Wednesday 28 December 2011

Five star United draw level


Demitar Berbatov netted a hat-trick as ten-man Wigan were hit for 5 at Manchester United who were one of only 3 teams to win in the Boxing Day fixtures leaving the 2 Manchester clubs equal on points at the top of Premier League table. City were held to a goalless draw at West Brom and Fulham deprived Chelsea of a win with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge while Wolves inflicted the same fate on Arsenal at the Emirates. Liverpool could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn and there were also 1-1 draws at Sunderland who entertained Everton and Swansea who took on QPR while Stoke and Aston Villa fired blanks at the Britannia Stadium. Gareth Bale struck twice for Tottenham to decide the match at Norwich and a double gave Newcastle all 3 points at Bolton.  

Friday 23 December 2011

Manchester on top at Christmas

Two more wins for the Manchester sides in a busy week of Premier League football gave them a healthy lead at Christmas. City passed the Arsenal test with a 1-0 home win before putting 3 past visiting Stoke with Aguero netting twice while United enjoyed their time in London with 2 goals at QPR and 5 at Fulham without reply. Chelsea dropped points to a late equaliser at Wigan and picked up another 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Thursday where Sunderland had lost 1-0 at the weekend while Wigan went on to hold Liverpool to a goalless draw at the DW. Aston Villa were defeated twice at home, losing 2-0 to Liverpool and 2-1 to Arsenal with the decider coming 3 minutes from time while Blackburn remain at the bottom of the pile with 2-1 home losses to West Bromwich Albion and their fellow strugglers Bolton who had earlier lost 2-0 at Fulham. Norwich drew 1-1 at Everton and 2-2 at Wolves who had lost 2-1 at home to Stoke while Everton went on to beat Swansea by a single goal at Goodison Park. Swansea managed a 0-0 draw at Newcastle where 4 days later West Brom grabbed a late winner despite another 2 goals from Demba Ba while Sunderland left it even later as their winning goal in the 3-2 win at Queens Park Rangers came in the last minute of the match after their hosts had fought back from 2 down.
In Spain a Ronaldo hat-trick help Real Madrid to a 6-2 triumph at Savilla with both teams reduces to 10 men while Barcelona returned from Japan with the Club World Cup after sailing to a 4-0 win over Brazil’s Santos with the magical Messi netting twice for the European champions.      

Friday 16 December 2011

City beaten


As Manchester United bounced back from their European disappointment, to defeat Wolves 4-1 with 2 goals each from Rooney and Nani at Old Trafford, Manchester City suffered their first loss of the season, losing 2-1 at Chelsea with Lampard grabbing a late winner from the spot against their ten-man visitors to close the gap at the top. Arsenal celebrated their 125th birthday at the Emirates with a van Persie master-goal the difference between them and Everton while Tottenham were unlucky to lose 2-1 at Stoke and there were 2-1 away wins for Wigan at West Brom and Aston Villa at Bolton. Sunderland won 2-1 against Blackburn with 2 late goals in Martin O’Neill’s first match in charge at the Stadium of Light while QPR lost 1-0 at Liverpool and Fulham went down 2-0 at Swansea. Demba Ba netted a double for ten-man Newcastle who lost 4-2 at Norwich from whom Grant Holt scored twice.
In Spain Barcelona recovered from an early Real Madrid goal to win 3-1 and overtake their hosts at the top of the table on goal difference.
The group stage of the Europa League was completed with Fulham who had taken a 2 goal lead at the Cottage crashing out to a last gasp equalizer against Odense allowing Wislaw to qualify after their 2-1 win against group winners Twente in Krakow. One goal was enough to give Birmingham a home win over Maribor but not enough to see them through as Braga drew 1-1 in Brugge and Tottenham sailed to a 4-0 win at Shamrock Rovers but suffered a similar fate as ten-man Robin Kazan drew 1-1 at Paok leaving Stoke the only English side to qualify for the knock-out stage despite losing 3-1 at Besiktas after being reduced to 10 men for 32 minutes. Red Bull Salzburg came from 2 down to win 3-2 at Slovan Bratislava and qualify ahead of PSG despite their 4-2 victory over group winners Athletico Bilbao in Paris.
In the World Club Cup Barcelona and Santos reached the final.

Friday 9 December 2011

Champions out


Two late goals gave Chelsea a flattering 3-0 win at Newcastle and Tottenham enjoyed the same result at home to 10 man Bolton Wanderers after the early dismissal of Gary Cahill while Arsenal put 4 past hosts Wigan without reply and Norwich had their wings clipped 5-1 at Manchester City. Swansea suffered a yak attack at Blackburn as Yakubu scored all 4 goals to send the Welsh side back 4-2 losers while another 1-0 win, this time at Aston Villa, gave Manchester United another 3 points and Stoke picked up the same result away to Everton. West Bromwich Albion drew 1-1 at Queens Park Rangers while Wolves came from a goal down to win with 2 Steven Fletcher goals at home to Sunderland and on Monday evening Fulham took advantage Jay Spearing’s red card to beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Cottage.
In Spain Real Madrid won 3-0 at Sporting Gijon while Levante were hammered 5-0 at Barcelona and in Germany Ribery and Robben scored 2 apiece as Bayern defeated Werder Bremen 4-1 in Munich.
In the Champions League 2 goals from Drogba helped Chelsea to a life-saving 3-0 triumph over Valencia at the Bridge while Arsenal, who had already qualified, fell 3-1 at Olympiakos whose celebrations were cut short as Marseille scored 2 late goals to come from behind and win 3-2 in Dortmund condemning the Greek side to the Europa League place. Ajax had a miserable night in Amsterdam as they lost 3-0 to Real Madrid and were overtaken on goal difference by Lyon who came from behind to run riot in Zagreb thrashing ten-man Dinamo 7-1 with 4 goals from Gomis. Both Manchester clubs crashed out of the Champions League with United losing 2-1 in Basel and City being pipped by Napoli who won 2-0 at Villareal, despite winning 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich.

