Herrera sees red as Man United get the cup Blues

In a high-tension match, Chelsea edged out Manchester United in a fiery affair at Stamford Bridge to have a chance at the home double this season.

Mourinho and Conte were involved in some clashes on the sidelines during a heated game in which Herrera was shown a red.

The Man United coach had a rough time from the home fans on the sidelines, but calmly reminded them of the three trophies won by him at the Bridge during his time at the helm.

The Reds had an obvious game plan of not letting Hazard play by means of fouls, but eventually pushed it too far, with Herrera being the victim. Herrera’s first yellow was virtue of a body check on the Belgian. Then, just 15 minutes later on the 35′, he got a second yellow for a trip on the Blues’ number 10 seconds after Fellaini had just fouled him.

The one man advantage made it easy for Chelsea to dominate proceedings from then on, with United rarely getting out of their half and Chelsea having target practice on De Gea. The winner on the 51′ minute came from unlikely source and deserved man of the match N’Golo Kante.

Kante’s goal was a low drive from the edge of the box that caught Man United’s shotstopper by surprise and curled into the left bottom corner.

Rashford (who had been bed stricken by sickness the previous couple of days) had a chance to draw things level late on. It was a quick counter attack in which he had Cahill on the ropes, but Courtois came to the rescue, coming out quickly to save Rashford’s goalbound effort.

Chelsea go on to Wembley for the FA Cup semi final, where they have drawn Tottenham in a highly anticipated clash on April 22nd.

 

The Premier League Round Up

Last weekend was an eventful one so let’s delve right into the action.

Manchester United 1-1 Bournemouth

Man Utd were held to  a one-all draw against the Cherries. Rojo scored first on the 23′ for United then King equalised with a penalty on 40′. Mings and Ibrahimovic were involved in a few incidents including a head stamp and a nasty elbow. Surman got sent to the stands for pushing Ibra over after already picking up  a yellow just on half time.

Leicester City 3-1 Hull City

Leicester contuined their winning ways after coming from behind. Clucas struck  Hull in front  within 14′ but then the Foxes got three without reply from Fuchs (27′), Mahrez (59′) and an OG from Huddleston on the 90′ mark.

Stoke City 2-0 Middlesbrough 

Stoke ran out winners at home against relegation-threatened opposition Middlesbrough. It was an Arnautovic first half  double (29′,42′) that was the difference between the two in the end.

Swansea City  3-2 Burnley

Swansea got a crucial win at home against fellow relegation fighters Burnley. It was Swansea who got the first score thanks to talisman Llorente on 12′ then the Clarets’ main man got them back into it with a penalty from Gray on 20′. Sean Dyche’s men got in front after the break thanks to Gray again on62′ but it wasn’t enough as Olssen brought it back quickly ib 69′. The Swans then waited right up until the end but their main man Llorente was there again on the 92′ to win it.

Watford 3-4 Southampton

Southampton got the three points in a seven-goal thriller at Vicarage Road. Troy Deeney started off the scoring early on the 4′ but Southampton got two before the break thanks to Tadic 29, and a first of a Redmound double 45+2′. Okaka then started off a frantic last 10 minutes bringing it back to a draw on 79′. The Saints then got two in three minutes thanks to their main man at the moment Gabbiadini 83′ and a second of the double from Redmound 86′. Watford pulled one back thanks to Doucoure 90+4 but it was too little too late as Southampton got the win.

West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Crystal Palace 

Palace got a crucial win in their bid to stay in the Premier League at the Hawthorns. Allyardyce will be relieved to have two wins on the bounce and get out of the rut they were in. He has Zaha and Townsend to thank as two second half goals 55′ and 84′ respectively earned them the three points.

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

Liverpool got a big win in the race for a Champions League spot against rivals for the spot, Arsenal. This loss now puts massive pressure on Wenger after being completely outplayed by the ‘Pool with many fans calling for a change since the Munich embarrassment. Firmino started off the scoring on 9′ and then Mane doubled the lead before the break 40’. Welbeck pulled one back to give hope for the Gunners on 57′ but just before full time, Wijnaldum put a stop to that on 90+1.

