Friday, 30 August 2013

Bayern Munich vs Chelsea - UEFA Super Cup Final LIVE Commentary:

Champions League vs Europa League: Chelsea vs Bayern Munich - Part 2.

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have another LIVE Commentary for you in the shape of a Friday night, UEFA Super Cup Final between Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League champions Chelsea. 

Both sides played against each other in the Champions League Final last year in May, with Didier Drogba's penalty spot kick from a tense shootout sealing Chelsea's fate to become the first London club to win the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern felt hard done by and were determined to win the CL even
more this past year, since they had lost against The Blues on home turf at the Allianz Arena. They cruised past their group stage opponents, beat English side Arsenal luckily on the away goal rule (3-3 on aggregate) before destroyed Juventus and Barcelona with ease - who just happen to be two of the best teams in the world. 

Then, Bayern beat local German rivals Borussia Dortmund in an all-German CL final for the first time at Wembley. 

Meanwhile, their CL head-to-head rivals Chelsea had struggled to come to terms with the appointment of new manager Rafael Benitez so soon after saviour Di Matteo's sacking (ironically after the interim manager won them the CL) , and they finished third in a group with Juventus and Shakthar Donetsk (both of which progressed to the Last 16) where they automatically qualified for the knock-out rounds of the Europa League. 

They struggled at times and just about grinded out results against Rubin Kazan, Sparta Prague, Steaua Bucharest and Basel before meeting Portugese giants SL Benfica in the final at Amsterdam.
They got dominated by Benfica throughout for the most part of the match, but somehow lifted the trophy thanks to a last minute winner from Branislav Ivanovic to seal the game at 2-1.

It was a bitter-sweet win for Chelsea however, knowing they won the Champions League and then the Europa League the next season. 

Tonight marks the return of the rivalry between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.  If you can remember back to the days when both managers were in Spain (at Barca and Real respectively), they were always involved in tight, tense matches which culminated in victories for either manager in their bid to show the rest of the world that they deserved the title of "Best manager in the world."

Mourinho said publicly last year that the reason Guardiola resigned from Barca was because "he was scared" of the Portugese 55-year-old, who was eager to continue their rivalry. Mourinho was appointed as the new Chelsea manager last month, and fate has brought these two managerial heavyweights together again, in a heavily-anticipated match. 

Here are the team line-ups from tonight's final in Prague: 

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Rafinha, Dante, Boateng, Alaba, Muller, Lahm, Kroos, Ribery, Mandzukic and Robben.

Subs: Starke, Van Buyten, Contento, Javi Martinez, Shaqiri, Gotze and Pizarro. 

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Hazard, Oscar, Schurrle and Torres. 

Subs: Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Terry, Essien, Mikel, Mata, Lukaku.

19:45: And the referee blows his whistle to start the UEFA Super Cup Final in Prague.... Bayern vs Chelsea.. let's go!

8: GOAL! Spanish striker Fernando Torres has broken the deadlock with a thumping strike after a great run by Belgian winger Eden Hazard who skinned the Bayern defenders with his electric pace before passing the ball onto the wing for Andre Schurrle to cross into Torres to finish. 

Thumping strike: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres breaks the deadlock in the 8th minute.

11: Good team-work from The Blues, 1-0 to the London side but Bayern look even more hungry to get back into the game now.  

13: CLOSE! Schurrle with some good play to win a corner after a block by full-back David Alaba - but the corner is well held by Manuel Neuer. 

16: Chelsea look dangerous on the counter attack at the moment, the partnership between Hazard, Torres and Schurrle is baffling the Bayern defence at the moment and they need to capitalize if they are to double the lead and become comfortable in possession. 

18: Bayern trying to "start from the back" passing the ball from the back until they find space to shoot at goal. Chelsea are trying to press, with Ramires and Lampard doing well to prevent any fast attacks on the wing.

21: GOOD SAVE! Petr Cech does well to deny the official 2012-13 "Best Player in Europe" winger Franck Ribery from equalising with a nice, low finesse shot which was curling into the bottom corner of the net. He had to get down low to save the shot, and makes a good general save. 

24: Good set-piece opportunity here for Bayern - a  swinging free-kick to be taken by Robben. He plays it short to German midfielder Toni Kroos, who is overwhelmed by the good Chelsea pressure and loses the ball. Bad decision by Robben, Bayern could have scored or got a shot on target there.  

25: Good game so far, the atmosphere is not dull by any means and it is a fast paced, competitive game between two good sides. 

26: Signs of a Bayern break gradually approaching, England defender Gary Cahill had to head the ball clear.

27: LUCKY! David Luiz is let off luckily after accidentally colliding into Thomas Muller who was running into a goal-scoring position (with no-one but him and Cech to goal), however the German forward was marginally offside. 

28: Ribery goes close to scoring again, running into the box before cutting past Ramires and taking a strike but the shot narrowly went wide of Cech's goal. 

30: CLOSE! A real end-to-end game here, with Fernando Torres coming close to scoring again after great movement to take the ball from Schurrle just inside the box, before getting past Dante and striking the ball above Neuer over the bar.

