Tag Archives: Manchester United

Are You Ready For Some Futbol?

The English Premier League has started up once again and it’s time to see who will be the best England has to offer this year. The regular season kicked off on August 16 and so far, eight teams have come away with victories on their first fixture. The biggest upset of the weekend was Swansea City taking down Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford. It was not a good start for new United coach Louis Van Gaal. It was Gylfi Sigurdsson of Swansea who broke the hearts of United fans. After this devastating loss, we will have to see if Gaal’s team can bounce back Sunday against Sunderland.

One of the most recent transfers coming to the Premier League this year is Italian youngster Mario Balotelli. The spontaneous striker will be leaving AC Milan and joining Liverpool, a team that already has a superstar forward in Daniel Sturridge, who was second in goals last season with 21. Balotelli won’t play in the big match-up this Monday against Manchester City, but he will definitely be ready to play August 30 against Stoke City. This will be the 24-year-old’s second stint in the Premier League, after playing for Manchester City from 2010-2013, scoring 20 goals in 54 appearances. Last season, Balotelli scored 26 goals in just 43 appearances. Liverpool fans hope that he will bring even more success to a team that finished second last year in the league behind Manchester City.

Speaking of Manchester City, the former league leaders will look to continue their success on the pitch with superstars like Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, and Sergio Aguero. All three of those players were in the top six last year in scoring. Manager Manuel Pellegrini did a great job in his first season with the team last year and if he continues to coach them the way he has, this team will continue to find success. With most of their star players returning, this looks like the team to beat this year once again.

In his first season as manager, Manuel Pellegrini led Manchester City to the league title with a record of 27-6-5. Credit: www.independent.co.uk
In his first season as manager, Manuel Pellegrini led Manchester City to the league title with a record of 27-6-5.
Credit: http://www.independent.co.uk

As for Arsenal, they could not find a way to finish out strong last season. With a chance to win the league last year, they dropped below Chelsea and Liverpool, but played well enough to move past Everton and finished fourth in the league. Now more pressure has been added on to this team with rumors of superstar midfielder Jack Wilshere being transfer listed. He is a remarkable young talent with a lot of promise. If Arsenal loses him, it will continue to tarnish their reputation as a selling club rather than a buying club, which is what you need to be in order to win in the big leagues. Arsenal will face Everton tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.

Favorites have already been picked for this season and teams are focusing in on their targets. There will be joy and there will be heartbreaks. But that’s just soccer.

Manchester City wins Premier League Title

Manchester City won its second English Premier League Title in three years after a 2-0 win over West Ham United. Samir Nasri scored the first goal with six minutes left in the first half and then Vincent Kompany sealed the match with a goal in the 49th minute. Liverpool finished second in the league with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United to make their final regular season record 26-6-6. Chelsea rallied back in their game to defeat Cardiff City 2-1 to land the 3rd spot on the table. As for Arsenal, they will head into the FA Cup final at Wembley with a five-game win streak after a 2-0 victory over Norwich on the road. The first team to make it to  the Europa League was Everton, who beat Hull City 2-0. It was Roberto Martinez’s first season as a manager for the club and he did very well for the team, leading them to a 21-9-8 record. Tottenham Hotspur secured the last spot in next season’s Europa League after an easy 3-0 win over Aston Villa. Both Cardiff City and Norwich will be relegated to a smaller league, as well as Fulham who ended their season with a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace. They finished the season with 24 losses after winning 11 games and losing 17 last year. After Manchester United won last year’s Barclays Premier League Champion, they fell all the way to 7th on this year’s table. Hopefully with Louis van Gaal on board, United will climb its way back to the top again.

The end of the Premier League regular season has now come to a close. Manchester City star Yaya Toure led the way for the winning club with 20 goals this season, a career-high for the 30-year-old midfielder from the Ivory Coast. He finished third in the league in goals scored behind Liverpool’s Luis Suarez (31) and Daniel Sturridge (21). Toure also tied for first on his team in assists with 9. Overall, it was a great season for him and his Manchester City club.

