any luck on their side. Captain Kaboul got red carded after his second yellow and it finished 2 nil to the Homeside. 

Aston Villa vs West Brom
Berahino (the west broms very own Villian) broke the deadlock with a little touch from a team mates shot which Brad Guzan could do nothing about. West Brom took their first win at Villa Park since 2011. 

Swansea vs Everton

This was a game to look forward too. Two teams playing very well this season. Mirallas was on the pitch for less then 3 minutes when he came on only to be sent off with a stomp on a Swansea player and he knew he did as soon as the incident happened. The game was exciting but no goals. 0-0. 

Tottenham vs Crystal Palace

Spurs played well and Heung-Min Son came up with a goal that was the winner with individual skill and struck it low and hard to get it through the legs of the keeper. Crystal Palace very unlucky being denied by not only Lloris but also the post in numerous occasions! Game finished 1-0.

Southampton vs Manchester United

Pelle started off the scoring with a tap in after De Gea saved the first shot. Martial made it 1-1. Lucky as Mata was offside in the play leading to the goal. Southamptons Yoshida played it back to his keeper but it was a weak pass and Martial slotted it in for his second. Juan Mata made it three after Depay hit the post. Pelle got his second wit a great header but it finished 2-3. 

Liverpool vs Norwich City

Liverpool put in the early pressure and it paid off early in the second half when Danny Ings made it 1-0 but Russell Martin the Norwich captain made it 1-1 12 minutes later. The game would've had a lot more goals if it wasn't for Ruddy in goal for Norwich. 


This has to go to Diego Costa for me. 


This has to go to west ham. Two wins over two weeks, both over Newcastle and Manchester City. Payet looks like he'll be a hero for a long time. Honourable mentions go to Watford for also getting two wins over the two weeks. 

Best Goal over the two weeks:

This was tough so I've split this award into two this time. Game week 5 goes to Benteke.

Game week 6 has to go to Ritchie against Sunderland. 

EPL overview

Manchester teams leading the way with City 2 points ahead of United. West Ham and Leicester equal on 12 points with Leicester the only undefeated team left in the league. Arsenal in 5th alone with 10 points. Mid table is crowded with 5 teams on 9 points, Everton, Swansea, Palace, Spurs and Watford and Norwich, West Brom and Liverpool on 8 points. Bournemouth and defending champions are 14th and 15th in the league. Southampton and Aston villa below them with 6 and 4 points respectively. The bottom 3 comprise of Stoke on 3 points and Newcsstle at Sunderland on 2. 

Matches to watch out for this coming game week: Spurs and City kick things off. Leicester and Arsenal play a 4th vs 5th match, while Watford in 10th play Palace in 8th with only a solitary goal separating them on goal difference. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Game week 4

Newcastle vs Arsenal

Arsenal started with pace in this match and having Walcott lead the charge definitely didn't slow things down for the gunners. Arsenal had around 73% possession when Andre Marriner gave Mitrovic a red card after his tackle on Coquelin and he did go in studs showing but it probably should've been a yellow card. Arsenals dominance continued but Tim Krul made sure things stayed even for quite a while as Walcott had the best chance to put Arsenal up but he failed to capitalise on a spill by Tim Krul when he kicked it over only a few yards out with nothing but the net to aim for. It took a strong strike from Ox which was on its way out but took a deflection from Coloccini which put the ball at the back of the net. Arsenals finishing woes continued, while Tim Krul shined in goal, especially with his save right at the end against substitute Giroud. Arsenal will be hosting Stoke City who they haven't lost to at home since 1981. Newcastle go to West Ham and last year both teams won away from home so Newcastle will be hoping that pattern continues ..... Atleast just for this match. 

Bournemouth vs Leicester

Leicester are known for their big starts and Bournemouth is my feel good story in the premier league so I was definitely looking forward to this match. Mahrez was the top scorer before the game started with 4 while Wilson the Bournemouth striker was last matchday's hero with the EPL's first hat-trick of the season and Bournemouth's first ever EPL win. He got things started again by getting the first goal on home soil for Bournemouth in the EPL with a over the head bicycle kick from close range. Bournemouth should've also had a penalty in the first half but the ref incorrectly judged the foul to be just outside the box but to his credit, he didn't have the luxury of instant replay. Also Robert Huth had a bizzare moment which he should've been sent off for when he mistimed his shoulder shove on Wilson so he tried again and took him out and then in frustration kicked the ball at Wilson's face and only got a yellow for it. It didn't sem like things were going Bournemouth's way and then Leicester's Vardy made it worse for them when he dribbled in and out and in between players and got into the box only to be taken out by Cook. Penalty Leicester, Vardy stepped up and made it 1-1 in the 8th minute and thats how it finished.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace came into this match having not won at Chelsea since 1982 but they needed to get something from this game as it begins a stretch of tough games against big sides. Game started slowly and the first good chance came to Pedro who created space for himself but curled in far post but just wide of the left post. Kurt Zouma had a shout for a penalty but it wasn't called by the referee which was a good call because both players had hands on each other. Palace didn't just sit back, Sako and Cabaye both forced saves from Courtois and Cabaye should really have scored. Sako finally got the breakthrough in the second half and Mourinhos 200th league game took a bad turn as far as he was concerned. Chelsea did not sit back, they made 3 changes, Falcao being one of them, who was at the end of a low cross from Pedro and Falcaos diving header found the near post and at the back of the net. Mourinhos known for not losing home game and this was his 100th home league game for Chelsea so it seemed like Chelsea would steal it or take the draw but that wasn't to be, two minutes after Falcaos first goal for Chelsea, Bolasie played a dangerous ball to the far post which Sako played back in for Joel Ward who headed it in and Crystal Palace get a famous victory at Stamford Bridge. Alan Pardews men now sit 2nd in the league with 3 wins out of 4 will host top of the table Manchester City and it'll be a great second vs first match. Can palace upset the favourites? Chelsea have 4 points in 4 games and go to Everton and will try to get their season kick started because it's definitely at a halt at the moment.

