Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Premier League Picks Of The Week 6

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 6

The 6th week of Premier League action saw:

268 shots - most by Liverpool = 32

34 goals - most by Liverpool = 5

252 fouls - most by Sunderland, Swansea and Watford = 15 each

44 bookings - most by West Ham = 5

1 red card - Elmohamady for Hull City

3 penalties - 3 scored

Mike Phelan's birthday spoilt - only one manager has lost on a bigger margin on their birthday = Colin Todd at Bolton 0:5 Man United

Mane Sakho's social media rants are destroying the bridge back into the team which he was trying and supposed to rebuild

What a game! It was goals galore this weekend! My vote goes to Crystal Palace's dramatic comeback. All other games were thrashes, the results not surprising much after one-sided games. This was a true contest, until Sunderland crumbled to bits. Jermain Defoe's double put the Black Cats ahead and feeling confident about bagging their first league win of the season. But that was dashed very quickly, Joe Ledley pulling one back a minute later before James MacArthur's equaliser in the 76th minute and Christian Benteke's last-minute header to kill off the home side with the Eagles flying high all over them.

What a team! Man City are still top dogs keeping their 100%-record spotlessly shiny. Liverpool and Arsenal showed their worth though as well, all impressing and dominating their opponents. The results could have been even more damning and thrashing. The Reds have scored more goals since Jürgen Klopp's takeover on the 8th October 2015 than any other side = 71.

What a man! Daniel Sturridge, Benteke and Pogba, all under fire, were on the scoreboard and on fire, slapping their opponents and critics in the face. The prior and latter's goals may have been less decisive, but all part of the same reassuring and convincing form and status.

What a goal! Philippe Coutinho's unstoppable right-footed cut and smash into the top corner was breath-taking. Demarai Gray's spectacular long-range consolation goal for Leicester did not mean much but oh what a beauty. Arsenal's second goal was a brilliant team goal, completed by Theo Walcott to give the Gunners a 2-0 lead after just 14 minutes.

What the hell?! It was not a weekend for defenders. Marking was awful, back-passes cringe-worthy and keepers - well, let's just say it won't be a display they'll like to remember. Overall, it was a weekend to forget for the backlines. It's been especially devastating for West Ham and Hull after four straight defeats for the prior and four out of three defeats and just one point in the last four games for the latter.

My Predictions - Actual Results
Man United 2:2 Leicester - 4:1
Bournemouth 1:2 Everton - 1:0
Liverpool 3:1 Hull City - 5:1 - clicke her for my match report
Middlesbrough 1:3 Tottenham - 1:2
Stoke City 0:0 West Brom - 1:1
Sunderland 1:2 Crystal Palace - 2:3
Swansea 1:5 Man City - 1:3
Arsenal 0:0 Chelsea - 3:0
West Ham 1:3 Southampton - 0:3
Burnley 0:0 Watford - 2:0

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks

All images taken from the BBC match reports

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Liverpool put five past sorry Hull

Sports - Football - Premier League - LCF 5:1 HCFC

Liverpool thrashed Hull City 5-1 in a dominant display at Anfield that confirmed their strong run and great home form, scoring nine goals in two home league games so far.

Man of the match Adam Lallana opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a fine low shot that snook its way past the Tigers defence and keeper David Marshall.

With just under half an hour gone, James Milner doubled the score from the spot after Ahmed Elmohamady saw red for handling the ball in the box.

Sadio Mané added a third six minutes later to Anfield's delight, with a nice individual goal, fooling everyone he passed.

Substitute David Meyler did pull one back for the visitors after the break, but Philippe Coutinho's breathtaking right-footed cut and long-range smash into the top corner and another Milner penalty sealed the deal and the three points for the home side.

Since Jürgen Klopp took over on 8 October 2015, Liverpool have scored 71 goals, more than any other team over this period. They are now fourth in the Premier League table, second top scorers behind Manchester City with 16 goals in 6 games, 11 in the past 3.

Hull meanwhile drop two places to 14th, level on seven points with Watford, Leicester and Burnley above them and Bournemouth below them on goal difference while Mike Phelan is still waiting to find out about his permanent destiny.

Liverpool Goals: Lallana 17', Milner pen 30' & pen 71', Mané 36' and Coutinho 52'.

Hull City Goal: Meyler 51'

Liverpool Team: 1 Karius; 7 Milner (booked 19'), 17 Klavan, 32 Matip, 2 Clyne; 5 Wijnaldum, 14 Henderson (c) (23 Can 74'), 20 Lallana (15 Sturridge 69'); 19 Mané, 11 Firmino, 10 Coutinho (16 Grujic 74'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 18 Moreno, 21 Lucas, 22 Mignolet, 27 Origi.

