Arsenal beat Newcastle, Chelsea beat Everton, Ferguson ends career with 10-goal thriller; EPL final weekend review

Victor Anichebe challenges Oscar in Chelsea's 2-1 win over Everton

Victor Anichebe challenges Oscar in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Everton

The 2012/2013 English Premier League has come to a close, with the final day of football proving as dramatic as it was exciting.  Although Arsenal held on to take fourth place and a spot in the Champions League, The Gunners had a nervy finish in their match against Fulham after Tottenham beat Sunderland 1-0.  Chelsea held on to third place in their 2-1 win over Everton, while Queens Park Rangers ended the season with a 1-0 loss to Liverpool.  Elsewhere, Norwich beat Manchester City, Southampton drew 1-1 with Stoke City, Fulham beat Swansea 3-0, West Ham United took the three points against Reading, Wigan’s matcg against Aston Villa ended level, and Sir Alex Ferguson singed off at Manchester United with a thrilling 5-5 draw at West Brom.

West Brom looked like they were doomed from the start at The Hawthorns, and The Baggies were down by the third minute cortesy of Shinji Kagawa’s header.  Jonas Olsson directed the ball into his own net, before Alexander Buttner’s low shot gave United a 3-0 lead.  James Morrison pulled one back for West Brom five minutes before the half, and Romelu Lukaku’s low effort from the edge of the box made it 2-3.  Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez made the score 5-2 in United’s favor, but two late goals by Lukaku and Youssuf Mulumbu from low crosses made it 5-4, before Lukaku earned his hat-trick by shuffling the ball into the back of the net.

Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny’s volley from point-blank range gave Arsenal a 1-0 win over Newcastle, and while Theo Walcott cold have relieved the late nerves in the last minute, his chip from six-yards hit the post.  Anyhow, Arsenal still took fourth place.

Tottenham missed multiple chances in their 1-0 win over ten-man Sunderland, and it took a eighty-ninth minute stunning thirty-five yard curler from Gareth Bale too give Tottenham the win.  Spurs should have taken the lead much earlier though, but they didn’t, even though Scott Parker had his shot blocked on the line and Aaron Lennon hit the post in a goalmouth scramble in the sixty-first minute. Continue reading

MOTD- Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Brest

David Beckham ended his professional career with a vintage performance against Brest, in a match that was played more like a testimonial than a league match. Beckham didn’t have to wait long to have a good start to the final match of his career, and Paris Saint-Germain went up within four minutes of kick-off. Clement Chantome played it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who’s brilliant first-touch cut took him past his marker, before the Swede slammed a low shot to past Brest goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux into the far corner of the net from a tight angle on the right side of the box. Brest were stunned after going behind so early, and it took a brilliant burst off his line for Thebaux to intercept Beckham’s classic long ball over the top for Ibrahimovic. Although Brest Kamel Chafni forced PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Siriguto tip his fierce volley from thirty-yards away, PSG unsurprisingly doubled their lead in the thirty-first minute when Beckham’s corner found Blaise Matuidi, who had died his hair the PSG colors in celebration of the French side winning the league title, at the front post. The Frenchman mishit his first-time half-volley, but it still managed to bounce off the ground and squeeze it’s way into the top corner of the net.

In the thirty-fifth minute Beckham was given a perfect opportunity to score a classic goal when Mario Licka conceded a foul in Beckham-free-kick range, but instead, Ibrahimovic stepped up to take the kick. The PSG No. 10 beautifully curled the free-kick from the left towards the top corner of the net, and while Thebaux should have saved, he flapped at the shot, allowing it to curl into the back of the net. Ibra should have had his hat-trick in the forty-second minute, but could only volley wide from the edge of the box after beating two Brest defenders. The Swede could not earn a first half-hat-trick though, and the first half ended 3-0.

Kevin Gameiro came close to giving PSG a fourth in the fifty-seventh minute, but his diving header from Beckham’s magnificent cross from the right whizzed wide of the post from the edge of the box. In the sixty-first minute Gameiro was put slipped through into a one-on-one position with Thebaux, and the forward’s low shot was expertly saved by the legs of the goalkeeper. Brest were given the pride of scoring a constellation goal in the eighty-first minute when the midfielder was slipped in on goal, before firing a low shot past substitute goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. Beckham was subbed seconds later, and after emotionally applauding the crowd and hugging his teammates (and opponents) he walked of the pitch for most likely the last time. The final ten minutes of the match was played in a celebratory mood, and the match finished 3-1 after three minutes of added time.
Man of the Match: David Beckham (Zlatan Ibrahimovic really)

MOTD- Real Madrid 1-2 Atletico Madrid

Ronaldo walks away from his challenge that lead to him getting sent off

Ronaldo walks away from his challenge that lead to him getting sent off

Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and Gabi were all sent off as Atletico Madrid win their first Madrid Derby since 1999, in an ill-tempered and thrilling Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu. Young center-back Miranda gave Atletico their extra time winner after Diego Costa had equalized to pull the final into extra time. Cristiano Ronaldo scored Madrid’s only goal of the game, although he and Jose Mourinho were both given their marching orders later in the match by referee Carlos Gomez. Amazingly, the match saw thirteen yellow cards, seven for Madrid and six for Atletico, and each side saw one of their players handed a second yellow deep into extra time.

