Posts Tagged ‘EPL’

SUPER FRANKIE LAMPARD

Lampard becomes Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer in win at Villa and all important secures Chelsea Champions League spot.

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Fulham,Everton and Southampton managed to climb up in the Premier League rankings with their win over Wigan,Swansea and Aston Villa respectively while West Ham and Sunderland drew on Saturday.Chelsea remained on top in the league with a hard-fought win over Stoke city at Stamford Bridge.

Swansea 0-3 Everton

Everton celebrate Marouane Fellaini’s goal in their 3-0 win over Swansea on Saturday.

Everton jumped into second place in the premier league with an impressive 3-0 victory over  Swansea on Saturday.Everton went on to take the lead in the 22nd minute with Anichebe hammering past Vorm from a setup by Fellaini.They dominated rest of the half managing to surge into a two goal lead in 43rd minute with a Mirallas goal.Second half saw some elevated attack from home side but towering Howard denied them any success.Swansea were reduced to 10 men when substitute Nathan Dyer, who had only been on the pitch for 12 minutes, was sent off in the second half.In the 83rdminute, Fellaini headed in a Baines free kick to put the match beyond Swasena’s reach.

Southampton 4-1 Aston Villa

Rickie Lambert scored twice at St. Mary on Saturday against Aston villa to give the Saints their first win of the season.

Southampton pulled off first three points of the season on Saturday with an impressive 4-1 win over Aston Villa at St Mary’s.They came from one goal down when striker Rickie Lambert drew level in 58th minute.After that Villa were outplayed throughout in every possible manner leading to Nathaniel Clyne scoring the second for the Saints in 63rd minute.An own goal from Ciaran Clark in the 72nd minute saw the hosts turn the match on its head.Lambert then scored his fourth league goal of the season from the penalty spot in added time as Southampton, who had a tough start to the season with matches against last season’s top three, won at last.

Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City

A late strike from Ashley Cole hands a 1-0 win over Stoke and place Chelsea atop the league table.

A match expected to be an easy one for the home side turned into a frustrated event as The Blues struggle to break down an organized Stoke side.Stoke looking to post yet another draw created some close chances in the first half with one going off the top bar from a Walter’s header in spite of Chelsea holding on to most of ball possession.Di Matteo started Lampard and Terry from bench with Oscar on pitch who almost created the magic similar to that against Juventus last week.The game really sparked up late on, notably starting up around the time Lampard was subbed on in the 81st minute. A late goal in 85th minute from an unlikely scorer Ashley Cole who managed to sneak in behind the towering Stoke City back line, thanks to a cheeky heel-flick from Mata.With this win Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the table.

West Ham 1-1 Sunderland

Captain Kevin Nolan celebrates after scoring a late equalizer against Sunderland on Saturday at Upton Park.

It was a heart-break for Sunderland on Saturday at Upton park as Kevin Nolan rescued West Ham with a  last-gasp equalizer in the 93rd minute.Steven Fletcher’s first half goal in the 9th minute had put the visitors one goal up looking for the first win of the season only to be denied by captain Nolan who has scored three goals in the season.

Wigan 1-2 Fulham

Fulham’s Damien Duff celebrates scoring the second goal against Wigan on Saturday.

Fulham gained their first away win of the season on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Wigan on Saturday at DW Stadium.Hugo Rodallega gave the visitors lead in the 31st minute which was double by Damien Duff in the 68th minute to seal the points for the Cottagers.It has been a strong start for Fulham this season putting them into the top four.Arouna Kone grabbed a late consolation for the hosts.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Reading

Lukaku celebrates scoring the lone goal of the match against Reading to put his side in top three of the league table on Saturday.

Chelsea’s On-loan striker Romelu Lukaku grabbed his second goal of the season placing the Baggies at third place in the English Premier League table.Lukaku scored the lone goal of the match in the 71st minute firing home left-footed with keeper Alex McCarthy unsighted.Steve Clarke’s side now has a perfect home record who has won their opening three home fixtures for the first time in 58 years.Saturday’s loss has pushed Reading to the bottom of the table after their fifth game without a victory.