Good signs from both teams, I would be surprised if it stayed at 1-0 now. Torres is showing good movement, looks more like his old self now. 

34: You are just starting to think how many chances it will take Franck Ribery before he gets a shot on target now... another chance gone begging there by the French winger. 

37: Solid defending by Gary Cahill to deny Thomas Muller from getting his strike near goal, after a good through ball Cahill blocked the shot at full stretch. 

40: Chelsea defender Gary Cahill gets a booking after an aerial challenge on Thomas Muller - was accidental but it was dangerous.

42: Chelsea free-kick after Ribery kicks out at Ivanovic after losing the ball inside the Chelsea area.  

45: The referee blows the whistle to end the first-half of action in Prague, with Chelsea leading by 1 goal to nil against the defending UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich. 

Both sides have played attacking football all half, but Chelsea have been the more dangerous - especially on the counter attack. Gary Cahill and David Luiz have also been solid at the back for The Blues, however the same cannot be said for Dante and Jerome Boateng. 

The pacy combination of Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle is too much to handle for the Bayern duo, with Torres being the target man in the centre for the attacking midfielders to feed inside the box. 

Attacking intent: Hazard is playing very well for Chelsea - especially on the counter attack.

20:32 -
Bayern Munich are not exactly playing everyone in their preferred positions, with a notable change at right-back with Brazillian Rafinha playing at full-back instead of Phillip Lahm. Lahm is deputising in the centre of midfield, without Gotze or Shaqiri (both on the bench) 

However having said that, Ribery and Muller are both playing very well for Bayern, attacking football is their speciality and they are constantly putting pressure on the Chelsea defence. 

Struggle: Mario Mandzukic is trying, but as of yet has not tested Petr Cech to score.

20:45 - David Alaba looks dangerous on the wing when he goes on the overlap on the counter attack, Schurrle vs Alaba seems interesting from a defensive point of view. 
Great match so far, and like I said earlier it does not look like it will end 1-0.

20:50: The referee has blown his whistle to start the second half, as Chelsea look to double their lead and close out the game. 

47: GOAL! Ribery finally finishes off a chance, just at the start of the second half... a nice pass by Toni Kroos on the edge of the box before the French forward hit the ball powerfully into the bottom corner of the net, out of the reach of Petr Cech who could only dive towards the ball (even though it was always goal-bound)

51: Bayern Munich crowd is getting louder now after Ribery's finish, 1-1 and the game has become even more interesting - told you it wouldn't stay 1-0! :) 

53: The ability to create something out of nothing = Thomas Muller. He used his pace to keep the ball in play near the corner flag, before hitting the ball first time into the box and Cech had to parry the ball out to safety - close and could have been a goal if Cech didn't get it right. 

57: Now the balance has shifted, with Bayern trying to put all the attacking pressure on Chelsea. 

60: Decent chance by Chelsea, Schurrle with a good cross into the box for Torres to head onto - but he didn't get up high enough to connect with the delivery and the ball was cleared away to safety.     

62: CHANCE! Chelsea had a golden chance to go back into the lead, after a mistake by Dante gifts Oscar with the ball, but Neuer comes out and parries the ball away, only to Lampard however who shoots first time and the ball goes over the bar. Still 1-1. 

66: David Luiz vs Mario Mandzukic feud continues, after a body-to-body by the Portguese defender sees Mandzukic fall to a heap on the floor. The referee doesn't hesitate to show the yellow card to Luiz who feels unjust but doesn't argue. 

67: Commentators still in shock that Chelsea didn't finish their chance just then, after Robben has a shot but it swerves away from goal into the advertising bilboards.

68: Cameras show new Bayern midfield playmaker Mario Gotze is getting ready to come on the pitch, getting team instructions by Pep Guardiola.

70: Bayern Munich SUB:
Thomas Muller OFF
Mario Gotze ON 

Gotze replaces Muller in the centre of midfield with 20 minutes of normal time to play. If it stays like this, the game will go to extra time remember! 

73: Chelsea's midfield playmaker Juan Mata is now seen warming up on the touchline, getting ready to come on as a substitute. 

75: Bayern Munich down to ten men as Spanish defensive midfielder Javi Martinez is down in agony, but Ivanovic picks up the ball and the game is stopped momentarily.  

78: Chelsea corner whipped into the box well by Frank Lampard, and Branislav Ivanovic heads the ball powerfully towards goal but Manuel Neuer does well to save the shot and deny The Blues from scoring. 

83: RED CARD! Chelsea defensive midfielder Ramires is sent off for a second bookable offence after a dangerous tackle on Mario Gotze in a 50/50 challenge for the dead ball (means not moving if you didn't know already)

85: Chelsea SUB:
Andre Schurrle OFF
John Obi Mikel ON

This will hurt Chelsea's counter attacking options, but it is a wise move by Mourinho to replace Schurrle for a defensive minded player as they look to see the game out until extra time at least unless they can score a late equaliser.   

89: Chelsea have a free-kick in a dangerous area, from 22 yards out with both David Luiz and Frank Lampard both standing over the set-piece after Torres was fouled late by Brazillian defender Dante. 

