Swansea Focus – Swans gain momentum despite loss at Man City

Saturday evening’s defeat at Manchester City would have come as a harsh result to Michael Laudrup’s Swansea. The Welsh outfit dominated the Premier League champions for the entire first half, and despite failing to hit the back of the net, the Swans looked dominant in a way they haven’t looked since the campaign’s start. Swansea played Roberto Mancini’s side off the park before the break, and despite City clawing their way back during the second half, the Jacks looked hugely impressive especially considering their poor form on the road. The…

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Tottenham Focus: A game of two halves at Southampton

Tottenham came away from their visit to Southampton with three points and fourth place. The match was perhaps symptomatic of the season so far, being the typical game of two halves. Spurs dominated the first 45 minutes, but had to hang on somewhat during the second as the Saints threw themselves forward. Overall Spurs looked the better team and deserved the win, but Andr

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Liverpool Focus – Suarez the star of entertaining derby draw

He draws crowds. He attracts attention. He frustrates. He delights. Sometimes, he manages to do both. Liverpool supporters claim he is unique – a genius. In the eyes of many other football fans he is just another pantomime villain. Luis Suarez is his name and the temperamental Uruguayan forward was once again the star of the show as the Reds faced their bitter local rivals Everton at Goodison Park in an entertaining Merseyside derby. David Moyes’ men, who finished above Liverpool in the Premier League last season for the first…

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Santos distance themselves from move for Chelsea outcast Malouda

Out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda has suffered another blow after Brazilian club Santos refuted claims that they were interested in taking the France international to South America. Malouda was once voted Chelsea’s Players’ Player of the Year for the 2009-10 Premier League and FA Cup double season but has been a forgotten man at Stamford Bridge this season, and is currently training with the club’s Under-21 team. However, according to the Daily Mail, Santos have denied reports that a move for the 32-year-old in January could be on the cards.…

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Villas-Boas delighted with crucial Tottenham victory over Southampton

Andre Villas-Boas has spoken of his delight as his Tottenham Hotspur team bounced back from their previous Premier League defeat at home to Chelsea to take victory at relegation-threatened Southampton and move the Lilywhites back into the Champions League places. Villas-Boas’ men remain unbeaten away from home since the opening day of the season and according to the Daily Mail, the 35-year-old was relieved to come away with the three points ahead of a testing run of fixtures. “‘It’s such a good win,” remarked Villas-Boas. “We want to be at…

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Man Utd boss Ferguson believes Chelsea’s Torres deserved red card

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has weighed in on the Fernando Torres diving row by saying the Chelsea forward deserved the second yellow card shown to him by referee Mark Clattenburg for going to ground too easily under challenge from Jonny Evans. The decision to send off the Spain international coupled with the previous red card shown to Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic tilted the balance of the game towards Red Devils, who cut the gap between the two sides at the top of the Premier League table to only…

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Wilshere hails family influence after making Arsenal return

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has paid tribute to the help of his family and particularly his young son Archie as he made his long-awaited return to the Gunners first-team after 15 months on the sidelines with ankle and knee problems. Wilshere played 67 minutes of his side’s 1-0 Premier League win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon and according to the Daily Mirror, could hardly contain his delight when speaking to reports in the aftermath. “I’ve got my son now and I don’t know what I’d do if it…

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Chelsea Focus – Blues pay for poor start yet again

For the first time this season Chelsea are facing the pressure of bouncing back from a run of defeats. The week began with a loss against Shakhtar Donetsk that leaves Chelsea in a spot of bother in their Champions League group, and ended in controversial circumstances as Manchester United took all three points from Stamford Bridge to close the gap at the Premier League summit. The tone for the Blues in both games was set by the conceding of early goals and leaving too much to do later in the…

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Newcastle Focus – Senegalese duo help Magpies to narrow victory

