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Premier League Gameweek 4 Review

It is hard enough to play multi-millionaires Manchester City at the Etihad with 11 men on the pitch never mind 10.

So Liverpool found it tough, would most probably have been beaten however well they played, but, given a lacklustre performance, City smacked five past them.

Liverpool were already trailing to Sergio Aguero’s cool finish when Sadio Mane was sent off eight minutes before half-time for a high challenge on Ederson that left City’s keeper requiring lengthy treatment before being replaced by Claudio Bravo.

Gabriel Jesus made it two, Aguero set up Jesus for his second after the break before substitute Leroy Sane added a late brace.

Under pressure  Arsenal, after defeats to Stoke and Liverpool, got the show back on the road, beating Bournemouth 3-0 at the Emirates.

The visitors are yet to register a point after a fourth successive defeat.

Danny Welbeck headed the Gunners in front after six minutes, record signing Alexandre Lacazette doubled the lead before Welbeck added a third just after half-time.

It was comfortable for Arsenal and Bournemouth already look like they are in a relegation battle.

As per usual, Harry Kane failed to score in August.

As per usual he is up and running in September, notching two as Tottenham secured a comprehensive 3-0 away win at Everton.

Kane got lucky for the first, his 100th Premier League goal, as an attempted cross from the right looped over home keeper Jordan Pickford.

Christian Eriksen scored Spurs’ second from close range before Kane sealed the game with a neat finish immediately after the break.

For Everton, it could have been even worse and follows their loss at Chelsea in their previous game.

They aspire to be a top-four side, but, despite a summer of heavy spending in the transfer market, are still to make that step up.

Tottenham, however, who have been right there challenging for the last two seasons, will hope that this time they can reach the mountain top.

Chelsea march on, winning 2-1 at Leicester and in the process sending out a message that the Champions are intent on retaining their crown.

Alvaro Morata nodded in before half-time and N’Golo Kante made it two, declining to celebrate out of respect to his old club.

Jamie Vardy got one back from the penalty spot but Leicester couldn’t find an equaliser.

Stoke are immensely strong at home and managed to thwart yet another big name visitor.

It ended 2-2 as Manchester United’s 100 per cent start to the season came to an end.

For Stoke, new signing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting struck twice.

Marcus Rashford got lucky, scoring with a fluke, and Romelu Lukaku netted another.

Premier League Preview – Game Week 2 2017/18 Season

Chelsea bounced back from their shock home defeat to Burnley as they capitalised on Tottenham’s Wembley jinx.

They won 2-1 with a brace from Marcos Alonso.

Hugely disappointing for Mauricio Pochettino’s side who are playing their home matches at the national stadium this season as White Hart Lane undergoes renovation.

They thought they had a point when Michy Batshuayi headed Christian Eriksen’s cross into his own net on 82 minutes.

But Chelsea found a late winner to get them up and running in the Premier League.

Barely deserved – the shot goes under Hugo Lloris who definitely should have saved it – as Spurs were dominant. Yet Harry Kane still can’t score goals in August. Remarkable.

Different season but the same old Arsenal – can’t beat bogie side Stoke City.

The Gunners went down 1-0 in the bear pit that is the BET365 Stadium.

Former Real Madrid winger Jese Rodriguez got the goal 90 seconds into the second half, put in by Saido Berahino, and the home side hung on from there.

In truth, Arsenal did not have many chances.

Alexandre Lacazette rifled in but was adjudged marginally offside.

But Stoke were dogged and unusually Arsenal were struggling to create

A very disappointing day for the Londoners, just the sort of game they need to win if they are to challenge for glory.

Not that the Stoke crowd cared – they cheered their team’s every kick and howled derision on Arsenal’s every mistake.

Manchester United smashed a poor Swansea City 4-0 away.

Eric Bailly give United a 1-0 lead at half time, but took their time to seal it.

Romelu Lukaku made it two in the 80th minute, Paul Pogba added a third and substitute Anthony Martial fired in low to give United a second 4-0 win from their first two matches of the campaign.

