Tag Archives: 2

2 September 2012 – Liverpool vs Arsenal

Final Score – Liverpool:0/Arsenal:2

31′- Podolski, 68′-Cazorla

 

This was definitely the match of the week as the Reds hosted the scoreless Gunners at Anfield. However, both teams were without a win and both eager to take one from the other. Brendan Rodgers obviously really wants this win to show the fans that his place on the fabled side was not a fluke. However, the experienced Arsene Wenger shows that, regardless of losing a top striker once again, will always look for the win and attempt to score. The signings for the Gunners rarely showed any life in the earlier games, while the signings for Liverpool looked to be of better prospect. With both teams desperately needing a win and both looking incomplete after the transfer window, the teams look to see if they can start the marathon regardless of the head start from teams like Swansea and West Brom.

For a general summary, I think that Liverpool should feel undeserving of the loss. With about more than two-thirds of the game played as good or better than Arsenal, the Reds will need to wonder about what to do. Without consistent scoring, its hard to see Liverpool ever seeing the top four again. Yes, some can argue that the winter transfer window will make the second half of the season much better, but needing to hold out for fifteen more games is a hassle. Arsenal, however, decided to finally find the back of the net, as counter attacks were finished off by the two new recruits of Wenger’s, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski. Liverpool failed to do the same, although had opportunities to do so. Luiz Suarez found himself in front of the goal multiple times without prevail, while Borini looked as if he didn’t know how to make a correct decision. Regardless, Liverpool found themselves playing some great football for most of the game, including the first 25 minutes of the game. Sadly, the momentum was killed by a pair of mistakes from Steven Gerrard, who had an uncharacteristically bad game. However, the defense was not sound enough on counter attacks to carry the weight of not scoring, as both goals came of a mistake from the attacking third. While every mistake didn’t result in a counter, the “mistake” part was a key word. Rarely did the attacks for Liverpool result into a shot, and if they did, they were usually off-target. The defense did well for the most part, as well as coming out of the back line. New signing Joe Allen continued his work of spectacular passing for Liverpool but without an answer from the forwards. Arsenal, however, would constantly find themselves in their defending third. However, Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker did a good enough job of keeping the line strong, as they were called on more than once to create a strong tackle. However, Arsenal scored with the few chances they had, opening their early league drought and keeping a clean sheet simultaneously. Some other notes for the teams

Liverpool- It seems like Steven Gerrard is having a tough time settling to new manager Brendan Rodgers’ set up. I would prefer him to sit out a game or two to recollect his head as they are in desperate need of his expertise. Sterling needs to be kept as a strength. The kid works hard and is always a threat to the goal, and well-deserving of his starting role. I do believe that Rodgers is going to through a bout of bad luck. Against Manchester City, the defense was under-par, while the opposite in this match. Of course, having both is the key to a great team but Rodgers needs to find a way to facilitate both. I know he can’t decide when his strikers have bad days, but knowing that attacking options are limited, regardless of two great goals against the reigning champs, I feel like a more defensive approach should be used for the next couple games. The game will rise out of the back, as the combonation of Joe Allen and aware Stevie will prove to be a strong tool for Borini and Suarez. The 4-3-3 is a strong attacking formation, but switching to a more option based formation may be ideal. Other than that, Nuri Sahin looks like he will be of use when he gets match ready, and Reina needs to look stronger. I know he is a hero of Liverpool’s, but after giving up two easy goals, I would suggest giving young ones a try again.

Arsenal- For some reason I do not remember Diaby ever being this powerful. His midfield presence was felt on a constant basis, as his quick decision making and speed gave trouble to the defensing Reds. More of Diaby like this and Arsenal can see top four finish, despite my predictions. Both center defenders did their job well enough, and the first goal for Lukas and Santi should only mean more from them later. Oliver Giroud had a tough game today, but looked deadly at some parts of his attack. The strength of the Arsenal attack was something of a sight, as the absence of Robin van Persie almost seemed as if it didn’t matter today, regardless of Santi Cazorla’s goal being of some keeper mistake. Santi, in general, was strong and commanding in the midfield. He always found space and constantly gained much ground per attack. Jenkinson, subbing for the injured Sagna, looks like he is still working on his bearing, but some strength was shown in parts of the match. Overall, the Arsenal side was never too commanding of the game, but did score when they needed to. To some, that is all that matters. But this is a short-term solution to the non-scoring issue, as stronger teams will not allow easy counter attacks like Liverpool did. Arsene may need to be a bit more clever in order to topple the stronger teams.