90: The free-kick is yet to be taken, but the fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time on the electronic board.

90+1: David Luiz steps up to take the free-kick, but the Bayern wall blocks the strike well. The ball is cleared, as Chelsea try and keep up the pressure. 

90+2: Chelsea trying to get the ball back into the Bayern half, but the Germans are pressurising them and not giving them comfortablity on the ball. 

90+3: The referee blows his whistle to end the 90 minutes, with extra time needed to separate the two sides. Ribery's 47th minute strike was the equaliser for Bayern but they have failed to take their chances in-front of goal ever since. However they have an advantage now that The Blues are down to ten men, after Ramires' dismissal. 

First half of extra time to come.  

90: The referee blows his whistle to start the first installment of extra time, with Chelsea looking to score quickly and stay strong at the back in order to hold out for the Super Cup victory they failed to get last year after a 4-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid.  

93: GOAL! Eden Hazard with a moment of attacking magic to skip past challenges from Lahm on the wing, along with Dante and Boateng before having a low strike towards goal past Neuer into the far bottom corner of the net. 

Neuer upon reflection should have saved the strike, but a good solo goal by Hazard nonetheless.   

98: Bayern are having all the possession (surprise surprise) but are unable to do anything concrete with the ball, Chelsea keep pushing them back into their own half. 

105: Just the one minute of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first part of extra time, with Bayern trying to pressure for another goal. 

105+1: Half-time in extra time, still 2-1 to Chelsea, with 15 minutes left to hang on. 

105: Second half in extra time, just started with Chelsea desperate to get the game over and done with. Eager.  

108: Good save by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, with a good parry to deny Mario Mandzukic from equalising with a powerful header near the far post.

110: Jose Mourinho is seen giving instructions to defender John Terry, who is stripping into his Chelsea colours right now. 

111: CLOSE! A header across goal by Mandzukic found Shaqiri in limited space just inside the 6-yard box - but his strike deflects off Ivanovic and goes out for a corner. 

112: Chelsea SUBSTITUTION:
Eden Hazard OFF
John Terry ON 

Defensive move by Chelsea to try and hang on now, Terry replacing Belgian winger Hazard who has been the deciding factor between the two sides.

116: Dangerous free-kick for Bayern, after a foul on Alaba just outside the box.  
Strike taken, good save by Cech to prevent the shot from going past him into the net. 

118: Mandzukic fails to deliver again after a good cross yet again by Alaba into the box - only minutes left now. 

120: The fourth official has signalled for one minute left, can Bayern equalise for penalties?!

120+1: Alaba crosses the ball into the box... the ball falls to Javi Martinez who runs towards the ball and places the ball past Cech into the bottom corner of the net! 2-2!!!! Great late drama. 


Bayern to take first... Alaba = 1-0. Great finish past Cech.

David Luiz for Chelsea.... = 1-1. Sent Neuer the wrong way.  

Kroos to make it 2-1 to the Germans... and he does. Cooly slotted down the bottom corner of the net, with Cech helpless to deny the midfielder.

Oscar for Chelsea.... GOAL! Stutter penalty, but his shot goes into the top corner of the net past Neuer. 

Bayern captain Lahm to take next... cool and composed. 3-2 to the Germans.

Lampard to take now for Chelsea = Smashing drive into the bottom right hand corner. 

UEFA's Best Player Ribery... calmly slotted past Cech to make it 4-3, cheeky but an important penalty to score. 

Ashley Cole now for Chelsea, can he score? He missed for England against Italy - GOAL. Hits both posts but slides into the bottom corner of the net. Nerve-racking, 4-4.  

Youngster Xherdan Shaqiri to take for Bayern.... GOAL! Shaqiri with a powerful strike to make it 5-4. Now Chelsea must score.

Lukaku has to score, or Bayern win - SAVE!! Neuer with a diving save to deny the young Belgian, as Bayern Munich win 5-4 on penalties after a late, tense 120 minute match. 

Player Review - Simon Mignolet:

Well, well, well. It was only a matter of time before I continued my player review series, and what a way to continue it with new Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who joined the club in July for £9million pounds from Sunderland after impressive displays in the EPL over the past two seasons, which has made him one of the best young goalkeepers in the world.

Bright future: Belgian keeper Simon Mignolet signed for Liverpool in July for £9million.

Frankly, he deserves a lot more recognition that he gets, and finally he is at a world-renowned club in Liverpool (where he isn't likely to get much trophy success but will become a star and possibly move somewhere else after his spell at Merseyside)

The Belgian 25-year-old has overtaken long-time serving Pepe Reina in becoming the number one goalkeeper for The Reds this season, which has made the Spaniard join Italian side Napoli on a season-long loan as he seeks to play regular first-team football instead of sitting on the bench for most matches.

Reina jumped at the chance to sign for Napoli, after finding out his side replaced him with Mignolet.

Liverpool have only played two matches so far this season, but despite that Mignolet has proven his worth and quality with excellent saves and consistently good performances in both matches, against Stoke on the opening day (where he saved a last-minute penalty to give The Reds 3 points) and Aston Villa (a team rejuvenuated after beating Arsenal 3-1 at The Emirates) 

Mignolet did well to give Liverpool a vital win at home, saving Walters' pen in the 90th minute.

