Saturday, 17 March 2012

Saturday FA Cup and EPL Special LIVE:

Saturday FA Cup and EPL Special LIVE:
The quarter-finals of the FA Cup and Round 30th of this season's EPL, merged into a Super Saturday!

FA Cup:
Sunderland vs Everton: LIVE
Defender Phil Bardsley put the home side in-front after only 12 minutes, after a short free-kick was hit by him from 25 yards out into the net.
Phil Bardsley and Sunderland celebrate taking the lead against Everton after 12 minutes at The Stadium of Light.

Midfielder Tim Cahill equalised for The Toffees after taking a shot after Nikica Jelavic's header fell to him into the net from a corner - to score his second goal in 41 matches for Everton!

Midfielder Tim Cahill scores an equaliser for Everton in the 23rd minute to keep the away side in the FA Cup tie.

Halfway through the second half (65 mins), 1-1.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Bolton Wanderers: LIVE from 17:30pm
Team news from White Hart Lane at 17:00pm...


Fulham vs Swansea City: LIVE at 15:00pm
10th placed Fulham host 11th placed Swansea in a mid-table battle at Craven Cottage. If either team wins, they could move up to 8th place. 
Swansea will have high morale after their 1-0 home win against 2nd placed Manchester City last Sunday, while Fulham lost late on at Villa Park against Aston Villa.

Wigan Athletic vs West Bromwich Albion: LIVE at 15:00pm
Bottom club Wigan host 14th placed WBA at the DW Stadium.
Wigan will be looking to push out of the relegation zone today provided that they win, while West Brom could be 8th at the end of the day (if the result at Craven Cottage goes their way).

The Stadium of Light,
FA Cup Quarter-Final,
Sunderland vs Everton:

Team line-ups:

Everton: Howard, Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Coleman,Fellaini, Osman, Drenthe, Cahill, Jelavic. Subs: Hahnemann, Hibbert, Jagielka, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Gueye, Anichebe.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, O'Shea, Turner, Bridge, Larsson, Colback, Gardner, McClean, Campbell, Bendtner. Subs: Gordon, Wickham, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Meyler, Kyrgiakos, Elmohamady.

70: Header by striker Nikica Jelavic from 12 yards out..... COMFORTABLE SAVE!! by Simon Mignolet...
Everton SUB:
Seamus Coleman OFF
Magaye Gueye ON
Sunderland SUB:
Fraizer Campbell OFF
David Vaughan ON
79: 5 yellow cards in this match, 27 fouls...... Dangerous and stuck-in game. I predicted that it would either be a slender win or a replay. I should (but won't) be a betting man... :)

Let's digress for a few minutes, and look at some news:.

Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is reportedly on his way back to Germany due to a lack of first-team action, with Hannover 96 leading the race.
Berbatov is actually under-rated at United... They need to give him a chance because every match he has played for them this season, he has at least scored once....

Dimitar Berbatov: Lack of first team action for the striker at Manchester United, means that he WILL leave in the Summer.

Anderlecht want Arsenal flop Chu-Young Park to join them to boost their strikeforce.

Chu Young Park: Leaving Arsenal after only one season at The Gunners?

£2million is in the works...

Harry Redknapp has confirmed Tottenham are ready to smash their record transfer fee to land £35million Lille wonderkid Eden Hazard.

Eden Hazard: The Lille winger is wanted by up to 6 different EPL clubs.... including Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Sunderland have a big fight on their hands to hang onto key midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, who is struggling to settle in the North-West.

Should I stay or should I go? Sessegnon is wanted by PSG and Arsenal....

EPL LIVE Line-ups:

Wigan v West Brom:

Wigan: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Moses, Di Santo, Maloney.
Subs: Kirkland, Crusat, Ben Watson, Gomez, McManaman, Diame, Stam.

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Ridgewell, Shorey, Thomas, Morrison, Mulumbu, Scharner, Brunt, Long. Subs: Daniels, Andrews, Dorrans, Dawson, Tamas, Cox, Fortune.

Fulham v Swansea City:

Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Senderos, Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Ruiz, Dembele, Diarra, Dempsey, Johnson, Pogrebnyak. Subs: Stockdale, Baird, Murphy, Duff, Hughes, Etuhu, Frei.

Clint Dempsey and Pavel Pogrebnyak both start for the home side, along with Bryan Ruiz and Moussa Dembele.
Very strong Fulham side....

FACT: Mahamadou Diarra is going to start his first match for Fulham since moving from a free agent when he left Real Madrid last Summer.

Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Caulker, Monk, Taylor, Allen, Britton, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Graham, Sinclair. Subs: Tremmel, Tate, McEachran, Lita, Moore, Gower, Richards.

Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair both start in strike for The Swans along with in-form goalkeeper Michel Vorm and striker Gylfi Sigurdsson. 

Michel Vorm: Has to be on top-form to prevent players such as Clint Dempsey and Pogrebnyak from scoring at Craven Cottage this afternoon...

Sunderland 1 Everton 1
This means that the quarter-final, will go to a replay.
Replay will be played on the 27th of March at 19:45pm.

The two 3oclock EPL kick-offs have started at Craven Cottage and the DW Stadium...

DW Stadium,
Wigan vs West Brom:
Wigan have had four shots at goal, and it is still goaless.... 
This is the difference between relegation and mid-table....
Although I give them credit for coming out of the starting blocks quick against a tough WBA side.

Craven Cottage,
Fulham vs Swansea City:
Full-back/midfielder John Arne Riise takes a shot from 20 yards out.... OVER THE BAR!!
Unlucky by Riise, who used to score from over 20 yards a LOT in his Liverpool days... still looking for his first Fulham goal since moving last Summer.

Goals clip at Liverpool:

DW Stadium,
Wigan vs WBA:
Defender Emmerson Boyce takes a shot from 6 yards out... HITS THE POST!
Cleared away by the WBA defence...
Wigan are really pushing for the first goal here... That is their 5th shot of the game.

Craven Cottage,
Fulham vs Swansea:
Midfielder Clint Dempsey takes a shot from 25 yards out... MISS!!!

Craven Cottage:
Fulham vs Swansea:
Gylfi Sigurdsson takes a shot from 18 yards out... MISS!!

Fulham vs Swansea:

30: Cross by Riise to Bryan Ruiz who takes a shot from 25 yards out... SAVED! by Michel Vorm.
31: Shot by Swansea striker Scott Sinclair from 6 yards out... PARRIED OUT!! by Mark Schwarzer!
36: Cross delivered into the box by Scott Sinclair, finds Sigurdsson who takes a header from 6 yards out... GOAL!! 
Swansea are ahead at Craven Cottage!

Striker Gylfi Sigurdsson heads Swansea ahead at Craven Cottage against Fulham after 36 minutes.

Swansea celebrate their opening goal of the match against Fulham, courtesy of striker Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Fulham 0 Swansea 1
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored his 4th goal in 8 matches for the away team to put The Swans ahead at Craven Cottage. Fulham have to step up in the second half if they want to win this match against a tough Swansea side.

Wigan 0 WBA 0
10 chances for Wigan, to West Brom's 4 but no-one has been able to convert so far in this match-up.
Surely this will not be the final scoreline?

The second halves have started in the EPL....
No substitutions at Craven Cottage or the DW.

DW Stadium,
Wigan vs West Brom:
Striker Shaun Maloney takes a shot from 25 yards out.... SAVE (caught)!! by goalkeeper Ben Foster...
Still goalless...

DW Stadium,
Wigan vs WBA:
The deadlock has finally been broken here!
Midfielder James McCarthur scores for the home side with a sweet finish from 6 yards out after winger Victor Moses crossed the ball to him. 1-0.

Scrappy goal: Midfielder James McCarthur puts Wigan in-front against West Brom.

As it stands: Wigan are out of the bottom three, into 17th place.
You cannot say that this was not coming... Wigan have been pressing since the first whistle...

Craven Cottage,
Fulham vs Swansea:
Fulham SUB:
Bryan Ruiz OFF
Damien Duff ON

DW Stadium,
Wigan vs West Brom:
Corner whipped into the box by Chris Brunt, finds defender Paul Scharner who heads the ball goalwards from 6 yards out.... GOAL!! Scharner equalises for WBA, against his old club Wigan. 1-1.

Sign of respect: Defender Paul Scharner equalises for West Brom against Wigan, but refuses to celebrate against his old club.

DW Stadium,
Wigan vs WBA:
There has been a heated argument between both sets of players here, after a late tackle by Wigan midfielder James McCarthur on West Brom's Youssouf Mulumbu. 
Mulumbu, Jerome Thomas and Emmerson Boyce have all been booked for descent and their part in the argument. 

Craven Cottage,
Fulham vs Swansea City:
Winger Wayne Routledge finds striker Gylfi Sigurdsson with a precise pass who shoots from 12 yards out... GOAL!!  Sigurdsson doubles Swansea's lead and his tally for the afternoon!

Craven Cottage,
Fulham vs Swansea:
Scott Sinclair with a pass to midfielder Joe Allen who takes a shot from 20 yards out... GOAL!!! Swansea have surely sealed three points away from home after this latest goal!?