Upcoming Matches:Liverpool vs Manchester United (Sun-6 PM),Newcastle vs Norwich (Sun-7.30 PM),Manchester City vs Arsenal (Sun-8.30 PM)

 

Aliens Double Strike

Michu and Nathan Dyer strike doubles to give Swansea dream start to season.

 

 

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 season starts in less than 10 days time; let’s take a look at reigning European champions-Chelsea’s challenges and preparation for the 2012/2013 season. Chelsea had been one of the busiest clubs around this summer carrying out some major signings/changes in the squad. Last season comprised of breaking strikers and parting managers resulting in a 6th place finish in the premier league to a defensive winning performance in the Champions league backing Roberto Di Matteo’s evolution mantra.

Keeping up with high hopes of Chelsea fans this season it’s been a high spending transfer window so far. As last season’s big guns like Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa, and Salomon Kalou have all left the club, Di Matteo’s chances of succeeding have certainly been boosted by Abramovich’s clear backing in the signings of Marin, Hazard and Oscar. Don’t be surprised if at least two further signings this window is made to strengthen the areas such as right back. So far Chelsea has focused only on adding to the attack. The main focuses of the club this summer seems to be finding younger, more versatile players.

Signings to watch: Eden hazard Ligue 1 Player of the Year signed for Chelsea after a long drawn out game of £32million. He’s one of the elite young talents in Europe, and it’s certainly possible that he will adapt quickly. It is highly expected that he would immediately play a pivotal role and will be a constant player in the first team.

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Next up we have Oscar,an attacking midfielder formerly of Brazilian club, Internacional, he finished last season with 13 goals and assists, proving that he can finish as well as create. With his recent star performance in Olympics 2012 he has certainly shown his football maturity, technique, pace, passing ability, movement and bravery.

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Marko Marin is a player who is only 23 years old with considerable playing age ahead of him and he is hungry to prove himself. A ‘smart’ signing for Chelsea at 6.5m pound price. He promises to excite the supporters with many moments of genuine magic thanks to his skill set.

Assets from past : Apart from the new signings assets like Frank Lampard a penalty kick specialist, could suffer from serious rotation due to his age but not to be written off. The club’s greatest athlete and Player of the Year last season, Ramires is naturally a dynamic central midfielder offering Chelsea a unique tactical option. Mata is expected to be significantly more creative than last year’s backing a more of assisting role.

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Fernando Torres will be Chelsea’s focal point. His late season resurgence and Golden Boot winning showing at Euro 2012 has certainly returned the much needed confidence. Carrying forward the legacy of Drogba will be the ultimate test of Torres, who has not reached his incredible, prolific and big-game (scoring openers) exploits since his twenty-two goals in thirty-two matches for Liverpool in 2009/2010. If he continues his performance from the Euros into the premier league, he could have that awesome 20+ goal season he is in dire need of.

The ‘new look’ Chelsea is looking very promising and new signings will prove to assist Chelsea in their quest for sustainability. They have replaced their more physical players with small players with good passing and agile ability; possibly we could see a new Chelsea mentality playing tika taka football this season. Previewing where Chelsea will finish in the Premier League is a real paradox, with Chelsea have yet to gel in the pre-season – they lost to the MLS All-Stars as well as to AC Milan. Chelsea certainly seems to prove a tough test for the top teams this year with new faces filling up the vacant position fronting well organised, dynamic and resilient picture.Image

Likely XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Highly unexpected that RDM will stick with this line up much often, look out for frequent rotations as he showed in the previous season.

Manchester City playmaker David Silva who turned 26 this January have taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival from Valencia eighteen months ago. David Silva has received praise from all quarters this season for his performances and rightly so. He has illuminated up the English Premier League with his passing ability which has left many defences flabbergasted.

Such has been his cult status with the premier league leaders at the Ethiad stadium that it comes hardly as a surprise to discover that a t-shirt bearing the slogan that simply reads “Keep calm and give it to Silva” is a best seller. For Manchester City fans as long as David Silva is on the pitch, its impossible to put the ‘The noisy neighbours’ on the back foot.