Liverpool vs West Ham

Coming into this game, West Ham had already beaten Arsenal but apart from that, they did not have any other results go their way. Liverpool had not lost a game prior to this match with 2 wins and a draw. I was happy to watch this match as I knew Carl Jenkinson would be suspended and Tomkins was his replacement. I cannot stand horrendous defending. I did not know who Manuel Lanzini was before this game but found out he was West Ham's new signing and he made his mark first in this game. Cresswell collected Skrtel's headed clearance and sent it across the box which caught Gomez flat footed and Lanzini scored his first goal for the Hammers with a smart finish. One of Liverpools new signings almost did the same, Firminho from about 25 yards out struck the bar with a brilliant shot. It stayed 1-0 to West Ham, and that was actually Liverpool's first goal that they had conceded this season. Lovren with almost no pressure on him, caused himself to give the ball away to Lanzini who couldn't find his strike partner but the the deflection of Lucas fell to Noble and Mr West Ham made it 2 nil. Coutinho got himself booked needlessly at the end of the first half because he didn't retrieve 10 yards on a free-kick. And that came back to bite him as he went in for a slide tackle on Payet but the midfielder out manoeuvred him with a brilliant turn which caused him to be taken out and the ref produced another yellow to Coutinho which meant his night was over. In my opinion, wrong call by the ref as Coutinho had already gone to ground and could not pull out of the challenge. The ref goes and makes another horrendous decision when he blows the whistle for a foul on Mark Noble who had carried on with the play and dived into a challenge, with his toe and no studs, and the ref sent him off for a early shower anyway. Another terrible call this weekend. Sakho who had everything off the field go bad for him during the week when he was arrested and then released on bail and then pulled his groin during train was a doubt to even play but ended the game for west ham with a great solo goal and spectacular finish in the bottom corner to end the match 3-0 and hand Liverpool their first loss and just before they face Manchester United.  

Stoke City vs West Brom

With each side having two big signings, Shaqiri and Rondon respectively, they both had a great start to the match but Morrison had the best chance to begin with but once again Butland with another fabulous save to keep it 0-0. Affelay showed a bit of temper when he was shoved into the sponsorship board and then again when he was taken down from the back in the middle of the field, and this time he reacted with his hands and slapped the tackler and was sent for an early shower straight away, right call from the referee. And then Charlie Adam lost his cool after his leg got tangled into a Dawson after he made the tackle but he then stamped Dawnson and was also shown a red, Stoke left with 9 men. Tony Pulis made his first return to face his old team Stoke and his new side took advantage of the numbers and Rondon headed the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0 just before half time. And that's how it stayed for the second half. West Brom get their first win of the season while Stoke still search for theirs. Stoke will try to get it at the Emirates while West Brom will host Southampton knowing that they did not lose to Southampton last season and will take that as a confidence boost into the game. 

Spurs vs Everton

Both teams came into this game desperate for a win, Spurs especially but a lack of finishing from Harry Kane and brilliant goal keeping by Tim Howard kept the game at 0-0 and that left Spurs with only 3 points from 4 games and Everton 5 points from 4 games. Everton now host a fired up Chelsea looking for blood while Spurs go to the Sunderland and Spurs have not lost to them since April 2010 so Spurs might just their first win next weekend.

Aston Villa vs Sunderland

M'Villa wow! Son I take my hat off to you. M'Villa scored a spectacular free kick with the right power, bend, curl and dip. Simply Superb. Then Cattermole decided to try steal Scott Sinclair as he literally grabbed him in the penalty box and the referee decided to call a penalty. (rightly) and Scott Sinclair did not miss from the spot. Game back on. Gana started a great move for Aston Villa and Scott Sinclair made it 2-1 which meant he got 5 goals in his last two games, the other 3 being against Notts County midweek. Lens made sure that Sunderland were rewarded with their best performance of the season so far when he made it 2-2 which did take a deflection of Micah Richards but then afterwards Richards had a chance to steal it for the Villians but he was too quick for the play and from 1 yard out he got too far ahead of the ball and couldn't turn a great low cross into a goal. Villains go up against a tough Leicester side who sit 3rd in the Premier League while West Ham host a terrible Newcastle.

