Weekend Football Review

Some upsets in the FA Cup!

FA Cup 3rd Round

Swindon 1 vs. 4 Man City

Silva and Jesus scored in the 1st half to give City a comfortable lead. Gundogan added a 3rd in the 59th minute via free kick. McKirdy got one back for Swindon in the 78th minute but Palmer made it four in the 82nd minute to seal the win for City. City progress to the next round while Swindon are knocked out. 

Burnley 1 vs. 2 Huddersfield

Rodriguez scored for Burnley in the 28th minute but Koroma equalised in the 78th minute for Huddersfield. Pearson then scored the winner for the away team in the 86th minute to seal a big win. Burnley are knocked out and can now focus on survival while Huddersfield progress to the next round. 

Millwall 1 vs. 2 Crystal Palace

Afobe scored in the 17th minute to give Millwall the lead. Olise equalied for Palace in the 46th minute and Mateta gave the Eagles a lead in the 58th minute. Palace managed to see out the rest of the game for a win. Palace progress to the next round while Millwall are dumped out. 

Newcastle 0 vs. 1 Cambridge United

The richest club in the world Newcastle were dumped out by Cambridge United as Ironside scored the winner for the away team in the 56th minute. Newacastle tried hard but could not find the goals. Newcastle can now focus on survival while Cambridge United’s FA Cup journey continues. 

West Brom 1 vs. 2 Brighton

Robinson scored in the 47th minute to give West Brom the lead. Kipre was sent off for the home team in the 69th minute and Brighton mounted a comeback in the final 10 minutes. Moder equalised for the Seagulls in the 81st minute and Maupay won the game in the 98th minute to seal the win in extra time. Brighton progress while West Brom are sent packing.

Leicester 4 vs. 1 Watford

Tielemans scored for Leicester in the 7th minute via a penalty. Maddison made it two for Leicester in the 25th minute. Pedro got one back for Watford in the 27th minute but goals from Albrighton and Barnes in the 2nd half made Leicester comfortable winners. The holders progress to the next round while Watford can now focus on the league.

Port Vale 1 vs. 4 Brentford

Forss scored in the 26th minute to give Brentford the lead. Mbeumo got a second in the 65th minute. Harratt got one back for Port Vale in the 69th minute but Mbeumo added two more goals to complete the win for Brentford and get a hattrick. Brentford move along while Port Vale are knocked out. 

Hull City 2 vs. 3 Everton

Smith scored in the 1st minute to give Hull City the lead. Gray equalised for Everton in the 21st minute and Gomes gave Everton the lead in the 31st minute. Longman equalised for Hull in the 71st minute and the game was sent into extra time. Townsend scored a screamer in the 99th minute to seal the win for Everton. Everton progress to the next round while Hull are knocked out.

Swansea 2 vs. 3 Southampton

Redmond scored in the 8th minute to give Southampton the lead. Valery was sent off for the Saints in the 29th minute. Piroe equalised for Swansea in the 77th minute to send the game to extra time. Bednarek scored an own goal in th 94th minute to give Swansea the lead but Elyounoussi equalised for the Saints a minute later. Long then scored the winner in the 102nd minute. Swansea fought hard but are knocked out while Southampton progress.

Charlton 0 vs. 1 Norwich

Rashica scored in the 79th minute to give Norwich the win as their fans got something to celebrate about. Norwich progress to the next round while Charlton are knocked out.

Wolverhampton 3 vs. 0 Sheffield 

Podence scored in the 14th minute to give Wolves the lead and Semedo added a 2nd in the 72nd minute. Podence then sealed the win in the 80th minute to continue a good season for the Wolves. Sheffield United are knocked out.

West Ham 2 vs. 0 Leeds

West Ham’s brilliant season continued as goals from Lanzini and Bowen saw them through against Leeds who’s poor season continues to go on. Leeds can now focus on survival while West Ham are still in three competitions this season.

Tottenham 3 vs. 1 Morecambe

O’Connor scored in the 33rd minute to give Morecambe a surprise lead. The Shrimps tried to hold on for the win but Winks equalised for Spurs in the 74th minute. Lucas grabbed the winner in the 85th minute, and Harry Kane got a third in the 88th minute. Tottenham go through to the next round while Morecambe are knocked out.

Liverpool 4 vs. 1 Shrewsbury

Udoh gave Shrewsbury a surprise lead at Anfield in the 27th minute but Liverpool were always going to come back. Gordon equalised for Liverpool in the 34th minute, while Fabinho gave them the lead in the 44th minute via a penalty. Firmino added a 3rd in the 78th minute while Fabinho got a 2nd in the 93rd minute. Comfortable win overall but Liverpool were given a scare.

Nottingham 1 vs. 0 Arsenal

Arsenal were knocked out by Nottingham Forest with Lewis Grabban scoring the winner in the 83rd minute. Arsenal still have the Carabao Cup semi-final to play but apart from that their only goal will be top four. Nottingham Forest progress to the next round.

Man United 1 vs. 0 Aston Villa

McTominay scored in the 8th minute and that was enough for United. The Red Devils didn’t play well and Villa had two goals ruled out by VAR but no goals means that they were knocked out and United go through. 

La Liga MW 20

Real Sociedad beat Celta Vigo 1-0, Barcelona drew with Granada 1-1, Real Madrid beat Valencia 4-1, Sevilla beat Getafe 1-0, and Villarreal drew with Atletico 2-2. Real Madrid have a game in hand and sit five points clear at the top of the table. Sevilla, Betis, and Atletico make up the top four. Real Sociedad are level on points with Atletico in 5th while Barcelona are 6th but only a point behind Atletico. Villarreal sit 8th in the table while Valencia are 10th. Real Madrid continue to have the advantage while others stumble.

