Man Utd news – No new signings, Non-league draw, Fergie admits mistake

No new signings. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson looks set to stand by his promise that no new players will be arriving at Old Trafford this January. United’s only new addition, goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, made his debut in the FA Cup victory over Southampton at the weekend. However despite Ferguson’s recent claims, transfer stories continue to circulate around the city of Manchester. Reports suggest that Blackpool’s Charlie Adam has been earmarked as a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes whilst the Red Devils are said to be monitoring the situation…

Read More

Man City news – Mourinho to City? Johnson injury blow, Villa cup test

Villa cup test. Manchester City will host Premier League rivals Aston Villa in the fifth round of the FA Cup assuming they overcome Notts County in the fourth round replay. City will host the League One side to conclude the tie after a 1-1 draw at Meadow Lane on Sunday after Edin Dzeko levelled the scoring after County took the lead through a Neal Bishop goal to force the tie into a replay. Aston Villa progressed to the fifth round following a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park…

Read More

Arsenal news – Nasri injured, Orient test, Bendtner expects cup success

Orient test. Arsenal will travel to Leyton Orient in the fifth round of the FA Cup following the Gunner’ 2-1 win over Huddersfield at the Emirates on Sunday. The north-London side progressed to the next round after a Cesc Fabregas penalty put the Gunners back in front after Alan Lee equalised a Peter Clarke own goal. Leyton Orient will host the Gunners on February 19 after the League One side achieved a 2-1 victory over Swansea on Saturday. The O’s have so far disposed of Dagenham & Redbridge, Droylsden, Norwich…

Read More

Club Focus – Arsenal – Wenger’s Nasri gamble backfires as the Gunners see off Huddersfield

Arsenal survived a scare on Sunday to overcome Huddersfield Town and book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Again the Gunners have been drawn against lower-league opposition in the cup as Leyton Orient lie in wait in the last-16. For the second time in a week Nicklas Bendtner broke the deadlock and the 1-0 lead did justice to the sheer domination of the home side in the first half. Yet, as has been seen so often this season, the Gunners would later rue their profligacy as…

Read More

Club Focus – Real Madrid – Los Blancos’ La Liga conquest nearing last orders

Real Madrid’s title pursuit suffered a devastating blow on Sunday night as relegation threatened Osasuna made it a night to forget for Jose Mourinho’ men in Pamplona. Los Rojillos’ Javier Camunas’ 63rd minute strike secured a 1-0 win for the home side and punished a hapless Real Madrid performance – effectively leaving the Santiago Bernabeu outfit eight points adrift of runaway leaders and arch rivals Barcelona at the top of the La Liga summit. This following the Catalan sides 5-0 thumping of Los Blancos at the Nou Camp in December…

Read More

Liverpool news – Reds prepare for Torres bid, Three signings proposed, Konchesky loan exit

Reds prepare for Torres bid. Fernando Torres’ future is the headline plot of the final day of the transfer window. Liverpool are bracing themselves for another Chelsea bid for the wantaway striker, believed to be in the vicinity of £45 million according to the Daily Telegraph. It seems unlikely that Liverpool would reject such an improved offer in light of Torres’ transfer request. Although Liverpool rejected his request to leave, it is assumed that his unwillingness to stay at the club since knowing of Chelsea’s interest will coerce the Merseysiders…

Read More

Fulham 4-0 Tottenham – Fulham hand out capital punishment as Spurs twice pay the penalty

FULHAM 4Murphy (pen), 11; Murphy (pen), 14; Hangeland, 23; Dembele, 45 TOTTENHAM 0 Fulham’s progression to the fifth round of the FA Cup was a tactical success credited to boss Mark Hughes, as his high-tempo game plan swept away a near full-strength Tottenham side at Craven Cottage. The home side pressed a Tottenham midfield that boasted the presence of Luka Modric, Rafael van der Vaart and new recruit Steven Pienaar, and suffocated the trio of space and, more crucially, possession in advanced areas of the pitch. Without Peter Crouch or…

Read More

Arsenal Analysis – Gunners over come Huddersfield scare thanks to Fabregas penalty

