Barclays Premier League Gameweek 31: Preview & Review!

What a fantastic Saturday it was in the Barclays Premier League! With 7 games played and 27 goals scored, the table had lots of changes this Saturday and this made things even tighter at the bottom of the table. Let us review you through the 7 games played on Saturday.

Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Arsenal

A London Derby always a special occasion. This time around both sides were fighting out for different reasons.  QPR needed a win to stay in touch with the likes of Bolton, Blackburn and Wigan and Arsenal had too keep up the pace to guarantee their 3rd place. Arsenal came into this game  with 7 consecutive victories in the premier league. This game started off with a high tempo and QPR were on the offensive side. QPR scored 1st through a fantastic peace of skill by Adel Taraabt to get past Thomas Vermaelen and to finish it in the right bottom corner of Woijech Szeczny’s goal. It was his 1st ever premier league goal.  But Arsenal didn’t sit back and found an equaliser through Theo Walcott. Walcott on the first attempt hit the post and it luckily pounced out to him again and he eventually scored. The winner in this game was scored from Diakite. The QPR midfielder had an outstanding game. He came up with a great finish right into the top corner giving the Arsenal goalkeeper no chance whatsoever. It was Diakite’s first ever goal for the club. QPR took all 3 points and they move upto 16th in the table. As for Arsenal, they might be in danger to lose 3rd spot. QPR now look in fantastic form beating Liverpool and Arsenal lately, They look all charged up as they face Manchester United next!

Manchester City 3-3 Sunderland

This was one of the two 6-goal thriller on Saturday. Manchester City came into this game being desperate for 3 points to keep in pace with the Champions.  Sunderland meanwhile were looking to get in the top 7 for a possible Europa league spot. It was the away side who took the lead through a strike from Sebastian Larsson. Larsson provided a beautiful finish from outside the box giving Joe Hart no chance to prevent the ball going into the Citizens net.  City then replied to Sunderland’s questions soon after they were awarded a controversial penalty. Mario Balotelli sent the ball into the net to level the scores. Then right at the stroke of half time it was Nicklas Bendtner who headed the ball into the net to put the visitors in front. The 2nd half started with a classic counter from Sunderland which ended up resulting in a goal and by that point the Black Cats were up by 3 goals to 1 against a Manchester City side who have won 15 out of 15 home games this season. We all knew Manchester City won’t give up, they never did and salvaged a point through fantastic strikes from Balottelli and Alexandre Kolorav. This draw has put City into lot’s of pressure as they need Blackburn to do some thing special against United on Monday. Sunderland would be disappointed after being going 3-1 up and drawing the game, but a point at the Etihad neverthenless.

Aston Villa 2-4 Chelsea

Villa Park, the place where Chelsea have not won in last 13 years. Chelsea needed to get 3 points  to put some pressure on 4th place Tottenham for the final champions league spot. Chelsea started the game brightly as it was Chelsea flop Fernando Torres with many chances missed 1 on 1 with the goal keeper. But it was not later than just 9 minutes into the game, It was Daniel Sturridge who sent the ball home to score his 12th goal of the season. Straight after kick off Chelsea scored again, Through Branaslav Ivanovic. The Serbian has been in great form lately in the goal-scoring stakes and Villa conceded another from a corner. It was Boys against Men certainly till the 76th minute before James Collins pulled one back for Villa. Aston Villa have not scored a single goal from corners this season so they decided to do it through a long through. 3 minutes later Villa equalised through Lihadj. He smashed the ball into the empty net to make it 2-2 of a Mark Albrighton cross. But Aston Villa then again conceded of the corner. In same fashion as the 2nd goal of Chelsea, Ivanovic scored again and put the visitors in front. This was turning out to be a classic as Villa were pushing up for the equaliser. They conceded one through a counter from Chelsea in Stoppage time. And Guess who scored? Nando! It was Fernando Torres’ first league goal since mid September. After missing several opportunities, the manager backed him and not replacing him with Drogba and the faith of the manager paid off. It was a typical Torres finish. The three points put Chelsea on course to get into the top 4.

