VAR rescues Spurs as City boys left fuming

To VAR or not to VAR?

Well I’ll tell you one thing irrespective of punditry opinions and players alike, I am still a fan of VAR and I am loving every minute and every moment of it (call me weird, it’s my prerogative). Saturday’s game at the Etihad between Tottenham and Manchester City was arguably the game of the weekend. It had it all, goals attacking prowess great saves, solid defending, near misses oh and VAR.

City went into the game full of confidence and aiming to add another 3 points on the board. And to be fair the team absolutely played brilliantly. I’m not sure if you’ve ever watched them play but it really is poetry in motion. The first half was solely dominated by the home side as Sterling struck with a beautiful header in the 20th minute. However Lamela equalised for Spurs after coolly slotting the ball home from range in the 23rd minute (you could hear the away supporters chanting away).

Kevin De Bruyne ran the midfield comfortably as he literally tormented the Tottenham back line. De Bruyne was in no mood for messing around. Having set Sterling up for the first goal, the Belgium international drove a pass low and had into the box which was dispatched by Aguero to put the home side 2-1 up on the 35th minute. City continued to dominate but the Spur defenders did their best to keep the scores at a goal deficit going into the second half.

Yes De Bruyne was the stand out player on saturday, however, Tottenham’s new boy NDombele wasn’t too far behind as he impressed again in midfield. He was able to drive his team forward and was the impetus they needed. Moura was brought on and he immediately scored a header in the 56th minute to level the game 2-2 which delighted Pochettino.

There is a great debate in certain footballing circles that suggest that Moura should be an automatic starter in the Tottenham team (I like Moura as a player but currently I don’t think he’s consistent enough to warrant a starting spot in the team….I see him more as an impact player).  I have every faith that the Tottenham manager will make the right decisions pertaining the the starting eleven.

City pressed for a winner (albeit either team could have snatched it) and thought they had done it when Jesus smashed the ball in the back of the net. Anyone remember the Champions league quarter final game last see….hahahah! Well DEJA VU all over again. City in jubilation mode, players and supporters alike jumping up and down as they believed to have scored a later winner only for the ref to disallow the goal.

City defender Laporte was adjudged to have hand balled the ball accidentally but the rules states if it leads to a goal then the goal must be disallowed. City players especially Jesus were fuming and to quote Jesus, “VAR is S**t” (I’m sure you can fill in the blanks and I certainly don’t agree).

In the other matches, Manchester United missed the opportunity to make two wins in two after being held to a 1-1 draw against Wolves. Pogba missed a penalty that would certainly have given United all 3 points. However the Wolves keeper guessed right and made a solid save (YEP!! Gary Neville ripped into Pogba as per usual!!!!).

Norwich beat Newcastle 3-1 after Pukki grabbed a Hat trick. I haven’t done a prediction for the drop but if Newcastle don’t get their act together sharpish I can see them getting relegated this season. Liverpool beat Southampton away 2-1 with Firmino and Mane grabbing, Ings scored the Southampton goal against his former club.

There were also wins for Bournemouth, Arsenal, Everton and Sheffield United respectively. After 2 games Liverpool sit at the summit with Arsenal sat in the number 2 spot. Both teams have 100% record and will have the opportunity to extend their early season run this coming weekend.

VARRRRRR

Final word belongs to VAR!!!!

 

2019/20 kicks off with a flurry

Are you not entertained?

Finally the wait is over and my weekends are back to being how they should be, sat indoors eating a nice doner kebab (with all the trimmings of course)and watching footy. The premier league finally kicked off on Friday night after the anticipation from fans alike. We’ve all waited long and hard for the new season to commence and the opening weekend did not disappoint.

The good thing about the first week is that you never quite know what will happen in relation to the results. The new boys will always fancy their chances against some of the more established teams whilst the mediocre sides tend to be a bit hit and miss  at times. However, there’s one thing that is becoming clear and that’s Manchester City’s dominance in this new era under Manager Pep Guardiola.

The defending champions raised the bar last term and have hit the ground running again. Now lets not beat around the George W. City have two teams, there’s the A team and there’s the B team. Both of which are supremely talented and the plethora of ability is undeniable. Therefore the expectations will always be high for Manchester City. With that being said, what we didn’t expect was the total destruction of West Ham United.

