Manchester keeps the battered EPL flag flying!

After yet another disastrous outing for #EPL clubs in yesterday’s #ChampionsLeague group stage action, as #Chelsea were beaten 2-1 at the ‘Not-so-special-one-anymore’ #Mourinho’s old stomping grounds of #Porto (how many more defeats and poor results before the mighty #Roman loses patience with his brooding, mourning coach, one has to wonder) and #Arsenal were shocked 2-3 at home by visiting #Olympiakos thanks to their comical goal-keeping & defending – with #BayernMunich home and away in the next 2 games, the #Gunners could be out of this CL by game 4 itself because the mighty Bavarians look incredible as #Lewandowski continued his crazy streak to hit a hat-trick in a 5-0 destruction of #Zagreb at the #AllianzArena, bringing his goal tally to 10 in 3 games, it took both Manchester clubs to come from 1-0 down to win 1-2 and keep the #EPL’s tattered reputation alive.

#ManchesterUnited were imperious for about 70 minutes of the game today and for large swathes of it, didn’t look like the away side at all as they launched attack after attack at a #Wolfsburg side that had taken the lead very early on, thanks to some shambolic defending by the United back 4. #Mata equalized from an penalty he earned when his cross hit the outstretched arm of a defender and then created the 2nd for #Smalling of all people from an absolutely delicious little back heeled assist. While United held on for the victory in the latter stages, their performance will have excited a United faithful, who haven’t seen a truly fun performance from this team in ages and brings them equal on points and goal difference with all other teams in Group B after #CSKA beat #PSV 3-2. #City had to come from behind as well against #Monchengladbach and they did with goals from #Otamendi and a penalty by #Aguero to keep their hopes alive in a group where #Juventus sit on top with a superb 2-0 win against visiting #Sevilla.

#CristianoRonaldo continued his quest of all possible records as his double today gave #RealMadrid a routine 2-0 win at #Malmö and equalled the 323 goal record held by #Raul as the club’s leading goalscorer. By the time the season ends, CR7 will be a good 20 goals past that old record, such has been this goal scoring phenom’s dominance since his arrival from United. With #PSG recording an impressive 0-3 away win at #Shakhtar, the battle for top spot in group A will come down to these 2 big clubs, when they play each other home and away. The other Madrid club had the opposite result as they went down 1-2 to visiting #Benfica, leaving them trailing the Portuguese club in 2nd in Group C. Fortunately for them, #Galatasaray and #Astana aren’t going to threaten their progress from this group.

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Shock and awe in the town of Wolfsburg!

Yes, the #VW scandal is sending shock waves around the world, in Germany and definitely in poor ‘ol #Volkswagon ‘s home town of #Wolfsburg but it must have felt like a slight tremor compared to the shock that the #Bundesliga team from Wolfsburg felt today in a 9 minute spell that one Mister #Lewandowski unleashed on them as he hit 5 goals (all well taken, especially the spectacular finish on the 5th goal) to give mighty #Bayern a 5-1 win at the #AllianzArena after being 0-1 down to a side that looked good for it’s lead and it’s 3rd position in the table. But once #Pep brought the Pole on as a half-time substitute, the game turned on it’s head as attack after attack that the Bavarians unleashed, ended in goal after goal at the feet of the incredible Lewa and Wolfsburg completely disappeared from the game. It’ll take them a while to recover from this – hopefully for them, a little less time and money than VW will need to mitigate the clean-diesel crisis they’ve got themselves into.

Over in the #CapitalOneCup, top of the table #ManchesterCity visited bottom of the table #Sunderland and showed exactly why both teams occupy the positions they do – City were electric while the Black Cats were pathetic and the eventual 1-4 scoreline was immensely flattering to the hosts. #LeicesterCity did the double over fellow high-flyers #WestHam beating them 2-1 and Championship side #HullCity upset #Swansea 1-0 in the other game that mattered.

In the #LaLiga #AtleticoMadrid beat #Getafe 2-0 thanks to their new goal-machine #AntioneGriezmann, sending them top of the table (for now) while the embattled #DavidMoyes (That seems to be his default state at all the teams he coaches, doesn’t it?) was given a reprieve as his #Sociedad side finally got a win in a 3-0 thrashing of hosts #Granada and in the #Ligue1 #PSG flexed their muscles as #Pastore #DiMaria and the #Zlatan scored to give them a 3-0 win over visitors #Guigamp and send them 4 points clear at the top of the table.

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Something special in goal and in front of it!