Everton 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

A mid-table clash between the two sides who are in fine form. Both clubs were chasing a top half finish or even a final Europa league spot as this is how tight it is in the Premier League table. This game had one goal in a half each. Everton first lead through Gareth McAuely’s Own goal. Later on in the the 2nd half it was Victor Anichebe who doubled the lead. Now with this win Everton move 7th in the table ahead of their arch-rivals Liverpool who play later today.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-3 Bolton Wanderers

A fantastic game at Molineux. A premier league six-pointer! This was a game of  maximum importance to both sides. Especially to Wolves who are rock bottom of the table. Terry Connor’s side couldn’t take the lead in the 1st half after numerous chances missed. It was a game that Wolves could have easily won. Wolves took the lead through Micheal Kightly’s fantastic piece of individual brilliance cutting in from the right side and smashing the ball into the far corner past Bogdan to put the home side in front. Then later in the game Mark Davies won a penalty for Bolton, the replay suggested that it was a dive from Davies but that’s how cruel football is, Martin Petrov steared home the penalty and sent a message to Stvylian Petrov asking him to Get Well Soon. With the scores level Bolton went ahead as Alonso tapped in a goal from close range after the initial header from Ngog hit the crossbar. The visitors then went 3-1 up after a goal by Davies. Then late in the game it was Matt Jarvis who pulled one back for Wolves but that wasn’t enough and now it looks quite ugly for Wolves at the moment. As the find themselves 6 point from safety.

Wigan Athletic 2-0 Stoke City

This game was of more important for Wigan than Stoke. As there are just 7 games left in the season after this matchday things look real tight at the bottom. Wigan today came through a scrappy win over Stoke. Keeping a cleansheet some how and managed to score two crucial goals.  Shaun Maloney was  as usual their best performer. Wigan scored through Alcaraz and Victor Moses.

Fulham 2-1 Norwich City

A game at Craven Cottage of least importance fro either of the side. Fulham took the lead early in the game through Dempsey. The Dempsey set it up for Duff to score the 2nd.  Noriwch had nothing much to say as they just could pull one back through Aaron Wilbraham.

Preview of Sunday’s matches

Newcastle United vs Liverpool

It is 6th vs 7th as from the start of the weekend. Newcastle and Liverpool go head to head later today at the Sports Direct Arena. Newcastle look clear favorites to win this game as Liverpool’s form has been very poor after winning the Carling Cup. It had been 5 defeats in last 6 games for Liverpool and now if they lose tomorrow they will go below Everton by the end of this gameweek. Meanwhile, Newcastle still in pursuit for the Champions league spot which is unlikely but not impossible. Whatever you say, this game will be a cracker!

Tottenham Hotspur vs Swansea City

White Hart Lane is the place for this game. An important fixture for Spurs to catch Arsenal as they saw them slipping yesterday. A win by 3 goals for Spurs would mean that they will be back to third place but their task is no easy as they face a Swansea City side who are also known as Swanselona. Swansea have had 2 defeats back to back lately but still we all know what they are capable of. In the reverse fixture it was a 1-1 draw as Rafael van Der Vaart’s goal was cancelled out late in the game by Scott Sinclair.

After a high goal scoring Saturday we are looking for the same kind of Sunday in the 2 games to be played. A Sunday of huge importance in the Champions league and Europa League spots. 

Indian poultry giant “Venky’s” to complete Blackburn Rovers’ takeover within 30 days

The takeover of English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers by Indian poultry giant Venky’s is expected to be completed within the next month. The deal with the Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group should see Blackburn become the first Barclays Premier League club to be bought by an Indian company.

Venky’s chairperson Anuradha J Desai said in a statement: “We expect to be the first Indian company to acquire a Premier League team and we are particularly delighted that the team is Blackburn Rovers, with whom we believe we have many shared values and ambitions.”

Blackburn chairman John Williams added: “A series of meetings, including discussions with the Premier League, have followed an extensive due diligence process.

“Both parties are hopeful that the transaction will be completed in November.”