Manchester City vs Watford

Manchester City came into this looking for their 10th league win in a row for the first time in the EPL in the clubs history while Watford had a chance to make it their first ever 4 draws in a row. Sterling had numerous chances to get his first Manchester City goal in an official game but couldn't get it done but he did manage it early in the first half after Sagna provided a lovely ball which Raheem Sterling tucked in within two minutes of the second half. Silva added to his assists tally for the season when he found Fernandinho with a simple pass that was finished off by the Brazilian. Manchester City continue their dominance in the premier league, they probably did not want a international break but they got one and they now also have the signature of Kevin De Bruyne who will most likely be making his debut at Crystal Palace. Watford seriously need to stop trying to get draws and start winning, they will get their chance to do so against Swansea at home which will be a difficult task.

Southampton vs Norwich

Southampton has been one of the disappointing teams in the premier league this season as a lot was expected of them due to the brilliant season they had last year. Coming into this game they were looking for their first win, and they did get one, a 3 nil victory to be exact. So pretty much things started off bad for Norwich, especially when 30 minutes into the match, Whittaker got sent off for his second yellow. For me the southampton player went into him looking for something knowing Whittaker was on a yellow, and the ref went with the smaller player and that adds to the list of terrible red cards given over the weekend. Pelle got his and Southampton's first goal of the season in the first half, Tadic got two in 5 minutes in the second half, one with his weak foot and a great finish and the second was when he followed up on Ruddy's save from Pelle's header. Match finished 3-0. Will Southampton carry on this form against West Brom, Ronald Koeman hopes so. Norwich will host AFC Bournemouth who they haven't lost too since 1959.

Swansea vs Manchester United

This was definitely a game that I was looking forward to before the weekend kicked off, and it started with a good pace. Gomis came the closest to score when he out muscled himself into the Manchester 18 yard box and with some skill kept the ball away from a few red shirt defenders, only to hit the bar with his outside foot while going down. So it stayed 0-0 until Luke Shaw found himself getting a lucky bounce off a 50 50 challenge and he sped down the left and played a teasing ball into the box which Rooney left wisely for Juan Mata to smash it into the back off net even though he knew he was going to clattered by Ashley Williams who should've done much better defensively. But Swansea have a new hero and his name is Andre Ayew, the ex Marseille man levelled things when he headed in Sigurdsson's inviting ball when Swansea hit the red devils on the counter. With 30 minutes left, all signs were pointing Swansea repeating their February win against United where they also came down from being 1 nil down. Swansea didn't need the whole 30 minutes, they got another goal within 5 minutes with Andre Ayew playing a sublime ball into Gomis who made it 4 goals in 4 games. The panther struck again! Andre Ayew became the Barclays Player of the month and the future looks very bright. Manchester United have signed Anthony Martial from Monaco and for those who don't know him, clearly haven't played enough career mode in the recent additions of Fifa because he is one of the players that always becomes a breakout star. Will it happen under LVG? Questions are still being asked of LVG's transfer dealings so when Manchester host Liverpool they will be hoping to repeat their double against their red rivals as they did last season. David De Gea and his new contract means that Romero will most likely be seen on the bench from now.

Goal of the week 
This was a close call this week, but M'Villa's free kick takes it out for me but honourable mention goes to Ward for his goal that sunk Chelsea.

Top of the week
Player of the Month Andre Ayew gets it for this week for his goal and assist that got Swansea the win over Manchester United. Honourable mentions go to Tim Krul, Crystal Palace and another goal keeper master class from Tim Howard.

Flop of the week
Chelsea - I think Chelsea's loss lost its leverage as Manchester United and Liverpool lost as well but still this is not how Chelsea will defend their title. Sergio Romero also gets a mention and I don't see him starting ahead of David De Gea after that transfer saga lietrally went on for too long.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Game week 3

Manchester United vs Newcastle
For those who haven't watched this game or don't know the result....if you're predicting another 1 nil United victory, you're wrong. But it could've, would've, should've been that at the least. With their passing described as "Barcelonaesque at points" by my cousin who wasn't too far off his description actually. With 69% of the possession and Newcastle having zero shots on target, you could say it was a frustrating night for the Red Devils. Memphis as he likes to be called could not repeat his midweek heroics as he was the best and worst player for Manchester United. He gave the ball away more times in a game then any other player has done in a premier league game this season, at a ratio of once every 3 minutes, but to his credit he was trying to force his was through a Newcastle defence which held off as he became too predictable throughout the match. Manchester now go to Wales to face Swansea who have yet to lose and have not lost at home either but this will only be their second game at home so Manchester United will look to be the first to defeat Swansea. Newcastle will host Arsenal who they've only beaten twice in the last 10 years and that's not a good omen for the men in black and white. 

Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa

I called a close game in last weeks blog and that's exactly what this one was, except it wasn't the nil all draw I predicted. But it should've been 1-1 as Scott Danns great headed goal was cancelled out by an goal from Pape Souáre who was forced to get a touch on it which turned it into his own net after substitute and an expensive buy from former Barcelona youngster Adama Traoré who caused havoc on his debut. It should've stayed that but a lapse in the defence by Villa man Jordan Amavi ended up being a goal from Bakary Sako in the 87th minute which meant the match ended 2-1 to Alan Pardews men. I want to give some credit to Keith Stroud who took his time and decided to overturn a goal decision for Palace earlier in the match as it was the right call because Crystal Palace had scored before Danns header but the shot had been deflected off a Palace player who was offside and it wasn't called by the linesman but after thinking on the decision Mr Stroud called it a no goal which was correct but it didn't stop Palace from winning. Palace go next to a struggling Chelsea who have conceded now 7 goals in 3 games. Palace will hope to come away with something as they have man city and Spurs after that, big 3 games for palace coming up. Aston Villa will be looking to secure 3 points against a struggling Sunderland side. Villains haven't lost to Sunderland since 2011 and I think the trend will continue. 

Leicester City vs Spurs

This was predicted to be an exciting match, the first half started a bit slow an the 45 minutes turned out to be a lot of free running football but not any great chances created by either side. Second half was a bit more eventful as Harry Kane was finally noticed in the match, he did great to turn Huth and play in Chadli who played a delightful ball in for ex MK Dons teenager Dele Alli who headed the ball and himself into the goal. But Leicester hit back straight away through the brilliance of Mahrez who scored another great individual goal cutting in from the right and finishing with his left foot in the far post. He also sent a perfect ball in from the left in the dying minutes which Wes Morgan net sweetly with his head but it was straight down the middle which hit Lloris who didn't know too much about it but managed to keep it 1-1 at full time. Mahrez now has 4 goals in 3 EPL games. Next fans for Leicester will be against Bournemouth who will be making history as they've never played against each other in the top flight of English football. In recent times Tottenham have a good record against their next opponents Everton but I can see Ross Barkley and Everton upsetting at White Hart Lane.

Norwich vs Stoke

This one was definitely an exciting encounter between a side who are punching above their weight this season and another with a lot of potential. Stoke's attacking potential comes from the players they have on display, with new boy Shaqiri who's won many titles with Bayern Munich made an instant impact sending in a perfect ball that was met by Diouf who scored last weekends equaliser for Stoke. But the Norwich captain Russell Martin equalised with his second in two weeks as well. Unfortunately for Norwich Jerome is still misfiring and should've got some more from the game but Stoke goal keeper Jack Butland made sure it stayed 1-1 with another great performance in goal! He's definitely been stoke city's best player so far in the season. 

Sunderland vs Swansea

Coming into the game, Swansea had both new boy Ayew and Gomis on form, and Sunderland weren't looking that great so a Swansea win was predicted. But in saying that, Swansea has had a great start but they had yet to finish a game against 11 men so far this season. Sunderland changed their backline with captain O'Shea back in the line up but it was his centre half pairing who got left behind by Gomis who made a great run in behind the defence to slot the ball past Pantillimon just at the end of the first half. That made it 3 in 3 games for Gomis and straight after half time, Ayew almost made it 3 out 3 but instead got the bar. So it stayed 1-0 up until Defoe pretty much replayed Gomis's run and goal and made it 1-1. Sunderland picked it up from there and even had a appeal for handball in the box but rightly it wasn't given and Gomis thought he had his second goal of the game but Pantillimon made a great save to keep it level. Swansea go to Villa Park while Sunderland host the undefeated Red Devils. Sunderland had a great 2014 against united with 0 losses but they've already lost once this year to them so Man U definitely the favourites. Swansea will definitely be going to Villa park with confidence knowing they've beaten their opponents the last 3 times they've met. 

West Ham vs Bournemouth

West Ham went into the game knowing that their club had never lost to AFC Bournemouth but the thing was that they last played in the late 1990's against each other. Bournemouth started off by getting their first ever goal in the premier league by Callum Wilson who had a great ball played in by Simon Francis who stripped Cresswell of the ball. Then Cresswell once again gave it away in his own box this time playing it straight to Callum Wilson for his second of the match. Halftime time scored should've been 3,4 or even 5 nil but it stayed at 2-0 no thanks to a weak West Ham defence. West ham made them pay early in the second half when Mark Noble went down and got a penalty and made sure it went in himself. And when Sakho forced Boruc to make a great save, Kouyate followed up and made it 2-2 in the first 7 minutes of the second half. Mark Pugh came on and was instant impact for Bournemouth, forced a great save by West Ham keeper Randall but in his next run into the box, after Pugh beat the last defender Jenkinson, the ball was destined for the back of the net 2-3 Bournemouth. Max Gradel then made Jenkison's night even more terrible by out sprinting him to the ball even after a few metres head start, and then ran into the box only to be pulled down by Jenkinson who was sent for an early shower in the 85th minute. Then came the man of the night, Wilson got his hatrick from to spot kick. Maiga scored a great solo goal to make the last few minutes terrifyingly nerve wrecking for the away Bournemouth fans but they held on for a 4-3 victory. West Ham will have their hands full against Liverpool at home while Leicester will be the team that Bournemouth host and that should be a great attacking game. 

