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Nov 032014
Premier League

Newcastle 1 – 0 Liverpool

The Reds fail to score for their second straight BPL match. There has to be some question of Brendan Rodgers if he spent the money he made from selling striker Luis Suarez incorrectly by buying Mario Balotelli. Although the Italian striker managed to score in their League Cup win on Wednesday, he has not scored at all in the BPL for his new club. The one major difference between the two strikers is their work-rate. Suarez would do lots of off-the-ball running and would work hard to regain or maintain possession. Balotelli, on the other hand, seems lost in the Liverpool attack. He looked promising working with Daniel Sturridge at the start of the season, but since the England international’s leg injuries, Balotelli just can’t seem to get into the flow of the match. Such was the case at Saint James’ Park on Saturday. The Magpies defense was able to lock the striker down and keep him for making any dangerous runs. In fact, the most dangerous man in the Reds offense seems to be Raheem Sterling. He nearly had a chance to score at the start of the second half, but the through pass from Philipe Coutinho caught the midfielder offside. It was Sterling who set up Balotelli’s one chance from open play to score when he set the striker up for a shot to the top right corner of the goal in the 55th minute. However, Magpies keeper Tim Krul was able to make the save with no trouble. Substitute midfielder Fabio Borini had a chance to put the Reds into the lead in the 70th minute, but his shot missed the goal off to the left. The Magpies would get the winning goal in the 73rd minute when Ayoze Perez’s shot would find the bottom left corner of the goal past Reds keeper Simon Mignolet. Perez nearly set up Remy Cabella for the second goal in the 76th minute, but this time, keeper Mignolet would make the save. Balotelli would try to set up Alberto Moreno in the 86th minute, but it just wasn’t Liverpool’s day as keeper Kurl was able to keep the net empty and the score sheet at zero for the Reds.

Arsenal 3 – 0 Burnley

The Gunners get a second half surge to win at home at the Emirates Stadium. This was a match that the Clarets were desperate to win. They did a spectacular job holding the Gunners scoreless for 70 minutes. But in the 70th minute, fell behind to an Alexis Sanchez header of a Calum Chambers cross. It went downhill from there for the visitors when they failed to clear a blocked Danny Welbeck shot and Chambers scored the rebound in the 72nd minute. As the Gunners dominated the remainder of the match, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, and Aaron Ramsey each had their shots saved by Clarets’ keeper Tom Heaton. Sanchez put the exclamation mark on the win in stoppage time when he knocked in a Kieran Gibbs cross. Clarets’ striker Danny Ings tried to get a consolation goal right as the final whistle blew, but Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny was able to make the save with no problem. The result moves the Clarets to the bottom of the table and makes them the favorite to be the first team relegated from the BPL this season.

Chelsea 2 – 1 Queens Park Rangers

The Blues need a second-half penalty kick goal from Edin Hazard to beat QPR at Stamford Bridge. This was one of those London Derby matches where the result should have been predictable. Chelsea haven’t lost a match so far this season, and have only dropped points twice in draws against Manchester United and Manchester City. QPR on the other hand, have been struggling so far this season. They did manage a win last week and did manage to take a step off the bottom of the BPL table. So one would have thought Oscar’s 31st minute goal from a Cesc Fabregas assist would have been the start of the Blues domination of QPR. But the one thing that QPR boss Harry Redknapp does teach his boys is to never quit and they managed to battle back in the second half. They got an equalizer in the 61st minute when Leroy Fer was able to cut through the Blues’ defense past John Terry and set up Charlie Austin to hit a right-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the goal. They nearly took the lead in the 68th monite when Sandro’s shot from distance was blocked by Blues’ defender Branislav Ivanovic. QPR had another chance from a counter attack in the 73rd minute when substitute Bobby Zamora set up Austin, but the striker’s shot missed off to the right. It all went wrong for QPR in the 74th minute when Eduaro Vargas was penalized for fouling Hazard in the QPR penalty area. Hazard converted the spot kick to give the Blues’ back the lead. Terry nearly put the match away for the Blues in the 83rd minute when his header from a Fabregas cross was saved by QPR keeper Robert Green. QPR had a chance to tie again in stoppage time when they won a free-kick just outside of the Blues’ penalty area. But Vargas’ free-kick was just over the bar. But the Blues look like they may go undefeated this season. The question now is if they can do better than Arsenal did back in the 2003-04 season.