That #DavidDeGea is arguably the best goal-keeper in the world alongside the brilliant #ManuelNeuer has been known for a year now. That it’s time to remove the ‘arguably’ from that sentence could not be more evident than his performance in goal in #ManchesterUnited’s 3-2 win away at #Southampton, specifically the 2 saves that would have been goals against almost every other keeper in the world. His reflexes might well be superior to even the incredible Neuer. Equally impressive was the performance of new signing, 19-year old #Martial who’s double ensured that #GrazianoPelle and his 2 goals could not keep the #RedDevils from 3 points and 2nd behind leaders #City by just 2 points. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for United though, with their stitched up defense looking constantly shaky against the aerial threat of Pelle and the pure speed of #SadioMane. For what seemed like hours on end, United had some of the most boring possession known to human-kind – 1 forward pass for every 15 sideways and 10 back passes, which in the past has resulted in #Rooney finally losing possession but with Martial, they suddenly have a ‘little’ more of an edge and as was the case of the second goal, a finished product to go with all that ball possession.

#Liverpool, meanwhile did their under-pressure gaffer #Rodgers no favors as they allowed a plucky #NorwichCity to come back from a #DannyIngs debut goal for the Reds  to draw 1-1 at #Anfield, where patience with Rodgers is running very thin now and the temptation to fire him and try and bring in #Klopp or #Ancelotti must be very high, regardless of whether those 2 would be interested in a non #CL club. #Tottenham seem to have finally kickstarted their campaign with a 1-0 win at home against visiting #CrystalPalace thanks to yet another goal for new signing #Son and if their triumvirate of #Kane #Son and #Alli start working well together, their season could yet be one to remember. They are solid in defense and have one of the best keepers in the #EPL in #HugoLloris.

Over in the #Bundesliga, #Dortmund’s 3-0 hammering of #Leverkusen takes them back on top on goal difference (+2) over #BayernMunich, while in Italy, #InterMilan’s outstanding start to the campaign continued with a 0-1 away with at #ChievoVerona leaving them in an unfamiliar 1st place in the league, 2 clear of 2nd placed #Torino. The other more illustrious Turin side, #Juventus got a much needed 0-2 win at #Genoa to start righting the terrible start they’ve had to this campaign thus far and #Napoli continued their impressive run of form and glut of goals as they hit 5 unanswered goals past a hapless #Lazio.

And finally, in the #LaLiga, #Barcelona went right back to the top with a routine 4-1 dismantling of #Levante with 2 goals from #Messi, 1 from #Batra and 1 from #Neymar – regular stuff!

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Dark Arts and giant hearts….

That #DiegoCosta is the dirtiest player in the #EPL today is a given – he plays hard but he he always plays dirty and as much as #Mourinho pretends like Costa’s the victim, he isn’t. Today was a great example of Costa’s petulant (and conniving) side as he engineered to get #Gabriel sent off for #Arsenal (followed by #Cazorla’s 2 yellows) giving #Chelsea a much needed 2-0 win over a 9-man Gunners at the #Bridge. Costa should have been sent off prior to the Gabriel reaction (entirely unnecessary as it was, given that the skirmish was between #Koscielny and Costa) when he hit Koscielny in the face, not once but twice. If the #FA chooses to review the incident, he could well face a 3-match ban (and should!). But more than anything else, the game highlighted Arsenal’s naivety when it comes to these big games – they always lose the battle of wits, emotion and invariably, the game. For Chelsea, #Zouma’s early goal and the clean sheet will make it even harder for their Captain #JohnTerry to find his way back into the preferred 1st 11 and come summer, he could (and should) be making his way to the #MLS.

#WestHam showed their incredible resilience with a battling 1-2 win at leaders #ManCity after their 2 goal lead (from #Moses and #Sakho) was pegged back by the brilliant home debut of record-signing #DeBruyne (he looked worth every bit of the money they spent) and then were peppered non-stop by a rampaging and distinctly unlucky City side that could have well scored 3-4 on another day and against another goalkeeper, because #Adrian was nothing short of fabulous as he made atleast 3 outstanding saves on his return from suspension.

The plucky #LeicesterCity boys continued their incredible comeback routine as they drew 2-2 at #Stoke after being 2 goals down and #Swansea and #Everton played out a rather entertaining 0-0 draw, leaving #WestHam 2nd on the table (for now) for the first time in a LONG time – and deservedly so. #SlavenBilic has shown tactical nous that would impress even the likes of #Pep and #Carlo!

Over in the #Bundesliga, mighty #Bayern sauntered to a 0-3 in at #Darmstadt and #Wolfsburg kept the chase alive with a 2-0 #BasDost driven home win over #HerthaBerlin. #PSG had to come from behind via another #Cavani goal to draw away to surprise high-flyer #Reims in the #Ligue1 and over in Spain, a #KarimBenzema goal allowed current league leaders #RealMadrid to squeak by #Granada 1-0 at the #Bernabeu.