Good showing: Mignolet impressed both his team-mates and the Anfield faithful on his debut

You cannot help but think what the future holds for Mignolet, who is a bargain and a real gem at £9million - Sunderland will regret selling him so cheap.  

Thank you for reading this blog post this afternoon, I will have a LIVE Commentary of the UEFA Super Cup Final LIVE from 7.30pm tonight guys :) 

Don't forget to spread the word to your friends about this blog, so it can grow and more people can read my content - thank you all and enjoy your day, I'll speak to you later everyone.

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw - LIVE Analysis:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have analysis and a review of the LIVE UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw. 

Here are the current group stage teams:

UEFA Champions League LIVE Group Stage Draw:

Group A: Manchester United, Shakthar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad.

Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen.

Group C: Benfica, PSG, Olympiacos and Anderlecht.

Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City and Viktoria Plzen.

Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest. 

Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli.

Group G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit and Austrian Wien. 

Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic.

 All tough, competitive groups. Interesting... and will be a great spectacle for all. 

Manchester United seem to always have an easier group than the rest, and today is no exception. Shakthar Donetsk were weakened when they sold Willian, Bayer Leverkusen are average without the deadly partnership of Schurrle and KieBling while Real Sociedad are trying to stay in the top four of the Liga BBVA - which is their main objective this season. 

Chelsea have an interesting group with  probably have the easiest group out of the British sides, however having said that no group is easy and Schalke and FC Basel are certainly no pushovers. 

Arsenal have a tough group, with last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund as well as French club Marseille and Italian side Napoli. 

But worst of them all is Scottish side Celtic: Barcelona, AC Milan and Ajax.... it doesn't get much harder than that in the group stages.

Transfer UPDATE - Willian, Bale and Lamela:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post where I have a latest transfer update, analysising three of the main transfer sagas in the EPL over the past few weeks as they come to a conclusion just before the transfer window deadline on Monday the 2nd of September.

Just a quick notice to let you all know that I will have blog posts out soon, and a lot of them. Just a quick apology in advance if any posts are late, including match reviews and analysis of matches in Europe because of problems with my Internet and laptop at the moment. I will do my best however, to keep you all up-to-date with the latest football news, match reports and action from all over Europe. Thank you for your continued support and patience. 

Anyways without further ado let me give you some background knowledge on these three players: 

Willian - Shakthar Donetsk winger with pace, good dribbling and a decent strike who impressed many teams in Europe over the past two seasons due to his impressive performances in the Champions League group stages.

He reportedly completed a medical with Tottenham Hotspur, but unfortunately due to the art of publicity, Chelsea found out he was available for a transfer and quickly hi-jacked the move with an extra £2million pounds offered to the Ukranian club. 

On Sunday night, it was confirmed that Chelsea had signed the Brazilian forward, and owner Roman Abramovich reportedly used his Russian connections and called the Anzhi owner to convince him to join.  

He has officially signed for The Blues earlier this afternoon for £32million pounds, however many people are already criticising the move, as the general feeling is that Chelsea have too many attacking midfielders, and Willian's arrival will just make the competition even harder. 

Willian becomes Chelsea's 12th midfielder in the first-team squad, signing for £32million pounds.

Here are all of the attacking-minded players in the Chelsea squad at the moment, who can play in midfield;

Frank Lampard, Ramires, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel, Kevin de Bruyne, Oscar, Victor Moses and Willian.

So it looks very tense in the Chelsea camp, as all players may not get the first-team action they feel they deserve. 
If they play a 4-5-1 formation like this, they may get the best out of their players:

Petr Cech - GK
Branislav Ivanovic - RB
David Luiz and Gary Cahill - CB
Ashley Cole - LB
CM - Frank Lampard
RM - Willian/Andre Schurrle
LM - Eden Hazard
CAM - Juan Mata
CAM - Oscar
ST - Romelu Lukaku/Fernando Torres

Now, onto the most anticipated and highly-talked about rumour in the entire transfer window - Bale to Real Madrid.  

I did a player review plus analysis of him a couple of weeks ago, scroll down if you want to read it or click here:

Gareth Bale has wanted a move to Real Madrid since the end of the season, with the two clubs struggling over a transfer fee suitable for the in-form Welsh winger who has improved and virtually carried Spurs for the most part of last season. Negotiations have reached boiling point, with Bale reportedly missing training two days in a row after returning home from Marbella - where he is expected to fly back to in the next few days before the deadline.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas was in a press conference earlier this afternoon - and he said that Bale may be off within the next two days, or later. 

Bale is visibly frustrated and getting impatient, who wouldn't be in his situation?! Constantly told that he will get his dream move to Real, with just 5 days left of the transfer window the tension is gradually building. 

Meanwhile, his current club Spurs have confirmed the £30million pound signing of Roma winger Erik Lamela, in a bid to try and replace the attacking threat that Tottenham will lose from Bale's sale to Real. A direct statement made to the rest of the Premier League - they don't need Bale anymore. 

