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EPL review week 25: Arsenal & Chelsea stutter; Spurs take advantage


Week 25 of the English Premier League sees Spurs become a serious contender for a Champions League spot after beating Man Utd. Arsenal and Chelsea both suffer unlikely defeats. 

Man City 3 v 0 WBA 

EPL Review Week 25: Arsenal & Chelsea stutter; Spurs take advantageWest Brom remains rooted at the foot of the table after a predictable hammering at The Etihad. The Baggies were the anvil, City’s forward line the hammer. Alan Pardew knows his team is not going to go down based on defeats against the best sides in the world, but he will be worried about the way his team failed to advance beyond the halfway line.

The Baggies didn’t touch the ball in the City box in the entirety of the first half and Liverpool loanee, Daniel Sturridge, was the only West Brom player to have a shot on goal and that came with time running out. If Pardew is to avoid the drop, you sense Sturridge will play a key role.

But this night was not Sturridge’s night. It belonged to Kevin De Bruyne who marched around the pitch as if he owned the place. The Belgian had a foot in both of City’s goals, putting Fernandinho through to score his third of the season, and finding the net himself after finishing off a driving run, and cute one-two with Raheem Sterling. And he nearly scored the goal of the season, trying to lob Ben Foster from the halfway line only for the England keeper to tip the mischevious effort over the bar.

After the second goal, Pep Guardiola gave De Bruyne a rest. As he sat on the bench looking like a smurf, Sterling pirouetted Diego Maradona style on the halfway line, drove into the guts of West Brom, slid Sergio Aguero in, and the Argentine chipped the ball into the net for his 24th goal of the season.

The defeat means West Brom have now failed to win in their last 12 away games in the Premier League. Meanwhile, City registered their 18th straight home win.

“They were in full bloom tonight. They kept coming.” Alan Pardew told reporters after the match. 

Full bloom indeed. 

Spurs 2 v 0 Man Utd 

The gap at the top is now 15-points after Man Utd put in a horror show in front of the largest Premier League crowd in history at Wembley last night.

Jose Mourinho joined 82,011 souls in the capital with his side having not conceded a goal in their previous six matches, but it took Christian Eriksen 10.52 seconds to change that. A long ball into the box straight from kickoff eventually ended up at the feet of Eriksen, and the Dane put the ball away with aplomb.

It was the perfect tonic.

The crowd roared, Spurs drove on, and United looked shell-shocked. Then in the 28th minute, the game was all over. Kieran Trippier rampaged down the right, sent a sweet daisy-cutter into the box and Phil Jones slammed it comically into the roof of his own net.

“The confidence of my players was totally broken with the second goal,” Mourinho told reporters after the game. 

Alexis Sanchez made his Premier League debut for United. Juan Mata made way. But he never saw enough of the ball to make an impact. Spurs won the game from the middle of the park where Mousa Dembélé had Paul Pogba chasing him like an untrained six-year-old. With Pogba chasing shadows, the Spurs midfield ran Nemanja Matic ragged, and from that strategic point, Spurs won their third home game in a row against United, the first time they’ve achieved that feat since 1966.

The Best of the Rest 

It was a good night for Spurs as both Chelsea and Arsenal lost ground in the race for Champions League positions. Chelsea, watched by their £18m new signing Olivier Giroud, crumbled at home to a resurgent Bournemouth. The trident of Callum Wilson, Jordan Ibe and Junior Stanislas cut Antonio Conte’s men to shreds. Goals from Wilson, Stanislas and former Blue Nathan Aké sealed the points for the Cherries who rise to tenth after a dodgy start to the season.

Arsenal fell to strugglers Swansea. Carlos Carvalhal remained faithful to the starting eleven that beat Liverpool before the FA Cup break. That meant five at the back, but it didn’t stop them from scoring three at the other end. Sam Clucas scored twice, and Jordan Ayew got the third on the day his brother rejoined the club in a record $18m deal. On a more positive note, Arsenal did sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £55.4m, and Mesut Ozil signed a new three-year contract worth £350,000 per week.