Tottenham Hotspurs 3-2 Everton

Spurs beat Everton to cut Chelsea’s gap on the top to six points. Kane’s double looked to give Tottenham an easy time, 20′ and 56′, but Lukaku pulled one back to make it a nervous last 10 minutes. Then Alli calmed Spurs’ fans with a goal on the 90+2.Valencia got one back a minute later 90+3′ but it turned out to just be a constellation with Tottenham getting all three points.

Sunderland 0-2 Manchester City 

Sunderland remain rooted to the bottom of the table after yet another loss, this time to Man City. Aguero opened up the scoring just before half time on the 42′ then 10 minutes into the second half, Sane doubled the lead 52′ to give City a comfortable win.

West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea FC

Chelsea extended their lead at the top with a win against West Ham. This puts Chelsea 10 points ahead of nearest rivals Tottenham and set for the title this year. Hazard broke the deadlock on 25′, finishing off a nice counter attack. Costa doubled their lead just after the break on the 25′ mark but the Hammers had other ideas with Lanzini pulling one back at the death 90++2′. Unfortunately for them, it turned out to be only a consolation.

My Champions League Round 16 Predictions: Part 2

This week kicks off the first leg of the other four games in the Champions League round 16 and again I’m trying to predict the results.Last week I got 2/4 of the games but I’m going for all four this week.

Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid

With Atletico Madrid topping their group over Bayern Munich, they got matched with Leverkusen, who finished second  below Monaco in their group. I have a feeling this one is going to be close but with Madrid coming out on top. I think Griezman will be the difference overall, maybe not with a goal but with his overall play. So I’m going with an Atletico Madrid win.

Manchester City v Monaco

Monaco topped their group over Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester City came second under Barcelona.  Monaco are  currently topping the Ligue I and City are currently sitting on second in the EPL but I think City will pull through. Even with them being shaky at the back and Monaco’s Falco flying a the moment, I think City’s midfield and forwards have the better quality to pull them through. So I’m going to go with a Man City win.

FC Porto v Juventus

Juventus came first in their group over Sevilla, while FC Porto came second to Leicester City in their group. Out of the four games, this game is the easiest to predict. I think Juventus’s quality all over the pitch will just be too much for Porto, much like the Arsenal vs Bayern Munich match. So I’m going for a Juventus win.

Sevilla v Leicester City

This is the opposite to the match above, with Sevilla coming below Juventus and The Foxes finishing above Porto. Leicester are currently struggling in the Premier League, with relegation a very real threat, and Sevilla are doing extremely well in the La Liga, currently third, just three points behind leaders Real Madrid. Based on this and how much better the players are performing, I think it’s a clear winner. I’m going to go with a Sevilla win.

Opinion:How Irish media is joining the English trend of hyping football players

With the rise of  websites like Balls.ie, Sportsjoe.ie and The42, a lot more Irish players are getting a lot more attention than they would have gotten five or ten years ago. This is fantastic and leads to more opportunities to find players like Daryl Horgan (a very talented player). In my opinion, he may have been overlooked without these websites posting articles about him, which would have meant no move to Preston North-End and no Ireland cap. However, this now seems to have led to sports websites trying to over-hype more and more under the radar players, to try and garner another success story.

No one loves taking the mick out of the English media for overhyping more than the Irish, but some Irish websites have begun to do it with already established players. An example of this would be the Robbie Brady transfer saga to Norwich. Balls.ie were posting stories about a move by Brady to a Premier League side with a transfer fee of £25 million.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Robbie Brady as much as the next Irishman and I will never forget that night in Lille, but £25 million is asking a bit much. Norwich fans have stated their discontent with Brady over social media, saying he is a different player with the green jersey on, and perhaps they’re right. However, these websites are only seeing the international Brady who could be worth that much, and not his current club form.

At the end of the day, I believe these websites should (deservedly) hype up some of these players, but keep in mind not every Irish player will be the next Robbie Keane .