La Liga Gameweek 8: Winners/Losers – Moyes Under Pressure

t was another feisty week of full weekend after a two week international break, and here we are once again discussing the winners and losers from the game day 8 in the La Liga BBVA.

Winners

 Celta Vigo

First in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the La Liga BBVA features Eduardo Berizzo’s Celta Vigo, who managed to win a tough away fixture against Marcelino Garcia Toral’s Villareal.

In a tough fixture away from home, the winning team was on the ball straight away, and took away the lead in the 40th minute. However, a red card right after the 1st half, went in the favor of the visitors.

But even then, visitors had to grind it hard and got the winner in the last minute of the regular time. Eduardo Berizzo would be glad to take away all 3 points back home from a match where he would have been pleased to even get a point from this fixture.

Atletico Madrid

Next in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the La Liga BBVA features Diego Simeone’s Athletico Madrid, who managed to win a crucial match away from home to stay in the title’s race.

In a match where the defense of the visitors was put to test, Simeone’s men came out with flying color and manage to register a comprehensive win on the road. Star of the show for the visitors was Frenchman Antonio Griezmann, who is proving to be a real star for the Spanish giants this season.

Barcelona

Last in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the La Liga BBVA features Luis Enrique’s Barcelona, who thrashed Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou.

The most impressive thing about Barcelona’s victory was the fact that Luis Enrique’s side is currently under pressure due to different injuries, but they didn’t let that affect their squad at the weekend.

Star of the show for the home side was Brazilian star Neymar, who stood up in the absence of Lionel Messi and get past 4 times against a crumbling Vallecano’s defense. A win would have given a much needed belief to the defending champions, who were facing tough times after being put under pressure after injuries to different players.

Losers

Villareal

First in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the La Liga BBVA features Marcelino Garcia’s Villareal, who lost to Celta Vigo at home, which saw them sliding down to 5thin the league.

Garcia’s men were top of the table just a few weeks back, but after consecutive defeats there is a lot to think for the manager as to what he should do to turn it around.

However, there is some positive sign for the home team, as their resilience after going a goal down and getting down to 10 men, Garcia’s men were able to come on equal terms and nearly got a point in what was a tough fixture at home. Garcia will hope that the kind of character that was shown by his team even after going a goal down will help them turn around their form in the weeks to come.

Real Sociedad

Next in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the La Liga BBVA features David Moyes’s Real Sociedad, who suffered another defeat and the pressure is mounting on the Welshman after his side’s poor start to the season.

Moyes will be bitterly disappointed in a match where his team had most of the possession, had more shots on goals and had more corners, but couldn’t able to capitalize on the chances. Moyes knows that the time is running out for him and he needs to turn it around quickly if he has to stay in charge of the club for a long time.

Eibar

Last in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the La Liga BBVA features Luis Mendilibar’s Eibar, who will be bitterly disappointed after controlling most of the match after taking an early lead, but lost 2 crucial points because of an error from Spanish Goal Keeper Asier Riesgo, which lead to the equalizer. Mendilibar’s side remained pretty much in the control throughout, and the manager will hope that his players will learn a lesson or two from the draw, and will be able to put up a more disciplined performance in a tough fixture when they will visit Camp Nou next weekend.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Tops and Flops on Champions League Day 02

Second Match Day in the Champions League has come to an end, and it was nothing less than two nights of a spectacular set of matches that viewers had the opportunity to see. Here we are back with the Tops and Flops from the UEFA Champions League from the Match Day 02.

Tops:

Olympiacos:

First in the list of Tops for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is a real Surprise! And that surprise is Olympiacos, who defeated Arsenal at Emirates in a surprise result. Olympiacos were heavily under-dogs going into a match, as Arsenal were desperate for a win after a loss in a first match. In a match that was highly dominated by the home side, Olympiacos defended well throughout with sheer resilience, and a bit of luck that helped them talking the lead thrice, out of which they were successfully defended the lead third time, which was enough for them to take all three points back home, which can prove a pivotal role in advancing to the round of 16.

Benfica

Next in the list of Tops for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is another surprise in the form of Benfica, who managed to beat 2013/14 finalist Athletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon.

Going into the match, Benfica was tipped as under-dogs since Athletico was in more than a decent form in the buildup to this match. However, in the match where Benfica was dominated throughout the match by the home side, it was the winning team’s defensive line that deserved all the praise, especially former Brazilian Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who had more than a decent performance between the sticks. Gaitan was the star man upfront for Rui Vitoria’s side, as the Portugese teams are now in a commanding position to qualify for the next round, after earning maximum points from the first two matches.