That win for Swansea sees them move into second from bottom. Joining them and the Baggies in the bottom three are Southampton who could only muster a 1-1 draw in the South Coast derby against Brighton. Glenn Murray opened the scoring from the penalty spot for his ninth of the season. A Jack Stephens backheel saved a point for the home side.

Fellow strugglers Newcastle will be kicking themselves after failing to hold on to all three points against Burnley at home. Chelsea loanee Kenedy excelled in a positive Newcastle performance, and they went ahead in the 65th minute thanks to a powerful header from Jamaal Lascelles. Burnley’s late pressure paid off when a Sam Vokes header was tipped onto the crossbar by Karl Darlow only for the ball to rebound into the net off his face.

Liverpool got back to winning ways with a comfortable away win at Huddersfield. Emre Can. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah got the goals in a 3-0 win. Everton stopped the rot with a 2-1 win over Leicester. Theo Walcott grabbed a brace. Jamie Vardy scored his 12th goal of the season from the spot. Riyad Mahrez sat the game out after his move to Man City fell apart at the last hour.

Results in Full

Swansea 3 v 1 Arsenal
West Ham 1 v 1 Crystal Palace
Huddersfield 0 v 3 Liverpool
Southampton 1 v 1 Brighton
Chelsea 0 v 3 Bournemouth
Everton 2 v 1 Leicester
Newcastle 1 v 1 Burnley
Man City 3 v 0 West Brom
Spurs 2 v 0 Man Utd
Stoke 0 v 0 Watford

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 68
2. Man Utd – 53
3. Liverpool – 50
4. Chelsea – 50
5. Spurs – 48
6. Arsenal – 42
7. Burnley – 35
8. Leicester – 34
9. Everton – 31
10. Bournemouth – 28
11. Watford – 27
12. West Ham – 27
13. Crystal Palace – 26
14. Newcastle – 24
15. Brighton – 24
16. Stoke – 24
17. Huddersfield – 24
18. Southampton – 23
19. Swansea – 23
20. West Brom – 20

Premier League Winning Odds (Courtesy of Bodog)

Man City 1/100
Man Utd 100/1

Premier League Relegation Odds

Huddersfield 4/6
Swansea Evens
West Brom 5/4
Brighton 6/4
Newcastle 5/2
Stoke 5/2
Southampton 9/2

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Champions League Spherical of 16 Update: Messi Impressed Barcelona Cruise Past Arsenal


February 26, 2016

Champions League Round of 16 Update: Messi Inspired Barcelona Cruise Past Arsenal

Our spherical-up of the Champions League Spherical of 16 sees Lionel Messi hitting two to thrust aside Arsenal, Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his 12th of the campaign in a victory more than Roma, and Gentleman City get a peek behind the door of the past eight for the very first time in the golf equipment heritage.

Barcelona remains the favourites to keep their Champions League crown just after a snug victory more than Arsenal at the Emirates in the Spherical of 16.

It would seem the only way to participate in towards Barcelona is to let them have the ball, hope the trident up front has an off day, and to capitalise on some sloppy defending at the back again.

Champions League Round of 16 Update: Messi Inspired Barcelona Cruise Past Arsenal

[Graphic Credit: SkySports]

The dilemma with a method like that?

Your total squad demands to be on point for 100% of the video game. You have to target and perform more durable than at any other time in the year. This is Barcelona, the greatest workforce in the environment.

Two lapses in focus authorized the greatest footballer in the environment to place the video game over and above Arsenal with ninety far more minutes to participate in. The very first came in the 71st minute when the Arsenal midfield pack failed to hold speed with the extraordinary Neymar. The Brazilian streaked very clear, side-footed the ball to the onrushing Lionel Messi, and two touches afterwards the ball was in the back again of the net.

That very first contact by Messi, as pure as it appeared, was pure class. It was the change in between the top echelons of the video game and the relaxation. It place Petr Cech on his ass. 9 out of ten gamers would have panicked and strike the ball straight at him.

Messi manufactured it two from the penalty spot 12-minutes afterwards when Matthieu Flamini came on as a sub, and with his very first contribution, upended the Argentinian in the space. Messi subsequently dusted himself off to place the ball into the net with undue fuss.