Hull City Team: 2 Marshall; 3 Robertson, 6 Davies (c), 14 Livermore, 27 Elmohamady (sent off 29'); 20 Diomade (7 Meyler 33'), 25 Mason (booked 37') (22 Henriksen 73'), 11 Llucas, 8 Huddlestone (booked 7') (5 Maguire 45'), 10 Snodgrass; 9 Hernandez. 4-5-1
Subs not used: 15 Maloney, 17 Jakupovic, 18 Mbokani, 19 Keane.

Match Stats: Liverpool-Hull City
Attempts: 32-2
On target: 12-1
Corners: 13-2
Fouls: 8-8
Bookings: 1-2
Red cards: 0-1
Possession: 74%-26%

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the match: Adam Lallana
Attendance: 53,109

Images taken from the BBC match report 

Click here for my previous LFC match report

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Premier League Picks Of The Week 5

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 5

The fifth week of the Premier League action saw:

266 shots - most by Tottenham = 31

36 goals - most by Palace, Arsenal, Man City and West Brom = 4 each

222 fouls - most by Man United = 19

43 bookings - most by Sunderland = 6

3 red cards - Januzaj (SAFC), Nolito (MCFC) and Livermore (HCFC)

4 penalties - 3 scored

THAT Henderson goal - English commentary, much criticised

THAT Henderson goal - Spanish commentary, went viral

Guardiola's pick, harsh or cheep dig or just the truth?

What a game! Man Who? Mourinwho? Sorry for the cheep dig, but after their third defeat on the trot in the same week, the form has not followed the big words, build-up and hype around the Special One taking over at Old Trafford from under-fire LVG. It's Jose's worst start/run since he was at Porto in 2002. No discrediting Watford. The Hornets had a great game, with plenty of chances to make the scoreline much worse for the Red Devils who looked all over the place who looked all over the place. The home side were on fire, United in bits, Walter Mazzari can and must be a very happy man looking at the last couple of weeks, great games with plenty of goals and maximum points, what more can you ask for.

What a team! Man City remain the untouchables, the only side left in the Premier League with a 100% record having won 5 out of 5. And they cruised past Bournemouth, sweeping them away 4-0. The only catch for them was to see Nolito sent off needlessly. It looks like nothing can stop them st the moment, Pep Guardiola more than proving last week that he's more than up for the challenge.

What a man! Gareth Barry impressed on his landmark 600th top-flight appearance for Everton, but my vote of the week goes to MOTM Nacer Chadli and his double for West Brom, easing the pressure on manager Tony Pulis after dismantling West Ham 4-2. Hammer boss Slaven Bilic will be wondering what has hit the Hammers so low, down to 18th after their fourth defeat.

What a goal! Jordan Henderson's smacker of a goal that doubled Liverpool's lead at Stamford Bridge before the break didn't just gob-smack me, it punched the living daylights out of Chelsea. Diego Costa did pull one back in the second half, but the Blues never looked all too threatening, suffering their first defeat under Antonio Conte. Red boss Jürgen Klopp could not have been more delighted - even though the crazy German did keep his glasses on this time...

What the hell?! That's what David Moyes must be thinking. His side kept solid against Tottenham and looked like they could get something out of the match, but they broke eventually. It was not a convincing win for Spurs, hence the more frustrating for the Black Cats.
And what was Alexis Sanchez thinking?! Taking and missing a penalty instead of regular taker Santi Cazorla - even his boss Arsène Wenger didn't have a clue why or how that came around?!

My predictions - Actual results
Chelsea 0:1 Liverpool - 1:2 - click here for my match report
Hull City 2:2 Arsenal - 1:4
Leicester 1:1 Burnley - 3:0
Man City 3:2 Bournemouth - 4:0
West Brom 0:0 West Ham - 4:2
Everton 1:1 Middlesbrough - 3:1
Watford 3:3 Man United - 3:1
Crystal Palace 1:1 Stoke City - 4:1
Southampton 1:1 Swansea - 1:0
Tottenham 4:1 Sunderland - 1:0

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks

Pictures taken from the BBC match reports  and Twitter

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Spectacular Henderson strike downs Blues

Sports - Football - Premier League - CFC 1:2 LFC

Liverpool impressed, dominating and beating Chelsea 1-2 at Stamford Bridge, inflicting manager Antonio Conte with his first defeat as Blues boss and seeing the Reds move into the top four.