Serie MW 21

Milan beat Venezia 0-3, Atalanta beat Udinese 2-6, Napoli beat Sampdoria 1-0, Juventus beat Roma 3-4, and Inter beat Lazio 2-1. The Juventus Roma game was insane as Roma had a 3-1 lead going into the 70th minute but somehow lost the game by the 90th minute. Inter remain in the lead with a game in hand as they sit a point clear of Milan. Napoli, and Atalanta make up the top four. Juventus sit 5th, while Roma are 6th now 6 points behind Juventus. Lazio sit 8th. Pressure piling on Mourinho at the moment especially after another collapse. Milan and Inter still lead the league with consistent results.

Bundesliga MW 18

Monchengladbach beat Bayern 1-2, Leipzig beat Mainz 4-1, Leverkusen drew with Union Berlin 2-2, Dormtund beat Frankfurt 2-3, and Bochum beat Wolfsburg 1-0. Bayern remain 6 points clear at the top of the table while Dortmund, Hoffenheim, and Freiburg make up the top four. Leverkusen sit 5th in the table, while Frankfurt, and Leipzig sit 8th and 9th repsectively. Monchengladbach sit 12th in the table. Bayern go through a rare stumble but it will be interesting to see whether they bounce back or if it’s a lingering problem. All the rest can do is try and get results. 

Ligue MW 20

Marseille beat Bordeaux 0-1, Monaco drew with Nantes 0-0, and Lyon drew with PSG 0-0. PSG remain top of the table by 11 points with Nice, Marseille, and Rennes making up the top four. Monaco sit 7th while Lille and Lyon sit 10th and 11th respectively. PSG are looking likely to win it but it’s more by default rather than actually playing top quality football. 

Chelsea 5 vs. 1 Chesterfield FA Cup 3rd Round Review

Job well done!

Chelsea welcomed National League leaders Chesterfield at Stamford Bridge on Saturday for the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. The National League is the 5th tier of English football but Chesterfield have been doing well this season and are aiming for promotion. Tuchel picked a strong lineup as we looked to finish the game early on. Bettinelli started in goal for his debut with a back three of Christensen, Sarr, and 17 year old Lewis Hall who also made his debut. Pulisic, and Hudson-Odoi started as the wing backs while Kovacic, and Saul started in midfield with Werner, Ziyech and Lukaku up front. 

Chelsea dominated the game from the first minute as one would expect and the first goal came in the 6th minute as Ziyech shifted in from the right and shot at goal, the shot was saved and fumbled into Werner’s path who finished into an empty net. Ziyech had another chance but his shot was saved. Hudson-Odoi made it two in the 18th minute as he finessed a right footed shot from outside the box into the bottom corner. A great goal and something he needs to do more often. Lukaku then made it three two minutes later as Lewis Hall drove forward and cut back a pass for the Belgian to tap in. Lukaku then had a briliant chance but his shot went wide. Christensen made it four in the 39th minute after a shot by Hall was deflected into the Dane’s path and he cushioned a header into the net. Cruise control going into the 2nd half and a chance to rest players.

Lukaku and Kovacic came off at half time with Loftus-Cheek and Havertz coming on. Chelsea got a penalty in the 55th minute after Pulisic was brought down and Ziyech stepped up to convert the penalty. Vale and Baker came on for Pulisic, and Christensen, as Christensen passed the armband to Loftus-Cheek. Barkley was the final sub for Hudson-Odoi. Chelsea didn’t create much in the final 3rd of the game with Sarr being the only defender on the pitch. Asante finally got a goal for Chesterfield in the 80th minute and it was great to see their 6000 away fans celebrate it with joy. A brilliant moment that those fans will always remember. Full time came and Chelsea progress to the next round.

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Bettinelli made his debut for the club and had little to do for much of the game. Pulled off some decent saves and the goal wasn’t his fault after the shot by Tshimonga was saved but deflected into Asante’s path. Not sure how many games Bettinelli will get but if it’s a favourable draw he might feature in the next round. 

Defenders

Christensen, and Sarr were the only two proper defenders on the pitch in this game. Both did really well and Sarr looked comfortable in the centre of the three. Christensen had a good game and also captained the team after Kovacic came off. The goal was conceded when Sarr was the only defender left on the pitch.

Midfielders

Lewis Hall played out of position as a left centre back and did brilliantly given the opposition. Calm in possession, some great moments of dribbiling and driving forward. Two assists as well it was a perfect debut for the youngster. Could Hall feature as a wing back? Maybe but we shouldn’t get carried away. Kovacic, and Saul had good games as well as Saul played the whole 90. Loftus-Cheek came on in the 2nd half and captained the team when Christensen came off. It was great to see and he did really well, driving forward and playing some brilliant passes. Baker also made an appearance as a right centre back and looked decent. Barkley also got 25 minutes and was the only player that actually had a bad game. Very poor from him and he should be allowed to leave or sold. 

Forwards

Werner, Ziyech, and Lukaku all got goals but all three could have scored way more. Ziyech and Lukaku especially could have scored two or three each. Hudson-Odoi got a good goal and was dangerous from the left while Pulisic got an assist and played on the right. Havertz and Vale also came on in the 2nd half did well but Vale did play as a wing back. 

Manager

Tuchel will be happy with the result having rested key players and coming through the game unscathed. Progression into the next round and with tough games ahead this is all he could ask for. 

A brilliant debut from Lewis Hall and a professional performance from the rest. Chesterfield did well and hopefully they get promoted to League Two this season. Next up for Chelsea is a visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea vs. Chesterfield FA Cup 3rd Round Preview

This season’s FA Cup journey begins!

Chelsea’s FA Cup journey for 21/22 begins on Saturday as we welcome Chesterfield who sit 1st in the National League. Chesterfield have won 12 drawn 7 and lost 1 this season so on form the club is on par with Chelsea albeit 3 or 4 tiers below the Londoners. The club was founded in 1866 but the clubs current incarnation was founded in 1919. The club is fan owned and take pride in how they have gone about their business. They are looking to get promoted to League Two for next season which is the 4th tier of English football. 