David Silva has definitely been a better passer as compared any other player in the league. For the sake of stats David Silva has completed a staggering 939 passes with an accuracy of 85%.Shooting accuracy for Silva has been 58%.Tackle success of 65% making astounding number of interceptions so far this season.

He has been a inverted forward who is more of a wing playmaker. He looks to cut inside and thread passes, but is also prone to hitting the by-line to deliver a cross. Lately has transformed himself into increasingly prone to moving into central positions from out wide.Not to forget that this is only his second season in England, a tempting thought for Man City fans must be that there is more to come.

But despite his scintillating performances for his club so far, he has been a victim of his national team’s almost unenviable layout of talent .Lack of a regular starting berth has frustrated him a lot. It is this confusion which looms in the minds of every other fan at the Ethiad stadium, why their little genius isn’t receiving the recognition from his country that he undoubtedly deserves.

Considering the current standing a premier league medal is very much in the hands of David Silva, which would certainly lead to more caps for the national side on his head. As far as Premier league is concerned, he is an integral part of Roberto Manchini’s plan to build up a dynasty of immortals.

Be it the tactically doctored Serie A, combinative ability and  shear nidus of the bundesliga and great possession of flamboyance by the La Liga, but it is the intense rage and furiousness characterized by the English Premier League that makes it the ‘Best league in the world’ .

EPL has a style of football where the stride is galvanic and the teams go at it like ‘ghost and hell dust’. Apart from illustrating a excellent example of football, it is also a mountain money producing beast attracting billion of viewers and companies around the four corners of the world. The revenue derived from the EPL is the highest in any football league only to be surpassed by the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Any team hence the league as a whole as three sources of revenue, merchandise, match day tickets. It has been a criticism that the more money the worse it will get. That simply is not true. In fact the reverse has been the case. There won’t be a single football spectator anywhere who hasn’t watched a minute of an EPL match.

It is pretty hard to call any league competitive where one or two teams can rake in excess of 90 points. The almost certainty of the score line, total points dropped, huge goal margins by some clubs and the outrageous score line between the top teams in the various leagues doesn’t indicate any form of competition.

And then we have EPL where every single goal changes the status of the match, which is a remarkable episode of action.

EPL often introduced as ‘the greatest show in the world’, it is broadcasted to over 600 million viewers worldwide across 211countries much more than any league. The media tending the premiership receives is unbelievable. The media have a bent for blowing things out of proportion, twist any issue and exaggerate its implication even though with a bad taste which has been a key ingredient in the success of the EPL.

A major factor in the success of a league has been in terms of European performance in last couple of decades. Taking into consideration UEFA club coefficient , according to which Manchester United ,Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in top 6 over the last decade. Association coefficient designed by Uefa serves the purpose of establishing which leagues representative to European competitions has been better on a collective level and also the club coefficient which aims to ascertain the best club side in European competitions. It is here where premier league wins in terms of intensity and rhythm.

There really isn’t any ultimate answer and neither should there be ‘The Best League’, but if there is one that comes close then it should without a doubt be the English Premier League.

With only 2 losses and leading by 7 points against their bitter rivals Barcelona ; 2011-12 is turning out Mourinho’s breakthrough season as Los Blancos manager.The Castilian lead is now commanding and, at the rate ‘those’ clubs drop points, almost unassailable.

But along this smooth sail ,an unsuspected question has risen

What does the future hold for Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho?
If it is to be believed, answer to this is :’Jose Mourinho is done At Real Madrid’!

The news floated during the same week Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, the latest in the seemingly endless series of classicos.The cries of the fed up Real Madrid fans asking for a change from the negative tactics often deployed by Mourinho against Barcelona which most of time results in team losing to Catalans also have drastically risen ultimate pinnacle.

