Friday, 18 September 2015

Match Report: Bordeaux 1-1 Liverpool

Sports - Football - Europa League - Bordeaux 1-1 Liverpool

A relatively young Liverpool side started their Europa League campaign with a 1-1 draw, being denied their first win in four games by Bordeaux substitute Jussie in the last 10 minutes, earning his side a point in Group B.

Adam Lallana

Brendan Rodgers made eight changes after his side's 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday, calling up Joe Gomez, Jordan Rossiter, Jordan Ibe and Divock Origi, as well as young substitutes Pedro Chirivelle and Cameron Brannagan, all gaining valuable European experience.

As always, Philippe Coutinho carried and produced most of the responsibility, play and chances, but could not compete on his own against a much better French side in the first half, Diego Rolan and Henri Saivet both coming close but not challenging Red keeper Simon Mignolet enough.

The Reds took over more control after the break, Rossiter and Chirivella, long-time youth team mates, gelling much better together, and Coutinho and fit-again Adam Lallana setting a much better and stronger tone for the visitors.
Philippe Coutinho
And on 65 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken by the former Saints man, with a stylish nutmeg through Pablo and first-time finish inside the far post.

And substitute Danny Ings looked like he doubled the lead with a similar cheeky effort, but was denied by the outstretched goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso.

But it was not to be. The youthful Reds tired soon and leaked in the closing stages. With nine minutes to go, Jussie had plenty of time and space and fired high into the net to level the score, Liverpool failing to clear their area, not for the first time this season.

It was a faire result in the end, a goal and point each, and good for the youngsters to gain experience and Lallana to find form in his first match back from injury. The main question and pressure is, if and when the Reds can find winning ways and form...

Bordeaux Goals: 1.: 81' Jussie (20).

Liverpool Goals: 1.: 65' Lallana (20).

Bordeaux Team: 16 Carrasso; 29 Poundje, 5 Pallois, 4 Nascimento de Castro, 2 Gajic (26 Guilbert 86'); 11 Chantome (booked 38'); 19 Maurice-Belay, 10 Saivet (17 Poko 76'); 24 Khazri (20 Jussie 69'); 27 Crivelli, 9 Rolan. 4-1-2-1-2
Subs not used: 7 Traore, 12 Thelin, 21 Yambere, 30 Prior.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 17 Sakho, 4 Toure (booked 12') (8 Chirivella 28'), 12 Gomez; 18 Moreno, 23 Can, 46 Rossiter (32 Brannagan 80'), 33 Ibe; 10 Coutinho, 20 Lallana; 27 Origi (28 Ings 73'). 3-4-2-1
Subs not used: 11 Firmino, 34 Bogdan, 56 Randall, 58 Cleary.

Bordeaux-Liverpool Match Stats:
Possession: 46%-54%
Attempts: 9-10
On target: 5-6
Corners: 4-8
Fouls: 10-10

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Attendance: 35,328
Man of the match: Philippe Coutinho

Pictures and stats taken from the BBC website

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Match Report: Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool

Sports - Football - Premier League - Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool

Liverpool maintained their unbeaten run keeping Arsenal waiting for their first home win of the season as both sides played out a thrilling goalless draw at the Emirates with plenty of action, chances and controversies.

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech

It was the first time James Milner wore the captain's armband for Brendan Rodgers' men as Jordan Henderson missed out due to injury.
Arsene Wenger's men meanwhile were weakened at the back through illness and injury to centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny respectively.

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech saves from Liverpool striker Christian BentekeAnd it certainly was a game of two halves with the Reds dominating the first half, Christian Benteke and Philippe Coutinho working dangerously well together, hitting the bar, the post and pulling some breath-taking saves out of under-fire Gunner keeper Petr Cech.

The home side were all over the place, however, they should have been ahead early on when Aaron Ramsey had the ball in the back of the net in the eighth minute, only to be flagged and disallowed offside, cruelly borderline.

Arsenal have only seen two wins in the last eleven games officiated by Martin Oliver and can make it two out of twelve with this match which is not a nice read.

Sanchez reacts after failing to convert a chanceBut the Community Shield winners came back strong and took over play in the second half, Ramsey and Olivier Giroud keeping Red stopper Simon Mignolet busy and Alexis Sanchez just finding the post on the hour-mark.