ARSENAL 2 P Clarke (og) 22, Fabregas (pen) 86 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 Lee 66 Arsenal progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town at the Emirates on Sunday. The home side controlled the game for most of the first half, keeping the pressure on Huddersfield who were happy to sit back and allow Arsenal to move the ball around. The Gunners opened the scoring in 22 minutes when Nicklas Bendtner collected the ball on the right-wing and drove into the box, his…

Read More

Arsenal Daily – Gunners overcome Huddersfield to set up Leyton Orient date but suffer Nasri injury blow

Arsenal were drawn against Leyton Orient in the 5th round of the FA Cup yesterday. A late Cesc Fabregas penalty put the Gunners through to the round of 16 and they now travel to Brisbane Road on the weekend of February 19/20 to take on the Os for a place in the quarter finals. The Gunners have yet to draw Premier League opposition in this year’s competition, and will be expecting to make the sixth round on their quest to make both domestic cup finals this year. Arsene Wenger’s men…

Read More

Club Focus – Everton – Saha reigns supreme as Toffees find the forward they need

The performance of Louis Saha during Everton’s 1-1 FA Cup fourth round draw with Chelsea might not be enough to satiate the Toffees’ supporters disappointed their club is unlikely to bring any senior players in during the transfer window. However a revitalised Saha could be almost as good as a new signing to David Moyes. Saha’s rejuvenation really began earlier this month. Against Tottenham Hotspur Saha entered what at that point was his best display of the season, scoring the opening goal and playing with a similar all-round excellence as…

Read More

Chelsea Analysis – Late Saloman Kalou equaliser keeps Chelsea in the F.A. Cup

EVERTON 1Saha 62 CHELSEA 1Kalou 75 Chelsea kept their name in the draw for the FA Cup fifth round thanks to a late Salomon Kalou equaliser, but will have it all to do in the replay after a sub-par display at Goodison Park. Everton, who suffered defeat to Chelsea at Wembley in the same competition in 2009 looked set to knock the holders out when Luis Saha rose unmarked in the box, but Kalou stretched the Blues unbeaten run to four as the champions continue to show that their resilience…

Read More

Club Focus – Barcelona – Guardiola has his sights set firmly on Real’s La Liga record

After breaking the all-time Barcelona record with their 15th consecutive league win, current manager Pep Guardiola now has his sights firmly set on bettering the all-time La Liga record of 15 straight wins set by the glittering Real Madrid side of Di Stefano, Puskas and Gento in the 1960/61 season. “It’s an immense honour to share this record with a team such as Di Stefano’s Madrid,” said Guardiola. “It’s stood for half a century and that just shows what a tough thing it is to achieve.” In-form Pedro’s 9th goal…

Read More

Madrid’s title hopes all but over as Osasuna upstage Galacticos

OSASUNA 1 Camunas 62REAL MADRID 0 Camunas’ 60th minute goal proved to be decisive as Osasuna held Madrid to pick up three valuable points. The defeat saw Madrid fall seven points behind league leaders Barcelona and their title hopes hanging by a thread. Madrid have been struggling for form in La Liga coming into Sunday evenings game; a lack luster one-nil win against Mallorca, and a one all draw with Almeria was not the sort of form Real need if they are to catch a brilliant Barcelona team, who won…

Read More

Club Focus – Blackburn Rovers – Blues count positives after Villa smash FA Cup dreams

Blackburn Rovers’ hopes of reaching Wembley were put on hold for another season as Steve Kean’s side crashed out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa. Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, the Blues boss was optimistic about Rovers’ chance of progressing to the next round of the competition, but Villa had other plans. Both sides have faced each other several times over the past few seasons with the Midland club well on top in cup competitions. Villa ended Rovers’ participation in the Carling…

Read More

Championship Analysis – Missed opportunities for QPR, Norwich and Crystal Palace

With six clubs competing in the fourth round of the FA Cup, the Championship fixture list was sparse this weekend and only three games took place. Nevertheless, they still had a bearing on both ends of the table with QPR, Norwich City and Crystal Palace all in action. QPR were forced to settle for a point away to Hull City. The Hoops started strongly and Matt Connolly and Ishmael Miller both missed early chances. However, Hull were the better side after the break and Matt Fryatt missed a glorious chance…