Soccer Regular Season Coming to a Close

A lot of great matches have been played so far this season and a lot of superstars have given us exciting plays. The UEFA Champions League championship match will be held on May 24th and it will pit Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid. These La Liga rivals have been battling each other all year with Real Madrid leading the season series 2-1-1. This Champions League Final will determine who is the better Madrid of Europe. Real Madrid entered this match by defeating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate in the Quarterfinals and then they shut out Bayern Munich in both Semifinal matches to advance to the Finals. Atletico Madrid fought hard by upsetting Barcelona in the Quarterfinals and then squeaking by Chelsea 3-1 on aggregate in the Semifinals. There should be a lot of star power in this match with Cristiano Ronaldo facing off against Diego Costa. Both of these players are having memorable seasons so far.

I would be this happy to if I scored 65 goals in a single season!  Credit: www.ronaldo7.net
I would be this happy too if I scored 65 goals in a single season!
Credit: http://www.ronaldo7.net

As for elsewhere around the world, Manchester United is doing fine without their former manager David Moyes. They have won two of their last three matches. Wayne Rooney has been keeping his team together by scoring 17 goals for his club. Current manager of the Dutch national team, Louis van Gaal, will take over the team after the World Cup is over.  The top three clubs in the English Premier League are all fighting for the top spot. Liverpool is currently on top with Manchester City right behind them and Chelsea closing in. There’s only one regular season game left for Liverpool when they take on Newcastle United on May 11th. After guiding his team to the best offense in the league (99 goals scored), manager Brendan Rodgers just recently signed a four-year contract extension to remain with the club. Goal scorers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge should get plenty of credit for how Liverpool has been playing this year. Suarez leads all players with 31 goals and Sturridge is right behind him with 21 of his own. Manchester City can sneak its way to the top by winning their last two games of the season. They are both home games and they are against Aston Villa later tonight and West Ham on May 11th. If they win those two games, they claim the top spot in the Premier League. As for Chelsea, they would have to hope that Liverpool and Manchester City to lose all of their games if they were to claim the regular season title. Chelsea will play at Cardiff City this Sunday for hopes of gaining the top spot.

In La Liga, Atletico Madrid remains on top, but they could fall if Barcelona plays their best futbol of the season. Madrid will play Malaga on Sunday and then the regular season title will be determined the next week after when they travel to Barcelona. That game is must-watch T.V. if Barcelona can win their next game at Elche, which should be an easy win. As mentioned earlier, Diego Costa is having a memorable season. The 25-year-old Brazilian has scored a career-high 27 goals and is also responsible for 3 assists. For Messi, he is second in La Liga with 28 goals scored. The showdown on May 18th will probably be the biggest soccer game of the season by far!

Barcelona Eliminated from Champions League

Atletico Madrid reaches the UEFA Champions League semifinals for the first time in team history thanks to a 1-0 win over La Liga rival Barcelona. The goal came very early in the match thanks to Koke’s goal in the 5th minute. It was the 22-year-old’s only goal of the tournament and what a time to score one. Atletico Madrid was able to attain this victory without their star player Diego Costa, which shows Diego Simeone’s ability to adapt as a manager. Barcelona came into this game as favorites, but were unable to score a goal for the first time in this tournament.

In the other deciding match, Bayern Munich defeated Manchester United 3-1 yesterday as well. No one scored until Patrice Evra of Man U came through in the 57th minute. But after that, it was all Bayern Munich. Mario Mandzukic scored two minutes later, Thomas Müller scored in the 68th minute and Arjen Robben finished it off in the 76th minute. Pep Guardiola’s squad led an offensive attack against Manchester United with 25 shots (5 on goal) and 11 corner kicks. Bayern also dominated in possession, holding the ball for 65 percent of the match.