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Feeling blue (and red in the face) in Manchester!

The 2 Mancunian clubs had a night to forget on the opening day of the #ChampionsLeague Group stage as the EPL’s best side by a country mile, #ManchesterCity went down 1-2 at home to the current worst side in the #SerieA, #Juventus thanks to a wonder goal by #Morata (he seems to come to life exclusively in the CL, doesn’t he?) while #Kompany picked up an injury as well that could keep him out of 2-3 weeks in the Premiership. They were missing #Aguero, sure, but it’s still hard to put a finger on what makes this City side so darn poor when it comes to Europe. For Juve, this could well be the tonic they needed to kick-start an otherwise shocking defense of their #Scudetto.

The red half of Manchester had it even worse as they lost 2-1 at #PSV after leading 1-0 from a #Depay goal and missing 3-4 unbelievably easy chances that should have killed off the game, while losing arguably their best player thus far, #Shaw to a rather unfortunate double fracture to his leg. He could well be out all season and #LVG is starting to look rather foolish behind that uber-cocky philosophy that he keeps going on about – #ManchesterUnited are a slow and imbalanced team inspite of the £250+ million they’ve spent. Light on attacking options (it shows in every game) and missing a top notch CB (#Blind is an incredibly intelligent and hard-working player but he is not a Center Back because he’s too slow and a few inches shorter than ideal – his headed own-goal today was a great example of what an inch or two in height makes). For the richest club in the modern game, it’s unacceptable that they lack the balance that money can buy nowadays and it won’t be long before patience wears thin on the arrogant dutchman and his ‘philosophies’. #AntoinneGriezmann is a great example of where they could have put their nonsensical valuations to work – he showed again today what a top finisher can do as he scored a double in #AtleticoMadrid’s 2-0 win away at #Galatasaray, while #CristianoRonaldo continued his incredible goal-binge, hitting a hat-trick in #RealMadrid’s 4-0 thrashing of visitors #ShakhtarDonetsk, albeit #Ramos and #Bale both picked up injuries and could be out a few weeks – United don’t have one player on the roster that resembles that kind of ability anymore, not because they can’t but because they’ve bought (and sold) like headless morons over the past 24 months. One of those sales, #AngelDiMaria showed just how good (and happy) he is now at #PSG as his 1st minute debut goal, followed by a routine #Zlatan second gave them a comfortable 2-0 win over Swedish underdogs #Malmö.

#Wolfsburg managed a 1-0 home win over visiting #CSKA; #Benfica put 2 past Kazakhstan’s entrant to the CL, #Astana and current #Europa champs #Sevilla hammered #Monchengladbach 3-0 in Spain to round out the results for day one.

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Hello, Martial!

A beautiful #ThierryHenry esque run, followed by a Henry-esque finish and #AnthonyMartial announced himself to the #ManchesterUnited faithful as the Red Devils beat arch-rivals #Liverpool 3-1 at #OldTrafford. While that beautiful goal would have helped downplay the hub-a-hub around his inflated £36 million base transfer fee United paid to #Monaco, it certainly showed why he is so highly rated and was chased by a bunch of teams in Europe. His goal came on the heels of one of the finest overhead kick goals you’ll ever see, a snorter by #Benteke in an otherwise forgettable game for the Reds, while their #Merseyside rivals #Everton continue their outstanding start to the season with a 3-1 thrashing of an increasingly rubbish #Chelsea, who have gone from immovable object to powder-puff defense in a span of 4 months. If #Mourinho can’t pull this back soon, he’ll find himself manager of #PSG come summer!

#Arsenal continued their recovery to a bad start to the season with a 2-0 win over #Stoke and title-favorites #ManchesterCity extended their perfect start to the season with an injury time goal at plucky #CrystalPalace.

#CristianoRonaldo set his #LaLiga campaign on fire with a FIVE goal haul as #RealMadrid plundered #Espanyol 0-6, while fellow Catalans #Barcelona came from a #Torres goal down at #AtleticoMadrid to win 1-2 with quick fire goals from #Neymar and #Messi. This team is fantastic going forward when those 2 are fit and toothless if they aren’t. One long term injury to either and the title race will tilt in Madrid’s favor.

Over in the #Bundesliga #Bayern needed a late #Müller penalty to seal a 2-1 win over #Augsburg, while #BVB continued their goal feast with a 2-4 win at #Hannover96. Early signs portend to a far closer title race than the mighty Bavarians have gotten accustomed to lately!

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