Both goalkeepers worked hard, showed top quality, earning and deserving the clean sheets. Their teams showed great potential up front but major leaks, not being able to keep or clear the ball in the middle or at the back of the field, which should be worrying for both.

Liverpool will welcome West Ham at Anfield next Saturday afternoon, whilst Arsenal will travel to Newcastle for the lunch time kick-off.
Both sides will surely challenge for the top four this season, all depending on whether they can fix the leaks and find more security and solidity at the back, not just relying on their keepers alone.

Pictures taken from the BBC and Sky Sports websites.

Arsenal Team: 33 Cech; 5 Gabriel (booked 65'), 21 Chambers, 24 Bellerin; 19 Cazorla (c), 34 Coquelin (15 Oxlade-Chamberlain); 17 Sanchez, 11 Özil, 16 Ramsey; 12 Giroud (14 Walcott 73'). 4-1-3-1
Subs not used: 2 Debuchy, 3 Gibbs, 8 Arteta, 13 Ospina, 20 Flamini.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet (booked 85'); 12 Gomez (booked 79'), 6 Lovren, 37 Skrtel (booked 61'), 2 Clyne; 7 Milner (c), 21 Lucas (46 Rossiter 76'), 23 Can (booked 67'); 10 Coutinho (18 Moreno 87'), 9 Benteke, 11 Firmino (33 Ibe 63'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 17 Sakho, 27 Origi, 28 Ings, 34 Bogdan.

Match Stats: Arsenal-Liverpool: 1st & 2nd half
Attempts: 3-11 & 16-4
On target: 1-5 & 4-3
Offside: 5-4 & 0-0
Goal kicks: 2-5 & 1-4
Corners: 2-6 & 5-2
Free kicks: 5-1 & 8-1
Throws: 5-6 & 7-10
Possession: 61%-39% (HT) & 66%-34% (FT)

Referee: Martin Oliver
Attendance: 60,080 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Match Report: Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth

Sports - Football - Premier League - Liverpool 1-0 Bournemouth

Christian Benteke's first goal for Liverpool on his debut at Anfield handed his side a controversial 1-0 winner against newly promoted Bournemouth.

Liverpool v Bournemouth

The Belgian striker netted the winner from close range on 26 minutes, but Eddie Howe's men had a valid reason to protest as Philippe Coutinho should have been flagged offside in the build-up to the goal.

Brendan Rodgers' men made it two unconvincing 1-0 wins out of two, becoming the fourth side after Manchester City, Manchester United and Leicester with 100% record after the second round of Premier League games.

The home side started with an unchanged side after their 1-0 win at Stoke last Sunday, but it was the Cherries who started the more promising, skipper Tommy Elphick netting a header, only to be disallowed for a foul on Dejan Lovren. Harsh from referee Craig Pawson.

Liverpool v BournemouthThe early threat seemed to give the Reds the much needed wake-up call, and they soon took over the ball and play, Coutinho especially omnipresent and always creating.

The Brazilian was heavily involved in Benteke's match winner for Liverpool, as under new rules for this season, he should have been flagged offside as he was affecting play, moving towards the ball in the build-up to the goal.

But it was not to be for the visitors, the flag stayed down, the goal, scoreline and result stood, 1-0.

Reds keeper Simon Mignolet was not really tested, but the Belgian keeper will still be happy with the second consecutive clean sheet after both Matt Ritchie and Eunan O'Kane both shot wide for Bournemouth in the second half.

Liverpool went closest to scoring again late on, Benteke hitting the bar and missing out on a second in the final seconds.

Three more points in the bag for the Reds, but no illusions about the display and much needed improvement and development still.

Images from the BBC website.

Liverpool Goals: 9 Benteke 26'.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 12 Gomez (booked 75'), 6 Lovren, 37 Skrtel, 2 Clyne; 14 Henderson (c) (23 Can 52'), 7 Milner; 20 Lallana; 33 Ibe (11 Firmino 70'), 10 Coutinho (18 Moreno 81'); 9 Benteke. 4-2-1-2-1
Subs not used: 4 Toure, 27 Origi, 28 Ings, 34 Bogdan.

