Posts Tagged ‘Arsenal’

March 2014 - Super Football Bonanaza

Football Crazy Month. Big teams , Big matches.

2013/14 UEFA Champions Legue : Round of 16 draws

The match-ups for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League round of 16.

 

The group stage draws for the UEFA Champions League 2013/14 commencing on September 16, came out on Thursday at the draw event held in Monaco. Not disappointing  the Football world the draw presented few tough groups.

Group F can easily be tagged as ‘Group of death’ comprising of Borussia Dortmund (last year’s finalist) Arsenal, Marseille and Napoli. Group H is another tough group in the form of  Barcelona, Ajax, AC Milan and Celtics FC comprising the group.

Chelsea FC have been drawn with Schalke, FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest in Group E. Familiar names FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest were both beaten en route to Amsterdam in last season’s Europa League. Manchester United faces a competitive group whereas the last English team Manchester City face tough competition from European champions Bayerm Munich and CSKA Moscow.

Complete Fixture list:

Group A                                                                       Group B
Manchester United                                                      Real Madrid
Shakhtar Donetsk                                                        Juventus
Bayer Leverkusen                                                       Galatasaray
Real Sociedad                                                             FC Copenhagen



Group C                                                                            Group D
Benfica                                                                            Bayern Munich
Paris St-Germain                                                         CSKA Moscow
Olympiacos                                                                  Manchester City
Anderlecht                                                                   Viktoria Plzen

Group E                                                                           Group F
CHELSEA                                                                        Arsenal
Schalke                                                                         Marseille
FC Basel                                                                       Borussia Dortmund
Steaua Bucharest                                                         Napoli



Group G                                                                          Group H
Porto                                                                                Barcelona
Atletico Madrid                                                              AC Milan
Zenit St Petersburg                                                       Ajax
Austria Vienna                                                                Celtic

 

Graced by yet another tantalizing and tasty set of fixtures in Gameweek 6 produced stimulating results.Chelsea,Everton and Manchester City continued their unbeaten run.While Arsenal conceded their first loss of the season and Tottenham Hotspur achieved a historic win(first in 23 years) against Manchester united at Old Trafford.

Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea

Fernando Torres celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Arsenal at Emirates stadium on 29th September 2012.

Both teams went into this game unbeaten with one of the best defenses in the league this season.Chelsea controlled the ball for better part of the first half frustrating the home side.It was only after Chelsea got their first goal through Fernando Torres connecting one inside the box in 20th minute,Gunners showed a bit more urgency and looked sharp for next 25 minutes only to be awarded with an equalizer when the Ox fine cross was collected by Grevinho and he smashed the ball back into the net.In the second half visitors got the lead back early when Juan Mata’s free kick was deflected off Koscielny and the ball was in the back of the net.Rest of the match saw Arsenal carry out an onslaught on Chelsea goal only to be failed by solid Chelsea defense.It’s been a great start for Chelsea who have 16 points from five matches and four clear of both Manchester teams.

Fulham 1-2 Manchester City

Edin Dzeko celebrates his late winner against Fulham on Saturday at Craven Cottage.

It was nothing new for Manchester City this season when they found themselves trailing early in the match against Fulham at Craven Cottage.In the 10th minute of the game,Fulham went one goal up when Petric converted a penalty conceded by Zabaleta through a mistimed tackle on Riise. Game went on to open up and true Manchester City were beginning to re-surface. The passing was crisp, the possession went  high and City finally managed to find the back of the net for an equalizer as Aguero tapped a rebound into the back of the net in the 43rd minute. Home team went on to create better chances in the second half .League champions then showed their class when substitute Edin Dzeko scored the match winner in the 87th minute.

Everton 3-1 Southampton

Nikica Jelavic scored a brace against Southampton on Saturday at Goodison park.

