Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Sunday EPL Special LIVE:

Easter Sunday EPL Special:
Controversially, Chelsea beat Wigan 2-1 at Stamford Bridge (even though both goals were offisde) to move back into 5th place above Newcastle. Tottenham leapfrogged rivals Arsenal back into 3rd place, despite a 0-0 draw with Sunderland.
In-form strikers Clint Dempsey (Fulham) and Nikica Jelavic (Everton) both scored twice for their clubs, as Fulham took three points. 

Liverpool drew with Aston Villa at home, thanks to Luis Suarez saving the day again, West Brom dominated Blackburn 3-0 at The Hawthorns and at Carrow Road there was a 4 goal thriller, and Jelavic's double was not enough for all three points as top scorer Grant Holt stole the show for Norwich.


Manchester United 2 QPR 0 FT

The match was played at Old Trafford as 1st placed Manchester United hosted 17th placed QPR.
Striker Wayne Rooney broke the deadlock in the 15th minute for the home side from the penalty spot after Ashley Young was upheld by midfielder Shaun Derry, who was given a straight red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity (even though Young and Rooney were both offside and it would not have counted, and Young went down too easily looking for the penalty) 
Is this a red card? Ashley Young goes down after a nudge by Shaun Derry and United are given a penalty.
Striker Wayne Rooney powerfully slots away his 22nd goal in the EPL this season against QPR in the 15th minute from the penalty spot.
Striker Wayne Rooney celebrates his penalty goal to break the deadlock at Old Trafford.
In the second half, midfielder Paul Scholes doubled United's lead in the 68th minute from 25 yards out with a powerful strike after Rafael's pass.
3rd since coming out of retirement: Paul Scholes hits a strike from 25 yards out to score against QPR to make it 2-0 in the 68th minute.
This was how the match finished, and now United are 8 points clear of 2nd placed rivals City, who have to face Arsenal later today.

Yesterday's Evening kick-off:

Stoke City 2 Wolves 1
This match was played at The Britannia Stadium, as 14th placed Stoke hosted an under-fire Wolves side stuck in 20th place.
Midfielder Michael Kightly broke the deadlock for Wolves in the 26th minute to make it 1-0. 

Kightly and some of the rest of the Wolves players celebrate breaking the deadlock at Stoke after 26 minutes

Defender Robert Huth equalised in the 37th minute to make it 1-1 and give Stoke a chance to get back into the match.

Defender Robert Huth shoots to equalise for the home side against Wolves in the 37th minute.

Striker Peter Crouch (who is desperate for an England recall), used his height to his advantage to head the ball past goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey in the 61st minute.

9th of the season: Crouch and his Stoke team-mates celebrate the winning goal against Wolves in the 61st minute. 
Wolves are now 6 points away from 17th placed QPR, and have 22 points from 32 matches which is far from safety with 6 matches to play. 
Their remaining matches are against Arsenal, Sunderland, Manchester City, Everton, Swansea and Wigan.
Good luck!

Stoke move up to 11th place, and they are safe from relegation this season, with the magic 40 point barrier past.

Arsenal vs Manchester City: LIVE at 16:00pm 

Arsenal have the chance to go back into 3rd place with a win against 2nd placed City, while Roberto Mancini's men know that a loss could be the end of their title race hopes.
It will not be an easy match for City or Arsenal and it could be interesting and a close match at The Emirates.
Team news from 15:15pm.
Arsenal vs Manchester City: LIVE
Arsenal have been dominating so far in this first half at The Emirates.
In-form striker Robin Van Persie almost scored from a header from a corner kick, but defender Thomas Vermaelen accidentally deflected the ball off the goal-line.
Midfielder Yaya Toure has come off injured in the 15th minute for City after a knee knock and has been replaced by midfielder David Pizarro.
35 minutes played, still goalless.
Team Line-ups:
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Song, Walcott, Rosicky, Benayoun, Van Persie.
Subs: Fabianski, Andre Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Djourou, Jenkinson, Chamakh.

Yossi Benayoun and Tomas Rosicky both start for The Gunners, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey are on the bench.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Y Toure (off), Barry, Milner, Aguero, Nasri, Balotelli.
Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Pizarro (on), Dzeko, Kolarov, Tevez, De Jong.

David Silva misses out due to a knee problem.
Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri both start against their former team.
Sergio Aguero returns after a foot injury.
Micah Richards and Carlos Tevez are both on the bench for City.