Bournemouth Team: 1 Borac; 11 Daniels, 3 Cook (booked 91'), 5 Elphick (c), 2 Francis; 10 Gradel (15 Smith 81'), 6 Surman, 32 O'Kane (booked 34') (4 Gosling 87'), 30 Ritchie (booked 76'); 17 King (24 Tomlin 61', booked 77'), 13 Wilson. 4-4-2
Subs not used: 7 Pugh, 14 Mings, 23 Federici, 25 Distin.

Liverpool-Bournemouth Match Stats:
Possession: 54.9%-45.1%
Shots: 18-13
On taget: 2-2
Off target: 11-6
Blocked: 5-5
Corners: 6-8
Offside: 1-0
Fouls: 11-18
Bookings: 1-4

Referee: Craig Pawson

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Match Summary: HJK Helsinki 0-2 Liverpool

Sports - Football - Pre-Season Friendly - HJK Helsinki 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool Goals: 27 Origi 73' & 10 Coutinho 78'.

HJK Helsinki Team: 1 Örlund (35 Sahlgren HT); 15 Peiponen (2 Lehtinen 85'), 6 Heikkila, 3 Boah (4 Ojala 58'), 11 Lampi (16 Moren HT); 13 Kolehmainen (91 Maissi 71'), 28 Schüler (26 Malola HT); 99 Kandji (8 Savage 80'), 10 Atom (20 Klinga HT), 22 Mandy (7 Lingman 71'); 18 Jallow (14 Havenger 71'). 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: Sauramea, 27 Sorsa, Alho, 80 Zemeli.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 2 Clyne, 37 Skrtel, 6 Lovren, 12 Gomez (57 Maguire 81'); 14 Henderson, 10 Coutinho (68 Chirivella 81'), 7 Milner; 33 Ibe, 20 Lallana, 28 Ings (27 Origi 63'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: GK Fulton, 40 Kent, 60 Allan.

HJK Helsinki-Liverpool Match Stats: 1st & 2nd half
Attempts: 1-6 & 1-5
On target: 0-2 & 1-4
Offside: 0-2 & 0-0
Goal kicks: 5-1 & 4-0
Corners: 2-5 & 0-4
Throws: 9-9 & 1-3
Free kicks: 4-8 & 6-2
Bookings: 0-0

