Premier League Winners/Losers – Newcastle Run Riot

The Premier League was finally back this weekend after an international break; the weekend had some amazing clashes and teams were thriving to get the result which they were looking for. Here we are once again discussing the winners and losers from the game day 9 in the Barclays Premier League.

Winners:

West Ham

First in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features Slaven Bilic’s West Ham, who came away with all three points in a crucial away win against Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Slaven Bilic side’s job was made a little bit easier after Pardew’s men were down to 10 men in the 43rd minute when striker Gayle received 2nd yellow card.

Since then, it was Slaven Bilic’s side control the game, but couldn’t able to score until the 87th minute, when the player of the match Manuel Lanzini finally gets one passed through the stubborn Palace defense, which laid the foundation for a hard fought 3 points away from home.

Manchester United

Next in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features LVG’s Manchester United, who earned an impressive 3 points away from home at Goddison Park against Everton. It was a near perfect day for the red devils, as they eased past Roberto Martinez men with 2 early strikes from Schneiderlin and Herrera inside the first 25 minutes of the match.

From that point, the match remained relatively one sided, with United defended with complete authority mostly. Man of the match for the winners was Spaniard Andre Herrera, who scored a goal and provided an important assist in the 61stminute to complete a comprehensive victory away from home.

Newcastle United

Last in the list of winners for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features Steve McClaren’s New Castle, who managed to finally grab their first win of the season, and that too in a more than just impressive manner.

Winner’s, who just had 6-1 thrashing last game day when they played against the blue side of Manchester, scored 6 themselves this time, mainly thanks to Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum and French Mousa Sissoko, who managed to score 4 goals and provide 4 assists to complete a thrashing of the newly promoted visitors. With this win, Steve McClaren’s men are off the bottom of the table, and are now just 2 points away from the safety zone once again.

Losers:

Everton

First in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League feature Roberto Martinez men, who was comprehensively beaten at home playing against Manchester United. Roberto Martinez would be extremely disappointed after his side couldn’t able to recover after conceding two early goals, and were never managed to come back into the game.

Lukaku was extremely disappointed in the loss against a defense, many believe, is not up there amongst the best in the league. Martinez will hope that his men will bounce back from the defeat in another tough fixture, as they will travel to the Emirates Stadium to face red hot Gunners next Saturday.

Spurs

Next in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League features Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs, who give away the chance to finally end their horrid run against Liverpool. Many believed that it was Spurs best chance to end the hoodoo, as it was Jurgen Klopp’s first game as the manager, and the only fit Striker that was available to Liverpool was Belgian Origi.

However, Pochettino’s men could not able to dominate the game, and made very few chances, and could not able to convert anyone of them, and only managed to earn a point at home.

Southampton

Last in the list of losers for the game day 09 in the Barclay’s Premier League feature Ronald Koeman’s Southampton, who gave away a two goal advantage at home against Leicester this weekend.

Southampton was totally dominating the game in the first half, and went two goals up in the first half, after a goal from Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk, but couldn’t hold onto their lead in the 2nd half against a spirited Leicester side, who refused to give up the fight and managed to get an equalizer late in the extra time in the 2nd half.

RonaldKoeman will feel that it was 2 precious points dropped at home, and he will hope to bounce back next week from a late shock at the weekend.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Premier League Winners/Losers – Chelsea on the Slump

Premier League Winners and Losers

Match day 08 in the Barclay’s Premier League featured some upsets, some competitive battles and some unfinished businesses. Here were are again with the winners and losers for this week’s action in the Barclay’s English Premier League.

Winners:

Southampton

First in the list of winners is impressive Saints, who managed to win from a goal down against a struggling defending champions at Stamford Bridge. Southampton went a goal down in the 10th minute after a stunning free kick from Willian, which left the visitor in a state of shock.

However, Ronald Koeman’s men were up to the task and a goal before half time from Steven Davis started a revival, which saw the visitor scored two more in the 2nd half, and could have easily had a few more, if they would have been more clinical.

Striker Pelle and winger Mane had was the star of the match, and stretched Chelsea’s defense on more than one occasion. Koeman would be proud of his team’s performance and he would hope to continue the good work after the international break.

Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring the 1st Arsenal goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on October 4, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Next in the list of winners for match day 08 in the Barclays English Premier League features Arsenal, who thrashed Manchester United 3-0 in what proved to be one sided derby at the Emirates. Arsenal entered the match under pressure on the back of the defeat against Olympiacos midweek in the Champions League.

However, it was Alexis Sanchez show, who scored twice in the first 20 minutes, along with a goal from Mesut Ozil to shatter whatever hopes there were for the red – devils. Overall, it was a one brilliant day for the gunners, where they dominated pretty much the whole match, and were never looked in trouble throughout the match.

Apart from Alexis and Ozil, Coquelin and Cazorla also had a good day for the gunners, as they remained calm in the middle, and hold the ball effectively for the winners.

Leicester

NORWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Jamie Vardy (3rd L) of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Leicester City at Carrow Road on October 3, 2015 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

Last in the list of winners for match day 08 in the Barclays English Premier League features Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester, who are now sitting pretty at 5th with 15 points, just behind Crystal Palace on the goal difference. The match itself was in balance till the 27th minute, before the visitors were awarded a penalty, which was converted by Jamie Vardy, which started the domination for the visitors in the match.

Twenty minutes later, the lead was doubled after a goal from winger Schlupp, which proved enough for the visitors to take all three points back home. Ranieri will hope that his team will keep performing at the same level, which will prove to be enough to compete for the spot in Europe next season.

Losers:

Chelsea

First in the list of losers is no surprise, as once again in the losers list features defending champions Chelsea, who, after earning just 8 points from the first 8 matches, are in a serious danger of losing out on top four spot this season.

Before the match, it was assumed the defending champions would have a hard time against a team, who looks a lot more settled than the defending Champions, and so was the case. Even after taking the lead, Mourinho’s men were never looked in control and were always short of creativity, attacking mindset and defensive capability on the night.

Fabregas and Hazard once again were below par for the blues, as Mourinho’s future at the club seems to be in doubt, especially after his post-match interview, in which he said at least four times that he will not run away from the club, and that the board will have to “Sack Him”, if they want to see him out of the club.

Sunderland

Next in the losers for the match day 08 in the Barclays Premier League features struggling Sunderland, who gave away 2 goal advantage at home against West Ham. The result saw the first managerial casualty in the league as Sunderland Dick Advocaat leaving the club after the match.

The home side went 2-0 up inside the first 22 minutes after goals from Steven Fletcher and Jeremain Lens. However, the host could not able to keep their defense tight, as the visitors strike back right after half time with a goal from Carl Jenkinson, and later was able to equalize with a strike from Dimitri Payet.

Home side can actually find themselves lucky as they managed to salvage a point after going down to 10 men in the 57th minute. However, it was the lack of attacking intent that cost the home side a chance to get a first win in this campaign.

Aston Villa

Last in the list of losers for the match day 08 in the Barclays Premier League features another relegation contenders in Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa, who once again lost at home, this time against Stoke City. This was Aston Villas 3rd home defeat in 4 matches at home this season, as they find themselves in the bottom half, 6 points adrift from safety.

Sherwood would be bitterly disappointed with the results, as his team was completely on par with the opposition till the 1st goal, which changed the flow of the game completely. Statistically, Sherwood’s men were a better unit on the day, but failed to capitalize on considerable chances, and he would hope to turn it around, if he is to stay in the job for long.

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.

Premier League Gameweek Seven Winners/Losers – Lamela The Real Star

Match Day 07 in the Barclays Premier League brought some amazing action throughout the weekend, and there were some upsets and some amazing performances. Here we are again, discussing Winners and Losers from the Match Day 07 in the Barclays Premier League.

Winners:

Tottenham Hotspurs:

First in the list of winners for the first time in 7 Match days feature Pochettino’s red hot Spurs, who came back from a goal down to win 4-1 against the league leaders Manchester City at White Hart Lane. The game was divided into 2 parts, first before Spurs controversial equalizer just before a half time and the 2nd after that equalizer. City were sitting pretty comfortable at 1-0 approaching half time with a brilliant goal from new signing Kevin De Bruyne, but it was the couple of mistakes from the officials plus some poor defending cost them the match. Star of the match for the winning side was undoubtedly Erik Lamela, who provided an assist and had a goal to his name in what was his best performance for the Club. His work rate was admirable and his creativity was never in doubt. It is fair to say that if Lamela can keep his good form, Spurs will have more reason to believe that this season can be better than last season.