Friday 2 December 2011

Slow progress at the top


In a week that football lost 42 year-old Gary Speed, the Manchester teams both drew 1-1, with United dropping points at home to Newcastle who held on for the last 11 minutes with 10 men, and City returning from Liverpool with a point in a match that saw Balotelli sent off while Adebayor scored twice as Tottenham came from behind to triumph 3-1 at West Bromwich Albion and move into 2nd place. Thomas Vermaelen scored at both ends as Arsenal drew 1-1 at home to Fulham while Chelsea picked up an easy 3-0 win at home to Wolves and Wigan won 2-1 with a last-minute winner at Sunderland who later sacked manager Steve Bruce. Stoke beat their visitors from Blackburn 3-1 while Everton won 2-0 at Bolton and Queens Park Rangers lost 2-1 at Norwich City. There were no goals between Swansea and Aston Villa.
In Spain Real Madrid are top of the table after beating 9 man Atletico Madrid 4-1 at the Bernabeu with Ronaldo scoring twice from the spot as Barcelona lost 1-0 at Getafe. The Catalan giants beat Rayo Vallecano 4-0 in midweek.
Crystal Palace dumped Manchester United out of the Carling Cup 2-1 at Old Trafford after extra time to reach the semi-finals where they will meet Cardiff City who defeated Blackburn 2-0 in the Welsh capital. Andy Carroll missed a penalty for Liverpool who still ran out 2-0 winners at Chelsea while Arsenal were also knocked out of the Carling Cup losing 1-0 at home to Manchester City.
In the Europa League Birmingham lost 1-0 at Braga, and Fulham who had Andy Johnson sent off in the last minute, lost by a single goal away to Twente. Spurs surrendered 2-1 to 10 man Paok at White Hart Lane, but a 1-1 draw against Dinamo Kiev at the Britannia secured Stoke passage into the next round.       

Friday 25 November 2011

Concern at Chelsea


Newcastle’s unbeaten record came to an end with a 3-1 loss at league leaders Manchester City while a single goal gave Manchester United 3 points at Swansea and a double from Adebayor against Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on Monday evening moved Tottenham into 3rd place, but Chelsea suffered another home defeat, losing 2-1 to Liverpool who are behind them on goal difference together with Arsenal who came from behind at Norwich to win with a double from Robin van Persie. Yahubu completed his brace with a penalty deep into stoppage time to earn Blackburn a 3-3 draw at Wigan, and 2 goals from Helguson gave QPR a 3-2 win at Stoke while there were 2-1 home wins for WBA against Bolton and Everton against Wolves with the only goalless match being played between Sunderland and Fulham.
In Germany Bayern Munich lost 1-0 at home to Dortmund while Werder Bremen were hammered 5-0 at Borussia Mönchengladbach with a hat-trick from Marco Rues.
Dinamo Zagreb were brushed aside 6-2 at Real Madrid who scored 3 goals in the opening 9 minutes in the Champions League while Barcelona overcame Milan 3-2 in Italy and Genk were taken to the cleaners 7-0 at Valencia with Soldado netting a hat-trick. Among the English teams only Arsenal managed a win and qualified for the next round with another double from van Persie as they sent Dortmund back 2-1 losers. Manchester United could only draw 2-2 at home to Benfica while Manchester City fell 2-1 to a double strike from Cavani at Napoli and Chelsea who had taken the lead in Leverkusen lost to a last minute goal.   

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Narrow wins at the top


League leaders Manchester City got the better of Queens Park Rangers 3-2 at Loftus Road with Jay Bothroyd having scored twice for the Londoners while Sunderland fell to a single goal at Manchester United who were celebrating Sir Alex Ferguson’s 25th year in charge, and there were also narrow wins for Newcastle who rallied to a 2-1 home victory over Everton and Chelsea who struck once at Blackburn. Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at home to Swansea while Arsenal eased 3-0 past West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates and Tottenham were victorious 3-1 at Fulham. A double Bent effort gave Aston Villa a 3-2 home success over Norwich while Chris Eagles and Klasnic both scored a brace in Bolton’s 5-0 demolition of Stoke City and Wolves moved away from the relegation area with a 3-1 home win against bottom of the table Wigan.
In Spain Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid slaughtered Osasuna 7-1 in the capital while Barcelona needed a last-minute goal to earn a 2-2 draw at Atletic de Bilbao.

Friday 4 November 2011

Gunners bridging the gap

Robin van Persie netted a hat-trick as Arsenal came from 2-1 down to upset Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge and climb into 7th place while at the top Manchester City, despite being reduced to 10 men, picked up a 3-1 home win against Wolves and Manchester United won by a single goal at Everton. A last minute goal earned Norwich a 3-3 home draw against Blackburn while Aston Villa shared 4 goals with hosts Sunderland and ten-man Bolton fell 3-1 at Swansea. A brace from Bale helped Tottenham to a 3-1 home win over QPR while there were 2-0 away wins for Liverpool over WBA and Fulham at Wigan with Moussa Dembele scoring both goals for the visitors. On Monday evening Newcastle sank Stoke 3-1 at the Britannia with a hat-trick from Bemba Ba.
In Spain Real Mallorca were thumped 5-0 at Barcelona thanks to a Messi hat-trick while Real Madrid picked up 3 points with a single goal at Real Sociedad.
Messi bagged another hat-trick in the Czech Republic as Barcelona triumphed 4-0 at Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League while Marseille held Arsenal to a goalless draw in London and Chelsea could only draw 1-1 at Genk. Porto fell 2-1 to surprise package Apoel in Nicosia while Ronaldo scored  both goals for Real Madrid at Olympique Lyonnais and Dinamo Zagreb were hammered 4-0 at Ajax. Manchester United picked up a routine 2-0 home win against Otelul Galati while Manchester City sank Villareal 3-0 in Spain with 2 goals from Yaya Toure and Napoli failed to complete their comeback from a Gomez hat-tick, losing 3-2 at Bayern Munich.
In the Europa League Stoke beat Maccabi 2-1 in Tel Aviv while Hapoel drew 3-3 at PSV Eindhoven and Udinese were undone 4-0 at Atletico Madrid. Fulham enjoyed a cracking 4-1 victory against Wisla Krakow at Craven Cottage with 2 goals from Andy Johnson while Tottenham lost 1-0 at Rubin Kazan and Birmingham came from 2 down to draw at home to Brugge.     

Friday 28 October 2011

City smash United


Manchester City widened the gap at the top after destroying ten-man United 6-1 at Old Trafford while nine-man Chelsea lost by a single goal at Queens Park Rangers. Aston Villa who also had a player sent off lost the lead and match 2-1 at home to West Brom while van Persie came off the bench at the Emirates to net a brace in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Stoke and van der Vaart scored both goals in Tottenham’s 2-1 success at Blackburn. Wolves denied Swansea an away win with 2 late goals to draw 2-2 and 2 late goals at Bolton decided the match in Sunderland’s favour while one goal was enough to give Newcastle a home win over Wigan. Norwich held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield but 2 goals right at the end gave Everton a 3-1 victory at Fulham.
In Spain a Ronaldo hat-trick helped Real Madrid to a 4-0 win at Malaga while Barcelona were held to a goalless draw at home to Sevilla with Varas saving a Messi penalty as 2 of the visiting  players saw red. In Germany Bayern Munich lost 2-1 at Hanover.
In Carling Cup matches Manchester United picked themselves up from their weekend humiliation to win 3-0 at Aldershot while Chelsea got the better of hosts Everton 2-1 in extra time and Southampton lost 2-0 at Crystal Palace. Suarez scored both goals for Liverpool who triumphed 2-1 at Stoke and Arsenal came from behind to beat Bolton 2-1 with 2 goals in quick succession at the Emirates while one goal at Cardiff sent Burnley out of the cup. Manchester City were too powerful for Wolves devouring their hosts 5-2 while Newcastle scored 2 goals at the death to force extra-time at Blackburn who sealed a 4-3 win in the 120th minute.     

