EPL Round Up Week 4 (9/9/2017)

Manchester City vs Liverpool (Watched by NAFB)

Manchester City 5 – 0 Liverpool

City started the game with both Aguero and Jesus up front while Liverpool brought back Mingolet for Karius.

The game started off asa back and forth, exciting game. A fantastic through ball from Kevin De Bruyne led to an opener for Sergio Aguero. After an exciting start, the game was effectively killed as a contest when Sadio Mane was sent off in the 37th minute for a scary tackle on Ederson, the City goalkeeper. To be fair to Mane, if Ederson tagged Mane first, he would have been the player getting sent off. A 9 and a half minute long stoppage due to the injury, saw Ederson get stretchered off. Jesus got his first off the night shortly after the injury stoppage. In the second half Klopp brought off Salah for the Ox. Goals from Jesus and 2 from substitute Sane rounded off a 5-0 win for City. The scoreline was not reflective of the first 37 minutes as that was a much more enjoyable (for the neutral) game to watch.

City also had 2 goals denied for offside.

The game had potential to be a cracker but it ended up being a complete bore due to the red card to Mane.

Man of the Match

Kevin De Bruyne was absolute class and deserves the man of the match.

Next Up

Liverpool and City both have Champions League matches coming up, Liverpool host Sevilla while City travel to Feyenord. Next in the EPL, they Liverpool face Burnley at home while City travel to Watford.

 

Arsenal vs Bournemouth (Watched by NAFB)

Arsenal 3 – 0 Bournemouth

Wenger goes into this game knowing his head is on the chopping block with just 3 points from 3 games. Lacazette came back into the line up for Alexis while Kolasinac and Mustafi also got a start.

Arsenal started the game really well with a goal for Danny Welbeck with an assist for Kolasinac. That tends to happen when players actually play in their real position. Surely game over now with Lacazette getting a goal as well, Danny Welbeck with the assist. Awful defending from Bournemouth, could have been 3-0 to Arsenal if not for Begovic, who ends up blocking a Lacazette attempt, in the process the ball actually deflates.

Second Half, Aaron Ramsey fakes a shot, plays it to Danny Welbeck who puts it in far post, 3-0. Welbeck has 2 goals and an assist.

Arsenal will be happy with this performance but can they sustain it over the season?

 

Man of the Match

Danny Welbeck was the difference, involved in the first three goals and looked good.

Next Up

Arsenal have a Europa League fixture versus Koln at home and then they face Chelsea away next weekend. Burnley face Liverpool away.

 

Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur

Everton 0 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur

The drunk driver, Wayne Rooney and the flipper of the bird Dele Alli both started for the respective clubs, Harry Kane hopes to score his first goal of the season.

There we go, Harry Kane has his first EPL goal of the season, a fantastic fluke, it is his 100th goal for Spurs. Eriksen nets the second of the game, turning out to be a lot easier than expected for Spurs. Kane gets another in the second half, 0 goals in August, 2 goals in less than 60 minutes in September. Surely game over. Everton are in trouble because they now have Manchester United next and they look awful.

 

Man of the Match

Harry Kane came alive today, well deserved.

Next Up

Spurs have a Champions League fixture versus Dortmund at home, Everton travel to Italy to face Atlanta in the Europa League. Next up in the league, Spurs host Swansea while Everton have the massive task of facing Manchester United at Old Trafford.

 

Leicester City vs Chelsea

Leicester City 1 – 2 Chelsea

Chelsea welcome Eden Hazard back but he only makes the bench, new signing Danny Drinkwater is on the bench for Chelsea against his former club.

Slimani came dangerously close to scoring, only to be denied by Courtouis. Morata gets the opener through a lovely header, great ball by Azpilicueta.

Kante has a pop from around 35 or so yards, ball essentially rolls into the back of the net. Horrific goalkeeping from Kasper Schmeichel. The former Leicester City man gets his first league goal since scoring against Man Utd last season. Chelsea look good for their first September win in almost 4 years. Oh interesting, Courtouis concedes a penalty to Vardy who safely tucks it away. Good game for Chelsea, Leicster tried to get back into the game unsuccessfully.

Man of the Match

Morata scored yet another and got the Blues going. Diego Costa who?

Next Up

Chelsea face Qarabag in the Champions League and Arsenal next week in the league, while Leicester play Huddersfield away.

