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

Moyes confirmed as Manchester United manager on six-year contract

David Moyes will succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United

David Moyes will succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager of Manchester United

Manchester United have confirmed David Moyes has been new appointed manager of the Red Devils on a six-year contract.  Moyes will take over from the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson,  on June 31 after he finishes the current season with Everton.

Moyes’ ability to cope with the pressure of succeeding Ferguson had been questioned, but their is no doubt about the fifty-year-old’s talent.  He took over at Everton in 2002, and has since done wonders with the side on a very tight budget, consistently earning the Toffes’ a top ten finish in the Premier League.  Everton even achieved a top four finish during Moyes’ reign, despite only spending around £131 million during his 11 year spell at Everton, compared to Manchester United’s total of around £393 million during that time.  Although Moyes went without a trophy during his time at Goodison Park, his work their impressed Ferguson enough for the 71-year-old to recommended Moyes to be his successor after the Everton manager had been picked as favorite for the job. Continue reading

Midweek Musings: Handicapping the EPL run-in

While the English Premier League title title and relegation battle have all been sorted out and won, the top-four battle is still wide open. Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Everton all battle to earn that crucial spot in next season’s Uefa Champions League, and if not, a spot in the Uefa Europa League. Only one of the sides will not be competing for a European trophy next season, while one will have the sometimes aggravating spot in the Europa League. So, here is an analysis of the final run-in for the teams competing for a spot in Europe:

Current table
Only one Champions League spot has been taken (Manchester United took first place), with Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Everton still competing for the final three spots. Manchester City currently sit in second, Chelsea in third, Arsenal in fourth, Tottenham in fifth, and Everton sit in sixth. Continue reading

MOTD- Sunderland 1-0 Everton

Sunderland have earned a huge win over Everton at the Stadium of Light, with Sunderland’s new manager Paolo Di Canio earning his second win as manager in as many games. The Black Cats started the match very energetically, but Danny Graham’s effort from the center of the box was just saved by Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard. Sunderland continued to pressure Everton, and Sebastian Larsson almost put Di Canio’s side in front in the twelfth minute when Marouane Fellaini brought down Danny Rose twenty-five yards out from goal. Larsson stepped up to take the kick, and his curling shot just skimmed of the top of the bar. Everton slowly started to settle into the match, with Kevin Mirallas’s low shot goal-bound from the edge of the box deflected behind by John O’Shea.

The Black Cats slowly began to dominate, and Larsson curled a free-kick from the left inches wide of the far post in the thirty-ninth minute. Seconds later Larsson forced Howard into a good diving save with another free-kick from a similar position, before Leighton Baines gifted Sunderland a goal right before the end of the first half. The England international played the ball straight to Rose inside his own half, and after charging through the Everton half, Rose slammed an effort into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box. Continue reading

MOTD- Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Everton

Tottenham Hotspur have dropped down to third place in the Premier League as Everton manage a good draw at White Hart Lane through a man of the match performance by Phil Jagielka.  The match had barely started, when Tottenham amazingly scored only thirty-four seconds into the game.  Center-back Jan Vertonghen received the ball on the left flank, and hit a low cross into the box.  Everton failed to clear it, and it fell to Emmanuel Adebayor two yards out from goal, who, at full stretch, managed to poke the ball through the legs of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard into the back of the net.  Everton were shell shocked by the goal, but quickly bounced back with Michael Dawson almost gifting The Toffes a goal when he played the ball straight to Leon Osman at the edge of the box.  Osman curled his shot just wide of the post, although a few Tottenham players were thinking it was going in.

David Moyes’ side kept pressing, and managed to find an equalizer in the fifteenth minute through a  Leighton Baines corner.  Baines swung the corner to the back post where Phil Jagielka had risen over Vertonghen, allowing the England international to head the ball into the back of the net.  After an unconvincing opening few minutes, Tottenham started to come alive, with Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Lewis Holtby shooting wide from long range efforts. Continue reading

MOTD preview- Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton

Tottenham will be without Gareth Bale for their Premier League match against Everton, which will give the Toffees a huge boost. Lately, Everton have been doing better in this fixture than Tottenham, with David Moyes’ side earning a good 2-1 win over Spurs in December 2012, and a 1-0 win back in March 2012. The Toffees have only lost once in the last five meetings between the two clubs, which have all been in the Premier League Continue reading

MOTD- Everton 0-3 Wigan

Wigan get an amazing win over Everton in the FA Cup Sixth Round, scoring three goals in nearly as many minutes.  Wigan started the game brightly, but the first chance went to Everton when Kevin Mirallas played a short corner to Leighton Baines in the fourth minute.  Baines hit a whipping cross into the box to Sylvain Distin but the Frenchman’s header went just wide of the post.  From then on it was all one-way traffic, with Wigan being surprisingly dominant and created many chances.  Wigan’s first big chance came when Shaun Maloney took the ball down the left flank in the eleventh minute, cut it into the middle, and hit a beautiful curling shot that rebounded off the post.  Wigan got another chance in the eighteenth minute, but Arouna Kone’s header went just over the bar from a good position.  Everton did get one good chance in the half, and in the twentieth minute Nikica Jelavic’s low shot from outside the Wigan box forced Wigan goalkeeper Joel Robles to get down to his left and push it away.

Wigan finally went ahead in the thirtieth minute when a magnificent corner bent back to the far post, and it found the head of Maynor Figueroa at the back post, and the defender’s thumping header snuck into the back of the net from six yards out.  Amazingly, Wigan got another goal just a minute later and when a horrible Phil Neville back pass was intercepted by Callum McManaman.  McManaman took the ball into the Everton box, and shot it over an oncoming Jan Mucha and into the back of the net.  Wigan didn’t stop there and incredibly scored again, just 202 seconds after Figueroa’s goal.  Kone took the ball down the left flank and cut it back for Jordi Gomez at the edge of the box, and Gomez hit a wicked first time shot that curled past a helpless Mucha and into the bottom left corner.  You could already see the game slowing down, and the rest of the first half was uneventful with Wigan going into the break  3-0 up.

Everton started the second half brightly, but that did not top their fans from loudly booing them.  Their first chance came when Marouane Fellaini struck a shot with the outside of his boot from twenty-five yards out and it hit the post but bounced out.  Everton started to apply pressure and won a few corners, but it just wasn’t their day and Wigan easily cleared all of them.  The last chance of the match was Everton’s best, but Seamus Coleman horribly missed a free header from five yards out after Mucha had parried a well struck Leon Osman volley into his path.  The miss pretty much summed up Everton’s night, and the match ended 3-0.
Man of the Match: Arouna Kone