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Matchday 9: Premier League Weekend Review

Yet another interesting weekend of football in the Premier League, full of highs and lows. Here we examine the wins, draws and losses of the most significant games from the past couple of days.

Manchester United v Liverpool

Perhaps the most stand out football game of the weekend, Liverpool finally end their winning streak at Old Trafford. The Reds drew 1-1 against Manchester United on Sunday but still remain top of the table, six points clear.

Funnily enough, Liverpool has failed to win on their last six visits to United, comprising three losses and three draws. Liverpool were well short of their best but substitute, Lallana, rescued a point for the misfiring visitors. This was a significant moment for Lallana, having not scored a goal in 29 months. The Midfielder stated that ‘It’s been a tough couple of years for me, so it’s pleasing. I know my boy at home would have been watching and been delighted when that went in, so it’s a big moment and a massive point for us…we will take that.’

Missing the injured Mohamed Salah, Liverpool rarely displayed the intensity and attacking verve that has become their trademark. The match proved that Liverpool are not invincible but as the team are quick to point out, they still remain unbeaten so far this season. As it stands, their status as football Goliaths remains unscathed. Will we see their fighting spirit rekindled as they play Tottenham this weekend?

Tottenham v Watford

Speaking of Tottenham, their indifferent form continued with a 1-1 draw with bottom of the league Watford. There was some VAR confusion as Dele Alli scored Spurs’ only goal. The video assistant referee reviewed the goal and decided it was correctly awarded. The big screen, however, indicated the decision was ‘no goal’. After a spell of confusion, the goal was finally accepted. Alli stated. ‘It was my first start and great to be back in the team but overall a disappointing result.’

Football fans have taken to Twitter to voice their disappointment, many questioning Poch’s management. Speaking post-match, Poch mentioned how Spurs’ confidence has been knocked since the plundering Bayern Munich defeat. He was confident that the team could have scored a second goal if they were just given five more minutes.

Whilst a draw is better than a defeat, fans are desperately hoping that Spurs are able to put up more of a fight going forward. How will they fare against Red Star Belgrade tomorrow night?

Chelsea v Newcastle

Chelsea claimed a narrow victory against Newcastle during their match at Stamford Bridge last Saturday. This was Chelsea’s fifth uninterrupted victory across all competitions. The key to The Blues’ success this time around was most definitely their persistence. Manager, Frank Lampard, noted how ‘in the second half you saw a spirit and energy in the team. Today was tough, we had a bit of a problem and we solved it with the way we played in the second half.’

Their next battle will be against Ajax on Wednesday. Will the Blues be able to continue their winning streak and win their sixth consecutive game of football?

Crystal Palace v Manchester City

The biggest victory over the weekend was Man City who won 2-1 against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Guardiola’s men were quiet until the 39th minute as Gabriel Jesus met Bernardo Silva’s cross with a shrewd header. As if by magic, just 93 seconds later, David Silva then repeated the success with a second goal.

City have certainly proved that they are a force to be reckoned within football. Crystal Palace manager, Roy Hodgson, said of Man City ‘They are just a very good team. Could we have done more? Could we have created more chances? Yeah, maybe. If we spend £250 million and bring some of the best players in Europe. We are playing against a team picked from some of the best players in the world.’

City have admitted that there were opportunities in the second half to score further goals but as it stands, two was all they need to secure victory.

Once again, the weekend’s results proved that football can be full of surprises. Let’s see how next weekend’s highly anticipated games play out.

 

Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks to Kick-Start the NFL’s New Deal with Tottenham

An exciting new era of sport looks set to grace Tottenham Hotspurs’ new stadium in October as two of America’s signature NFL sides lock horns in the brand new state-of-the-art arena.

The NFL announced their London fixtures on Thursday 11th January for 2018 with the Oakland Raiders playing host to the Seattle Seahawks in Week Six of the NFL’s 2018/19 season.

Having won the Super Bowl on three separate occasions, the Raiders will certainly represent a formidable opponent for the Seahawks, who themselves claimed the coveted accolade in 2014.

The teams play host to some of the biggest names in the NFL with honourable mentions including quarterbacks Derek Carr and Russell Wilson as well as running back Marshawn Lynch and cornerback Richard Sherman.

The hotly anticipated NFL London 2018 fixture is set to mark the start of an exciting 10-year partnership between Spurs and the NFL.

The game will represent the NFL’s inaugural game at the new London venue – a setting which will feature an array of impressive purpose-built facilities.

The deal, which was initially announced in 2015, will see regular season games staged at Spurs’ new stadium from 2018 onwards. The new state-of-the-art arena, scheduled to officially open in the summer, will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath, a feature which has been created specifically for NFL games. Customised designs for the NFL, including a dedicated entrance, purpose-built dressing rooms as well as media and medical facilities will also prominently feature.

Tottenham Hotspur Chairman, Daniel Levy, stated his delight at the deal and the progress made by the Club recently by saying: ‘This is a milestone year for the Club as look ahead to the opening of our new stadium and all that it will bring to the area of Tottenham.

‘The NFL will bring a whole new audience to the local area, showcase Tottenham and bring further economic and social benefits with truly global coverage and attraction’.

Tottenham’s temporary home, the Wembley Stadium, will also play host to the NFL this year, with the Jacksonville Jaguars facing the Philadelphia Eagles and the LA Chargers hosting the Tennessee Titans. The two exciting fixtures will commence on the weekends of October 21st and 28th respectively. It certainly makes for a thrilling International season!