Better late than never. Better to be lucky than good. Both adages apply to Papiss Cisse’s 93rd minute goal which gave Newcastle their 2-1 win over West Brom on Sunday. Sammy Ameobi’s ambitious shot struck an unaware Cisse to wrong foot Ben Foster and gift the Senegalese striker his first Premier League goal of the season and victory to the Magpies. Prior to that, it had appeared that the Baggies were the likelier winners, especially after the late introduction of Shane Long, who twice went close to giving his side…

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Arsenal Focus – Gritty QPR win and returning players improve Gunners’ mood

It was just what the doctor ordered. Though it was by no means a perfect performance, the 1-0 Premier League win at home to rock-bottom Queens Park Rangers has gone some way to drawing a line under a torrid week for Arsenal. After seven days which included desperate defeats to Norwich City in the league and then Schalke in the Champions League, followed by a heated annual general meeting, victory was a prerequisite for Arsene Wenger’s team. That is not to say it was easy. For 83 minutes, Arsenal toiled…

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Man City reject talk of Guardiola replacing Mancini

Manchester City have dismissed speculation that former Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola could be set to replace Roberto Mancini at the helm of the Premier League champions, ESPN has reported. City last week confirmed the appointment of Txiki Begiristain as the club’s director of football, with Begiristain a former Barcelona executive and the man largely responsible for the decision to appoint Guardiola at Barcelona after the end of Frank Rijkaard’s tenure at the club. Begiristain joins Ferran Soriano at City, who was also formerly of Barcelona and also involved in making…

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Everton boss Moyes gave Neville dressing down over diving

Phil Neville was the subject of a half-time rollicking from Everton manager David Moyes after the Toffees captain was booked for diving in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool, the Daily Mirror has reported. Moyes was vocal in his contempt for diving in the week leading up to the match, speaking specifically about Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and his propensity to go to ground easily – which led to Suarez’s exaggerated diving celebration, landing at Moyes’ feet, after Liverpool’s opening goal. Neville saw yellow for tumbling under little pressure when he…

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Stoke Focus – Should Tony Pulis and Stoke fans start worrying?

Tony Pulis spoke positively in the week about Stoke’s evolving style since their promotion to the Premier League back in 2008, but you would have to say it looked as if the Potters had gone back a couple of steps as they played out a dour 0-0 draw with Sunderland at the Britannia Stadium. The fixture had been looked forward to with relish in the week before as Stoke, having finally moved past their horror fixture list which saw them take on four of the Premier League big boys in…

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Chelsea to investigate steward injury in Man Utd defeat

Chelsea will look into how a steward was hurt during the 3-2 Premier League defeat to Manchester United on Sunday after claims the staff member was injured by objects thrown from the crowd, the BBC has reported. The incident occurred around the time Javier Hernandez scored what proved to be the winning goal for United, with the BBC adding that the Mexico striker appeared to be targeted by objects thrown from the Matthew Harding Stand as he celebrated. Shortly after, a steward required 10 minutes of attention while pitchside and…

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Aston Villa Focus – Nervous Villa lucky to scrape point in another disappointing performance

In a game that Villa would have certainly expected to win at the start of the season, they never really looked like grabbing the victory as Norwich were unlucky to draw 1-1 at Villa Park on Saturday.   Villa took the lead early on through Christian Benteke who was starting in place of Darren Bent once more, but Norwich were the much stronger team and deservedly equalised late on through Michael Turner to give Aston Villa their worst start to a season for 42 years. It was a game that…

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Liverpool chase Newcastle striker Cisse

Newcastle United are preparing to fend off interest in Papiss Cisse from one of their Premier League rivals, Liverpool, according to the Daily Mirror. Cisse is said to be growing unsettled at St James’ Park after losing his place in the side to Shola Ameobi in recent weeks. The Senegal striker came off the substitutes’ bench to grab the winning goal for the Magpies against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, a shot from Sammy Ameobi deflecting on off the back of Cisse. Liverpool’s desire to add to their strike force…

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Everton Focus – Toffees take point from riveting derby

