Premier League Roundup: Man City, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Stoke and Norwich win

1 Comment

It was another Saturday full of close clashes in the Premier League, as once again we didn’t see many goal but fans across the Premier League were put through the mill in the six games so far.

In the early kickoff where Hull surprised everyone at Man City to late drama at Upton Park and St. James’ Park and relief around Selhurst Park in South London, there were so many close games in Week 3 of the Premier League.

We covered them all at ProSoccerTalk, so here are the recaps with plenty more reaction to come. And here are the Premier League standings.

Cardiff 0-0 Everton

A tough encounter at the Cardiff City Stadium as the Bluebirds dug in to see out a 0-0 draw against a frustrated looking Everton side. Roberto Martinez’ men could have had two penalties in the first half and were stopped by David Marshall in Cardiff’s goal. In the second half Craig Bellamy had a good chance for Cardiff but Everton will be disappointed they didn’t push on more late in the game.

Crystal Palace 3-1 Sunderland

The Eagles have finally landed in the Premier League after a terrific second half display against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland sealed the win. The pivotal moment came as John O’Shea was sent off and Crystal Palace were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute, as Dwight Gayle was tripped then picked himself up to score the spot kick. A wonderful evening at Selhurst Park… but not if you’re a Sunderland fan.

Man City 2-0 Hull

This was an incredible hard-fought win for Man City at the Etihad. Hull chased and pressed them for the entire game and the Tigers could have been 2-0 up after early chances were spurned by Sone Aluko and Danny Graham. However City’s classed showed in the end as substitute Alvaro Negredo headed home after 65 minutes and Yaya Toure curled in a tremendous free kick in the 90th minute. Hard work from Hull goes unrewarded.

Newcastle 1-0 Fulham

Hatem Ben Arfa was the hero at St. James’ Park as Fulham’s luck ran out in the 86th minute. The Frenchman finished superbly to give Alan Pardew’s side a much needed first win of the season, after the Magpies dominated for most of the game. It looked as though Fulham would walk away from the North East with a point but Martin Jol’s men can’t have many complaints about losing the game. Newcastle are up and running.

Norwich 1-0 Southampton

The Canaries clinched this one thanks to a terrific goal from teenager Nathan Redmond. The 19-year-old winger cut in from the left before smashing a wonderful low strike past Artur Boruc to send Carrow Road wild. Southampton came close as Adam Lallana struck the post with a fierce first half volley, but that was as good as it got. Both teams looked to force the issue in a lively second half but it was the Canaries who took all three points. Another close game, another close outcome.

West Ham 0-1 Stoke

Mark Hughes will be delighted with this win, as his new look Stoke side claimed back-to-back wins following a great performance against the Hammers. Jermaine Pennant’s free kick in the 82nd minute sent the traveling fans from Staffordshire wild, as Stoke prove they’re on the right track. Back to the drawing board for Big Sam and West Ham.

UEFA Champions League semifinal predictions

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League to kick off over the next few days, let’s take a look at both games and predict which teams will make it to the final in Kiev on May 26.

[ MORE: Champions League scores

Liverpool or Roma? Real Madrid or Bayern Munich?

Here’s the lowdown as two eagerly anticipated games take center stage across Europe.


Liverpool vs. AS Roma
First leg: Apr. 24, 2:45 p.m. ET at Anfield
Second leg: May 2, 2:45 p.m. ET at Stadio Olimpico

This should be one heck of a tie with defending optional for both teams but both have very different ways of playing. Jurgen Klopp will unleash the fluid trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on an often brittle Roma defense but the Italian giants have a giant in their own up top in the shape of Edin Dzeko. How Virgil Van Dijk and Liverpool’s defense deal with the threat of Dzeko will likely decide the outcome of this game. Liverpool will look to feed off the famous Anfield atmosphere to wrack up a big first leg lead before they head to Roma for Leg 2, and I fancy Salah to blow his old team away in the first leg. Liverpool to advance 4-2 on aggregate.