 

Stoke City vs Manchester United (Watched by NAFB)

Stoke City 2 – 2 Manchester United

Couple of changes for the Red Devils, Darmian and Herrera come in for Blind and Mata, looks like Pogba will be playing a more attacking role today. United haven’t won a match at Stoke since Sir Alex took charge and they would like to end that run today.

United haven’t been pressed by Stoke over the last few minutes, they’ve had most of the ball so far. United have almost 75% of the ball in the first 15 minutes. Stoke have spent the majority of the first have clearing the ball and sitting back as Manchester United have had almost all of the ball, Valencia has been fantastic for United today. What has been interesting to note, considering the physical size of Manchester United, they have yet to play a corner directly into the box, they’ve all been played short so far. Very curious tactic. Stoke have their goal! It is the first time United have conceded this season, great finish by Choupo-Moting. That dance right after was better than that finish. Jose has his wish, his side are now behind. Lets see how they do now. There it is, United play a corner into the box for the first time tonight and Pogba puts it in, instant response by United. Looks like Matic got a glancing flick near post. Oh wait it bounced of Rashfor on it’s way in, goal for Rashford then haha. Both teams go into the break having scored goals less than 3 minutes apart. 1-1 at the half.

And we are back to the short corners. This one gets floated in but nothing comes of it. Darmian at left back for United has been better than Blind, he’s had his moments, like the one that led to the Stoke opener but he’s been a lot better. Lukaku’s lucky to get away without a yellow card after a foul on Joe Allen. Stoke have been more attacking in this second half. Interesting fact, United spent a grand total of 11 days at the top of the table since Sir Alex retired, this season they’ve already spent 27 days at the top, if the result holds, they stay top on goal difference with Manchester City. Unless Huddersfield win by more than 7. Lukaku, he shoots, rebounds of Butland, Lukaku picks it up and puts it in the back of the net. at just 24 years of age he has 150 goals in the EPL. Darmian made a fantastic run to set up that goal. He’s been quality today. United scored an immediate equalizer in the first half and Stoke have done the same in the second, Choupo-Moting has his second. Jose’s getting his test that he wanted for his team.  Unfortunate for De Gea who made a fantastic save just seconds earlier. Will Jose get some magic off the bench again today? His subs have scored in 3 consecutive games this season. Martial and Mata look like they are getting ready to come on. After the second Stoke game went in, the game has really opened up. Herrera and Rashford coming off for Mata and Martial, looks like Pogba is gonna sit further back now, Mata going out wide. Berahino coming on for Jese for Stoke City. Lingard comes on for Mkhitaryan. The game ends at 2-2, United bottled it, should have won that. No team in the EPL is perfect now.

Man of the Match

Choupo-Moting had 6 shots, 2 goals and put in a solid shift defensively. great performance.

Next Up

Manchester United host FC Basel in the Champions League and then Everton in the league while Stoke face Newcastle away in a match that should be a cracker.

 

 

Advertisements

Weekend Recap 19th August 2017

Swansea City vs Manchester United (Game watched by NAFB)

Swansea 0 – 4 Manchester United

united swansea 4 0.jpeg

Swansea started with 5 at the back while the Red Devils named an unchanged starting 11. The only notable change for United was the presence of Victor Lindelöf on the bench. The game started with United dominating the game, however the Red Devils broke the deadlock at the stroke of halftime. Pogba had a header from the corner which bounced back off the crossbar, Eric Baily was there to mop up and score his first goal as a Manchester United player. Midway through the second half, Swansea took of a defender and tried to go for it, while Jose sent on Martial and Fellaini. Game Changer. This substitution lead to 3 Manchester United goals in the space of less than 4 minutes. Lukaku, Pogba and Martial all got on the score sheet for a second consecutive week. Another 2 assists for Mkhitaryan. Wow. United hit that gear I talked about in my last few posts that concerned them. Those 4 minutes of football were deadly, they punished Swansea and there was nothing they could do to change it.

Fun Fact

Manchester United have scored 4 goals or more in their first two games of the season for the first time since 1907/08

Man of the Match

Like last week, I am going to give this to Mkhitaryan again. Fantastic outing for the little Armenian and his two assists were solid.

 

Next Up

Manchester United host Leicester City (26th August) who have looked good this season, at the time of writing they are leading 1-0 against Brighton and Hove Albion. Swansea will face a trip to Crystal Palace (26th August) who are currently tied at 0-0 at Anfield, although that result will probably not stay the same.

 

Southampton vs West Ham

Southampton 3 – 2 West Ham

I wasn’t going to talk about this game, I was going to stick to just the teams I predicted in the top 7 but certain events prompted me to talk about the fixture.

