Sunday, 1 September 2013

EPL Super Sunday LIVE Coverage:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post where I have a LIVE Coverage blog post, with LIVE Commentary and analysis from today's 3 matches in the EPL including the Liverpool vs Manchester United derby along with the north London (Arsenal vs Tottenham) derby.

There were 6 matches being played this time yesterday, and here are the results (match reports + analysis to come soon):

Manchester City 2 Hull City 0
Cardiff City 0 Everton 0 
Newcastle United 1 Fulham 0 
Norwich City 1 Southampton 0 
West Ham United 0 Stoke City 1 
Crystal Palace 3 Sunderland 1 

Here are today's games:

Liverpool vs Manchester United - LIVE

30 minutes gone in both 1.30pm kick-off's today, with the hosts 1-0 up thanks to a 4th minute strike by English in-form striker Daniel Sturridge who scored his 3rd PL goal of the season.

Early breakthrough: Sturridge breaks the deadlock in the 3rd minute for his 3rd EPL goal in 3. 

Ahead at home: Liverpool team-mates mob in-form striker Sturridge after his finish inside the box. 
Here are the team line-ups:

Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Aspas, Coutinho and Sturridge. 

Subs: Jones, Alberto, Sterling, Ibe, Kelly, Flanagan and Wisdom.

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Giggs, Welbeck and van Persie.

Subs: Lindegaard, Anderson, Smalling, Hernandez, Nani, Valencia and Buttner. 

West Bromwich Albion vs Swansea - LIVE

Swansea City are dominating and leading away from home against West Brom, thanks to left-back Ben Davies' goal in the 22nd minute. 1-0 to The Swans, in their first game after sealing their qualification to this season's UEFA Europa League group stages.
Here are the team line-ups: 

West Brom: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Sinclair, Long and Anelka.

Subs: Rosenburg, Brunt, Lugano, Dorrans, Daniels, Dawson and Berahino. 

Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Shelvey, Canas, Hernandez, Michu, Routledge and Bony. 

Subs: Amat, Britton, Lamah, de Guzman, Pozuelo, Tremmel and Richards. 

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur - LIVE at 4pm

LIVE Coverage:

14:20 - Half-time in both 1.30pm kick-offs. 1-0 to Liverpool and Swansea in both games, with United look dangerous but frustrated as they are trailing to their fierce rivals away from home. Doubt it will stay 1-0 though. 

14:33 - Teams coming back out now at Anfield.. second half is about to start with United very frustrated they are losing. van Persie, Cleverley and Carrick all need to keep their calm unless they want to get sent off (they all have yellow cards) 

46: Dangerous looping ball into the box by Welsh winger Ryan Giggs to Ashley Young lurking behind the Liverpool defence, but a good headed clearance by Martin Skrtel makes the ball go out for a United corner.

47: Nothing comes of the corner and Liverpool can break now.  

48: Michael Carrick is given a final warning by the referee after tackling Liverpool forward Iago Aspas near the centre of the pitch - the resulting Liverpool free-kick is delivered well by Gerrard but Aspas' header goes over the bar and does not trouble De Gea. 

53: And now United are building up the pressure on Liverpool, with Skrtel the only reason why the score is still 1-0 at the moment. Good blocks and clearances by the defender whose solid defending has prevented the United midfield from splitting the hosts' open as of yet. 

56: Penalty decision not given by referee Andre Marriner after Danny Welbeck was judged to dive inside the box under the challenge of Aspas, and Liverpool were awarded with a goal-kick. 

59: Warm reception by the home fans for Aspas who has looked promising so far today, but will be replaced by 18-year-old winger Raheem Sterling who looks to double the lead for the hosts after combining well with Coutinho and Sturridge.

Iago Aspas OFF
Raheem Sterling ON

62: End-to-end from both sides now - fast paced movement on the ball with the tendency to lose the ball though. 

63: Manchester United are making a substitution, with Portugese winger Luis Nani replacing Ashley Young to start his first EPL game of the new season after suffering from a groin injury during pre-season. His fresh legs will be needed on the wings as United press for an equaliser. 

65: Still 1-0 in the other 1.30pm game between West Brom and Swansea, more updates from the game at The Hawthorns soon.

66: Meanwhile United are still pressing to equalise but their final ball is lacking. 

67: Liverpool supporters trying to motivate their players to double the lead, chanting and making the atmosphere a more interesting spectacle for all to watch.

68: Good save by Mignolet after a United corner whipped into the box by Nani fell to Ryan Giggs who was free in space to head the ball towards goal, but the Belgian keeper saved the effort comfortably. 