City ran rings around the hammers for 90 minutes (I really felt sorry for West Ham and their fans, hahaha!!) and the humbling 5-0 score line could have been a lot worse. With Aguero relegated to the bench, Jesus was entrusted with leading the line for City’s attack and the brazilian striker delivered with the first goal of the match in the 25th minute. Raheem Sterling walked away with the match ball after netting a hat trick whilst Aguero came on as a substitute to net a penalty.

Liverpool also made a good start to the campaign and will need to be consistent through out if they are to mount a title challenge against the formidable Manchester City. The Reds played hosts to Norwich City at Anfield and won the game 4-1. Liverpool were gifted the first goal through a Hanley own goal before goals from Salah (19), Van Dijk (28) and Origi (42) ensured all 3 points for Klopps men.

The game was very entertaining and you always felt Liverpool were going to score and score they did. I’ve predicted Liverpool as my favourites to win the league but many do not agree and on City’s first outing who can blame them (just saying). Spurs on the other hand were home to Aston Villa and went a goal down in the 9th minute after a brilliantly taken effort from McGinn.

Villa are one of the new boys and almost looked set to cause an opening day upset against an established and potential title challenging team. However, Tottenham new boy NDombele had other ideas. The Spurs midfielder put in a man of the match display and leveled the scores after striking a goal from long range which sent the home fans into a frenzy. The chants got even louder as Kane grabbed two late winners in the 86th and 90th minute respectively.

In fairness Villa played well and Kane should have scored at least  4 goals but the most important aspect is that the Tottenham fans got a chance to see NDombele put in a midfield masterclass (I mean the boy was everywhere-what an engine) and Eriksen coming on in the second half made a difference too so lets hope he stays (hands off Madrid….you’ve been warned).

The other half of Manchester also mad a decent start after Man Utd easily over came a Chelsea side looking like a shadow of their former glory. The red devils won the game by 4 goals to nil with Rashford, Martial and James grabbing the goals respectively. Maguire’s acquisition in defence is already reaping rewards as the most expensive defender in football led his team with a man of the match performance whilst Chelsea are finished without Hazard (sorry Frank, you could be out of a job come Christmas).

With Lukaku now long gone, Utd will need to find goals if they are to mount a challenge for a top four finish. A friend of my stated that “Man Utd will give Rashford, Martial and Greenwood one season to prove themselves in the premier league and if they don’t deliver then Utd will purpose non other that Tottenham’s Harry Kane”. Well the irony is that both Martial and Rashford got onto the score sheet at the weekend and could actually deliver this season (well they’ll need to!!).

You can tell it’s the opener cause there’s so much to cover. Arsenal also have ambitions of returning to the top four (champions league is becoming a distant memory right?? Hahahaha….) and got off to a winning start thanks to a goal from Aubameyang giving them a 1-0 victory against Newcastle. Burnley won 3-0 against Southampton as did Brighton against Watford whilst Leicester and Wolves ended in a goalless draw as did Crystal Palace against Everton. Bournemouth drew 1-1 against new boys Sheffield United.

All in all a great weekend of footballing action and I’m sure we are all looking forward to the next round of matches with the highlight being Manchester City VS Spurs. The question remains who will be crowned champions in May…..a little to early for an answer but nevertheless this league will most certainly entertain. So I ask you once more are you not entertained? (I already know the answer!).

VAR

For those that aren’t aware the acronym for VAR is Video Assisted Referee (hey don’t look at me like that, some people may not be aware). The tech has now been introduced to the premier league and has already made an impact in the opening weekend.

There were a few incidents that raised eyebrows. Firstly Raheem Sterling was adjudged to have been offside by an inch of shoulders which ment Jesus’s goal was disallowed (in real-time that would have stood). Aguero was afforded an opportunity to dispatch his second attempt of a penalty kick after a West Ham player was penalised for encroachment.

Wolves were denied a late winner  after Dendoncker’s goal was disallowed for handball which definitely displeased the Wolves Manager Nuno Santo and with good reason. As far as I could tell it was ball to hand and therefore the goal should have stood. However, I’m still a massive fan of VAR as I believe it adds to the drama and welcome it with open arms (YES I said it!!!!).

sterl moss

First Hat-trick of the season!!!!