Friday 21 October 2011

City clear


A convincing 4-1 home win over Aston Villa sent Manchester City 2 points clear of United who drew 1-1 at Liverpool while Chelsea kept up the pressure by beating Everton 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. Anthony Pilkington scored twice for Norwich who sent Swansea back 3-1 losers and Bolton won by the same score at Wigan while Blackburn drew 1-1 at Queens Park Rangers and Stoke hot 2 at home to Fulham. West Bromwich Albion beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 in the Black Country derby while van Persie scored another double as Arsenal defeated Sunderland 2-1 at the Emirates and Tottenham drew 2-2 away to Newcastle.
In Spain Real Madrid swept Betis aside 4-1 with another hat-trick from Higuain while Barcelona put 3 past Racing Santander with 2 from Messi.
In the Champions League 2 penalties from Rooney gave Manchester United a win at Otelul Gulati and Manchester City recovered from an early goal to score a last gasp winner at home to Villareal while Aaron Ramsey scored the only goal of the match in stoppage time for Arsenal at Marseille and Torres scored twice as Chelsea gunked Genk 5-0 at the Bridge.
In the Europa League Birmingham recorded a famous victory in Brugge with their 2-1 winner coming deep into injury time and Stoke put 3 past Maccabi with both teams having a player sent off at the Britannia Stadium while the controversial 29th minute dismissal of Dembele in Krakow was the talking point in Fulham’s 1-0 loss to Wisla and an unstoppable rocket of a free-kick from Pavlyuchenko was the difference between Tottenham and Rubin Kazan in London.   

Thursday 6 October 2011

A matter of goals


Two goals against Norwich at Old Trafford was enough for Manchester United to top the table on goal difference ahead of City who after a goalless first-half cruised to a 4-0 win at Blackburn while a hat-trick from Lampard helped Chelsea batter Bolton 5-1 at the Reebok Stadium, but it was Fulham who filled their boots with Andy Johnson claiming a hat-trick in their 6-0 slaughter of Queens Park Rangers at the Cottage. The controversial early dismissal of Everton’s Jack Rodwell helped Liverpool win 2-0 at Goodison despite missing a penalty and there were 2-0 home wins for Aston Villa and Swansea against Wigan and Stoke respectively while Sunderland had to come back from 2 early goals to earn a point at home to West Bromwich Albion. Arsenal lost the North London derby 2-1 at Tottenham and Newcastle won by the same scoreline at Wolves while in Italy the outstanding result was 10 man Inter’s 3-0 home defeat to Napoli who could afford the luxury of missing a penalty and in Spain Barcelona won 1-0 at Sporting Gijon while Real Madrid were 4-0 winners at Espanyol with a hat-trick from Higuain.     

Friday 30 September 2011

Stoke end United winning streak


Manchester United finally lost points as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Stoke while 2 goals gave Manchester City a home win over Everton and after Torres had scored for Chelsea and then been dismissed in the first half, 2 goals from Santos sent Swansea home 4-1 losers. Blackburn lost 3-1 at Newcastle to a Demba Ba hat-trick and Robin van Persie scored twice for Arsenal at the Emirates to celebrate his 100th goal for the Gunners in their 3-0 win over Bolton while Liverpool won 2-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham were victorious by the same result at Wigan. Fulham drew 0-0 at West Bromwich while QPR had to rely on a last minute own goal to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa and Sunderland lost 2-1 at Norwich City.
In the Spanish league Ronaldo scored twice from the spot in his hat-trick that helped Real Madrid to a 6-2 home victory over Rayo Vallocano While Atletico Madrid were thumped 5-0 at Barcelona with a hat-trick from Messi.
Ajax lost 3-0 at Real Madrid in the Champions League while Manchester United needed a last minute goal as their Swiss visitors Basel earned a 3-3 draw with Fabian and Alexader Frei doing the damage and Manchester City lost a double from Mario Gomez at Bayern Munich. Barcelona battered Bate Borisov 5-0 in Belarus with a brace from Messi while Arsenal rallied to a 2-1 home win over Olympiakos and a late penalty at Valencia denied Chelsea a win as they returned home with a 1-1 draw.
It was a clean sweep for English teams in the Europa League with Andy Johnson scoring both goals in Fulham’s win at Odense and Tottenham winning 3-1 at home to Shamrock Rovers while Birmingham came from behind in Slovenia to beat Maribor 2-1 and Stoke achieved the same at home to Besiktas.         

Friday 23 September 2011

Promoted joy


Manchester City lost ground on United as 2 Aguero goals were wiped out by a Fulham comeback to send them home with a point from the Cottage while Manchester United defeated Chelsea 3-1 with Rooney scoring a goal and missing a penalty at Old Trafford. The promoted teams all picked up wins with QPR brushing Wolves aside 3-0 at Molineux and Swansea enjoying the same result at home to WBA while Norwich won 2-1 at Bolton. Arsenal’s defensive problems continued at they lost 4-3 at Blackburn while ex-Gunner Adebayor scored twice for Tottenham who demolished Liverpool 4-0 in London and Sunderland celebrated the same result at home to Stoke. Wigan lost 3-1 at Everton and Newcastle drew 1-1 at Aston Villa.
In the Spanish league Messi grabbed another hat-trick as Barcelona annihilated Osasuna 8-0 while Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Levante and in midweek Madrid lost further points in their goalless draw at Racing Santander while Barcelona came from behind to draw 2-2 at Valencia.
In League Cup matches Michael Owen scored a brace for Manchester United who triumphed 3-0 at Leeds and Arsenal came from behind to get the better of Shrewsbury 3-1 at the Emirates while Tottenham were knocked out on penalties after a goalless draw at Stoke. Millwall were torn apart 5-0 at Wolves and Newcastle won 4-3 with a last minute goal in extra time at Nottingham Forest while Chelsea needed penalties to get past Fulham after a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