69: Manchester United midfielder Antonio Valencia is down on the floor in discomfort now, clutching his face in pain after being accidentally struck by Raheem Sterling in a 50/50 challenge to win the ball whilst in mid-air. 

70: United down to ten men momentarily as Valencia recieves treatment by the physio on the touchline - after he himself put the ball out of play so that he could be treated. Intriguing stuff. 

72: Manchester United making a substitution, with super sub Hernandez coming on for the veteran Ryan Giggs (who is looking fatigued):
Ryan Giggs OFF
Javier Hernandez ON

Can Hernandez live up to his "super sub" nickname once again and strike for United to equalise? Can Liverpool hold on and give their legend Bill Shankly (died 1981) the 100th birthday present he deserves?  

73: Valencia is now back onto the pitch, and United are no longer at a disadvantage. 

74: Great block tackle by English right-back Glen Johnson on Patrice Evra who is down clutching his knee.

75: Evra gets up slowly, with Johnson looks worse for wear clutching his knee now. Injury woes for England now as they have international friendlies upcoming and Johnson could be out along with Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney (who are already ruled out of action) 

76: CLOSE! Luis Nani with a power strike from just outside the box towards goal, but a good parry by Mignolet prevents the Portuguese man from scoring on his return to the United squad.

77: Confirmation of that injury now, sad to see Johnson limp off the pitch but he looks in serious discomfort after the challenge with a beast warrior-like block to deny Evra from taking a shot on goal. 

Glen Johnson OFF (injury) 
Andre Wisdom ON

80: Javier Hernandez takes an effort at Mignolet's goal, but the score is still 1-0 after a comfortable save down low to his right. 

81: Goal Update - West Brom 0 Swansea 2. The Swans virtually seal the away victory after a dangerous counter attack by Michu and Hernandez ends up with the latter doubling the lead. Deserved. 

82: Another Liverpool substitution as Brazillian playmaker Phillipe Coutinho comes off and is replaced by new signing Luis Alberto. 

86: Late chance for United to equalise - squandered. Robin van Persie was through on goal with only Mignolet to beat, but his strike flashed past the near post and hit the side netting.

89: Lucas is given a yellow card after conceding a free-kick in a dangerous position near the far touchline. 

90: The fourth official has signalled for 5 minutes of stoppage time to play on the electronic board, while the game at The Hawthorns has finished. 

90+2: Liverpool just trying to wind down the clock now, as soon as they get the ball they are running and passing it into space to hold it and frustrate United even more. Effective but annoying.

90+3: The realisation that United may actually lose is now starting to kick in around Anfield - with all the Liverpool fans in full song chanting "You'll Never Walk Alone"

90+4: Last chance for United on the counter attack... ball possession lost and the ball falls to Raheem Sterling on the wing. He cuts past Ferdinand with his electric pace before striking towards goal...... SAVE!! David De Gea uses his acrobatic skills to jump high and parry the ball over the bar. 

90+5: Liverpool poised to take the corner, but timewasting yet again with a short corner about to be taken. 

De Gea wins the ball back, tries to find someone in space but the referee blows his whistle to end the match at Anfield, with Liverpool moving to the top of the table at least for now (Tottenham vs Arsenal still to come) 

15:30 - I will be back in 30 minutes for my LIVE Commentary of the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at The Emirates - but here is the team line-ups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla and Walcott. 

Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Monreal, Flamini, Zelalem, Gnabry and Sanogo.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Capoue, Paulinho, Townsend, Dembele, Chadli and Soldado. 

Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Holtby, Lamela, Sandro, Sigurdsson and Defoe. 

Arsenal vs Tottenham - LIVE Commentary:

16:10 - The game has well and truly kicked off at The Emirates on a sunny north London afternoon. 0-0 so far, with neither side having had many clear cut chances as of yet. 

16: And the cameras take a quick break from the action to see David Beckham and his three sons on Romeo's birthday (a dedicated Arsenal fan) while Martin Tyler (commentator on SkySports) decides to make a cheeky dig at Arsenal's transfer window activity saying "Beckham hasn't been training with Arsenal, as far as I know."

Birthday celebration: Newly-retired midfielder David Beckham is seen at The Emirates with his 3 boys. 
22: Solid tackle by German defender Per Mertesacker to deny Townsend from getting past the Arsenal defence before Rosicky goes on the counter attack.... finds Theo Walcott running down the wing.

He crosses the ball into the box for Giroud who taps the ball past Lloris at the near post! GOAL!!! Arsenal have broken the deadlock thanks to a fast counter attacking break by the hosts - it was never going to be a goal-less draw was it?! 1-0 to The Gunners. 