Southampton’s surprise lead in the 6th minute from Gaston Ramirez didn’t stop The Toffees uncharacteristic great start to the season. Everton came from a goal down to win 3-1 against Southampton at Goodison park to put them second in league table above the Manchester clubs.Leon Osman scored the equalizer in the 25th minute.Later on two quick goals were scored  by Nikica Jelavic in the 32nd and 38th minute to give Everton their Fourth win in Six league games.

Norwich City 2-5 Liverpool

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez celebrates scoring his sides second goal against Norwich City on 29th September 2012.

Norwich expected to milk out some points when they played host to Liverpool counting on the Reds dreadful performance this season.But Liverpool had different plans as they won their first match of the season in style .The Reds went on an attacking mode from the start with Suarez scoring a very quick goal in the 2nd minute.The Uruguayan went on to score a hat trick with an easy second in the 37th minute and a superb third in the 58th  minute when he spin the ball into the net from twenty-two yards out.Norwich managed to score one through Steve Morison in 62nd minute.Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard scored the fifth goal for the team in 68th minute.

Reading 2-2 Newcastle united

Demba Ba scored twice for Newcastle United for a draw against Reading.

Reading found themselves in bottom part of league table after they failed to cement on to the start they got against The Magpies only to manage a draw in the end.Reading opened with Jimmy Kebe scoring the first goal of the game in the 57th minute. Demba Ba brought the Magpies back twice in the game with his goal in 58th and 83rd minute.

Stoke City 2-0 Swansea City

Peter Crouch celebrates a goal against Swansea City on Saturday at Liberty stadium.

Stoke City managed to get their first win of the season after four straight draws and a loss with a comfortable win over Swansea city at Liberty stadium on Saturday.Peter Crouch scored a brace in the game.The striker has now scored four goals in six matches.Swansea are now in a free fall losing their last two matches.

Sunderland 1-0 Wigan Athletic

Steven Fletcher scored the only goal of the game against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Sunderland won their first league match of the season behind a lone goal from in form Steven Fletcher against Wigan at the Stadium of Lights. Jordi Gómez was given a red card in the 47th minute bringing Wigan to ten men for rest of the game.Steven Fletcher has an incredible scoring rate with 5 shots on target this season resulting  in 5 goals.

Manchester United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Clint Dempsey celebrates scoring the third goal for Spurs against Manchester United on 29th September 2012 at Old Trafford.

An Injury ridden Manchester united hosted Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday as they looked to continue their unbeaten run over the rivals which extended to twenty-three years.Spurs had different plans for the day as they came out firing in the first half with Vertonghen scoring the opening goal of the game in the second minute.Spurs went on to double their lead when bale who sprinted some fifty yards beating a number of United players. He then went onto slide a shot across the face of the goal,beating the keeper easily.It was edge-of-the-seat stuff in the first half as Spurs dominated and the hosts were patchy defensively.Sir Alex made some crucial changes in the second half bringing on Rooney who inspired The Red Devils and assisted in bringing one goal back through Nani’s goal in the 51st minute.Visitors responded quickly with a goal from Clint Dempsey in the 52nd minute to take the scoreline to 3-1.After this Spurs were all behind cementing their defense only to be breached by a nicely driven through ball by Robin Van Persie to Shinji Kagawa  who went on to find space before stroking a clam and composed shot into the back of the net.Manchester United failed to score another and the match saw the London-based club pick up a very unpredictable and historic win at the end of the game.

Queens Park Rangers 1-2 West ham

Matt Jarvis scored his first goal of the season.

West Ham traveled across London to face Queen Park Rangers who are currently sitting in the relegation zone.Home team depicted a poor defensive performance as they lost 1-2 against newly promoted West Ham.Matt Jarvis scored his first goal of season giving hammers the lead.Their lead got doubled when Vaz Te’s shot got deflected of Stephane M’Bia, past Julio Cesar. QPR managed to get one back when Taarabt unleashed a curling shot on the run that left the goalkeeper frozen and then dropping the top corner to make it 2-1.

 

John Terry - Captain:Leader:Legend !

