All posts by Jonathan Abraham

Sheffield United annihilate Chelsea as they vie for European competition

Heading into the match, Chelsea were in third place with hopes of keeping their Champions League spot. You couldn’t tell that with their lethargic performance as they got shutout by hosts Sheffield United, 3-0.

The Blues had most of the ball during the first half, with 76 percent of the possession. However, it was The Blades who were able to capitalise on their chances.

Sheffield United got on the board first courtesy of David McGoldrick’s first Premier League goal. After Oliver McBurnie’s volley was deflected by Ross Barkley and Reece James, and ultimately saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga, the 32-year-old was left wide open and found the back of the net.

 

Fifteen minutes later, in the 33rd-minute, the Blades extended their lead courtesy of McBurnie continued his excellent performance with a header after receiving a cross from Enda Stevens.

 

After very little action in the second half, Sheffield United pounced on a mistake by the Chelsea defense in the 77th-minute. Substitute Antonio Rudiger got caught up and couldn’t clear the ball, which led to McGoldrick having an easy chance for his second goal of the day.

 

Sheffield United moved into sixth place and next travel to Leicester City on Thursday. Chelsea, meanwhile, face the recently relegated Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

See the updated Premier League Table in link below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/

 

Orlando City score late-winner against Inter Miami on MLS return

It had been exactly four months since the last MLS game, when LAFC and the Philadelphia Union battled it out for a 3-3 draw. This season was supposed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the league but it turned out to be a disaster courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the league’s first match in 122 days, Orlando City were able to beat their in-state rivals, Inter Miami, 2-1. This was the first MLS match between two teams from Florida since May 26, 2001, when the Miami Fusion annihilated the Tampa Bay Mutiny 4-0 in Tampa.

The first half for both clubs was rather scrappy but it gave a chance to shake off the rust after not being able to play a competitive match since March. It was The Lions, however, that seemed to look sharper throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Two minutes after the start of the second half, Victor Ulloa delivered a brilliant cross to Juan Agudelo, who was able to find the back of the net. 

 

However, things took a turn for the worse for The Herons as they lost one of their defender’s in a scary moment. 

Miami’s Andrés Reyes collided with Orlando’s Dom Dwyer, a former youth player for Norwich City, Staines Town, and King’s Lynn, in the 51st-minute. This caused the Colombian international to have shortness of breath and had to leave the match on a stretcher.

After the match resumed, Orlando City were able to level the score at 1-1 in the 70th-minute, when Nani crossed the ball to Chris Mueller, who was able to score despite the ball touching goalkeeper Luis Robles’ hands.

 

With 10 minutes of extra-time added on due to Reyes’ injury, The Lions were able to take advantage.  Nani, who has won several trophies with Sporting CP, Manchester United, and the Portuguese national team, was able to score in the seventh minute of stoppage time to seal the victory for the hosts. 

 

Although the circumstances are not ideal with the games being played with in front of an empty field at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, fans can be excited to have soccer back in North America. In fact, the MLS has the privilege to be the first men’s pro sports league to return.

See full report on the NWSL return below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/27/north-carolina-courage-defeat-portland-thorns-in-opening-match-of-nwsl-challenge-cup/

Chelsea escape Crystal Palace in five-goal thriller

As Chelsea entered the Selhurst Park Stadium, they had a chance to put pressure on teams around them in the standings with a win today. The Blues were ultimately able to squeeze by with a narrow 3-2 away victory over Crystal Palace.

In the early stages of the match, Olivier Giroud scored from the center of the box after receiving a pass from Willian. The chance occurred after Gary Cahill fell to the ground, causing the Brazilian to move freely with the ball in order to find the Frenchman.

 

Twenty-one minutes after Chelsea opened up the scoresheet, Christian Pulisic continued his hot start and found the back of the net. That was the young American’s third goal in five Premier League appearances since the restart.

 

The Eagles, however, would get a goal back in the 34th-minute after Wilfried Zaha unleashed a rocket that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had no chance of saving.

 

Palace, subsequently started the second half strongly, until the substitutions of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham in the 65th-minute changed the complexion of the match. 