Merseyside manager Jürgen Klopp likes Stamford Bridge, winning there last season too, and can be very happy with his team's away display and form, adding this convincing victory to the thrashing of Arsenal on the opening weekend of the season and drawing at Spurs.

Not to forget, Liverpool thrashed champions Leicester at Anfield last weekend, so, the Reds were flying high going into this match, and you could see that.

The visitors out-ran and -played the home side, the hosts evidently and obviously missing their experienced skipper and defender John Terry as an organiser and controller due to injury.

With 17 minutes gone, Liverpool took the lead thanks to Dejan Lovren's fine finish from close range, given all the space in the world thanks to no marking whatsoever.

Reds captain Jordan Henderson put his side in total control with a 2-0 lead through a spectacular 25-yard smacker of a strike, unstoppable for keeper Thibaut Courtois, gobsmacking for manager Conte, nine minutes before the break.

The second half was less firey and dominant for the Reds, but the Blues still struggled to take any kind of control.

Just past the hour-mark, Diego Costa did pull one back, but it was to be to no avail after a laboured performance, a struggle basically.

Missing Roberto Firmino ended up being no worries for the visitors. Ruled out with a groin problem, the crucial forward's team mates made up for him. Sadio Mané added pace, Georgini Wijnaldum and James Milner were reliable and hard-working as always. Klopp and the Kop can be very happy and optimistic.

Chelsea Goal: Diego Costa 61'.

Liverpool Goals: Lovren 17' & Henderson 36'.

Chelsea Team: 13 Courtois; 28 Azpilicueta, 30 David Luiz, 24 Cahill, 2 Ivanovic; 22 Willian (booked 45'+1') (15 Moses 84'), 21 Matix (4 Fabregas 84'), 7 Kanté; 19 Diego Costa, 10 Hazard, 8 Oscar (11 Pedro 84'). 4-3-3 => 4-5-1
Subs not used: 1 Begovic, 3 Alonso, 23 Batshuayi, 34 Aina.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 7 Milner, 6 Lovren, 32 Matip, 2 Clyne; 5 Wijnaldum (35 Stewart 90'), 14 Henderson (c), 20 Lallana; 19 Mané, 15 Sturridge (27 Origi 57'), 10 Coutinho (21 Lucas 82' (booked 88')). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 16 Grujic, 18 Moreno, 53 Eraria.

Match Stats: Chelsea-Liverpool
Attempts: 12-13
On target: 4-5
Corners: 6-4
Fouls: 6-13
Bookings: 1-1
Possession: 53%-47%

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the match: Dejan Lovren
Attendance: 41,514

Images taken from BBC match report

Click here for my previous LFC match report

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Premier League Picks Of The Week 4

Sports - Football - Premier League- Week 4

The fourth week of the Premier League action saw:
See original image
294 shots - most by Chelsea = 28

34 goals - most by Liverpool, Tottenham and Watford = 4 each

206 fouls - most by Tottenham = 18

43 bookings - most by Southampton = 5

0 red cards

2 penalties - 2 scored

Stoke manager Mark Hughes seeing red and being honest about it

Happy birthday Laurent Koscielny! The fifth Arsenal player to score a PL goal on his anniversaire and what an acrobatic goal it was! 🎂😊🎂

Liverpool's first home game at revamped Anfield - fans happy with the result but very annoyed by the new camera angle

Etienne CapoueWhat a game! What a turnaround! Watford were nowhere when West Ham were 2-0 up thanks to Michael Antonio's double with just over half an hour gone. But Walter Mazzarri's side levelled the score before the break and turned the game on its head in the second half. Slaven Bilic was disgusted and rightly so. The Hammers were lost, nowhere, broken to bits and pieces, presenting the Hornets with their first win of the season in shocking style. Great for the neutral, mind blowing and worrying for the fans and teams concerned, depending which side you're on.

What a team! City v United, Guardiola v Mourinho, the derby of all derbies, the clash of all clashes. Well, that's what it's pitched and previewed as to make our mouths all watery and drooling, but it did not live up to it. The hosts outplayed the visitors in all aspects, the score could and should have been much worse. It's a reality check for the Special One whilst the Blue side of Manchester are in unbeaten heaven. The only nightmare headache for City goes to the debutant keeper and Joe Hart replacement Claudio Bravo. He's lucky the Red Devils weren't on the ball and couldn't take advantage of his nervous display and shaky performance.