Friday 16 September 2011

Manchester hat tricks


Manchester United continued where they left off with Rooney scoring his second hat-trick in succession and Javier Hernandez netting a brace as Bolton received a home battering while Aguero scored all 3 goals for City at home to Wigan. Chelsea came away from Sunderland with a narrow 2-1 win and Liverpool lost 1-0 at Stoke while Adebayor opened his account with a goal for Tottenham in their 2-0 victory at Wolves. Everton and Aston Villa shared 4 goals at Goodison Park and while Arsenal recorded their first win of the season with a single goal at home to Swansea and an early Odemwingie goal for West Brom at Norwich gave the Bagged 3 points for the baggies. Blackburn drew 1-1 at Fulham and on Monday evening Queens Park Rangers were held to a goalless draw at home to Newcastle.
In Spain Barcelona lost a 2 goal lead to draw 2-2 at Real Sociedad while Real Madrid romped to a 4-2 home win against Getafe.
In Germany Mario Gomez scored 4 times in Bayern Munich’s sizzling 7-0 home win over Freiburg.        
In the Champions League Milan earned a 2-2 draw at Barcelona while Bayer Leverkusen fell 2-0 to Chelsea at the Bridge and there were 1-1 draws for the other 3 English representatives as Manchester City entertained Napoli, United played away to Benfica and Arsenal travelled to Dortmund.
In the Europa League there were also 3 draws for English teams as Tottenham played a goalless match at PAOK, Fulham were held 1-1 at home to Twente and a last minute goal denied Stoke a win at Dinamo Kiev while Birmingham lost 3-1 at home to last season’s beaten finalists Braga.  

Friday 2 September 2011

North London take Manchester mauling

Manchester City ran riot at Tottenham with Edin Dzeko helping himself to 4 goals in their 5-1 demolition of Spurs while Arsenal, who missed a penalty and once again ended the match a man short, were slaughtered 8-2 at Old Trafford with Rooney scoring a hat-trick for the sharp-shooting United who sit at the top of the Premier League table ahead of their flamboyant neighbours. Chelsea needed 2 late goals to overcome Norwich 3-1 at the Bridge and Liverpool enjoyed the same scoreline at home to Bolton while Leon Best scored both goals for Newcastle in their 2-1 home win against Fulham and Wolves held onto their unbeaten record with a goalless draw at Aston Villa. Blackburn who missed 2 penalties were beaten by a last minute penalty at home to Everton while QPR lost to a double from Franco di Santo at Wigan. There were no goals between Swansea and Sunderland and the Match between West Brom and Stoke was also goalless until a last-minute goal settled it for the visitors. The Spanish La Liga got under way with Cristiano Ronaldo grabbing a hat-trick as Real Madrid smashed Zaragoza 6-0 away from home while Barcelona opened with Fabregas getting on the score sheet for his new club and Messi netting a brace in their 5-0 home win over Villareal.

Saturday 27 August 2011

Gunners down but not out

Arsenal are still without a win in the Premier League after losing 2-0 at home to Liverpool having once again been reduced to 10 men while Manchester City rallied to a 3-2 win at Bolton and 2 goals just before the break against Fulham at Molineux gave Wolves another 3 points. Newcastle were victorious by a single goal at neighbours Sunderland while Blacburn lost 3-1 at Aston Villa and Chelsea got the better of WBA 2-1 at the Bridge. The newcomers all picked up points with QPR’s 1-0 win at Everton the pick of the bunch while a last minute Kenwyne Jones goal for Stoke at Norwich denied the Canaries a win and Swansea entertained Wigan a goalless draw. On Monday Tottenham travelled to Manchester where they were beaten 3-0 by United.
In the German league among other matches Bayern Munich Hammered Hamburg 5-0 and Werder Bremen won a 5-3 thriller with 2 late goals at home to Freiburg.
Arsenal came from a goal down at Udinese to make it through to the group stage of the Champions League with a brilliant Szczęsny penalty save and 2 second-half goals and it was a clean sweep for English teams in the Europa League with Kenwyne Jones scoring twice for Stoke who disposed of Thun 4-1 at the Britannia Stadium and Birmingham easing 3-0 past their Portuguese guests Nacional. Fulham lost 1-0 at Dnipro progressed 3-1 on aggregate while a goalless draw at Tottenham was scant consolation for Hearts as the Londoners sat comfortably on their massive away win. Schalke were among the goals sinking HJK Helsinki 6-1 with Huntelaar netting 4 times and Metalist triumphed 4-0 at Sochaux while a last gasp goal for Legia Warsaw at Spartak Moscow saw the Polish team through 5-4 on aggregate.
The Super Cup between Barcelona and Porto on Friday was won 2-0 by the Spanish and European champions with goals from Messi and new signing Sesc Fabregas.

Friday 19 August 2011

Slow Premier start

The Premier League brushed off its summer cobwebs amidst transfer speculations and started with some low-scoring matches. Only Bolton and Manchester City had their scoring boots on as Bolton gave new boys Queens Park Rangers a rude awakening subjecting the hapless Londoners a 4-0 lashing at Loftus road while on Monday evening Swansea City had their wings clipped 4-0 on their first Premier League outing with Sergio Aguero coming on to net a double on his home debut for Manchester City. In a controversial match at St James’ Park, Newcastle held ten-man Arsenal to a goalless draw while Chelsea drew 0-0 at Stoke and there were no golas between Fulham and Aston Villa. Suarez missed an early penalty at Anfield but scored for Liverpool only for Sebastian Larsson to earn Sunderland a point with a superb volley while newcomers Norwich City earned a point with a 1-1 draw at Wigan. Wolves came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Blackburn and Ashley Young scored the winner for Manchester United as the champions triumphed 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion. Everton’s match at Tottenham was postponed due to the recent riots.
An early goal at the Emirates gave Arsenal a slender lead to take to Udinese in the Champions League while in the Europa league Tottenham broke hearts down 5-0 in Scotland and Clint Dempsey scored twice as Fulham sent Dnipro back to Ukraine 3-0 losers. Birmingham drew 0-0 with Natcional in Portugal while Stoke were 1-0 winners against Thun in Switzerland.
In the Spanish Super Cup after a 2-2 draw at Real Madrid, and with the same result looking likely at the Camp Nou, Messi added to his earlier goal with the winner 2 minutes from time in a match that ended with 3 red cards for a mass brawl.