25: CLOSE! Arsenal almost doubled their lead after a quick break by Aaron Ramsey who shrugged off a challenge by Etienne Capoue to feed Walcott on the flank, who ran into the box before having his strike narrowly parried away by Lloris who dived to stretch for the shot. Arsenal are looking dangerous on the break, Tottenham's defence keep getting ripped apart.

30: OVER! Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey found the ball inside the box with space to shoot, but his effort was over the bar and not troubling Lloris. 

32: Close again for the hosts, as Spurs fail to pick up Walcott's run and the English forward is brought down after a well-timed challenge from French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who had to rush out of goal to slide tackle otherwise Tottenham would be 2-0 down. 

33: Tomas Rosicky is booked after a late sliding tackle from behind on Kyle Walker. Spurs free-kick. 

35: This match is entertaining, fast paced and open. There is virtually a wide gap in midfield for players to run into, which is probably why Arsenal are dominating in that part of the pitch. 
Paulinho and Capoue are trying their best to close down Arsenal's midfield - but there are too many players to track. 

37: Great sliding challenge on the edge of the area by Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs to deny winger Andros Townsend from running past him into space in the box.

39: Cameras show that Lamela and Holtby are both sitting on the Spurs substitute bench, looking uncomfortable and restless. They both want to play. 

Raring to go: £30million pound signing Erik Lamela is on the bench for Spurs today. 
40: Solid save by Szczesny after Townsend avoiding the challenges of both Gibbs and Koscielny before having a stinging drive comfortably held by the Polish goalkeeper just inside the box. Townsend is a threat to the Arsenal defence, Gibbs needs defensive cover on the overlap when Spurs are on the counter attack. 

42: More bad news for England and Arsenal - Jack Wilshere is jogging uncomfortably after picking up a knock. He could be replaced soon to avoid him aggravating the injury, and he could be ruled out of England's international matches. 

43: Yes, the substitution is ready. Wilshere is being replaced by French holding midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who makes his second debut for the club after leaving for AC Milan in 2008 but re-joining Arsenal on a free transfer last week. 

45: The fourth official has signalled for just the one minute of stoppage time to be played now, with Arsenal comfortable in possession just before the break. Spurs look dangerous when Dembele and Townsend are on the ball, but they have a lot to work on in the second half.

45+1: The referee blows his whistle to end the first-half of action at The Emirates in the north London derby. 1-0 to the hosts Arsenal against free-spending Spurs who are without talisman Gareth Bale ahead of his rumoured £78million pound move to Real Madrid tomorrow (on transfer deadline day).
Olivier Giroud continued his goal-scoring form with a tap-in finish past Lloris after a good piece of team work.    

Tap-in finish: French striker Olivier Giroud hits the ball first time past Lloris at the near post. 

Giroud celebrates his finish which makes him joint top scorer with Sturridge - 3 EPL goals.
17:02 - The second half has just begun at The Emirates, Arsenal lead 1-0 against Tottenham as Spurs look to equalise against their derby rivals.

49: Injury news on Jack Wilshere, and the injury is not as bad as first thought - nothing to do with the recurring ankle injury either. Jack is feeling ill with a stomach bug and was not 100% sure he could have finished the game so was replaced by Flamini. 

51: Good tracking back by Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson to clear the ball away from Belgian midfielder Dembele near the corner flag. 

52: Spurs penalty appeal not given as French defender Laurent Koscielny shoulder barges Spurs' new signing Roberto Soldado just inside the box, but the referee waves play on and a goal-kick goes Arsenal's way. 

55: Dangerous Spurs free-kick from 25 yards out, Belgian winger Nacer Chadli to take after Danny Rose was brought down by Mathieu Flamini with a strong but dangerous tackle - and is subsequently booked for the challenge. 

Chadli steps up to take it.... over the bar!! Szczesny not troubled by the effort, and the home fans jeer at the strike. 

57: Andre Villas Boas looks stressed out and worried, just over 30 minutes to play and Spurs never looked the same after Giroud's finish. There is still time however for AVB's men in a new-look (signings galore) side.

58: Arsenal corner going to be taken by Walcott, with the hosts desperate for that second goal to become more comfortable. 

59: Controversial free-kick for Spurs, after a pacy run by Townsend ended with a through ball to Walker who fell under the pressure of Kieran Gibbs racing towards him. Inswinging free-kick, cleared away by the Arsenal defence. 

63: Counter attacking break by Arsenal, Cazorla picks out a pass straight to Giroud who takes a touch to control the ball before shooting the ball powerfully towards Lloris' goal. The strike was well parried by Lloris who had to make a diving save to prevent his French compatriot from scoring his second of the day. End-to-end stuff now. 

