Premier League Preview: North London derby a must win for Spurs.

by SAM COX.

After maintaining their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-1 draw with Leicester, Tottenham face their hardest away fixture thus far this season.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino claimed it was “two points dropped” after throwing away their lead to the champions last weekend.

They face fierce rivals Arsenal on Sunday, who dismantled Sunderland at the Stadium of Light 4-1 a week ago.

Both sides come into this game after playing mid-week Champions League group games-but with contrasting emotions.

Arsenal overturned a two goal deficit at Ludogorets Razgrad to qualify for the last 16, whereas Tottenham slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Leverkusen at Wembley.

Last 5 Meetings

BPL 5/3/16: Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez pulls 10-man Arsenal level after Harry Kane made the match 2-1 with a sublime curling effort from outside the box.

BPL 8/11/15: Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham

Tottenham take the lead at the Emirates through Harry Kane but subsitute Kieran Gibbs rescues a point for the Gunners.

Capital One Cup 23/9/15: Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal

Mathieu Flamini asserts himself as a cult-hero as he grabs an un-characteristic double to knock Spurs out of the cup. 

 

BPL 7/2/15: Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal

Harry Kane scores his first in the North London derby to turn the game around after Arsenal took the lead.

BPL 27/9/14: Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain equalises for Arsenal after Nacer Chadli took the lead for Tottenham.    

Elsewhere, Man City re-found their groove against West Brom last weekend as they ended Pep Guardiola’s longest winless run of 6 games. City ran out 4-0 winners away at the Hawthorns with braces from Aguero and Gundogan.

 They host Middlesbrough this weekend. Aitor Karanka’s men grabbed their first home win of the season last Saturday against Bournemouth. A superb Gareth Bale-esc solo goal from Gaston Ramirez gave ‘Boro the lead. Stuart Downing then sealed all three points in the 52nd minute.

Man City will come into this game with an extra boost after their Champions League triumph against Barcelona. Pep Guardiola grabbed his first win against the Catalan giants since leaving them in 2012 as his City side also recorded their first win against them with a 3-1 home victory.

LAST 5 MEETINGS

FA Cup 24/1/15: Man City 0-2 Middlesbrough

Goals from Patrick Bamford and Kike caused an FA Cup upset as Championship ‘Boro knocked out Manuel Pellegrini’s Champions.

FA Cup 2/1/10: Middlesbrough 0-1 Man City

Benjani grabbed the only goal of the game as newly appointed City boss Roberto Mancini knocked out Gordon Strachan’s men

BPL 7/2/09: Man City 1-0 Middlesbrough

A masterclass from Shay Given in goal and a Craig Bellamy strike added more pressure on struggling ‘Boro boss Gareth Southgate.

BPL 29/10/08 Middlesbrough 2-0 Man City

Second half goals from Afonso Alves and Gary O’Neil secured Gareth Southgate’s side a win over Mark Hughes’ City.

BPL 11/5/08: Middlesbrough 8-1 Man City

Ah the days before Man City were the mega-rich European superpower we know today. Goals from Afonso Alves, Stewart Downing, Jeremy Aliadiere, Fabio Rochemback and Adam Johnson completed the rout that cost Sven Goren-Erikson his job. Elano did pull a consolation back for City but it was well and truly ‘Boro’s day.

OTHER FIXTURES

Burnley vs Crystal Palace

Chelsea vs Everton

West Ham vs Stoke City

Bournemouth vs Sunderland   

Liverpool vs Watford

Leicester City vs West Brom

Hull City vs Southampton

Swansea vs Man Utd

Premier League: Mourinho’s United thrashed by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

by JARED FIGGINS

In what was hyped to be the big return to Stamford Bridge for Jose Mourinho soon turned into a nightmare after Chelsea beat Manchester United 4-0.

It only took 30 seconds for Pedro to punish United after a lofted pass from the Blues back-line led to a huge defensive error, with the Spaniard capitalising to score the fastest league goal of the season.

With the former Chelsea manager in disbelief, current boss Antonio Conte was filled with joy. Not long after, it was 2-0.

The home side doubled their lead after Gary Cahill scored his second goal of the season within 21 minutes.

United could have almost pulled themselves back into the game but for Thibaut Courtois double block that denied both Andre Herrera and Jesse Lingard.