West Brom vs Chelsea
This was predicted to be a blowout victory for Chelsea especially since new boy Pedro was given the nod for a starting position. (United fans look away, another player you guys missed out on.) it was pouring down and it started of in the worst way for Chelsea after Matic gave away a penalty but Morrison put it straight down the middle with Courtois in goal, those don't go in. And then it was the Pedro show, picked up the ball at half way, one two'd with a team mate, beat several played, one two'd with Fabregas and beat a few player and while going down played the ball straight into the bottom corner. It did take a deflection but definitely Pedros goal. And then Pedro played in Costa who just couldn't miss. 1 assist and 1 goal in 30 minutes for Pedro. West Brom made 2-1 when Rondon bicycle kicked it back into play and this time Morrison made no mistakes and smashed it in the bottom corner. But before the half ended Costa has a long ball played in which he accidentally chests down while looking for a Penalty but his team Azpilicueta got his first EPL goal with a great finish. 3-1 Chelsea at half time. Callum McManamann who one the penalty in the first half crossed in a beauty ball for Morrison to make it 3-2 with a great header into the top 90 and that made the last 30 minutes a bit more interesting. Ricky Lakbert came on for West Brom but with no effect. Chelsea grabbing their first victory of the season. Chelsea will look to repeat their double this season against Crystal Palace who they have not lost to at home since 17 Mar 1982. West Brom have now conceded 9 goals in 3 games, 3 in each, will they concede the same against Stoke at the Brittania where they haven't won since January 2012. 

Everton vs Manchester City
I had quite a few expectations from this game and as expected all the big names came to play. Lukaku was correctly ruled offside in the first half as he put the ball past Joe Hart and that was the only clear chance of the match up till half time. Silva started the second by smashing it against the post. Sterling then played in a running ball for Kolarov who time it great and slotted it in the inside of tin Howard's goal and it was correctly not given off side. After a mistake from the Everton backline, Jesus Navas found himself with all the time in the works but it was too much time and Howard saved with his face. And then we got to witness a world class play, touch and finish by Machester City. Nasri played to Yaya who flicked in back into his path with the perfect weight to beat the defender and Nasri touched it with the sweetest if touchs to put it over Tim Howard for a world class play. The tittle favourites have not conceded still, and they host Watford next at the Etihad who they've never actually beaten in the premier league. They've met twice and both were draws in the 06-07 season. Everton will have to try come back from this and get a win at white hart lane but they have not managed to beat Tottenham at Tottenham since 2008. 

Watford vs Southampton

It was all Southampton for the first 30 but no clear cut chances then the second 30 minutes was all Watford but again no clear cut chances. Watfotd should've scored from a corner but they didn't. Both teams seemed to be happy to keep trying from with no accuracy and the match ended a dull 0-0 but for both teams, a goalless draw is a great result right now. Watford will now face a team who haven't conceded a goal this season, and that is Kompany's Manchester City. While Southampton host Norwich, they'll be going with a good track record but Norwich have been a better side this season but have a mis firing Jerome leading their charge. 

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Because I've left this way too late!! I'm going to make this real short! Coutinho was clearly the best player on the field! An exciting game but both goalkeepers were superb! Arsenal went with an almost new backline and Wenger will be glad to keep the clean sheet but another no win against a big club. Arsenal go to Newcastle and should win while Liverpool host a struggling West Ham. 

Goal of the week
I'm a sucker for beautiful headed goals and Morrison got one in their losing effort. A perfect ball from Macmaman and just the perfect touch for Morrison. He should've had a hatrick but he'll regret that all week and hopefully make it up next weekend. Honourable mentions to Pedro. 

Top of the week
Bournemouth with their first ever win in the premier league get this one for me, is the sentimental pick. Honourable mentions go to Manchester City, another superb weekend. 

Flop of the week 
West Ham definitely! 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Game Week 2

Aston Villa vs Manchester United

The villians home losing streak continues against the red of Manchester since 1999. Pretty lack lustre game truth be told, one side lacked the cutting edge passes while the other lacked the finishing, resulting with only 2 or 3 shots on target in total. Memphis was lively but lacked the finishing but I have to give it up to LVG with another masterclass in picking his starters, this time Mata and Januzaj(who had been rumoured to be going Sunderland on loan) were both in the line up and they linked up for the only goal of the game. Mata was easily man of the match for me, and showed his class with the pass into Januzaj for his goal. Next up for Manchester is Newcastle at home who they last lost to at home in 2013 but prior to that was in 1972. So recent history is at least on Newcastle's side but will Man U make it 3 out of 3? Who's got another 1-0 predicted for Man U? Villa have Crystal Palace away next, and this one will be close in my opinion, I'm calling another draw as they did on New Year's Day when at the time Newcastle manager Alan Pardew watched his future Palace side play out a 0-0 with Villa from the stands.

