Tag Archives: Manchester City

WSL Update: Chelsea’s title to lose?

The Blues took what appears to be a giant step towards the title against London rivals Arsenal last time out. 

New Australian signing Sam Kerr scored her first goal for the club as Chelsea scored three times in 20 minutes at the home of the defending champions on their way to a 4-1 victory.

Emma Hayes’ side now have a game in hand over their title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal and are just a point further back in third.

At the other end of the table meanwhile Liverpool finally got their first victory of the season to leapfrog Bristol City.

The reds secured a 1-0 victory over the West-Midlands side thanks to a 13thminute strike from their new signing, Rachel Furness.

Both the Manchester clubs also won, Manchester City kept their title hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over Birmingham City.

Ellen White scored against her old club in just the first minute of the match and midfielder Keira Walsh completed the scoring with a strike from the edge of the area.

Manchester United’s captain, Katie Zelem scored twice as the red devils got the better of Tottenham Hotspur, emerging 3-0 winners.

Elsewhere, Chloe Kelly scored a hat trick as Everton beat Reading 3-1 to secure their first victory in four matches and Alisha Lehmann’s two late goals helped West Ham come from behind to beat Brighton 2-1.

Matchday Previews and Predictions

Sunday 2ndFebruary

Liverpool vs Birmingham City (Kick-off 12pm)

Vicky Jepson’s Liverpool team have enjoyed a revival of late by winning three of their last five games in all competitions. They also secured their first league win of the campaign against fellow strugglers Bristol City.  They also put eight goals past Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.

Birmingham City by contrast have lost four of their past five games and are currently only a point and a place ahead of Liverpool.

The Blues however did win the reverse fixture back in October 2-0 thanks to goals from their captain Kerys Harrop and Lucy Staniforth.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-0

We fancy Liverpool to continue their recent impressive run and secure their second victory of the season. 

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Everton (2pm)

Everton have won their past two games in all competitions after suffering back to back 3-1 defeats against both Arsenal and Manchester City.  The Toffees currently sit fifth in the table and just goal difference separates them from Manchester United above them in fourth.

Brighton meanwhile could certainly do with a win to ease their regelation concerns, Hope Powell’s team are currently only three points off the bottom. Since beating Liverpool 1-0 at home at the start of January the Seagulls have lost their last three league matches.

Prediction: Brighton 1-0

The Seagulls are under pressure to get a result and we think with home advantage they have what it takes to cause an upset. 

Chelsea vs West Ham United (2pm)

The Blues are flying at the moment, having beaten the defending champions Arsenal last time out they have also secured their place in the Continental Tyres Cup Final by beating Manchester United in the week.

The London side also find themselves in prime position for the WSL title with a game in hand and their two title rivals playing against each other this weekend.

The Hammers’ form has been very up and down in recent weeks and they have also never beaten their London rivals in four previous encounters.  They did however manage to get a 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture last season.

Prediction: Chelsea 4-0

We anticipate another comprehensive Chelsea victory.

Manchester City vs Arsenal (2pm)

This is certainly the game of the weekend.  The match also marks Nick Cushing’s final game in charge of Manchester City before he heads off to become Assistant Manager of New York City FC.

The sides met in mid-week with Arsenal emerging victorious in their Continental Tyres Cup Semi-final 2-1 to secure a place in the final against Chelsea at the Nottingham Forest City Ground at the end of next month.

Not only is it the Manchester City manager’s final game in charge, this match certainly has huge ramifications for both teams in terms of their title chances.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-2

We are just giving the edge to Manchester City due to home advantage and the fact that it is their manager’s last game in charge.  Anticipating an open game with plenty of goals.

Reading vs Manchester United (2pm)

Both of these sides have suffered two defeats in their last three games.  Manchester United in particular have gone out of two-cup competitions in the space of a few days to Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

The Royals meanwhile have lost their last two league games against Arsenal and Everton, however they were both away from home. They did win their last home match against Birmingham City 1-0 thanks to a goal from Amalie Eikeland.

The Red Devils secured a 2-0 win when the sides met back at the end of October.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-0

We think that Casey Stoney’s Manchester United will bounce back from their recent disappointments in this one. 

Tottenham Hotspur vs Bristol City (2pm)

The final match sees Spurs hosting bottom side Bristol City.  The London side won emerged victorious in the only encounter between the sides earlier this season in a hard fought 2-1 win.

Bristol City’s form has improved in recent weeks as they have won three of their past five matches including a 1-0 win against Manchester United.

Tottenham Hotspur however have lost three of their past four games, but their one victory did come at home against fellow London side West Ham.

Prediction: Tottenham 3-1

We believe that Tottenham will come away with the three points. 

 

 

Should the FA Cup replay’s be scrapped?

Following the New Meadow 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury and Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp stated his first team players, nor himself, would appear in the replay back at Anfield.

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Shrewsbury’s Jason Cumming’s scored the equaliser on Sunday to take the tie back to Merseyside.