Six minutes after entering the pitch, the substitutes collaborated for Chelsea’s third goal as Loftus-Cheek passed the ball to Abraham, who was able to notch his first goal in quite some time.

 

The Blues two-goal lead was short lived after Christian Benteke was not only left unmarked but had an empty net after the defense was focusing on Patrick van Aanholt.

 

Palace had several chances in the end to get a point out of this match, including a header from Scott Dann in the fifth minute of extra time. However, luck was not on their side and the shot came off the post and was ultimately cleared.

Overall, The Blues were able to possess 58 percent of ball throughout the match, while also having 14 shots (6 on goal). On the other side, The Eagles had 13 shots in total, four of which were on goal.

Chelsea, who have now accumulated 60 points this season, will look to keep their Champions League spot this Saturday as they travel to Sheffield United. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, will visit Aston Villa on Sunday.

See the updated Premier League table below in link below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/

 

Chelsea bounce back from mid-week disappointment to defeat Watford

After suffering a surprising loss in the London Derby at West Ham United, Chelsea cruised past Watford with a 3-0 victory to keep a Champions League spot.

The Blues, who held most of the possession during the game, were able to get on the scoresheet first in the 28th-minute. After Ross Barkley received the ball from Mason Mount, he sent a through ball to Olivier Giroud, who used his left foot to find the bottom right corner of the goal.

 

Fourteen minutes later, Christian Pulisic made a nice run into the penalty area, where he was able to draw a foul from Watford midfielder, Etienne Capoue. Willian was then able to convert from the spot for his ninth goal of the season, his second penalty conversion in as many games.

 

After Chelsea ended the first half up two against The Hornets, both teams were unable to capitalize on any of their chances throughout the second half. That was until the second minute of injury time when Barkley found the back net, solidifying his man-of-the-match performance. 

 

The South-London club handled this game with ease, having 70 percent of the possession while taking 21 shots, with nine of them on target. Their counterparts suffered throughout this match, especially on the offensive side, with only seven shots taken (three on target). 

Chelsea will look to maintain their spot in the top four on Tuesday when they travel to Crystal Palace. Watford, meanwhile, will try to avoid relegation when they host fellow strugglers Norwich City at Vicarage Road.

See Premier League table below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/

West Ham upset Chelsea in London Derby thriller

One team had wins in every match since the restart. The other had not received a single point.  It was the underdog, West Ham United that was able to come away with the three points against an in-form Chelsea side, securing a crucial 3-2 victory.

The Blues dominated the possession game in the beginning of the first half, but The Hammers were the first ones to have a threatening chance. 

Off a corner kick, the home team had thought they had taken the lead courtesy of Tomas Soucek. Ultimately though, VAR denied the goal after Michail Antonio was caught offside.

In the 41st-minute, Christian Pulisic was able to win Chelsea a penalty after Issa Diop conceded a foul in the penalty area. Willian was then able to convert from the spot to take the 1-0 lead.

The lead, however, was short-lived after Antonio Rüdiger made a terrible mistake and gave West Ham a corner. The home team capitalised on the chance and Soucek found the back of the net again, this time without any interference from VAR.

 

Six minutes into the second-half, West Ham were able to take the lead thanks to a goal from Antonio. After trying to draw a penalty, the Englishman bounced right back up and got his shot right past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. 

 

Later in the half, Pulisic won a free kick in the attacking half after a great run, which caused former Chelsea Academy product, Declan Rice, to receive a yellow card. Willian was then able to score directly off the free kick to draw The Blues level at 2-2. 

 

All signs pointed toward a draw between the two sides from London. Substitute Andriy Yarmolenko, however, had other ideas. On a fast break, Antonio was able to find the Ukrainian, who finished his chance with ease in the 89th-minute.  This secured a a potentially priceless win for The Hammers.

 

The victory helps West Ham move up one spot in the standings as they try to avoid relegation, heading to St. James’ Park on Sunday to take on Newcastle.

Chelsea, meanwhile, who could have taken sole possession of third place after Leicester City’s loss at Everton, will now fight to keep a Champions League spot at home on Saturday against Watford.

See the table below.

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/