Sunday, 24 September 2017

Manchester Duo Stay Top While Reds Hold Clarets

Due to a busy schedule this last week, just results from the weekend's Premier League action, the review for gameweek six.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Champions League Matchday One Review

As Autumn begins so does the group stage of the Champions League with matchday one last Tuesday/Wednesday.

CSKA Moscow secured an opening with with a 2-1 victory at Benfica. The hosts struck first with a goal from Seferovic five minutes after half time before the Russians staged a seven minute comeback to seal the points. A Vitinho penalty made it 1-1 on 63 minutes before Zhamaletdinov struck the winner on 70 minutes.

Manchester United eased to a 3-0 opening win against FC Basel. United led 1-0 at half time after a 35th minute opener from Marouane Fellaini before Romelu Lukaku doubled the lead eight minutes after the interval. The win was all wrapped up six minutes from the end after Marcus Rashford's strike.

A nightmare start for Celtic as they were hammered 5-0 by Paris Saint Germain. The visitors led 3-0 at the interval after strikes from summer signings Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe and a penalty from Edinson Cavani. Celtic contributed to their own misery with an 83rd minute own goal from Lustig ahead of Cavani's second strike.

Bayern Munich also made a perfect start with a 3-0 win at home to Anderlecht. The Bundesliga side struck early with a 12th minute penalty from Robert Lewandowski after the Belgians had Sven Kums sent off. Thiago Alcantara doubled the lead before Kimmich rounded off the win in added time.

Chelsea strolled to a 6-0 thrashing of group stage debutants Qarabag. The Blues opened the scoring inside five minutes through Pedro with summer signing Davide Zappacosta doubling the lead in the 30th minute. Cesar Azpilicueta made it 3-0 on 55 minutes before two goals in five minutes from Tiemoue Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi sealed the win. A miserable evening for Qarabag got worse with an own goal from Medvedev in the 82nd minute.  

Roma and Atletico Madrid both remain unbeaten after the opening game as they shared the points in a 0-0 draw. 

Barcelona started superbly with a 3-0 win over Juventus. Lionel Messi put the hosts ahead just before half-time with Ivan Rakitic doubling the lead 11 minutes after the restart. The points were wrapped up on 69 minutes by a second strike from Messi.

A five goal thriller saw Sporting Lisbon edge a 3-2 win over Olympiakos.
A rapid start from Lisbon saw Doumbia strike inside two minutes before Martins doubled the lead on 13 minutes. The visitors were in control at 3-0 into half-time after a Fernandes strike on 43 minutes. The Greeks staged a late comeback as Pardo struck a two minute brace in the 89th and 90th minutes but the hosts were unable to avoid defeat.

Liverpool and Sevilla opened the group stage with a point each in a 2-2 draw. Sevilla raced out of the blocks with a Ben Yedder strike inside five minutes before Roberto Firmino levelled at 1-1 in the 21st minute. Mohamed Salah put the Reds ahead eight minutes before half-time but a strike on 72 minutes from Correa sealed a draw for the visitors. Liverpool were to end the evening with a blow though as Joe Gomez was sent off in added time.

Maribor and Spartak Moscow also shared the points as they drew 1-1 in a game that saw the visiting fans narrowly miss hitting the official with a thrown firework. Samedov gave the Russians the lead on 59 minutes before Bohar salvaged a draw with five minutes to go.

Manchester City eased to a 4-0 win over Feyernoord that saw the Blues open the scoring inside two minutes via John Stones. Further strikes from Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus gave the visitors a 3-0 advantage at the interval. Stones struck for a second time three minutes after the hour to complete the rout. 

Shakthar Donetsk staged a surprise with a 2-1 win over Napoli. A good start from the Ukrainians saw them lead after 15 minutes with a goal from Taison and the 1-0 advantage lasted until the 58th minute as Ferreyra doubled the lead for the hosts. Napoli narrowed the deficit on 71 minutes with a penalty from Milik but the hosts were able to hold on for the win. 