Manager Jose Mourinho has never failed to win the league title in his second season at a club and already looks to be on target.

Liverpool will be exultant at getting three points and a clean sheet at Anfield.

Sadio Mane did the business as Crystal Palace suffered a second straight defeat.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were heading for a frustrating draw after wasting a string of chances when Mane prodded past Wayne Hennessey for his second league goal of the campaign.

Liverpool battered the Palace defence with 16 shots – half of them on target – but for once could not extend their lead.

 

Eventmasters in Birmingham Moseley sponsorship package

Sports hospitality agency Eventmasters has got behind Birmingham Moseley’s 1st XV.

The firm has agreed a third season’s sponsorship deal for its name to go on the rugby team’s shorts.

“We believe we are front-runners in the Midlands and beyond at what we do and this is definitely the only occasion we have ever brought up the rear,” quipped Eventmasters managing director Denise Sheasby.

“We are committing a significant four-figure sum but believe it is money well spent. Moseley may have been bottom of the pile last year, being unfortunately relegated from the Championship, but this season, with an impressive new squad, should be up there challenging in National League One for an immediate return.

“With its new stand – opened last year – putting extra bums on seats, positioning itself very much as a corporate hospitality venue for everything from conferences to weddings, Moseley can look forward to a successful future.”

The new season also sees Birmingham Moseley face Coventry for the first time since 2010 in what is North Midlands rugby’s most famous fixture – the pair clashed at Billesley Common in the first coming-together on Saturday September 10 with Birmingham Moseley victorious 19-14.

Eventmasters, which also has a catering arm, provide hospitality solutions at a wide range of sporting events outside of their official appointed at Twickenham for International Rugby including horse racing, football, cricket, tennis and a variety of other sports.

 

Premier League Game Week 4 Preview

After the international break the Premier League returns for Game Week Four of action and what a weekend it promises to be with Liverpool taking on Leicester City and the big one, Mourinho v Guardiola – The Manchester Derby.

Manchester United v Manchester City kicks-off a fantastic weekend of Premier League football

It is the clash of the Manchester giants this weekend – Manchester United take on Manchester City at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho pitted against Pep Guardiola.

Mouth-watering. Expect the pair to be stalking the touchline, screaming at their players, lots of arm-waving and gesticulation, and saving plenty of glares for each other.

Hopefully those on the pitch won’t be too pumped up or it could spell trouble. In matches between Pep and Jose sides down the years, no fewer than 10 players have been sent off.

But this will be their first Premier League encounter. Mourinho and Guardiola’s relationship stretches back more than 20 years, when they were together at Barcelona as assistant coach and player.

At first relations were relatively close but it all went sour as they found themselves under huge pressure when in opposing dugouts for games between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

When Mourinho took over at United, he took a pragmatic approach when asked about Guardiola, stating: “If in the Premier League I was to focus on him and Manchester City and he were to focus on me and Manchester United, someone else would be champion.”

Both have three wins out of three so far this season so something has to give. With the teams a work in progress, big signings, a huge clear-out of unwanted stars, it will be an intriguing contest.

And it will certainly amount to more than Zlatan Ibrahimović – he loathes Guardiola too incidentally after an acrimonious year at Barcelona – versus John Stones as is being talked up.

Will Jose play Marcus Rashford after his late substitute appearance and winning goal against Hull, plus the 18-year-old’s hat-trick for England Under-21s in their 6-1 thrashing of Norway?

City will be without suspended top scorer Sergio Aguero,

It all may come too soon for Ilkay Gundogan but the central midfielder, signed from Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer, is nearing his Manchester City debut as he gradually recovers from a dislocated kneecap.

Could he make the bench perhaps?

Arsenal face Southampton – while Liverpool open their new stand with a clash against champions Leicester City

Arsenal take on Southampton at the Emirates with centre-forward Olivier Giroud back to full fitness. He has been eased into the season after his exertions over the summer as France reached the final of Euro 2016.