New Castle United: 

Surprise, Surprise! For the first time in 4 weeks, we have New Castle United featuring in the winners list instead of featuring in the losers’ list for the Match Day 07 in the Barclays Premier League. Steve McClaren had a horrid time since joining Magpies, and things gone from bad to worse in the midweek, when they went crashing out of the League Cup against the 2nd string side of the team feature in Championship. This week, McClaren changed the formation and played with 4-4-2, instead of 4-2-3-1, which paid dividend on the field when the home side took a 2-0 lead in the 60thminute. However, the host would be bitterly disappointed as again their defense came into the spot light for giving away that two goal lead in the last 10 minutes. Steve McClaren would hope that his sides’ impressive show against the defending Champion would prove to be a sign of better things to come in the future.

Arsenal:

Last in the list of winners list features Arsenal, who managed to show impressive run against an emerging Leicester. Arsenal had a mixture of a week last week, where they lost to rivals Chelsea in a controversial Premier League fixture, and won against city rivals Spurs in a League Cup tie in the midweek. Arsenal went behind in the 13thminute after a goal from Jamie Vardy, but came back strongly and finish the half with a goal lead. Alexis Sanchez was on fire for the Gunners, as he struck a stunning hat-trick for the Wenger’s men, as the hit pass 5 goals against a tough and emerging Leicester side. This win has taken Arsenal back into the top four, with just 3 points behind the League leader Manchester United.

Losers:

City

First in the list of losers for the Match Day 07 in the Barclays Premier League, features for the 2nd week running, Manchester City, who had their 2nd consecutive lost in as many games in the League. City were overwhelming favorites to win at White Hart Lane, and can consider them a bit unlucky with 2 goals that should not have been allowed due to offside calls. However, in the complete mix of things, City would have lesser to complain about, as they were thoroughly dominated by the home side, who looked fresh and hungrier than the Manchester giants. Joe Hart was on the bench due to unknown reason, and Caballero had a day to forget between the sticks. City has had a pretty decent first half, but the lack of form of Sergio Aguero is really creating a headache for Pallegrini, as he seems short of options in out and out strikers list.

Chelsea

2nd in the list of losers for the Match Day 07 in the Barclays Premier League features defending Champions Chelsea, who once again failed to beat New Castle United at St. James’s Park under Jose Mourinho. Everyone believed that if there was one time when the Blue’s had a golden chance to end their horrid run against the home side, it was this time around, especially after McClaren’s side recent crushed out of the League Cup in the midweek, against a 2nd string Championship side. However, it was the other way around. Jose Mourinho was once again looked certain to have another defeat at St. James’s park after his team went 2-0 down with about 10 minutes to go, but 2 inspired substitutions in the form of Willian and Ramires came to the rescue, and managed to salvage a point from a match that looked like a certain defeat. Jose Mourinho will be gutted to let the chance go of breaking the hoodoo at St. James’s Park, but will be a little please to take at least a point back home.

West Ham

Barclays Premier League 2015/16 West Ham United v Norwich City Upton Park, Green St, Upton Park, London, United Kingdom - 26 Sep 2015

Last in the list of losers for the Match Day07 in the Barclays Premier League features West Ham, who ended a disappointing home fixture against a newly promoted Norwich side. After beating Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City away from home, Slaven Bilic would have hoped to win a fixture like this at home, but failed to do so. West Ham’s looked certain for a defeat, but a goal in the last minute of the regular time from the midfielder Kouyate salvaged a point for the home side. If Bilic and West Ham will have to push for Europe this season, they would have to start winning home games against lower ranked teams, as it might cost them in the end.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Premier League Gameweek Six Winners/Losers – West Ham Fly Again

Match day six of the Barclays Premier League had some amazing matches, where the favorite teams missed out on crucial wins and some surprise results were on the show with some scintillating performances from the minnows. That’s all we have in this week’s edition of Winners & Losers from Match Day 06 from Barclays English Premier League.