My ByTheMinLFC Tweets:
- Phil Coutinho starts & new man Allan Rodriguez De Souza is sub (line-ups)
- Hey everyone! Sonjahaha here to cover all the HJK Helsinki v Liverpool action, a couple of min left till kick-off... XxXxX
- And the home side have kicked off... Helsinki playing to the right, Liverpool to the left... Win a throw straight away...
2' Liverpool won the ball back straight away but don't do much with it, they give away another throw-in... 0-0
5' 1st free kick to Liverpool after Atom & Kolehmainen both take on Milner... Henderson ends that attack with a shot right into gk Örlund.
6' a couple of corners to the home side, no real threat though yet... Both sides still finding their way... 0-0
8' Coutinho takes 1st LFC corner short, deflected to another corner; Skrtel attempt ends in another corner; Ibe puts it out for a goal kick.
11' Helsinki with a promising build-up from the right, nr 15 Paiponen dpes well, but sees ball blocked away in the box, disappointing, 0-0
14' Ibe from right, gets denied well by the hosts' left-back, Liverpool keep the ball, press back from the left... Lallana shot into gk, 0-0
16' Ibe with a shot from the right this time, into the side-netting. More promising build-ups from the Reds... But still 0-0.
18' Lallana rolls the ball into keeper Örlund's gloves again, keeping him busy but not much challenged, 0-0
19' free kick to the Reds in their own half, near the mid-circle, not much else produced from it worth describing... 0-0
- Halfway through the half Helsinki can be happy with a lot of possession, Liverpool with more chances but not much close, 0-0.
24' Helsinki win a free kick just outside the mid-circle in Liverpool's half, again not much from it, more a comfy kick about here, 0-0
26' Ings a bit over-enthusiastic there, gives away a fk, but the Reds counter quickly, Ibe on the right again, brought down by Schüller, 0-0
28' Ings heads the free kick high, shame, 0-0
29' Very quiet ground, a bit of applause here & there, Helsinki give the ball away again after a longer comfy spell, 0-0
30' Milner sees promising ball deflected out for a throw-in, keeper Örlund ends with the ball, all too comfortable. Again. 0-0
31' Kandji all over Gomez, concedes a free kick, Coutinho takes the ball well to Milner whose shot is easy to collect for Örlund again. 0-0
33' Kandji brings down Lallana this time, closer to the box, Milner short to Henderson on the left, pass blocked, HJK did well there, 0-0
34' Gomez pressing from the left again, a bit of ping pong, LFC keep it, try to press, but end up giving it away, 0-0
35' ball doesn't stay long with Helsinki & their nr 11 Lampi gives away a free kick on the right again; Henderson back to Milner, shot...
-... deflected/blocked out for a goal-kick, still 0-0
37' Helsinki with a rare counter, don't last long, blocked back to LFC who come from preferred right again, Ings runs but sees it out, 0-0
39' Liverpool look the hungrier but not really dangerous, Helsinki comfortable & confident so far, 0-0
5min to go till the break, LFC with a throw-in on the right, Coutinho whit a shot from outside the box, deflected, corner, nice one, 0-0
- another LFC corner taken by Coutinho, blocked, Lallana pass from left, blocked, ball away, 0-0
- Last seconds, Coutinho wins a free kick against Heikkila but it's quickly lost in the boy & that's the HT whistle 0-0, fine, that's it.
- HJK v LFC HT 0-0 my stats: attempts: 1-6, on target 0-2, offside 0-2, throws 9-9, free kicks 4-8, corners 2-5, goalkicks 5-1; both too comfy
- Well then, here we go, Liverpool kick off the second half, unchanged, 3 changes for Helsinki I think I heard; 11 Lampi replaced by 16 'Moren...
- Helsinki 35 Sahlgren comes on for nr 1 keeper Örlund & I think I overheard 26 Malolo on for 28 Schüller... Lallana shot soft to gk, 0-0.
- Yep, just confirmed these three HT changes for Helsinki plus one more, 20 Klinga on for 10 Atom... See next retweet... Still 0-0 meanwhile...
52' Clyne wins free kick for LFC near the centre circle, ends nowhere, goal kick, still quiet 0-0, Helsinki keep the ball, back kickabout
54' LFC & Ibe stubborn from the right, not letting Helsinki go, that's for sure, but not getting close atm, 0-0 & home side get ball back
56' and that was the first ball Mignolet had to collect!!! And he didn't muck it up! #relief 0-0
57' LFC corner to Lallana who whacks the ball towards goal but just high, corner from it, not much... Another corner eventually... 0-0
58' another change for Helsinki nr 15 (no name shown in French TV) replaces nr 3 Boah & a couple of minutes later another chance goes...
... begging for Liverpool, Coutinho I think the man looking most frustrated at the moment... Next to Ibe... And Lallana... And LFC, 0-0
63' first sub for Liverpool nr 27 Origi replacing 28 Ings, see if that'll break the deadlock! He gives away a free kick straight away, 0-0
- Hahaha, French telly just replaying all the frustrated faces & reactions by the players, definitely fits the general feeling! 0-0
66' and first time the French commentators get loud Lallanaaaa strong shot just about gloved out for a corner by Sahlgren, close one, 0-0
67' Liverpool corner comes to nothing, Helsinki win a free kick, comes to nothing, mirroring the whole match = nothing 0-0
70' Ibe pressing and pressing again, wins a corner, he's the only light I have seen today in this dark, trist display; corner, away, 0-0
- Looks like Ojala was the last sub on nr 4 not 15 whilst Helsinki make more changes... Check next retweet... Just under 20min to go... GOAL!
- Liverpool take the lead, nice advance by Ibe from the right again, ball ends at sub Origi's feet, who makes no mistake, 0-1 to the Reds!
- There ye go! My retweets confirm the last Helsinki substitutions & Liverpool's goal, all in Finnish! AAAAAND GOAOAOALLLL! 0-2!!!!!
- Coutinho's right foot doubles the lead for the Reds after a nice one-two build-up off a Lallana corner. Finally they've woken (us) up! 0-2
80' And another Helsinki change (I've lost count): 8 Savage on for 99 Kandji; and a couple of Liverpool changes coming up...
81' 57 Maguire & 68 Chirivella come on for 12 Gomez & 10 Coutinho & replacing two happier players with that! 0-2
- Helsinki change, 2 Lehtinen replaces 15 Peiponen; the right nr 15 this time... I know, exactly what you thought! 0-2 with 5ish min to go
- Liverpool kicking the ball around comfortably now, now they can, couple min to go, 2-0 up thank to sub Origi & Coutinho, feel better now!
90' another promising free kick for Liverpool, skipper Henderson takes it, low smacker just wide, keeper went for it, still 0-2, 3min added.
- can see the Liverpool fans singing loud, not much sound on the French channel though... And that's FT 0-2
- Liverpool win a frustrating match, 0-2 in Helsinki, tanks to Origi 73rd & Coutinho 78th min, waking up an otherwise quite dull game.
- HJK v LFC FT 0-2 stats: attempts: 2-11, on target 1-6, offside 0-2, throws 10-12, free kicks 10-10, corners 2-9, goal kicks 9-1.
- So, LFC's stubbornness more than quality paid off & they leave Helsinki 0-2 victors. That's all from me Sonjahaha, till next time #YNWA XxXxX

