Week 3

Another week and we are not complaining!

What is better than opening weekend football at Old Trafford. A side in which look under par but hey, when you’re at the theater of dreams things almost go in their favour….Arsenal went up against Liverpool at the Emirates, WBA faced Chelsea at home, City away at Everton which always turns out to be a mouth watering affair.

Manchester United v Newcastle United

Oh, Manchester United v Newcastle finished 0-0 and these are the games which epitomize the Barclays Premier League. When these games come along, you won’t  see enough tackles, shots, and yellow cards. But in this fixture it was more one sided than ever!
United’s lined up mostly unchanged, Romero, Shaw, Blind, Smalling, Darmian, Shweinsteiger, Schneiderlin Mata, Depay, Januzaj and Rooney. Very strong XI and with the likes you would think they would have actually scored…..Newcastle’s XI; Krul, Haidara Coloccini, Taylor, Mbemba Obertain, Colback, Anita, Perez, Wijnaldum and new boy Mitrovic.
Both teams put out XI’s who are very dangerous, United very pacey and solid in the midfiled, Newcastle young, and also very composed. However this game was all and when I say ALL it was United. 637 passes, 69% possession for the home side, 20 shots, 8 on target, 3 off target, 9 blocked shots, 1 hit the post but 0 big chances created dun dun dunnnn. With all this dominance one would think they would have scored a couple, but no. Were they even playing with a ST? yes they were. Can they real Wayne Rooney please stand up? The midfield on paper looks strong with both the Schnein’s, Depay, Mata however, as the stats show 0 big chances created.
Newly arrived Italian stallion Darmian from Torino is for me one of the most underrated RB’s going around. As a strong lover of Italian football he is one to watch this season. As combinations on the right flank grows with maybe Schneiderlin and Januzaj this boy can really whip in deadly crosses. Oh how they could have done with Pedro on the right flank….. (ha!)
Newcastle on the other hand, put in a very Newcastle like performance at Old Trafford, defended as if their lives depended on it and personally i take my hat off to the veteran of the game the great, Fabrizio Coloccini! Read the stats, 9 blocked shots and majority are off Coloccini who epitomizes the Newcastle zest every game! Perez, Colback, Anita all played very well! As United held the game in their palms he ran and chased the ball all over the place and shut and slowed down United’s plays as much as possible. United were very lucky to not be 1-0 down. As a cross from the right hand side played in favour of Mitrovic whose header hit the post! leaving Romero as in spanish you would say, “dejo pato el arquero!” > left the keeper like a sitting duck, all Romero could do was dive for the photographers because there was no way he was getting his hands on that! From then on Newcastle’s chances were far and few between until a last gasp counter attack left Newcastle 3 on 2 and all Cisse had to do was finish and past the post, leaving Thauvin only had to tap it but the ball had too much pace as it ran out of play, United kept on pushing only always coming up short…I mean they even threw on Chicharito Hernandez, and we know what he can do when it comes to the death of games, but even he couldn’t, one on one with Krul didn’t convert!
This fixture was always going to be a good one, but the draw didn’t suffice, the only thing missing obviously was the goal and neither side could capitalise on their chances. So Van Gaal has some serious searching to do for a striker because goals are not coming and patience in football is a very thin line amigos. Its a tough life to be a PL striker.

West ham v Bournemouth

“Forever blowing bubbles!!” Another match day at a very tough ground, the Bolyen Ground, West Ham United came up against Bournemouth who look a side to me reckoned with I mean maybe until the new boy jitters come to a close but I think that may be in far future as these boys look the part.
When watching this game, it had everything! It left you nervous, and at the same time shocked but appreciative of the quality of football being displayed by both teams and at the final whistle asking yourself, “Did this game really just finish West Ham 3 Bournemouth 4?”  Yes you read it right, Bournemouth won away at West Ham.
Randolph started again in replace of red carded Adriad, Creswell, Ogbonna, Reid, Jenkinson made up the back 4, Nolan, Noble, Obiang, Kouyate in the mid and Sakho and Payet paired up the front 2.
Boruc in goals, Daniels, Cook, Elphick, Francis made up Bournemouth’s back 4, Gradel, Surman, O’kane Ritche in the mid, and King, Wilson paired the top.
The more the premier league rolls on the more the new boys are playing like they have not nothing to lose but so much to give in the premier league and we as an audience don’t want it to stop! As far as possession goes 54% to the away side, and 46% to Bilic’s men, 15 shots to the Hammers 10, 5 on target for Bournemouth and 4 to the Hammers. So as we can see they both took their chances when they needed to.  With all due respect to the Hammers, boys your playing at home and you lose at home, maybe with a little dignity as the score line reads, but there are 2 types of fans, “yeah but it was close we only lost 4-3” and the other, “it’s been 3 points out of a possible 9” Okay the season just begun but as i stated earlier, ‘patience’ is a word loosely thrown around football and it’s the least every team has.
Bournemouth on the other hand, it’s first win of their premier league campaign, coming off 2 losses only the toughest of losses because they should have come away with at least a point in each of their other encounters because they performed with everything, but that’s the brutality of the beautiful game its goals that win you matches and nothing else.
West Ham need to find something more to give themselves because they are running on not much, yes you beat arsenal 2-0 away and the next weeks you’ve lost 2 games mates so get on the stuff that the kids at Bournemouth are on because you can really use some.

