Finally, a good United….

It’s taken some time and injuries have taken their toll but #LVG’s revamped #ManchesterUnited side finally looked a lot like their old #SAF like selves in a very convincing and comfortable 3-0 win over an admittedly poor #HullCity side, including goals from #Smalling (what?) #Rooney and a very relieved #RVP bringing them just 2 points fo 3rd placed #City who play 2nd place #Southampton tomorrow.

#Arsenal scraped to a 1-0 win at #WestBrom thanks to a #Welbeck header and while nervy at the back in the last 15 minutes, it must have been heartening for #Wenger to see his normally leaky defense keep a clean sheet. #Liverpool gave their under pressure Manager a breather with a 1-0 win over #Stoke while #Swansea played out a 1-1 draw against #CrystalPalace. High flying #WestHamUnited stopped #NewcastleUnited and their 5 match unbeaten run with a 1-0 win at the Park and in the game of the day, the 2 relegation contenders #QPR and #Leicester played a 5 goal thriller with QPR winning 3-2.

Over in the #Bundesliga mighty #Bayern won again, this time at #Hertha thanks to a #Robben goal.

Read More

Oh Arsene…….

This game used to be title-suggesting, if not entirely title-deciding, when #Arsenal and #ManchesterUnited met each other but now, to see how much things have changed, this game had barely a whiff of 4th place contenders – at best. That an injury-ravaged United side with a makeshift defense of players most wouldn’t have heard of, were able to come to the #Emirates and take all 3 points after a 2-1 win against the Gunners, shows just how much in trouble this Arsenal side is in – in terms of quality, finish, spine and ideas. United held on with incredible performances from the ever improving #DavidDeGea (he’s rapidly becoming the keeper one speaks of in the same breath as #Neuer and #Courtois) and a #Rooney goal taking them into 4th with Arsenal now dropping to 8th. 1o years of this and most other coaches wouldn’t be at the same job – but it doesn’t look like #Wenger or Arsenal seem to feel the need to change anything – mediocrity thou shalt reign on!

#Chelsea continued their march to the title with yet another win, a 2-0 at home against #WestBrom with goals from #DiegoCosta (obviously) and #Hazard while the stunning run for #Newcastle continued with a 1-0 win over #QPR; #Everton continued their climb up the ladder with a 2-1 over #WestHam and #ManchesterCity came from behind to beat #Swansea 2-1 thanks to a brilliant and fairly typical #Yaya goal, keeping them 8 behind run-away leaders Chelsea.

Over in the #Bundesliga the one team show continued unabated as #Bayern destroyed yet another team to go 7 points clear at the top and an entire 19 clear of #Dortmund who again dropped points in a 2-2 draw at #Paderborn.

In the #LaLiga #RealMadrid and #CristianoRonaldo continue their amazing run with a 4-0 thrashing of #Eibar as #Athletico beat #Malaga 3-1 to keep pace behind their illustrious Madrid league leaders.

Over in Italy in the #SerieA a win away at #Atalanta bring #Roma equal at the top with #Juventus who battle with #Lazio to try and regain their top spot.

Read More

In Arsene they trust . . . .

Another week, another collapse by this wafer thin #Arsenal spine as they came away with a 1-2 loss away to #Swansea after leading 1-0 with the last 10 odd minutes to play in a game they didn’t deserve to win in any case. Every criticism of #Wenger’s transfer policy has come true game after game after game, season after season. #Sanchez aside, this is a very mediocre club now, with a very mediocre team that is deserving of it’s 6th spot behind Swansea and a good 12 points off run-away leaders #Chelsea. It’s got to hurt that the Blues are now European heavyweights, while the #Gunners aren’t taken seriously by any of the top 10-12 teams in Europe. #Arsene however, refuses to make any changes to his approach, even during the game, regardless of how obvious the situation is to almost anyone with a smidgen of footballing knowledge.

#Tottenham are rapidly headed in that direction as well after a listless 2-1 home loss to #Stoke, although the consolation goal by #NacerChadli is a finish that is just fantastic! (watch here)  #Newcastle on the other hand, are headed in entirely the opposite direction – right up the table after yet another win, this time a 2-0 away to #Westbrom, including the goal of the season nominee, a sublime flick by young #Ayoze (watch here) – suddenly ‘dead-man-walking’ #Pardew is the toast of the Toon!

Over in the #LaLiga #AtheticoMadrid’s 2-1 loss to #RealSociedad and #Valencia’s 0-0 draw with #Bilbao means that #RealMadrid after their big 5-1 win over #Rayo and #Barcelona sit in a rather familiar 1-2 at the top of the table, while in the #Bundesliga a very comical own-goal (watch here) by #Kramer gave struggling #Dortmund a much needed 1-0 win against #Monchengladbach moving them off the bottom of the table. Over in France, a 2-0 win for #PSG over league leaders #Marseille means the gap at the top is just down to 1 point, with #Ibra due to return soon, making things look a lot better for Paris than they did a few weeks ago!