Who needs Bale OR Willian? Spurs have completed a £30m deal for Roma winger Erik Lamela.
Thank you for reading my blog post tonight, it means a lot to me because I know that my readers are enjoying the content. I will have a lot of blog posts out soon, my Internet and laptop problems will not stop me from publishing! Spread the word to your friends and family, I appreciate it :)

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Midweek European Football Action:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post where I have analysis and a review of the matches being played earlier during midweek, including Fenerbahce vs Arsenal in the Champions League Play-Off First Leg Match, and Tottenham and Swansea as they were both in action in Europa League Play-Off Matches on Thursday.

Arsenal went and travelled to Turkey for the first leg of their Champions League Play-Off match against tough side Fenerbahce, with the side being under pressure to perform after their recent performance against Aston Villa on Saturday, where they lost 3-1 at home on the opening day of the 2013-14 EPL season.

Fenerbahce 0 Arsenal 3 - match report:

Arsenal looked comfortable and confident as they were going into this first leg tie in Turkey, they felt more secure in a foreign country playing their football than they did back home in England. You could tell that from the first whistle, as they pressed the hosts for ball possession and dominated in terms of passing and goal-scoring chances but were unable to finish in the first half despite Fenerbahce's fatigueness in terms of possession of the ball.

At half-time it was goal-less, but The Gunners needed to break the deadlock if they wanted to score an away goal to take back to England for the second leg. 

Just five minutes into the second half, a nice passing move by Arsenal with Ramsey and Walcott found left-back Kieran Gibbs darting into the box before passing the ball across the box to his fellow countryman. Gibbs cooly smashed the ball into the back of the net, past the Fenerbahce goalkeeper. 

The Gunners doubled the lead after Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey got past the Fenerbahce defence well with his quick footwork and movement, before he hit a swerving strike towards goal which goalkeeper Demirel struggled to deal with and the ball parried behind him into the net.

Swerving strike: Ramsey doubled Arsenal's lead with a powerful shot that the goalkeeper struggled to deal with

Well deserved: Ramsey wheels away to celebrate his strike.

French striker Olivier Giroud capped off an impressive away win for Arsenal with a smashing drive from the penalty spot in the 77th minute after Walcott's skill, pace and trickery drew a cynical foul from the Fenerbahce defence.

UEFA Europa League Play-Off Round: 

Tottenham 5 Dinamo Tbilisi 0 - match report: 

This play-off round first leg match was played in Georgia, as English side Spurs travelled across Europe to play against their hosts, Dinamo Tbilisi. 
The stadium was vast but virtually empty which is a stark contrast to what the visitors are normally used to - packed out stadiums every week at White Hart Lane. 

Spurs looked comfortable and confident against their opponents, and this was evident within minutes as English young winger Andros Townsend went on a great solo run getting past the Tbilisi defenders before striking a low hard shot into the far corner of the net out of the goalkeepers' reach after just 10 minutes played in the match. 

Low but powerful: Townsend capped off a good run with a powerful strike into the bottom corner of the net.

Who is Bale? Townsend celebrates his 1st goal of the day as he shone playing in Bale's position on the night.

A dangerous Spurs counter attack from an opposing corner saw new signing and Brazillian defensive midfielder Paulinho double Tottenham's lead just before half-time in the 44th minute, after another great run on the wing by Townsend before he crossed the ball into the box for the Brazillian to head at the far post past the goalkeeper.  

Powerhouses: Paulinho celebrates his goal with new team-mate Dembele to make it 2-0 just before half-time.
Townsend created the third for Spurs after another bursting run on the wing before unleashing a powerful through ball into the box for new Spanish striker Roberto Soldado to tap into the net out of the goalkeepers' reach to make it 3-0. 

Full-back Danny Rose made it 4-0 with a stunning curling strike in the 65th minute from just outside the box which hit the top corner of the net almost instantly as soon as it hit his boot, the goalkeeper was helpless to try and save it - by the time he saw the ball it was in the back of the net. 

The thrashing was confirmed by Soldado as he completed his brace 3 minutes later to make it 5-0, after a good swinging cross into the box by Paulinho was connected well by the Spaniard who tapped the ball firmly into the back of the net while the goalkeeper was sidetracked trying to figure out where the ball was coming towards him at. 

A confident and dominant display by Tottenham as they've all but sealed their place in the 2013-14 Europa League group stages, along with another British side in the form of Swansea City, who also thrashed their opponents.... read down below for more. 

Swansea 5 Petrolul Ploiesti 1 - match report: 

This match was played at The Liberty Stadium, as Welsh side Swansea looked to take a strong home advantage into the second leg of their play-off match in Romania - which will be played next Thursday. 
After their successful thrashing of Swedish side Malmo in the 3rd round of qualifying, they were hoping to get off to the best start at home in their 3rd European match this season so far. 

And boy did they perform - by the scoreline you can tell they outperformed Petrolul Ploiesti in every area of the pitch and their Romanian opponents were completely dominated by the likes of Routledge, Michu and Bony who look like a very dangerous attacking partnership.