The final four teams are set with Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid looks to be the underdog of this tournament, having never made it this far in club history. Without their leading scorer, there is doubt that they will make it any further. Bayern Munich looks to be the favorite, having one of the best offensive teams out of these four as well as a steady goalkeeper in Manuel Neuer. With superstars like Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze, Arjen Robben and leading scorer Mario Mandzukic Bayern should easily win this year’s Champions League Final. Real Madrid is a sure favorite with Cristiano Ronaldo playing one of his best seasons ever, leading La Liga with 31 goals. Karim Benzema has also been a great help. He is currently 5th in La Liga with 17 goals scored. Eden Hazard has been carrying his Chelsea team as of lately. He leads the club in both goals (14) and assists (7). Demba Ba (who is likely to leave Chelsea after this season) scored the game-winning goal in the last game against Paris-Saint Germain. Having the other Chelsea players step up in these big moments could propel them to the top. It’s time to see who the top soccer club in Europe really is.

April brings intensified soccer matches

For college basketball, March Madness is where the games get more exciting. For the English Premier League, April is where soccer matches get more intense. The end of the regular season for the Barclays Premier League is May 11, so during the month of April, everyone starts fighting for not only the top spot, but to get out of the bottom three spots so that they won’t be relegated for next year. Right now, Chelsea is just over Liverpool for first place in the league with 69 points (Liverpool has 68). Chelsea’s defense is the best in the league with only 23 goals allowed and is the major reason why they are at the top. A win for Manchester City could spring them to the top if both Chelsea and Liverpool lose their next game. Chelsea should notch an easy win against Crystal Palace on Saturday after coming off a dominating 6-0 victory over Arsenal. Liverpool, however, will have a challenging match against Tottenham on Sunday. For now, Manchester City will have to worry about their upcoming showdown with Arsenal tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. eastern time. Arsenal will be looking for their 20th win of the season as they are looming around 4th place in the table. What makes the top three teams different from any other team in the league is their dominance. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all have a goal differential of 39 or more. No other team in the league is even close to that number (Arsenal is the closest with 19).

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has had a fantastic career and continues that career with 71 saves so far this season. Credit: telegraph.co.uk
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has had a fantastic career and continues that career with 71 saves so far this season.
Credit: telegraph.co.uk

As for Manchester United, they have struggled with consistency this season. They lost to a nearly sell-out crowd at Old Trafford against Manchester City 3-0 last Tuesday. They were able to beat West Ham and West Bromwich recently, but they fell short against Liverpool 3-0 on March 16th. Manchester United has faltered greatly against top teams and that is the main reason why they are sitting at seventh in the standings behind Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. The triple threat of Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck has proved somewhat successful, seeing that those three players are in the top 20 in goals scored. Rooney’s 13 goals is tied for 6th in the league and Van Persie has 11 goals accredited to his name.

Manchester United has scored 48 goals this season, but it's not enough as they have also allowed 37 scored against them. Credit: sportblog.co.za
Manchester United has scored 48 goals this season, but it’s not enough as they have also allowed 37 scored against them.
Credit: sportblog.co.za

The most impressive performance so far is Liverpool’s deadly combination of top goal-scorer Luis Suarez and young Daniel Sturridge. They are the only players in the Premier League with 20 goals are more and they are on the same team! It’s no surprise that Liverpool has the best offense in England with 84 goals scored.Suarez has had a year he will never forget. The 27-year-old from Uruguay has 28 goals and 11 assists, which are tremendous numbers for this point in the season. Last year, he only had 23 goals and 5 assists for the whole season! The last time Suarez was this dominant at his position was when he played for Ajax Amsterdam back in the 2009-10 season where he put up 35 goals and 4 assists. He is definitely at the prime of his career and looks to add on to his astounding numbers later on in the season as April comes around.

Another big reason why April is so much fun to watch is the semi-finals of the FA Cup. On April 12, Arsenal will play Wigan Athletic and Sheffield United will play Hull City on April 13. Arsenal was expected to advance this far, but no one expected these other three teams to be where they are right now. Hull City are 13th in the Premier League and Sheffield and Wigan are not even in the League! This Cup tournament is a true underdog story, no matter who advances to the top.