League leaders #Juventus hammered #Parma 7-0 to remain atop #SerieA with 2nd place #Roma also winning 3-0 against #Torino and 3rd place #Napoli squeezing past #Fiorentina to ensure standings remain unchanged before the international break. Struggling #InterMilan could only manage a 2-2 draw against #HellasVerona piling even more pressure on under-fire Manager #Mazzari.

Read More

A helping ‘hand’ on the way to the title?

#Chelsea are looking like they will run away with the #EPL title this year after a difficult and contentious 2-1 win against #Liverpool at Anfield – one of the tougher away games anyone will have this season. They are winning big, handsome, scruffy and above all, lucky. When #Cahill handled the ball as it was flying towards the net, it should not only have been a penalty for the Reds, it could have left the league leaders with 10 men. When #Costa scored the winning goal for the Blues, the build up came from a ball that had already crossed the side line and should not have been played as is. Whine as much as the Kop might, and they were totally right in feeling aggrieved, these are the kind of breaks that come to the form teams, the Champions in waiting. Especially since current holders #ManchesterCity continue their inexplicable downward spiral with a struggling 2-2 draw away at #QPR thanks to 2 goals from the incredible #KunAguero, leaving them a full 8 points behind Chelsea – already!

#ManchesterUnited struggled their way to a 1-0 home win over visiting #CrystalPalace thanks to a goal from forgotten man #JuanMata after the Red Devils could do little in terms of creating and converting chances inspite of the massive amounts of possession they had. Everyone points to their defensive shambles (and they’d be right) but what truly ails this side is that their superstar attack hasn’t been scoring goals with #RVP #Rooney and now even #DiMaria out of form. #Falcao (and form) cannot return to this side soon enough it would seem!

Is it time to consider #Southampton genuine #ChampionsLeague contenders for next year, after yet another win, this time a 2-0 against #LeicesterCity, leaving them 4 behind run-away leaders Chelsea in 2nd place. That’s 5 wins in a row in their last 5 games, all this after being the biggest ‘seller’ of players this summer! Lowly #Burnley and ginger Mourinho #Dyche got a desperately needed win in a 1-0 against visiting #HullCity.

In the #Bundesliga, mighty #Bayern continue to do what they do – decimate their opponents in yet another big 4-0 win away to #EintrachtFrankfurt and in the #LaLiga #Barcelona needed late goals from #Neymar and #Alba to come from behind to win at #Almeria 2-1 and keep pressure on #realMadrid at the top.

Read More

Manchester Shitty; The Messi-ah!

The blue half of Manchester showed it’s dark (and shitty) side today as they were felled 2-1 at the #Etihad by visiting #CSKAMoscow. That CSKA deserved the win even if it was a 11 on 11 game till the end is one thing. That #ManchesterCity were so incredibly indisciplined that they finished the game with 9 men with #YayaToure (pushed a player in his face) and #Fernandinho (second yellow) sent off (#Nasri should have been shown a straight red but escaped) when they desperately needed a win to stay competitive in this Group E, is entirely stunning and #Pellegrini and his team will need to answer to their Sheikh tonight! With mighty #Bayern putting in yet another classy exhibition to beat #Roma 2-0 at the #AllianzArena to win the group already, it’s going to come down to the wire between the Italians, CSKA and City, if they can fashion their first win in the #ChampionsLeague this season! As good as Bayern are all over the pitch, watching #Neuer make yet another brace of stunning saves makes you wonder just what he’d have to do to ever win the #Ballon in a game that idolizes just it’s goal-scorers?

#LionelMessi scored 2 goals in the meantime to take advantage of #CristianoRonaldo missing out on scoring yesterday to leapfrog him and equal the CL all-time scoring record of 71 goals held by one Señor #Raul in a 2-0 away win for #Barcelona at #Ajax in Group F. That battle will continue well into this season and Raul will be the 3rd highest scorer by the end of it. Another #EdinsonCavani goal gave #PSG a slender 1-0 win in Paris over #APOEL keeping them 1 point clear of the Catalans on the top of the table.

A moody and sullen #JoseMourinho after being slapped on his wrists for scolding the #Chelsea crowds for being bad fans (too quiet, he thinks) had more reason to be annoyed as his side could only muster a come from behind home 1-1 draw against lowly #Maribor, leaving them top of Group G but only just after #Sporting felled #Schalke 4-2 to keep them in the hunt for 2nd spot behind the Germans.

And finally, in Group H, where none of the 4 teams are ‘stars’ per se (#Bilbao #Porto #Shakhtar and #BATE) a new name is starting to steal all the headlines – #LuisAdriano who just can’t stop scoring a boatload of goals (He’s now scored 8 in 2 games) after another hat-trick gave Shakhtar a 5-0 win over BATE and 2nd spot in the standings after Porto traveled to beautiful Bilbao and came away 2-0 winners to stay top by 2 points.