Since Klopp’s arrival to the Premier League he has shown no happiness towards the busy December period and the replay format of the cup, it seems he believes the players are requested to play too often, hindering their physical capability and lack of recovery time. Despite this, his team way ahead at the top of the Premier League do not seem to be suffering on the whole. A factor which is potentially being interpreted as ignorance when their competition is from the lower leagues who play more games than those in the top division with remarkably less money and resources.

A recent discussion on BBC Radio 5 Live heard how Great Britain hockey star Samantha Quek argued the FA Cup replay’s should be scrapped and the format should be changed to two separate pots of Premier League and Championship teams and another of the lower divisions. A disgruntled Tranmere fan was on the phone to explain how much the FA cup meant to a lower league team, not just financially but sentimentally, and rightfully so.

The FA Cup ties and replays are renowned for bringing extra revenue to smaller clubs which can become a vital input for changes that Premier League clubs do not have to think twice about. Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts explained how the money from the return trip to Anfield would allow for improved drainage of the pitch and cameras for analysis to be used in games. Something Premier League regulars may take for granted.

The FA Cup allows for extra distribution of money which is circulated within English football, vitally this money can reach the lucky lower league teams who make it through the rounds. But it is also the importance of sentiment that the cup brings. For a supporter, the FA cup can be a magical occasion and allows for that chance to visit a Premier League ground to watch their team play against some the world’s greats. Similarly for a player, who may have finished a day working, to then take to the stage lined up against world famous players, a great euphoric feeling which can’t be replicated.

Yes, the Premier league may be tasking for players who play a higher standard week in week out, but they are professional. Their clubs, if anything out of respect, should participate thoroughly in an FA Cup game as if it was any other game.

Will Liverpool make it unbeaten?

As of their recent fixture against Sheffield United, Liverpool completed a full calendar year unbeaten in the Premier League and with performances like Thursday’s, their run looks set to continue.

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A fimilar image; Liverpool’s front three celebrate another Premier League goal.

Nothing but admiration is what has to been given to Liverpool’s perfomances of late, whether it has been a goal fest as such against Mersyside neighbours Everton or a 1-0 against a valiant Wolverhampton. Liverpool’s football has been mature and is evidence of 4 years of Jurgen Klopp’s management and timely building of what can be suggested to be a world class team.

The front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah have been poignant to the Red’s success in front of goal but this season, but its been clear the rest of the team are just as important. Working from the back, Virgil Van Dijk has been at the heart of their defence. Advantageous to the team, Van Dijk’s height to reach defensive headers and composure when passing out from the back under pressure, is a massive part of his game and why he is a world renowned defender.

What is particular about the Liverpool team is their knowledge of spatial awareness with passes and even clearances nearly always find man in red helping to maximise possession. Aswell, as passing their way through teams, Liverpool boast the talent of their two first choice full backs in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. Their crosses into the penalty area have become staple to the team’s goal scoring opportunities with both players continuing to rack up their personal assists.

It can be argued Liverpool’s success has been formulated from all aspects of their play and management and a new culture brought in by Klopp since his arrival. This season has also seen them be able to cope with absentees of Lovren and Matip in defence due quality in the depths of their sqaud. Which can be contrasted to league rivals Manchester City who have not had an as simple season as reigning champions. Aymeric Laporte’s injury early in the season has made him exempt for the majority of City’s games and their results show they have not been able to cope as well as the City fans would have wanted. Consequently seeing them fall further and further behind League leaders Liverpool.

There is a feeling this is already Liverpool’s year and 13 points ahead it is difficult to see where 4 defeats would come from, even if Liverpool are prevented of an invincible title its hard to see them not lifting the Premier League trophy come spring.

WSL Update: Gameweek eight review and week nine preview

Arsenal break top-flight winning margin, the Hammers earn dramatic victory and the Royals secure last minute draw

 The Gunners were in phenomenal form last weekend, securing a record 11-1 victory over struggling Bristol City at Meadow Park. 

 Dutch record goal scorer, Vivianne Miedema, played a pivotal role in the outcome of the game by scoring six times and provided four assists.

 This result moves Arsenal to the top of the table, level on points with Manchester City, who secured a 1-0 win over bottom side Liverpool thanks to a headed goal from former reds captain, Gemma Bonner.

Fellow title contenders Chelsea meanwhile had their game with Everton postponed due to a frozen pitch meaning that they dropped to third.  A date for the rearranged match is yet to be confirmed.

Reading meanwhile secured a dramatic draw with Hope Powell’s Brighton thanks to a goal from their midfielder Remi Allen, who converted the last kick of the match in a goalmouth scramble that secured a 2-2 draw for the Royals.

There was also drama in West Ham’s match with Manchester United.  The Hammers overturned a 2-1 deficit to secure a 3-2 victory at their Rush Green Stadium. Two free kicks in the last ten minutes from German midfielder Katharina Baunach helped complete a thrilling comeback.