Chelsea’s captain John Terry walks off the pitch to give his boots to a fan after Chelsea defeated Arsenal at Emirates.

After a two-week international break the premier league was back on Saturday  bringing out a mixed bag of results.Norwich were left waiting for their first league win of the season; Manchester City ,Chelsea and Liverpool were held for away draws against Stoke,Queens Park Rangers and Sunderland .Arsenal thumped Southampton at home whereas Fulham maintained their perfect record at Craven Cottage.

Norwich 0-0 West Ham

Robert Snodgrass of Norwich City battles with Mark Noble of West Ham during the Premier League match at Carrow Road.

Newly promoted West home continued its strong start by adding a point on road against Norwich.The Canaries went on to secure their third straight draw of the season.They are yet to win a match after their lost in the season opener.Neither side impressed throughout the match apart from few close chances created in the second half of the match.

Arsenal 6-1 Southampton

Gervinho scored a brace for Arsenal in a 6-1 win over Southampton at emirates on 15th September 2012.

The Gunners continued their good form after the international break thumping newly promoted Southampton at Emirates.Southampton from the start were cautious and sitting behind allowing Arsenal to move more strike force forward.Lukas Podolski score the opening goal in the 11th minute when his cross shot was saved by Kelvin Davis but rebounded in off Hooiveld.Soon afterit was the German again who  gave Gunners a two goal cushion from a free kick goal in the 31st minute.Gervinho added his first in the 35th and a second own goal through Nathaniel Clyne in the 37th left little doubt about the result before half.Daniel Fox scored the lone goal for the visitors .Southampton have now lost all the matches of the season whereas Arsenal remained undefeated with two wins and two draws.

Fulham 3-0 West Brom

Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham scored a brace on debut against West Brom at Craven Cottage on 15th September 2012

West Bromwich Albion’s unbeaten start to the new Premier League season came to a clobbering halt as Fulham scored thrice to remain unbeaten at Craven Cottage.Dimitar Berbatov on his home debut after his transfer from Old Trafford netted twice to provide an easy win for Cottagers. It took a superb performance from Ben Foster in-goal to keep the score to 3-0 as the hosts menaced to run rampant in the second half.Third goal for Fulham came from Steve Sidwell in the 89th minute.

Manchester United 4-0 Wigan

Paul Scholes celebrating after scoring in his 700th appearance for Manchester united at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Manchester united climbed the league table within one point of the Blues atop the table by thrashing Wigan 4-0 at Old Trafford.First half was scoreless along with a lackluster performance by the Red Devils.They came all guns blazing in the second half when Scholes sparked United by hammering  home a rebound six minutes after halftime for his 155th goal for the club in his 700th match.Hernandez made up for the missed penalty kick in the 63rd minute by flicking past the Wigan keeper.Rest two goals came from the newbies Buttner in 66th minute and Powell in 83rd minute.After suffering a shock season opener loss to Everton,Red Devils are back with their Midas touch firing  from all fronts.

Queens Park Rangers 0-0 Chelsea

Anton Ferdinand of QPR and John Terry of Chelsea involved in pre match handshake controversy on Saturday at Loftus Road.

A game overshadowed by the pre-match handshake between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry ended in a stalemate with no team managed to score a goal.The Blues had a couple of very decent penalty shouts, none given whereas wonder kid and Man of the match for the fourth consecutive match blew up an easy chance.Chelsea will be focusing on their mid-week champions league match against Juventus .

Stoke City 1-1 Manchester City

Javi Garcia scored on his Manchester City debut against Stoke city on Saturday.

Manchester City once again failed to get the perfect start this season as they were held to a one all draw against Stoke city at Britannia Stadium.It was Stoke City’s fourth straight draw this season.Peter Crouch gave the hosts an early lead in the 15th minute  despite a suspicion of handball.City came back to score in the 35th minute from a free kick by Carlos Tevez curled in to Garcia, who turned a header from the edge of the six-yard box to the left post for his first goal in the Premiership.Both team stretched hard in second half creating chances with city almost getting a late winner from Nasri only to be denied by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.Stoke introduced Michael Owen in the closing minutes hoping to score a dramatic winner.