Southampton vs Everton

Now this was a game to watch unless you're a Southampton fan, then you might want to close your eyes. Three lovely team goals finished with brilliance and all by Everton. Southampton actually was a bit of a voodoo ground for Everton who hadn't won there since 2002. Lukaku got a brace while Ross Barkley got another peach of a goal. Another week and another Ross Barkley masterclass performance. The real test will be next week at home to the red hot Manchester City who still haven't conceded this season. Will Barkley be on the scoresheet for the third week in a row? Southampton will be looking to get their first win next weekend against newly promoted Watford at Watford. These two clubs first played each other 115 years ago, and history is on Southampton's side but not by much.

Sunderland vs Norwich City

Coming into this game, I had concerns for Norwich and I was looking forward to Sunderland to make amends for last weeks shocker against Leicester. M'Villa who was highly linked with Arsenal a while back made his debut for Sunderland but Watmore who got his first taste of premier league action came on to score for Sunderland but it was too little too late as Sunderland again went down 3 before scoring. Norwich deserved the win, Dick Advocaat might not be Sunderland manager for much longer if this carries on. Martin(who knew little about his goal which hit him and went in after Pantillimons save), Whittaker and Redmond(2nd goal in two games) all got in the score sheet for Norwich. Jerome for the second week in a row should've had a goal or two for Norwich. Possibly back at Carrow Road against his old team Stoke, he'll be able to find the net. While it looks like Sunderlands woes will continue against a Swansea team who haven't lost against the black cats since 2012, and prior to that was in 1964.

Swansea vs Newcastle

Jefferson Montero was in my flops for the first week but he was definitely man of the match in this game. Troubled all game and was the reason  Janmaat got two yellows and sent off in 40 minutes. Gomis and Ayew both scored once again to take their tallies to 2 each for the season while Gomis now has 7 from 8 games for Swansea. Newcastle were second favourites coming in and at home Swansea and Shelvey's cutting pass to Gomis followed by Janmaat red card did not help the magpies. Newcastle will be facing an in form LVG and Manchester United who are yet to concede. Swansea will be going to Sunderland to carry on with their great start to the season, will Ayew and Gomis score again? 

Tottenham vs Stoke

Stoke went into white hart lane hoping to repeat last years double over Spurs, and it looked like it was going all bad for Stoke in the first half but a second half substitution for Steven Ireland inspired Stoke to come back from 2 nil down to tie it up and even almost win the game but it finished 2-2. Hugo Lloris was back in goal for Spurs who had an average match with one tremendous save but his opposite Jack Butland had a world class game and could do nothing about the two that he conceded. Arnautovic scored the penalty for Stoke and definitely was contender for man of the match while Spurs fans still haven't seen Harry Kane score but they did see Dier and Chadli open their campaigns while Mame Biram Diouf scored the equaliser which he felt was coming and it was the slightest of touches from his head that saw the ball at the back of the net. New boy Xherdan Shaqiri had to miss this game due to a domestic ban he picked up in Italy last season. Stoke only has managed 1 win in the last 4 against Norwich so they'll be looking to improve that ratio next weekend while Spurs will be looking to continue their premier league form against Leicester who they haven't lost to in the premier league since 2002. 

Watford vs West Bromwich Albion

Watford otherwise known as the hornets were looking for their first victory against Westbrom in the premier league in 20 years when they went into this game after a strong opening weekend against Everton. But unfortunately could not get the goal despite their dominance over the course of the match, while West Brom had the best chance of the match, ended up not having a single shot on target with Berahino heading out from 3 yards out for a miss of the season contender. Match ended 0-0. Watford look to roll on at home against Southampton where both teams will be fighting for their first wins of the season. West Brom will be facing Chelsea at home and that'll be another match where both teams are looking for their first wins of the season. The baggies did beat the defending champions at the hawthorns 3-0 in May this year, can they upset once more? 

West Ham vs Leicester

Two big wins for both these teams in opening weekend. Okazaki got the opener after he headed in the follow up from his own volley that was initially saved. He looks like he'll be threat in front of goal this season and speaking of which, the new Algerian hero for Leicester Mahrez got his third goal of the season to put West Ham 2 up. He did it with 5 west ham defenders in the box. Payet got one back after Sakho was denied a penalty after Schmeichel put his arm out to stop the attacker which meant that the goal keeper got to stay on the field. He ended up make one or two brilliant saves, unfortunately for his counterpart, Adrian, received a red card while he went up for the last corner of the game and ended with his foot into another players chest but he clearly has eyes only for the ball. Referee did make too many incorrect decisions in this one for my liking, I mean come on, Carl Jenkinson had to go into goal. Leicester march on in form to Spurs while west ham host Bournemouth who they've never lost against in the 5 times they've played together since 1929, the latest being 1999.