There is a real hypothesis that we will see Jose Mourinho pacing the touch-line and celebrating a goal by sliding on his knees in the technical area of a Premier League club next season and not the Bernabeu.So what all major options self-acclaimed ‘Special One’  Jose Mourinho have in the English premier league.

  A Chelsea return: Mourinho, It was him leading the Blues to back-to-back titles in the last decade and could be set for a second stint at Stamford Bridge.He still loves this club and is still loved by the fans.Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea boss is already under pressure at Chelsea, as the club are fourth in the Premier League ladder and 12 points behind Manchester City and United.

Rumours of Mourinho making a comeback to premier league has turned on the heat on AVB, fireball formation won’t take much time with Roman Abramovich on bridgehead.

Mourinho with Gunners : There are rumors in Madrid and London that Real Madrid want Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to replace Mourinho at the Bernabeu.That would leave an opening at the Emirates. Is this swap possible?

A Grand Old Trafford entrance :Mourinho has always shown a great desire to manage the worlds most famous club. But this is only possible if Sir Alex Ferguson chooses to step aside for the ‘Special One‘.

It would appear that the chances of Sir Alex Ferguson stepping down this summer are very limited, since the Scot announced last year that he could see himself remaining in his Old Trafford post for another three years.

On the other side of the pitch ,maybe Mourinho is the man to manage the club(Los Blancos) over an extended period and it would only make sense considering his track record and the amount of money that they invested in the current squad that he wanted tacked together.Time will tell regarding the fate of Real Madrid’s much malefic coach, yet one thing is for certain – Mourinho vs. the world is far from over. This “Special” experiment may show results this summer.

Gary Cahill Exclusive Interview Gary Cahill spoke exclusively to Chelsea TV since signing for the Blues.

Cahill has finally made the move to a bigger and successful club. After years of supposition Gary Cahill has moved on from Bolton, to Stamford Bridge for a fee of around £7million. The fee is nowhere  comparing to the numbers being touted in the gossip columns in the summer. Number of reports suggested clubs seriously considered paying fees of around £20million for the 26 year old.He already have a better  understanding with Chelsea defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole on the international stage.

 

Gunners striker Robin Van Persie was the paladin one more time as his brace gave them a crucial 2-1 win over Dortmund to put them in the knockout stage of ChampionsLeague .Yet another match, yet another win for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger must be one joyful man as this season seems to be back on track for the Gunners. No matter which club you support, you have to love Van Persie and the Gunners owe their resurgence to this man. The sacred Dutch dynamite seems to be going through an extended purple patch this season.This season he seems to be a major contender on taking the Golden Boot home.

To say that the prolific Dutchman is in a rich vein of form would be an understatement of scriptural proportions.13 league goals in 12 matches, a plethora of magnificent displays and a series of inspiring words as Gunners captain proves that ‘RVP’ has become the most important player at the Emirates Stadium RVP certainly seem to be a one man army with the captain playing the anchor role and steering the Gunners to a victory in almost every match. With the departure of Cesc and Nasri, the baton fell in his hands to lead the team and he seems to be relishing this role, for his stinging left foot seems to have quenchless thirst for goals.

With a superbl hat-trick against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and a brace against Norwich which brought up Arsene Wenger’s 200th away win with the club in all competitions, Van Persie seems to be unstoppable. Also he has scored 30 goals in a calendar year which is a huge achievement and it puts him in an elite list of legends. In his current form, Van Persie seems to be the answer to all of Arsenal’s problems,after the intial hiccups at the start of the season.

The Gunners man seems to have toasted his bond to Arsenal and it is really hoped the club hang on to him and keep him away from the clutches of cash rich clubs. As long as he manages to remain fit and scoring his left footer bullets it seems to be paradise for the Gunners. RVP slowly growing into what Henry was for the club.

One question that still keeps hitting the bulls eye: Have Arsenal become over dependent on Van Persie ? What if he suffers an injury? Should Arsene spend big and bring in a support striker for Van Persie? Judging by his current form I don’t think any sort of support for him is required at all! We all lovers of the great game of football can hope to see many more goals from the marvel man of Arsenal.