David Luiz was lucky not to see red when he was shown a yellow card after a high tackle on Marouane Fellaini just before half time that forced the Belgium international to be subbed off.

In the second half it was all Chelsea. As United played higher up the pitch, the hosts went on  to hit them on the counter attack.

Eden Hazard was left unmarked converting his teams third goal with a low shot to David De Gea’s left in the 62nd minute.

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Eden Hazard nets for Chelsea. (Image Credit: mirror.co.uk)

And then 8 minutes later the fourth and final goal quickly followed. Both Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling were at fault for allowing Kante the freedom to run into the penalty area and slot home.

The win for Chelsea moves them above Tottenham into fourth, with 1 point now separating the top 5 sides.

But for Jose and United, the result now leaves them seventh in the league, six points behind City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

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Mourinho and Conte exchange words at Full-time. (Image Credit: the Sun)

United hope to turn there fortunes around against Burnley on Saturday, while Chelsea face a tough trip to Southampton on Sunday.

Both teams are in action this Wednesday for the EFL cup as Chelsea travel to West Ham in their fourth round tie while Jose Mourinho’s side are prepping for the second Manchester derby of the season against bitter rivals City.

Other Results

Bournemouth 0-o Tottenham Hotspur

Burnley 2-1 Everton

West Ham United 1-0 Sunderland

Swansea City 0-0 Watford

Leicester City 3-1 Crystal Palace

Hull City 0-2 Stoke City

Liverpool 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough

Manchester City 1-1 Southampton

League Table

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Premier League: Liverpool and United cancel each other out in bore draw.

by JARED FIGGINS

Liverpool and Manchester United lost further ground on leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, as the two sides played out a goalless draw at Anfield. 

In what was a vital game for both sides, sharing the points wasn’t going to best please Jurgen Klopp or Jose Mourinho.

However it could have been a different story had it not been for David de Gea in the United goal.

The Spaniard made two sensational saves to keep the score 0-0, as Liverpool controlled the majority of the match.

The Red Devils only managed to obtain 35% possession, their lowest ever amount since Opta started recording stats in 2003-04, but could have taken an early lead had Paul Pogba  hit the target as he left-footed the ball over the goal.

Not too long after Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic had his shot saved by Reds stopper Loris Karius comfortably.

Attempts from Emre Can and Roberto Firmino were Liverpool’s best chances in a lacklustre first half. 

United missed their best chance when Ibrahimovic somehow failed to plant a header into the goal from six yards after good work from Pogba.

Liverpool failed to find the winner in the closing moment after Antonia Valancia held off Firmino from racing off to score.

 Ander Herrara was awarded the man of the match after he made 90 touches more then any other United player while Wayne Rooney did make an appearance in the closing quarter of the game replacing Marcus Rashford after he cramped off in the 77th minute.

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Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United future is once again in the spotlight. (Image Credit: bbc.co.uk)

Mourinho had an obvious game plan to throw as many men behind the ball and counter attack when possible, a ploy that worked successively at Chelsea previously. However it came to no avail this time around.

The result is only the second time these two teams have played out a 0-0 draw in Premier League history, but both clubs will be looking for more as Liverpool host West Brom on Saturday, while Mourinho returns to Chelsea for the first time on Sunday since taking over as United boss.

Premier League: Eagles defender Scott Dann out until after International break.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

Crystal Palace are set to be without Scott Dann for their matches with Sunderland and Everton after scans revealed the full extent of the 29-year old’s hamstring injury.

The Eagles lost their captain and top scorer early on in their 2-0 defeat to Southampton in the EFL Cup in midweek with a hamstring strain, but James Tomkins is fit after coming off at half-time last weekend against Stoke.

The centre half was hoping to receive a call up for Sam Allardyce’s England squad for the October internationals against Malta and Slovenia respectively.

Having never been capped by the national side, some saw this as Dann’s greatest opportunity to play for his country, but that wait for a maiden cap will have to be extended.

Alan Pardew will partner Tomkins with stand in captain Damian Delaney for their clash up at Sunderland tomorrow, and will look to shrug off that disappointing performance down on the South Coast on Wednesday.

Dann’s attacking prowess from set plays will be missed just as much as his defensive solidity. The Eagle’s captain has three goals this season, and it will add further pressure on the likes of Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend to start finding the net more regularly.