Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year's Day EPL Special Review:

Hello and welcome to my latest installment of my blog. This is my first blog post in 2013, and I hope that you all enjoyed the New Year Fireworks, wherever around the world you are! 

On Tuesday, there was 7 EPL matches on New Year's Day, including Manchester United vs Wigan and Manchester City vs Stoke City.
While yesterday, there was 3 EPL matches, including Chelsea vs QPR and Newcastle vs Everton.

Tuesday's early afternoon match:

West Bromwich Albion 1 Fulham 2

The match at Hawthorns today was the first match of 2013. The hosts West Brom looked to beat Fulham at home. 

This did not go exactly to plan, when Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. 

Clinical: Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov scores for the away side against West Brom. 
One for the fans: Berbatov celebrates his 7th goal of the season against West Brom. 

West Brom on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku equalised after half-time in the 49th minute.

Equaliser: Romelu Lukaku beats the Fulham defender and goalkeeper to slot the ball home.
Back in it: Lukaku celebrates his goal against Fulham to give the hosts hope of winning.

In the 57th minute, Fulham regained the lead thanks to a goal by  Alex Kacaniklic. 
Winger Bryan Ruiz played a lofted ball forward to him on the edge of the box, and he slotted the ball into the net.

Fulham continued to play well throughout the rest of the match, and West Brom were not able to get back into the match, so The Cottagers held on for a 2-1 victory away from home to win the first 3 points of 2013.

3pm kick-off matches:

Manchester City 3 Stoke City 0

This match was played at The Ethiad, as 2nd placed Manchester City looked to move within 4 points of 1st placed rivals Manchester United who were also in action today against Wigan.

City started the match off slowly as Stoke's defence held strong throughout the first half, until Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta gave the hosts the lead in the 43rd minute, after midfielder James Milner's cross was parried by goalkeeper Asmir Begovic but Zabaleta scored the rebound. 

Breakthrough: Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta celebrates breaking the deadlock before half-time.

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko scored his 4th goal in 2 matches in the 56th minute when fellow striker Aguero's shot was blocked, but Dzeko tapped the ball past Begovic into the net before celebrating by taking off his shirt which said "Happy New Year".

Doubling the margin: Dzeko taps the ball past Begovic to make it 2-0.
Message: Dzeko celebrates his 9th goal of the season by taking off his City shirt to reveal a New Year message.

Aguero wrapped up the victory for City after dispatching a penalty in the 74th minute, after Stoke defensive midfielder Steven N'Zonzi tripped Manchester City winger David Silva in the box. 

In the box: Stoke midfielder Steven N'Zonzi tripped David Silva.
Slotted from the spot: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero makes it 3-0 to the home side from the penalty spot.
City won the match 3-0, but have not moved closer to 1st placed rivals Manchester United, as they also won against Wigan 4-0.

Swansea City 2 Aston Villa 2

This match was played at The Liberty Stadium, as Swansea looked to move further up the table against the "Christmas whipping boys" Aston Villa, who wanted to end the run of 3 match losing streak.

Swansea went on the counter attack in the 3rd minute, with Routledge having a placed effort parried away by goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

The home side continued on the pressure, with a lovely pass and move finishing with winger Wayne Routledge going around Guzan to slot the ball into the bottom corner of the net.  

Michu almost made it 2-0 to the hosts straight after the kick-off, but the rebound did not fall to him properly, and Villa were let off.

Aston Villa equalised just before half-time in the 44th minute, thanks to striker Andreas Weimann clinically finishing a shot from a through ball from Benteke.

In the second half, Aston Villa were given a penalty, after Nathan Dyer brought down striker Andreas Weimann.  

Benteke stepped up to take it... and curled the ball the opposite way to Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm to give Villa the lead with 6 minutes left of the match plus stoppage time.

The fourth official had signalled for 5 minutes of stoppage time, and it was time for the hosts to crank up the pressure on Aston Villa.
Nathan Dyer and Michu were lofting balls into the box, but Villa kept clearing the ball away.

The ball fell to striker Danny Graham on the edge of the 16-yard box, and he smashed the ball on the half-volley towards goal to score a late equaliser for the hosts in the 90+4th minute.   
  Tottenham Hotspur 3 Reading 1

West Ham United 2 Norwich City 1

Wigan Athletic 0 Manchester United 4

5:30pm kick-off:

Southampton 1 Arsenal 1

Yesterday's 3 EPL Matches:

Chelsea 0 QPR 1

Liverpool 3 Sunderland 0

Newcastle United 1 Everton 2