Alexis Sanchez has been leading the line to date so it will be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger shuffles his pack and whether he gives a starting berth to new signing Lucas Perez.

Liverpool welcome Leicester to Anfield, the Reds’ first home match of the season due to work on the new Main Stand – it will be officially in use for the first time. High profile signing from Southampton, Sadio Mane, has confirmed he will be fit despite picking up a knock on international duty with Senegal.

Liverpool’s inconsistency remains a worry, so far featuring a win against Arsenal, defeat at Burnley and a draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

It leaves them 11th in the table albeit it is early days.

Chelsea looking to continue perfect start – Tottenham Hotspur looking to pick up momentum

Swansea v Chelsea on Sunday will be a further opportunity to see how the Stamford Bridge squad are coming together. New manager Antonio Conte has nine points out of nine, an excellent start after last season’s angst.

David Luiz is back following a £32 million transfer deadline day move from PSG and it will be fascinating to see where he fits in.

Fellow new boy Marcos Alonso, signed from Fiorentina is set to take the left-back slot, with current incumbent Cesar Azpilcueta shifting to his more natural right side.

Stoke and Tottenham Hotspur will be a clash of styles, the more rumbustious Stoke approach against the silky skills of Spurs. The London side will see clever midfielder Christian Eriksen pulling the strings – he has signed a new contract, keeping him with the club until 2020.

The Denmark international, aged 24, has made 134 appearances for Tottenham since joining them from Ajax in August 2013.

Premier League Corporate Hospitality Packages

For more information please see our Premier League hospitality packages page for full details of all our official packages.

Marcus Rashford’s Incredible 2016

When Sam Allardyce announced his England squad for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia there were one or two talking points. One was the omission of Ross Barkley who has had a great start to the season at Everton, one was the omission of injury prone & out of form Jack Wilshere.

But one which caused a few questions at Big Sam’s opening press conference was the decision to drop Marcus Rashford into the U21’s for the game against Denmark.

On the decision to leave Rashford out Allardyce said the following  “I think that having international experience in the u21s will be invaluable for us later down the line and I think if he plays for Manchester United on a regular basis – and is breaking into that team – then he’ll be in my squad”

It is fair to say that Big Sam could only base his decision on a 20 minute cameo Rashford had in his last game for Manchester United against Hull.

He has warmed the bench for all of Jose Mouriniho games so far in the Premier League.

But what a cameo against Hull once again Rashford made the difference running at a tired Hull defence & scoring the winning goal for Man United once again.

Rashford’s remarkable 2016

Date      What happened?

25 Feb   Scores twice on United debut against Midtjylland in the Europa League

28 Feb   Scores another double on his Premier League bow in a 3-2 win over Arsenal

21 May Starts for United as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the FA Cup final

27 May Scores three minutes into his England debut in a friendly against Australia

6 Sep     Scores a hat-trick on his Under-21 debut in a 6-1 win over Norway

Big Sam went with Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy & Wayne Rooney (Midfield). Kane seems to have lost all confidence at England level, Sturridge is injury prone & downs tools if played anywhere but as the lone striker, Rooney seems to be a holding midfielder as he moves into his 30s whilst Vardy was on watching duty for the full 90 minutes.

Rashford hits hat-trick on England u-21 debut

So when Rashford made his debut last night for the under 21s & quickly scored a hat trick in front of the watching England manager.

It begs the question why didn’t England take the chance on the youngster, surely he would have asked more questions of the Slovakia defence especially when they went down to ten men.

But there is time for the young man it can be said we put both Rooney & Owen into the senior side too early & on a short term basis they shone brightly.

But both have struggled for form & fitness moving through there late twenties early thirties.

But what a rise to stardom for Rashford in 2016 there is no doubt he will star for the national team in due course let’s hope 2017 will be just as good. Under manager Jose Mouriniho & rubbing shoulders with Rooney & Ibrahimović day in day out there is no way Rashford won’t become a top striker.