Winners:

Watford

First in the list of winners, we have a surprise inclusion in the form of Watford, who won an impressive match against struggling New Castle at St. James’ Park. Watford had a tough fixture by every means, where Newcastle was desperate to get off the mark after a very disappointing start to their campaign.

Sanchez Flores side were quick off the mark, and had a far superior physical presence in the game. Capoue in the middle were instrumental, as well as Abidi on the wing offered a lot of pace to the striker Ighalo, who struck a brace to keep Newcastle in the bottom half. Flores’s side looked like a team that has more intent, and will prove to be a tough team to beat for the clubs who will face them in the matches to come.

West Ham:

Next in the list of winners is another surprise in the form of West Ham, who handed the league leaders their first defeat on the Match Day six in the Barclays English Premier League. Before the match, West Ham Manager Slaven Bilic said in an interview that this will be the toughest game for him and for his team, but they came out of it with flying colours.

West Ham, as in the previous big matches against Liverpool and Arsenal, played counter attacking football that paid dividend on the field with a victory, and that too against the most expensive starting XI ever feature in the Premier League history.

Defensively, West Ham remained solid as their players give it all and put their body on the line to defend, especially in the 2nd half. Reid, Jenkinson and Goal Keeper Adrian remained solid as a rock, even when City were attacking from all fronts.

On the offensive front, the pace of Sakho, Moses and Payet proved too hot to handle for the league leaders, as they found wanting on the more than couple of occasions. Overall, a very impressive show from a team that is now in a serious position to challenge for a spot in Europe as said by new signing Payet in his post – match interview.

Norwich

Last in the list of winners for Match Day six in the Barclays English Premier League feature another surprise package in newly promoted Norwich, who managed to get a draw against a struggling Liverpool side at Anfield. The star of the show for Alex Neil side was Goal Keeper Rudy, who managed to earn a precious point for the Alex Neil side away from home.

In the game where Norwich was dominated in most of the part, Rudy kept them in the game at more than one occasion, and it was down to his effort that gave center back Martin an opportunity to equalize Danny Ings first goal for his new side. A draw means the Norwich is closer to the Top half of the league after 6 match days, which should give them more than sniff of a chance to stay in the top flight for at least another season.

Losers:

Newcastle

First in the list of Losers for Matchday six in the Barclays English Premier League features Newcastle, who are already in a serious relegation battle after just match days of the new season. After spending more than £50 Million in the transfer Window, the Magpies would have hoped to have a far smoother ride in the season, but it is proving to be anything but that. Steve McClaren has some serious work to do as his side seems to lack intent as well hunger to get anything out of the game. In the first half, Newcastle were slow to start with and never pressurized Watford players when they had the ball.

It improved in the 2nd half, but it was just good enough to earn anything out of it. There was no attacking intent as well, and Newcastle’s best attacking player was their right back Janmat, who kept making those dangerous runs down the flank, and that’s why he ended up scoring the only goal for the Toon army, as their bad days just got worse. McClaren’s days as the new manager won’t get any easier as they will have to face City and Chelsea in the next 2 match, and as of now, it seems very unlikely that they will get anything out of those matches either.

Man City

Next in the list of losers for the Match Day 06 in the Barclays English Premier League features league leaders Manchester City, who suffered 2nd consecutive loss in a week on their home ground and first league loss of the season. Pallegrini put the most expensive side on the field in the history of the league, with Otamendi and De Bruyne had their first start of the season. City will be bitterly disappointed coming away with no points as they nearly had 70% of the possession, and had 5 times as many shots as Slaven Bilic’s side.

However, it was the City’s defense who could not cope up with the counter attacking play of the West Ham’s trio of Sakho, Payet and Moses, and Pallegrini’s man had to pay the price in the end. The brightest player of the match for City was the new signing £55 Million man Kevin De Bruyne, who looked a part with his vision, touch and attacking work rate.

Liverpool

Last in the list of losers for the Match Day 06 in the Barclays English Premier League features another Premier League giants Liverpool, who only managed to get a draw at home against newly promoted Norwich. Brendan Rodgers is now facing a serious risk of losing his job after another dismal performance at home, even with playing the strongest team possible. Sturridge, who were making yet another comeback after a long layoff, seems to lack the co-ordination upfront while playing with Benteke.