Fulham 0 Swansea City 3
Sigurdsson scored twice and Joe Allen also scored for the away side as The Swans move up into  place with an impressive 3-0 victory over Fulham.

FACT: Today is only the third time that Swansea have scored 3 goals in an away match in the EPL - in their history.

Wigan 1 West Bromwich Albion 1
Midfielder James McCarthur gave the hosts the lead in the 54th minute, before defender Paul Scharner equalised for The Baggies in the 65th minute, which means that the two teams have to settle for one point each.


Wigan will feel disappointed that they did not win and get out of the bottom three, as they took lots of goal-scoring chances but only converted 1 out of 20 taken.

West Brom will feel good that they took a point away from home and are now in 12th place, but could have taken all three today against a Wigan side who did not take their chances. You would have thought that they would capitalize on their opponent's poor run of form, but it is hard to do without key player Peter Odemwingie who was missed today.

The match was dirty towards the end with both teams getting frustrated and there were 18 fouls, and 6 yellow cards.

Fulham will also feel upset that they could not impress their home supporters and get the result that they needed today, despite taking 14 shots and not scoring. Plus, they had a very strong team meanwhile Swansea's team was just above average; with the pace of Scott Sinclair and the clinical finishing of Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Swansea will feel good, after winning 2 in a row against very decent opposition (City and now Fulham), and now will push for a top 10 finish.

Now onto the last football action today with the 2nd of 4 FA Cup Quarter-Finals this weekend:

Tottenham v Bolton:

Tottenham: Cudicini, Walker, Nelsen, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Van der Vaart, Parker, Modric, Bale, Defoe, Saha. Subs: Friedel, Kaboul, Giovani, Kranjcar, Rose, Livermore, Sandro.

Carlo Cudicini starts in-between the sticks for Spurs, defender Ryan Nelsen comes back into the squad.
Emmanuel Adebayor is out of action due to a hamstring injury so Louis Saha takes his place, while central defender William Gallas starts his first match for 10 weeks.

A strong Spurs side, that should be easily able to get the job done.

Bolton: Bogdan, Alonso, Boyata, Knight, Ricketts, Pratley, Muamba, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Miyaichi, Klasnic. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Eagles, Sanli, Kevin Davies, Ngog, Ream, Vela.

Ivan Klasnic and Ryo Miyaichi both start for Bolton, which will strengthen their strikeforce and attacking flair against a strong Spurs side.

White Hart Lane, 
Tottenham vs Bolton:
The referee blows the whistle to start the first half.

A Bolton corner, whipped into the box by Martin Petrov, falls to defender Darren Pratley who heads the ball towards goal... hits Gareth Bale and falls into the net past Cudicini. 1-0 to Bolton after only 6 minutes, with Gareth Bale scoring an own goal.

Gareth Bale speeds past the Bolton defence, before whipping a cross into the box for full-back Kyle Walker to put his head onto.... GOAL!! Spurs are level in less than 5 minutes after conceding! Bale repays Tottenham after his own goal and it is 1-1.

Striker Louis Saha takes a shot from 20 yards out towards goal... SAVE! (caught) by Bolton 'keeper Adam Bogdan. 

Full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto crosses a ball into the Bolton 16-yard box for Bale, who heads the ball towards the net.. MISS!!

Shot by Bolton midfielder Martin Petrov from 18 yards out....

Spurs corner, crossed into the box by winger Rafael Van Der Vaart to defender Ryan Nelsen who heads the ball towards goal..... MISS!!

18:13-18:55: Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba is down in agony.... Both sets of medical staff rush onto the pitch now to treat him...
This looks VERY serious...., now the supporters around the ground are gobsmacked and are chanting his name.
He collapsed near the half-way line, on his own without any physical contact from anyone else.
CPR is being performed.... but I think he needs more.
He is not breathing, and is being rushed to hospital.
Referee Howard Webb has called off the match.
Smart decision...

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba recieves CPR from the medical staff after collapsing on the pitch in the 42nd minute against Tottenham.

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale comforts striker Jermain Defoe who is distressed by what is being seen.
Horror show: Tottenham players Assou-Ekotto, William Gallas, Carlo Cudicini and Bolton manager Owen Coyle are in absolute shock at what they have seen regarding midfielder Fabrice Muamba.

Get well soon Muamba, stay with us please.
I will pray for you.

A distressing end to a Saturday.....
I hope his family are ok and he gets better soon in hospital.

See you tomorrow everyone.
Please continue to support me by viewing frequently and following my EPL Blog
I am sure that you all will pray for Fabrice Muamba and his family at this disturbing time.
Thank you.

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