Premier League: Hector Bellerin’s injury-time strike ends London Derby in thrilling 2-2 draw

In one of the most thrilling encounters of the Premier League this season, Arsenal and Chelsea had to settle for a point apiece in the London Derby at the Emirates Stadium as the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

 The Londoners shared an incredible 33 shots on target in the game, but the heroics of Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois on either side of the goalposts meant that only 4 goals were scored between the two.

The game started off brilliantly with both teams dominating equally. The first real chance came when Morata was clear on goal after a defensive lapse from Arsenal, but the Spaniard curled wide on a rather sitting one-on-one opportunity with the keeper. Arsenal came close to opening the score just two minutes later as Alexis Sanchez’s shot hit both the posts before Courtois could grab it.

Following a goal-less first half, it was Jack Wilshire who scored his first goal of the season to give Arsenal the lead after a superb team game. But Chelsea hit back within minutes as Eden Hazard converted a controversial spot-kick to level the game. A brilliant piece of skill on the wing by Davide Zappacosta teed up Marcos Alonso for a tap-in that gave Chelsea a 2-1 lead just seven minutes from time.

However, Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin had some other ideas as his injury-time strike leveled the scores at 2-2 and gave Arsenal a thoroughly deserved point at home. A later drama was shunned as Davide Zappacosta hit the crossbar deep in injury time to maintain the scoreline.

Arsenal stands sixth on the table with 49 points while Chelsea is 3rd at 46 points. The two teams face each other next Wednesday in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg before meeting once more in the second leg next week.

Source – Daily Mail, Firstpost

Alvaro Morata joins the Blues

Chelsea Football Club has confirmed the signing of 24-year-old Spanish striker Alvaro Morata on a 5-year deal from Real Madrid. The deal is estimated to be worth an initial £58 million, with add-ons that could increase the figure to a sum of £70 million.

Chelsea announced on Wednesday that a deal with Real Madrid had been successfully negotiated, thus ending their month-long quest for a striker. Morata was just one of several names, including the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Gonzalo Higuain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Andrea Belotti, touted to replace Diego Costa at Chelsea.

Known for his pace finishing, and intelligence, Morata has become the third high-profile signing of the summer for a Chelsea side who have also acquired the services of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger from Monaco and Roma respectively. Morata will meet up with his Chelsea team mates on the Singapore leg of Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Asia. The striker will also be reunited with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who he briefly played under during his time at Juventus in the Serie A.

Morata has a sizeable trophy cabinet in spite of his relatively young age, and has won two Serie A titles with Juventus, two Champions League and La Liga titles apiece with Real Madrid. His experience in Europe’s top competition will be an added bonus as Chelsea return to the Champions League after a season of absence.

 

News Sources- Chelseafc.comThe Guardian

Romelu Lukaku agrees personal terms with Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku is scheduled to have a medical with Manchester United, after they offered Everton Football Cub a sum of £75m for the Belgian striker. The deal agreed to by both club, initially reported by BBC Sport on Thursday, is said to include up to £15m in further add-ons, which would make it a record-breaking fee.

United announced the Belgian’s agreement of personal terms in a tweet through their official twitter handle, adding that further announcements would be made in due time.

Chelsea Football Club made a last-ditch attempt to sway Lukaku, who publicly stated his desire to rejoin his former club. However, the Premier League champions appear set to miss out on re-signing the Belgian.

The Blues matched the £75m sign-on fee that was offered to Everton by Manchester United, but were unwilling to match the amount that Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, would bring in if the striker moved to Manchester. United manager Jose Mourinho was manager of Chelsea when they sold Lukaku to Everton for £28m in July 2014.

The Belgian’s expertise in the Premier League has made him a coveted commodity, and United have been pursuing him for most of the summer. The striker scored 25 goals in the 2016/17 season, and is one of only three players to have scored over 10 goals in the last five seasons of the Premier League.

United are keen to conclude a deal before their pre-season tour to the United States begins on Sunday. Lukaku is already in the America, where he and United midfielder Paul Pogba have been holidaying together.

 

Sources: Daily Mail, The Guardian

Premier League Round-up: Week 21

It was an exciting Premier League Weekend, with a flourish of goals and scintillating display of performances.

Whether it was Tottenham star Harry Kane’s hattrick against West Bromwich Albion, or Manchester City’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Everton, the weekend was full of action.

The main surprise of Week 21 was Pep Guardiola’s team struggling against a formidable Everton, with City losing 4-0 against The Toffees. Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirrallas’ goals have effectively ended the title hope of the inconsistent, City.

Pochettino’s Spurs eased past West Brom’s poor performance with three goals by the unstoppable Harry Kane and a rookie own goal by the latter’s Gareth McAuley. This game takes the Spurs to 2nd position at the table, seven points behind Chelsea.

After being pushed to 5th position, Arsenal came back with an indomitable spirit and crushed Swansea 4-0. Well-timed goals by Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, along with two own goals by The Swans’ Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton have sent the Gunners back into the top four. With a poor defense and at 20th position on the table, Paul Clement’s men face relegation.

The much-awaited match between Manchester United and Liverpool demonstrated that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a force to be reckoned with. Mourinho’s men put up an average performance against the fast-paced team led by Jordan Henderson, when James Milner’s 27th minute penalty was equalized by the United forward, just 6 minutes before full-time.