The game in it’s entirity absolutely entertaining. Both sides played some really sharp football and players are on form. It was one of those games that somebody just had to lose. So bring on the next week of football because i do not want to miss Bournemouth just yet as maybe their roll could go on…

Crystal Palace Aston Villa

Selhurst Park on a sunny English day, a stadium with probably one of the most craziest fans in the PL came up against Aston Villa.  Palace’s XI, McCarthy in goal, Souare, Delaney, Dann, Ward made up the back 4, Zaha, Cabaye, McArthur mid, and the attacking half of Sako, Puncheon played behind Murray at the top.
Villa’s XI, Guzan between the posts, Amavi Clark Richards Bacuna, Westwood Sanchez Gueye Grealish Gestde Agbonlahor.
This game was highly entertaining, highlighting both teams physical aspects in the midfield at the same time showing how fast they can be as defense turns into attack. Both teams shared possession equally, 50%-50%, total shots for CP- 16, Villa-11, on target CP-6, Villa-2.
As the first half was all about keeping the ball for both sides, in the secon 45′ boy did they both come out flying. At 71′ the deadlock was finally broken by the home side as Dann found the back of the net after one of his goals earlier in the game was correctly disallowed, his glancing header put Palace up and let’s just say it didn’t last long at all. Villa took the goal as a sign to push on and we can be level. And they did, at 77′ an own goal by Souare sadly put the Villians level after a charging run by Traore attempted to square the ball across the box and went off Souare’s foot as he tackled and went in at the near post, nothing McCarthy could do about,
The game finished with the same intensity it was running off, though, the home fans had the last laugh, Sakho found the net in the 87′ which ended up being the winning goal for the Palace fans delight and also to Alan Pardew, who did not sit down the last 15mins.
Respect to both sides as they both gave it all and it was the home fans leaving with all 3 points.

West Bromwich Albion Chelsea

West Brom a side in desparte need of an early season win have started the campaign very, very slow. I mean, I feel for them as they had to face last years EPL runners up in the first week losing 3-0 at home, draw with newly promoted Watford and now in week 3 of the PL season verse the champions.
However, the Baggies deserve so much credit for what they gave against Chelsea. Yes they did lose the game 2-3 but boy was it an enthralling one.
WBA lined up; Myhill, Brunt, Olsson, McAuley Dawson, Yacob, Fletcher, Morrison, Mclean, McManaman, Rondon.
Chelsea lined up; Courtouis, Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic, Pedro, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Willian, Diego Costa.
On paper we all know who would have won this game but this PL season is really unpredictable and in saying this, Chelsea were very lucky to have left the Hawthorns with all 3 points. Chelsea prior to this game could not escape the headlines, whether it be with the Eva Carneiro scandal, John Terry’s abysmal form, recently signing Pedro…
WBA though, really needed to perform to give their home fans something to cheer about. Yes they have only take 1 point coming into this fixture but hey they;ve come up against the wrong sides at the wrong time.
Chelsea came out firing, having 56% possesion, 15 shots, 5 on target, and 7 off target. Now the stats may be flattering the defending champions because WBA gave it all and then some. 15 shots, 6 on target and 6 off target.
All the attention was on new boy Pedro, some surprised he started but if one is fit and ready to fire let’s throw him in. Great choice by Mourinho, because Pedro rewarded that the only way a forward would, with a goal on his debut and a solid performance. Now, Mourinho did say in regards to Pedro’s performance, “it wasn’t quiet Maradona but it was close” Mourinho, you just don’t put Maradona in the same sentence or even compare with a player of today! You leave Maradona alone thanks! Anyway, WBA started the game strongly with a penalty on the 14th minute. Murray missed and boy could have changed the game but hey, that’s football .Chelsea hit the lead thanks to last year;s PFA player of the year Hazard, then doubled by Diego Costa who ran the whole field to put the finishing touch on a very beautiful counterattack, their lead was trippled but Azpilicueta. Morrison compensated his missed penalty with a beautiful header i don’t think he knew much about but it found the back of the net and he’ll take that any day .Now the drama that doesn’t seem to hide from Chelsea right now. Brunt placed a perfect ball behind the Chelsea defense and left Rondon and Terry one on one tugging with each other until Rondon hits the floor leaving the referee to give one card and one card only. ‘You’re off Terry, straight red’. Give Terry a break! Has started slow, and now he is sent off with zero acknowledgement, straight down the tunnel. Ciao.
This changed the game and welcome WBA! Five minutes after Terry got sent off Morrison again found the net to make the game 2-3 but unluckily they could never find that equalizer.
Yes Chelsea ran out winners but, there were moments again where if versing a top flight team they will be punished. They really need to find their form because right now they are looking very shaky and not too great,
WBA deserved maybe at least something but hey that’s life. This performance however, will give them confidence for the next few weeks.