Venky’s have been one of a number of companies who have gone through the process of due diligence and inspected the club’s accounts.

The Jack Walker Trust put Blackburn up for sale two years ago in the hope of attracting buyers willing to invest in the club, but Venky’s is the first company to have satisfied club chiefs about their future intentions.

It is believed that international sports agency Kentaro, which specialises in selling international TV rights to football, could also be involved in the new ownership structure.

Venky’s were the third Indian company to have considered a takeover following businessmen Saurin Shah and Ahsan Ali Syed, whose moves for the club failed to materialise into anything concrete.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has warned that investment is vitally needed.

Allardyce said last week: “I think it’s necessary there is a conclusion because it does leave the club in limbo.

“Investment is needed in every football club and recently that investment has dried up because the club is up for the sale and the Trust wanted to move it on.

“If it goes on any longer and you don’t get any investment it becomes a very dangerous and precarious situation. It needs investment to stay in this league, never mind achieving success.”

Venky’s are established as Asia’s largest poultry group and have an annual turnover of £1billion, last year recording a profit of £118million.

The group is now run by the founder’s 47-year-old daughter Anuradha Desai, who recently told Business Line of her approach to business, saying: “You have to invest in building up relationships with people, give them the freedom to work towards goals and when you spend time with them and understand them, they are ready to put in their best for you, be it man or woman.

“You can’t hold a stick and frighten anybody into working for you.

“Instead, if you sit with them and work with them, you can be assured of results.”

Via EspnStar

Football Roundup: Scholes’ 100th saves ManUtd’s blushes; Arsenal move to joint 2nd; Pompey advance to semis of FA Cup; Roma-Milan cancel each other out; Barca drop points; Real get dramatic come-from-behind win

Paul Scholes
Scholes got the decisive goal, his 100th in the premier league, to take United to the summit

Paul Scholes was the Saviour for Manchester United as the Red Devils edged past a determined Wolves  thanks to a 100th League goal for the veteran Englishman. Although United have moved to the top of the league temporarily, it was no where near a satisfying performance from the reigning champions.

Arsenal also kept pace with the leaders, winning 3-1 against 2nd from bottom Burnley, but made hard work of the win. And injury to influential captain Francesc Fabregas will not help their cause either.

Continue reading “Football Roundup: Scholes’ 100th saves ManUtd’s blushes; Arsenal move to joint 2nd; Pompey advance to semis of FA Cup; Roma-Milan cancel each other out; Barca drop points; Real get dramatic come-from-behind win”

Football Roundup: Arsenal win but match marred by horrific Ramsey injury; Barca scrap through while Real win comfortably

Arsenal came from behind to beat Stoke in a match marred by an horrific injury to Welsh teenager Aaron Ramsey.

Arsenal left it really late to keep their title hopes alive but the talking point surely has to be the horrific injury to Aaron Ramsey inflicted by Ryan Shawcross, who hours later was selected by England Boss Fabio Capello for the side to face Egypt in a friendly on Wednesday

Pugh gave Stoke an early lead from a typical Delap throw-in but his effort was soon cancelled out by a brilliant header from Bendtner.

Fabregas then scored his 13th goal of the season from the spot in the 91st minute and then Vermaelen put the game to bed with an easy goal at 94 minutes.

Aaron Ramsey
Stoke's Glenn Whelan attends to Aaron Ramsey following the tackle

Ryan Shawcross
Ryan Shawcross leaves the pitch in tears after his challenge on Ramsey
Ryan Shawcross
Shawcross regretted the tackle as he left the pitch in tears after his challenge on Ramsey

Continue reading “Football Roundup: Arsenal win but match marred by horrific Ramsey injury; Barca scrap through while Real win comfortably”

Premier League ponders play-offs for Champions League

The Premier League is considering a proposal to introduce a play-off for the fourth Champions League place.

The top four currently enter the tournament but the new idea would mean the teams from fourth to seventh playing in a mini-knockout competition.

Any change would need the agreement of at least 14 of the 20 top flight clubs, but there will be no changes for three years as the next TV deal is in place.