Chelsea and West Ham United comfortable beat Leicester City and Crystal Palace respectively, with a clean 3-0 win, each. Even without the threatening foot of Diego Costa, Chelsea have proved that talent like Marcos Alonso and Eden Hazard can secure them a win. After two consecutive losses against Leicester and Manchester United, The Hammers put up a brilliant performance, with hidden star Andy Carrol’s over-head goal being a match highlight.

Burnley beat Southampton 1-0, solidifying the impact on The Saint’s losing Charlie Austin to injury woes. Sunderland’s relegation chances have increased after suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the powerful Stoke City, with goals by the Peter Crouch and the dependable Marko Arnautovic. Both Watford and Middlesbrough have been unable to secure a win after three consecutive weekends, and were unable to break the deadlock this week as well, ending the game at 0-0. Defeating Bournemouth 3-1, Hull City secured a win for the first time since November 6. They yet still need to perform better to move out of the relegation zone.

The weekend ended with Chelsea sitting comfortably seven points clear of Tottenham, who are followed by Liverpool and Arsenal in 4th position.

 

REFERENCE LINKS: BBC, The Guardian

IMAGE SOURCE: Premier League website

Arsenal Fight Back in Thrilling Performance against Bournemouth

In a match that had left the Gunners disappointed well into the second half, Arsenal demonstrated a stunning three goals in twenty minutes to come back and draw 3-3 to Bournemouth.

Bournemouth took a lead early into the match with defender Charlie Daniels’ goal and Callum Wilson’s penalty within the first twenty minutes of the match. The Cherries raised their tally up to three, with Ryan Fraser’s neat shot through Arsenal goalkeeper, Petr Cech’s, legs.

Arsenal showed a weak 70 minutes as compared to Bournemouth’s pace and energy, when Alexis Sánchez, assisted by Olivier Giroud, flicked a well-aimed header into the net. The match dynamics catapulted against Bournemouth when Wenger’s new find, Lucas Pérez sent in a beautiful volley into the left side of the net, changing the score to 3-2.

The hosts gathered pace with just eight minutes left into the game, when Simon Francis directly challenged Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, to earn him a straight red card. With just a few minutes left for full time, Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka passed a quick cross to Giroud, who delivered a smooth finish past goalkeeper Artur Boruc

.

The hosts were visibly upset after the final whistle. Bournemouth now stand ninth on the Premier League table, while Arsenal, at fourth place, move just two points above Tottenham and Manchester United. Arsene Wenger’s side stands nine points clear of Chelsea, who now visibly compete with Liverpool in the title race.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian, Goal

Crystal Palace Sacks Manager Alan Pardew

English Premier League’s 1st Division club, Crystal Palace, has sacked their manager, Alan Pardew, after a poor opening to the season.

Pardew, who held the position since 2014, has been blamed for the club’s dismal performance in the 2016 season. Crystal Palace has won just four from 17 games they’ve played, and currently stand at 17th place on the EPL table.

After having taken the club to Wembley during the 2015-16 FA Cup finale, Pardew’s men lost 2-1 to Manchester United. Crystal Palace currently stand just one point above the dreaded relegation zone. This season is the fourth in a row where they have made it to the Premier League’s 1st Division.

Pardew, a former player for Crystal Palace from 1987-91, said in his statement, “Personally, I have a lot of good feelings for this football club and am sad that my time there has ended. I feel that I have a special bond with the club and hope that hasn’t been affected”. The contract has been terminated and a severance package of £5 million has been given to the former manager for his commitment to the club.

Former England manager, Sam Allardyce, is said to be the front runner to replace Pardew as manager of the Eagles.

SOURCES:New Hamburg Independent

IOL

The Sun

Image source: AP

Etihad came unglued, City rejoiced a 2-1 victory against Arsenal  

Manchester City rejoiced their third consecutive Premier League win after defeating Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Raheem Sterling played a pivotal role in the second half as he smashed his way through the Gunners, giving City a 2-1 lead.

The first half saw an early goal from Theo Walcott (5’), giving Arsenal an early lead. The home defense was carved apart as Hector Bellerin played a ball through to Alexis Sanchez on the edge of the area and Arsenal’s man in the form found Theo Walcott, who held off a defender and shot low beyond Claudio Bravo from inside the area. City kept the maximum position, however, dominant shots from both Ozil and Sanchez gave keeper Claudio Bravo a grave task from conceding another goal from the away side.

The beginning of second half gave manager Pep Guardiola a sigh of relief as Leroy Sané (47′) opened the goal for City and equalizing the score. The game reached its 71-minute, the home team keeping a possession saw a brilliant cross-field pass from Kevin De Bruyne to release Sterling who made his way through the defenders, giving City a 2-1 lead. Manager Arsene Wenger brought Giroud for Coquelin who has scored in four successive appearances against Manchester City in all competitions, but even the French striker couldn’t do the inevitable.

The contest certainly was a game of two halves as Arsenal capitulated in the second period after playing so well in the first. Manchester City was rampant after the break and kept maximum possession (60.6%) and a total of 14 shots (with five on target). City climbed up the table to reach the second place, as Chelsea leads another match-week with 43 points.

 

 Sources: One FootballMirror UK

Photo Caption and Source: Daily.co