Tuesday 30 December 2014

Blue Christmas

The Christmas fixtures brought the Premier League to its midway point with Chelsea and Manchester City leading the way.
Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the season when they fell 2-1 away to Newcastle and also dropped points in a goalless draw at Sunderland and in their most recent match 1-1 at Southampton.
Manchester City had won 7 matches in a row since drawing 2-2 at QPR until they lost a 2 goal lead to draw at home to Burnley in their latest match and are 3 points behind the leaders.
Manchester United had been picking up wins including 2-1 at Arsenal against the run of play, but have recently slowed down somewhat with a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa and 0-0 at Tottenham.
Southampton have been through a rough patch, losing at home to the Manchester clubs and away to Arsenal. The Saints were even shocked 1-0 at Burnley but turned things around by sending Everton home 3-0 losers and winning 3-1 at Crystal Palace before earning a respectable 1-1 draw at home to leaders Chelsea,  
Arsenal are on the fringe of Europe after overtaking West Ham with a 2-1 success at the Boleyn Stadium but will be regretting their first-half performance at Stoke which led to a 3-2 defeat.
West Ham United are in 6th place after consecutive home wins over Newcastle, Swansea and Leicester and a 2-1 away victory at West Brom.
Tottenham have won most of their matches 2-1 since their 2-1 defeat at home to Stoke, but have also drawn 0-0 at home to Crystal Palace and recently Manchester United. Their only other recent setback was 3-0 at Chelsea.
Liverpool who have been disappointing by the high standards they set last season moved above Swansea on goals scored after cruising 4-1 past the Welsh outfit at Anfield in the last match of 2014.   
Swansea City have been inconsistent, with their 2-1 win at home to Arsenal being reversed by Tottenham and points being dropped in a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace.
Newcastle United have had their ups and downs, inflicting a 2-1 loss on Chelsea at St James' Park before crashing 4-1 at Arsenal and losing 1-0 at home to neighbours Sunderland. However, they finished the year on a high with a 3-2 home win over Everton.
Stoke City have had their fair share of wins with Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton among their scalps, but have also lost 2-1 at home to Burnley and are at the midpoint of the table.
Everton have ended the year with 3 straight defeats including 3-0 at Southampton and find themselves in the bottom half of the table.
Aston Villa who are behind Everton on goal difference have ended the year with 1-0 losses at West Brom and Swansea and home draws against Manchester United and Sunderland.
Sunderland are close to the danger zone having drawn 6 of their last 9 matches. Draws at home to Chelsea and away to Liverpool should have given them hope but a recent 3-1 failure at home to Hull City would have sounded alarm bells for the Black Cats.
Queens Park Rangers have picked up vital points to climb out of the relegation zone with home wins over West Brom 3-2 and Burnley 2-0 and a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester City.
West Bromwich Albion are a point clear of the drop zone with a goalless draw at Hull and a single-goal win at home to Aston Villa all they have to show for in their last 9 matches.
Hull City are just above the bottom 3 on goal difference but will be happy with their 1-1 draw at Everton 3-1 victory at Sunderland.
Crystal Palace parted with manager Neil Warnock at Christmas, having only tasted one victory in their last 9 matches, beating Liverpool 3-1 at Selhurst Park, though the London side have picked up several draws even away from home.
Burnley are second from bottom despite wins over Hull, Stoke and Southampton and draws against Newcastle, Aston Villa and a recent 2-2 at Manchester City.  
Leicester City are bottom of the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Hull City in their latest match and a goalless draw at home to Sunderland the only points they have picked up in their last 12 matches.