Friday 24 June 2011

Young Lions Czeched out

After salvaging a late 1-1 draw against favourites Spain and being held to a goalless draw by Ukraine, England needed a win against the Czech Republic to make it to the last four of the 2011 UEFA under 21 tournament in Denmark. England seemed to be on their way to the semi-finals when Daniel Welbeck gave them a deserved lead with a firm header in the 76th minute, but with a minute left on the clock, Chramosta knocked the ball past the impressive Frank Fielding for the equalizer, and as England pushed forward in stoppage time a Czech counter-attack resulted in Chramosta teeing the ball up for Pekhart to score the winner with the last kick of the match.

Friday 3 June 2011

Going up

Swansea City took an unassailable 3-0 first-half lead at Wembley and despite Reading’s valiant attempted comeback became the fist Welsh side to gain promotion to the Premier League winning 4-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Scott Sinclair.
Darren Ferguson took Peterborough United to Old Trafford where 3 late goals against Huddersfield Town gave them promotion to the Championship
A single goal at Old Trafford saw Stevenage move up into League 1 at the expense of Torquay, and at the City of Manchester Stadium, after a goalless draw AFC Wimbledon won promotion to the Football League by beating Luton Town in a penalty shoot-out in the Conference play-off final.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Survival Sunday

On the last day of the season Blackpool had a daunting trip to Manchester United where they took a 2-1 lead but were eventually beaten 4-2 by the newly crowned champions and consequently relegated. At Molineux Wolverhampton Wanderers seemed doomed after falling 3-0 behind to Blackburn in the first half, but 2 goals after the break gave Wolves a better goal difference over Birmingham who were drawing at Tottenham until Roman Pavlyuchenko sank the Blues with his second deep into stoppage time keeping Wolves alive. A single goal at Stoke kept Wigan in the Premier League while already relegated West Ham bowed out with a 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion came from 3 down at Newcastle at draw with a 2nd half hat-trick from Tchoyi. Chelsea lost 1-0 at Everton but finished 2nd in the league followed by Manchester City who consolidated 3rd spot with a 2-0 win at Bolton while a 2-2 draw at Fulham left Arsenal in 4th place. Aston Villa ended the season on a high, with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Villa Park.

Friday 20 May 2011

A City United in glory

A Wayne Rooney penalty at Blackburn gave Manchester United a 1-1 draw and their 19th league title on the day that Manchester City defeated Stoke City to win the FA Cup at Wembley. At the other end of the table Wigan came from 2 Demba Ba goals down to beat West Ham 3-2 with a brace from N’Zogbia that condemned their visitors to the dreaded fall, while DJ Campbell netted twice for Blackpool who got the better of Bolton in a 7 goal thriller at the seaside and Wolves triumphed 3-1 at Sunderland. Hangeland scored both goals for Fulham at troubled Birmingham while Everton lost to a single goal at West Brom and Liverpool were suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Tottenham. Chelsea could only manage a 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle while Darren Bent scored 2 early goals as Aston Villa won 2-1 at Arsenal who dropped into 4th place after Manchester City’s 3-0 midweek victory over Stoke with Tevez scoring twice for the hosts.
After goalless matches in the first legs, Swansea beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 and 2 goals from Shane Long helped Reading to a 3-0 win at Cardiff to set up a Wembley final for a place in the Premier League.
In Europe Porto won the Europa League, defeating compatriots Braga 1-0, and the Dutch picked up the UEFA under 17 trophy with a 5-2 triumph over Germany in the final.

Friday 13 May 2011

United point to the title

Manchester United are a point away from winning the Premier League for the 19th time after a 2-1 home win over their closest rivals Chelsea, while Arsenal continued their recent dismal run with a 3-1 defeat at Stoke. Manchester City lost 2-1 at Everton but a Tottenham own-goal at Eastlands secured them a top 4 finish in midweek. Defoe had rescued a point for Tottenham at the weekend with a late goal against visiting Blackpool and Liverpool had put Fulham to the sword 5-2 at the Cottage with another 3 goals from their on-form striker Maxi Rodriguez on Monday evening. A last gasp goal gave Sunderland a 2-1 win at Bolton while Newcastle won by the same score line at home to Birmingham. There were 1-1 draws for Blackburn at West Ham and Wigan at Aston Villa while in the Black Country derby Wolverhampton Wanderers picked up 3 vital points with a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion to move out of the bottom three. There were no goals in the first leg semi-final play-offs for the Premier League between Reading and Cardiff, and Nottingham Forest and Swansea.
In Spain Cristiano Ronaldo netted 4 times in Savilla as Real Madrid demolished their hosts 6-2 and added a hat-trick to his tally 4 days later to help his side cruise 4-0 past visiting Getafe, but a 1-1 draw for Barcelona at Levante on Wednesday was enough to give the Catalan giants the Spanish title.

Friday 6 May 2011

Not over the line

Manchester United are still not home and dry after losing 1-0 at Arsenal while Chelsea picked up 3 points at Stamford Bridge with a controversial 2-1 win over Tottenham, once again raising the question of goal-line technology. Liverpool enjoyed a 3-0 home win against Newcastle and Fulham won by the same score line at Sunderland thanks to a Simon Davies double while a single goal was enough to give Blackburn a win at home to Bolton. Ten-man West Bromwich Albion defeated Aston Villa 2-1 at the Hawthorns and West Ham fell by the same result at Manchester City while Everton drew 1-1 at Wigan and there was a goalless encounter between Blackpool and Stoke City. Queens Park Rangers were promoted to the Premier League as champions and were later joined by Norwich City who finished runners up in the Championship.
In Spain, Real Madrid who had lost 3-2 at home to Real Zaragoza and Barcelona who had suffered a 2-1 loss at Real Sociedad in the league, met in the Champions League at the Camp Nou where a 1-1 draw was enough to see Barcelona reach the final at Wembley where they will meet Manchester United who eased 4-1 past Schalke at Old Trafford.
Braga booked their place in the Europa Cup final on the away goals rule with a 1-0 home win against Benfica while a 3-2 defeat at Villarreal was not enough to deny Dublin an all-Portuguese final as Porto had hammered the Spanish outfit 5-1 in the first leg.