Arsenal experienced their odds. Most notably a six-yard sitter by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and a header palmed broad from Olivier Giroud. In the very first half, Aaron Ramsay seemed superior plenty of to participate in for the other side, as did Alexis Sanchez, but the a single gentleman who let the side down was Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman was wasteful, lazy, and seemed way out of his depth on a field total of the greatest gamers on earth.

Arsenal now go to the Nou Camp on Wed 16 March hoping for a wonder.

In accordance to the bookies, there are only two teams that have the capacity of stopping Barcelona from getting the very first side to keep the Champions League trophy given that the new format was launched in the 1992/ninety three year.

Bayern Munich (3/one)

Bayern Munich is eight details very clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga and 23 details very clear of Hertha BSC in third. They have scored fifty six moments and only conceded 11.

In the Champions League, they gained five of their six video games (losing absent to Arsenal), scored 19 and only conceded 3 (two of them ended up in that Arsenal video game).

They are a juggernaut, and for the very first 45-minutes absent at Juventus, they seemed like a single, they felt like a single, and they moved like a single. Past year’s finalists ended up a long-lasting fixture in their own half, and the video game seemed all more than with 30-minutes remaining just after Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben experienced specified the Germans a two- direct.

“Juventus manufactured it to past year’s final, not us. We’re not dealing with a workforce from the provinces.” Claimed Bayern’s mentor Pep Guardiola.

The Old Lady pulled up her stockings, threw down the zimmer body and begun taking part in back again. They came into this video game on the back again of a run that observed them conceding only once in their preceding 11 matches. They are manufactured of stern stuff, as it was confirmed when Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro scored in the 63rd and 76th minute to set up an attention-grabbing next leg on Wed, 16 March.

Actual Madrid (3/one)

Actual Madrid was the only other side, apart from Barcelona, who came by means of the group levels with no suffering defeat. Their two- get absent at Roma signifies they have now netted 21-moments and only conceded 3. Only Bayern Munich can match that document.

They could have played in grey, but there was nothing at all uninteresting and dreary about them as they swept Roma absent with a masterful absent functionality. The tie is as superior as dead and buried.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his thirty third intention of the year in the 57th minute. It was his twelfth Champions League intention of the year which means all bets are off for the Golden Boot award. He hasn’t scored this a lot of Champions league targets given that he smashed 17 into the back again of the net back again in the 2013/fourteen campaign Jese Rodriguez sealed things with 4 minutes remaining.

Gentleman City (28/one)

If you extravagant an outdoors wager, then glimpse no even more than the 28/one getting available for a set of blue ribbons from Manchester getting slung all around the Champions League trophy.

City was immense absent at Dynamo Kyiv and are odds on to go by means of to the past eight for the very first time in the club’s heritage just after a snug 3-one victory.

Cristiano Ronaldo and the front three at Barcelona are anything distinctive. Sergio Aguero would not glimpse out of spot kicking the ball all around the park with any of them. David Silva is the key gentleman for City. He was at the coronary heart of all the things, but, far more importantly, was the solidity of the midfield and their desire to perform.

City will often rating targets.

It’s at the other finish in which their cracks start to look. Vincent Kompany seemed his regular fantastic self, but the relaxation of the back again line are very suspect, to say the minimum, but then yet again, so are Barcelona’s at moments.

In this article is a total rundown of the relaxation of the Spherical of 16 1st Leg effects.

Spherical of 16 Final results (1st Leg)

Paris St Germain two v one Chelsea

Benfica one v Zenit

Gent two v 3 Wolfsburg

Roma v two Actual Madrid

Arsenal v two Barcelona

Juventus two v two Bayern Munich

PSV Eindhoven v Athletic Madrid

Dynamo Kyiv one v 3 Gentleman City

Champions League Latest Odds

Barcelona seven/four

Bayern Munich 3/one

Actual Madrid 3/one

Paris St Germain nine/one

Athletico Madrid fourteen/one

Gentleman City 12/one

Chelsea 28/one

Juventus forty/one

Wolfsburg 66/one

Zenit 100/one

Benfica 150/one

Arsenal two hundred/one

PSV Eindhoven 150/one

Roma five hundred/one

Gent a thousand/one

Dynamo Kiev 2500/one



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