Besiktas claimed an opening win with a 3-1 success over FC Porto. Talisca opened the scoring for the visitors on 13 minutes before an own goal from Tosic saw Porto level. Cenk Tosun restored the lead for the Turks with a spectacular strike on 28 minutes. The win was wrapped up with four minutes left of the 90 as Ryan Babel struck for 3-1.

Red Bull Leipzig earned a point in their first ever group game as they drew 1-1 with AS Monaco. The Germans opened the scoring on 32 minutes as Emil Forsberg scored their first ever European goal. However the sides were on level terms within two minutes as Tielemans levelled.

Real Madrid began the defence of the trophy with a 3-0 win over Apoel Nicosia. Cristiano Ronaldo gave the hosts the lead inside 12 minutes before doubling the advantage with a 51st minute penalty. The points were wrapped up just after the hour mark by Sergio Ramos' effort.

Tottenham Hotspur ended their Wembley hoodoo in Europe with a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. A stunning start from Spurs saw Son Heung-Min open the scoring inside five minutes but Dortmund drew level within six minutes through Yarmolenko. Spurs regained the lead just four minutes later as Harry Kane fired in for 2-1 before making it 3-1 on the hour mark. Tottenham did have a negative late on though with the dismissal of Jan Vertonghen in added time.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Manchester Duo Top After City Rout Reds

Game-week four in the Premier League ended with three sides still unbeaten this season while one team has yet to score a point.

The weekend opened with a huge shock as Manchester City ended Liverpool's unbeaten start with a 5-0 rout. City struck a 24th minute opener from Sergio Aguero and the Reds suffered another blow eight minutes before half-time as Sadio Mané was sent off after a challenge on the City 'keeper. 

Gabriel Jesus doubled the lead in added time and made it 3-0 just after the hour. The rout was completed by a brace from Leroy Sane in the 77th and 90th minutes.

Bournemouth's wait for a first win went on after they suffered a 3-0 loss at Arsenal. 
The Gunners made a rapid start with Danny Welbeck striking in the sixth minute before Alexandre Lacazette doubled the lead on 27 minutes. The points were sealed on 50 minutes as Welbeck struck his second. 

Brighton and Hove Albion claimed their first win with a 3-1 victory against West Bromwich Albion. A brace either side of half-time from Pascal Gross gave the hosts a 2-0 advantage before Tomer Hemed looked to have sealed the win on 63 minutes.The Baggies cut the gap on 77 minutes through James Morrison but were unable to avoid defeat.

Everton suffered consecutive losses with a 3-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.

Harry Kane opened the scoring on 28 minutes for Spurs who went into half-time with a 2-0 advantage after a strike from Christian Eriksen on 42 minutes. The points were wrapped up just after half-time as Kane struck his second goal for 3-0.

Chelsea moved into third spot with a 2-1 win at Leicester City.

Alvaro Morata continued his superb scoring streak with the opener on 40 minutes. N'Golo Kante doubled the lead against his former club on 50 minutes with Jamie Vardy cutting the deficit with a penalty on 62 minutes.

Watford moved into fourth with a 2-0 win away to Southampton.

The Hornets went ahead seven minutes before half-time with a strike from Abdoulaye Doucouré and Darryl Janmaat sealed the win six minutes after the hour mark.

Stoke City became the first side to take points off Manchester United as the sides drew 2-2.

Summer signing Eric Choupo-Moting opened his account for the Potters three minutes before half-time but United went into the interval on level terms as Marcus Rashford equalised. United went ahead just before the hour mark as Romelu Lukaku struck but their 100% record ended as Choupo-Moting struck his second to claim a point.

Burnley sit in the top half after a narrow 1-0 win over bottom side Crystal Palace.
A stunning start from the Clarets saw Chris Wood strike the only goal of the game after just three minutes. 

Newcastle United claimed back-to-back wins with a 1-0 win at Swansea City.

The Magpies secured the points with a strike on 76 minutes from Jamaal Lascelles.

West Ham United earned their first points of the season with a 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Huddersfield Town.