Southampton opened the scoring through Gabbiadini in just the 11th minute of the game (it took them 30 shots on goal through the season to finally open the scoring). The incident in question then came in during the 33rd minute where Marko Arnautovic had a moment of madness. He seemingly threw his elbow at the head of the Southampton player and got himself a red card. This is unacceptable and The FA needs to hand down more than the standard 3 game ban that is handed out for these direct red cards. A few minutes later, Dusan Tadic scored from the penalty spot and doubled their lead, the goal was followed by a goal for The Hammers who finally opened their account with a typical poacher’s goal from the little pea, yes, Javier Hernandez has a Premier League goal after spells away in Germany. Unbelievable scenes, Javier Hernandez has his second of the game and now it is 2-2, down 2-0, 10 men and now they have pulled level. Liverpool most certainly did a much better job after the introduction of Salah in the 61st minute, he is a gamechanger. Really unfortunate for the Hammers as they conceded a late penalty and allowed Southampton to get the win with a late penalty, converted by Charlie Austin. Zabaleta, a veteran in the EPL should know better than give away a late penalty like that. Joe Hart has now conceded 7 goals in 2 games at West Ham.

 

Man of the Match

2 goals for Javier Hernandez means he gets the man of the match, unfortunate to end up on the losing side.

Next Up

Southampton are away to Huddersfield while the Hammers visit Newcastle United.

 

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace (Game watched by NAFB)

Liverpool 1 – 0 Crystal Palace

Liverpool made 5 changes from the side that beat Hoffenheim in midweek for this clash versus Crystal Palace who were looking to extend their win streak at Anfield. The game in the first half was a back and forth affair with nothing significant happening. They are missing players of quality such as Salah and it shows in the performance. Liverpool really should be cruising if they have their starting 11 out, but it looks like getting into the champions league is currently priority number 1. 72 minutes into the game, Mane got the opening goal after a bad bit of defending by Crystal Palace. Game ended at 1-0 with nothing notable happening again.

 

Man of the Match

Mane did a good job, he is one of the most important players for Liverpool and it showed.

Next Up

Liverpool host Arsenal next time out (27th August), while concerns about players on both sides and their transfers remain. Coutinho’s transfer could hinge on Liverpool’s midweek clash and their progression in the Champions League. While Alexis still wants a transfer out of North London.

While Palace are home to a Swansea team that has yet to score a goal this season and they have allowed 44 shots at their goal in 2 games.

 

Stoke City vs Arsenal (Watched by NAFB)

Stoke City 1 – 0 Arsenal

Stoke gave a debut to Jese Rodriguez up top while Ozil, Welbeck and Lacazette lead the line for the Gunners. The hybrid 5 at the back for Arsenal features 3 full backs, a winger and Mustafi, the only recognized center back in the line-up. Interesting to note that Hector Bellerin has started at left wing back while the Ox at right wing back.

Stoke have looked strong, most of their bite coming from new signing Jese who has been fantastic. His fellow Champions League winner, Shaqiri, limps off with an injury. In the second half Jese scored his first goal in the Premier League. He was fantastic all night. Stoke 1, Arsenal 0. Déjà vu. Late on, the Potters had some good build up play and Pieters had a run-on goal from the left flank. Thankfully for Arsenal, he made a crunching tackle on the Stoke wing back who was hit hard on the follow through, this was a very 50-50 tackle and I personally think that a different referee would have taken very different action based on that tackle. He could have seen at least a yellow card for the tackle. Arsenal went into the 5 minutes of stoppage time a goal down. The home crowd is now singing their version of when the ‘saints go marching in’. Stoke really are Wenger’s kryptonite. Another loss at Stoke, they only have 1 win in their last 8 games at Stoke. Cue Arsenal Fan TV. Cue Wenger out. Cue more rumors regarding Alexis leaving.

Man of the Match

Jese had a fantastic first game in the EPL, remember the name.

 

Next up

Arsenal visit Liverpool next time out (27th August), while concerns about players on both sides and their transfers remain. Coutinho’s transfer could hinge on Liverpool’s midweek clash and their progression in the Champions League. While Alexis still wants a transfer out of North London. While Stoke visit West Brom (27th August).

 

The Drama

The day saw 2 direct red cards issued (before STK v ARS), one to Marko Arnautovic and one to Hal Robinson-Kanu. Both instances involved the striker throwing his elbow into a defensive player’s face. While the EPL does not have as many protocols as the leagues across the pond in North America do, The FA needs to review these incidents and hand out longer suspensions as targeting the head should not be allowed and examples need to be made.