Chelsea reached the final of the FA Cup last season where we lost to Leicester at Wembley. We do tend to reach the final of the competition frequently but have not managed to win it for some time. Our last win came in 17/18 under Antonio Conte. Tuchel pre-match has stated that Chelsea are the favourites but anything can happen in football and that is why the players need to forget the status of the team and opposition and treat this as any other game. At the end of the day Chelsea have to win to progress to the next round. The club goes into this game having fought back to draw against Liverpool and beaten Tottenham at home. This should be a good chance to get quite a few academy players involved as well.

Chelsea Team Preview

Silva and Kante remain out with Covid but are healthy while Chilwell and James are long term. I expect to see rotation in this game with the 2nd leg against Spurs to play and City next weekend. Still there are players that need game time as well so it should be a good mix. Bettinelli should start in goal to make his debut for the club while I expect a back three of Christensen, Baker and Sarr with Simons, and Alonso making up the back wing backs. Saul, and Loftus-Cheek should make up the midfield with Vale, and Hudson-Odoi playing behind Werner. Webster and Hall have also been involved in training and there are the likes of Barkley as well who need game time. It’s actually anyone’s guess who will play but I think this is a good enough team to get a result but also if we get the goals early we can allow more academy players to be involved. 

Chesterfield Team Preview

Chesterfield tend to play a 3-5-2 formation and I expect them to play like that against Chelsea. Their striker Tshimanga has 18 goals this season and is their main man up front. They have scored 38 goals while conceding 16 over 20 games. So all said and done they are the best team in their league and having lost only one game they are in confident form. 

Starting XI Prediction 

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No game is too small and when it comes to form Chesterfield are right up there with Chelsea this season. Two top teams in different leagues going head to head and it should be fun for both sets of fans. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Preview

FA Cup is back!

FA Cup 3rd Round

Swindon vs. Man City

Man City travel to Swindon who sit 5th in League Two. City have a heavy load of Covid cases to deal with but can’t get the games postponed because the FA Cup doesn’t allow it. City should win this game regardless but Swindon will feel they have a chance if they face a weaker Man City team.

Burnley vs. Huddersfield

Burnley welcome Huddersfield to Turf Moor with the Terriers sitting 6th in the Championship. Huddersfield have had a good season so far and this should be an interesting game. Levi Colwill should play this game as well and so it’s one to watch for Chelsea fans. 

Millwall vs. Crystal Palace

Millwall sit 11th in the Championship as they welcome fellow London club Palace for a London Derby. Palace have been playing well this season but London Derby’s are great and in the FA Cup anything can happen. 

Newcastle vs. Cambridge United

Newcastle are fighting for survival in the Premier League and have just bought Trippier as the first signing of the Saudi Era. Cambridge visit them for this round with them sitting 16th in League One. Newcastle should win this game. 

West Brom vs. Brighton

West Brom are playing well and sit 4th in the Championship as they take on Brighton who sit 9th in the Premier League. This should be a fun and interesting game with both teams in form, either team can go through. 

Leicester vs. Watford

The FA Cup holders Leicester begin their journey with a visit by Watford who sit 17th in the Premier League. Leicester have been inconsistent this season and Watford will want to bring some hope to their fans amid a poor run of form. Watford have a good chance for an upset but Leicester are favourites. 

Port Vale vs. Brentford

Port Vale sit 6th in League Two as they welcome Brentford who are doing well in the Premier League this season. Brentford will be favourites for this game while Port Vale have nothing to lose. 

Hull City vs. Everton

Hull City sit 19th in the Championship as they take on Everton who are also struggling in the Premier League. This is a good chance for Benitez to get a win and get some momentum but Hull will have nothing to lose in this game. 

Swansea vs. Southampton

Swansea sit 17th in the Championship and are struggling as they take on Southampton who are inconsistent this season but doing well. Southampton should win this game and progress to the next round but Swansea have nothing to lose. 

Charlton vs. Norwich

Charlton sit 13th in League One as they take on Norwich who sit bottom of the Premier League. Norwich are struggling at the moment and need some sort of positive result to end the poor momentum. This could be that result but Charlton can give it their all in this game.

Wolverhampton vs. Sheffield

Sheffield United sit 13th in the Championship as they travel to play Wolves who are doing well in the Premier League this season. Wolves should win this game it’s just a matter of can they score the goals in 90 minutes. 

West Ham vs. Leeds

An all Premier League game as West Ham take on Leeds. West Ham have fallen off pace recently but are still doing well as Leeds ended a poor run last weekend. West Ham will be favourites but Leeds will go into this game fighting as usual. 

Tottenham vs. Morecambe

Tottenham welcome Morecambe who are 19th in League One. The FA Cup is Spurs only realistic chance of a trophy this season so this is a big game for them. Given their performance against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup they need to turn up and show their fans that they are fighting. Morecambe can give it their all. 

Liverpool vs. Shrewsbury

Liverpool have also apparently had Covid cases and were able to postpone their game against Arsenal but they won’t be able to weasel out of this game. They should have enough talent to beat Shrewsbury who sit 14th in League One. 

Nottingham vs. Arsenal

Nottingham Forest sit 9th in the Championship as they welcome Arsenal who are in good form recently but lost to City in their last game. This should be an interesting tie given that Forest are at home but Arsenal will be favourites for sure. This is Arsenal’s only realistic chance for success this season other than the Carabao Cup.

Man United vs. Aston Villa

United are embroiled in turmoil at the moment with rumours about player mutinies and squad disharmony along with the poor football on the pitch. Rangnick seems to have no control at the moment and the players have no respect. Villa have Gerrard back in the dugout and have played well overall but haven’t found a result against the bigger teams. This might be the game for Gerrard and co and it would be a brilliant result, I think Villa could cause an upset here.

La Liga MW 20

Real Sociedad take on Celta Vigo, Barcelona travel to Granada, Real Madrid take on Valencia, Sevilla welcome Getafe, and Atletico travel to Villarreal. Real Madrid did not start 2022 with a win so they will want to bounce back this weekend while the rest are playing catch up. The title race is open with almost all the teams behind Real Madrid having a game in hand as well. The problem is that no team bar Real Madrid has been consistent in Spain. Some interesting fixtures for sure this weekend. 