38: Mario Balotelli has finally booked after a late challenge on Sagna with his studs up.
43: A throw by Szczesny falls straight to Walcott who runs towards the box to set up a cross before defender Vincent Kompamy tackles him and clears the ball away from danger.
45: The fourth official signals three minutes of stoppage time to be added on here at the end of the half.
45+2: City free-kick given after Gareth Barry is bodychecked by Yossi Benayoun.
45+2: Mario Balotelli is testing referee Martin Atkinson's patience, with a deliberate handball to control the ball on the edge of the box..
He should be off the pitch by now...
45+3: The referee blows the whistle for half-time here at The Emirates.
Arsenal should be ahead at the break as they dominated throughout with passing and chances galore but City will be grateful that they are not losing.
Striker Mario Balotelli should be sent off by now, with 5 dangerous tackles and he is putting his club down.
Captain Vincent Kompany has been heroic at the back for City, and without him, it could be 3 or 4-0.

45: The referee blows the whistle to start the second half here at The Emirates.
No half-time subsitutions.

48: Full-back Kieran Gibbs looks to be struggling with a knock.
Andre Santos is seen warming up by the TV cameras.
49: City midfielder Samir Nasri has fouled Mikel Arteta. Free-kick.
56: Tomas Rosicky on the run with the ball for Arsenal before getting tackled by James Milner. Free-kick, and Milner gets booked for his troubles.
57: Arsenal SUB:
Andre Santos ON
Kieran Gibbs OFF
Gibbs is struggling with a knock.... so here comes the attacking minded full-back Santos.
59: Santos has now been booked for shirt pulling with striker Mario Balotelli who is unsuprisingly upset about the foul.
62: Alex Song with a beautifully placed cross to Van Persie who is unmarked and heads the ball with pace towards goal.... HITS THE POST!! Joe Hart was beaten! but the post was not! Still 0-0, unlucky by Van Persie and Arsenal (should be 2 ahead now).
65: FACT: RVP has now hit the post 7 times this season, second most in the Prem behind Luis Suarez with 8. 
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carlos Tevez are seen warming up for their respective teams. Can they do something about this 0-0 scoreline?!

68: Gareth Barry with the ball at his feet, Koscielny slides in to win the ball, but tackles late. Free-kick, and a yellow card for Koscielny.
He will now miss Arsenal's next two matches against Wolves and Wigan as this is his 10th yellow card of the season.
72: Through ball by Alexandre Song to Robin Van Persie who cuts inside the defenders before shooting past Hart... GOAL!!!!!, NO!
It's offside... Of all times to put the flag up this weekend, why now?!
75: How Arsenal are not winning now, I do not know for the life of me!
Theo Walcott with a shot which was saved and palmed away by Hart before hitting the post. Vermaelen slips and hits the ball across goal to Benayoun whose shot is wide.
78: Arsenal SUB:
Aaron Ramsey ON
Yossi Benayoun OFF

Manchester City SUB:
Alexsandar Kolarov ON
Samir Nasri OFF

Manchester City SUB:
Sergio Aguero ON
Carlos Tevez OFF

Arsenal SUB:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ON
Theo Walcott OFF

This sub should have happened earlier.. Not necessarily Walcott the player coming off though, as he has been dangerous going forward and caused City problems.

Pizarro loses the ball from 30 yards out, to midfielder Mikel Arteta who takes one touch before taking a powerful drive from the ball towards goal..... GOAL!!! Hart was beaten! 1-0! The deadlock is FINALLY BROKEN! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! What a goal it was aswell..

Bullet: Mikel Arteta unofficially seals Manchester City's title hopes over in the EPL this season with a rocket goal.

Mikel Arteta celebrates scoring for Arsenal in the 87th minute to break the deadlock against Manchester City.
Nice Easter present for me, the Gunner! :)

88: Mario Balotelli fouls Sagna late in the Arsenal half.
He is already on a yellow card..... The referee blows his whistle, and looks at Balotelli before brandishing a card.., yellow! TWO yellows = RED CARD!!!

Bye bye: Mario Balotelli recieves his 4th red card since joining City in 2011.

He's finally off. The challenge on Song was a leg breaker, and how he did not get a straight red card for that I will never know..

90: Balotelli walks off the pitch slowly as the fourth official signals four minutes of stoppage time to be added on.
90+4: City's free-kick hits the wall, before Arsenal go on the counter attack with Ramsey, Van Persie and Chamberlain on the attack. Ramsey cuts inside the box before slicing his shot WIDE!!
90+5: The referee blows the whistle for full-time.
Arsenal beat Manchester City 1-0, even though they know it could have been 4 or 5.
Mikel Arteta's strike surely ends City's title hopes.
Striker Mario Balotelli lost the plot throughout the match, and deservedly got sent off.

Man of the Match: Mikel Arteta/Alex Song.

City are now 8 points away from United who are in 1st place.
Tottenham are now back into 4th place, Arsenal move back into 3rd place with a 2 point gap.

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I will speak to you all in the next post, which will be tomorrow in an Easter Monday Special LIVE, where the matches will be:

Everton vs Sunderland
Newcastle vs Bolton
Tottenham vs Norwich City

Aston Villa vs Stoke City

Chelsea vs Fulham