The opening goal came on 71 minutes as Pedro Obiang's shot deflected in and the win was secure just six minutes later as André Ayew struck.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

United Clear On Top While Reds Hammer Gunners

Ahead of the International break, the Premier League continued with game-week three. Manchester City maintained their good start with a 2-1 win at Bournemouth.
A superb strike from Charlie Daniels put the Cherries ahead on 13 minutes before Gabriel Jesus levelled eight minutes later for 1-1. City secured the win in a strange final few minutes for Raheem Sterling as he struck the winning goal before being sent off in added time.

Swansea claimed their first win with a 2-0 success at Crystal Palace who remain without a point.The Swans went ahead just before half-time as loan signing Tammy Abraham made it 1-0 before Jordan Ayew doubled the lead two minutes after the interval.

Huddersfield Town continued their unbeaten start with a 0-0 draw at home to Southampton.

The sides both went into the game unbeaten with Town holding a 100% record which ended with the share of the points in the stalemate. 

Newcastle United claimed their first win of the season with a 3-0 success that left West Ham United bottom of the league.

The Magpies opened the scoring ten minutes before half-time as Joselu struck for 1-0 with Ciaran Clark doubling the lead on 71 minutes. The points were wrapped up four minutes from the end as Aleksandar Mitrovic struck for 3-0.

Watford extended their unbeaten start with a 0-0 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Hornets did well to secure a draw given that they played with ten men for two thirds of the game after the 24th minute sending off of Miguel Britos.

Manchester United became the only side with a 100% record as they claimed a 2-0 win over Leicester City.

United opened the scoring on 70 minutes through Marcus Rashford with the win confirmed eight minutes from the end by Marouane Fellaini's strike.

Chelsea moved up to sixth with a 2-0 win over Everton in the first of Sunday's games. 

Cesc Fabregas put the Blues ahead on 27 minutes and the win was coonfirmed in added time at the end of the second half as Alvaro Morata continued his scoring streak since signing in the summer. 

West Bromwich Albion remain unbeaten after claiming a point in a 1-1 draw with Stoke City.

The Baggies went ahead just after the hour mark through Jay Rodriguez but they were denied the win and their 100% record as Peter Crouch levelled for the Potters on 77 minutes.

Liverpool moved into second spot with a comfortable 4-0 win over Arsenal. 

The Reds went ahead on 17 minutes as Roberto Firmino struck before Sadio Mane doubled the lead five minutes before half-time. A stunning dash saw Mohamed Salah go clear and extend the lead to 3-0 on 57 minutes and the win became a rout on 77 minutes as Daniel Sturridge made it 4-0.

The final game of the weekend saw Tottenham Hotspur's Wembley hoodoo continue as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley.

Spurs had yet to win at their adopted stadium but opened up a lead on 49 minutes with a goal from Dele Alli. They looked to finally be on the way to ending their Wembley woes but were stunned in the final seconds as summer signing Chris Wood levelled for the Clarets and claimed a point.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Three Go Clear While Reds Defeat Eagles

After the long awaited opening weekend of the Premier League season saw some surprises, gameweek two continued the trend to an extent.

Manchester United extended their stay at the top with a second consecutive 4-0 win as they eased past Swansea City.

Eric Bailly gave the visitors the lead just before half-time before a laterally saw three goals in four minutes as Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial  struck.

Watford maintained their unbeaten start with a 2-0 win away at Bournemouth. 

The sides remained locked at 0-0 past the hour mark before summer signing Richarlison put the Hornets ahead on 73 minutes with Etienne Capoué confirming the win with five minutes remaining. 

West Bromwich Albion made it two wins in a row with a narrow 1-0 victory at Burnley.

The Baggies went ahead on 71 minutes courtesy of Hal Robson-Kanu's strike before the Welsh attacker was sent off seven minute from the end. The Clarets were unable to utilise the man advantage and draw level.

Newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion slipped to consecutive losses with a 2-0 defeat at Leicester City.

The Foxes raced into the lead as Shinji Okazaki scored inside the opening minute and they were 2-0 to the good nine minutes after half-time after a strike from summer signing Harry Maguire.