The game in hand was a dramatic and thrilling encounter, and after a good spell from Madrid in the opening minutes of the game, Los Blancos found themselves in front after only fourteen minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo magnificently rose above his marker Diego Godin in the center of the Atletico box to latch onto Mesut Ozil’s corner, and slammed the corner past Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois into the far corner of the net. Continue reading

MOTD preview- Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

The Madrid Derby Copa del Rey final is set to be a great match, with Atletico traveling to the Bernabeu to face Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid side.  Both sides will love the silverware, which would be the victor’s first trophy of the season.  While managerial issues bombard the Real side before the match, with temperatures still running high and views split in the home dressing room, Atletico have no such issues to decrease their concentration of preparing for the match.  Diego Simone’s side will be facing Jose Mourinho as the Real manager for the last time, if Mourinho does what has been fixed for a long while and leave Madrid over the summer.

But put managerial issues aside, and the match is set to be a thrilling encounter.  Madrid have had the upper hand in this fixture for over a decade, and Los Galacticos have not lost to Atletico in La Liga since 1999.  Mourinho’s side have won in every one of their last thirteen league encounters with Atletico, scoring twenty-four goals in those matches.  But Atletico do have a good chance of winning, as Simone’s side have only lost twice in their last ten matches in all competitions, allowing only six goals and scoring fourteen since early March.  But whether Atletico can pull an upset or not, the match is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review, right here on Football Every Day!

MOTD- Arsenal 4-1 Wigan Athletic

Wigan players moan after going down at the Emirates

Wigan players moan after going down at the Emirates

Wigan Athletic continue their big week as they are relegated from the Premier League with a 4-1 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates stadium.  Only three days after The Lactics won their first FA Cup, the side has been relegated to the Championship for the first time since 2005.  The result is also massively important for Arsenal, and the win takes them above Tottenham Hotspur into fourth place, setting the stage for a dramatic final weekend of Premier League football for the season.

A strong start to the match lead to Arsenal almost taking the lead in the sixth minute, but Santi Cazorla headed Theo Walcott’s cross from the right inches wide of the near post.  Arsenal’s strong start continued, with the Gunners playing at an exhilarating tempo.  Arsene Wenger’s side look sure to score, and Lukas Podolski finally gave them the lead in the tenth minute off a corner.  Cazorla chipped the ball into the box, a strange method for a cross, and it bounced right across the box before meeting the unmarked head of Podolski, who headed it past the Wigan defenders guarding the line into the back of the net from six yards out. Continue reading

MOTD preview- Arsenal v Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic are set to travel to The Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in a highly important match for both sides. Wigan currently sit in eighteenth place in the Premier League, and need at least a draw to maintain their hopes of staying up. Arsenal on the other hand sit at the other end of the table in fifth place, and will be looking to go above Tottenham Hotspur into fourth place with a win, heavily increasing their chances of a top-four finish. Both sides know they desperately need the win, although it is perhaps more important to Wigan, who are on the brink of being relegated. The two sides will also be confident about gaining the three points, as they have both been on excellent form. Arsenal have been unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions, winning seven out of those nine matches and drawing twice. Wigan have only lost twice in their last eleven matches, and come off the back of a stunning 1-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup final to win the FA Cup for the first time.

Although Arsenal have recently had the upper hand in this fixture, winning four of the previous six meetings, Wigan will be looking to pull if an upset as they did the last time they faced Arsenal at the Emirates when the beat The Gunners 2-1. But whether The Lactics can pull off the upset of not, the match is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review right here on Football Every Day!

MOTD- Fulham 1-3 Liverpool

Daniel Sturridge perform's some fancy footwork against Fulham

Daniel Sturridge performs some fancy footwork against Fulham

Daniel Sturridge’s hat-trick has given Liverpool solid, although meaningless, 3-1 win against Fulham in The Cottager’s last match at Craven Cottage of the season.  Liverpool started the match looking the better side, keeping much of the possession in the opening minutes.  Philippe Coutinho came close to putting The Red’s in front in the fourteenth minute when he beat a Fulham defender before unleashing a fierce shot on goal from twenty-five yards out, which Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer brilliantly pushed away.  Although Fulham began to gain confidence, Liverpool managed to keep most of the possession.

Fulham looked dangerous on the counter-attack, and in the thirtieth minute the home side almost took the lead through Eyoung Enoh.  Enoh’s dipping volley from thirty-yards out forced Reina to awkwardly catch it, but it was no real danger to Liverpool.  Two minutes later Fulham surprisingly took the lead through Dimitar Berbatov’s fourteenth league goal of the season.  Sascha Riether’s superb cross from the right found Berbatov unmarked six yards out from goal, and the forward brilliantly headed it into the corner of the net to put Fulham up.  The Cottager’s lead was short lived though, and Liverpool equalized only three minutes later when Andre Wisdom’s long ball found Daniel Sturridge open in the Fulham half Continue reading