 

 

 

Premier League 12th August 2017 round up

Liverpool vs Watford (Game Watched by Not Another Football Blog)

Liverpool 3 – 3 Watford

Liverpool’s big name signing in Salah got his first EPL start while Marco Silva only named 1 of the 7 new Watford players in his starting lineup.

The pregame was all about Mo Salah, lots of quotes about how he played as the Kop on the PlayStation, interesting considering he once turned down Liverpool for Chelsea.

 

Halftime and Liverpool look sloppy. Down 2-1 to Watford who have been fantastic, Marco Silva one of the most underrated managers?

Mane scored his first of hopefully many for the season, Tom Cleverly for Watford having a fantastic game. The former Manchester United man made a great run to set up the second goal.

Salah needs to finish his chances.

Well, the second half was just that, Liverpool’s pace showed, Liverpool won a penalty, Firminio calmly put away and the team going up 3-2 with the comeback being on. HOWEVER, fast forward to stoppage time, and we had it, the equalizer. Watford stole a point. A well-deserved point. THE EPL IS BACK BABY! Back and forth eh?

Watford deserved the point, played really well considering they are one of the favorites to go down, Liverpool have to look at this as 2 massive points dropped, Moreno had a solid game from left back and it looks like Klopp has finally figured out what was happening with him last season.

Man Of The Match

Firminio had a goal and did a fantastic job setting up Salah for his goal, certainly a man of the match performance.

Next Up

Liverpool are playing Crystal Palace at home, a game they should comfortably win, while Watford are away to Bournemouth, a game that is going to be an interesting match considering the two clubs will look to get as many points early in the season as they can.

 

Chelsea vs Burnley (Game Watched by NAFB)

Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

The biggest surprise in this game was with the lineup Antonio Conte put out, no Morata. The only Chelsea signing to start was Rudiger.

A back and forth start to the game till the 13th minute when Gary Cahill had a moment of madness. Chelsea, a team with a squad depleted, have just lost their captain in the first game of the season. Madness. Chelsea seem to have lost their minds, Fabregas picking up a yellow for mocking the referee. Conte, not wanting to take any risks makes an early substitute, bringing on Christensen for Boga.

Chelsea were rocked by the Gary Cahill red card and it finally hit them in the 24th minute, Sam Vokes with the opener to put Burnley ahead. Chelsea are really struggling here, they have about 35% possession since Cahill’s red card. Burnley are clearly the better team. This feels like Leicester last season when the defending champions lost their first game of the season. Sam Vokes has another! He has put Burnley 3-0 up!! WOW. Chelsea are losing their heads here; David Luiz is coming together with Burnley players now.

At half time, Chelsea have been poor, David Luiz needs to calm down or he may be taking an early shower as well.

luiz sideshow bob

We have the debut we have all been waiting for, Morata is coming on. Chelsea look full of life again and had a penalty shout for a tackle on Rudiger, not much in it but Rudiger is limping, not sure if they can afford to have another defender out. David Luiz has probably been in the refs ears 15 times tonight, shocked that he hasn’t been booked, Chelsea look like they are close to getting their first of the season though.

Morata has a debut goal! 69th minute, a beautiful ball in by Willian and Morata with a fantastic diving header, game on? Christensen has the ball in the back of the net but he’s offside, still 3-1 with 17 or so to go. Azpilicueta has a moment where he grapples with a Burnley player. Oh no, Fabregas gets his second yellow and he is off. Luiz scores the 2nd for Chelsea and Morata gets an assist. He’s had a goal and assist in his 30 or so minutes of game time for Chelsea.

Conte miracles.PNG

 

Chelsea had a rough start to the league and need to do better going forward, starting with their players keeping cooler heads. Hats off to Burnley.

 

Man of the Match

Sam Vokes deserves this award, scored two goals at the Bridge and had a great run out, showed the worst of David Luiz as he was under his skin all evening.

Next Up

Chelsea are going up against Spurs at Wembley on the 20th of August, they had better hope for a better run out then as Spurs will not be kind and come out guns blazing. Chelsea will be missing Cahill and Fabregas through suspension. Burnley will face West Brom at home, riding high on their performance versus Chelsea.

 

Everton vs Stoke

Everton 1 – 0 Stoke

He’s back, Wayne Rooney has come back home and is in the lineup for their first game of the season. Micheal Keane makes his first start for Everton and is going to be a big player for them this season. 5 of Everton’s new signings made their debut in this game for Everton.