Sunderland 1-1 Liverpool

Suarez celebrates with Raheem Sterling after scoring the equalizer against Sunderland on Saturday at Stadium of Lights.

Liverpool was able to avoid its third loss with a 1-1 tie against Sunderland on Saturday at the Stadium of Light during an emotional week for Liverpool following the Hillsborough revelations.Steven Fletcher scored his third goal of the season in the 28th minute to give the hosts the lead.Luis Suarez managed to get the equalizer 19 minutes from time to give the Reds their second point.Liverpool is still without a win after four matches.

Upcoming Matches:Reading vs Tottenham (Sun-8.30 PM) ,Everton vs Newcastle united(Mon-12.30 AM)

Arsenal played a goal less draw against Stoke City whereas Liverpool were unlucky not to walk away with three points against Manchester city at Anfield on sunday,August 26, 2012.

Stoke City 0-0 Arsenal

Disappointed Arsenal players after draw against Stoke City.

Arsenal haven’t scored neither conceded a league goal this season.On Sunday it was  a second draw for both the clubs this season. Arsenal failed to take their chances once again as Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski all missed glorious chances to open goal account for the Gunners.Throughout the match Arsenal looked a stronger side penetrating the Stoke defense but failing to convert.Stoke had a goal and a penalty rightly denied by the referee as Peter Crouch headed one to Jermaine Pennant who put it in the back of the net.For Stoke city it was a positive result to manage a draw against last years top four side whereas Arsenal needs to win if they have to remain in hunt of title run.
Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City

Carlos Tevez celebrating after scoring the equalizer against Liverpool at Anfield.

Manchester City is having a rusty and lackluster start to the season as for the second week in a row they had to work really hard to earn a points against Liverpool at Anfield.The Reds were the stronger side for most of the match and only for their defensive lapses had to concede a draw.Merseyside took a 1-0 lead with a brilliant header from defender Skrtel in the 34th minute.For rest of the half Liverpool had a very strong first half, dominating possession.Equalizer came in the 63rd minute when Yaya Toure scored from close range.Luis Suarez got the lead back with a superb curling free kick around the wall and past goalkeeper Joe Hart.An unforced error allowed City to level the match in 80th minute when Carlos Tevez easily intercepted a back pass from Skrtel and dribbled around goalkeeper Pepe Reina and scored.

 Premier League week 2 results

25/08/2012 Swansea Swansea 3-0 West Ham West Ham
25/08/2012 Southampton Southampton 0-2 Wigan Wigan
25/08/2012 Aston Villa Aston Villa 1-3 Everton Everton
25/08/2012 Norwich Norwich 1-1 QPR QPR
25/08/2012 Tottenham Tottenham 1-1 West Brom West Brom
25/08/2012 Man. United Man. United 3-2 Fulham Fulham
25/08/2012 Chelsea Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle Newcastle
26/08/2012 Stoke Stoke 0-0 Arsenal Arsenal
26/08/2012 Liverpool Liverpool 2-2 Man. City Man. City

 

Season opener saw a goal riot with some surprise results.Liverpool was the big casualty losing 3-0 to West Brom,Swansea crushed QPR, Fulham hammered Norwich,Sunderland holding Arsenal to goalless draw and Newcastle edging past Tottenham.

West Bromwich 3-0 Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers first game in charge turned into a nightmare as Liverpool went down 3-0 to The baggies.Zoltan Gera scored the first goal just before half time.Liverpool never seem to make a comeback conceding two more goals in second half from Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku.It turned worse as Daniel Agger was a given a red card .

Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland

A dominating performance throughout the game was not enough for the Gunners new strikers Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroudto to get one past the Sunderland goalkeeper.A goal less draw was what popped out after full 90 minutes.