To read more of my tweets follow me on twitter => @Sonjahaha
For all the latest sports news & action tweets check out => @ByTheMinSport
For all the latest LFC news & action tweets check out => @ByTheMinLFC

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Match Report: Malaysia XI 1-1 Liverpool

Sports - Football - Pre-Season Friendly - Malaysia XI 1-1 Liverpool

Liverpool's final outing on their summer tour, across four cities in three countries, ended up being a very physical but disappointing 1-1 draw against Malaysia XI, at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

The travellers missed plenty of chances and showed the same old weaknesses at the back, that cost them dearly often enough last season.

Brendan Rodgers' men had enjoyed a successful tour so far, recording three out of three victories, scoring eight goals in the process.

However, MSL All Stars took the lead after just 13 minutes, thanks to Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh.

The striker took great control, before converting a beauty from about 20 yards away, with the outside of his right foot, Liverpool just watching. minutes later, Jordan Ibe levelled the score for the Reds with a great individual goal.

The youngster seemed to be the only Red player to have turned up in the first half.

Attacking from the right, he sent a nice left-foot shot from the edge of the box into the back of the net, to make it 1-1.

The Reds did enjoy most of the possession and created more chances, most ending nowhere, frustrating to watch.

Dejan Lovren missed and messed up plenty of chances, at the front, middle and back of the field.

Adam Lallana and Divock Origi didn't form much of an attacking duo, not getting into gear until later on in the second half, where not much went on target either.

Keeper Adam Bogdan can be much happier with his display, keeping solid till the end to avoid defeat, as did Khairul Azhan Khalid for the opposition.

Apart from the two fine strikes, the two keepers had most to shout and be chuffed about of both teams.

Malaysia XI Goals: 12:22min 4 Patrick Ronaldinho.

Liverpool Goals: 27:33min 33 Ibe.

Malaysia XI Team: 1 Khairul; 16 Zubir (21 Nazirul Naim Che Hashim 78'), 5 Bikana, 3 Thiago, 13 Razman (6 Yong Kuong Yong 83'), 18 Joseph (11 Syamim Yahya 81'), 20 Nasir (booked 58', 7 Baddrol Bakhtier 73'),19 Azamuddin (9 Norshahrul Idlan 44'); 8 Zah Rahan (2 Afif Amiruddin 79'); 10 Chad (12 S. Kumaahran 85'), 4 Patrick Ronaldinho (14 Christie Yaya Seelan 70'). 4-3-1-2
Subs not used: 28 Zamir Selamat.

Liverpool Team: 34 Bogdan; 2 Clyne (50 Markovic 80'), 37 Skrtel, 6 Lovren, 18 Moreno (57 Maguire 80'); 14 Henderson, 21 Lucas (46 Rossiter 73'), 7 Milner (68 Chirivelle 90'), 33 Ibe; 20 Lallana, 27 Origi (54 Ojo 73'). 4-4-2
Subs not used: 22 Mignolet, Fulton, 4 Toure, 17 Sakho, 9 Lambert, 12 Gomez, 24 Allen, 28 Ings, 40 Kent, 47 Wisdom, 53 Teixeira, 56 Wilson, 58 Cleary.

