Posts Tagged ‘English Premiership league’

It was Arsène Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal, and one he will want to forget. In a goal fest at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea ran riot over an abject Arsenal, giving Chelsea their biggest ever win over their London rivals.


The gulf between the two sides left one wondering how Arsenal are within just a few places of top-placed Chelsea. As Mourinho said after the game, the match was over within the first 7 minutes, with Chelsea already 2-0 up. By half time it was 4-0, and the second half was just a lap of honour for the dominant Chelsea side. The victory leaves Chelsea 4 points clear at the top of the Premiership, but the lead is a little misleading as all the teams immediately below them have games in hand, with Manchester City having three games in hand!

The English Premiership as of Saturday the 22nd of March.

The English Premiership as of Saturday the 22nd of March.

Chelsea have the easiest next two Premiership matches of the top three teams. They play Crystal Palace away next Saturday and the following Saturday play Stoke City at home. They are both games Chelsea would expect to win. Liverpool’s next two games are a home game against Sunderland this coming Wednesday and then next Sunday a potentially tough game against Tottenham Hotspur away. For Manchester City their next two games are both tough ones, the first is tomorrow (Tuesday) evening against Manchester United away and then next Saturday with an away game against Arsenal. Hopefully Chelsea’s lead will be even bigger in two weeks’ time!

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Even if the state of Welsh regional rugby is not good, the same cannot be said of Welsh football. Swansea City FC are doing very well in the English Premiership, lying mid-table and with several big wins this season. They have also just got through to the final of the League Cup, beating Chelsea 2-0 on aggregate last night. And Cardiff City FC are flying high in the Championship, the league below the Premiership.

The Cardiff City football club club badge.

The Cardiff City football club club badge.

Cardiff top the Championship table

The Championship table as it stood on Saturday (19th January 2013). Cardiff City are 10 points clear at the top of the Championship table with 28 of the 46 games played.

With 28 games played of the 46 in the season, Cardiff City have 60 points, 10 points clear of their nearest rivals. Of course, as anyone who has been following Cardiff City will know, they have failed to gain promotion to the Premiership several times in the last few seasons. Having grown up in Pembrokeshire I don’t have the same tribal loyalty towards Cardiff City that its die-hard supporters have. So most of them would not join me in saying how wonderful it would be to see both Cardiff and Swansea playing in the Premiership. But surely that can only be good for Welsh football and for Wales as a country.

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It was the kind of drama usually reserved for the pages of Hollywood blockbusters. Yesterday (Sunday the 13th of May 2012) was the last day of the English Premiership football season. As I have blogged recently, the title had come down to a two-horse race between Manchester United, the most successful football team ever in the history of English football, and their cross-town rivals Manchester City.


“Fergie time” is a reference to the number of games Man U have won in the dying seconds

Manchester United were playing away to Sunderland, and Manchester City were at home to Queens Park Rangers. QPR were in their own battle for survival in the Premiership. Both City and United went 1-0 up in their respective games quite early, and City also gained a one-man advantage after QPR’s thug player Joey Barton was sent off. But, with only 10 men, QPR not only equalised, but went one goal ahead, to lead 2-1 away from home.


The winner of the title swung from being Man City to Man Uni and back to Man City as the drama unfolded

Manchester United held on to their tenuous 1-0 away lead, and finished their game with a 1-0 victory, enough to secure them the title unless Man City should win their game. As the final whistle was blown on Man U’s game, the score at the Etihad Stadium was still 1-2 to QPR. With Man City’s game going into added time, surely the title was going to elude them and go to Man U for the 20th time.

There then unfolded possibly the most dramatic 3 minutes in the history of English football. Deep into added time, Manchester City first equalised through Dzeko, but this equaliser still left the title in Man U’s hands. Less than 4 minutes later they unbelievably scored a third goal to win the game 3-2, and hence to win the Premiership title on gaol difference. Alex Ferguson, and the other Manchester United personnel, went from thinking they had retained the title to realising their “noisy neighbours” had stolen it from them in the death, in the space of 3 minutes.

As a Chelsea supporter, I’m pleased the Premiership title has gone to a club that hasn’t won the top prize in English football since 1968. Having either Man U, Chelsea or Arsenal win it every year has not been good for English football. With Man City possibly on the verge of rivalling their more famous neighbours, and Spurs also finishing in the top four this year, I’m hopeful we may see the Premiership becoming a 6 or 7 team race, rather than the 3-team race that it’s been of late.


Alex Ferguson plays down his City rivals’ achievement

Earlier in the season, Alex Ferguson referred to Man City as their “noisy neighbours“. After having the title snatched from his hands yesterday, Sir Alex made it clear that Man U are still THE TEAM in Manchester, with Man City still a long way from rivalling the Red Devils’ success.

Roberto Mancini with the Premier League trophy


The Man City team and fans celebrate their first league title since 1968

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