Posts Tagged ‘Stoke City’

Let me tell you first off, that as a United fan, I’m relieved! Finally an away win. But we shall get to that in a bit. I’ll just shed light on Saturday’s fixtures first before going into Sunday’s.

Chelsea won against Wolves to keep their position up at the top of the table. Goals came from Malouda and Saloman Kalou who has targeted 20 goals in the season for himself. So that put pressure on the other big teams.

He wants 20 goals

Spurs and Everton played out a 1-1 draw. Spurs looked like they were suffering from the much used cliche – “European hangover”. It will take them time, definitely to get used to playing the Champions League in mid week and the Premiership in the weekend, especially considering they played the European Champions midweek. Van der Vaart scored another goal, although to be fair, it was already on its way to the back of the net. I don’t care, because he’s there in my Fantasy football team!

You know, I wasn’t really sure about Arsene Wenger’s comments about Stoke playing rugby instead of football cause I hadn’t seen the game to which he was referring. However, after last night’s game against United, I think I have to agree. Ferguson was forced to play 4 defenders who at various points of their career have played a Centre Back – John O’Shea, Vidic, Ferdinand and Neville. What puzzles me is why Neville started when Wes Brown was available (he did come on later for Gaz). According to Ferguson, he’s the best center back in England when fit. He must have had his reasons of course.

Hahahaha

Hernandez scored a brilliant header with the back of his head. I have no idea how he managed to arch his back that much to score, but he clearly did, cause he got enough power on the header to take it past Sorenson. Tuncay scored a brilliant goal after Scholes gifted possession to Stoke. Hernandez got his second later on to take United to their first away win of the season.

Brilliance!

Man City got a man sent off almost before the match began. Boyata got sent off for tripping Chamakh after he was played in by Fabregas. I don’t think anybody can say anything about the card – which was definitely deserved.

Arsenal took the lead through Nasri, after a brilliant build up to the first goal. The 1-2 that he received was brilliant and Yaya Toure wasn’t close enough on Arshavin who returned the ball to Nasri. Gareth Barry (England’s defensive hope!) did an equally poor job of marking Nasri as he ran in to receive the pass. The Frenchman kept his cool and put the ball past Jo Hart. Arsenal’s second chance in the game came from the penalty spot but wasn’t converted. Fabregas was tripped by Kompany in the box for reasons best known to the Belgian. Fabregas tried to put the ball in the right corner, but Jo Hart made a superb save after guessing the right way. The penalty was at a good height, but still it was a phenomenal save.

Arsenal seemed to have been playing a different system which works in a parallel dimension. Song kept pushing forward leaving Fabregas in midfield. I have no idea why, but maybe I’m not meant to know because Song got on the score sheet later on. Arshavin chipped a ball from the left to the right to Nasri who gave it to Fabregas who then tried to play in Chamakh with a beautiful weighted pass but the pass was intercepted by Wayne Bridge (second half substitute for Yaya Toure). The interception teed up the ball for Song who obliged with a brilliant finish.

Nasir celebrates after Arsenal's first goal

Nicklas Bendtner, the poster boy of Denmark came on later on in the night and scored his first goal for the season. I’m sure Arsenal fans are delighted to have Barbie back, especially considering his finishing. Although I’m sure they would be more happy to see their Vice Captain – Van Persie returning. Walcott too made an appearance and his contribution was to run around really fast.

My least favourite player was taken off just after half time and Emmanuel Adebayor came on instead. No doubt Man City missed their captain who would’ve just run throughout the game.

Goal deluges across Europe

Real Madrid hammered Racing Santander for 6 in their weekend fixture at the Bernabeu with Cristiano Ronaldo (self proclaimed best player in the Universe) netting four. After a performance like that though, I think he has every right to call himself the best player in the Universe.

I have been a little critical of Angel Di Maria, but I think he played quite well against Racing and I can see him improve under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager looked very relaxed as his side took control in the first half itself with Higuain netting the first, and Ronaldo scoring two. In the second half, within minutes of restart, Ronaldo got his hat trick thanks to a brilliant run by Di Maria. He netted his fourth from the penalty spot a little while later.

Mesut Ozil too got on the score sheet after a brilliant pass from Xabi Alonso split the entire Racing team in half. Ozil for his part, kept cool and provided a brilliant finish to make it 6-0. Sergio Canales came on for Ozil later on and looked very lively. The youngster is definitely a good talent and its only a matter of time before he becomes a brilliant player. Diop got a consolation goal for the visitors but refused to celebrate (for obvious reasons)

In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven absolutely HAMMERED Feyenoord 10-0. Yes you read that correctly. 10-0. Feyenoord are supposed to be one of the better teams in the Dutch League. PSV has been receiving Champions League payments for nearly the past 10 years except last year when they were pipped to the title by Steve McLaren’s FC Twente. Does this mean that PSV are a really powerful team in Europe? Hardly. However in the Netherlands, you better look out for them.

 

The Champions League draws were announced last night. Some of you might have had no idea, but the rest of us were eagerly anticipating the aforementioned draw.

Champions League 2010/11 groups

Group A: Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Tottenham, FC Twente
Group B: Lyon, Benfica, Schalke, Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Group C: Manchester United, Valencia, Rangers, Bursaspor
Group D: Barcelona, Panathinaikos, Copenhagen, Rubin Kazan
Group E: Bayern Munich, Roma, Basel, CFR Cluj
Group F: Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, Zilina
Group G: AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre
Group H: Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga, Partizan Belgrade

Spurs would’ve hoped for a slightly easier group in their European outing but Peter Crouch says he relishes the pressure, lets see how that one turns out.

Group B is also not very easy to decide, but based on Lyon’s performance last season in the same competition, you would fancy them to get out of their group.

United has a relatively good group. The Rangers clash will be noisy for sure. Police trouble perhaps in Manchester? Valencia is the other big team in that group, but without David Villa or Silva, will they go far?

Group D has Barcelona written on it all the way.

Group E is relatively straightforward, you would expect Munich and Roma to get out of their groups, but I’m never sure when it comes to Roma.

Chelsea will be travelling quite a bit in Group F, but its an easy one for sure.

Group G is the win. AC Milan and Real Madrid clash. Be there or else jump in a well.

Eduardo will make a return to the Emirates courtesy their Group H draw with Arsenal. It will be quite amazing if he scores at the Emirates, I’m not so sure the Arsenal fans would mind that either, provided they’re 12-0 up and there’s only 1 minute remaining. Actually, even then, I’m sure Fabianski/Almunia is capable of coming up with something amazing and letting Shakhtar win.

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Arsene Wenger has come out and accused Stoke of playing Rugby rather than football. Most of us still remember Shawcross’ horrible tackle on Aaron Ramsey. Now, let me just make it clear that I’m not saying Stoke plays fair. But they aren’t the only team like that.

Arsenal has a clash against Blackburn coming up. Sam Allardyce’s teams are often the most physical. I’d love to see Fabianski/Almunia deal with Samba during a corner.

The thing is, Arsene, you KNOW that these teams aren’t going to be easy physically. Why don’t you breed a team that can compete physically as well? I don’t think the team that consisted of Vieira, Keown and Adams et al would have come second best in a physical battle.

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