Newcastle United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

The Magpies showed some class football keeping up with the expectations generated from last seasons performance edging past Spurs at Sports Direct Arena.Spurs were the stronger side in the first half with couple of strikes hitting the post but Newcastle improved in the second half.Ben Arfa converted a penalty in 80th minute after Demba Ba put them a goal up in intial minutes of second half.Only goal for Spurs was scored by Defoe.

Fulham 5-0 Norwich City

Fulham were not distracted by  rebellious striker Clint Dempsey — last season’s top scorer for the west London club to cruise past Norwich in opening game of the season.Mladen Petric scored twice while a goal scored each by Duff,Kacaniklic and Sidwell.

Swansea City 5-0 Queens Parks Rangers

New signing Michu and winger Nathan Dyer score two each as Swansea hand Michael Laudrup a dream debut as manager with a 5-0 thrashing of QPR in a away opening day match.

Reading 1-1 Stoke City

Promoted Reading held on to a draw against Stoke City making a good start to top tier league with a late penalty scored by Le Fondre.Opening goal of the match for Stoke was scored by Michael Kightly.

West Ham United 1-0 Aston Villa

The Hammers made a winning return to top league with single goal home victory over Aston Villa scored by Kevin Nolan.

Upcoming Matches: Wigan vs Chelsea (6 PM) , Manchester City vs Southampton (8.30 PM)

 

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The 2011/2012 witnessed a breathtaking season in the top 5 leagues in Europe. Leading the race among all for its excitement,drama and suspense was English Premier League with Manchester City staving off competition from their red neighbours Manchester United to claim the English title for the first time after 44 years defining the season as (arguably) the best in the England’s top flight 20-year history. The 2011-12 English Premier League season was the greatest ever in terms of statistics and incidents on-off the field from calls for goal line technology, inter-squad brawls, racial abuse cases, and the most contested race for Champions League spots ever. And never has the title race gone down to the dying moments of the league.

Manchester United clearly had deficiencies at the back and in midfield and a champion team which they are need to get this cleaned off before the new season starts. Losing the league title on goal difference would make it more difficult to match Man City whose financial strength is now backed by a new wave of confidence. It will come down to Fergie’s genius, team grit and expected summer buy/transfers.

As far as the noisy neighbours are concerned it was the dream outcome at the Etihad, City winning the game and title. QPR lost but still made it to next season courtesy of Bolton’s failure to win at Stoke. Man City were deserved champions and QPR deserved staying up simply because of their excellent form at home and the fact that they remained resilient and in quest even after their mid-season manager sacking, takeovers etc. Coach Manchini deserves pat on the back for holding it all together when the title was all but lost, keeping rebels like Balotelli and Tevez from tearing apart his squad, and coming on top of Sir Alex in terms of mind games. Things are only going to get better for the champions assisting them in their next step conquering European championship.

For the other London clubs competing for the champion’s league spot Arsenal’s win over West Brom guaranteed their place in the top league whereas Tottenham despite winning against Fulham and finishing fourth were denied a champions league spot courtesy Chelsea becoming the European champion .Arsenal had a remarkable comeback after a disappointing start to season with a 8-2 thrashing in the hands of Manchester united. To lead the comeback was none other than ‘The Flying Dutchman’ Robin Van Persie and tactics of Arsene Wenger. Still Gunners need to sort out on front of new players and transfers to make in next season in quest to remain in top four and flourish in Europe.

Chelsea, The Blues are very much among the top disappointing teams of the season given the amount of money spent and form they were in at the end of the last season. Zooming off to great start scoring mammoth number of goals initially ,they lost the plot mid-season caught in various controversies on-off the pitch; Leading to sacking of Andre Vilas Boas once predicted to be one capable of continuing the legacy of Jose Mourinho. It was only after appointment of interim coach Di Matteo which lead to The Blues winning the FA cup and Champions League erasing some bad memories of premier league.Toping this section has to be Merseyside Liverpool who despite with some quality wins, a Carling Cup silverware, and finishing 8th in the table, the Reds never lived up to the preseason hype and the promise they showed at the end of last season.