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

Coming into this game both teams had polar opposite starts to the season, but Arsenal knew coming into it, they couldn't afford anything but a win and they barely got one but a win is a win. Giroud was at the end of a super ball from Ozil and boy did the Frenchman take it well. Goal of the weekends best contender but Crystal Palace had a wonder strike of their own by defender Ward who hit it perfectly along the ground to find the bottom corner, you couldn't have picked up the ball and put it in a better place! Connor Wickham could've made it 2-1 palace when he hit the upright but Sanchez's well taken header came down and unfortunately for Delaney, who could do nothing but put it in his own net. Wickham again should've scored and in the last 10 minutes, both had chances but the respective keepers kept them out. Ozil would get man of the match, as he got 54 out of the 55 passes he made to a team mate and some of those passes showed why hes such a classy player. Both teams are at home next, the Eagles going up against Aston Villa who they don't have a favourable track record with but I think Palace will get something, while the gunners host Liverpool who they've only lost twice to in the last 7 years so the gunners will have momentum going into it but they have to pick it up a bit more as they did show a lot more promise before the season started. 

Manchester City vs Chelsea

So by now everyone's heard the excuses and dismissals by Jose Mourinho but the fact of the matter is that Manchester City won 3-0, even though the Chelsea website review of the game started with something along the lines of Ramirez's disallowed goal cost us the match and they should've had a penalty etc. The defending champions were looking to come out with their first win of the season but Manchester City had other ideas. Aguero started this game while Oscar and Coutouis were the absentees for Chelsea but David Silva started things off with a sublime pass into Aguero who was kept out by Begovic 3 times and Aguero actually missed another before finally finding the net on his 5th effort and what a goal it was. Last season he got 32, I wouldn't be surprised if he got more this one. Ramirez's goal was correctly disallowed as he was offside while Manchester City captain got his second in 2 weeks and the game was finished off by an unstoppable strike by Fernandinho. Both teams go away next weekend as Chelsea will be looking to defeat off form WestBrom while City look to play an in form Everton. 

Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Oh Liverpool fans before you hate me for this section, I'm a massive Benteke fan but according to the new laws of the game that goal should've been disallowed since Coutinho was in an offside position even though he didn't interfere with the play....but as it stands, Liverpool get another 1 nil victory against a very game Bournemouth who definitely deserved something for the heart and performance they showed. Unlucky to go away with nothing from the game. Coutinho was once again lively, only kept out due to great blocks by various defenders, Benteke could've had a hatrick but Arthur Boric denied him and so did the crossbar. Bournemouth need to get something at Westham and Liverpool will need to turn around their recent luck against Arsenal when they visit the Emirates next.

Goal of the week, I'm probably biased but this has to go to Olivier Giroud! He's overhead kick was superbly taken after a perfect ball from Mesut Ozil. 

Top of the week, Last week they got the honourable mentions but this week they've taken it, Manchester City. And quite a few honourable mentions: LVG, Jefferson Montero, Mahrez, Ireland, Jack Butland, Everton and Leicester.

Flop of the week, The defending Champions Chelsea and not so honourable mentions go to Jose Mourinho, Tottenham, Southampton and Sunderland.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Game week 1

Man U vs Spurs

Opening fixture of the season and a big one at that! With LVG signing half a team, big things were expected. The surprise wasn't that De Gea wasn't in the squad, but the fact that LVG chose new boy Memphis and not so young Ashley Young but credit where credits due, Ashley Young looked lively throughout the match and threatened, must have something to do with the new contract he just signed. Vorm only had one shot on target against him so it's difficult to tell if he is Spurs number 1 or should Hugo Lloris still be there. Unfortunately for Vorm, his own player (Kyle Walker) slid one past him while trying to stop Wayne Rooney from scoring. With David De Gea, Victor Valdez and Lindegaard in the reserves, waiting to leave, who will still be there on 1st September, and who will be 2nd in charge to Romero for Manchester United because Van Gaal has already said, Johnstone is not good enough. And for Tottenham, they'll be looking to get their first win against Man U since 2012 in the reverse fixture. 

Bournemouth vs Aston Villa 

I actually was surprised by this result, I wasn't expecting the villains to come out with a win against the newly promoted Bournemouth especially not away from home but they did. Routine set piece header. 1 nil victory, typical match, not much to comment. Villa now entertain Manchester United at home and the villains have not beaten them since 2009, and the last time they beat them at home was in 1999 in the Worthington cup, who remembers that? Bournemouth will be away to Liverpool who they've met 6 times since 1927 and still never beaten. Will we see a first? 

Everton vs Watford 

What a game this was! Watford went to Goodison Park and showed the hunger that most newly promoted teams do for the first few weeks; eg: Leicester last season. Hopefulky Watford can play like that all season, well actually no their defence was horrendous for evertons second, probably want to fix that up a bit. Good to see Gomes in goal, the old Spurs boy looks like he'll be Watfords number 1 for the season and if you haven't seen Ross Barkleys goal yet, google it! That is how you hit a football perfectly! And even Kone got his second goal in an Everton shirt which was just before the end of the game and just after Watford thought they'd snuck a victory in. I would definitely watch that game again. Everton did have John Stones in the backline but that was the last time since he finally completed his move to Chelsea the following day. He's supposedly the next John Terry......we'll see. 