Serie MW 21

Milan travel to Venezia, Atalanta travel to Udinese, Napoli take on Sampdoria, Roma play Juventus, and Inter welcome Lazio. Another good chance this weekend for Milan to move back into the top spot. Inter and Atalanta were not involved during the week so if their games go ahead they will be raring to go. Roma lost to Milan during the week and face another tough test against Juventus with both teams not playing particularly well. Another interesting weekend of Italian football.

Bundesliga MW 18

The Bundesliga is back this weekend following their winter break. Bayern welcome Monchengladbach, Leipzig entertain Mainz, Leverkusen take on Union Berlin, Dortmund travel to Frankfurt, and Wolfsburg travel to Bochum. Bayern sit 9 points clear of Dortmund with Freiburg, and Leverkusen making up the top four. Frankfurt sit 6th in the table, and Leipzig sit 10th in the table. Bayern have already probably won the league at this stage because usually they steamroll teams in the 2nd half of the season. All the other teams can do is try and finish in the top four and hope that Bayern stumble at some point.

Ligue MW 20

Marseille travel to Bordeaux, Monaco travel to Nantes, and Lyon play PSG. PSG sit 13 points clear at the top of the table with Nice, Marseille, and Rennes making up the top four. Monaco sit 6th, Lille sit 8th, and Lyon sit 13th. Similar to the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 is a foregone conclusion and all the other teams are trying to do is finish in the European places. 

Chelsea 1 (4) vs. (3) 1 Aston Villa Carabao Cup 3rd Round Review

Getting good at penalties!

Chelsea took on Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge for a 3rd Round Carabao Cup tie. The Carabao Cup is a good opportunity for managers to rest players and give other players a chance to impress and this was what it was for Tuchel. Villa started the likes of El Ghazi, Buendia, Traore, Young, Cash, and some other players. Tuchel also rang the changes with Kepa remaining in goal, Reece James, Chalobah and Sarr as the three defenders and Hudson-Odoi, and Chilwell as the wing backs. Loftus-Cheek, Kante, and Saul started in midfield with Werner and Ziyech up front. It was a 3-5-2 formation and an opportunity for the likes of RLC, Sarr, Hudson-Odoi and Saul to get minutes and make an impression. 

Chelsea looked disjointed in the 1st half with all the players adjusting to playing with each other. Sarr looked off pace but Kepa looked dominant in his box while Reece James and Chalobah were very good as well. Hudson-Odoi was decent but nothing eye catching while Saul struggled with the tempo once again. Chilwell took some time to get going but he found his tempo while RLC looked like his old self. Loftus-Cheek was driving the ball forward and using his body well in the middle of he park. Ziyech was not great while Werner also seemed to lack some focus. 

Tuchel brought Mount on for Kante in the 2nd half and the half time talk seems to have worked for the players. There was much more cohesion in the final 3rd and Mount brought the energy to press from the front. The first goal came in the 54th minute as Reece James played a brilliant ball into the box and Werner headed Chelsea into the lead. A first goal of the season for the German and another assist for Reece James. Chelsea could have had another when Ziyech sent Werner through on goal but Werner’s shot just skimmed wide of the post. There were a couple more chances for Chelsea to add a 2nd but Villa held on. The equaliser for Villa came in the 64th minute as Cash delivered a brilliant ball for youngster Archer to head past Kepa. Kepa could not have done anything to save it as the ball found the top corner. Villa then piled some pressure on Chelsea but the Blues managed it well. Neither team could break the dead lock as the game headed to penalties.

Up first was El Ghazi who scored past Kepa. Lukaku got Chelsea’s first to make it 1-1. Young then hit the post while Mount scored to make it 2-1. Nakamba saw his penalty saved by Kepa while Barkley scored to make it 3-1. Konsa scored and Chilwell missed to make it 3-2, and Buendia scored along with Reece James to make it 4-3 and send Chelsea through to the next round. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Goalkeeper

Kepa had a very good game, he was vocal in his box and came out to catch crosses and distributed the ball well. The penalty save was also crucial as Chelsea went through. With Mendy out and possibly missing the City game along with the fact that Mendy will be missing during AFCON it is great to see that Kepa is a confident goalkeeper again and playing well. Very happy for him.

Defenders

Sarr did not have a great game in the back three and was very sloppy in possession. Chalobah had a good game and continues to show why he has been kept at Chelsea for this season. Reece James had a brilliant game and was probably the man of the match. James did not put a foot wrong the entire game and provided the assist for Werner’s goal. The match winning penalty as well, the defender looks very confident at the moment. Chilwell had a shaky first 45 but settled into it in the 2nd half and provided threat going forward as well. Hudson-Odoi was better in the 2nd half and put some good balls into the box but nothing eye catching once again. 

Midfielders

Kante had a good half while Saul suffered in the first 45. Just sloppy once again from the Spaniard as Villa look to be his bogey team. Loftus-Cheek had a good game and like I mentioned previously he does look like regaining that form he had under Sarri. RLC played deeper than he did back then but still provided the physicality and distribution needed in midfield along with being a threat up front. Barkley came on in the 2nd half and provided some energy. There was a misplaced pass but he drove back and made the tackle to retrieve the ball. Tuchel was happy with the output from him. 

Forwards

Ziyech did not have the best 45 but played better in the 2nd half when we started to show more energy in the final 3rd. Werner was the same but had a strong 2nd 45 and got the goal and probably should have had a few more. Lukaku came on in the 2nd half and his presence up front along with Werner’s pace allowed us to create more space for our midfield players to push forward and create chances. 

Manager

Tuchel saw Chelsea get the job done and would have been impressed by some of the performances on the pitch. Still much work to do and things that can be improved on but we rested several key players and progress in the competition. 

Next up is a visit by Manchester City on Saturday in a big Premier League clash. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Review

Some upsets!