Everton 0 – 0 Swansea

The Toffees fail to beat 10-man Swans. It was Toffees’ boss Roberto Martinez’s 200th BPL match and they should have won it on Saturday. They had many chances to score in the first half, but just were not able to get anything of quality onto the Swans’ goal. The Swans thought they should have been awarded a penalty kick in the 19th minute when midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s shot was blocked by defender Antolin Alcaraz. The question was whether Alcaraz blocked the shot with his hand or not. The referee didn’t see anything wrong with the block, so he allowed play to continue. It was more of the same in the second half as neither side was able to get anything one goal. The Toffees got what should have been a break in the 71st minute. Shelvey, who had been booked in the first half, received a second yellow card after fouling Toffees midfielder James McCarthy. But try as they might, Everton just could take advantage of being up a man against Swansea. And so, the draw seemed like it was justified.

Hull City 0 – 1 Southampton

Victor Wanyama’s first half long-range shot is good enough for the Saints to beat the Tigers. They’re on such a great run now and it was continued Saturday when Wanyama took advantage of a really bad clearance by Tigers’ keeper Eldin Jakupovic. Jakupovic, who was the Tigers’ third-string keeper hit a clearance that went right to the Saints’ midfielder. Wanyama then hit a chip shot that caught Jakupovic too far away from the goal and found the upper corner for the score. The Saints’ nearly got a second in the 35th minute when Shane Long’s left-footed shot was saved by Jakupovic. The closest the Tigers would come to scoring would be in the 58th minute when Robbie Brady’s shot was blocked by the defense. So the result sees the Saints hold on to second place in the BPL and there is even a bit of hope they can catch Chelsea. If that happens, will Jose Mourinho be wondering “Who dat”?

Leicester 0 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

Esteban Cambiasso’s own goal break’s the Foxes’ BPL home winning streak. This was a match that threatened to end in a dull, goalless draw. The first half saw some attacking from the Baggies, but Foxes’ keeper Kasper Schmeichel was more that equal to any shots on goal. The same was the case for the Foxes. Although Daniel Drinkwater and James Vardy tried a shot or two, Baggies’ keeper Ben Foster had no problem keeping the net empty. So the first half ended being scoreless. As the second half got started, Baggies midfielder Saido Berahino started an attack and hit a cross that Foxes’ defender Wes Morgan tried to head clear. But his header deflected off Cambiasso’s thigh and into the net for the own-goal. The Foxes had a chance to pull level in the 57th minute, but Andy King’s header from a Matthew James free-kick went over the goal. In the 58th minute, James set up David Nugent, but the Foxes striker’s shot was way high and wide of the goal. That summed up the match for the Foxes. They just couldn’t put anything together and now they’re in the bottom three of the BPL table.

Stoke 2 – 2 West Ham

Enner Valencia and Stewart Downing work together to salvage a draw for the Hammers at the Britannia Stadium. The Hammers are unbeaten in four matches. Yes, that is correct. They are on a four-match unbeaten run. How on earth have they been able to do so well and climb up to fifth place? Well, this match would go a long way to answer that question. They went behind in the 33rd minute to a Victor Moses goal that came when the Hammers’ defense failed to clear his initial shot. They fell further behind in the 55th minute when Mame Biram Diouf headed in a Jonathan Walters cross. So it would seem that the Potters would be able to get away with hiding the Hammers’ bubbles and their fortune. Well, in the 59th minute, they started their comeback. Stewart Downing was able to start a break through the Potters’ defense that was capped off by a fine cross that striker Enner Valencia headed in for the first score for the Hammers. Steven N’Zonzi should have put the match away for the Potters in the 62nd minute when his shot from a Jonathan Walters assist was saved by Hammers’ keeper Adrian. Downing and Valencia worked together to make the equalizer in the 73rd minute. Valenca grabbed a loose ball from a James Collins header and passed over to Downing who would find the bottom right corner with his shot. Both teams had a chance to win the match in stoppage time, but the Hammers were happy for the draw.

