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Barclays Premier League Wrap-Up Week 10

 Posted by on November 7, 2013 at 12:23 am  England, EPL, Global Football Today
Nov 072013

Newcastle 2 – 0 Chelsea

The Magpies get one over on the Blue at Saint James’ Park.  It was a cold, miserable day in the north of England.  This is the time of year when the stereotypical “British Weather” occurs and Saturday was no exception.  You would have thought, coming into this match that the Blues would dominate proceedings and they did dominate most of the first half and should have taken the lead in the 13 minute.  They had earned a corner-kick that was taken by Juan Mata and John Terry was able to climb the highest to head the ball goal-ward, but his header rebounded off the bar.  Fernando Torres’ follow-up shot also hit the bar.  Blues’ defender Branislav Ivanovic was the first to the loose ball, but his shot was saved by Magpies keeper Tim Krul.  The home side did have a chance or two toward the end of the first half.  Moussa Sissoko had his 37th minute shot saved by Blues’ keeper Petr Cech and in Mathieu Debuchy’s 45th minute attempt went over the goal.  So the score was surprisingly deadlocked at zero at the break.  The Magpies seemed to come out of the locker room the more confident as the second half got underway.  They nearly scored in the 60th minute when Cech had to get down quickly to save Sissoko’s right-footed shot on goal.  Blues’ boss Jose Mourinho had seen enough at this point and decided to try to inject some pace into his side by replacing Juan Mata with Willian and Torres with Samuel Eto’o.  Magpies’ boss Alan Pardew brought on Papiss Demba Cisse to replace Shola Ameobi.  It was the home side that benefited from the change and they tested Cech again in the 65th minute.  Yoan Gouffran got lose in the Blues’ area and, after getting by Ivanovic, hit his shot toward the near post and the Blues’ keeper had to stretch to make the save.  But the Frenchman did score in the 68th minute.  This time, the Magpies had earned a free-kick that Yohan Cabaye took.  Gouffran was able to get past Frank Lampard, who was supposed to be marking him, and head the ball into the goal past Cech.  A desperate Mourinho took Lampard off shortly afterward, replacing him with Andre Schurrle.  But they nearly conceded again in the 72nd minute when Sissoko and Loic Remy linked up to get through the Blues’ defense again, but John Terry’s last second lunge prevented the goal.  The Blues had a chance to equalize in the 80th minute when Willian’s shot was saved by Krul.  But this wasn’t going to be their day and in stoppage time, Remy scored the second goal to seal the win for the Magpies as he knocked home Vurnon Anita’s cutback pass.

Hull 1 – 0 Sunderland

The Blackcats are getting closer to the exit.  Well, so much for a Wear-side revival.  Saturday, the Blackcats suffered their eighth defeat of the season and looked really bad doing it.  Not that former boss Steve Bruce really cared.  The Hull manager was fired two seasons ago and he was looking to get one over on his former employers.  The match started out a bit cagy with neither side wanting to make any mistakes.  The home side had the first chance in the 17th minute when Tom Huddlestone’s free kick was headed just off target by Curtis Davies.  The Tigers did take the lead in the 25th minute.  Blackcats’ Carlos Cuellar, trying to head away from Tigers’ striker Yannick Sagbo, headed the ball into his own net.  Things went from bad to worse for Sunderland in the 44th minute when Lee Cattermole was sent off for a “studs-up” challenge on Ahmed Elmohamady.  As if that wasn’t enough damage for boss Gus Poyet to have to manage, Andrea Dossena was also sent off right at the end of the half when he stomped on David Meyler in a fit of rage.  Poyet was beside himself with anger as the referee blew his whistle for halftime and was luck not to get thrown out himself when he angrily confronted the officials.  There wasn’t much more to write about for this match since the nine-men Sunderland spend most of the second half making sure they didn’t concede another goal.  The closest either side would come to scoring would be at the end of the match when Jake Livermore nearly made it two for the hosts with a right-footed shot from distance that bounced off the post.  There may still be time for Poyet to pull off a miracle, but if things keep going at this rate, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