What a man! Romelu Lukaku scored his first club goal for Everton since March - and made three of it, scoring a hat-trick in just 11 minutes with two headers and a low finish, downing Sunderland in style at the Stadium of Light. The win takes the Toffees into third place, unbeaten with ten points from the first four games, a strong start for new manager Ronald Koeman, much in contrast to the Black Cats' new boss David Moyes, seeing his side just make one point, second from bottom.

What a goal! Arsenal are keeping their fans on their toes, that's for sure! After losing their first home game in spectacularly devastating fashion 3-4 against Liverpool on the opening day of the season, the Gunners were understandably worried and sour when they fell behind against the Saints thanks to Petr Cech's unfortunate own goal. But Laurent Koscielny's overhead beauty levelled the score and in the dying seconds, over 95 minutes gone, Santé Cazorla sealed the win from the spot for the home side.

What the hell?! Diego Costa AGAIN! It feels like I can tag his name under this category automatically every week before a ball is kicked or another word is written because he is always in the midst of it. The dives, the clashes, the antiques and he still gets away with it - to then score and settle the match for his side in controversial fashion. This time it was just a point for Chelsea at Swansea, the first points dropped this season for the Blues, but still. Lucky bugger(s)!!!

My predictions - Actual results
Man United 3:3 Man City - 1:2
Arsenal 2:1 Southampton - 2:1
Bournemouth 0:0 West Brom - 1:0
Burnley 0:2 Hull City - 1:1
Middlesbrough 2:1 Crystal Palace - 1:2
Stoke 1:2 Tottenham - 0:4
West Ham 2:0 Watford - 2:4
Liverpool 1:1 Leicester - 4:1 - click here for my match report
Swansea 1:4 Chelsea - 2:2
Sunderland 0:1 Everton - 0:3

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks

Images taken from BBC match reports and Google search

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Liverpool brush champions aside 4-1

Sports - Football - Premier League - LFC 4:1 LCFC

The new expanded Anfield enjoyed their team outplay and easily beat Premier League champions Leicester 4-1 in the first home game of the season for the Reds.

It was nearly perfect for Jürgen Klopp's men, a strong, dominant and in control performance, except for Lucas Leiva's giveaway to Jamie Vardy just seven minutes before the break. It was a shocker.

Before that muck up, Roberto Firmino had opened the scoring off James Milner's pass, stepping inside Robert Huth before netting the ball into the bottom corner.

Skipper Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge combined well, the latter's heel cheekily finding Sadio Mané to score on his home debut and make it 2-0 with just over half an hour gone.

The team and crowd were on fire, to be quenched by Lucas' inexplicable blooper of a pass, intended for keeper Simon Mignolet, but ending up perfectly across goal, fit for Vardy, an easy tap in for the profound striker.

This gave Claudio Ranieri's men hope and a breath of fresh air, however, Liverpool got their act together again in the second half, Adam Lallana making it 3-1, firing a shot into the top corner.

And to wrap up the win, Firmino doubled his score and made it 4-1 thanks to an unselfish Mané, who rounded an oncoming Kasper Schmeichel, to pass the ball to the Brazilian, who made no mistake of beating the Leicester defence to steer it in.

The score is harsh in the Danish stopper who made seven saves in an otherwise strong performance, but shows how crushing the Reds were, wearing and tearing down their opposition. So much so, Klopp lost his glasses in all the excitement, once again. Someone contact his optician/insurance/provider...

Liverpool Goals: Firmino 13' & 89', Mané 31' and Lallana 56'.

Leicester Goal: Vardy 38'.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 20 Clyne, 32 Matip, 21 Lucas, 7 Milner; 20 Lallana, 14 Henderson (c) (booked 44'), 5 Wijnaldum (35 Stewart 76'), 19 Mané (18 Moreno 90'+3'); 15 Sturridge (10 Coutinho 76', 11 Firmino. 4-4-2
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 16 Grujic, 17 Klavan, 27 Origi.

Leicester Team: 1 Schmeichel; 17 Simpson (2 Hernandez 34'), 5 Morgan, 6 Huth (booked 82'), 28 Fuchs; 26 Mahrez, 13 Amartey (booked 28'), 4 Drinkwater, 11 Albrighton (23 Ulloa 65'); 20 Okazaki (7 Musa 45'), 9 Vardy. 4-4-2
Subs not used: 3 Chilwell, 10 King, 21 Zieler, 22 Gray.

Match Stats: Liverpool-Leicester
Attempts: 17-12
On target: 11-3
Corners: 1-7
Fouls: 4-8
Bookings: 1-2
Possession: 62%-38%

Referee: Craig Pawson
Man of the match: Roberto Firmino
Attendance: 51,232

Pictures taken from BBC match report

Click here for my previous LFC match report