The midfield looked rigged and out of sorts even after the arrival of Coutinho, who himself looked lackluster on his comeback after serving the suspension. Mingolet had another dismal night for the reds, as he once again failed to keep a clean sheet at home. Brightest player for the reds all night was left back Moreno, who showed his attacking stint down the left hand side and also provide the only assist to Danny Ings, who finally got on the score sheet for his new club. After spending more than £250 Million in 3 transfer windows since he took charge 3 years back, pressure is mounting on Rodger’s to deliver as Liverpool is drifting away from the top 4 spot, which was their minimum target this season.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Tops and Flops on Champions League Day 01

UEFA Champions League is back after an exact 100 day break, and this season Playing for 90 will bring you all the action from the elite club football competition from Europe with Tops and Flops list from every Match Day, starting from Match Day 01.

Tops:

Juventus

First in the list of Tops on the Match Day 01 in Champions League is the last season Runner up Juventus, who had a tough visit to the Etihad stadium to face the red hot Manchester City, who won 5 out of 5 in the Premier League this season. Having gone behind, Juventus showed their resistance power by coming back strongly, first after a sublime pass from Paul Pogba that led to an equalizer from Mario Manzukic and later after a stunning strike from young Alvero Morata, which completed the fight back. Juventus had a hard time containing the pace that was on offer from City, especially through the wings, but stayed compose after taking the lead, which proved to be enough to take all three points back home. Allegri will hope that an impressive show against a red hot City side on their home turf will turn their domestic form around, where they are found themselves at 16th position, after taking only 2 points from the first 3 matches in Seria A.

PSV

Next in the list of Tops on the Match Day 01 features Dutch Champions PSV, who came from behind while playing at home against Manchester United and won 2-1 at the end. United opened the scoring from former PSV man Memphis Depay scoring against his former club, but the home team came back just before the half time and equalize from Hector Moreno header, which was deflected by blind’s header.

In the 2nd half, United dominated most of the part, but again PSV’s pace, which caught United by surprise and their defensive problems were on view as PSV gained advantage in the 57thminute which lasted till the end. The match itself was overshadowed by a horrible injury to young English and United left back Luke Shaw, who was confirmed with double fracture in his left foot, which might see him out for the rest of the season. We wish him a very speedy recovery very soon.

Zenit

Zenit's Hulk, right, celebrates with teammates Ezequiel Garay, center, and Javi Garcia, left, after scoring against Valencia during a Group H Champions League soccer match between Valencia and Zenit Saint Petersburg, at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)

Last in the list of Tops on the Match Day 01 features Russian Champion Zenit St. Peter Burg, who came out on top against Spanish side Valencia on their home ground. Zenit went into the match as the 2nd favorite, as Valencia always proved a tough opposition to beat on their home ground, and the stats showed that as they had more possession, more corners and more shots on goal than Zenit on the night. However, it was Zenit and Brazil striker Hulk, who steal the show, with two scintillating strikes that saw them taking a 2-0 lead at the half time. However, Valencia did managed to equalize in the 73 minutes before Belgian Axel Vitsal scored a decisive goal in the 76thminute, that proved to be enough for the Russian Champions.

Flops:

Manchester City

First in the list of Flops on the Match Day 01 in the Champions League features Manchester City, who were in a red hot form coming into this match and were hoping to see off the last time finalist at a time where they seemed unsettled in their domestic run. City, who had extremely tough runs in their previous campaigns in the same competition, were hoping to turn it around this time with a tougher squad which seems to cover most of the areas if not all. However, Pallegrini got the reality check soon after receiving a boost when Chiellini’s own goal put English giants ahead in the 57th minute. Pallegrini’s men had more possession, more corners and more shots on goal, but failed to capitalize on open chances which came to haunt them later on. City, who finally have their sight on proving their critics wrong in this competition, will need to up their game and stay more discipline if they want to reach at least semi – finals this time around.

Arsenal

Next in the list of flops on Match Day 01 in the Champions League features another Premier League giant in Arsenal. Arsenal, who had an impressive weekend performance against Stoke, were found once again guilty of over confidence and lazy attitude to start with, which cost them heavily in the end.