Everton Manchester City

Goodison Park, one of the toughest grounds for Manchester City to go to, but City looked very, very comfortable.

Everton’s line up; Howard, Galloway,Jagielka,Stones, Coleman, Kone, Barry, MacCarthy, Cleverly, Barkley, Lukaku
Man City line up; Hart, Kolarov, Mangala, Kompany, Sagna, Navas, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Sterling, Silva, Aguero

Probably one of the most intriguing games of the weekend. When these 2 come up against each other it is always entertaining. City did run out overall winners with a commanding score of 2-0. Kolarov and Nasri on the scoresheet.

Manchester City played the beautiful game as it should be played. City controlling 54% of possession, 16 total shots, 9 of them on TARGET!, and only 3 off target. So i think we can say wow. Sergio Aguero began the game brilliantly, 2 mins in and Sergio Aguero’s shot saved by Howard, then another 2 shots by Aguero and Silva saved by Howard. It was a very busy start for Tim Howard, Joe Hart on the other hand, had a relatively quiet day, Everton only having 1 shot on target.

City did have to play patiently as they do and penetrate Everton’s goal as they do best with the help of overlapping runs of Navas with Sagna, or Kolarov and Sterling and young Galloway had a very tough afternoon as did Coleman. Navas and Sterling had a peach of a game. Navas looking rejuvenated with the summer break and is faster than ever, he himself could have had his name of the scoresheet twice if his finishing was up to par…Sterling, has changed City, he has given rest to city’s LBs and the combination that has risen between him and Kolarov looks very deadly.

Everton were very lucky to go into the break 0-0 and Pellegrini went into the break peaceful and happy with his sides performance just in shock as to how they were not two or three nil up….
Second half began and City continuied their onslaught. However, the goal finally came on the 60th minute by Kolarov. A beautifully worked goal created by City’s deadly left side. Sterling charged down the left flank awaiting Kolarov to overlap as he approached the byline and from there, how he found an angle to put the ball into the net was astonishing. It is no lie he has the most prolific left foot in the Premier League. City 1-0.

From there on in Manchester City had complete control of the game. With the likes of Toure and Silva im sorry, but, with their form, no team has a chance. Silva’s MOTM performance, 3 games, 3 assists and three MOTM awards. Most passes in the game with 74 and 65 of them in the oppositions half!

The game was sealed at the death with supersub Samir Nasri. One of the most beautiful one two’s of the game involved no one else but Yaya Toure. Top of the box one two with nasri and Nasri finishes it off with chipping Tim Howard. City 2-0.

Pelligrini’s men are on fire. This is the City of two seasons ago and welcome back! Nobody can stop them now.

5 games

Arsenal Liverpool Finished 0-0. it was Arsenal’s first half and then Liverpool’s second half. There was some very good football on display in this game. For the MOTM was Lucas Leiva. A very classy, classic midfielder who does everything right. To think fans wanted him out or are saying there is no room for him, boy did he shut those idiots up.

Watford Southampton Finished 0-0. Another solid display by watford who continue their surgence onto the PL. SOU though look slow, they need to pick up the pace. Watford had 0 shots on target, SOU had 5 so Pelle needs to put his shooting boots on.

Leicester Tottenham Finished 1-1. There is no one who can stop Mahrez from scoring. What a start to the PL and how Raineri has turned him around. Alli on the scoresheet for Spurs, and Spurs should have put the game to bed with dominating a large amount of the game but could not caapitalise.

Norwich Stoke City Finished 1-1 at Carrow Road, Diouf nodded in new boy Shaqiri’s deep cross and Martin for Nowrich. However, Norwich with 7 shots on target, Stoke were very, very lucky to leave with 1 point or 0.