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Barclay’s Premier League Wrap-up Week 5

 Posted by on September 22, 2014 at 10:59 pm  England, EPL, Global Football Today
Sep 222014
Premier League

Queens Park Rangers 2 – 2 Stoke

Niko Kranjcar’s second half free kick salvages a draw for QPR. It was Potters’ boss Mark Hughes first return to Loftus Road since he got fired from QPR back in November 2012. He was really looking for some revenge against his former employers. He was ecstatic in the 11th minute when Peter Crouch was able to out jump QPR defender Rio Ferdinand and head the ball over to Mame Biram Diouf who headed it into the net for the first goal. Crouch had a chance to make it two in the 31st minute when his shot from distance was close but missed off to the right of the goal. QPR would equalize in the 42nd minute when Steven Caulker would head in a Jordon Mutch cross from a corner kick. Crouch would put his side back into the lead in the 50th minute when he slotted home a Victor Moses cross into the top left corner of the goal. The Potters had several chances to put the match out of reach as the second half wore on. Among them was a chance in the 80th minute by Diouf from a hard angle that was just high and to the right of the goal. But in the 87th minute, Steve Sidwell tripped Kranjcar just outside of the Potters’ penalty area. The midfielder was booked for his challenge. Kranjcar took the free kick and hit a beautiful curler into the top right corner of the goal beyond the reach of Potters’ keeper Asmir Begovic. Kranjcar should have won the match deep into stoppage time, but his shot from a Karl Henry assist was saved by Begovic. So while they didn’t get the win, QPR boss Harry Redknapp was fine with the draw.

Aston Villa 0 – 3 Arsenal

Mesut Ozil finally gets over his World Cup hang over as the Gunners beat the Villains at Villa Park. One couldn’t help but wonder if the Villains came into this match a bit cocky on Saturday. It would be easy to see why. They had won three of their first four matches this season and had yet to taste defeat. The Gunners on the other hand, had lost their mid-week UEFA Champions’ League match and had drawn their last BPL match. The main Gunner catching all the criticism had been Ozil. He was the main engine for Germany in their World Cup winning run. But the midfielder hadn’t been able to get his BPL season started and many were wondering if Aaron Ramsey would be able to take up the slack. Well, all that talk was put to rest in the 32nd minute when he scored from a brilliant through pass from Danny Welbeck. Ozil returned the favor a minute later and Welbeck was able to open his Arsenal goal-scoring account by hitting a close range shot into the roof of the goal to make it 0-2 to the visitors. The third goal came in the 35th minute when Villains’ defender Aly Cissokho mis-kicked a clearance into his own goal. Ramsey nearly made it four in first half stoppage time when his shot from a Welbeck assist missed the goal off to the left. The Gunners continued to dominate the second half. Villains’ keeper Brad Guzan had to save a Welbeck shot in the 52nd minute. The closest the home side would get to the goal came when Ciaran Clark’s 57th minute shot was blocked by the Gunners’ defense. So it was the Gunners’ second win of the season and it was a convincing result. Can they build on this?

Burnley 0 – 0 Sunderland

A goalless draw at Turf Moor leaves both sides without a BPL win so far this season. Poor Burnley. Since they’ve been promoted, they have yet to score this season. They’re not going to be able to stay in the BPL if they keep that trend up. Clarets’ boss Sean Dyche is started to get a bit frustrated. It’s not like they didn’t have any chances on Saturday. Substitute striker Ashley Barnes hit the bar in the 85th minute. So they sit in the bottom half of the table, one place above the bottom three. While there is still time, they really do need to get their act together if they intend on staying in the BPL.

Newcastle 2 – 2 Hull City

Substitute Papiss Cisse’s two second half goals may have saved Alan Pardew’s job, for now. Most of the odds makers think that Pardew is set to be the first manager fired this season. The Magpies started this week in the bottom of the BPL and the fans were not happy about it. They staged a pre-match protest where there were flyers and posters handed out that demanded Pardew be fired. The match itself was a bit slow and the first half ended goalless. Tigers’ boss Steve Bruce, who is rumored to be in line to take over if Pardew is fired, was able to inspire his side to take the initiative as the second half started. They took the lead in the 48th minute when Nikica Jelavic scored from an Ahmed Elmohamady cross. They had another chance in the 50th minute when Tom Huddlestone’s shot from a Stephen Quinn assist was blocked by the Magpies’ defense. They would score again in the 67th minute when Mohamed Diame scored from a Stephen Quinn assist. Right after that, Pardew took off Emmanuel Riviere and replaced him with Cisse in an effort put some sort of spark into his side. The move paid off in the 73rd minute when Cisse scored from a Cheick Tiote assist into the bottom right corner of the goal. Cisse would level the score in the 86th minute when he scored from a Yoan Gouffran headed pass. Pardew was visibly relieved on the sideline and was jumping for joy. While the draw does lift the Magpies off the bottom, they’re still in trouble and so is he.

