zondag 6 november 2011

Barclays Premier League

Arsenal 3-0 West Brom: Van Persie and Vermaelen strike in first half before Arteta seals Gunners' ninth win in 11 games

Arsene Wenger's side is in fine form and Van Persie leads the way with his 29th goal in this calendar year and two assists as the Baggies are easily dispatched.

EPL - Arsenal vs West Bromwich, Robin van Persie
Arsenal comfortably beat West Brom 3-0 as Robin van Persie scored his 29th Premier League goal this calendar year and set up the other two strikes in a dominant performance from the Gunners.

Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta were the beneficiaries from their captain's creative display, though a fine performance from Carl Jenkinson at right back did not go unnoticed.
The home side started brightly, dominating possession as is customary at the Emirates.
A real buzz came over the crowd whenever Van Persie came into contact with the ball, but the home side failed to trouble Ben Foster in the opening stages, Andre Santos hitting over from a free kick with the only effort of the first 10 minutes.
West Brom was momentarily down to 10 men as Jonas Olsson went off to receive treatment for a facial injury after colliding with Thomas Vermaelen, but the defense held strong with Steven Reid dropping into center back until Olsson was ready to resume.
But in the 23rd minute, Arsenal was rewarded for the calm buildup play, as Mikel Arteta beautifully sliced open the West Brom defense to find Theo Walcott.

The winger tried to slot through Ben Foster's legs, but his attempt was stopped, only for Van Persie to tap in for his 11th goal of the Premier League season.

That goal served to buoy both the Arsenal team and the fans, with Jenkinson putting in some dangerous crosses down the right wing, and generally impressing.

And five minutes before halftime, the Gunners doubled their lead. West Brom failed to clear its lines after a corner, and Alex Song drifted a cross over to the back post where Van Persie was waiting to cut the ball back across goal for Thomas Vermaelen to apply the finish.

After Chris Brunt missed the Baggies' best chance of the game, volleying well over from the edge of the box, Arsenal almost made it three as Gervinho found Aaron Ramsey in the box before the Welshman turned and dragged a shot just wide of the post.

The game was well and truly put to bed after a double change from Arsenal, and Tomas Rosicky played a key part, finding Van Persie in the box, where his layoff was perfect for Arteta to sweep a shot into the corner.

West Brom did cause some trouble as Somen Tchoyi came on and had a shot blocked with a sliding tackle from Vermaelen, but the striker really should have done better, as Vermaelen was already on the floor when his shot was struck.
The rest of the match fizzled out with Szczesny occasionally called upon to make a stop, but rarely troubled as the Gunners sealed another win.

Blackburn 0-1 Chelsea: Second-half Frank Lampard header helps nervy Blues end poor run of form

The hosts battled valiantly but the England midfielder's fine effort in the 51st minute was enough for Andre Villas-Boas' side to secure all three points at Ewood Park

Chelsea secured its first Premier League win in three weeks with a 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

A goalless first half with few opportunities was to prove a stark contrast to a frantic second 45 minutes, in which a goal from Frank Lampard proved enough for Andre Villas-Boas' men to secure all three points despite a late surge from the home side.
Chelsea's start was limp and it was the home side who nearly broke the deadlock early on after Formica delivered a neat squared ball into the path of Yakubu on the ninth minute, only for the powerful Nigerian to knock his effort wide as he sild into the six-yard box.
The teams remained goalless as halftime arrived but the home side will have been wary of complacency, having lost against both Tottenham and Manchester City after going in level at the break in its last two home games in the league.
Villas-Boas clearly felt the need to change his side's approach and replaced Malouda with Torres at halftime. Six minutes later and his side was in front, but it was a piece of beauty from Serbia, not Spain, that helped break the deadlock as Ivanovic pitched a divine low ball into from the right into the area for Lampard to nod home with pinpoint accuracy.
With the pressure on Kean ramped up once again, his side delivered and should’ve equalized only five minutes later as Pedersen’s rasping free-kick was saved unconvincingly by Cech, only for Hanley to limply knock a shot back towards the grateful Czech Republic international.
The game inevitably opened up as the home side looked to level the score and should have on the 67th minute, as Yakubu pounced on a bouncing ball left alone by the Chelsea defence following a mix-up between Alex and Terry but saw his curling effort saved by Cech. 
But with the title of true title challengers and under immense pressure, the visitors, whose defence has been so vilified in recent weeks, hung on to secure the precious three points.
The win will no doubt ease the pressure on Villas-Boas, who after a miserable fortnight and amid vocal protests against his opposite number, finally gave Chelsea fans something to shout about.

Manchester United 1-0 Sunderland: Wes Brown gifts three points to Sir Alex Ferguson as 25th anniversary present with own goal

Former Red Devils defender unfortunate to see Danny Welbeck's header deflect off of him into the visitors' net as the underwhelming defending champion edges to victory.