Speaking of underdogs, Everton has surprised many fans with their rise to glory. They are only 5th in the League and are above teams like Tottenham and Manchester United. Their defense and ability to succeed in close games are the main reasons why they are near the top of the standings. They are 3rd in goals allowed behind Chelsea and Manchester City and that’s due in large part to United States’ goalkeeper Tim Howard who has 81 saves so far this year. They are currently on a four-game win streak heading into their upcoming match with Fulham on Sunday. Everton has always been overlooked by the bigger and more popular teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and the others, but historically, Everton has always been a formidable opponent in the Barclays Premier League ever since they were the founders of the Football League in 1888. They have played more matches in the highest division than any other club, and have been outside it for only four years out of the 126 years they have played. Look out for Everton when April comes round, they might surprise a few folks.

Liverpool a Potential Threat

Liverpool has looked solid lately, coming off a 2-0 win against AFC Bournemouth in the 4th round of the FA cup. They tied 2-2 with Aston Villa the week before, but their 5-3 win over Stoke City January 12th was pretty impressive. They are currently 4th in the Barclays Premier League standings right behind Chelsea with 43 points and a 25 goal differential which is second in the league behind Manchester City’s whopping 38. People haven’t been taking Liverpool seriously however, because most of their wins were against low quality teams. What people may not know is that they defeated Manchester United 1-0 earlier in the year. Being shut out is something that Manchester United is not used to doing. They have only been shut out five times this season and two of those were 0-0 ties (one with Chelsea and the other with Real Sociedad). Back to Liverpool, their star player Luis Suarez is having a fantastic season so far. He already has 22 goals, five assists and a 58.5 percent shooting accuracy. Last season, he scored 23 goals, had five assists, and had a 50.3 percent shooting accuracy. His improvement has definitely provided a spark for this surging Liverpool team. Not only that, but the 26-year-old striker tied the record for becoming the fastest player in Premier League history to score 20 goals in a season when Liverpool beat Hull City 2-0 recently. What’s even more impressive about that record is that he only did it in 15 appearances. Assisting Suarez in this hopeful title run is the ageless captain Steven Gerrard. In 17 starts, he has five goals and six assists. The midfielder’s shooting accuracy has also improved greatly from 54.2 percent last season to 62.5 percent this season. There’s no doubt that his performances week in and week out are a determining factor for the success of this club. The 41-year-old manager Brendan Rodgers has done a good job with this team. He’s only been with the club for two seasons, but during those two seasons he has formed a title contender in Liverpool. The season is only midway through, but it’s during this time that the teams start playing like champions. Liverpool is certainly looking like a champion at this point.

Arsenal Ahead of Rivals

If you’re an Arsenal fan, then you are enjoying their season so far. They have the best record in the Barcays Premier League with 48 points (15-3-3) and the best part is, they are far above Tottenham Hotspur (40 points) and Manchester United (37 points). The French-born manager Arsene Wenger has his Gunners poised for a Premier League championship run, something they haven’t won since the 2003-04 season when he took them all the way to beat other big-time rival Chelsea with the help of a young Thierry Henry. Arsenal made it back to the championship game the following season, only that time they lost to Chelsea. Arsenal is third all-time in championships won with 13 behind Liverpool (18) and Manchester United (20). Olivier Giroud is leading the team with 9 goals so far this season and is third on the team in assists with 5 (Mesut Ozil is second in the league in assists with 7). So all in all, Arsenal is having a great season thanks to Arsene Wenger’s coaching, while Manchester United is struggling during the last half of the season. Arsenal’s main concerns are Manchester City and Chelsea. Manchester City is leading the league in goal differential with 36 and Chelsea is at a solid third place right behind them with 46 points. These two teams could possibly catch up to Arsenal and knock them off from the top. Arsenal plays Fulham this Saturday, but they’re biggest game coming up isn’t until February 12th when they play Manchester United. The Gunners won’t play Chelsea until March 22nd and then right after that they play Manchester City on March 29th. Those are the three games to watch this year and they could determine who wins the Premier League title.

Arsene Wenger Credit: irishcentral.com
Arsene Wenger
Credit: irishcentral.com