Liverpool continued their unbeaten start with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace, ending a recent hoodoo against the Eagles. The crucial strike came on 73 minutes as Sadio Mané struck in consecutive games.

A five goal thriller saw Southampton claim a 3-2 win over bottom side West Ham United.

The Saints struck an 11th minute opener via Manolo Gabbidini before doubling the lead with a Dusan Tadic penalty five minutes after the dismissal of Marko Arnautovic for the Hammers. Summer signing Javier Hernandez made it 2-1 just before half-time before levelling at 2-2 with 17 minutes remaining. The hosts secured the win in added time as Charlie Austin slotted in a penalty.  

The evening game saw Arsenal suffer a 1-0 loss at Stoke City.

The Potters secured their first points of the season with a strike two minutes after half-time from summer signing Jese Rodriguez. 

Sunday's opening game saw newly promoted Huddersfield Town extend their 100% start to the season with a 1-0 win over fellow promoted side Newcastle United.

The winning goal came five minutes after half-time as Aaron Mooy struck to secure back-to-back wins for the Terriers.

Chelsea bounced back from their opening defeat to claim a 2-1 win over fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur. 

The Blues went ahead on 24 minutes courtesy Marcos Alonso's strike before looking to have gifted Spurs a point with a Michy Batshuayi own goal with eight minutes left.However, Alonso struck his second goal of the afternoon with two minutes left of the 90 to secure the win.

Monday night saw Manchester City and Everton share the points in a 1-1 draw.  

Wayne Rooney put the Toffees ahead on 35 minutes and City suffered a second blow just before half-time as Kyle Walker was sent off. Raheem Sterling secured a draw with an 82nd minute strike ahead of a late blow for the visitors which saw Morgan Schneiderlin sent off.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Clarets Stun Champions While Hornets Hold Reds

The new Premier League season is underway after opening on Friday evening with thrilling game that led the way to an exciting opening weekend overall.

Arsenal claimed the first points of the season as they came from behind to secure a 4-3 at home to Leicester City. The Gunners made a perfect start as summer signing Alexandre Lacazette fired them ahead inside two minutes but the Foxes scored a rapid leveller three minutes later through Shinji Okazaki.  

Jamie Vardy put the visitors ahead on 29 minutes but the sides were locked at 2-2 into half-time after Danny Welbeck's equaliser. Vardy restored the lead on 56 minutes but the hosts staged a superb late comeback as Aaron Ramsey (83) and Olivier Giroud (85) struck to complete the turnaround.

Saturday's action began with a six-goal thriller as Watford struck late on to secure a 3-3 draw against Liverpool. The Hornets struck first with Stefano Okaka slotting in on eight minutes. Sadio Mané levelled but the hosts took just three minutes to regain the lead as Abdoulaye Doucoure struck for 2-1. The Reds turned the game around in the space of two minutes as Roberto Firmino slotted in a penalty ahead of a strike from Mohamed Salah for 3-2. The Hornets still had a sting in their tail though as Miguel Britos levelled in the final seconds of added time.

Chelsea began the defence of the title with a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Burnley. The Blues suffered an early blow with the sending off of captain Gary Cahill with just 14 minutes played. 

The Clarets took quick advantage as Sam Vokes put them ahead on 24 minutes, Stephen Ward doubled the lead on 40 minutes with Vokes' second strike making it 3-0 into half-time. Alvaro Morata cut the gap for the hosts before they went down to nine men with Cesc Fabregas dismissed with nine minutes left. David Luiz made it 3-2 with two minutes left but the Clarets managed to hold on for the win.

Newly promoted Huddersfield Town made a stunning start in the top flight with a 3-0 win at Crystal Palace. The Terriers were gifted their opener as Joel Ward hit into his own net on 23 minutes before summer signing Steve Mounié doubled the lead three minutes later. Palace's miserable afternoon was completed on 78 minutes as Mounié struck his second goal for 3-0.

Everton opened the season with a narrow 1-0 win over Stoke City. The Blues secured the three points just before half-time as Wayne Rooney celebrated his summer return to the Toffees with a 45th minute strike. 