Premier League returns after international break

After the international break the Premier League returns this weekend for another fantastic weekend of action. The Manchester Derby kicks-off the weekend and there is also fantastic action at Anfield as Liverpool take on Leicester City.

For more information please see our Premier League hospitality packages page for full details of all our official packages.

Jose Mourinho holds first Manchester United press conference

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has held his first press conference since taking charge of the Old Trafford club.

‘The Special One’ took charge of the Red Devils after previous manager Louis Van Gaal was sacked in May, shortly after winning the FA Cup Final at Wembley.

At his first press conference the 53-year-old stated, “I think it is a job everyone wants and not many have a chance to have and I have it.”

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager has wasted little time in making additions to his squad having already secured the signatures of defender Eric Bailly (FC Villarreal) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund) and Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG).

These signings are certainly exciting additions to the Manchester United squad and they are sure to be fan favourites at The Theatre of Dreams.

Another superstar could soon be about to join the ranks with rumours circulating that France and Juventus star Paul Pogba could be on his way to the Premier League in a deal worth £100 million.

Mourinho looking to bring titles back to Manchester United in the 2016/17 season

After rivals Manchester City unveiled new manager Pep Guardiola on Sunday, Mourinho laid down the gauntlet to his old foe, stating that he is at United to “win it all”.

Mourinho said in his press conference: “It would be quite pragmatic to say let’s work and let’s try to be back to the Champions League, be back to the top four.

“I am not good on that and I didn’t want to be good on that. I am more aggressive. We want to win. I want everything. I want to win matches, I want to play well.”

The Portuguese maestro then went on to add that the style of play under previous managers David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal would be a thing of the past, saying: “I could not approach this job in a defensive point of view by saying the best we did was fourth and the FA Cup.

“I can’t go there. The last three years, I want to forget. I don’t want the players to start by thinking we have to do better.”

Mourninho will be the first Manchester United manager in 29-years to begin a season without Ryan Giggs at the club.

The record-appearance holder has been part of the coaching staff in recent-years but has ended his nearly three-decade association with the club.

But Mourinho has vowed to move club captain Wayne Rooney further up the field saying: “Maybe he is not a striker any more, maybe he is not a number nine any more, but with me he will never be a number six or somebody who plays 50 metres away from the goal.”

One thing is for sure the season is sure to be an explosive one with Mourinho at the helm.

For more information on Manchester United hospitality packages for 2016/17 please follow the link.

 

Euro 2016 – Wales continue amazing run to semi-finals

What an amazing Euro 2016 championships this is proving to be. England may not be there after an ignominious departure but Wales certainly are.

At the start of the tournament Gareth Bale was being quizzed by commentators and insisting little Wales were not just in France to make up the numbers.

But he went further than that and maintained that the ambition was to get to the final and win. That provoked a certain amount of wry amusement. Fighting talk by the minnow. It would be good if they could get out of their group and go home with honour.

But winning it? You’re in fantasy land there, Gareth.

Nobody is saying it now. Wales stand just two games away from the supposedly impossible achievement. They have Portugal next – Bale v Ronaldo. How exciting is that?

Portugal should win … but then Belgium should have won and were put away 3-1.

Portugal are not a brilliant side. They have a superstar in Ronaldo, a youngster who really looks the part in Renato Sanches and former Manchester United winger Nani. But that is about it.

And, anyway, Wales have their own superstar in Bale.

Portugal have not been convincing. Famous last words, but Ronaldo has been relatively quiet. Wales won’t fear them – that is for certain. They will respect them, but fear? No.

As the pundits declared, Hal Robson Kanu’s goal against Belgium would have done justice to Lionel Messi. Done justice to Ronaldo. His Cruyff turn sent three defenders the wrong way and it was face to face with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Even then you might have expected this ex-Reading forward, currently without a club, to panic, hit a tame shot, smash it wide. Instead he calmly slotted it past Courtois for one of the great goals.

He and his team-mates are playing out of their skins. It is wonderful to watch. And makes you ponder how England can be so poor. But we won’t go there – there’s simply too much hurt.