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid
First leg: Apr. 25, 2:45 p.m. ET at Allianz Arena
Second leg: May 1, 2:45 p.m. ET at Santiago Bernabeu

A proper heavyweight clash as Bayern and Real do battle knowing that whoever wins will be the favorites in the final. Cristiano Ronaldo is in the form of his life (again) after a slow start to this season and Zinedine Zidane’s side made hard work of it against Juventus in the last round but are on course for a third-straight UCL trophy. As for Bayern, they have been in imperious form and you feel like Robert Lewandowski can get the better of Real’s center backs. Expect this to be a tight game with extremely high quality from both teams. Real being at home in the second leg is a big advantage. Real Madrid to advance 3-2 on aggregate. 

Cologne’s Hector extends contract despite likely relegation

AP
Leave a comment

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) Germany defender Jonas Hector has shunned reported interest from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund by extending his contract with Cologne – despite the club’s almost certain relegation from the Bundesliga.

Cologne, eight points from safety with three games remaining, says its 27-year-old captain has signed a two-year extension to 2023 instead of using a release clause in his contract.

Hector, who has been at the club since 2010, says, “It wouldn’t have been a problem to switch to another club after this season but it didn’t feel right for me. I belong to Cologne and want to tackle the new season with the team and the fans behind us.”

Cologne sporting director Armin Veh says Hector’s decision is, “a great signal for the team, the club and our fans.”

Klopp talks politics: “Brexit makes no sense”

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jurgen Klopp isn’t a fan of Brexit and he doesn’t care who knows it.

Liverpool’s German manager has spoken in the past about his disdain towards the vote by British citizens to leave the European Union, with Brexit officially planned for March 2019.

Klopp sat down with the Guardian to chat about a whole host of topics but it was his political views which will get the headlines ahead of Liverpool’s huge UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg against AS Roma at Anfield on Tuesday.

The man who has Liverpool on the cusp of reaching a major European final and comfortably in the top four of the Premier League also admitted that he has a “helping syndrome” and wants to help out everyone and he cares about them greatly.

It is worth letting the words speak for themselves when it comes to Klopp’s comments on Brexit as it is clearly something else he cares a lot about.

Take it away, Jurgen…

“When Mr [David] Cameron had the idea [of a referendum] you thought: ‘This is not something people should decide in a moment.’ We are all influenced by the way only some of the argument is given, and once the decision is taken nobody gives you a real opportunity to change it again. The choice was either you stay in Europe, which is not perfect, or you go out into something nobody has any idea how it will work.

“So you give people the chance to make this big decision. And then it’s a 51-49 [51.9%-48.1%] vote and you’re thinking: ‘Wow, 49% are not happy with the decision that’s going to change the country.’ For the 51%, I’m sure they realized pretty early after the vote: ‘What have we done?’ The two leaders of the leave campaign then stepped aside. It was a pure sign they were surprised themselves by the vote. OK, that can happen. But then, come on, let’s sit together again. Let’s think about it again and let’s vote again with the right information – not with the information you’ve got around the Brexit campaign. They were obviously not right, not all of them. It makes no sense at all.”

“The EU is not perfect but it was the best idea we had. History has always shown that when we stay together we can sort out problems. When we split then we start fighting. There was not one time in history where division creates success. So, for me, Brexit still makes no sense.”

VIDEO: Napoli fans celebrate Juventus win

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It is safe to say Napoli’s fans were pretty happy with the 1-0 win their team secured at Juventus on Sunday.

Kalidou Koulibaly powered home a header in stoppage as Napoli moved just one point behind Juventus, who sit top of the Serie A table, with four games to go. The title race is well and truly on in Italy.

The scenes across Naples after the game were incredible and when the players arrived back at the airport at around 3 a.m. local time they were greeted by thousands of adoring fans.

Take a look at the video below. Wow.