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6 October 2012 – Chelsea vs Norwich

Another week for the English League and I’m super excited for the week. A couple of very good games to top off a strong week for England in the Champion’s League as they win three of their games and tie one. This one will about Chelsea (of course) and finally having the time to talk about a game has made me very excited. Today’s match was with Norwich City at Stamford Bridge, and Norwich’s away games have not looked pretty. However, this is the English Premier League, where no game is easy and every match is taken with the highest consideration. Anyway onto the game.

 

Chelsea started out strong today with some good attacks starting from the two defensive midfielders today, Obi Mikel and Lampard. However, it was the Canaries who opened first, as an 11th minute goal off a counter attack gave them the lead. A strong volley off the header back, along with some view obstruction of Cech’s vision, gave none other than Grant Holt the first goal of the game. However, Chelsea were not going to stand and let that score line settle down, as 3 minutes later, Chelsea’s top man Fernando Torres buries on in the opposite corner in tremendous fashion off a expert cross from their right back Ivanovic. This opened up the rest of the game, as Chelsea continued the attack on the Norwich defense. However, a failed bicycle kick from Torres to deny his second led to Frank Lampard’s smashing volley, giving him the second goal of the game and his first EPL goal since February.  It did not seem like Chelsea was content at that point, as unrelenting pressure from the attacking force kept on striking. With little answer from the yellow side, Chelsea found their third off a counter attack, led by Chelsea’s 2011/12 Player of the Year Juan Mata, who seems to have no plans on getting second season jitters. Juan Mata, with three Man of the Match’s in a row, started the counter with Torres and Hazard streaking along side, eventually finding the Norwich gap that gave Chelsea’s Belgian a chance to expertly slot it past Ruddy. In the 31st minute, Eden Hazard achieved another goal of his EPL season. This ended most of the major tackles in the first half, as Norwich still has no answer after a strong start to the game.

Second half was much of the same. Chelsea came out with a semi-lackluster performance and did not look all that interested, with a command on the game and a lead on the scoreboard, Chelsea were flying high. However, after the 60th minute, things changed for Norwich’s worst, as Chelsea’s attack looked to be stronger. The added momentum of Oscar, who had many looks on goal, and the pace of Hazard and Mata eventually brought the Blues to their fourth, as an absolute smasher of a goal came from Ivanovic, who hit it too strong for Ruddy to keep out. Ruddy did get a hand on it, but the Serbian right back hit it too hard from too close. A giant gap in the 18 box gave Ivanovic the composure to smash a one-touch volley into the Canaries goal. After this, one or two instances of life from Norwich fell short as Chelsea continued to press on as well, as the attack did not look like it would end for Norwich. After 90 minutes of bombardment at Stamford Bridge, the game came to a unsurprising ending, as in-form Chelsea took a comfortable fixture over out-of-form Norwich.

Other notables were Oscar’s strength in attack. Oscar seemed to get a couple shots off, but otherwise contributed more as the great attacking midfielder he is.  Grant Holt’s constant ability to find openings in defense is a scary one, and a in-form team would give him the opportunity to score at a constant rate.

Chelsea- Strength in attack took over their strength in defense, as the young men up top seemed to take control of the game with the help of the defensive midfielders and the two side backs. In my opinion, defensive looked iffy at times, but the attack kept them  well into the game, as the small answers the Norwich has for Chelsea gave the attack the ability to create their own game. Playing a 4-2-3-1, and probably doing it the best in England, the formation gave the home side the chances to keep forward with strong attack, as well as the opportunity to counter for the third goal from the Blues. Man of the Match was clearly the Spaniard Juan Mata, who started attack and made hell for the Canaries. His expert passing and strong fundamentals gave Chelsea everything they needed to put attack on the opponent’s net. A good game from the home side going into the international break.

Norwich- Not much to say about a team that hasn’t looked good since the beginning of the year. Honestly, Norwich became my mini-favorites last year, with the strong attack that they had and the never-say-die attitude that they kept through the season. However, it doesn’t seem to be clicking this year, as everything is out of place. Attack is, more times than not, relatively elementary, with almost no depth in ability or teamwork behind it. If they want more  points, the attack will have to be more complex, especially on all the good defensive teams in the league this year. Defensive was an even worse issue, as they were unorganized and easily scrambled, Chelsea’s Juan Mata looked to open them up easily. Not a good game from the Canaries, but then again, they haven’t had one all year.

Last note- I’m really happy to this and I’m glad to be back and writing about football. Will hopefully commentate on the Gunners vs Hammers match, as that game proves to be interesting, especially with the form that the Hammers have been in their first season back from the tier under.

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Euro 2012 Pre-Quarterfinals Predictions and Thoughts

The quarterfinals have come! After a very exciting group stage in the Euro 2012, the knockout rounds begin with some entries that were definitely surprising, such as Greece and and Portugal. Portugal isn’t as surprising as Greece, but if you asked me on June 7th, I would of chuckled. We have some very exciting games coming up, including the giant Spain vs France game which I am thoroughly pumped for. I would like to take it game by game, giving predictions and thoughts on outcomes and possible strategies and things to expects, sorta respectively. This will

Portugal Vs Czech Republic, June 21st

Portugal – I can say with some certainty that this will be the more attacking side of the game. Obviously, some magic can happen like the Ukraine vs England game, but I don’t see it, as I can support a Ukrainian force. Czech’s main strength is their defense, which Portugal should beat down like Ukraine, only with goals, of course. With the strongest wings in the tournament or at least tied with the two favorites, Spain and Germany, Portugal needs to bring the force on both sides, mixing the attack up with the more direct Cristiano Ronaldo or the unpredictable Nani, both of which are playing some great football this tournament. But the greatest element of the Portuguese offense that I saw out of the group stages is the amount of people who can put a goal in. With a total of four goal scorers out of five in the net, this means that the attack can come from anywhere. Plus Nani still doesn’t have a goal of his own, but everyone knows what a threat he is on and off the ball. Using the strong attack that they showed in the last two games of the group stages and the defense that we saw in the first and third game, you will see a successful Portugal.

Czech-With its strength in its defense, I would rather them play to counter attack on the edgy Portugal. Although Portugal has looked good in this group stages, one thing that has not been consistent is the quality. Like I said before, the first and third game for Portugal were really well defended, and the second and third game were well attacked. Of course this could be said for Czech as well, conceding four goals in their opener but then showing their will and strength in the next two. I say go with your strengths and play to defense, and use the 4-3-3 that Portugal will most likely be playing and counter attack, as they will attempt to defend by attack. 4-3-3 is possibly the defensively weakest of the well known formations, especially when you will not see Nani or Cristiano track back every often, if at all. I say use this to their advantage, and attack the unfortified sides that the put all their attack on. Breaking the defense through the left and right will make sure that you will get a more condensed Portuguese defense, therefore giving you the ability to take some 18+ yard shots.

Prediction- Portugal’s win with at least one goal conceded by them on a defensive mind lapse.

Ill be doing the rest after the game, and tagging this as well 😛

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