Swansea 0 – 1 Southampton

Substitute Victor Wanyama’s first goal for the Saints is good enough for the win. What an amazing start to the season the Saints have had so far. Since losing their first match, they’ve won three of their last four matches. Boss Ronald Koeman, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino, has got them up into the top five of the BPL table. The start of the first half was largely uneventful as both sides seemed to take their time getting into the swing of the match. Swans’ striker Wilfried Bony got himself booked in the 19th minute when, after he had lost possession of the ball, he made a bad tackle on Maya Yoshida. Saints’ striker Graziano Pelle came the closest to scoring when his 34th minute shot from a Ryan Bertrand cross was saved by Swans keeper Lukasz Fabianski. The match changed in the 39th minute when Bony was sent off for his second booking for fouling Yoshida again. It took Koeman’s boys a while to take advantage of being up a player. But they finally did in the 80th minute when Pelle was able to find Wanyama and the midfielder was able to strike the ball into the top left corner of the goal. Pelle almost scored again deep into stoppage time, but the win was assured for the Saints.

West Ham 3 – 1 Liverpool

The Hammers get two early from Winston Reid and Diagra Sakho as they beat the Reds at Upton Park. Reds’ boss Brendan Rodgers will look back at the first 7 minutes of this match with some questions for his defense. Right from the start, the Reds defense looked to be one step behind the Hammers. They conceded a free-kick when defender Alberto Moreno fouled Stewart Downing in their defending third. When the free-kick was taken, Hammers’ midfielder James Tomkins was able to out jump everyone and head on to Reid who was able to head the ball into the net for the first goal. The second goal came in the seventh minute when midfielder Mark Noble got the ball over to Sakho and the striker hit a rainbow shot that found the goal past Reds’ keeper Simon Mignolet. The Reds were able to get a goal back in the 26th minute. When Mario Balotelli’s shot was blocked, the striker was able to retrieve the rebound and pass back to Raheem Sterling who hit a wonderful shot from distance into the bottom left corner of the goal. But the Reds had a really tough time pressing for the equalizer. They were nearly scored on twice as the first half wound down. Mignolet had to save from Enner Valencia in the 41st minute and James Tomkins’s shot missed the goal off to the left. The Reds did press harder in the second half. Balotello and Fabio Borini worked together in the 53rd minute and Borini’sshot was saved by Hammers’ keeper Adrian. Balotelli had his own shot saved by Adrian in the 58th minute. Borini had another chance in the 63rd minute when he was put through on goal by Jordan Henderson. But Adrian came up big for his side again to make the save. As the second half wore on, it seemed inevitable that the visitors would equalize. But in the 87th minute, their defense let them down again. Stewart Downing was able to cut the Reds defense apart with another through pass and Morgan Amalfitano put the match away with a goal scored in the bottom right corner of the net. So for the second time the Reds lost a match everyone thought they would win.

Leicester City 5 – 3 Manchester United

Just when Louis Van Gaal thought he had things figured out, the Red Devils screw the pooch at King Power Stadium. This was a hard match to watch if one is a United fan. The Red Devis came into this match from a convincing win last week. The thought was that at last Van Gaal’s new system was in place and the new signings were jelling and the Red Devils would make that climb back into the European places. That feeling was even stronger in the 12th minute when Robin Van Persie opened the scoring when he put away a Falcao cross with an emphatic finish. The visitors scored again in the 16th minute when Angel Di Maria was found with a great cross from Wayne Rooney and the new midfielder powered home a fine shot. But the one thing that United still need to fix is their defense and it was exposed in the 17th minute when Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa was found unmarked in the penalty area by a Jamie Vardy cross and he headed in the goal. Things got worse for United in the 29th minute when defender Johnny Evans had to be taken off and replaced by Chris Smalling. But there was a sigh of relief in the 57th minute when Di Maria found Ander Herrera and the midfielder was able to score the third goal for the visitors. That should have been good enough for the win. But a controversial moment that turned the match occurred in the 61st minute. Leicester City Midfielder Jamie Vardy sprinted after a loose ball that United defender Rafael seemed to get to first. It appeared that Vardy pushed Rafael aside to get to the ball and take it into the United penalty area. When Rafael tackled the ball away, the referee ruled that the defender had done so by fouling Vardy and awarded Leicester City a penalty kick. David Nugent scored the spot kick to make it 2-3 and things went downhill from there for the visitors. Esteban Cambiasso levelled the score in the 64th minute with a fine shot from a Vardy assist. The home side caught the Red Devils’ defense on a breakaway in the 79th minute and Vardy scored the go-ahead goal when he hit Ritchie de Laet’s through pass into the bottom right corner of the goal past keeper David De Gea. In the 82nd minute, Vardy drew another penalty kick when the referee ruled that he was fouled by Red Devils’ defender Tyler Blackett. The referee also ruled that Blackett had prevented a scoring chance with the foul, so he was shown the red card. Ulloa completed the humiliation for the visitors when he scored the spot kick. So it looks like Van Gaal has made the right moves to fix the Manchester United attack. The defense, which has been the problem since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, still needs a lot of work.