Manchester City 1 – 0 Manchester United

Sergio Aguero wins the Manchester Derby again for the Champions. This match will go down as one match that United boss Louis Van Gaal will want to both forget and take some good points from. United have historically not done well at the Etihad in the last couple of seasons. They were hoping to take advantage of a slump that the Champions were trying to dig out of. They didn’t do well in their UEFA Champion’s League match two weeks ago and had lost their last BPL match last week. On Wednesday, they had lost their League Cup match to Newcastle United. So there was a bit of optimism on the Red half of Manchester. The Red Devils made a very strong defensive showing in the first half. Keeper David De Gea made several key saves to deny Aguero twice and Jesus Navas. So as the half remained scoreless, the home fans were a bit on edge at the Etihad Stadum. But then came the eight minutes that would set up the win for the home side. In the 31st minute United central defender Chris Smalling was booked for blocking Citeh keeper Joe Hart’s attempt to punt the ball after making a save from a free-kick. Then in the 38th minute, when midfielder James Milner took the ball forward on attack, Smalling made a rashly stupid challenge from behind that resulted in a second booking and reduced the Red Devils to 10 men. It would take Aguero until the 62nd minute to take advantage of his side being a man up. Gael Chichy would cut through the undermanned United defense and find the Argentine striker who tucked in his shot into the center of the goal. Stevan Jovetic almost made it two in the 67th minute, but his shot was saved by keeper De Gea. To their credit the Red Devils didn’t quit and nearly leveled the score in the 70th minute when Robin Van Persie nearly got his shot, from a Antonio Valencia assist, in between Citeh keeper Hart’s legs. But that was as close as United would get. In post-match interviews, it was clear that Van Gaal was not happy with Smalling’s mistakes and it is highly possible that the defender may be on his way out of Old Trafford.

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Tottenham

Harry Kane’s stoppage time goal gets the win for Spurs and sends the Villains down to their sixth straight defeat. Things are not going well for the Villains again. They should have been able to take advantage of a Spurs team that had lost its last two BPL matches. They even took the lead in the 15th minute when Andreas Weimann scored from a Charles N’Zogbia assist. Perhaps it was a bit of overconfidence on the Villain’s part. Or was it the 57th minute substitution of Kane for Emmanuel Adebayor. Whatever it was, the match changed in the 58th minute when Kane nearly scored from an Erik Lamela cross. Villains’ keeper Brad Guzan was able to make the save, but things were starting to come apart for the home side. They really came unraveled in the 65th minute when Christian Benteke lost his temper and was sent off for head-butting Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason. Spurs were able to equalize in the 83rd minute when Nacer Chadli finished off an Erik Lamela assist from a corner kick. The winner came when Villains’ midfielder gave away a free-kick in their defending third by fouling Andros Townsend. Kane stepped up and hit a curling free-kick into the upper corner of the goal over keeper Guzan’s reach. So now it looks like the Villains will be caught in another relegation fight.

Crystal Palace 1 – 3 Sunderland

The Blackcats overcome and own-goal and haul themselves out of the bottom three. Boss Gus Poyet is feeling a lot better about his team’s chances of survival in the BPL. They needed to win on Monday and he challenged them to do so. They did really well in the first half and opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Steven Fletcher headed in a Patrick Van Aanholt cross. But then, Van Aanholt injured his shoulder in the 33rd minute when he and Palace midfielder Wilfried Saha collided. The Blackcats defender had to be stretched off and was replaced by Wes Brown. It was Brown who scored the equalizing goal in the 54th match when his attempt to clear a loose ball from a Marouane Chamakh goal attempt wound up in his own net. But the Blackcats refused to quit and retook the lead in the 78th minute. William Buckley set up Jordi Gomez and the midfielder hit a shot from distance that Palace keeper Julian Speroni couldn’t get to. Things got a lot easier for the Blackcats in the 86th minute when Mile Jedinak was send off for his second yellow card for a bad foul on Jordi Gomez. Fletcher wrapped up the win in stoppage time when he scored from a Liam Bridcutt assist. This could be the start of something big for Poyet and his boys.

Lanny Short

  2 Responses to “Barclay’s Premier League Wrap-up Week 10”

  1. All gone a bit sour for the Red side of the Mersey. And tomorrow its reckoning day in Madrid. Ouch :-(

    • Smalling should be sold to Arsenal. In fact all players who are not good enough for MUFC should be sold to the Gunners!!

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