Friday 29 April 2011

Chelsea chase the title

A bitter blow at Bolton virtually ended Arsenal’s hopes of a league title after they lost 2-1 to a last minute goal while Manchester United picked up 3 points with a late goal at home to Everton. Fernando Torres finally scored fro Chelsea who moved into 2nd place with a 3-0 win over West Ham at the Bridge. Dzeko also got on the score sheet with the only goal for Manchester City at Blackburn while a Maxi Rodriguez hat-trick helped Liverpool demolish Birmingham 5-0 at Anfield, and Jordan Henderson scored twice in Sunderland’s 4-2 home win over Wigan. There were 1-1 draws for Fulham at Wolves, Newcastle at Blackpool and Stoke at Aston Villa while WBA picked up a vital point in their 2-2 draw at Tottenham. The most notable result in the Spanish league was Real Madrid’s 6-3 victory at Valencia in which Higuain bagged a hat-trick. In midweek matches there were 3-0 home wins for Stoke against Wolves and Fulham against Bolton with Clint Dempsey netting a brace.
Manchester United returned from Schalke with a 2-0 advantage in the Champions League semi-final while a double from Messi was the difference between Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Spanish capital. In the Europa League Falcao scored 4 times as Porto pummelled Villarreal 5-1 while Benfica still have plenty to do after their 2-1 win over Braga in Lisbon.

Friday 22 April 2011

Top draws give Chelsea hope

While Manchester United were being knocked out of the FA Cup 1-0 by Manchester City who will meet Stoke in the final after their 5-0 belittling of Bolton, Chelsea moved into 2nd spot of the Premier League after 3-1 wins away to WBA and at home to Birmingham, overtaking Arsenal who on Sunday opened the scoring against Liverpool with a penalty deep into stoppage time at the Emirates only to concede from the spot with the last kick of the game and were pegged back from 3-1 up to draw away to Tottenham on Wednesday. Manchester United failed to capitalise on Arsenal’s misfortune, managing only a goalless draw at Newcastle while in other league matches Everton and Birmingham picked up 2-0 home wins against Blackburn and Sunderland respectively and Blackpool lost 3-1 at home to Wigan while a last minute goal gave Aston Villa a 2-1 win at West Ham.
In Spain Real Madrid and Barcelona shared the point in a league match with penalties from Ronaldo and Messi, but on Wednesday it was an extra-time header from Cristiano Ronaldo that gave Real Madrid the Copa del Rey against their illustrious rivals.

Friday 15 April 2011

United on course

Manchester United took a step closer to the Premier League title with a routine 2-0 home win over Fulham while Arsenal kept their hopes alive with a 3-1 victory at Blackpool and a single goal at Chelsea was enough to give the hosts all 3 points against lowly Wigan. Peter Crouch netted twice at White Hart Lane as Tottenham defeated Stoke 3-2 and West Brom won by the same result at Sunderland while Birmingham drew 1-1 at Blackburn. Daniel Sturridge scored twice as Bolton sent West Ham away 3-0 losers and Everton won by the same score line at Wolves while Newcastle lost 1-0 at Aston Villa. Andy Carroll scored a brace in front of his home crowd as Liverpool sent Manchester City packing 3-0 on Monday evening.
After prolific first-leg wins Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet in the semi-finals of the Champions League having won their away matches 1-0 against Shakhtar Donetsk and Tottenham respectively, while the other semi-final will be between Manchester United and Schalke who won their home matches 2-1 against Chelsea and Inter Milan.
In the Europa League 3 Portuguese teams reached the last 4 to join Spanish side Villrreal who triumphed 3-1 at Twente. Porto disposed of Spartak 5-2 in Moscow and a 2-2 draw at PSV Eindhoven was enough to see Benfica through while Braga who played 60 minutes with 10 men held on to a 0-0 draw against Dynamo Kiev and progressed thanks to their 1-1 away draw a week earlier.

Friday 8 April 2011

Rooney swears to make a difference

Wayne Rooney helped Manchester United to a 4-2 win with a hat-trick at West Ham after Mark Noble had put the Hammers 2 up in the first half, but was later handed a 2 match suspension for letting off steam in front of the cameras, while Arsenal failed to break down the 10 men of Blackburn at the Emirates and fell further behind the leaders. Chelsea could only manage a 1-1 draw at Stoke and Tottenham played out a goalless match at Wigan while Manchester City showed intent with the 5-0 thumping of Sunderland. Newcastle tore visiting Wolves apart 4-1 while Darren Bent scored both goals for Aston Villa who drew at Everton and a double for Bobby Zamora helped Fulham to a 3-0 home win over Blackpool. Chris Brunt scored a brace for West Bromwich Albion as the home side came from a goal down to defeat Liverpool While Birmingham enjoyed the same result at home to Bolton.
In the Champions League former Arsenal player Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice for Real Madrid who humiliated Tottenham 4-0 with the visitors down to 10 men after the 15th minute dismissal of Peter Crouch while Schalke shocked Inter 5-2 at the San Siro. A goal from Rooney was the difference in United’s favour at Chelsea while Shakhtar Donetsk took a 5-1 battering at Barcelona.
In the Europa League a hat-trick from Falcao put Porto in the driving seat with a 5-1 home win over Spartak Moscow while Benfica also took a huge step towards a semi-final place with a 4-1 victory at home to PSV Eindhoven. Braga returned to Portugal after a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kiev and Twente Enschede were taken apart 5-1 at Villarreal.

Thursday 24 March 2011

United glad for Gunners’ gift

Manchester United left it late to break the deadlock and pick up all 3 points at home to Bolton while Arsenal found themselves 2 goals behind but fought back to earn a point at West Brom. Chelsea continued their climb with a double at home to Manchester City while Liverpool enjoyed the same result at Sunderland, and Tottenham were held to a goalless draw at home to West Ham. Blackburn Rovers fought back to earn a home point with a last minute goal after Charlie Adam had put Blackpool 2 up and a last minute goal for Wigan gave the hosts a 2-1 win over Birmingham while Fulham lost 2-1 at Everton and Newcastle were taken apart 4-0 at Stoke.

Friday 18 March 2011

Manchester semi joy

Arsenal were left with only the league to aim for after 2 goals at Old Trafford set up an FA Cup semi-final clash between Manchester United and Manchester City who ended Reading’s brave run in the cup with a single goal at the City of Manchester. Bolton scored a last minute winner in a 5 goal thriller at Birmingham and will meet Stoke City in the other semi-final after their 2-1 home win over West Ham.
Manchester witnessed another cup success when Hernandez scored twice as United sent Marseille home 2-1 losers in the Champions League after a goalless first leg while Inter came from behind to break German hearts with a late winner, beating Bayern Munich 3-2 to go through on away goals. Real Madrid strolled 3-0 past Lyon at the Bernabeu while a goalless match at Stanford Bridge was enough to see Chelsea through to the quarter-finals at the expense of FC Copenhagen.
A 1-0 Europa League win in Manchester was not enough to save City from elimination against Dinamo Kiev while Liverpool bowed out of the competition having fired blanks at home to Braga who are one of 3 Portuguese teams to make it to the last 8 with Benfica drawing 1-1 at Paris Saint-Germain and Porto achieving a 2-1 home win against CSKA Moscow. Another Russian team to be knocked out were Zenit St. Petersburg despite winning 2-0 at home to Twente Enschede, but Spartak Moscow reached the next round after brushing Ajax aside 3-0 in the Russian capital. PSV Eindhoven triumphed 1-0 at Glasgow Rangers and Villarreal made it through after a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Spain.