Oliver Giroud red card in the 40th minute made it even worse for the visitors who were already a goal down after Josip Pivaric opening the scoring for the home side in the 24th minute. Striker Junior Fernandes made it 2-0 in the 79thminute, which pretty much seal the deal for the home side. Arsene Wenger’s side will now have a slightly tougher route to the next round, as any further slip up would end up costing them heavily.

Lyon

Last in the list of flops on Match Day 01 in the Champions League features the French side Lyon, who failed to beat 9 men Belgian side Genk away from home. Having been able to dominate the whole match, Hubert Fournier would be extremely disappointed that his side could not able to capitalize on the numerical advantage. Lyon also failed to take the initiative in the 88th minute, with highly rated French striker Alexander Lacazette failed to convert the penalty which would have virtually sealed the victory. Having been placed in a competitive group, Lyon might live to ruin their missed opportunities as they will face a tough competition with Valencia and Zenit to qualify in the next round.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Premier League Game Week 3 – Winners/Losers

The 3rd week of English Premier League has come to an end and some teams are now shaping up into their more settled style of play come the end of the Transfer Window. We have picked out 4 teams that both as a real winner and real losers in week 3 of the English Premier League.

Winners:

Manchester City:

man-city-fa-cup-celebration

Coming on the back of an impressive win over defending Champions Chelsea, Manchester City had a visit to Goodison Park, which is a difficult venue to visit for any side in the league. However, City seemed at absolute ease throughout the match, where they dominated the first half as well as the 2nd, and finished the game with a comfortable score line of 2-0, which is surely what they deserved at least. City throughout the game looked more threatening and more versatile, whereas Everton looked far more one-dimensional. According to exclusive Sports Matrix stats, City had 17 shots compared to Everton’s 10, and had 8 dangerous shots compared to Everton’s 5. Moreover, City had 9 shots from good chances, which is nearly double to what Everton Produced. City also had better possession to Everton (54 to 46), which once again showed their total supremacy over their rivals. City’s impressive start to their season campaign sends a strong message to their opposition’s as they seem to be the team which means business.

Bournemouth

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Bournemouth is included in a surprise winner’s category, after their more than impressive show against West Ham, where they totally dominated the game from the word go.  This was Bournemouth’s first ever victory in the top flight and that too against a consistent Premier League side. Not only in the goals department, but Bournemouth was quick to offer a lot of pace and enthusiasm.

Sports Matrix suggests that Bournemouth had far more shots from good chances than West Ham (10 compared to 6), which shows why they were leading at the half side and stayed pretty much in control throughout the match except  than those 20 minutes where West Ham United made a remarkable comeback.

That was not it, as Bournemouth made more clearances (37 to 16), won more tackles (54% to 42%) and won more Aerial Duels (56% to 44%), which shows their supremacy over Slaven Bilic side. To say that Bournemouth was the pick of the side over the weekend would surely not be an understatement.

Newcastle United

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If Bournemouth was the most deserving winners of the week 3 in Barclays Premier League, than Newcastle would have to be counted as the luckiest team to find a place in this elite list. Newcastle had one of the toughest fixture as they visit Old Trafford to face an inform United.

United did all they could, but with a bit of luck and lots of effort, Steve McClaren’s side managed to earn a precious point on the road, which seems more like a victory than a draw, considering the fact that according to Sports Matrix exclusive stats, they only managed to had 2 shots on target compared to United’s 18. Newcastle had to grind it out, stayed rough and tough which eventually gave them a point which many believes was a reward a bit too much for their performance.

Leicester City

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Our last winner of the Week 3 in Barclays Premier League is Leicester City, who continued their progress under experience Claudio Ranieri. Leicester City also had a tough fixture against visiting Spurs, who were far superior in their quality compared to the home side. Leicester City remained competitive throughout the match, and looked a far more relaxed unit than they looked for most of the last season.

Ranieri is known to bring that calmness in the dressing room, and Leicester has continue to impress everyone in their 3 games so far this season. To come back against a team who belong to a top half of the Premier League for many seasons in the past says a lot about the team’s character. Leicester City’s performance in the first 3 games of the season is a good enough sign for the “foxes” fans and they can hope that this season their ride will be far smoother to retain their place in the top league in the Country.