Manchester City 7 – 0 Norwich

Citeh maul the Canaries at the Etihad Stadium and put Chris Hughton in more trouble.  The pre-match talk was of the dropping of England international keeper Joe Hart to the Citeh bench.  Costel Pantilimon took Hart’s place between the pipes for the home side, but he didn’t really have a lot to do.  Citeh haven’t been beaten at the Etihad this season and the Canaries, who have only won twice this season, never had a chance.  They were so intimidated by the occasion that they conceded the first goal in the 15th minute.  Sergio Aguero’s shot bounced off defenders Michael Turner and Bradley Johnson and looped into the goal over keeper Ruddy.  The second goal came shortly afterward in the 20th minute when David Silva was able to poke home a great back pass from Aguero.  Goal number three came in the 24th minute when Matija Nastiasic, with no one marking him, was able to head home Samir Nasri’s corner kick.  The fourth goal happened in the 36th minute when Yaya Toure chipped a pass for Aguero to touch back for Alvaro Negredo to tap home.  Norwich did have a shot on goal in the 38th minute when Anthony Pilkington’s shot was saved by Pantilimon.  Try as he might to buck up his team’s spirit at half time, Hughton could only watch as things just kept getting worse in the second half.  In the 60th minute, Citeh had earned a free kick at the edge of the Canaries penalty area.  Toure hit a wonderful curling shot that finished in the top left corner of the goal to make it 5-0.  Aguero got his goal in the 71st minute when he volleyed home a loose ball from Sebastien Bassong’s bad clearance.  Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Edin Dzeko got his goal in the 85th minute when he was able to take a pass from Jesus Navas and slot his shot home from close range.  The result sends Norwich to the bottom three and has started rumors about Hughton’s job.

Stoke 1 – 1 Southampton

A great goal from keeper Asmir Begovic isn’t enough to help the Potters get the win.  It was a great moment that happened after just 13 seconds into the match.  The wind was blowing in the Bosnian international’s favor and when he made an early save, his punt was grabbed by a gust of wind and carried far down into the opposite end.  When it landed, the ball bounced went over Saints’ keeper Artur Boruch’s head and into the goal.  It was the fourth fastest goal in BPL history and should have led to a win for the Potters.  But there’s a reason why the Saints are doing so well this season and they were able to dust themselves off and press for a result.  That result came for them in the 42nd minute.  James Ward-Prowse hit a cross to the far post that Jay Rodriquez was able to head home for the equalizer.  That was pretty much it for this one.  Although Ward-Prowse hit a curling free-kick off the Stoke goal in the 54th minute, that was as close as either team could come to scoring in this one.

West Bromwich Albion 2 – 0 Crystal Palace

The Baggies heap more misery on Palace.  The London side just doesn’t have what it takes to stay in the BPL.  They almost had a goal in the 11th minute when Adlene Guedioura had his shot attempt saved by Baggies keeper Boaz Myhill.  But that’s as close as they would come and right at half time they went behind.  Stephane Sessegnon as able to make a fine pass to Saido Berahino whose left footed shot went past keeper Julian Speroni and into the goal.  Berahino nearly had another one before the break when he took a shot from just outside of the area, but Speroni was able to deal with it.  Palace had a chance to equalize in the 60th minute when substitute Jason Puncheon’s shot toward the top right corner was saved by Myhill.  But they just couldn’t muster any attacks that could breach the Baggies defense.   In the 83rd minute, Gareth McAuley secured the win for the home side when he headed home Chris Brunt’s corner kick.  So it looks like the newly promoted Palace will be heading back down at the end of the season.

West Ham 0 – 0 Aston Villa

It’s all even at Upton Park between the Hammers and the Villains.  The draw ended a run of three straight home defeats, but there is a feeling amongst Hammers’ fans that there is some sort of weird hex on their home ground.  They’ve gone 375 minutes without scoring a goal at home and have scored just eight goals in 10 league matches.  One reason for the lack of goals has been the absence of their number one striker Andy Carroll.  He is still injured and likely to be out for quite some time.  Villa have been doing a bit better and came the closest to scoring when Christian Benteke’s header bounced off the post.  The draw sees Villa and West Ham secure in the middle table within one point of each other.