Former Manchester United defender Wes Brown was the victim of an unfortunate deflection as his own goal saw the Red Devils take all three points despite an ordinary performance against Steve Bruce's Sunderland.
With Sir Alex Ferguson celebrating 25 years in charge at Old Trafford the defending champion did not offer many fireworks on this Bonfire Night but did enough to ensure it keeps itself on the tails of title rival Manchester City.
Before the game it was announced that the North Stand at the Theater of Dreams would be renamed after Ferguson while a statue of the legendary manager will also be unveiled in the near future.
Unfortunately for the Scottish coach, his side's performance did not leave him with a wide smile as, while Sunderland rarely looked threatening in attack, its organized defensive setup frustrated the home side for much of this one.
Wayne Rooney continued in his new central midfield role for United as Ferguson made three changes to the side that beat Everton 1-0 last weekend. David De Gea was rested and replaced by Anders Lindegaard in goal while Jonny Evans’ patchy form cost him a spot in the starting XI as Rio Ferdinand returned. Nani stepped in for the injured Tom Cleverley in midfield, with Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez continuing in attack.
Even in the absence of John O’Shea, who missed out through injury, Steve Bruce named three former United players in his team. Phil Bardsley replaced O’Shea at fullback while Brown and Kieran Richardson also started at the back.
Keiran Westwood replaced the injured Simon Mignolet in goal and Lee Cattermole returned to the midfield in the absence of David Vaughan.
As expected, United controlled possession from the start but was effectively stifled by the visiting through the opening half hour of play. It was Sunderland, with its organized defending and quick and effective transition to attack through the likes of Bendtner, Sebastian Larsson and Stephane Sessegnon, which created the first two chances of the match, Larsson volleying into the side netting from inside the box before Bendtner tested Lindegaard from distance.
Westwood was called into action for the first time after 30 minutes when he comfortably held Rooney’s long range effort. Rooney’s deployment at the tip of what sometimes seemed to resemble a midfield diamond was playing into the visitors’ game plan nicely, with Sunderland’s fluid front four swarming the space between the United defense and midfield in the center of the park while Cattermole and Colback sat in deeper positions.
United finally began to find some penetration towards the end of the half as Hernandez was slipped through on goal only to be eased off the ball by Larsson, with the Mexican’s appeals for a penalty ignored by referee Lee Mason.
Sunderland’s forays into the United half had been few and far between but Bruce will have been more than satisfied with how his side had contained the threat of those in red shirts until, as it so often has done during Ferguson’s 25 years in charge, United grabbed the opening goal out of very little. After Nani’s shot had been saved by Westwood the Portuguese winger fizzed in a corner that was met by Welbeck, whose glancing header found its way in off the unfortunate Brown.
The second frame began in much the same fashion, with United remaining largely untroubled in defense, but as time ticked down on Sunderland’s quest for an equalizer things began to open up. Nani was having more luck as he looked for space to run into and hit a 25-yard shot narrowly over the crossbar before once again failing to keep his effort down after a nice exchange with Hernandez.
Sunderland had no choice but to give up more space as it looked to send numbers forward for a goal but the club struggled to get the ball off United and found itself chasing shadows for large periods. That adversely affected the team when it did get possession, with Bendtner and substitute Ji Dong-Won lacking support in the final third.
The Black Cats thought they had received a dramatic slice of good fortune with around 20 minutes to play when referee Mason blew for a handball with several arms raised in the United penalty area, but after consulting with his linesman the official indicated a free kick to home side. Replays showed the decision to be correct, with Dong-Won the offender.
United had its best two chances of the match minutes later and only two stunning saves from Westwood prevented the club from putting the game to bed. First Rooney’s low shot from inside the box was superbly turned away before the Irishman stopped Evra’s follow up from point blank range.
Sunderland came equally close to tying the score with 10 minutes remaining. Larsson broke down the right and slid a low cross across the six-yard box that evaded everyone, including the outstretched leg of Bendtner, who couldn’t have been more than a matter of inches away from poking the delivery beyond Lindegaard.
The goal would not come, though, as a far from vintage United did enough to keep itself in second place and keep the pressure on Roberto Mancini's City.

Liverpool 0-0 Swansea City: Reds are held to third successive Anfield draw as Dalgish's men fail to produce fireworks

Kenny Dalglish's men drop points at home against a promoted side for the second time in a fortnight, as the Welsh side pick up its second away point of the campaign.

EPl,Kenny Dalglish,West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool

Swansea managed to record a potentially vital away draw at Anfield, frustrating Liverpool in a 0-0 draw, and picking up its second away point of the Premier League campaign.
Both teams came into the game on the back of impressive wins in the Premier League, Swansea maintaining its impressive home form with a 3-1 victory over Bolton, while Liverpool got back to winning ways at The Hawthorns, winning 2-0.
Swansea showed no signs of nerves in the early stages, playing in their usual passing style, but after just seven minutes the home side really should have taken the lead.
Charlie Adam’s inch perfect pass set Stewart Downing off down the left hand side, the winger drilled a low cross to Andy Carroll, and with his preferred left foot, the England man contrived to smash his effort against the crossbar from just six yards.
The game had a real cup tie atmosphere to it, end to end the whole way through, and Brendan Rodgers would have been by far the happier manager as the teams left the field of the play for the halftime break.
Shortly after the halftime break, manager Kenny Dalglish signalled his intentions for the second half, replacing the ineffective Jordan Henderson with the more attacking minded Dirk Kuyt.
The substitution had little effect on the game though, as Swansea continued to retain possession, to the groans of the increasingly frustrated Anfield faithful.
As the game continued the away side continued to grow in confidence, beginning to realize it could win the game.
Danny Graham’s effort from the edge of the area was spilled by Pepe Reina, and the Spaniard had to be at his best to deny Nathan Dyer from the rebound.
Just minutes from time it was the Welsh side who should have won it late on. Danny Graham’s cushioned header was perfectly weighted for Mark Gower, who somehow blazed his 12 yard effort over the crossbar, with the goal at his mercy.
It was then the home side who thought they had won it. Dirk Kuyt latched on to Daniel Agger’s knock down to head home from just 5 yards, only for his celebrations to be cut short by the linesman, rightly so by the looks of the replay.


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