Read More

Well done, Arsenal, you threw that one away with elan!

2 easy wins against relegation threatened #EPL teams did little but to gloss over the frailties that exist in this #Arsenal side as they managed to somehow turn a 3-0 lead against a young and average #Anderlecht side at the Emirates to a 3-3 draw after 3 quick goals from the plucky Belgian side. While this draw must feel like a huge gigantic loss, it means little in terms of the table of Group D because #Dortmund continued their winning ways with a 4-1 thrashing of #Galatasaray at Signul Iduna Park and Arsenal will qualify as the 2nd place team. But what it does is show just how vulnerable this Arsenal side is to even medium quality opposition and they will suffer against the top 10 teams in the EPL.

In Group A, #Juventus held off for a 3-2 win against 2nd place challengers #Olympiakos to put them equal on points with them after #AtleticoMadrid won 2-0 away at #Malmo to remain 3 points clear at the top.

Group B continues to stay interesting with #RealMadrid taking care of a plucky #Liverpool side 1-0 at the #Bernebeu while #Basel hammered #Ludogarets 4-0 to slot into 2nd place 3 points ahead of the Reds.

Group C saw #Leverkusen stay top as they continue their outstanding form for the season with a 2-1 away win at #Zenit in Russia and bottom of the table #Benfica finally got points on the table with a 1-0 home win to visiting #Monaco.

The #ChampionsLeague just continues to remain interesting even in these early group stages!

Read More

The idiot and the genius!

Through his #ManchesterUnited career, #Smalling has shown that he makes bad decisions under pressure, often leading to cards or worse, goals against his side. Today however, he showed that he can combine bad decision making with downright stupidity even when there is no pressure, as his 2 yellow cards within 35 minutes meant that United had to play 2/3rd’s of the game with 10 men away at #ManchesterCity. While another beautiful #Aguero goal sealed a close 1-0 win for City, it was a rather spirited 2nd half run by the 10 men in red and if it wasn’t for #Hart, United could well have salvaged a point from an otherwise hopeless situation. It’s hard to take positives for #LVG with just 1 point from games against #Chelsea and #City but in reality, this United side is starting to look rather good – and they still have #Falcao to return. #Fellaini continues his remarkable transition from dud to inspired signing with yet another good performance on the field. While they still languish at 8th, things will get better it would seem.

 

Read More

Dortmund’s Bayern problem!

Under-performing #Dortmund came up against in-form and run-away title favorites #BayernMunich at the impressive #AllianzArena in Munich today in a game they led till the last quarter after a #Reus goal but lost 2-1 to 2 quick goals, one a beauty from #Lewandowski and the other a penalty by #Robben. But what they truly came up against was having to face their own superstars, created and molded in Black and Yellow, only to be handed over to the mighty Bavarians in their prime, to end up hurting them on the pitch. With rumors strife that #Reus is next, one wonders how this can be a good thing for the #Bundesliga as a whole. Sure, it keeps Bayern at the top of the league and keeps them in the hunt for the #ChampionsLeague every year but in the longer term, not having even a semblance of a two-horse race, makes this league far less interesting than it deserves to be, given how much wonderful young talent the Germans are producing!

Over in the #EPL, title-favs #Chelsea had to eke out a 2-1 win against lowly #QPR thanks to goals from #Oscar and a penalty from #Hazard. Season after season, it’s these 1-goal-margin victories that you have to struggle to that maketh a Champion and Chelsea are showing all those signs – the big wins, the strategic battling draws and then games like today. #Arsenal took advantage of their easy fixture this week with a 3-0 win against lowly #Burnley at the Emirates with 2 goals from the ever reliable #Sanchez and one to remember for young #CallumChambers – to be fair though, with slightly better finishing and a little luck, this game could easily have been a 7-0, such was the superiority of the #Gunners. #Newcastle continue their unlikely and unexpected resurgence after a 1-0 win over #Liverpool, who continue with their tragic EPL form; #Southampton continue winning and remain 2nd in the table with a battling 1-0 at #Hull ; #Everton and #Swansea played out a goalless draw in the blue half of Liverpool and high-flying #WestHam pulled off a remarkable 2-2 comeback draw at #Stoke after trailing by 2 goals against #Hughes’ men. #SamAllardyce can do no wrong for now!

The Madrid giants put 4 goals each past their hapless rivals as both #RealMadrid with yet another #CristianoRonaldo goal and a peach of a volley from #JamesRodriguez and #AtleticoMadrid kept the heat on #Barcelona in the #LaLiga.

In the #SerieA joint leaders #Roma lost at #Napoli 2-0 while #Juventus got the job done 2-0 away at #Empoli to create a 3 point gap between the two at the top of this 2-horse race for the #Scudetto.

What will the #Manchester Derby bring tomorrow?

Read More