Read More

Club Focus – Tottenham – Shock FA Cup exit could be concern for rest of the season

Tottenham crashed out of the FA Cup yesterday, losing 4-0 at the hands of Fulham at Craven Cottage. The defeat is particularly hurtful for Tottenham as winning this trophy would have made a real statement about the emergence of the club into one of England’s quality sides, registering their name alongside recent winners such as Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. It was not to be and it now leaves Tottenham’s season fighting for 4th spot in the Premier League and facing a highly difficult Champions League tie against Italian giants AC…

Read More

Club Focus – Liverpool – Will Liverpool lose Torres before the day is out?

With the January transfer window due to slam shut tonight, it is safe to say the next few hours will be crucial in the history of Liverpool Football Club. The Reds are desperately trying to cling on to Spanish striker Fernando Torres, who appears to have his heart set on a move to Premier League champions Chelsea. Torres, who has scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for the Merseyside club, handed in a transfer request last week following Chelsea’s £35m bid. That request was rejected, but the London club are…

Read More

Liverpool Daily – Suarez labels Reds a ‘beautiful club’ as Agger endorses new regime

When confirmation finally filtered through of Ajax and Liverpool agreeing a £23m fee for striker Luis Suarez, most supporters of the Anfield club could have been excused for dreaming of the heady days lying in wait – when the Uruguayan and Fernando Torres were married as the Reds’ new strike partnership. Yet just a few hours later, a certain Spaniard had single-handedly distinguished that notion. Yesterday however, as the final touches were being applied to the Ajax striker’s six-year-deal, the 24-year-old momentarily banished speculation concerning El Ni

Read More

Club Focus – Newcastle – Magpies turn down offer for Carroll

With no game at the weekend the focus on Tyneside instead turned to the future of their leading marksman Andy Carroll. An offer of £23 million is believed to have been made by Tottenham Hotspur, but it has been rejected by Newcastle – who described the bid as ‘paltry’. Spurs have been long-term admirers of Carroll following his prolific first season as a Premier League regular that has seen the 22-year-old score 11 goals. On Saturday a Newcastle official told SkySports News: “The club would like to make it clear…

Read More

FDL Daily – Southampton and Huddersfield close to upsets, Taarabt claims Red Devils interest

League One high-flyers Huddersfield were desperately unlucky to lose 2-1 to Arsenal; a late Cesc Fabregas penalty downing the spirited Terriers. A resilient Huddersfield showed their character to come back after having fallen behind to a deflected Nicklas Bendter shot after 22 minutes. Their task was made easier after Jack Hunt’s lung-busting run forward was curtailed cynically by Arsenal centre-back Sebastien Squillaci, earning the French defender a straight red card. Alan Lee’s second half header looked like earning Huddersfield a money-spinning replay, before Fabregas converted a late spot-kick. “It was…

Read More

Club Focus – Stoke – Robert Huth: Worth his weight in gold and goals

Sceptics might suggest the fact that Robert Huth is among Stoke’s leading scorers this season speaks volumes about the dearth of creativity in the Potters’ side, or at least about the extent to which the team relies on set pieces. However, while such views are not without a grain of truth, nothing should detract from Huth’s contribution. A colossus at both ends of the pitch, the big German’s goal scoring exploits are rendered all the more remarkable when one considers that he has found the net more times in his…

Read More

Man City Daily – Dzeko rescues Blues

Edin Dzeko scored 10 minutes before full-time to salvage a draw for Manchester City in their fourth round FA Cup tie against Notts County at Meadow Lane. The Blues looked like they were heading out of the cup after Neal Bishop scored a second half looping header for Paul Ince’s side, but the £27 million striker scored his first goal for City after a good dummy and cross from Micah Richards to pull the Blues level. If City manage to overcome County in the replay, they face a home game…

Read More