Carabao Cup 3rd Round

Man City 6 vs. 1 Wycombe

Hanlan scored the first goal of the game in the 22nd minute to give Wycombe a surprise lead. It only seemed to wake City up and De Bruyne equalised in the 29th minute. Mahrez and Foden scored right before half time to make it 3-1. Mahrez, Torres and Palmer scored in the 2nd half to complete the win for City and progress to the next round. Simple.

Watford 1 vs. 3 Stoke City

Powell gave Stoke the lead in the 25th minute with Watford on the back foot. Fletcher equalised in the 61st minute for Watford but Stoke had other plans. Clucas, and Tymon scored in the final 10 minutes fo the game to get Stoke into the next round.

Fulham 0 (5) vs. (6) 0 Leeds

Leeds beat Fulham on penalties after a 0-0 game. Neither team was able to score over regular time but Leeds managed to score more penalties to go through. 

Burnley 4 vs. 1 Rochdale

Beesley scored in the 47th minute to give Rochdale a surprise lead in the 2nd half. The goal woke Burnley up and Jay Rodriguez scored 4 goals over the rest of the half to give Burnley a 4-1 win. Burnley continue to get wins in the Carabao Cup as they progress to the next round.

Norwich 0 vs. 3 Liverpool

Minamino scored in the 4th minute to give Liverpool the lead at Norwich. Origi scored in the 50th minute and Minamino got a 2nd in the 80th minute. A comprehensive win for Liverpool that takes them to the next round while Norwich can now focus on the league, and winning a game there.

Sheffield United 2 (2) vs. (4) 2 Southampton

Enda Stevens gave Sheffield United the lead in the 8th but Diallo equalised for Southampton in the 23rd minute. Salisu gave Southampton the lead in the 53rd minute but McBurnie equalised for Sheffield United in the 66th minute. The game ended in a draw and Southampton won the game on penalties. 

Brentford 7 vs. 0 Oldham Athletic

Brentford continue their positive start to the season as they put seven past Oldham. Forss got 4 goals, Wissa got 2, and Diarra scored an own goal. Brentford move on to the next round with a big win. 

Queens Park Rangers 2 (8) vs. (7) 2 Everton

Austin scored in the 18th minute to give QPR the lead. Digne equalised for Everton in the 30th minute. Austin regained the lead for QPR in the 34th minute. Townsend equalised for Everton in the 47th minute. The game went to penalties and after 6 perfect penalties QPR managed to score two more and Everton missed one to send the home team through. 

Brighton 2 vs. 0 Swansea

Connolly scored two goals in the first half to give Brighton a good lead and the Seagulls managed the game well for the win. Swansea had no reply.

Millwall 0 vs. 2 Leicester

Lookman scored in the 50th minute and Iheanacho scored right before full time to seal a good win for the foxes. 

Wolverhampton 2 (2) vs. (3) 2 Tottenham

Ndombele scored in the 14th minute to give Spurs the lead. Kane got a 2nd for Spurs in the 23rd minute. Dendoncker got one back for Wolves in the 38th minute and Podence equalised for Wolves in the 58th minute. The game headed to penalties where Spurs won it and progressed to the next round.

Man United 0 vs. 1 West Ham

Lanzini scored in the 9th minute to give West Ham the lead. United had several shots but none found West Ham’s goal and United were not able to rely on their individual brilliance because none were on the pitch. A good win for West Ham.

Arsenal 3 vs. 0 Wimbeldon

Lacazette scored a penalty in the 11th minute to give Arsenal the lead. Smith Rowe scored in the 77th minute and Nketiah scored in the 80th minute complete the win for Arsenal. The Gunners progress to the next round. 

La Liga MW 6

Atletico beat Getafe 1-2, Sevilla beat Valencia 3-1, Villarreal beat Elche 4-1, Real Madrid beat Mallorca 6-1, and Barcelona are yet to play. Real Madrid sit two points clear at the top of the table after a big win. Atletico sit 2nd with Sevilla 3rd and Valencia 4th. Sevilla have a game in hand. Villarreal move up to 11th. Barcelona sit 8th with two games in hand. Barcelona going through some issues on and off the pitch but the rest of La Liga is turning out to be a fun race. Ancelotti for sure has got Real Madrid firing. 

Serie MW 5

Inter beat Fiorentina 1-3, Atalanta beat Sassuolo 2-1, Juventus beat Spezia 2-3 to get their first win of the season, Milan beat Venezia 2-0. Napoli, Lazio, and Roma are yet to play. Inter and Milan stay top of the table while Napoli can go top with a win. Atalanta sit 4th and Roma sit 5th. Lazio are 8th while Juventus move up to 13th in the table. The race is an interesting one in Italy. 

Ligue MW 7

Monaco beat St.Etienne 3-1, Lille beat Reims 2-1, PSG left it late to beat Metz 1-2, Lyon beat Troyes 3-1, and Marseille drew with Angers 0-0. PSG go 7 points clear at the top of the table with Marseille sitting 2nd with a game in hand. Angers and Lens sit 3rd and 4th. Lyon sit 6th, Monaco move up to 13th while Lille sit 14th. Ligue 1 is all but over and Messi hasn’t even scored yet as PSG manage 7 wins in 7. 

Midweek Football Preview

League Cups!

Carabao Cup 3rd Round

Man City vs. Wycombe

The Carabao Cup should just be renamed the Man City cup as the holders once again embark on their journey to win their customary title. City just happen to win this trophy regardless of how the season goes. Wycombe sit 5th in League One having won 4 drawn 2 and lost 1. City sit 5th in the Premier League having won 3 drawn 1 and lost 1. City have not had the greatest start to the season especially given how well Chelsea, Liverpool, and United have done but this game should be no more than a formality for Pep and co. Wycombe have nothing to lose and will go into the game fighting. 