Friday 7 November 2014

Chelsea eye title

With ten weeks gone in the Premier League 2014-15 season Chelsea look invincible at the top of the pile having won all their league matches apart from 1-1 draws at the Manchester clubs. Their most prolific win was 6-3 at Everton.
Southampton began with a 2-1 loss at Liverpool and a goalless draw at home to West Brom, but have since been in top form under Ronald Koeman and are second in the table having enjoyed impressive wins over their visitors from the northeast, thumping Newcastle 4-0 and embarrassing a hapless Sunderland 8-0 while conceding only 5 goals in the league so far.
 Reining champions Manchester City are in third place after losing by a single goal at home to Stoke and 2-1 at West Ham. In their most recent match they earned 3 points with a goal against their neighbours at the Etihad.
Draw specialists Arsenal have only lost once, 2-0 at Chelsea, but are in fourth place ruing their 5 draws including a 2-2 home draw at home to Hull City.
West Ham United are only behind Arsenal on goal difference having enjoyed a good home run in recent matches including a 3-1 victory over Liverpool.
 Swansea City  got off to a flying start with a 2-1 triumph at Manchester United followed by wins over Burnley and West Brom before being brought down to earth 4-2 at Chelsea. In their latest match they held Everton to a goalless draw at Godison Park.
Liverpool have been below par so far this season losing 1-0 at home to Aston Villa and away to Newcastle while also firing blanks at home to Hull.
Tottenham  have had their ups and downs with a 1-1 draw at Arsenal and a 1-0 home win against Southampton on the plus side but suffering home defeats 1-0 against West Brom and 2-1 against Newcastle.
Everton who have scored in all but one of their matches are in 9th position with their 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace being their lowest and their 3-0 home win against Aston Villa  their highest point of the season so far.
Star-studded Manchester United are 10th after 10 matches and still looking to find their balance. Their first win was a 4-0 victory at home to QPR that came in their fourth match of the season but was followed by a 5-3 defeat at Leicester having led 3-1 with half an hour left.
West Bromwich Albion are just behind Manchester United on goal difference with 4 draws and 2 wins, 1-0 at Tottenham at 4-0 at home to struggling Burnley.
Newcastle United  made a good recovery to a poor start of the season winning their latest 3 matches, 1-0 at home to Leicester and Liverpool and 2-1 at Spurs to be equal on points with Everton, Manchester United and West Brom.
Stoke City  have had a mixed bag of results but will remember their 1-0 victory at Manchester City.   
Hull City  have mostly held their own and will be pleased with their draws 2-2 at Arsenal and 0-0 at Liverpool.
Sunderland who will be scarred by their 8-0 pummelling at Southampton have drawn 5 matches and are only 2 points behind Manchester United.
Aston Villa  have had a tough run of matches and since their 1-0 win at Liverpool have slid down the table with 6 straight defeats.
Crystal Palace are just outside the relegation zone having only registered 2 wins, 3-2 at Everton and 2-0 at home to Leicester.
Leicester City have slipped into the relegation zone with 3 straight defeats, behind Crystal Palace who have scored more goals.
Queens Park Rangers have lost 7 matches including 4-0 drubbings at Tottenham and Manchester United, but have had closer encounters recently.
Burnley are at the bottom of the table with a meagre 4 points from 4 draws. Three goalless draws at home to Manchester United and Sunderland and away to Crystal Palace and a 2-2 draw at Leicester is all the newcomers have to show for.       

Friday 16 May 2014

City home in on title

Manchester City Took full advantage of their games in hand and a Liverpool slip up to win the Premier League title for the second time in 3 years. After losing 3-2 at Liverpool and drawing 2-2 at home to Sunderland, City won 5 matches in a row including a 3-2 away to Everton, which gave them a clear path to the title.
Liverpool began to dream of the title but after a 2-0 slip up at home to Chelsea, they allowed a 3 goal lead at Crystal Palace to turn into a draw in an 11 minute spell with a Dwight Gayle brace blowing their hopes away.
Chelsea suffered a huge setback losing 1-0 at Crystal Palace and when they lost 2-1 at home to Sunderland their failure to win the league title was virtually confirmed.
Arsenal won their last 5 matches after being swept aside 3-0 at Everton and once again finished fourth.
Everton lost the race to fourth spot after losing 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace and Manchester City and a 2-0 defeat at Southampton.
Tottenham had a mixed bag, hammering Sunderland 5-1 at the Lane after being swept away 4-0 at Liverpool and then came from 3 down to draw at West Brom but lost 2-0 at West Ham who did the double over their London rivals.
Manchester United Who were beaten 2-0 at Everton put Ryan Giggs in charge for the last 4 matches after dismissing David Moyes and after an uplifting 4-0 win at home to Norwich suffered a 1-0 home loss to Sunderland and finished the season with a 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Southampton put 4 past Newcastle at St Mary's before losing 4-1 at Manchester City and suffering a 1-0 shock defeat at home to Cardiff City and playing a goalless match at Aston Villa. The Saints ended the season with wins over Everton and Swansea and a home draw against Manchester United.
Stoke City finished in 9th place after ending the season with 2 straight wins thumping Fulham 4-1 at the Britannia Stadium and beating West Brom 2-1 away from home.
Newcastle United went on a run of defeats only picking up points in their 3-0 home win over bottom-of-the-table Cardiff, but still managed to finish mid-table.
Crystal Palace who were at one stage in serious danger of relegation began to race towards the middle of the table with 1-0 wins at home to Chelsea and Aston Villa and away to West Ham and also upset Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park.
Swansea City  stayed clear of the relegation zone by picking up important wins including a 4-1 victory at home to Aston Villa and a 3-1 triumph at Sunderland that took them above West Ham.
West Ham United enjoyed the occasional 3-pointers such as their 2-1 victory at Sunderland and 2-0 home win over Tottenham to stay in the safe zone.
Sunderland who at one stage seemed to be in need of a miracle to avoid relegation, achieved their goal by drawing 2-2 at eventual champions Manchester City and wining 2-1 at Chelsea and 1-0 at Manchester United.
Aston Villa came dangerously close to relegation only picking up points in a goalless draw at home to Southampton and a 3-1 home win over Hull City in their run towards the end of the season.
Hull City won their vital home match against Swansea by a single goal and shared 4 goals with their hosts at Fulham to stay in the Premier League.
West Bromwich Albion only just avoided relegation thanks to 3-3 draw against Tottenham and 1-0 victory over West Ham at the Hawthorns.
Norwich City were doomed after losing 3-0 at Swansea and 1-0 at home to West Brom and away to Fulham as they had a tough fixture list remaining where they only picked up a point in a goalless draw at Chelsea.
Fulham were also relegated despite putting up a late fight winning 2-1 at Aston Villa and 1-0 at home to Norwich as they dropped points in a 2-2 home draw against Hull and were soundly beaten 4-1 at Stoke.
Cardiff City finished bottom of the league losing their last 3 matches after a 1-0 shock win at Southampton and 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City.