Talking about the most surprising team of the season without a doubt was Newcastle who showed that Alan Pardew‘s controversial appointment was worth it. His dealings in the transfer market and man management skills helped boost the club. They were very close from playing in the Champions League next season but only a hard run at the death matches stopped them – they do have Europa League football though which is not a bad consolation prize for a club like Newcastle. Norwich and Swansea also came as a surprise package despite being newbie in the league.

For the best match of the season we had some close contenders from Manchester United vs. Blackburn, Manchester Derby to Chelsea vs. Arsenal. But it has to be the last game of the season between Manchester City vs.QPR which ultimately sent the title to the blue side of Manchester. A player that had the most impact it’s got to be Papiss Cisse. No January signing has ever had such a huge impact in the transfer window era as him, and his goals nearly took Newcastle into a shock Champions League spot. Not to forget his improbable goal against Chelsea undoubtedly the best of the season,a real thing of beauty.

Check out the EPL season 2012 in numbers:

Results

Goals

Games Home wins Away Wins Draws Home Away Difference Total
380 171 116 93 604 462 +142 1066
45% 31% 24% 1.59 1.22 +0.37 2.81

2011-12 Premier League Season: Greatest epic season ever.

 

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World witnessed mother of all EPL final day. A lot was on stake ranging from Premier league title to champions league qualification and relegation group. EPL known for its uncertainty, surprises and drama lived up to it even on the final day of the EPL 2011 season.

“You want drama…we give you drama”, said ESPN commentator Ian Darke!

Exactly that is what we got, a title going to be retained in Manchester, only needed to choose its color to embrace: Red or Blue. It came down to the last-minute of play as Manchester City came out on top on the most dramatic final day in Premier League history, scoring twice in injury time to win its first English league title in 44 years.

City needed a victory over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday to clinch the title but was  on the verge of handing the trophy to Manchester United when it trailed 2-1 with 90 minutes played. Arch rival Manchester united thought they have retained the title after their 1-0 win over Sunderland and game at Etihad heading for a draw after Dzecko’s injury time goal. Only to be denied in the last-minute with Sergio Aguero keeping his cool and finding the net to clinch the title of the ‘Noisy neighbors ‘.Blue part of Manchester going to get louder and more noisy.

Manchester city struggled to break the visitors down for much in the first half, only to score a soft one through Zabaleta. They were stunned in second half which saw QPR scoring twice, one helped by Lescott`s awful error and other one on a counter attack after QPR were down to 10 men (Barton lost his cool and was ejected in shocking circumstances).With more than 84% ball possession City, throwing caution aside, hammered on the QPR goal only to find disappointment. They pressed and pressed but QPR were inspired in defense and even Mancini had surrendered all self-control, raging at every over-hit cross and lousy shot as the title lurched back in United’s direction. It was only in the injury time city managed to zip across QPR’s stubborn defense and register a dramatic 3-2 win.

“To win it like this is incredible,” City Manager Roberto Mancini said. “I have never seen a final (day) like this.”

Arsenal managed to finish19 points back in third place clinching Champions League qualification for a 15th straight season with a 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion. Tottenham came in fourth place after Adebayor and Defoe scored a 2-0 win over Fulham. But they have to wait for the verdict on their Champions league qualification till the result of may 19 Champions league final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.Newcastle finished in fifth place after losing 3-1 at Everton and Chelsea was sixth — its lowest position since 2002 — despite a 2-1 win over Blackburn. Bolton filled the final relegation spot after a 2-2 draw at Stoke with Blackburn and Wolverhampton Wanderers already relegated.

        Well Done Manager, Roberto Mancini….Manchester City Captain, Vincent Kompany .  A title well   deserved.