Saturday, 21 September 2013

EPL 6-Match Review + Analysis:

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post where I have a review + analysis of all of today's EPL matches that were being played, including Liverpool vs Southampton and West Ham vs Everton.

The household names in the league (Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham) were all not in action today, as they have games tomorrow. 

Here were the 6 matches being played in the EPL today: 

Liverpool 0 Southampton 1
The Reds suffered their first defeat of the season, and at home aswell which puts an end to an impressive unbeaten run of 4 games at the start of the season. 
They lost to a strong Southampton side who dominated away from home but Liverpool did not expect to be tested as hard as they were.

The only goal of the game came from Croatian defender Dejan Lovren in the 53rd minute with a bullet header past Mignolet into the back of the net.

Bullet header: Lovren reacts after scoring his first goal for Southampton against Liverpool.
Breakthrough: Lovren celebrates his finish to end Liverpool's 100% unbeaten run at Anfield.

Lovren celebrates his bullet strike with the Southampton faithful.

The only positive that the hosts will take from the game is the fact that Uruguayan striker and talisman Luis Suarez sat through his last game of his 10-match ban for biting Ivanovic at the end of last season today, so they will hope to have him match fit and back playing against Manchester United during midweek in the Capital One Cup. 

Back soon: Striker and talisman Luis Suarez was seen watching Liverpool lose at home.

West Ham 2 Everton 3
West Ham hosted Everton at Upton Park in an interesting match for both sides. West Ham had only won 1 of their previous 4 games so far this season, while Everton were still unbeaten and have now become the only side left in the EPL who are yet to lose a game. And then when I say that...

Anyways, this game was entertaining from start to finish, with 5 goals for all supporters to enjoy from both sides. Former Manchester United and young midfielder Ravel Morrison broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with a deflected strike just outside the box.

Deflected strike: Ravel Morrison broke the deadlock for West Ham after 30 minutes. 

A good assist by English winger Matt Jarvis, who did well to skip past the Everton defence before feeding Morrison who was lucky to score but happily took the strike as his own. 

Two spectacular free-kicks from left-back and key Everton man Leighton Baines gave the away side an equalising 2-2 result with just over  5 minutes left to play, after midfielder Mark Noble slotted home from the penalty spot.

Quality: Baines curled two free-kicks past goalkeeper Jaaskelainen from 25 yards out.

Unstoppable: Jaaskelainen tried a diving save to his right but could not stop Baines' free-kicks.

Top class: Leighton Baines celebrates scoring two free-kicks for Everton against West Ham. 

Then, in a bizarre turn of events, Mark Noble went from penalty hero to sending off zero getting a second yellow card after a late challenge on Everton wonderkid and young English midfielder Ross Barkley, a minute before Baines' second strike. 

Subsitute and loanee (from Chelsea) striker Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to score a late winner for Everton on his debut for his new loanee club in the 85th minute with a crunching header which then resulted in him needing treatment from the Everton physio. He suffered a huge blow to his head and was unconscious for a few minutes before he was treated. 

Warrior: Lukaku scored an 85th minute header for Everton before instantly falling down (below)

Concern: Lukaku was pictured on the floor in discomfort immediately after scoring for Everton.
Treatment: Lukaku was soon back on his feet, having being treated by the Everton physio.

Everton will be grateful for Lukaku and Baines, and glad that they won the game away from home however they will feel they need to take their chances more as Belgian striker Kevin Mirallas had 2 or 3 good goalscoring chances but failed to take them.

All in all the game was a very entertaining one for neutrals, but West Ham will feel hard done by as they lost so late on at home in-front of their faithful fans. You would hope that they can make more chances next time to avoid late drama.

My Man of The Match: Leighton Baines.
Baines was instrumental in helping Everton to win away from home today, he looked dangerous whenever he was on the counter attack and looked up to find a player in space. Two sublime free-kicks and a brave finish by Lukaku gave The Toffees the win, but Baines deserved MOTM for me. 

One to Watch: Ross Barkley. 
Fast-paced, quick on his feet and has an intelligent brain. Barkley is definitely a great young midfield player who has the potential to succeed at the top level of football. 
Looked dangerous on the counter attack and was fouled twice for both free-kick goals by Baines.

Norwich 0 Aston Villa 1:
This match was played at Carrow Road, as manager Paul Lambert faced his former side Norwich away from home with Aston Villa. 
  Both sides have not had the best of starts, despite Villa's shock 3-1 win over Arsenal on the opening day of the season and Norwich only winning 1 of their 4 games. 

Recent Villa signing and striker Libor Kozak scored the only goal of the game for Aston Villa after 30 minutes with a rebounded shot which he converted cooly into the back of the net.
Newcastle United 2 Hull City 3:
This game was played at the Sports Direct Arena, as Newcastle United hosted newly-promoted Hull. Both sides were closely linked in the EPL table up until now, but goals were low for both clubs also (hence a lack of wins for both) 

Newcastle's loanee signing and French striker Loic Remy broke the deadlock after just 10 minutes on his debut with a bullet header from a delivery and connection by Sissoko and Cisse. 

Young Hull City startlet Robbie Brady equalised for the away side in the 26th minute after some good pressing by the visitors, making the hosts look vulnerable at the back. A good pass by Aluko outside the box found Brady who turned a Newcastle defender inside out before striking the ball past goalkeeper Tim Krul into the net. 

West Brom 3 Sunderland 0:
This game was played at The Hawthorns, as midfielder Stephane Sessegnon played against former club Sunderland on his debut for West Brom following his shock deadline day transfer for a reported £5million pounds. 

Manager Paulo Di Canio meanwhile was criticizing his players in the local press, saying they lacked mental toughness in the wake of their embarrasing loss to EPL newcomers Crystal Palace away from home last week. 

He was desperate to win his first game this season, or The Black Cats would be stuck at the bottom of the EPL table for another week and questions would be asked about his managerial position with the club. 

Chelsea 2 Fulham 0:
The evening kick-off was played at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea looked to move to the top of the EPL table on Saturday night with a win over their local West London rivals Fulham after a poor set of results both in the EPL last week with a 1-0 loss against Everton and a bad start to the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League with a 2-1 loss to Basel.

Goals from midfielders John Obi Mikel and Oscar gave the hosts a comfortable 2-0 win over their local rivals, who go top of the table on Saturday night carefully monitoring their title rivals, who all play tomorrow afternoon.

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