Friday 11 March 2011

Unhappy Arsenal close the gap

A Dirk Kuyt hat-trick at Anfield gave Liverpool a 3-1 victory over their bitter rivals Manchester United, and Arsenal the chance to close the gap on the league leader, but the Gunners could only manage a goalless draw at home to Sunderland having had a goal disallowed. At the wrong end of the table Wigan lost 1-0 at Manchester City, and Wolves Shared 6 goals with visiting Tottenham while West Ham enjoyed a 3-0 home win over Stoke and WBA moved out of the bottom 3 with a 3-1 success at Carling Cup winners Birmingham. There were 3-2 home wins for Bolton against Aston Villa and Fulham against Blackburn while Chelsea won 3-1 at Blackpool with 2 goals from Frank Lampard. Everton overtook Newcastle with a 2-1 win at St James’ Park and a 1-1 home draw in midweek against Birmingham.
Arsenal travelled to Barcelona in the Champions League where the controversial dismissal of van Persie helped the host win 3-1 and knock the Londoners out of Europe with a double from Messi while Tottenham held Milan to a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane to progress to the next round where they will be joined by Shakhtar Donetsk who brushed Roma aside 3-0 and Schalke who came from behind to defeat Valencia 3-1.
In the Europa League first-leg matches Liverpool lost 1-0 at Braga and Manchester City have a 2 goal deficit to make up after their visit to Dynamo Kiev.

Friday 4 March 2011

Birmingham glory denies Arsenal silverware

A last minute defensive error handed Birmingham a 2-1 win over Arsenal and the Carling Cup. In the league Manchester United swept their hosts Wigan aside 4-0 with Hernandez grabbing a brace, but lost their vital midweek clash 2-1 at Chelsea while Ashley Young scored twice at home for Aston Villa who thumped Blackburn 4-1 before being knocked out of the FA Cup 3-0 in a midweek match at Manchester City who had earlier been held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Fulham in the league. A double from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake helped troubled Wolves to a 4-0 home triumph over Blackpool while Jermaine Beckford scored both goals for Everton against Sunderland and Liverpool went down 3-1 at West Ham while Newcastle v Bolton and Stoke v WBA finished one apiece.
Reading pulled off an FA Cup shock 1-0 win at Everton, but there were no surprises at the Emirates as Arsenal strolled 5-0 past Leyton Orient in their replay to set up a trip to Manchester United in the next round.
In a tempestuous Scottish FA Cup replay, 3 Rangers players saw red as they lost 1-0 at Celtic.

Friday 25 February 2011

Chelsea lose cup

Reigning FA Cup champions Chelsea lost a replay on penalties to Everton at Stamford Bridge while Manchester United struggled to get past little Crawley Town, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford, and super sub Johnatan Tehoue scored a late goal to cancel out Rosicky’s effort for Arsenal and earn Orient a trip to the Emirates. Stoke and Birmingham were 3-0 winners at home to Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday respectively while a single goal gave Bolton victory at Fulham and Patrick Viera headed in a double as Manchester City went on to ease 5-0 past Notts County in a home replay. On Monday evening Burnley were hammered 5-1 at West Ham and in the only Premier League match of the weekend the Black Country derby was drawn 1-1 between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers with Carlos Vela scoring a last-minute goal in Roy Hodgson’s first match as Baggies manager. Tottenham lost 3-1 at Blackpool in midweek while Stoke fell to a single Arsenal goal at the Emirates.
In the Champions League Anelka struck twice for Chelsea in Copenhagen, Real Madrid drew 1-1 at Lyon and Bayern Munich scored in the last minute to win 1-0 at Inter while Manchester United drew 0-0 at Marseille.
In the Europa League Kuyt broke the deadlock against Sparta Prague with 4 minutes to go at Anfield to see Liverpool through and Edin Dzeko scored twice as Manchester City disposed of Aris 3-0 while Rangers, who had suffered a 3-0 defeat in the Old Firm derby at the weekend in which Gary Hooper netted twice, scored in stoppage time at Sporting Lisbon to draw 2-2 and go through on away goals. Benfica progressed to the next round with a 2-0 win in Stuttgart winning 4-1 on aggregate.

Friday 18 February 2011

North London leads Europe

Wayne Rooney scored with a spectacular overhead kick to delight the home crowd as United beat City 2-1 in the Manchester derby while a double from Dutchman van Persie saw off Wolves at Arsenal, and Tottenham came from behind to win 2-1 at Sunderland. Liverpool could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Wigan, and a last gasp Zigic goal was the difference between Birmingham and stoke while Aston Villa drew 1-1 at Blackpool. There were no goals between Blackburn and Newcastle but 6 goals at West Brom as West Ham came from 3 down to earn a point with 2 goals from Demba Ba. Everton lost 2-0 at Bolton and on Monday evening Chelsea drew 0-0 at Fulham who had a Clint Dempsey penalty saved in stoppage time.
Both Arsenal and Tottenham faced formidable opposition in the first leg of Champions league knockout stage and came out with flying colours. Tottenham returned from the San Siro with a 1-0 victory over AC Milan and on Wednesday Arsenal came from behind to overcome the mighty Barcelona 2-1 at the Emirates. In the Europa League Manchester City and Liverpool played out goalless matches at Aris Thessaloniki and Sparta Prague respectively

Rooney scores winner in Manchester derby

Friday 11 February 2011

Comeback upsets top guns

Manchester United scored a 3rd minute goal but ended up losing their unbeaten record 2-1 at Wolves, while having taken a 3 goal lead in the first 9 minutes and gone into the break 4 up at Newcastle, Arsenal had Abou Diaby sent off and were pegged back to 4 all by the Magpies. In other high scoring matches Louis Saha scored 4 times as Blackpool were beaten 5-3 at Everton, and Blackburn lost 4-3 at Wigan while Aston Villa and Fulham score 2 apiece at Villa Park. Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick on his birthday in Manchester City’s 3-0 home win over WBA and Tottenham beat Bolton 2-1 with a last minute goal at White Hart Lane while Robert Huth netted his second of the match in the last minute as Stoke came from behind to get the better of Sunderland in a 5 goal thriller at the Britannia Stadium. On Sunday Birmingham and Liverpool were both 1-0 winners in London as the Blues defeated West Ham and the Reds beat Chelsea and new singing Torres at the Bridge.