Leicester vs Sunderland

This result caught a lot of people off guard, but Leicester fans will tell you otherwise. It was a contender for shock of the weekend. Sunderland did themselves no favours in the first half, allowing the Homeside to go up 3 nil in 25 minutes which included a needless penalty. I'm not getting too excited about Leicester yet, nor am I worried about Sunderland, it's a long season ahead. But then again the last time Sunderland lost to Leicester was in 2001, now let's see how they go against Norwich who they haven't actually beaten since 2012 when they won 3 - 0 at home, can they repeat that next weekend? 

Norwich vs Crystal Palace
Alan Pardew's boys upset a newly promoted Norwich side with Cabaye making his presence felt in the premier league once again after his spell with French champions PSG, netting in a goal to seal it on the 90 and team mates Wilfred Zaha and Damien Delaney grabbed two each side of the half respectively. Nathan Redmonds goal did make things interesting at 2-1 but things are not looking good for Norwich. They'll be facing a bruised up Sunderland while Alan Pardew looks to make Arsene Wenger miserable in their clash next weekend.

Chelsea vs Swansea

Courtois was a doubt pregame as he seemed to have injured his wrist in warm up but he started, and Chelsea started strong! It was an attacking and high pressure Chelsea with what seemed like Barcelonaesque passing. Oscar had popped in a dangerous freekick the first chance he got and looked bemused when no one was at the end of his dangerous ball in so when he got a second freekick on the other side of the pitch, he sent another dangerous ball in, Cahill and Ivanovic both missed it which left Fabianski no chance to save it as it just went straight in because he was waiting on a Chelsea player to touch it in the other direction. Ayew then equalised on his debut but it took a while as courtois made a brilliant save against Gomis and then Ayew was denied by both centre backs of Chelsea but he kept trying and it find nestled the back of the net. Then 90seconds later the third goal came off a Willian low cross that deflected off Hernandes which no one could do anything about. Second half Courtois got red carded rightly by Michael Oliver and Gomis made sure the game ended 2-2 with his spot kick. Last year they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on opening day and went to finish 8th, they will be looking for better this year while Chelsea will be looking to bounce back against Manchester City as the two favourites for the EPL go head to head next weekend. 

Arsenal vs West Ham

Oh Peter Cech had a EPL debut to forget in an Arsenal shirt. West Ham had not won against their London neighbours since 2007 and that was also at the Emirates. It's hard to blame all of the loss an individual player as Arsenals attack was almost as bad as Cech's goal keeping but a lot of improvement is needed from the Gunners as they face Crystal Palace who have only beaten Arsenal 3 times in 37 attempts since 1934 and the last was in 1994. West Ham under the guidance of Croatian Slaven Billic will look to buy some more players and potentially get rid of Mark Noble or Steven Nolan and they will be going up against a fired up Leicester next weekend and will be second favourites but will look to prove that the win against Arsenal wasn't just Cech having an off day. 

Newcastle vs Southampton

Both goal keepers would've been furious with their defenders by the time the 90minute whistle blew. It was an attacking show, exciting stuff for the almost 50000 crowd at St James Park. Graziano Pelle and Shane Long will be dangerous attack for Southampton this season and will definitely surprise a few teams again. Newcastle will be second favourites to a game Swansea who have not lost to Newcastle in 3 years. And Southampton vs Everton is a must watch especially if Pelle and Barkley are both on the pitch for their respective teams. 

Stoke vs Liverpool

This game had big expectations as Stoke were looking to redo their decimation of Liverpool as they did in the last EPL match of the season of 14/15 season and Liverpool with a new look outfit were looking to play like title contenders but it was an out of nowhere Coutinho strike and a half that decided the game. Hopefully Liverpool back at Anfield will mean a bit more exciting in the whole match! Stoke got the premier league double against Spurs last season and they'll be hoping to do it once again next weekend! 

West Brom vs Manchester City
I am telling you that Manchester City have one of the most prolific goal scorers in our time Sergio Aguero and you cannot say so otherwise! This game he was a doubt for but he did start on the bench but look out for last years golden boot winner to shine once again and still be called second best! A man who did start like he does every season, Yaya Toure got himself a brace in the 3 nil comfortable win which was topped off by captain Vincent Kompany who was missed most of last season with niggling injuries and trying to recover while still playing. These three mentioned will play a key part in City's effort to lift the EPL trophy once again and they've had a good start but next week they meet Chelsea at the Etihad. Two seasons ago they lost both fixtures against Chelsea, and the previous season they improved with both being draws, will they finally beat them in their tie this weekend. West Brom will be glad that their next fixture is against a team they haven't lost to in a league game since 1995, Watford. But I think there could be an upset there if West Brom don't pick it up. 

Goal of the week, Evertons Ross Barkley's Golazo takes it out for me, with Yaya's and Countinhos strikes being honourable mentions.

Top of the week, Leicester with Manchester City and Andre Ayew honourable mentions. 

Flop of the week, Peter Cech with dishonourable mentions going to the two teams facing each other this week Norwich and Sunderland plus Montero from Swansea who at one point managed to give the ball away 5 times in his own half in less than 2 minutes.