Malaysia XI-Liverpool
Match Stats:
1st half & 2nd half
Attempts: 2-5 & 4-7
On target: 2-3 & 1-3
Offsides: 0-0 & 0-0
Goalkicks: 3-0 & 7-2
Corners: 0-5 & 2-2
Throws-in: 3-9 & 6-5
Free kicks: 2-4 & 5-3
Bookings: 1-0
Possession: 29%-71% (36')

Referee: Nagor Amir Noror Mohamed

Friday, 29 May 2015

Premier League 2014/15 Season Review

Sports - Football - Premier League - 2014/15 Review

Well, that's another season done and dusted. 13,746,753 fans attended 380 games around the 20 Premier League grounds. They saw 975 goals scored (2.57 per match), 10 hat-tricks, 1,360 yellow cards (3.58 per match), 73 red cards (one every 5.2 matches) and 9 managerial changes. For more details on the season just gone, click here.
On a personal stats note, it's been a first, in 15 seasons (!), my father and me were all square in predictions, honours even at 172-172 (not quite half the games, but not bad)!
Here's my review of the season, looking at the stats and facts, winners and losers, and what has changed (or not really).

Image result for chelsea champions 2015Champions: Chelsea (4th Premier League title, 5th English title).
Champions League: Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Man United.
Europa League: Tottenham, Liverpool, West Ham.
Relegated: Hull City, Burnley, QPR.
Promoted from Championship: Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich.

Image result for sergio aguero 2015Top Scorer: Sergio Agüero (Man City, 26 goals)
Top Keeper: Joe Hart (Man City, 14 clean sheets)

Biggest home win: Southampton 8-0 Sunderland
Biggest away win: Swansea 0-5 Chelsea
Highest scoring: Everton 3-6 Chelsea
Longest winning run: 8 games, Arsenal
Longest unbeaten run: 16 games, Chelsea
Longest winless run: 13 games, Leicester
Longest losing run: 8 games, Newcastle

Most yellow cards: 94, Sunderland
Most red cards: 7, Aston Villa and Newcastle

Image result for jose mourinho 2015Premier League Manager of the Season: José Mourinho, Chelsea
Premier League Player of the Season: Eden Hazard, Chelsea
PFA Player of the Year: Eden Hazard, Chelsea
PFA Young Player of the Year: Harry Kane, Tottenham
PFA Team of the Year: David de Gea (MUFC); John Terry (CFC), Gary Cahill (CFC), Branislav Ivanovic (CFC), Ryan Bertrand (SFC); Alexis Sánchez (AFC), Nemanja Matic (CFC), Philippe Coutinho (LFC), Eden Hazard (CFC); Diego Costa (CFC), Harry Kane (THFC).

Main Gainers: compared to last season 2013-14.
Swansea and West Brom14 and 8 points and 4 places better off respectively.
Image result for swansea city 2015Garry Monk has worked wonders at The Swans. After Michael Laudrup's sacking in February 2014 after winning the Welsh side's first major piece of silverware with the League Cup and achieving a record finish in 9th position in 2013, the shoes were hard to fill. And of course following Wilfried Bony's record departure to Manchester City in this year's January transfer window, everyone was even more sceptic and expected the worst for Huw Jenkins' side. But the surprise appointment of then Swansea defender Monk has come up all trumps, his side finishing the season on a record high of 8th place on 56 points, playing entertaining football, knowing his squad well, great tactics, always good to watch.
Image result for west brom 2015The Baggies started 2015 further down the dumps, sacking Alan Irvine on the 29th December 2014, after losing 2-0 at Stoke made it 7 defeats in 9 games, only 4 wins in 19 matches, leaving them down in 16th place on 17 points out of 19 games. New Year's Day saw the appointment of Tony Pulis, the former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager, who is well known for his expertise in great escapes. And he did so again. His intentions were well presented in his first match in charge, a 7-0 win against Conference Premier side Gateshead in an FA Cup third round match, landmark win at Manchester United, and embarrassing champions Chelsea. Pulis' men finished the season strong, losing only once in the last six games, taking them up to 12th on 44 points.