Friday 4 February 2011

Window of opportunity

In the 4th round of the FA Cup at the weekend a stunning 1-0 win at Torquay earned little Crawley Town a trip to Manchester United who had returned from Southampton with a 2-1 win while a 2-1 victory for Leyton at Swansea gave them a home tie against Arsenal who struggled to defeat Huddersfield at the Emirates. Tottenham were dumped out of the cup 4-0 by Fulham at Craven Cottage while a single goal at Watford saw Brighton move into the next round and Birmingham came from 2 down at home to gain a 3-2 success against Coventry. Victor Obinna gave West Ham a home victory with a hat-trick in their 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest while Wolves lost by to a single goal at home to Stoke and Everton will have to travel to London after their 1-1 draw with Chelsea. Blackburn were beaten 3-1 at Aston Villa and Notts County earned a replay at Manchester City after their 1-1 draw on Sunday.
The January transfer window was closed and the league resumed in midweek with Suarez coming off the bench to score on his home début in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Stoke while Rooney netted twice for United as Aston Villa were stung 3-1 in Manchester and Arsenal kept the pressure on the leaders with a 2-1 win at home to Everton. Chelsea gained momentum with a 4-2 win at Sunderland and an early header by Crouch was the difference in Tottenham’s favour at Blackpool while Manchester City drew 2-2 at Birmingham. Victor Obinna added 2 more goals to his tally and Robbie Keane scored on his début for the Hammers as West Ham rocked Blackpool 3-1 at the seaside and Wigan shared 4 goals with their host West Brom while Fulham and Bolton enjoyed 1-0 home wins over Newcastle and Wolves respectively.

Friday 28 January 2011

Big names win big

Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick as United battered Birmingham 5-0 in Manchester and helped himself to 2 more in midweek at Blackpool as the league leaders came from behind to win 3-2, while Robin van Persie scored all 3 and missed a penalty in Arsenal’s home win over Wigan, and Chelsea powered past Bolton 4-0 away from home. Liverpool enjoyed a rise in the table after winning 3-0 at Wolves, thanks to 2 goals from Torres, and a 1-0 win at Fulham in the week while Everton scored a last-minute goal to draw 2-2 with visiting West Ham who had had Piquionne sent off for celebrating what he thought was the winning goal for the Hammers. Darren Bent scored the only goal of the match in his début for Aston Villa at home to Manchester City while Tottenham drew 1-1 at Newcastle and Fulham defeated Stoke 2-0 at the Cottage.
Arsenal and Birmingham will contest the Carling Cup final after the Gunners overturned Ipswich 3-0 at the Emirates and Birmingham came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at St Andrews.

Friday 21 January 2011

Sunday draws and Arsenal stay on course

Chelsea got back to winning ways with 2 goals at home to Blackburn while Manchester City were stretched at home by Wolves, eventually winning 4-3 and Arsenal found the going easy at West Ham scoring 3 goals without reply. On Sunday all 4 matches ended in draws with Tottenham and top of the table Manchester United firing blanks at White Hart Lane, and the derby matches between Sunderland and Newcastle, and Birmingham and Aston Villa ending a goal apiece while Kenny Dalglish earned his first home point as Liverpool manager in their 2-2 draw against Everton.
In FA Cup replays Stoke won 2-0 at Cardiff, Doncaster were devoured 5-0 by Wolves at Molineux, Manchester City put Leicester out 4-2 in Manchester and Arsenal returned 3-1 victorious from Leeds.

Friday 14 January 2011

Cup hits north England

Liverpool’s 2-1 midweek defeat at Blackpool was the only Premier League match of the week as the FA Cup took centre stage with Liverpool managed by Kenny Dalglish losing to an early Giggs penalty for Manchester United at Old Trafford. Newcastle United were dumped out of the cup 3-1 at Stevenage and Sunderland lost 2-1 at home to Notts County while Middlesbrough suffered the same result as hosts Burton Albion came back with 2 late goals from Shaun Harrad to make it a bad day for the north with Carlisle also dropping out after their 1-0 loss at Torquay. In a tale of 2 penalties Arsenal earned a trip to Leeds with a last minute spot kick, and Leicester earned a trip to Manchester City with a 2-2 draw while Jermain Defoe scored a double as Tottenham put Charlton out 3-0 at White Hart Lane. Chelsea smashed Ipswich 7-0 at the Bridge while Queens Park Rangers lost to a single goal at Blackburn and West Bromwich Albion suffered the same fate at Reading. Millwall were demolished 4-1 by visiting Birmingham and a Diomansy Kamara hat-trick at the Cottage helped Fulham shatter Peterborough 6-2 while Sheffield Wednesday won 3-0 at Bristol City and Sheffield United lost 3-1 at home to Aston Villa. . In the battle of the seasiders Portsmouth lost 3-1 at Brighton and Blackpool were beaten 2-0 at Southampton. Cardiff drew 1-1 at Stoke while Leyton celebrated a 1-0 win at Norwich and Wolves drew 2-2 at Doncaster. Nottingham Forest won 2-1 at Preston and Crystal Palace lost by the same scoreline at Coventry.
In the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg matches ten-man West Ham thrilled their crowd with a 2-1 success over Birmingham and the Tractor Boys of Ipswich bounced back from their humiliating hammering at Chelsea to send Arsenal back with a 1-0 defeat.

Friday 7 January 2011

Chelsea losing ground

Manchester United remain top after winning 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion and at home to Stoke in the space of 3 days, while a single goal gave Manchester City a home win against Blackpool before holding Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates after the Gunners had cruised to a 3-0 win at Birmingham. Chelsea thought they had completed a late flight-back with the winner a minute from time but Aston Villa left Stamford bridge with a 3-3 draw, and days later the Londoners lost 1-0 at bottom side Wolves to move down to 5th in the table while Wolves who had earlier lost 2-0 at West Ham moved out of the relegation zone leaving the Hammers rooted to the bottom after their 5-0 humiliation at Newcastle who had earlier won 1-0 at Wigan making this period perfect for the north of England as Sunderland were the only other team to pick up 6 points with a 3-0 home victory over Blackburn and a 1-0 win at Aston Villa. Tottenham lost 2-1 at Everton but had already moved above Chelsea into 4th spot with a 1-0 home win over Fulham who went on to beat West Brom 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Liverpool enjoyed a 2-1 home win over Bolton but the pressure on manager Roy Hodgson mounted as they lost 3-1 at Blackburn while in other matches Everton lost 2-0 at Stoke and Blackpool were beaten 2-1 by visitors Birmingham.