Southampton and Swansea City both began the season with a point each as they shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw.

West Bromwich Albion secured an opening win with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Bournemouth. The crucial strike came on 31 minutes as summer signing Ahmed Hegazi secured the three points for the Baggies.

Saturday evening saw newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion suffer a 2-0 loss at home to Manchester City. 

A close game saw the South Coast side hold City past the hour mark but a five minute period saw Sergio Aguero put City ahead before a Lewis Dunk own goal wrapped up the win for the visitors.

Sunday's action began with newly promoted Newcastle United losing 2-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur. The sides played out a goalless first half before the Magpies were dealt a blow three minutes into the second half with the sending off of Jonjo Shelvey

Spurs utilised their man advantage with two goals after the hour mark with Dele Alli putting them ahead before Ben Davies confirmed the win nine minutes later.

Manchester United top the table after the opening weekend after easing to a 4-0 win over West Ham United. The hosts went ahead on 33 minutes as summer signing Romelu Lukaku opened his United account for a 1-0 lead into half-time.

Lukaku doubled the lead seven minutes into the second half before a late double from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba wrapped up the points.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

EL/FA/UCL Finals Review

The final post of the current season sees the trio of the Europa League, FA Cup and Champions League finals reviewed.

First up is the Europa League Final which was played at the Friends Arena, Stockholm as Ajax Amsterdam took on Manchester United.

United sealed a place in the 2017/18 Champions League with a 2-0 win that saw Paul Pogba put them in front with 18 minutes on the clock before Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled the lead and confirmed the win three minutes after half-time.

Next up was the FA Cup final from Wembley as Arsenal looked to prevent newly crowned Premier League champions Chelsea from securing a double.

The Gunners made the perfect start as Alexis Sanchez struck inside four minutes for 1-0. The Blues were dealt a blow with the dismissal of Victor Moses but soon drew level through Diego Costa. However, Arsenal sealed the win and a record 13th title as Aaron Ramsey's strike three minutes later for 2-1.

The trilogy concluded at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff as Real Madrid looked to complete their defence of the Champions League trophy in the final against Juventus. 

Real went ahead through Cristiano Ronaldo with 20 minutes gone before a superb leveller from Mario Mandzukic made it 1-1 seven minutes later.

Casemiro restored Real's lead just after the hour with Ronaldo striking for a second time for 3-1 within three minutes. Juve's hopes of a comeback were scuppered by a double blow late on as Juan Cuadrado was dismissed before Marcos Asensio put the gloss on the win for Real in added time for 4-1.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Chelsea Crowned Champions As Reds Secure Fourth With Boro Win

The Premier League season finale saw the battle for fourth become the main focus with matters at the top and bottom already decided and a rarity as all 20 sides played at the same time.

Arsenal needed to better the result of Liverpool to secure a top four place and they did their utmost as they secured a 3-1 win over Everton.  The Gunners went ahead inside eight minutes with Hector Bellerin's strike but a blow saw Laurent Koscielny dismissed six minutes later. 

Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead before the half hour mark with Romelu Lukaku pulling one back with a 58th minute penalty. Aaron Ramsey wrapped up the win late on but the Gunners fate will be confirmed later in the review.

West Ham United ended the season on a high with a 2-1 win over Burnley. The hosts went ahead on 23 minutes through Sam Vokes but their fellow Clarets were level through Sofiane Feghouli within four minutes. André Ayew secured the points with a 72nd minute effort.

Chelsea's celebrated their title crowning in style with a 5-1 routing of Sunderland. However, the visitors threatened to derail the party as Javier Manquillo struck an opener three minutes in.  

Willian levelled for the Blues before an orchestrated guard of honour for Blues captain John Terry came in the 26th minute. Goals from Eden Hazard and Pedro put the Blues in control before a late brace from Michy Batshuayi rounded off the rout.

Hull City ended the season miserably they suffered a 7-1 thrashing from title runners-up Tottenham Hotspur. An early brace from Harry Kane put Spurs 2-0 up inside 15 minutes with Dele Alli making it 3-0 into half-time.

