Friday 27 January 2012

No revenge for North London

After the humiliating defeats for Arsenal and Tottenham to their Manchester rivals earlier in the season, Arsenal lost 2-1 to United at the Emirates while Tottenham were defeated 3-2 in Manchester with Balotelli - who was lucky not to have been shown red - scoring a last minute winner from the spot. Clint Dempsey scored a hat-trick as Newcastle were taken apart 5-2 at Fulham and Wigan lost 3-1 at QPR while Chelsea played a goalless match at Norwich. Robbie Keane scored twice for Aston Villa who won 3-2 at Wolves and WBA grabbed a late 2-1 winner at Stoke. while Swansea fell 2-0 at Sunderland. Liverpool went down 3-1 at Bolton and Everton were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn.
In Spain Real Madrid and Barcelona won 4-1 at home to Atletico de Bilbao and away to Malaga respectively with Messi netting a hat-trick for the Catalan side, and the 2 Spanish giants clashed in the Copa del Rey with hosts Barcelona going through 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw.
Cardiff City reversed their 1-0 away defeat to Crystal Palace to take the match to extra time and penalties, with the visitors reduced to 10 men, and earn a place in the Wembley final where they will meet Liverpool for the League Cup trophy after the Reds drew 2-2 at home to Manchester City.   

Friday 20 January 2012

Manchester winning

A single goal at Wigan on Monday kept Manchester City at the top of the league while the weekend matches saw Manchester United beat Bolton 3-0 with Paul Scholes opening the scoring for the host amd Chelsea also picked up 3 points with a Lampard goal against visiting Sunderland, but 3rd place Tottenham could only draw 1-1 at home to Wolves and Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at home to Stoke. Arsenal took the lead but lost 3-2 at Swansea and QPR lost 1-0 at Newcastle while Blackburn moved out of the bottom 3 after celebrating a 3-1 home victory over Fulham. Norwich won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion and Everton drew 1-1 at Aston Villa.
In Spain Messi scored twice as Barcelona won 4-2 at home to Real Betis but Real Madrid remain at the top of the La Liga table 5 points ahead of them after a 2-1 win away to Real Mallorca while 3rd place Valencia lost 1-0 at home to Real Sociedad. In Italy the Milanese derby ended 1-0 in favour of Inter.
Among FA Cup replay matches played in Midweek Nottingham Forest were felled 4-0 at Leicester with Beckford scoring a hat-trick and Birmingham went through with a single goal at Wolverhampton while Millwall, Bolton, Queens Park Rangers and Brighton also made it to the next round.       

Thursday 12 January 2012

Cup of legends

The third round of the FA Cup saw the return of Paul Scholes for Manchester United in their visit to Manchester City where the early and controversial dismissal of City captain Vincent Kompany was instrumental in the visitors taking a 3-0 lead by half time, with a brace from Rooney, rendering a 2 goal fight back by the league leaders futile. Among other matches Liverpool came from behind to demolish Oldham 5-1 at Anfield and Ipswich fell 3-1 at Hull City while Cardiff lost 4-2 at West Bromwich Albion with Simon Cox netting a hat-trick. A Last minute goal gave Newcastle a 2-1 win at home to Blackburn while Stevenage travelled to stun Reading 1-0 and Bristol City lost by a single goal at Crawley Town. Chelmsford City earned a trip to Bolton with a 2-2 draw while Fleetwood Town were no match for Blackpool with Matt Phillips scoring a hat-trick in the 5-1 win by the visitors and 3 late goals saw Portsmouth lose 4-0 at Chelsea. Swindon came from behind to earn a 2-1 home win against Wigan, and Fulham put 4 past Charlton without reply thanks to a hat-trick from Clint Dempsey while a goal 2 minutes from time knocked West Ham out of the cup at Sheffield Wednesday. Thierry Henry returned to Arsenal to come off the bench and break the deadlock against Leeds on Monday evening while in the Carling Cup semi-finals Crystal Palace will take a slender 1-0 lead to Cardiff and Liverpool enjoyed the same result away to Manchester City. In the Premier League Tottenham moved closer to the summit with a 2-0 home win in their rearranged match against Everton.
Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of the Spanish league with a 5-1 win at home to Grenada while Barcelona drew 1-1 at Espanyol.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Toon stun champs

The weekend losers all won in midweek with Manchester United the exception as they caved in 3-0 at Newcastle. Manchester City strengthened their position at the top with a 3-0 home win over Liverpool despite being reduced to 10 men, and Lampard, who may consider himself lucky not to be sent off, scored a late winner to condemn Wolves to a 2-1 home defeat while WBA lost to a single goal at Tottenham. Arsenal took the lead but after losing Djourou to a red card fell to 2 late goals at Fulham while at Queens Park Rangers goal scorer Joey Barton who was later dismissed watched Norwich come from behind to win 2-1, and Stoke enjoyed the same scoreline with Peter Crouch netting a double at Blackburn. Swansea won 2-0 at Aston Villa while Sunderland celebrated a blistering 4-1 win at Wigan and Everton keeper Tim Howard scored from inside his own penalty box only for visiting Bolton Wanderers to hit back with 2 for the win.  

Sunday 1 January 2012

Shock end

The year ended with a shock defeat for Manchester United on Sir Alex Ferguson’s 70th birthday as Yakubu struck twice for Blackburn before Berbatov’s quick double proved to be in vain with the visitors scoring the winner too late for United to reply, while Aston Villa came from behind to beat Chelsea 3-1 with 2 late goals at Stamford Bridge and Tottenham dropped points in their 1-1 draw at Swansea. A single goal gave Arsenal all 3 points at home to Queens Park Rangers and a Bellamy brace helped Liverpool to a 3-1 win over Newcastle at Anfield. Norwich earned a 1-1 home draw with a last minute equaliser against Fulham and Wolves drew 1-1 at Bolton while ten-man Wigan drew 2-2 at Stoke. On the first day of 2012 Everton opened the scoring with a last-minute winner at West Brom and the weekend shocks continued with Sunderland breaking the deadlock with a last gasp winner against league leaders Manchester City at the Stadium of Light.