With another Merseyside derby in the history books and Everton avoiding a repeat of last season’s record of three defeats in three games against Liverpool, there are different schools of thought about the result at Goodison Park. The opposing camps generally fall into two categories – those that are thankful for the draw after being two goals down, and those that are disappointed Everton could not build on the momentum and take three points. Perhaps a third should be included, too – those feeling fortunate the assistant referee’s flag wrongly…

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Arsenal consider January move for Crystal Palace forward Zaha

Arsenal have sent scouts to watch Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha with a view to making a move for the teenager when the transfer window opens in January, the Daily Mail has reported. Arsene Wenger is said to have sent his chief scout, Steve Rowley, to the King Power Stadium to watch Zaha during Palace’s 2-1 win over Leicester City. Zaha did not score but played 90 minutes for the managerless Eagles before he was substituted in injury time as Palace moved to shore up their lead. Zaha has scored…

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Cahill frustrated by Chelsea rotation

Gary Cahill has admitted he is unhappy with the rotation policy employed at Chelsea by manager Roberto Di Matteo, the Daily Mail has reported. Cahill is ordinarily vying with David Luiz and John Terry for the two available places in the centre of the Chelsea defence, but Terry’s four-game ban has given the England international an extended run in the side, in domestic football at least. Terry has missed two Premier League games – the win over Tottenham Hotspur and the defeat to Manchester United – and will be absent…

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Suarez fortunate to avoid red card, claims Moyes

David Moyes believes Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was lucky not to be sent off during the Merseyside derby after appearing to stand on the heel of Everton defender Sylvain Distin, the Daily Telegraph has reported. Suarez was at the centre of much of the action during the 219th meeting between the sides. The Uruguayan striker looked to have given Liverpool the lead but his opener was later credited as a Leighton Baines own goal, but regardless Suarez ran towards the Everton dugout and performed an exaggerated dive in celebration, landing…

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Arsenal boss Wenger urges Hodgson to leave Wilshere out of England friendly

England manager Roy Hodgson will be asked by his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger not to rush Jack Wilshere back into the international set-up after the midfielder played his first Premier League game in almost 18 months, the Daily Mirror has reported. Wilshere played 67 minutes of the Gunners’ 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, his first top flight football since May 2011. Wilshere’s last league appearance for Arsenal came against Fulham, in a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage. The 20-year-old suffered a stress fracture…

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Chelsea lodge Clattenburg complaint

Chelsea have made an official complaint over the language used by referee Mark Clattenburg towards two of their players, one of whom is believed to be John Obi Mikel, during the Premier League leaders’ defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, the BBC has reported. Clattenburg is alleged to have used racial language when booking Mikel in the 76th minute, the BBC adds. A statement released by the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) said: “PGMO is aware of the allegations and they are being treated with the utmost seriousness. Mark will…

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Newcastle vs West Brom – Match preview and team news

West Brom look to continue their impressive start to the new campaign under Steve Clarke as they face an inconsistent Newcastle side at St James’ Park. The Baggies have recorded victories over Liverpool and Everton amongst others, and from their first five home games this season, have won them all, with the exception of Manchester City last weekend. Away from home they have recorded two draws and a defeat. If results go for Clarke, and West Brom take all three points today, a position in the Champions League qualification places…

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Southampton vs Tottenham – Match preview and team news

Tottenham look to get back to winning ways against a struggling Southampton side on Sunday. Andre Villas-Boas answered many of his critics with Tottenham’s impressive victory away to Man Utd at the end of September, however he will be hoping that last weeks’ defeat to Chelsea, coupled with a draw in midweek against Maribor in the Europa League, are not the signs of a renewed struggle. A win today would move Spurs back into the Champions League positions, and two points ahead of north London rivals Arsenal. Southampton meanwhile have…

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Chelsea vs Man Utd – Match preview and team news

Two of the top three sides in the Barclays Premier League face-off at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, as Manchester United seek three points that would put them above rivals Man City, and one point behind Chelsea. Chelsea have picked up where they left off last season under Coach Roberto Di Matteo, currently unbeaten in their eight league matches this season, a spell which includes wins against top four contenders Arsenal and Tottenham, both away from home. This early season form has seen them top the table, a position they will…

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