In the end the score was 5-1, with Routledge scoring a double, strikers Michu and Bony also getting on the scoresheet aswell as young Spanish midfielder Pozuelo who again came off the substitute bench to score his second goal from three sub appearances following his summer transfer move from Real Betis.

Routledge started the rout for Swansea, breaking the deadlock in the 13th minute after a smart lay-off move.

Breakthrough: Routledge is mobbed by his Swansea team-mates after opening the scoring.

Two for me: Routledge completed his brace to make it 3-0 to Swansea with a header over the keeper.
Stretching: Michu scores the rebound after Hernandez' hit is parried by the keeper straight to the Spaniard.

Passion: Michu celebrates fiercely after doubling Swansea's lead at home.

Another one: Wilfried Bony celebrates his 4th goal in a Swansea shirt to make it 4-0 against Petrolul.

Thank you once again everyone for reading my football blog post tonight, I apologise in advance if any of my blog posts are published later because I am having an increasing problem with my Internet, blog posts freezing and if I am not in a good position to publish a post while being happy with the content that I have given you guys to read, then I will not publish it until it is fully ready. 

However, having said that I will do my best to give you all as much football content as possible, consistently and quickly but you have to realise that it may not always be the case. to realise that it may not always be the case.
I appreciate your continued support from daily views and my followers, don't forget to spread the word. l will continue to give you all more blog posts as a thank you. 

Don't worry, I will have analysis, match reports and reviews from all of today's football action throughout Europe, including today's EPL matches coming out soon.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Manchester City vs Newcastle - match report:

The final game of the first weekend of the 2013-14 EPL season (with Monday being included) was played on Monday evening at The Ethiad Stadium, as title challengers Manchester City hosted Newcastle United.

Manchester City started the game with two of their new summer signings, defensive midfielder Fernandinho and Spanish winger Jesus Navas both starting for City. 
Meanwhile their opponents Newcastle had a slightly weak team compared to normal, without Arsenal target Yohan Cabaye with an interesting formation chosen by Alan Pardew.

Great solo play on the wing by Edin Dzeko before his shot was parried by Tim Krul - straight to midfielder David Silva who headed the ball into the back of the net to break the deadlock after just 6 minutes with Krul left exposed in the middle of his goal. 

Quick reactions: David Silva reacted quickly to head the ball into the net after Dzeko's effort was parried by Krul.

Early breakthrough: David Silva celebrates his headed finish to break the deadlock for City after 6 minutes.

Sergio Aguero doubled the lead in the 21st minute after getting past the last Newcastle defender well to strike the ball low and hard past Krul into the bottom corner of the net. 

Bullet strike: Aguero hits the ball hard and low into the corner of the net to make it 2-0 to City.

World-class: Aguero celebrates his first goal of the season to double City's lead.
Ivorian powerhouse defensive midfielder Yaya Toure made it 3-0 to the hosts just after half-time with a beautiful free-kick strike into the top corner of the net which had Krul diving helpless to try and stop the swerving strike. 

Beauty: Yaya Toure curls a swerving free-kick strike to make it 3-0 to City and complete the game for the hosts.

Comfortable: City looked dominant throughout, with Yaya Toure and Silva both getting on the scoresheet.

Nasri made it 4-0 to complete the rout after 75 minutes, due to a poor lack of communication between the Newcastle defenders, which allowed him to get space and time to run onto the ball and tap away from Krul into the net.

Another one... Nasri makes it 4-0 after taking advantage of a mistake by the Newcastle defenders.

Calm and collected: Nasri celebrates making it 4-0 to the hosts, giving Newcastle an opening match nightmare.

City won the game convincingly with a 4-0 win at home, which will boost their squad morale as well as their fans happiness especially because they dismantled a decent Newcastle side who have unfortunately gone down in the past year after the departure of Demba Ba to Chelsea.

From bad to worse: Even though Newcastle were down to ten men just before half-time, City dismantled them.

Thank you for reading my football blog today, I will have more posts out later today, including the Champions League Play-Off First Leg between Turkish giants Fenerbache and under-fire English side Arsenal along with a midweek game in the EPL between Chelsea and Aston Villa - both sides who are looking to continue their run of form after impressive wins on Saturday.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

EPL LIVE Coverage with extras:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post where I have LIVE Coverage of the match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge where new manager Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea for his second coming as Chelsea boss.

But first, here is my match report of the earlier game played today in the EPL:

Crystal Palace 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1 
This match was played at Selhurst Park, as Palace hosted Champions League chasing Tottenham Hotspur in their first EPL game of the season as a newly-promoted side. 
The hosts gave it their all in-front of their home fans, tried to make chances but Tottenham were solid at the back, especially with new signings Capoue and Paulinho dominating the midfield.

Spurs were the team who had more of the possession and the chances, yet they could not finish until the 50th minute when a penalty was awarded for a handball after a Lennon cross was blocked by a Palace defender. £20million signing and Spanish striker Roberto Soldado stepped up to take it, and slotted the ball cooly into the back of the net. 

Debut goal: Soldado slots the ball from the penalty spot into the net to give Spurs a 1-0 lead. 