Friday 28 March 2014

A three-horse race

Chelsea are sitting at the top of the Premier League with 7 matches remaining despite losing 1-0 at Aston Villa and drawing 1-1 at West Brom. The Blues who defeated Manchester United 3-1 at the Bridge enjoyed a vital 1-0 win at Manchester City before demolishing their North London visitors 4-0 and 6-0 in the shape of Tottenham and Arsenal respectively.
Liverpool who have scored 3 or more goals in 8 of their last 12 matches are one point behind the leaders. Among their bigger scalps at Anfield have been Everton 4-0 and Arsenal 5-1, while on their travels they have swept Manchester United aside 3-0 and in a 9 goal thriller put 6 past Cardiff.
Manchester City have only dropped points once this calendar year in a goalless draw at Norwich and are only 3 points behind the leaders with 2 games in hand. Their most impressive recent results have been 5-1 at Tottenham and 3-0 at neighbours United.
Arsenal have moved down into fourth spot after a string of poor results with only a 1-0 win at Tottenham to show for in recent matches. The Gunners lost 1-0 at Stoke, were torn apart 6-0 at Chelsea and could only draw 2-2 at home to Swansea.
Everton have struggled away from home, winning only in their most recent match 3-0 at Newcastle, but it is their home wins that give them a chance of moving into fourth place with the visit of Arsenal still to come.
Tottenham started the year with a 2-1 victory at Manchester United, but have been soundly beaten at home to Manchester City 5-1 and 4-0 at Chelsea followed by a 1-0 home loss to Arsenal.
Manchester United may have earned a respectable 0-0 draw at Arsenal, but they were beaten 2-1 at Stoke and with 3-0 defeats at home to Liverpool and Manchester City they are clearly not ready to challenge for the title.
Newcastle United have suffered some poor results including 3-0 and 4-0 embarrassments at home to Sunderland and Tottenham respectively, but have had the occasional win, earning pull points with a goal at home to Aston Villa and a 4-1 triumph at Hull.
Southampton will have mixed feelings about their 2-2 draws at Sunderland and at home to Stoke and Arsenal, but will no doubt be disappointed to have lost 3-1 at West Ham, though with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace and a 4-2 victory at home to Norwich they remain in the top half of the table. 
Stoke City who lost 5-3 at home to Liverpool but sent Manchester United back 2-1 losers have not lost since losing by a single goal at Manchester City. The Potters have beaten Arsenal 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium and thumped Aston Villa 4-1 at Villa Park.
West Ham United enjoyed 4 wins in a row after their 0-0 draw at Chelsea and escaped from the jaws of relegation, but are still not mathematically safe. 
Aston Villa have been inconsistent, gaining a 2-2 draw at Liverpool, but losing 2-0 at home to West Ham. In their most recent matches which all took place at home, their 1-0 success against Chelsea was sandwiched between a 4-1 win over Norwich and a defeat by the same scoreline at the hands of Stoke.
Hull City have been losing most of their matches, but cruised to a 4-0 win in Cardiff and struck twice at home to West Brom.
Norwich City who held Manchester City to a goalless draw at Carrow Road have not bagged any points away from home since their 1-1 draw on the first day of the year at Crystal Palace, but have not lost at home this year.
Swansea City who have been making it difficult for some of the big names, losing narrowly 4-3 at Liverpool, 3-2 at Everton and drawing 2-2 at Arsenal have not won since their 3-0 victory over Cardiff at the beginning of February.
West Bromwich Albion have managed 1-1 home draws against Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea, but have also ended up with the same result against the bottom club Fulham and are in danger of relegation.
Crystal Palace have picked up wins at home, beating Stoke and Hull 1-0 and West Brom 3-1 to lift themselves out of the relegation zone, but are still in real danger having not scored in their last 3 matches.
Sunderland have slipped into the relegation zone, having played fewer games, but have only picked up one point in a goalless draw at home to relegation candidates Crystal Palace since their 3-0 win away to Newcastle on the first day of February.
Cardiff City completed the double over Fulham with a 3-1 home win, but lead them by a single point and seem to be heading out of the Premier League.
Fulham are at the bottom of the Premier League, but the appointment of Felix Magath as manager has given them a glimmer of hope. A 2-2 draw at Manchester United and a narrow 3-2 defeat at home to Liverpool plus a recent 1-0 home win over Newcastle has shown their fighting spirit and with a relatively kind remaining fixture list, they may feel able to pick up some vital points.