The final game of the round saw Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City play out a 1-1 draw at the Blues’ Damson Park Stadium. Abbi Grant gave the midlands club the lead in the first half before the North London side hit back through Kit Graham, 17 minutes from time that earned Spurs their first top flight draw.

Gameweek nine preview: Sunday 8th December

Chelsea vs Manchester City (Kick-Off 12:00) – Match on TV BT Sport 3

Undoubtedly the match of the weekend, only two points and one place separates these two sides heading into this encounter.

Emma Hayes’ blues are currently the only unbeaten team in the league while Manchester City have only lost once in the league all season.

The last four league meetings between these two teams have ended in draws, with Chelsea needing a 89thminute goal from So-yun Ji in the last match between the sides, to secure a 2-2 draw at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium.

Prediction: Draw 1-1

Think this will be a high quality match, both sides are in terrific form heading into this one but we predict that the encounter will ultimately end up as a draw. Both teams will be happy with at this stage.

Manchester United vs Everton (12:00)

Both of these sides have met once already this season with Casey Stoney’s Manchester United winning 3-0 on that occasion in the WSL Cup.  They have also both enjoyed decent starts to the campaign, just three points currently separates Everton in fourth from Manchester United in fifth.

The Red Devils however have been very strong at home this season having only lost on one occasion in all competitions and that was against defending champions Arsenal.

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 win

Anticipating a much tighter match than their only previous meeting in the cup, we think that United will just come out on top in this one due to their strong home form so far this season.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Brighton & Hove Albion (14:00)

This is the first time either of these sides have met in the Women Super League and both are coming into this game not in the best of form, having drawn against Birmingham City and Reading respectively last time out.

Tottenham have only won once at home all season and that was against bottom side Liverpool in their first home match of the campaign, while Brighton has not won an away match all season.

Prediction: Tottenham 2-0 win

I fancy Spurs to get back to winning ways.

Liverpool vs West Ham United (14:00)

Last season the reds did the league double over the Hammers and the Merseyside club desperately need a win to kick-start their campaign.  They put in an improved display against Manchester City in their last match and could of perhaps nicked something.

The Hammers meanwhile have been very up and down this season, reflected by their current league position of eight. They did secure an important 3-2 win against Manchester United last weekend.

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 win

I have a feeling that the Vicky Jepson’s side will finally secure that elusive first win of the campaign in this one.

Reading vs Arsenal (14:30)

Reading has never beaten the Gunners in their seven encounters with the current champions. The Royals however did manage a draw in the corresponding fixture last season, 0-0.

Kelly Chambers’ team will however be forgiven for approaching this match with trepidation having witnessed the Gunners put 11 past a struggling Bristol City team last weekend.

They will particularly have to keep an eye on the leagues’ current top scorer, Vivianne Miedema if they hope to get anything from this match.

Prediction: Arsenal 4-1 win

Predicting a comfortable victory for the league leaders.

Bristol City vs Birmingham City (15:00)

Both sides are heading into this match short on confidence and are struggling near the bottom of the table.

Tanya Oxtoby’s west midlands team in particular will still be recovering from their record defeat against the Gunners last time out.

The Blues meanwhile are fairing slightly better and do have a good record against Bristol City having won four of their five encounters, however the Robins only victory over Birmingham did come earlier this year.

Prediction: Birmingham City 2-0 win

I think that Bristol City will still not have fully recovered from their heavy defeat to Arsenal last weekend and anticipating the blues to come away with the points.

Amazon prime: a new era for football broadcasting?

As Amazon Prime Video broadcast their first Premier League games this week, is this a preview of things to come?

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Not your usual delivery! Amazon take on new Premier League broadcasting deal.

In an agreed 3 year deal, Amazon are set to start out their football broadcasting career with December’s fixtures. This strategic deal comes with aim of the company to see an influx of new customers during the busiest time of the year. For the already members of Amazon Prime, they will benefit from watching for free whereas new customers can enjoy a free trial, with follow up prices at the beginning of permament membership set to increase. A free trial period is a risk taken by operators at Amazon in hope that people will follow up their subscriptions.

If this is the way football media is heading, the effects could be very damaging in terms of reducing live match day attendances. As the variety of subscription services are increasing, it is likely football fans will already subscribe to at least one of the major sports broadcasters in Sky Sports, BT Sport or now Amazon. Alongside the current expense of travelling to away games especially, could this be another factor to prevent football fans from travelling away?

If this is to be the case, in the next ten years there could be rapid change in how the game operates. Football’s commercialisation is continually on the up rise – meaning football clubs always have to look to protect themselves financially. This could mean in future they take broadcasting opportunities into their own hands. Could it be that the clubs themselves start up subscription services such as those of MUFC TV and LFC TV? These already offer some game footage and insider viewing for their subscribers. For supporters this could become a choice between your traditional season ticket or a digital season ticket for home viewing.

Despite this, it is unlikely clubs will endeavour to claim tv rights from the broadcasters just yet, so for now it seems it shall be them battling it out for top spot of football television.