Wayne Rooney, top goal scorer for England, top goal scorer for Manchester United, and now he has scored on his return to Everton. The Toffees are going to be very happy with this, a solid 1-0 win at home to start the season.

Man of the Match

Wayne Rooney had a fantastic outing, no question about it, he will love the fact that he scored at his first game back. He now has 300 Goals and Assists in the Premier League throughout his career.

rooney everton old and new.PNG

Next Up

Everton don’t play again till the 22nd of August in a massive game away to Manchester City, going to be a tough game for them away from home, while Stoke have Arsenal visiting them on the 20th of August, a game that will be tricky for them.

 

 

Crystal Palace vs Huddersfield Town

Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Zaha, Benteke and Loftus-Cheek started up front for Crystal Palace while Huddersfield got their first taste of the Premier League.

Huddersfield playing their first top flight game got the go-ahead goal in the 24th minute, it was in fact an own goal by Joel Ward. OH MY GOD they have one more!! Huddersfield have 2! And this time it’s one of their own, Steve Mounie got the second. Frank de Boer is not going to be happy, this is not how he wanted his first game in charge to go! Mounie gets a second and that’s game, 3-0 Huddersfield. They will be very pleased with this result, their first win in the Premier League.

Man of the Match

Steve Mounie had 2 goals on the day and secured the three points. Great game all around by everyone on the terriers.

Next Up

Palace are away to Liverpool on the 19th of August, they will want to put on a show like Watford and try and get points, Huddersfield are home to fellow newly promoted side Newcastle United on the 20th of August.

 

Southampton vs Swansea

Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea

The Saints were without their main man, Virgil van Dijk as he’s out injured and dealing with speculation regarding his future and potential transfer to Liverpool.

Not much happened in the first half, a yellow card for Redmond and Romeu of Southampton. The second half was slow as well, final score a 0-0 draw. Southampton had 29 shots on goal in the game, just 2 of which were on target. That is something that needs to change going forward or they will struggle. Not a lot of teams will allow them to take 29 shots.

Man of the Match

Fabianski faced 29 shots, only 2 of which were on target and walked away with a clean sheet.

Next Up

Southampton play West Ham at home on the 19th of August, they will be looking to get at least a point from that game. Swansea will host Manchester United, that game will be a tough game for the Swans.

 

West Brom vs Bournemouth

West Brom 1 – 0 Bournemouth

No surprises with the line ups here, Joshua King starts up front for Bournemouth, the third highest goal scorer in the year 2017 in the Premier League, only behind Lukaku and Harry Kane. Can he keep his form going?

West Brom got the early lead, their new signing, Hegazi, scored from a set piece in the 31st minute. Tony Pulis will be happy about that.

 

Man of the Match

Hegazi is the man of the match, got a goal in the EPL debut from defense and kept the clean sheet.

Next Up

West Brom play Burnley away, they will be coming in after a solid performance at Chelsea, who will be without Gary Cahill after his red card. Bournemouth play Watford at home, another team that will be looking to carry their good form from the game against Liverpool.

 

 

Brighton and Hove Albion vs Manchester City

Brighton 0 – 2 Manchester City

Other than Danillo playing at left wing back in a 3-5-2 for City, neither line up included any surprises. The Citizens rolled into Brighton hoping for a win, a big win.

The first half didn’t produce any goals for us viewers, with Jesus picking up the only Yellow card of the half. There was a long stoppage in play as Isaiah Brown went down injured and received some treatment. City were most certainly getting nervous by the 65th minute considering they hadn’t scored yet, Pep sent Leroy Sane on for Danillo, an attacking switch. The move paid off as City got their first goal of the campaign through Aguero, and shortly after they got a second through an unfortunate own goal by Lewis Dunk. New boys Bernado Silva, Kyle Walker, Danillo and Ederson all featured in the match up and it was a decent run out, although people expected a more one sided game.

 

Man of the Match

I don’t think Aguero did enough in a game where City had a whooping 78.1% possession, they got of 14 shots and only converted 2. Therefore I am going to say that right wing back Kyle Walker was my man of the match, he put in a solid shift in both attacking and defensive thirds of the pitch.

 

Next Up

City don’t play again till the 22nd of August when they host Everton, should be a tricky game but I think City might sneak out of the game with a win. Brighton have the daunting task of playing at Leicester who will be looking to get their first win after an unfortunate draw against Arsenal.