Sam Clucas ended Spurs' spree on 66 minutes for 3-1 but Victor Wanyama resumed the spree just three minutes later ahead of a hat-trick strike from Kane. The thrashing was completed by two goals in the final six minutes as Ben Davies and Toby Alderweireld slotted in.

Leicester City ended their season as champions with a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth who secured a ninth placed finish. Junior Stanislas put the Cherries inside the opening minute but the win was denied by Jamie Vardy's 51st minute leveller.

As mentioned above, Arsenal did what they needed to in the battle for fourth but they missed out due to Liverpool securing fourth spot with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.

The Reds cemented their place in the top four and a spot in next season's Champions League with an 11 minute spree which began with Georginio Wijnaldum's strike just before half-time.  Philippe Coutinho doubled the lead within five minutes of the restart with Adam Lallana wrapping up the win six minutes later.

Manchester United signed off ahead of the midweek Europa League final against Ajax with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. United went ahead with a debut goal from young striker Josh Harrop on 15 minutes  before Paul Pogba struck just four minutes later.

Stoke City missed out on a top half finish despite ending with a 1-0 win away to Southampton. Peter Crouch secured the points with an historic headed effort on the hour mark as he became the first player to score 50 headers in the top flight.

After avoiding relegation, Swansea City ended the season on a high with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies went ahead through Jonny Evans before Jordan Ayew levelled in the 72nd minute (the same time as his brother struck over at Burnley). Fernando Llorente sealed the win four minutes from the end.

The final league game of my 2016-17 reviews was also to be the last for Watford manager Walter Mazzari as he departed the Hornets after their 5-0 humbling from Manchester City who cemented third spot. A rapid start for the visitors saw Vincent Kompany strike inside six minutes before a brace from Sergio Aguero and an effort from Fernandinho gave City a 4-0 lead into half-time. The rout was completed before the hour mark as Gabriel Jesus made it 5-0 on 57 minutes.

Chelsea Seal Title While Reds Thrash Hammers

Catch-up on the final part of the Premier League season begins with a lengthy week 37 which spanned from Friday 12th May to Thursday 18th May. 

Friday night's action began at Goodison Park as Everton secured a narrow 1-0 win over Watford. The crucial strike came from Ross Barkley in the 56th minute.

Chelsea sealed the league title with a narrow 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion with a rare strike from Michy Batshuayi coming eight minutes from the end enough to secure the crown for Antonio Conte's men.

Manchester City kept up their hopes of a top two finish with a 2-1 win at home to former champions Leicester City. David Silva put the hosts ahead just before the half hour mark before Gabriel Jesus doubled the lead with a penalty seven minutes later. The Foxes halved the deficit just before half time through Shinji Okazaki but it was to be only a consolation.

Bournemouth moved closer to securing a top half finish as they claimed a 2-1 win over Burnley. The Cherries opened the scoring on 25 through Junior Stanislas before being pegged back with seven minutes to go by a Sam Vokes leveller. The hosts were bot to be denied a win though as Joshua King sealed the points in the 85th minute.

Southampton piled further misery on relegated Middlesbrough by securing a 2-1 victory. The Saints went ahead just before half time via Jay Rodriguez's 42nd minute effort and they were in control before the hour mark as Nathan Redmond doubled the lead. Boro had the last say on the scoreline though as Patrick Bamford struck in the 72nd minute.

Swansea City boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win over already relegated Sunderland. The Swans went ahead inside ten minutes courtesy of Fernando Llorente with Kyle Naughton doubling the lead just before half-time. 

Arsenal boosted their top four hopes with a comfortable 4-1 win over Stoke City. The Gunners went ahead just before half-time through Olivier Giroud with Mesut Ozil doubling the lead just before the hour mark. Peter Crouch got the Potters off the mark on 67 minutes but his effort was to be only a consolation as Alexis Sanchez made it 3-1 before Giroud's second strike ten minutes from the end.