Losers:

Manchester United:

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Our top spot in the loser’s category goes to Manchester United. The red devils had a relatively easy fixture against the magpies, where they faced a team who had a terrible outing against the Swan’s the weekend before. United controlled the whole match, from the start till the end, but lacked the finishing touch even after having 18 shots on target.

United can call themselves a little unlucky as controversy still surround a Rooney’s disallowed goal, but they only had themselves to blame after not being able to convert ample amounts of chances. For Van Gaal to deliver trophies this season, United will need to find someone who can score them goals, after just being able to score 2 goals in 3 outings this season.

Tottenham Hotspur:

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Spurs found themselves sitting at the 2nd spot in our elite list of Loser’s in week 3 in Barclays Premier League. Pochettino’s men will not find many easier games on the road than the one they had against Leicester, where they again seemed to lack the potency to find a breakthrough till the 81st minute, only to concede an equalizer a minute later.

Harry Kane doesn’t seem to be in the same form as he was last season, whereas there are rumors regarding Eriksen and Lamela’s future, which is increasing Pochettino’s problems as he is now on the hunt to sign at least 2 strikers to ease of the burden on Kane. As of now, Spurs lack that quality to be considered as a real favorite to finish in the top 4 this season, which might prove costly for the manager as the Owner Mike Ashley might lose his cool finally.

West Ham United:

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Third in the list comes West Ham United, who faced the biggest upset on the weekend, where they lost to new comers Bournemouth. Slaven Bilic side looked unprepared and undisciplined, and were slow to get off the hook, and that’s why they went 2-0 down inside the first 30 minutes.

Though Bilic side made a strong comeback in the 2nd half, but it was short-lived as they first went behind again in the 66th minute and were later down to 10 men in the 79th minute, which sum up their performance. Bournemouth in all departments showed better game play and were the deserved winner. For a team who consistently feature in the Premier League year after year, Bilic side needs to toughen up or else they might have a fight in their hand to avoid relegation this season.

Aston Villa:

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Last in the list of loser’s for week 3 in the Premier League is Tim Sherwood’s Aston Vila. Aston Villa have already lost their 2 key players who were pivotal to their survival last campaign in Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph. Villa had a tricky visit over the weekend to Selhurst Park, and Alan Pardew’s men made sure that they will have a hard time throughout the match.

Tim Sherwood’s team was completely dominated, and never really looked like a team who is capable of getting anything out of the game. With the squad depth and quality seems to be compromised after the sale of 2 quality players, this campaign will going to be the real test of Sherwood’s managerial capability, as he will look to keep Villa in the Premier League for another year at least.

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.

English Premier League: 6 Midfielders Who Could Make Their Way to EPL Next Season

Azeem Siddiqui identifies six midfielder who could be on their way to the Premier League next season…

Top class midfielders are in high demand. Look no further than the clubs Barcelona, Real Madrid and other teams consider to be part of Europe’s elite who have been linked with playmakers in the transfer mill.

Things are no different in England with a lot of Premier League clubs are looking to strengthen their squad this season, especially in the midfield department to boost their chance of success not only on the domestic stage, but to break their hoodoos in Europe’s elite competitions.

And with that, PF90 has have identified six midfielders, who might be featured in the Premier League season 2015/16.

Paul Pogba

The French midfielder, who is tipped to leave Turin this season, is a target of Barcelona & many other European giants, and few English clubs are quite interested in this young high rated midfielder. Manchester City, who had a trophy less last season, are emerging one of the favorite to land the young French man, with reports emerging that City are preparing a £86 Million offer for him to land him in Manchester and create a dream combination of Toure and Pogba in the center of the park.

Kevin De Bruyne

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Former Chelsea outcast, De Bruyne had a fantastic season with VFB Wolfsburg. With highest assists in the Bundesliga last season, De Bruyne was among the top midfield sensation throughout Europe. Manchester City once again is in for this midfield maestro, as they look to revamp their squad and challenge for the premier league glory next season.

Ikay Gundogan

Dortmund and Germany midfielder, Ikay Gundogan is another top quality midfielder that Premier League sides are looking to land this season. Another Manchester club, this time Manchester United who is emerging as favorites to seal this deal in the near future.