Stroke of luck: Soldado scored the only goal of the game for Spurs - albeit a penalty. 

Crystal Palace looked more dangerous on the counter attack after making some substitutions in the second half but were unable to take their chances and beat Lloris to equalise and in the end the game finished 1-0 to the away side, with Spurs looking average with their new signings.
Room for improvement, but a good win nonetheless. 

Chelsea vs Hull - LIVE Coverage:

A good day for Mourinho so far on his return to English football, six years after he left Chelsea to manage in different leagues. Without Mata, Lukaku and Schurrle, the hosts are still comfortably beating Hull by 2 goals to nil after 35 minutes on the clock.

A great attacking move was finished off by Brazillian playmaker Oscar after 15 minutes, before Lampard doubled the lead with a powerfully swerving free-kick effort from 25 yards out which the goalkeeper probably should have saved in the 25th minute as retribution after missing a penalty in the 6th minute. 

A good through ball by Kevin de Bruyne finds Oscar open in the area to slot the ball underneath McGregor.

Early lead: Oscar celebrates giving Mourinho & Co their first goal of the new season after 15 minutes at home. 
Lampard hits a powerfully swerving free-kick strike from 25 yards out to double Chelsea's lead. 

Jubilation: Lampard is mobbed by his team-mates after his good free-kick finish. 

Chelsea are looking comfortable for their 2-0 lead, but Hull are struggling to keep up and should have played new signings Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore instead of sitting them both on the bench. 

HALF-TIME: Chelsea are 2-0 up, and could be 3 or 4-0 up but have been denied on several occasions by the Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor who was at fault for both goals but has done well to keep the scoreline respectable. 

17:30 - Still 2-0 to Chelsea right now, a slightly better defensive performance by Hull but the hosts have not actually done that much going forward. Kevin de Bruyne has been impressive throughout, but is being substituted by new signing and German forward Andre Schurrle. 

17:55 - FULL-TIME. Chelsea have beaten Hull comfortably by 2 goals to nil, and took their foot off the gas significantly during the second half despite van Ginkel, Schurrle and Lukaku all coming on for The Blues towards the end of the game. Hull will not be disappointed as they failed to make clear cut chances, and a 2-0 loss flatters them. 

20:00 - Lots of European action tonight, here are the results and fixtures to be played today: 

Liga BBVA: 

Barcelona 7 Levante 0 - FT
Lionel Messi scored a double as Barca move up to top of the table on the second official day of the 2013-14 Liga BBVA season. Sanchez, Pedro (2) and Xavi also got on the scoresheet for the defending champions, as an emphatic win shows they are ready to retain their title this season. 

Osasuna 0 Granada 0 - LIVE

Real Madrid 0 Real Betis 0 - LIVE
Last year's second placed side Real Madrid are in action against interesting side Real Betis as new manager Carlo Ancelotti takes charge of his first competitive league match as Real manager. 

They have already had an own goal disallowed, and only 10 minutes have been played so far at the Bernabeu.

Here is the team line-up playing for Real tonight:
Lopez, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Khedira, Isco, Modric, Ozil, Ronaldo, Benzema. 

20:30 - And the game has bursted into life at the Bernabeu! Two offside goals for the hosts, before Betis score with a shock goal of themselves.
Great movement by Betis before Jorge Molina struck the ball well into the top corner of the net out of reach for Spanish goalkeeper David Lopez, before French striker Karim Benzema equalised 12 minutes later with a powerful effort which beat the goalkeeper at his near post and hit the back of the net in an instant. 1-1, and Real deserve more but cannot take their chances. 

EPL Opening Day Review + Analysis:

Hello everyone and welcome to my latest blog post where I have match reports from all of today's 7 EPL matches including Liverpool vs Stoke, Arsenal vs Aston Villa and Swansea City vs Manchester United. 

12:45pm - Liverpool 1 Stoke City 0 

The opening match of the season was played at Anfield, as Liverpool were desperate to get off to a good start to the 2013-14 season against a tough Stoke side who would not go down without a fight.

You could tell this was true from the start, as Stoke had chances to score but could not finish them - thanks to great saves from new Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who signed from Sunderland for around £7million pounds earlier this summer. 

Robert Huth hit the crossbar, Ryan Shawcross had a header cleared off the line but it was Liverpool who broke the deadlock in the 37th minute thanks to young English striker Daniel Sturridge who capped off a wonderful passing play with a fine strike into the bottom corner of the net past Asmir Begovic. 

Stunning: Daniel Sturridge broke the deadlock just before half-time with this powerful effort. 

Sturridge celebrates scoring the 1st goal of the season, capping off a good move for Liverpool.

In the second half, Stoke tried to get back into the match more by trying to create more chances, but the Liverpool defence stayed strong with the new partnership at the back - Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure on display today. 

Sturridge and Henderson were both denied good goals by the saves of Asmir Begovic, and the game was really a tale of the two goalkeepers who both did well to keep the score to a minimum. 

Belgian goalkeeper Mignolet came to the hosts' aid in the last minute, when a penalty was awarded and striker Jonathan Walters smashed the ball towards the far corner of the goal. However, Mignolet anticipated the shot well and dived to parry it away, before also saving the rebound shot from Kenwyne Jones. 