Hull City needed to win to keep up their survival hopes as they faced Crystal Palace on Sunday, but a 4-0 loss saw their relegation confirmed. A rapid start from the Eagles saw Wilfred Zaha and Christian Benteke give them a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes.  The win was wrapped up with two late goals as Luka Milivojevic slotted in a penalty ahead of a strike from Patrick Van Aanholt.

Liverpool ensured that the battle for fourth would go down to the final day as they cruised to a 4-0 win at West Ham United. Daniel Sturridge got the Reds going with a 35th minute opener before a five minute brace either side of the hour mark from Philippe Coutinho put the visitors in control at 3-0. The gloss on the win came on 76 minutes with Divock Origi's strike. 

Tottenham Hotspur signed off at White Hart Lane with a 2-1 win over Manchester United that ended United's top four hopes. A rapid start from the hosts saw Victor Wanyama score inside seven minutes ahead of a Harry Kane strike just after half-time doubling the lead. United had the last say on the scoreline as Wayne Rooney made it 2-1 in the 71st minute. 

Chelsea left it late to overcome Watford in a seven-goal thriller that saw the Blues win 4-3. John Terry put the hosts ahead on 2 minutes only to have his effort rapidly levelled by Etienne Capoue. Cesar Azpilicueta restored Chelsea's lead into half-time with Michy Batshuayi making it 3-1 within four minutes of the restart.

Daryl Janmaat and Stefano Okaka struck for the Hornets to level at 3-3 but their were dealt a double blow late on as Cesc Fabregas sealed the win on 88 minutes before Seb Prodl was sent off.

Arsenal set up a three-way battle for the top four as they claimed a 2-0 win over relegated Sunderland. A nine minute brace from Alexis Sanchez secure the win as he struck in the 72nd and 81st minutes.

Manchester City moved into third spot with a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion. City were 2-0 to the good before the half hour mark via strikes from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne.

Yaya Toure wrapped up the win before the hour but the Baggies had the last say on the scoreline with a late strike from Hal Robson-Kanu. 

Southampton looked to secure a top half finish as they shared the points in a 0-0 draw with Manchester United who would finish in sixth spot. 

Tottenham Hotspur cruised to a 6-1 hammering over Leicester City on Thursday evening with Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min giving Spurs a two goal advantage at half-time. Ben Chilwell cut the gap for the Foxes before the hour mark before the visitors ran riot. Kane and Heung-Min struck for a second time in an eight minute period before Kane completed his hat-trick and struck a fourth in the final minutes.  

Friday, 12 May 2017

Champions/Europa Semi Finals Review

As the domestic European seasons near the end, the semi finals of both the Champions League and Europa League saw the final four sides in European competition decided.

The first legs of the Champions League semis saw an all-Madrid battle as holders Real Madrid hosted Atletico Madrid.

The hosts went ahead inside ten minutes as Cristiano Ronaldo struck, he went on to claim a hat-trick and a comfortable 3-0 advantage for Real with further strikes in the 74th and 87th minutes.

Monaco and Juventus faced off in the other tie and it was to be the Italians who secured first leg success. Gonzalo Higuain's brace secured a 2-0 win as he struck in the 29th and 59th minutes.

The first legs of the Europa League semis began with Ajax securing a huge 4-1 advantage against Olympique Lyonnais. The hosts opened the scoring through Bertrand Traoré before Kasper Dolberg doubled the lead before half-time.

The win looked to be secure within five minutes of the restart as Amin Younes made it 3-0 but the visitors struck what could be a crucial away goal through Mathieu Valbuena. The goal was to be merely a consolation on the night as Traoré scored his second and Ajax's fourth.

Manchester United secured a narrow 1-0 lead against Celta Vigo.The visitors secured the win with an away goal from Marcus Rashford on 68 minutes.

The final step on the 'Road to Cardiff' saw Juventus secure a place in the final with a 2-1 win that saw them advance past Monaco with a 4-1 aggregate.

First half strikes from Mario Mandzukic and Dani Alves put the Italians in control at 2-0 (4-0) before Kylian Mbappe secured some consolation for the visitors.