Roberto Firmino

The Brazillian from Hoffenheim 1899, is also looking set for a move to England, after his agent confirm the news that he will be playing in the Premier League next season. Firmino had an impressive season with Hoffenheim, where he netted 7 times and provides 10 assists and was one of the star performers for the club.

Asier Illaramendi

Madrid outcast Asier Illaramendi, who seems to be on his way out of the Bernabue, is looking set for a move to the Premier League, most probably to Anfield. Illaramendi moved to the Spanish Capital in 2013 with high hopes after Madrid paid a heavy price for his services, but is yet to develop as the first team player. Madrid hierarchy is resigned to a fact that they might have to let the young Spaniard go, in order to increase funds for one or two marquee signings this season.

Yohan Cabaye

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The PSG outcast and a former Magpie man Yohan Cabaye, is set to leave Paris to find first team football. With his former boss Alan Pardew looking to strengthen Palace squad this season, Cabaye will be happy to join him at Selhurst Park and work under the man who brought the best out of him in the past.

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.

Manchester City – A Season to Forget

For a team who is full of stars, Manuel Pellegrini’s man failed to deliver in every competition from the Premier League to Champions League, and from FA Cup to Capital One Cup. After winning a double in his first season as a Premier League manager, and after becoming the 1st Chilean manager to win the Premier League, his tactics were proven a complete failure as City failed to achieve anything significant throughout the campaign.

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A club which is arguably one of the richest football clubs in England and Europe, their supporters would hope to have a campaign that is improved upon from the previous season, or at least proportionate to what it was the last season, but it was anything but that. City failed to defend their Premier League and Capital one Cup title, and were knocked out again by Barcelona in the Champions League. In the FA Cup, City were knocked out once again by the League one side, this time Middlesbrough, which eventually sealed their faith as a side that ended their campaign empty handed.

Unlike other teams, who had a hard time competing with Chelsea at a top because they could not get enough points against the other top sides in the league, City did pretty decent against them. City won 4, drew 3, and lost 3 in 10 matches against other top 5 sides in the league, which is pretty decent. However, their form against the lower rank teams were not up to the mark, which cost them heavily at the end of the season.

Results such as shocking defeat against Stoke at home, surprising defeats at the hands of West Ham and relegated Burnley in the league, and against Middlesbrough in FA Cup made City pay a heavy price at the end of the campaign. Against Burnley, a side who was the 1st team to get relegated during the campaign, City managed to get just 1 point out of the possible 6.

Africa Cup of Nations, which came between January and February, proved to be the typical obstacle for a team sliding down, as their main player Yaya Toure, along with the new signing Bony, was on duty for their national side, and City felt their absence at that time. Especially the absence of Toure, who is City’s main force in the middle for quite some time now, his absence made City lose key battles in the middle of the park, which eventually led to losing important points in the end. During his absence, City lost to Arsenal at Etihad, drew Chelsea and relegated Hull and went out of the FA Cup after losing to Middlesbrough at home.

 Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League...MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Individually, Aguero, Silva and Toure stood out for City, even though Toure had a below par finish to his season. Aguero netted impressive 25 goals in the season along with 8 assists, which saw him won the Golden shoe award this year, ahead of Chelsea’s Costa and Spurs new sensation Harry Kane. Silva scored 12 goals with 7 assists and Toure scored 10 goals for the noisy neighbours. Few other players had a good season for city, such as the likes of Milner, Frank Lampard, and goalkeeper Hart who had more than just a decent season for them.

Some players had a pretty miserable season and would be looking to have a better show next time around. Likes of Demichelis and Malaga had a season to forget, along with Captain Kompany, who made a comeback after an injury and could not able to regain his prime form. His performance along with the 2 other center backs were not up to mark, as City could not able to keep clean sheets against lower ranked teams.

In all, City’s season was not a one to remember, as they finished 2nd, 8 points behind leader Chelsea. Pellegrini, who was tipped to be sacked after a dismal performance in the season, have been given another chance to prove his worth and take City back to the Premier League top. He is got his work cut out thought, as he looks to strengthen his squad in this season transfer market, by keeping stars players that he have along with one or two marquee signing that will help him to challenge for the title next season.

Verdict: (B-)

The article originally appeared on Playingfor90.com.