Overall, great match to watch. I am excited to see how Liverpool evolve and whether the Gunners will continue to score. Regardless of the negative things I have said about the team, the strength can take points away from all who aren’t wary.

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25 August 2012- Chelsea vs Newcastle

Final Score- Chelsea:2/Newcastle:0

22′-Hazard(PK), 45’+3, Torres

 

Chelsea’s first true test had arrived, and it looked as though that Chelsea might be up for the task this year. The addition of Eden Hazard was never more prominent then it was today, as the absence of Frank Lampard showed that Hazard was able to take control as the main man when Frank isn’t. Him, along with the seemingly re-budding Fernando Torres, were able to acquire both goals together to give Chelsea the dream start it needed. However, this was no walk, as Newcastle able to fend off Chelsea for most of the second half and attempt some attacking, while the opposite was true in the first. However, other than the shot from Demba Ba off a weird scramble in the box, Newcastle were never too deadly in the attacking end, as Cisse was uncharacteristically quiet.

First half, I was incredibly impressed by the Blues. At the beginning of the game, the lineup shook me quite a bit, as Chelsea did not fair well against Newcastle last year, even if losing that game is the reason why Di Matteo decided to put all chips into the trophies. However, everybody’s favorite Blue Eden Hazard stepped up today. He was clearly the main to dictate the pace, as his ability to find the correct pass and to hold the ball under most circumstances showed that he deserved to be on the first team. In the beginning of the game, Hazard was sitting a little too far back, leaving Torres all alone up front. Realizing this, Hazard and Mata brought the game to Torres. After that, the opportunities started rolling in, and Chelsea put two away before the half ended. Newcastle did little but pass and defend for most of that half. However, the second half did not have the same effect. A slow start and little connection between the Chelsea players’ game allowed Newcastle to gain some possession and attack as much as they can. Cisse and Ba both moved well, but even with the majority of the possession in the second half they were not able to find the back of the net. The deadliest opportunity for Newcastle came late in the game, as a whiff and a shot amount passed Cech in the mist of the scramble. Cech’s quick reflexes kept a clean sheet, and the Chelsea defense regained their footing midway through the second half and only built momentum from there. The build was slow, but some great looks from youngsters Ryan Bertrand and Eden Hazard made Newcastle’s defense take note. This momentum would take us to the end of the game. A semi-comfortable game for Chelsea put them on the top of the board, giving the other big teams something to strive for.

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19 August 2012- Wigan vs Chelsea


Final Score – Wigan:0/Chelsea:2

2′-Ivanovic, 7′-Lampard(PK)

Being  a Chelsea fan, it’s going to be hard talking about my fixtures. I am a huge fan but also a huge critic, and I will be the first to see my teams faults. Regardless, Chelsea did not get handed the win today, but it did seem that the game was decided in six minutes. After that, Chelsea was never too close except for the clearance from Ramis after Torres barely beat the keeper and an attempt from Oscar early after his entrance. Wigan never looked that threatening, but Victor Moses did give Ashley Cole some issues in the first half. The main note, for Chelsea fans anyway, is that both signings, Oscar and Eden Hazard, has very impressive games today. Hazard started and assisted Bran’s goal in the second minute with a beautiful turn in the midfield, and was also the cause of the penalty due to his speed around the defender. Oscar would replace him in the second half, with a great show of talent and pace. He is a hard worker and is always working off the ball, as well as getting back to play defense, whether it is in the midfield or the defensive third of Chelsea.

As for Wigan, I feel like Victor Moses does not have the midfield backing to make him a major threat. I don’t say that because Chelsea is linked with him, but it is something that Wigan is seriously lacking. The team’s defensive line is solid at times, making sure that the mistimed runs of Torres would result in a flag in the air, but otherwise did not seem like they had an answer for Chelsea counterattacks.

Chelsea looks good, but this is not the team that will beat Newcastle United next Saturday. Reading shouldn’t be a problem, but Di Matteo is good at prioritizing and taking the season one step at a time. In my honest opinion, I think that Chelsea is a major top four contender and will be consider one of the most volatile teams all season. 

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