65: Paulinho has a stinging effort towards goal, but Szczesny is not troubled and the shot hits the advertising boards. 

66: Cameras show English striker Jermain Defoe is getting ready to come on for Spurs, getting his team instructions and stripping into his Tottenham kit and Dembele is the player being replaced.  

68: Tottenham SUB:
Moussa Dembele OFF
Jermain Defoe ON

So Defoe is coming on for the last twenty minutes to partner up with Soldado in strike and try and equalise for Spurs to make the game interesting. Tottenham are pressing, but when Arsenal are on the counter attack, they look dangerous also. 

72: Tottenham physio on the pitch now, as Capoue is down injured in pain after a 50/50 challenge for the ball with Cazorla which resulted in him landing on his foot awkwardly. Looks painful from the replays.

73: The stretcher is now on the pitch, with Capoue's foot being isolated in a brace first before they can safely take him off the pitch. 

74: Tottenham are going to use up their remaining two substitutions at once:

Etienne Capoue OFF
Andros Townsend OFF 
Sandro ON
Erik Lamela ON

75: A quick free-kick results in an intense goalmouth scramble sees Spurs almost equalise, but a good save by Szczesny to deny Defoe's effort and a clearance from Soldado and Walker's attempted strikes sees the score stay at 1-0 to the hosts. Dramatic.

78: Arsenal making their second substitution with Tomas Rosicky being replaced by Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal - so The Gunners have to change up their midfield options. 

79: Great football by Arsenal, notably Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. Giroud got past Rose on the flank with pace and skill before his shot was parried by Hugo Lloris, straight to substitute Monreal who could not sort his feet out and take a shot at the goal... close to 2-0 but it is still just the one for now. 

10 minutes left to play, very entertaining match so far and late drama could be on the cards for either side.

81: CLOSE! Giroud was alone on the wing with Walcott making a bursting run down the other side, but the Frenchman's through ball wasn't enough and Vertonghen dispossessed Arsenal. Cleared away. 

82: Tottenham free-kick taken quickly after Flamini brings down Sandro from behind. Spurs desperate for a goal, but can they get it? 

84: Another Spurs free-kick after Koscielny clips Defoe accidentally from 30 yards out.
The set-piece is taken quickly, and the ball falls to Nacer Chadli who does a fake shot before taking a strike towards goal.... OVER! 

85: Defoe does well to find his new team-mate Erik Lamela on the right-hand flank, who cuts inside past Koscielny to take a shot... but it is not powerful and Szczesny is able to comfortably hold the ball.

5 minutes left plus stoppages at The Emirates, and just a quick reminder to let all of my readers know that tomorrow is transfer deadline day - and I will have LIVE Coverage throughout the day of the latest deals in the EPL and all around Europe :)  

88: Spurs keep trying but to no avail. A pacy cross by Kyle Walker on the wing but Szczesny holds the ball comfortably in his hands and clears. 

89: Solid Arsenal defending as a team, but there is still stoppage time to come in this match. Arsenal supporters are desperate to end the game, and end it quickly. Who can blame them? Spurs are pressing but as of yet - no goals to show for it. 

90: The fourth official has signalled for 5 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the match at The Emirates.

90+1: Arsene Wenger makes his third and final change of the game, with Walcott being replaced by Bacary Sagna who is currently recovering from illness, hence why he did not start the game today.

90+3: Pressure is getting intense. Spurs are just whipping crosses into the box hoping for a header to finish. 

90+5: Full-time whistle gone at The Emirates! Despite of all their summer spending, Spurs lose against their fiercest rivals Arsenal away from home 1-0 thanks to a great finish by in-form Giroud and good team goal.

Tottenham looked different without Bale today, they will definitely miss him and if they want to play in the Champions League next season they need to be more consistent and hope that all of their signings gel together well - and quickly. The standout players for Spurs were Paulinho, Capoue and Walker aswell as Townsend who was bright on the wing but could not get a goal.

Olivier Giroud was my Man Of The Match today, he worked hard everywhere on the pitch whether it was attacking or helping at the back when it was needed the most. Cazorla, Ramsey and Gibbs also did well for the hosts, but an minor injury to Wilshere just reiterates the fact that they need to sign at least 1 or 2 players before the deadline at 11pm tomorrow or they will not have much squad depth for their matches this season - which could be the difference between winning a trophy and not. 

Anyways I will be back tomorrow morning for a LIVE Coverage of Transfer Deadline Day for all you blog readers :) Speak to you tomorrow everyone.. have a nice evening.