Manchester City

Last in the list of Tops for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is English giants Manchester City, who managed to win a crucial away match in Germany against Borussia Moenchengladbach. In a match where City were desperate to win, Manuel Pallegrini’s men were looking for a leader to step up and take the team across the line, and it was none other than Goalkeeper Joe Hart, who stood up for the blue side of Manchester and made a crucial save in the 20th minute. Even after countless attacks, City went behind in the 54th minute, and all looked a little too bleak for the Pallegrini’s men, as they again looked set to go out from the early stage of this competition. However, an own goal from Andreas Christensen and a penalty in the 90th minute from Segio Aguero sealed a crucial victory for the Pallegrini’s men on the road, which can go a long way in taking them through the group stage this season.

Flops:

Arsenal

First in the list of for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is English giants Arsenal, who is now facing a group stage exit, after losing 2 out of 2 matches, and that too against oppositions many thought Arsenal would be hands down favorite to win again. Arsene Wenger opted to play David Ospana in place of Peter Cech, which raised many eyebrows, and seeing the performance of Ospana, brought more misery for the Frenchman, who refused to give answers as to why he did not pick Cech in such a crucial match if he was fit. Arsenal would be gutted to not being able to convert 18 shots on goals, out of which 9 were on target. Home side dominated the visitors throughout the game, but it was the Gunners defense, which was the real cause of concern for Wenger, who now have to face Bayern in back to matches, in a situation where his team needs to win at least 3 out of the last 4 remaining matches.

Chelsea

Second in the list of for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is another English giants Chelsea, who lost to Porto in what was a below par performance from the defending English Champions, who were the deserving loser’s on the night against an energetic Porto. Mourinho’s men were beaten on the night when he dropped Hazzard and Matic on the bench. The visitors by pace, in the physical department and were slow to react defensively, as Julen Lopetigui’s men were deservingly winners on the night when Mourinho came back to face the team with which he managed to win the Champions League back in 2004.

Chelsea’s problem in defense and in the central defensive midfield was evident once again, as Mourinho looks short on defensive options and the need of John Stones seems ever more evident for the blues if they are to make any significant progress this season.

Athletico Madrid

Last in the list of for the Match Day 02 in the UEFA Champions League is Spanish giants Athletico Madrid, as they suffered a shocking defeat against Benfica at home. Diego Simeone’s men were outright dominant throughout the match, but they failed to convert the chances. Athletico took the lead in the 23rd minute but failed to capitalize on it, and were poor on the defending front. Griezmann had another star performance for Simeone’s side, as he looked a part for the men in red & white. Martinez had another disappointing night for his new club, as he still did not look the kind of player he was once at Porto. For Simeone, it’s another setback which he will like to get over, and will try to get his team back on track in La Liga after back to back defeats in the week.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

La Liga Gameweek 6: Winners/Losers – Madrid Flop

With 3 matches in a week, the action La Liga BBVA is heating up and teams are looking to cement their place in the top half of the league. With the action heating up, so is our winners and losers from match day 06 in La Liga BBVA.

Winners:

 Malaga

First in the list of winners for the Match Day 06 in La Liga BBVA features Malaga, who managed to get an impressive nil – nil draw at the Santiago Bernabue against a star studded Real Madrid. This result becomes even more impressive looking at the fact that the visitors had to play last 10 + minutes with 10 men. Star of the show for visitors was their man between the sticks, Carlos Kameni, who managed some crucial saves, along with the Captain Weligton, who proved to be the real leader in crunch times, which proved vital as Javier Garcia men took a point back home, which would have felt nothing less than a victory.

Villareal

Second in the list of winners for the Match Day 06 in La Liga BBVA features the new league leader Villareal, who continued their impressive start to their new campaign with a 1-0 victory over Athletico Madrid. Before the match, there was a sense that Villareal might be able to upset the former League Champions, and the doubts were turned into a reality when an early goal from Leo Baptistao proved enough for the yellow submarine to earn all three points. The real star of the show for the home side was their Goalkeeper Areola, who managed some crucial saves for the winning side. A win also meant that Villareal is now top of the league, a point above Barcelona, which is an achievement itself for Garcia Toral side, and he would hope that this will make way for a return to European competition next season.

