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.

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