Tottenham 0 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

The Baggies get an unlikely win at White Hart Lane. It was their first win of the season and it was one they did well to earn. They did like any side trying to sneak out of London with a win would want to do. Defend the goal with everything you have and take your chances when you get them. That is what they did in the fifth minute when Emmanuel Adebayor had a chance to score from a Danny Rose cross. Spurs had another chance in the 42nd minute when Younes Kaboul headed a Christian Eriksen cross just over the goal. That was about as close as the home side would get to scoring in the first half. Spurs missed another chance in the 48th minute when Eriksen hit another cross into the Baggies’ area. This time, Nacer Chadli’s header missed off to the left of goal. Roberto Soldado should have scored in the 70th minute when his shot from a Kaboul cross was saved by Baggies’ keeper Ben Foster. The Baggies got their goal in the 74th minute when James Morrison headed in Chris Brunt’s corner kick. Spurs had a chance to equalize in stoppage time when Paulino’s shot from an Aaron Lennon cross went over the goal. The win lifts the Baggies out of the bottom three.

Everton 2 – 3 Crystal Palace

Palace surprise the Toffees at Goodison Park. This was a match that the Toffees dominated at the start. Their domination was so great that Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he scored from a Leon Osman assist. They could have gotten a second goal in the 28th minute when Leon Osman’s shot from a Christian Atsu assist was saved by Palace keeper Julian Speroni. Things came apart for the home side in the 29th minute when keeper Tim Howard was penalized for a foul on James McArthur in the Toffees’ penalty area. Mile Jedinak was able to equalize from the penalty spot and that was the score at half time. Palace took inspiration from their efforts and they took the lead in the 53rd minute when Martin Kelly found and unmarked Fraizer Campbell in the area and the striker was able to head in the goal from close range. They were able to increase their lead in the 69th minute when Yannick Bolasie hit a shot that keeper Howard could only watch go into the goal. Everton were able to get a goal back in the 82nd minute when they were awarded a penalty kick after Palace defender Scott Dann fouled James McCarthy in the penalty area and Leighton Baines scored the spot kick. Lukaku nearly leveled the score in the 87th minute, but his shot from a Kevin Miralllas assist was just over the goal. So Palace were able to get away with a much needed win over a side that many had picked to finish in the top five this season.

Manchester City 1 – 1 Chelsea

Frank Lampard scores against his old side to rescue a point for his new side. This was probably the most anticipated match of the week as it matched the Champions with the current BPL leaders. It also featured two managers who were bitter rivals in the Spanish League. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho managed Real Madrid and Citeh boss Manuel Pelligirini managed Villareal. They clashed often in La Liga and it was expected that they would do so on Sunday. The Champions needed the win to get themselves back up to the top four of the BPL table. A win for Chelsea would have strengthened their grip on the top spot. So it was no surprise that the match started out as a defensive fight. Neither side gave up any significant chances as the half ended deadlocked at zero goals. As the second half saw the Champions trying to take the initiative and Sergio Aguero nearly scored in the 48th minute when his shot from a Pablo Zabaleta save was saved by Blues’ keeper Thibaut Courtois. Things opened up in the 65th minute when Zabelata, who had been booked in the first half, received his second booking for a foul he committed on Blues striker Diego Costa. Chelsea were able to take advantage of being up a man in the 70th minute when Eden Hazard has able to hit a cross that substitute midfielder Andre Schurrle tucked into the bottom left corner of the net for the score. That should have been good enough for the win for the Blues. But Citeh are The Champions because they do not quit and in the 84th minute they earned a corner kick. James Milner took the kick and Lampard, who had come on as a substitute, was able to out fight Blues’ defender John Terry for the loose ball and tucked it into the bottom left corner of the net to level the score. To his credit, the former Chelsea star chose not to celebrate his goal and when the match ended, he received a round of applause from the visiting Blues supporters. But that didn’t stop Mourinho and Pelligrini from exchanging harsh words with each other as the players left the pitch.

Lanny Short

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