Watford vs. Stoke City

Watford sit 11th in the Premier League and beat Palace in the last round by a goal to nil. 2 wins and 3 losses to their name in the Premier League. Stoke beat Doncaster in the last round and sit 5th in the Championship. Stoke have won 4 drawn 2 and lost 2 this season in the league. This should be an even game although Watford were the better team last season between the two. The result could go either way but Stoke are in better form. 

Fulham vs. Leeds

Fulham beat Birmingham 2-0 in the last round and sit 2nd in the Championship having won 5 drawn 1 and lost 2 in the league so far. It’s been a great start for them this season. Leeds sit 17th in the Premier League this season and are yet to win a game. Leeds are no pushovers but they have some injuries and Fulham are the team in better form. I think Fulham might win this game. 

Burnley vs. Rochdale

Burnley sit 19th in the Premier League with no wins to their name. Burnley beat Newcastle on penalties in the last round. Rochdale sit 8th in League Two having won 3 drawn 3 and lost 2 of their games. Rochdale beat Shrewsburg 2-0 in the last round. Burnley should win this game and get their firs proper win of the season as I don’t see Rochdale getting an upset here. Rochdale have nothing to lose though.

Norwich vs. Liverpool

Norwich sit bottom of the Premier League with 5 straight losses but beat Bournemouth 6-0 in the last round as they welcome Liverpool. Liverpool sit 2nd in the Premier League and are looking like a dominant team once again. One can expect plenty of rotation from Klopp and co and while Norwich could cause an upset you can’t look past Liverpool winning this game.

Sheffield United vs. Southampton

Sheffield United sit 15th in the Championship having won 2 drawn 3 and lost 3 this season. The Blades beat Derby County 2-1 in the last round. Southampton sit 15th in the Premier League having drawn 4 and lost 1 this season. Southampton beat Newport 0-8 in the last round. Sheffield United could make life difficult for Southampton but I expect Hassenhutl and team to win this game. Broja to get a few goals. 

Brentford vs. Oldham Athletic

Brentford sit 9th in the Premier League and have had a stellar start to their campaign  as they take on Oldham who sit 24th in League Two with 1 win 1 draw and 6 losses. Oldham beat Accrington Stanley on penalties in the last round while Brentford beat Forest Green 3-1 in the last round. This should be a comfortable win for Brentford. 

Queens Park Rangers vs. Everton

QPR sit 8th in the Championship having won 3 drawn 3 and lost 2 as they take on Everton who sit 6th in the Premier League. QPR beat Oxford 2-0 in the last round while Everton beat Huddersfield 1-2 in the last round. Everton are the better team but Benitez might rotate and with QPR at home they will feel they have a chance of upsetting the odds. Everton should still win.

Brighton vs. Swansea

Brighton have had a stellar start to the Premier League season as they sit 4th and are playing well under Graham Potter. Brighton beat Cardiff 2-0 in the last round. Swansea sit 21st in the Championship and beat Plymouth Argyle 4-1 in the last round. Swansea are no where near their best this season and Brighton by far are the better team. This should be a routine win for Potter and co.

Millwall vs. Leicester

Millwall sit 18th in the Championship and beat Cambridge 3-1 in the last round as they take on Leicester who sit 12th in the Premier League. Leicester have not hit the ground running this season. A trip to Millwall is always tough especially with fans back in the stadium and an upset could be on the cards. Leicester have too much quality though and should at least go into the game as favourites. 

Wolverhampton vs. Tottenham

Nuno takes on his former team once again as Wolves welcome Tottenham. Wolves beat Nottingham Forest 4-0 in the last round and sit 16th in the Premier League while Tottenham sit 7th in the Premier League. The two teams have already played each other with Spurs winning 0-1. It was a far from convincing performance though and Spurs have since had back to back 3-0 losses. Wolves have played well but have not managed to score and so have not won games. An interesting fixture that could go either way. 

Man United vs. West Ham

United sit 3rd while West Ham sit 8th in the Premier League. West Ham suffered their first loss of the season to United during the weekend while United have already lost a game to Young Boys this season. The Carabao Cup is probably Ole’s easiest path to a trophy this season and being at home they should win this game. Antonio will be eligible for this game and West Ham will want some redemption after their result at the weekend. A fun game is expected but United are favourites.

Arsenal vs. Wimbeldon

Arsenal sit 13th in the Premier League and have two successive wins to their name as they take on Wimbledon who sit 7th in League One. Wimbledon beat Northampton 1-0 in the last round but Arsenal should be a step too far for them. 

La Liga MW 6

Atletico travel to Getafe, Sevilla play Valencia, Villarreal entertain Elche, Real Madrid welcome Mallorca, and Barcelona travel to Cadiz. La Liga continues to chug on during the week and it is looking like an entertaining title race. Every team bar Real is looking to bounce back after draws during the weekend. 

Serie MW 5

Inter travel to Fiorentina, Atalanta take on Sassuolo, Juventus travel to Spezia, Milan entertain Venezia, Napoli travel to Sampdoria, Lazio take on Torino, and Roma welcome Udinese. The rest of the teams are playing catchup to Inter and Milan while the big question is whether Juventus can finally win a game.

Ligue MW 7

Monaco welcome St.Etienne, Lille take on Reims, PSG travel to Metz, Lyon welcome Troyes, and Marseille take on Angers. Ligue 1 seems like a foregone conclusion at the moment. PSG are clear and the challengers are all abysmally poor. 

Midweek Football Review

Some very interesting results. 

Premier League MW 22

Sheffield United 2 vs. 1 West Brom

Phillips scored in the 41st minute to give West Brom a lead and it looked like the gap would open up from Sheffield United. Bogle though equalised in the 56th minute for the Blades and Billy Sharp got a win for Sheffield United in the 73rd minute. Sheffield United go to within a point of West Brom but both remain 19th and 20th with Sheffield United 11 points from safety. 