Arsenal 2 – 0 Liverpool

Arsene Wenger’s boys go five points clear at the top of the table.  Brendon Rodgers has had the Reds doing quite well so far this season and Saturday was a chance for them to make a clear statement and take over the top position.  They should have had the lead in the ninth minute when Jordan Henderson’s shot missed off to the right of the goal.  Henderson had another attempt blocked in the 16th minute and it looked like it would have been a matter of time before the visitors would score.  But the Gunners got themselves together and in the 19th minute score the first goal.  Bacary Sagna’s cross fell to Santi Cazorla.  The Spaniard’s volley bounced off the post, but he was able to react first to the loose ball and poke it home past Reds’ keeper Simon Mignolet.  To their credit, Liverpool tried to strike back quickly.  They thought they had an opportunity in the 25th minute.  Luis Suarez was fouled by defender Bacary Sagna.  The Uruguayan took the free kick quickly and found Daniel Sturridge in space.  But before the striker could shoot on goal, the referee brought the play back so that he could book Sagna for the foul.  The Gunners maintained their one goal advantage until the end of the first half and Rodgers decided to replace Aly Cissokho with Philliep Coutinho. The change did the Reds a bit of good as they started out positively.  They should have scored early in the second half when Suarez was able to get in behind the Arsenal defense, but he could only chip the ball across the goal and no one was there to meet it for goal.  But then they went behind by two goals in the 59th minute.  Aaron Ramsey got the ball from Mesut Ozil some distance out from the Liverpool goal.  As Reds’ defender Kolo Toure backed away from the Welsh international, he hit a hard, dipping volley shot that went into the goal over Mignolet. Although Suarez and Sturridge came close to scoring in the later stages of the match, the Gunners had this won in impressive fashion.  I wonder if anyone remembers where the keys to the Arsenal trophy cabinet might be?

Everton 0 – 0 Tottenham

It’s a dull stalemate at Goodison Park as both the Toffees and Spurs miss out on a chance to go to second place in the BPL.  This match featured highlights from both keepers.  Everton keeper Tim Howard made a decent save in the opening minutes from Sandro’s shot from outside the penalty area.  Howard saved again in the 25th minute when Lewis Holtby took a shot from just inside the area.  Everton midfielder Leon Osman had a chance in the 26th minute but his shot went over the Spurs goal.  That was about as close as anyone would come to scoring, although Everton thought they had a penalty shout when Seamus Coleman looked like he was tripped by Jan Vertonghen in the Spurs penalty area.  The referee did not see any foul and let play continue.  There was a bit of concern for Spurs keeper Jugo Lloris in the 77th minute when he collided with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku’s knee with his head.  There was a significant delay while the medical staff took care of the French international.  Spurs backup keeper Brad Friedel got ready to step in but Lloris was able to get up and continue and in the 87th minute, made a great save from Gerard Deulofeu.

Cardiff 1 – 0 Swansea

Cardiff wins the first ever BPL version of the South Wales Derby.  There is a bit of off field drama coming into this match as Cardiff boss Malky Mackay hasn’t been getting along with owner Vincent Tan.  There had been some speculation that Mackay might be on his way out since one of his staff, Iain Moody and been fired several days previously.  But the win may have saved Mackay his job for the time being.  The match itself was a little slow and that could have been due to the rainy Welsh weather or due to the fact that neither team wanted to be remembered as the one who lost this first BPL meeting.  Swansea started out the better side and should have scored in the fifth minute.  Michu did a great job controlling Jonjo Shelvey’s cross, but then hit his shot way over the goal.  He had a better chance in the 10th minute when his shot was saved by Cardiff keeper David Marshall.  Swansea enjoyed most of the possession in the first half and yet, Cardiff were able to comfortably defend anything thrown their way.  The second half started out with more of the same and just when it looked like a draw was all but assured, Cardiff got the break they needed.  In the 62nd minute, they earned a corner kick that was taken by their captain Craig Bellamy.  Steven Caulker, formerly from Swansea, was able to jump higher than Swans defender Chico Flores and head the ball into the goal.  The goal seemed to suck the live out of Swansea and their day went from bad to worse right at the end of the match.  Swansea keeper Michel Vorm raced out of his own penalty area to challenge Cardiff striker Frazier Campbell for a loose ball.  When he knocked the striker down, the referee was left with little choice but to send the keeper off for the offense.  During the match, Swansea had used all of their substitutes, so Anger Rangel had to assume the role of goal keeper.  Cardiff did not score on him, but the victory ensures the fans that they can brag about winning the first BPL South Wales Derby.  Maybe that will help Mackay hold his job for a while.


Lanny Short

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