The match ended 1-0 to the hosts, with Liverpool's new side looking encouraging for the new season ahead. 

3pm kick-off matches: 

Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 3 
So it goes from terrible to absolutely horrible for The Gunners in the space of a few days. The hosts played against relegation-fighters Aston Villa (yes, they already have that tag) at HOME and somehow lost 3-1 with 10 men after French defender Laurent Koscielny got sent off during the second half.

Two goals from Christian Benteke either side of half-time and another from new Spanish left-back Luna left Arsenal wondering what the future holds for the club after another poor display in-front of their angry home fans. 

Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock after 5 minutes when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sprinted down the wing before feeding the French striker with a ball he just could not mess up. 

Giroud finishes off Chamberlain's cross with a tap past Brad Guzan into the net to make it 1-0.

Couldn't miss: Giroud wheels away to celebrate the first and only Arsenal goal of the day.

From then on Arsenal lost the plot as Szczesny gave away a penalty in the 22nd minute, saved it before missing the rebound. 

Stroke of luck: Benteke scored the rebound after his penalty was saved by Szczesny. 

Then Benteke scored another penalty in the 62nd minute before Luna put Arsenal out of their misery with another goal in the 85th minute after Koscielny was sent off for a second bookable offence. 

The abuse has never been this bad before at Arsenal, until now. The pressure to sign players must surely be on Wenger by now?!? 

This one's for you: An angry Arsenal fan shows Wenger a message he won't forget anytime soon

Norwich City 2 Everton 2

An interesting game at Carrow Road, as big summer spenders Norwich City hosted Everton. 

Both sides are realistically targeting European football this season, because they both know that they have the quality and squad depth to do so.

Norwich striker Steven Whittaker broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 51st minute after a good solo run, before Everton equalised 10 minutes later thanks to young English midfielder Ross Barkley who unleashed a bullet strike into the bottom corner of the net following a pass from right-back Seamus Coleman. 

Coleman then got a goal of his own, 4 minutes later to give Everton the lead before new Norwich signing and Holland striker Ricky wan Wolfswinkel equalised for the hosts in the 71st minute to give him a goal on his EPL debut.

Sunderland 0 Fulham 1 
Paulo Di Canio started the 2013-14 EPL season with a home loss to Fulham, despite a tight match-up at The Stadium of Light. 

The only goal of the game came from Fulham midfield youngster Pajtim Kasami who scored in the 52nd minute to give The Cottagers their first win of the season.

Vital goal: Kasami celebrates his goal with manager Martin Jol.

Breakthrough: Kasami wheels away to celebrate the only goal of the game. 

West Brom 0 Southampton 1
Another 1-0 victory for the away side as Southampton striker Rickie Lambert capped off a great week to score a last-minute penalty after 90 tense minutes of play. 

Bullet strike: Rickie Lambert scores from the penalty spot to give Southampton a late winner. 

Lambert celebrates his 2nd goal of the week, after his debut goal for England in midweek. 

Southampton go back to St. Mary's having beaten a standout team from last season, with a last-gasp winner from the penalty spot. 

West Ham United 2 Cardiff City 0 
West Ham hosted newly-promoted side Cardiff at Upton Park, as both sides were looking forward to parading their new signings onto the pitch.

Joe Cole broke the deadlock in the 13th minute after beating a defender with a quick turn before shooting the ball off-balance into the bottom corner of the net. 

Off-balance: Joe Cole strikes the ball low and hard into the bottom corner of the net. 

There we go: Joe Cole scores West Ham's first goal of the season after just 13 minutes of play.

A nice one-touch passing move was clinically finished off by captain and midfielder Kevin Nolan in the 76th minute to double the hosts' lead and seal the three points on the opening day of the season. 

Nolan clinically finished a great passing move off with a finesse shot into the top corner. 

Swansea City 1 Manchester United 4
The scoreline does not reflect the actual play during the match. Swansea tried hard, but could not cope with United changing gears quickly, from slow momentum to fast tempo play within seconds - which is where they got most of their 4 goals from today. 

Strikers Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck both scored twice either side of half-time as Manchester United gave new manager David Moyes a win on his first EPL game in charge of United. 

Goals galore: RvP scored his first two goals of the season against Swansea at The Liberty. 

Acrobatic effort: van Persie scored his first of the day with a long-range acrobatic effort. 

Easy slot: Danny Welbeck is in the right place at the right time to make it 2-0.

There we go: Welbeck celebrates making it 2-0 to United in the 36th minute.

Comfortable: United were not playing at top gear throughout, yet they were winning for the most part. 
New Swansea signing Wilfried Bony got on the scoresheet for the hosts late on but it was only a consolation goal as Swansea slump to the bottom of the table on the first day. 

Thank you for reading my football blog today, there will be more blog posts from me in the coming weeks and months as the football season begins properly and matches take place regularly. I apologise for this post being late, my Internet was poor and down for the most part of yesterday but I finally have the post out now. 

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Have a nice day, another blog post will be out later today.