Wolverhampton 2 vs. 1 Arsenal

Pepe scored in the 32nd minute during what was a dominate half for the Gunners up until the Luiz red card. It was a massive VAR decision though with Luiz barely having touched Willian Jose but since he didn’t make a proper challenge it was red for some reason. Either way Neves stepped up and equalised before half time. Moutinho then gave Wolves the lead in the 49th minute with what was the goal of the season probably an absolute screamer from outside the box. Leno was sent off for Arsenal in the 72nd minute after coming out of the box and punching the ball for a throw in with Traore chasing it. It was foolish and no one really knows what he was doing. Wolves remain 14th in the table while Arsenal remain 10th in the table. 

Man United 9 vs. 0 Southampton

Debutant Jankewitz got a red card for Southampton in the 2nd minute and it was curtains after that. Wan Bissaka, Rashford, Bednarek own goal, Cavani, Martial double, McTominay, Fernandes penalty, and Daniel James all scored a total of 9 goals over the next 88 minutes with Bednarek also being sent off for Southampton in the 86th minute. The Bednarek decision has been reversed and arguably the scoreline could have been limited to 6-0 if he had stayed on the pitch. United remain 2nd 3 points behind City while Southampton suffer a 9-0 defeat once again and drop down to 12th after losing their last 4 games. 

Newcastle 1 vs. 2 Crystal Palace

Shelvey scored in the 2nd minute but Riedewald and Cahill scored in the 21st and 25th minute to give Palace a lead. Palace held onto the lead over the next part of the game to get 3 big points. Newcastle drop into 16th in the table while Palace remain 13th in the table. 

Burnley 0 vs. 2 Man City

Jesus scored in the 3rd minute and Sterling added a 2nd in the 38th minute as City got another routine win against Burnley. Burnley drop down to 17th in the table after 2 losses in a row while City remain top of the table with a game in hand. 

Fulham 0 vs. 2 Leicester

Iheanacho scored in the 17th minute while Justin scored in the 44th minute to seal a simple win for Leicester. Fulham remain 18th in the table 8 points from safety while Leicester move back into 3rd as they return to winning ways. 

Leeds 1 vs. 2 Everton

Sigurdsson scored in the 9th minute to give Everton the lead while Calvert-Lewin got another in the 41st minute. Raphinha got one back for Leeds in the 48th minute but Everton held on for 3 big points. Leeds actually move one up into 11th thanks to goal difference while Everton move up into 7th with 2 games in hand. 

Aston Villa 1 vs. 3 West Ham

After what was a tight 1st half the game went crazy in the 2nd with several goals. Soucek got West Ham the lead in the 51st minute, while Lingard made it 2 in the 56th minute. Watkins got one back for Villa in the 81st minute but Lingard scored a 2nd on his debut for West Ham in the 83rd minute to get 3 big points for West Ham. Villa remain 9th in the table while West Ham remain 5th in the table 2 points behind Liverpool. 

Liverpool 0 vs. 1 Brighton

Alzate got the only goal of the game in the 56th minute and that was for Brighton as Liverpool’s good run of two wins came to a crashing end. Liverpool looked clueless in attack and their defence continues to leak in goals. Liverpool drop down to 4th as they struggle while Brighton continue their great run as they climb up to 15th in the table. 

Copa Del Rey Quarter-Finals

Sevilla beat Almeria 0-1, Levante beat Villarreal 1-0, Barcelona beat Granada 3-5 in extra time during what was a chaotic game with several goals, while Bilbao beat Betis on penalties. Barcelona and Sevilla should be favourites to reach the semi final but Villarreal will be the big team to drop out of this round. 

Coppa Italia Semi-Finals 1st Leg

Juventus beat Inter 1-2 in the 1st leg while Atalanta and Napoli drew 0-0. Two games finely poised for the 2nd leg but Juventus will have the away goal advantage against Inter. 

DFB Pokal 3rd Round

Essen beat Leverkusen 2-1 in a massive upset, Dortmund beat Paderborn 3-2, Wolfsburg beat Schalke 1-0, Leipzig beat Bochum 4-0, and Monchengladbach beat Stuttgart 1-2. Apart from Leverkusen the top teams all move onto the next round of the tournament. 

Ligue MW 23

Lille beat Bordeaux 0-3, Lyon beat Dijon 0-1, Monaco beat Nice 2-1, PSG beat Nimes 3-0. Lille remain 2 points above Lyon at the top of the table. PSG and Monaco sit 3rd and 4th in the table. Ligue 1 continues to entertain with teams around PSG finally stepping up with some consistency. 

Midweek Football Preview

Some big games!

Premier League MW 22

Sheffield United vs. West Brom

Relegation zone game between 20th and 19th, a win for the Blades would take them within a point of West Brom but West Brom have a game in hand. A win for West Brom would leave Sheffield United with a mountain to climb. Its a massive game for both teams and the game could go either way. The reverse fixture was a 1-0 win for West Brom. 

Wolverhampton vs. Arsenal

Wolves have been horrible as they sit 14th in the table while Arsenal sit 10th and are on an unbeaten streak going into this game. Arsenal should win this based on current form but Wolves have to start winning games. It will be tough for Arsenal to break Wolves down so I think this could be a draw. The reverse fixture was a 1-2 win for Wolves. 

Man United vs. Southampton

11th placed Southampton have lost their last 3 while Manchester United have not won in 2 as the two teams go head to head. This game could go either way with both manager’s capable of a win. The two teams also need to win in their own contexts. The reverse fixture was a 2-3 win for Manchester United. 

Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace

15th placed Newcastle finally managed to win a game in the weekend as they take on 13th placed Palace who also managed to win. A game between two teams that have found respite over the weekend and it will be interesting to see which team will back that up with another win. Newcastle won the reverse fixture 0-2. 

Burnley vs. Man City

16th placed Burnley lost to Chelsea during the weekend and now they take on leaders Man City who are in brilliant form at the moment. City should win this game game but Burnley will make it hard and it would be a big win for them if they mange a point. Man City won the reverse fixture 5-0. 

Fulham vs. Leicester

18th placed Fulham take on 4th placed Leicester and based on current form this should be a draw. Fulham can’t seem to win a game but they really do know how to draw them while Leicester have fallen off the railroad in recent games. Leicester are looking to bounce back but Fulham are decent at the moment. The reverse fixture was a 1-2 win for Fulham. 

