With this being the last game before England manager Roy Hodgson announces his twenty-three man squad for the World Cup in Brazil you would have expected to see a host of fringe players given a last chance to prove their worth on the international stage. In reality the line up that Hodgson put forth suggests that he already has in mind the majority of the side he would like to play in the nations opening game against Italy.
After an impressive season for the Merseyside club there were five Liverpool players named in the starting eleven and they all had a touch of the ball to create a chance for young winger Raheem Sterling but his effort from a narrow angle was easily held by Kasper Schmeichel. England continued to create half-chances and went close when Wayne Rooney timed his run to perfection to receive the ball and round the… Continue reading →
Despite his lack of experience in the competition, the rare moments of joy in the David Moyes tenure at Old Trafford have mainly come in the Champions League. Undefeated in the group stages they were given a relatively simple draw for the first knockout stages. Their league form has seen them drift perhaps too far to make next year’s elite European competition via league standings and may very well need to win this trophy to secure a place for the 2014/15 season.
Despite the importance of the game United started slowly, allowing their opposition the lion’s share of possession and buoyed by the vocal crowd, Olympiakos took the game by the scruff of the neck. The home side were threatening in the early stages and only a last ditch tackle by Nemanja Vidic stopped Alejandro Dominguez after the Argentine had drove his way through a weak United defense. Despite a… Continue reading →
Both sides went into this game under pressure to secure the points for their own seasonal targets. Chelsea, despite Jose Mourinho’s constant comments on their shortcomings, are chasing the title whilst Everton are hoping to close a gap on rivals Liverpool to secure a position in next year’s Champions League.
Chelsea started out the stronger side as they looked to get man-on-form Eden Hazard the ball at every opportunity. The Everton back line, boosted by excellent work from holding midfielders Gareth Barry and James McCarthy, stood strong and were quick to put a stop to any momentum from the home side. Buoyed by their sides resilience the away fans voices were soon heard loud over the Stamford Bridge faithful who were quiet as they watched Roberto Martinez’s side grow into the game. Everton are a much changed side since the Spaniard took over in the summer and their new… Continue reading →
After Manchester City exacted their revenge on Chelsea for inflicting upon them their first defeat at home in the league all season it was Arsenal’s chance for payback and to amend themselves after their hammering at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool were lighting quick to get on the score sheet in the league clash a week ago and they almost repeated themselves as Steven Gerrard slipped Daniel Sturridge through on goal with a sublimely weighted ball but the in-form forward could only direct his shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski. Sturridge went close again a few moments later as the England international recieved a clever pass from Luis Suarez but could only fire into the side netting after rounding the Arsenal goalkeeper.
Arsenal were slow to get going in the game but there were signs of life as the half wore on, especially from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who linked well with… Continue reading →
After masterminding a perfect plan for victory at the Etihad in the league, Jose Mourinho would have come into this game full of belief that his side could replicate that form to progress into the next round of the FA Cup, a competition that has seen one of the two sides on display today in the final for the last five years.
Manchester City started the more dominant, as they did in the league, and they came close to breaking the deadlock after a quarter of an hour when a thunderous drive from Yaya Toure could only be parried by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech but Stevan Jovetic could only lift his shot onto the crossbar. The Montenegro forward was on target a few moment later however. Great build up play from City led to Edin Dzeko sliding a pinpoint ball forward to Jovetic who finished cooly off of the base… Continue reading →