Strongest Runs: Last 6 games
Man City: WWWWWW = 18 out of 18 points.
Too little, too late for The Sky Blues. Manager Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure after handing over the Premier League trophy to Chelsea with a big 8-point gap and ending the season trophyless.
Leicester: WLWWDW = 13 out of 18 points.
Great turnaround by the Foxes. Bottom at Christmas and after making all the wrong distracting headlines in February, Nigel Pearson's side just lost once in the whole of April, earning himself his first Premier League Manager of the Month award, and confirming his side's Premier League status by mid-May, with surprising comfort.
West Brom: WDWDWL = 11 out of 18 points.
As mentioned above, Tony Pulis has done a great job at The Hawthorns, showing that changes in management halfway through the season are not always bad news, wrong headlines or just naughty rumours, as they were for Leicester, but a great escape, heroic saviour or strong comeback instead.  
Chelsea: DWWDLW = 11 out of 18 points.
As mentioned above, City's late run meant nothing as Chelsea had already sealed the deal beginning of May with their 1-0 win against Crystal Palace. José Mourinho once again showed why Roman Abramovich brought him back to Stamford Bridge despite all rumoured spats and conflicts, and how you can win, even if it doesn't look so pretty.

Main Losers: compared to last season 2013-14.
Everton and Liverpool: 25 and 22 points, 6 and 4 places worse off respectively.
Neither the blue nor the red side of the Mersey have had much to cheer about this season.
Image result for everton 2015After replacing David Moyes and finishing his first season in 5th on 72 points, the Toffees highest return since the Premier League inception, compliments and expectations were high for Roberto Martinez. Record breaking signings Romelu Lukaku, Christian Atsu and Samuel Eto'o fed those hungers and hopes, but it all soon crumbled to bits. The Spaniard looked overloaded, seeing his side being lambasted as passive and well beaten too often, finishing in the bottom half of the table for the first time since 2005-06.
Image result for liverpool 2015The Reds meanwhile have seen it all this season, their skipper Steven Gerrard's last season for the club started weakly, before a strong boom, followed by another collapse of form. His sending off within 38 seconds in their 1-2 defeat against bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield in March and conceding nine goals in their last two league games of the season, 6 at Stoke and 3 at home against Crystal Palace, both defeats; these are just the tip of a very miserable iceberg for Brendan Rodgers' men. The Northern-Irishman is under immense pressure and fire from all sides after the runners up of last season ended up in the 6th position on 62 points and their main players are either confirmed or rumoured to leave. The Rumour mill is running wild, spitting out Jürgen Klopp as the odds-on favourite replacement.

Weakest Runs: Last 6 games
QPR: LDLLWL = 4 out of 18 points in last 6 games.
A season to forget before and after Harry Redknapp's departure. Whether it was for health reasons as he said, or he knew what was coming, the former Spurs boss left a sinking ship, that's for sure. No good and not much better for of from new manager Chris Ramsey, who will need a lot to rebuild.
Newcastle: LLLDLW = 4 out of 18 points in last 6 games.
Turmoil as always, but still surviving, somehow. After Alan Pardew's departure to Crystal Palace following his Premier League Manager of the Month award in December, things went downhill, former player and regular caretaker John Carver not holding back his anger watching his side complete the longest losing streak of the season.
West Ham: LDWLLL = 4 out of 18 points in last 6 games.
Shocker for Sam Allerdyce. After starting the season full of promise and great results, the second half of the season overshadowed it all, leaving the Hammers dangling in 12th, with not much promise or progress, and now managerless.
Southampton: LDLLWL = 4 out of 18 points in last 6 games.
The season started too good to be true, their blast was too strong to last and hold through, it had to drop and fall at some point. Still, full respect and praise to manager Ronald Koeman, for producing such a strong side and high finish despite all the high-profile departures of former manager Mauricio Pochettino and a list of top players.