Juve will face Real Madrid in the final despite Los Blancos suffering a 2-1 defeat to Atletico as they advanced 4-2 on aggregate.

Atletico went 2-0 up on the night inside 17 minutes as Saul Niguez struck ahead of a penalty from Antoine Griezmann. They were unable to level the tie though as Real secured their spot in the final with a strike just before half-time from Isco.

After a five goal thriller in the first leg, Ajax secured a trip to Stockholm for the final with a 5-4 aggregate win despite losing 3-1 to Lyon on the night.

Kasper Dolberg continued his scoring streak with the opener on 27 minutes before a superb brace from Alexandre Lacazette as he struck from the penalty spot and open play in the final minutes of the first half for a 2-1 lead (3-5 agg).

Rachid Ghezzal made it 3-1 and 4-5 on agg with nine minutes to go and with the dismissal of Nick Viergever, the hosts had hope of levelling but to no avail as Ajax's away goal was enough to win the tie.

The Dutch side will face Manchester United in the final after the Red Devils advanced 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw against Celta Vigo. An opener from Marouane Fellaini made it 1-0 (2-0 agg) but a late rally from the visitors saw Facundo Roncaglia strike an away goal for Celta before being sent off after an altercation with United defender Eric Bailly who was also dismissed. United managed to hold on and secure a spot in the final. 

Chelsea Close on Title as Saints Halt Reds

The Premier League run-in is in full swing with just two gameweeks left after the recent weekend-midweek gameweek 36.

The gameweek began on Friday night with a London derby as West Ham United hosted title challenging Tottenham Hotspur.  The Hammers claimed the points with a 65th minute strike from Manuel Lanzini who secured a 1-0 win.

Manchester City kept up their hopes of a top two finish with a comfortable 5-0 rout over Crystal Palace. The hosts started perfectly with David Silva scoring inside two minutes before Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne made it 3-0 before the hour mark. A miserable afternoon for the Eagles was completed in the final seven minutes as Raheem Sterling added a fourth ahead of a rare goal from Nicolas Otamendi in added time,

Bournemouth and Stoke City confirmed safety with a share of the points in a 2-2 draw. An own goal from Lys Mousset put the Potters ahead on 33 minutes before Junior Stanislas levelled for the Cherries on 63 minutes. A strike from Mame Biram Diouf restored the visitors' lead but they were to be denied the win by an own goal from Ryan Shawcross. 

Burnley all but secured safety as they salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Sam Vokes put the Clarets ahead on 57 minutes before Salomon Rondon levelled for the Baggies. The visitors completed the turnaround on 79 minutes as Craig Dawson struck but the hosts were to level with four minutes to go with a second strike from Vokes.

Hull City's safety hopes were dented as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to already relegated Sunderland. The visitors secured the three points with two second half strikes as Billy Jones opened the scoring on 69 minutes ahead of Jermain Defoe's effort in added time.

Leicester City moved into the top half with a comfortable 3-0 win over Watford. Wilfred Ndidi put the Foxes ahead on 38 minutes before Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead just before the hour. The win was rounded off late on by a strike from Marc Albrighton. 

Swansea City boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win over Everton. The result which kept the Swans out of the bottom three was secured by a 30th minute strike from Fernando Llorente.

Liverpool's top four hopes fell out of their hands as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton. The Saints made it four out of four against the Reds in terms of clean sheets this season.

Arsenal kept up their top four hopes and dented Manchester United's with a 2-0 win that also restored Liverpool's control of their destiny.
The Gunners secured the points with a three minute brace as Granit Xhaka struck ahead of an effort from former United striker Danny Welbeck.

Monday night saw Chelsea edge closer to the title with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough who had their relegation to the Championship confirmed. The Blues went ahead on 22 minutes with an opener from Diego Costa before Marcos Alonso doubled the lead before half-time.  The win was wrapped up by a superb strike from Nemanja Matic.

Wednesday night saw Arsenal move closer to a top four spot at they secured a 2-0 win against Southampton. The Gunners secured the points with a strike from Alexis Sanchez just before the hour mark and an 83rd minute effort from Olivier Giroud.