Meanwhile on the other side of the Euro 2016 draw the big boys are all coming up against each other

Germany eliminated Italy in a penalty shoot-out. Now the host nation have thrashed brave Iceland it is Germany v France in the semis.

These are draining encounters which might take a toll come the final.

So let’s dare to dream and think a Wales v Germany final.

I find it hard to even write those words yet it could come to pass. Surely Wales could not overcome a German side with so many great players. Could St David slay Goliath?

What we have to remember is that there is previous when it comes to upsets.

Greece, who have done nothing before or since, won in 2004. Denmark claimed the prize in 1992 – only in the finals because UEFA did not allow Yugoslavia, then in its death throws amidst bloody war and appalling atrocities, to participate.

So it is now OK for Wales to dare to dream.

 

Attention turns to the Premier League season which returns in August

Football fans attention now turns to the 2016/17 Premier League season. The most exciting league in the world will feature some of the finest managers on the planet this season with Jose Mourinho taking the reigns at Manchester United. Antonio Conte taking charge of Chelsea and Pep Guardiola arriving at Manchester City.

Can Leicester City mount a serious defence of their Premier League title? Will Tottenham Hotspur once again be pushing for Champions League football? Can Liverpool be the dark horses under Jurgen Klopp?

All will be revealed on the opening weekend of the season – Saturday 13th/Sunday 14th/Monday 15th August 2016.

For more information please see our Premier League hospitality packages page.

Jose Mourinho confirmed as new Manchester United manager

Manchester United have confirmed Jose Mourinho as their new manager, with the ‘Special One’ signing a three-year-deal at Old Trafford.

On Monday United announced that manager Louis Van Gaal would leave the club, 48-hours after delivering the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Wembley; the clubs first win in the competition for 12-years.

Mourinho won the Premier League title with Chelsea in the 2014/15 season, but was unable to reach the same levels in 2015/16 and left Stamford Bridge in December. But his record as a manager is unrivalled, particularly in the Premier League where his 66% win ratio is the best in the history of the league.

After a turbulent two seasons under Van Gaal, which has seen vocal criticism from both fans and pundits for the style of play, it will be interesting to see how Mourinho changes things. But one thing is for certain, ‘The Special One’ guarantees success.

Manchester United a special club for the Special One

Manchester United released a statement saying: “Jose, 53, has managed at the top level of European football for over a decade and in that time has won league titles and cups in four countries (Portugal, England, Italy and Spain), as well as winning the UEFA Champions League twice – in 2004 with FC Porto and in 2010 with Inter Milan.”

While Mourinho added, “To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game. It is a club known and admired throughout the world. There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.”

The move also adds another fascinating subplot to the Manchester Derby, as Mourinho goes head-to-head with new Man City manager Pep Guardiola. The pair enjoyed a superb rivalry when in they were in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona – and fans will be hoping for the same levels of drama.

While the potential signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will excite the Old Trafford crowds.

One thing is for sure the Premier League needs Mourinho and it is great to have him back.

 

Premier League Game Week 29 Preview

After some thrilling midweek action, Premier League football returns this weekend with the 29th round of action featuring some superb matches including the North London Derby as Tottenham Hotspur face Arsenal, in a crucial title showdown.

During the week none of the top four sides registered a victory which meant Leicester City maintained their three point lead over the chasing pack. While Liverpool’s stunning 3-0 win over Manchester City effectively ruled the 2014 champions out of the Premier League title race.

North London Derby could decide the fate of the Premier League title

This weekend’s clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal could be the biggest in the history of this illustrious fixture. Both teams arrive on the back of midweek defeats, but crucially Spurs are just three points off the leaders.

Arsene Wenger hasn’t underplayed the importance of the victory saying “It is one of the few derbies where the title is at stake. It is a big one, a very important one.”

The Gunners will be without star goalkeeper Petr Cech who was injured against Swansea and will miss at least four weeks of action. The Arsenal defence will also be without centre-back Laurent Koscielny who has a damaged calf.

