Sunday, 10 February 2013

EPL Double Bill Reaction + Review:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, where I give LIVE reaction to 2 EPL matches that were being played earlier on today, as Aston Villa hosted West Ham and Everton took a trip to 1st placed Manchester United who could move 12 points clear at the top of the table with a win at home today - after City's 3-1 loss to Southampton in the evening match yesterday.

Aston Villa 2 West Ham United 1:

This match was played at Villa Park, as 18th placed Aston Villa hosted 11th placed West Ham in a must-win match for Paul Lambert and his side if they were to move out of the relegation zone today. 

The match was tense for the both sides until the 74th minute, when Belgian striker Christian Benteke slotted the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen into the net, after winger Charles N'Zogbia showed quick feet and good skill before being brought down inside the box. 

Quick footwork: N'Zogbia got past two West Ham defenders before being brought down inside the penalty area.
Boost: Christian Benteke slots the ball into the net from the penalty spot to give the hosts the lead.
Clinical: Benteke wheels away to celebrate scoring his 11th EPL goal this season to put Villa 1-0 ahead.

N'Zogbia doubled the lead in the 79th minute, to cap off a fine performance from him and the hosts and even though West Ham pulled a goal back in the 88th minute thanks to an own goal from young defender Ashley Westwood, it proved to be only a consolation for Sam Allardyce's men as they travel back to East London without any points. 

Nicely done: Aston Villa winger Charles N'Zogbia caps off a good performance with a goal from a free-kick.
Superman: N'Zogbia celebrates his goal with Benteke and the home fans.

This result means that Aston Villa move into 17th place, at the expense of Reading who lost 2-1 at Stoke yesterday.

Manchester United 2 Everton 0: 

This match was a potential title-decider at Old Trafford, as United hosted a tough Everton side who had previously beat them 1-0 at Goodison Park in the first fixture of the season. 

This was also a test for United, as it was their last match of the season before "the big one" - the Last 16 Champions League 1st Leg match against Spainish giants Real Madrid. 

Watching his opponents: Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho faces United on Wednesday...

They went ahead after 13 minutes, thanks to a low, powerful strike from Welsh winger Ryan Giggs after some good build-up play by Valencia and van Persie saw the ball flicked on to him inside the box.

Landmark: Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs breaks the deadlock after 13 minutes at Old Trafford.

FACT: Ryan Giggs has now scored in 23 consecutive seasons for Manchester United.

Robin van Persie scored his 19th goal of the season just on the stroke of half-time after beating the Everton offside trap and going around U.S.A goalkeeper Tim Howard before slotting the ball into an empty net despite the advances of Holland  team-mate and defender Johnny Heitinga. 

Around the goalkeeper: van Persie doubled United's lead just before half-time to make it 2-0.
On top of the world: Robin van Persie celebrates his 19th EPL goal this season against Everton.

Despite Everton's pressing in the second half, United stayed firm and kept a clean sheet in the process. 

United are now 12 points clear at the top of the table, capitalizing on local rivals Manchester City's mistake when they lost 3-1 to Southampton yesterday evening. 

Healthy lead: Manchester United celebrate moving 12 points clear at the top of the table - and closing in on their 20th EPL title.

Nigeria play against Burkina Faso in the African Cup of Nations Final tonight - LIVE

African Cup of Nations Final: Nigeria vs Burkina Faso - LIVE Commentary: 

Team Line-ups:

Nigeria: Enyeama, Echiejile, Omeruo, Oboabona, Ambrose, Onanzi, Mikel, Mba, Uche, Moses, Ideye.

Burkina Faso: Diakite, Koffi, Kone, Koulibaly, Panandetiguiri, Kone, Kabore, Rouamba, Nakoulma, Bance, Pitroipa.   

Pre-show: Nigeria and Burkina Faso play in the Final tonight, having put on a great pre-show. 

20 minutes gone in the African Cup of Nations final between the Super Eagles (Nigeria) and The Stallions (Burkina Faso), and it is currently 0-0 with Nigeria the more attacking side so far.
Chelsea forward Victor Moses is pressuring the Burkina Faso backline with his blistering pace and trickery. 

27: Dangerous free-kick for Burkina Faso from 20 yards out... but striker Bance hits the shot low and hard off target and does not test goalkeeper Victor Enyeama.   

28: Fouls:
Nigeria - 4, Burkina Faso - 5.

33: The first yellow card of the match goes to Burkina Faso's defensive midfielder Florent Rouamba. He cannot complain, as he fouled Chelsea forward Victor Moses harshly moments earlier. 

36: Nigeria are completely dominating the match, controlled the tempo and flow of the match to how they like it. Just cannot test the goalkeeper as of yet.

39: Nigeria midfielder Ogenyi Onanzi is shown a yellow card for a late challenge, but the resulting free-kick in Burkina Faso's favour goes wide thanks to a poor header from Kone. 
Better from Burkina Faso though.

40: GOAL! Nigeria have broken the deadlock! They make a dangerous counter attack work with Uche finding Moses on the edge of the box.
Moses's shot is blocked, before Sunday Mba picks the ball up with pace at his feet and beats a Burkina Faso defender before slotting the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. 

Jubilation: Sunday Mba is mobbed by his Nigerian team-mates after scoring the opening goal in the 40th minute.

45: The fourth official has signalled for 2 minutes of stoppage time to be added on. 

45+2: The referee has blown his whistle for half-time at Soccer City. 
The Super Eagles are 1-0 ahead at half-time, with Burkina Faso struggling to test the Nigerian goalkeeper enough to equalise as of yet.
They have 45 minutes to score and hopefully get back into the match.    

Nicely done by Mba.. 1-0 to the favourites, with 5 minutes left of the first-half. 

19:32: The second half has begun in Johannesburg.

45: Burkina Faso start the second half... and they have to start the second half quickly with some purpose or they will not win tonight...

50: Nigeria are still controlling the match now, despite having a great chance saved. 
Chelsea forward Victor Moses abused his after-burners on the wing before releasing a fast pass to Ideye who turned to shoot but Diakite denied him with a great save.  

54: Nigeria SUB:
Ikechukwu Uche OFF
Ahmed Musa ON  

62: Burkina Faso putting pressure on the Nigerin defence, with a free-kick taken, but Chelsea defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel heads the ball clear. 

64: Nigeria SUB:
Uwa Echiejile (injury) OFF
Juwan Oshaniwa ON

80: A tense last 10 minutes for The Super Eagles.... 1-0 ahead and it looks as though they are going to hang on for a famous victory!

90: The fourth official has signalled for 4 minutes of stoppage time to be added on....

90+4: The match has finished! Nigeria are crowned African Cup of Nations champions! 
Unbelievable: Nigeria cannot believe that they have won the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 19 years.