Leeds vs. Everton

12th placed Leeds are in good form as they take on 8th placed Everton who are struggling to win games over the last week. Leeds impressively beat Leicester during the weekend and seem to have found their energy again while Everton look like the opposite. Leeds won the reverse fixture 0-1. 

Aston Villa vs. West Ham

9th placed Villa take on 5th placed West Ham with both the teams in good form heading into this game. West Ham will be looking to bounce back after a poor loss to Liverpool while Villa are looking to build a run of form after their win during the weekend. A win for Villa would take them level on points with West Ham further opening up the race for top four. West Ham won the reverse fixture 2-1. 

Liverpool vs. Brighton

Liverpool sit 3rd in the table and are looking to head back to the top as they take on 17th placed Brighton who beat Spurs during the weekend. The reverse fixture was a 1-1 draw but based on what I have seen of Liverpool in recent games this should be a straightforward win for the home team, regardless of how well Brighton play. 

Copa Del Rey Quarter-Finals

Sevilla take on Almeria, Villarreal travel to Levante, Barcelona travel to Granada, and Real Betis take on Bilbao. Sevilla, Villarreal, and Barcelona should get through to the semis with either of Bilbao and Betis joining them. 

Coppa Italia Semi-Finals 1st Leg

Inter take on Juventus while Napoli take on Atalanta in the 1st legs of the Coppa Italia semi-finals. It’s all to play or and no one really knows which team could go through. 1st legs are always cagey affairs but expect the away teams to try to make a mark. 

DFB Pokal 3rd Round

Leverkusen travel to Essen, Dortmund entertain Paderborn, Wolfsburg take on Schalke, Leipzig entertain VFL Bochum, and Monchengladbach travel to Stuttgart among other games. The top teams should progress to the next round with no real hurdles in sight for now. 

Ligue MW 23

Lille travel to Bordeaux, Lyon travel to Dijon, Monaco take on Nice, PSG entertain Nimes, and Lens take on Marseille. PSG are looking to bounce back from their loss at the weekend while the rest are looking to remain in the race. Marseille will hope that they can resume playing games after some turbulent events at the club during the weekend. 

Midweek Football Review

Liverpool’s Anfield dominance comes to an end.

Premier League (Games in hand)

West Ham 2 vs. 1 West Brom

Bowen scored right before half time to give West Ham the lead, but Pereira West Brom back into this game in the 51st minute. Antonio then scored the winner in the 66th minute to seal three points for West Ham. West Ham move into 7th 2 points behind 4th placed Liverpool while West Brom remain 19th 6 points from safety. 

Man City 2 vs. 0 Aston Villa

After a very close game Bernardo Silva, and Gundogan got goals late on to take the points for City and continue their run of form. City were fortunate due to VAR though with some weird rules coming into play but they got the points. City remain 2nd in the table with 38 points and a game in hand 2 points behind United. Villa drop into 11th but have 3 games in hand over the teams around them. 

Fulham 1 vs. 2 Man United

Lookman scored in the 5th minute to give Fulham the lead and Fulham created several more chances with RLC dominating play but they couldn’t finish those chances off. Cavani then equalised in the 21st minute and Pogba scored a brilliant winner in the 65th minute as United yet again managed to get a win by a goal coming back form a losing position. Fulham remain 18th 5 points behind Brighton with a game in hand. United remain top of the table by 2 points but City have a game in hand. 

Liverpool 0 vs. 1 Burnley

Liverpool entered the game having not scored in their last 3 and Burnley looked to frustrate and manage a point. Ashley Barnes scored a penalty in the 83rd minute and Dyche and co managed to hold on for 3 massive points. Liverpool’s unbeaten run comes to an end as they fall well short of Chelsea’s 86 game record. Liverpool have now gone 4 games without a goal in the league and haven’t scored this year. Liverpool remain 4th and 6 points from the top with several tough games coming up. Burnley move up to 16th 7 points clear of the relegation zone, with a game in hand. 

FA Cup 3rd Round

Southampton 2 vs. 0 Shrewsbury

N’Lundulu scored in the 1st half while Ward-Prowse got a goal before full time as Southampton won comfortably against Shrewsbury to reach the next round of the FA Cup. 

La Liga MW 19

Sevilla beat Alaves 1-2, Villarreal drew with Granada 2-2, Valencia drew with Osasuna 1-1, and Atletico came back to beat Eibar 1-2. Atletico go 7 points clear at the top with a game in hand over some. Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Villarreal make up the top four while Sevilla are 5th level on points with Villarreal, with a game in hand. Atletico driving forward at the moment with no one there to stop them. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 32

Real Sociedad beat Cordoba 0-2, Alcoyano beat Real Madrid 2-1 in a shocking result with Zidane under even more pressure now. Barcelona beat Cornella 0-2 but had to fight hard. Real Madrid dumped out but the rest are all around for the next round. 

Serie (Games in hand)

Atalanta drew with Udinese 1-1 in their game in hand. Atalanta go level on points with Juventus with Juventus still having a game in hand. 

Coppa Italia Round of 16

Spezia beat Roma 2-4 in a surprise win, and Lazio beat Parma 2-1. Bar Roma this sets up an entertaining Quarter-Final round. 

Bundesliga MW 17

Monchengladbach beat Werder Bremen 1-0, Leverkusen beat Dortmund 2-1, Bayern beat Augsburg 0-1, Leipzig beat Union Berlin 1-0. Bayern stay 4 points clear at the top of the table with Leipzig behind them. Leverkusen sit 3rd while Dortmund sit 4th in the table. Monchengladbach sit 7th in the table. Bayern still dominating proceedings but the teams around them are still within touching distance. 

Ligue (Games in hand)

Lens beat Marseille 0-1 with Marseille’s good start at the beginning of the season having left them in recent games. Marseille still have a game in hand.