Other Notable Changes (or not really):
Sunderland and Aston Villa: 0 points but 2 places worse off.
Image result for dick advocaat tearsDick Advocaat's tears said it all after leading the Black Cats to safety with a 0-0 draw at the Emirates. Reacting like that after just a couple of months in the job shows how tough it is to survive in the Premier League. That drew secured Sunderland's ninth straight top flight season. It was not the first time they struggled though, and it surely won't be the last.
After a record-low of just 12 goals in 25 games, it was no surprise to see Paul Lambert sacked at Villa Park in February, trembling around and in the relegation zone. New boss Tim Sherwood kept the Villans safe from the drop. Just. One can't imagine the Premier League without them, full stop. But the former Spurs manager's positive attitude seemed to have revived the side, guiding them to the FA Cup final against Arsenal.
Arsenal and Manchester United: 4 points worse and 6 points better, 1 and 3 places better respectively.
Image result for same old arsene wengerSame old. Arsène Wenger has done it again. Top four finish. What crises? After a shambles start to the season, with the all too familiar short list of signings and long injury list, the Gunners turned the season around, including notable wins at Manchester City in the Premier League and Manchester United in the FA Cup, finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League group stages for the 18th season in a row.
Meanwhile, is Louis van Gaal really so much better than Moyes? The Red Devils are 6 points and 3 places better off than last season, yes, but not much from what they have shown on the pitch. Expensive and high-profile disappointments like Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao did not produce much, most games and points were saved and recorded thanks to keeper de Gea, more than anything else! Rumour has been surrounding his exit from Old Trafford for a while now, which surely LVG will give his all to avoid and stop from happening.


Here's the full list of all the Premier League teams, in alphabetical order, listing the positions and points totals they finished on the last couple of seasons and what I predicted and how they actually ended this season. I was spot on with some (closer to the top), more far off with others (further down the table). Happy read and looking forward to next season! XxXxX #YNWA

2012-13: 4th on 73 points.
2013-14: 4th on 79 points.
2014-15: predicted 4th, ended 3rd on 75 points.

Aston Villa:
2012-13: 15th on 41 points.
2013-14: 15th on 38 points.
2014-15: predicted 15th, ended 17th on 38 points.

2012-13: Championship.
2013.14: Championship.
2014-15: predicted 19th, ended 19th on 33 points.

2012-13: 3rd on 75 points.
2013-14: 3rd on 82 points.
2014:15: predicted 1st, ended 1st on 87 points.

Crystal Palace:
2012-13: Championship.
2013-14: 11th on 45 points.
2014-15: predicted 14th, ended 10th on 48 points.

2012-13: 6th on 63 points.
2013-14: 5th on 72 points.
2014-15: predicted 9th, ended 11th on 47 points.

Hull City:
2012-13: Championship.
2013-14: 16th on 37 points.
2014-15: predicted 16th, ended 18th on 35 points.

2012-13: Championship.
2013-14: Championship.
2014-15: predicted 20th, ended 14th on 41 points.

2012-13: 7th on 61 points.
2013-14: 2nd on 84 points.
2014-15: predicted 6th, ended 6th on 62 points.

Manchester City: 
2012-13: 2nd on 78 points.
2013-14: 1st on 86 points.
2014-15: predicted 2nd, ended 2nd on 79 points.

Manchester United:
2012-13: 1st on 89 points.
2013-14: 7th on 64 points.
2014-15: predicted 3rd, ended 4th on 70 points.

2012-13: 16th on 41 points.
2013-14: 10th on 49 points.
2014-15: predicted 12th, ended 15th on 39 points.

2012-13: 20th on 25 points.
2013-14: Championship,
2014-15: predicted 13th, ended 20th on 30 points.

2012-13: 14th on 41 points.
2013-14: 8th on 56 points.
2014-15: predicted 5th, ended 7th on 60 points.

Stoke City:
2012-13: 13th on 42 points.
2013-14: 9th on 50 points.
2014-15: predicted 10th, ended 9th on 54 points.

2012-13: 17th on 39 points.
2013-14: 14th on 38 points.
2014-15: predicted 17th, ended 16th on 38 points.

2012-13: 9th on 46 points.
2013-14: 12th on 42 points.
2014-15: predicted 11th, ended 8th on 56 points.

2012-13: 5th on 72 points.
2013-14: 6th on 69 points.
2014-15: predicted 8th, ended 5th on 64 points.

West Brom: 
2012-13: 8th on 49 points.
2013-14: 17th on 36 points.
2014-15: predicted 18th, ended 13th on 44 points.

West Ham:
2012-13: 10th on 46 points.
2013-14: 13th on 49 points.
2014-15: predicted 7th, ended 12th on 47 points.