Everton boss David Moyes said the idea “was something worth looking at”.

But the Scot warned against the dangers of making too many changes to the traditional structure of the sport in England.

“I always think your league position is judged over all the games and where you finish is where you finish,” said Moyes, whose side have finished in the top seven in five of the last seven seasons.

“So to give a team that finishes three or four places down the table could be a little bit unfair.

“Nevertheless, the Championship play-offs for promotion into the Premier League have worked very well so it might be something worth looking at.

“However, I do not know if the teams would be madly interested in another three, four or five games at the end of the season. I think it’s not a bad idea.

“You have to make sure that you’re not tinkering too much. Before you know it, will finishing seventh or eighth be considered really good success? It shouldn’t do – it should be a good season but enough to maybe make you the fourth best team in England.

“I am for it in some ways, and against it in others.”

BBC sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar said the Premier League has been presented with “a number of ideas for altering the competition’s format”.

The move is widely thought to be seen as a way of increasing competition in the Premier League because Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have filled the top four positions in five out of the past six seasons.

The proposal was raised at a meeting of all 20 clubs on 4 February and will be considered again when they next meet in April.

The top four in the Premier League is the same so far this season, although Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa are putting concerted pressure on Liverpool, who are fourth.

Two years ago the Premier League was widely condemned for a proposal to play a 39th game of the domestic season in Asia.

The Football Association, the sport’s world governing body Fifa and European body Uefa all rejected the idea and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) condemned the proposal as being motivated by money, dubbing it Game 39.

A similar system to the idea of play-offs was introduced by the Dutch Eredivise in 2005-06, with teams finishing from second to ninth competing for a place in both the Champions League and what was then the Uefa Cup.

That idea was scrapped in 2008 for the Champions League, with teams finishing fifth to eighth now vying for a place in the rebranded Europa League.

Versions of the play-off system are also in use in rugby union’s Guinness Premiership and rugby league’s Super League.

Credits: BBC

Subscribe to Firstain by Email

Midweek Football

More football action…

Tevez was fortunate his first-half penalty finished up in the net

In Wednesday night’s action, the talking point was made by Everton striker Louis Saha who scored twice as Chelsea had their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to one point.

Everton were delighted after Louis Saha scored the winner for Everton

Continue reading “Midweek Football”

Football Roundup: Derby Day Blues for Merseyside Blue; Manchester United thrash Pompey on Munich Anniversary; City shocked; Drogba rules in London

It’s Saturday and you know what that means. Yes! More football action. Some exciting fixtures lined up during this weekend and some good results already with us. So let’s cut the crap and get straight into the action.

Continue reading “Football Roundup: Derby Day Blues for Merseyside Blue; Manchester United thrash Pompey on Munich Anniversary; City shocked; Drogba rules in London”

Football Roundup: Liverpool get much needed win; Chelsea extends lead at the top to 4 points; Gunners Gunned Down

Another weekend arrives and with it another round of action packed fixtures. Below are the results of the matches played this Saturday SO FAR. WATCH THIS SPACE AGAIN TO SEE RESULTS OF OTHER MATCHES PLAYED FROM OTHER LEAGUES IN EUROPE AND ALSO RESULT OF THE BIG MATCH TOMORROW ON SUPER SUNDAY – ARSENAL VS MANCHESTER UNITED.

Updated Results in Red

Continue reading “Football Roundup: Liverpool get much needed win; Chelsea extends lead at the top to 4 points; Gunners Gunned Down”

Derby Delight for Manchester United

It was the League (Carling) Cup semi-final & Derby Delight for Mancunian Reds as Wayne Rooney’s stoppage time winner takes United through to another League Cup final and silence their ‘noisy neighbours’ City who’s wait for a major final continues…

Wayne Rooney in seventh heaven after getting the winner

Continue reading “Derby Delight for Manchester United”

Football Roundup

So, another weekend goes by and with it another round of football matches. From league matches to cup matches, we have a detailed report of every game from all the top leagues in the world.

Continue reading “Football Roundup”