Tottenham seem to have no fresh injury concerns and will have Moussa Dembele and Dele Alli back in contention in midfield. Spurs form at White Hart Lane has been superb they have won four of their last five league games at White Hart Lane, with their only defeat against title rivals Leicester.

This will be one of the best games of the season, but the injuries in Arsenal’s defence probably just give the edge to Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea looking to stay unbeaten under Hiddink

Chelsea FC continue to go from strength-to-strength under interim manager Gus Hiddink, their 2-1 win over Norwich in the week moved them into 10th place and they can close the gap on the top four to five points with a win against Stoke.

Hiddink could be without John Terry and Pedro who are still recovering from hamstring problems. But Diego Costa is in red-hot form and will once again be key to the Blues chances. Both teams arrive in good form having won their last three league games and this could be a cracker.

Chelsea’s form since the arrival of Hiddink gives them the edge.

Liverpool and Manchester United in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon

Manchester United will be searching for their sixth consecutive win in all competitions when they travel to The Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion.

Louis Van Gaal’s men have produced some superb performances in recent weeks which have spearheaded by the likes of Juan Mata and teenager Marcus Rashford. The young striker scored twice against Arsenal last week in a 3-2 victory and has been a revelation since making his debut.

West Brom have been rejuvenated in recent weeks and fully deserved their 2-2 draw against Leicester City.

Liverpool FC bounced back from their Capital One Cup final defeat with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Man City at Anfield. After the match Jurgen Klopp was full of praise saying: “It was the best reaction I can imagine. It was how it should be. I said to the boys that we have to show that we want it more and from the first second on that was exactly the attitude.

“I think this was the best pressing performance we have done. City had no time to play football.

Klopp’s men are still in the hunt for a Champions League spot and face a trip to Crystal Palace, who are struggling to find any form after a blistering start to the season.

With the likes of Roberto Firmino and James Milner in excellent form, you can really see that Klopp’s philosophy is starting to become engrained in the players. Daniel Sturridge has also returned to lead this potent attacking line-up.

Stand by for another dazzling display from The Reds.

Please follow the links to our football hospitality packages page.

Premier League Game Week 25 Preview

After some fantastic midweek encounters the Premier League continues this weekend with round 25 of action. Once again there are some huge encounters including Manchester City v Leicester and Chelsea v Manchester United.

Liverpool FC v Sunderland

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side will be looking to bounce back after their midweek loss at league leaders Leicester. The German could welcome back influential midfielder Philippe Coutinho who has missed the past month with a hamstring injury.

Roberto Firmino will be looking to maintain his excellent run of form, with his goals and assists proving crucial in recent games. A loss would mean consecutive Premier League losses at Anfield for the first time since 2012.

But the Reds should have too much for their struggling opponents and three points could move them back into the top seven of the Barclays Premier League.

Please click here for more information on our Liverpool FC hospitality packages.

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford

High flying Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to continue their sensational form as they face Watford at White Hart Lane. Another victory could lift Spurs into the top two of the Barclays Premier League.

The performances of Dele Alli and Harry Kane have been crucial to Spurs run of form. The pair both scored in the 3-0 win over Norwich in the week and Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping Alli is fit to play after dizzy spells.

Kane has 14 goals in his last 15 Premier League games and with the form he is in it is hard to see Watford getting anything from their trip to White Hart Lane.

For more information on our official Tottenham Hotspur hospitality packages please click here.

Chelsea v Manchester United

The big game on Sunday is the clash of the two Dutch managers as Gus Hiddink takes on Louis Van Gaal.

Chelsea are unbeaten in the Premier League since Hiddink took over from Jose Mourinho. He will have a fully fit squad to pick from and will be hoping Diego Costa continues his fine form along with midfielder Oscar.

Wayne Rooney and Manchester United seem to have rediscovered there scoring touch and blew Stoke City away in the week with a stunning 3-0 win. They will be confident of getting a positive result from Stamford Bridge.

For more information on our Chelsea FC hospitality packages please click here.