Sevilla

Last in the list of winners for the Match Day 06 in La Liga BBVA features Unai Emery’s Sevilla, who finally managed to get their first win of this new campaign. Before the match, Unai Emery was under pressure as his side was in the relegation zone, but a crucial win at the weekend means that his job is safe for now. The match was pretty much evenly balanced, as both teams had plenty of shots on goal. However, it was the winner from the substitute Konoplyanka in the 86th minute, which proved the deciding goal of the match. Unai Emery will hope that this win will kick start their new campaign, and he will look to get back into the top half once again with more impressive shows in the matches to come.

Losers

Real Madrid

First in the list of losers for the Match Day 06 in La Liga BBVA features Real Madrid, who once again looked toothless in their attacking game, for which they were renowned for. After having more than 25 shots on goals, and with more than 10 shots on target, Benitez has some serious work to do before El Classico and Madrid Derby. Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t get his 500th professional goal, whereas a lot of chances went missing for the Los Blancos. With a draw, Madrid has also lost the top spot to Villareal, and is now placed at 3rd, behind Barcelona.

Athletico Madrid

Second in the list of losers for the Match Day 06 in La Liga BBVA features another Madrid giants in Athletico Madrid, who lost a crucial away game against Villareal away from home. Coming into this match, Diego Simeone’s man was in a pretty good form of late, and were hoping to at least take a point back home from a difficult fixture. However, their attacking performance was once again questioned by the Villareal defense, as a goal in the 14th minute proved enough for the home side to grab all three points. New signing Martinez had a disappointing night, as Simeone will hope for a better show from his new singing in the matches to come.

Real Sociedad

Last in the list of losers for the Match Day 06 in La Liga BBVA features David Moyes’s Real Sociedad, who were held at home for a nil – nil draw by a struggling Athletic Bilbao. Sociedad manager David Moyes was under serious pressure couple of weeks back, and he would have been hoping to get a better result in a home fixture, that too against a team that looked short on confidence on the back of some poor results. However, the home side were unable to break the deadlock and couldn’t convert to any significant chance throughout the match. Moyes will hope that his strikers will come to the party in the matches to come, as he will look to steer the ship towards safety once again this season.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Winners & Losers from La Liga Match Day 02

La Liga Match Day two comes to and end, and it was an intriguing weekend of Spanish football that we all witnessed. With nearly all big teams finding their form this week in La Liga, we have a very interesting roundup to our winners and losers list from La Liga match day 02.

Winners:

Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid emerged on the of the winners list, after a pretty impressive thrashing of Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. Sevilla were the aggressor in the game, but it was the finishing of Athletico Madrid that proved pivotal for the other half of Madrid.

Gabi was instrumental in the middle of the park and proved to be a real leader who wanted to excel from the middle, whereas it was Antonio Griezmann from the wings who provided that much-needed pace from the wings and provided 2 assists in the game. Overall, Diego Simeone should be a relieved man after getting out with a comprehensive win in a comparative tie at a very tough venue, which made them earn 3 precious points in the league.

Eibar

Eibar feature at no 2 on the winners list this week, after earning a more than impressive win against Athletic Bilbao. Athletic probably started the game as favorites on the face of their recent performances against defending Champions Barcelona, but it was anything but. Eibar pretty much dominated the match from the right go, and Athletic had little to show against the outright winners.

Eibar had 8 shots on target, compared to Athletic 1, which shows the kind of dominance they had. Eibar was more clinical in terms of possession, as they were only dispossessed 12 times compared to Athletic’s 21 times. Saul Berjon prove to be the real hero for the home side, as he scored a goal as well as provided an assist in a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao. In all it was a professional performance from Eibar that will see them having more confidence in the games to come.

Deportivo La Coruna

Last on the list of winners for match day 02 in La Liga is Deportivo La Coruna. For a team who avoided a relegation battle on the last day of the league last term, a draw on the road against a team who will feature in the Champions League this season is nothing more than a victory.

Even though there is nothing much to be made of their performance throughout the game, but a result lie this will prove to be a big boost for the side who was in danger of being relegated and had to draw their last match against Barcelona in their own backyard.

Losers:

Valencia

The first team to feature in the list of losers for Match Day two in La Liga is Valencia. Valencia had a relatively easy task when they faced Deportive La Coruna at home. Considering that Deportivo just escaped relegation last season and Valencia will feature in the Champions league, the home side would have hoped to finish the match with 3 points, but they would be bitterly disappointed with the results keeping in mind that they had enough chances to seal the victory and this was one of the easiest fixture to play at home in the league.

Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao features on the second in the list of losers for Match Day two in La Liga. Seeing Athletico play in such a commanding manner against the defending champions 3 times in the recent past, one would have hoped to see them get past Eibar, but it was a total day to forget for Ernesto Velverde’s side, as they were out rightly beaten in every department in the match.

Considering the fact that they only managed to hit one shot on target in the whole match, shows they didn’t deserve any points against Eibar. Velverde will hope that this will be a one-off case, and his team will bounce back from back to back defeats and will regain their form that they showed against Barcelona.

Sevilla

Last in the losers for Match Day two in La Liga features Sevilla. Sevilla had a tough fixture when they face Atheltico Madrid, but it was a home fixture and since they also feature in the Champions League, a three nil home thrashing was not expected.

Sevilla had a decent match in terms of stats, but after the departure of Carlos Bacca this season to Milan, they find it hard to find the back of the net even after creating some impressive chances. Lack of finishing paid them heavily as they were comprehensively beaten by the team who they would have hoped to at least get a point from.

Unai Emery’s track record with Sevilla speaks for itself, but with losing two key players in the last two seasons, this season will surely test his managerial skills and it is yet to be seen if he can keep Sevilla at the level they have been over the past two seasons.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

5 Best Signings to watch out for in the Champions League Season 2015/16

With days passing by, and teams gearing up for the new seasons, a lot of deals have come to a close and some deals are yet to be completed. Here we have a list of 5 players, who will be most instrumental in their team’s progress in the Champions league next season.

Sami Khedira:

1st in the list is Juventus jackpot signing once again, as they signed a World Class player in Sami Khedira for free. Khedira’s contract came to an end at the end of the last season and Juventus convinced him to join the club, where Pirlo have already left the club and there were still rumors that Pogba or Vidal might follow him in the coming days. Khedira’s presence will give a much needed boost to the already strong Juventus midfield, as he will bring in the experience of playing at the Bernabue along with winning the World Cup with Germany last year. His performance for the Los Blancos have been on a slide ever since the departure of Jose Mourinho from Madrid, and Ancelloti’s attacking mindset did not give him room to shine for the whites in the last 2 seasons. This will be his chance to be counted and show the World once again as he will get the chance to play in a more defensive looking Juventus this season, which should give him more breathing space to perform at the highest level.

Raheem Sterling:

2nd in the list is English highly rated 20 year old winger Raheem Sterling, who has finally completed his transfer to Manchester City after a long transfer saga. Manchester City bought him for a whopping £49 Million, which made him the most expensive English player ever. His arrival at the Etihad will give a much needed fresh breath of air to the city attack, which haven’t had many inclusions in the last season. His pace will help the blue side of Manchester, along with Aguero upfront that will have the capacity to create trouble for any opposing defense in Europe. Even though he is yet to perform in the Europe’s elite club competition, but his quality will give immense boost to the struggling City side who always had a hard time progressing in the Champions League.

Morgan Schneiderlin

Next in is Manchester United’s new boy Morgan Schnerderlin. Red Devils’ have done a great business this season, especially in the midfield with the arrival of a highly rated French International Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton. Schneiderlin had an amazing time with Southampton where he participated in the revival of the club from the 3rd tier of English football with back to back promotions. His presence in the middle of the park brings calmness to his fellow players, and he has the capacity to hold the ball or win the ball back at a crunch time. With United making a comeback to the Europe’s elite competition after a season’s break, Schneiderlin could prove to be an Ace in the book of Wild Cards of Louis Van Gaal.

Jackson Martinez

Our 4th player in the list is Athletico’s new boy Jackson Martinez, who is featured in our Top 5 signing in the Europe so far due to his performance for his former club FC Porto. He was their go to man when the team needed him and had the presence of the traditional center forward. He is a nightmare for defender’s to deal with his pace, height and strong built and it is fair to say that Diego Simeone finally managed to find the right replacement for Diego Costa. With the arrival of a quick and solid center forward in Jackson Martinez, Simeone and Athletico will be hoping to once again produce the heroics of 2013/14 season, where they went all the way to the final and lost to their City rivals Real Madrid.

Bastian Schweinsteiger:

The last in the list is another signing from Manchester United, who have left Bayern after spending his whole career there. With Bastian joining United, the red devils will finally have an experience midfielder, who have tasted victory at every level for the club and the country. With him in the side, United can expect to have a warrior in the park, who is ready to give it all to make it tough for the opposition. Louis Van Gaal will hope that Schweinsteiger will use all his experience and help the red – devils to reach the glory that they were known for.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.