The Meulenstein Effect is in full force! Fulham looked more sure of themselves already and it was probably that confidence that they were lacking in the first place. Berbatov seemed bothered about the game again, which always helps, and Scott Parker flung himself around the pitch like a madman to help ensure that The Cottagers didn’t give up any of the three points to Villa. Fulham fans will be hoping that this is the start of something good, and not just a flash in the pan due to having a new manager.
Newcastle’s midfield maestro was at the heart of everything good for Alan Pardew’s side, as they beat Man United (adding to Moyes’ woes). How much longer Cabaye will remain at St James Park is anyone’s guess, but with performances like this I wouldn’t bet on him being there for too much longer…
Must Try Harder
The Baggies started the season the way that they ended the last, looking like tough opponents who can bag a few goals. But this week against a Norwich side that have been struggling to find form they just didn’t look like they were at the races at all. Steve Clarke needs to get his side back to their best, when they were so difficult to break down, so it would probably help when Ben Foster gets back to fitness and between the sticks. They also need to settle on a strike partnership, with Vydra, Berahino, Anichebe, Long, Anelka and Rosberg all playing up top.
There were nineteen goals scored from nine games at the weekend (St.Etienne-Evian was postponed due to a frozen pitch), with more than a quarter of them being scored by Paris Saint-German.
In a clash between top and bottom, the Champions beat Sochaux 5-0 at the Parc Des Princes. After their first defeat in 26 league games at Evian last Wednesday, PSG made sure they got back on track, with Ibrahimovic getting two more goals to go up to 13 in the top scorers’ list. He also provided two sublime assists for Thiago Silva and Cavani to get on the scoresheet, while the other goal was scored by Lavezzi.
Lille’s impressive clean sheet run came to an end with a fortuitous effort by Bordeaux’s N’Guemo, which went in after a deflection that came off Simon Kjaer. Even Victor Enyeama, who went unbeaten for over 1,000 minutes, had to smile at the way he conceded the goal that cost him a chance at the all-time Ligue1 record, while giving ten-men Bordeaux another win to continue their climb up the table.
Monaco found it harder to beat Ajaccio than they’d have liked, but Ochoa made sure this game wasn’t as one-sided as expected when he made a few good saves for the away side. A goal by Riviere with 15 minutes to go was enough to spare Ranieri’s blushes and help them climb back up to 2nd in the table, just two points behind PSG.
In the battle for 4th place, Nantes won at Marseille by a single goal scored by American Alejandro Bedoya. This win means that Nantes overtake Marseille, who are now down to 5th, and have been caught by a resurgent Bordeaux. It also meant the sack for Elie Baup, who according to Marseille president Vincent Labrune, hadn’t reached expected results after the surprising 2nd place finish last season.
Meanwhile, Reims climbed up to 8th after they beat a struggling Nice side 1-0. When Nice might have started to hope they were going to stop their run of defeats, Charbonnier scored deep into injury-time to give the home side an undeserved win, and Nice an unwanted club record of seven losses in a row.
Lyon also climbed to the top half of the table when they gave Bastia their first home defeat of the season. Bastia went into the half-time break in the lead, but three goals in the second half made sure that Lyon went back home with the three points that take them to within four points of 5th placed Marseille and Bordeaux.
Lorient won the Breton derby by beating Rennes 2-0 with a brace from Jann Jouffre. Christian Gourcuff’s side have now won their last four games, and are unbeaten in five.
There were two draws this weekend, both finishing 1-1. Valenciennes went ahead at home to Guingamp, but couldn’t hold on to their lead and missed out on trying to catch up with teams above them. They stay in the relegation zone, five points behind Montpellier, who featured in the other draw at Toulouse. This was Montpellier’s 10th draw from 17 games, and leaves both sides in the bottom half of the table.
For the latest league table, go here:-
For all the goals from matchday 17, go to Ligue 1’s official YouTube site, here:-
Well that mid-week gameweek of fixtures turned out to be an early Christmas Cracker!! More goals than you could shake a stick at and even a couple of wins for me as well! Happy Days! Sadly still some way to go to get back into the black. Hopefully another week of great football will end with a few extra pounds in my pocket too!
Swansea v Newcastle – Home Win 2.15 Won
Arsenal v Hull – Home Win 1.20 Won
Southampton v Villa – Home Win 1.67 Lost
Liverpool v Norwich – Home Win 1.28 Won
Lucky 15 – £1.50 Won
Sunderland v Chelsea – Away Win 1.53 Won
Fulham v Spurs – Away Win 1.70 Won
West Brom v Man City – Away Win 1.61 Won
Patent – £1.40 Won
Swansea 3 – 1 Newcastle 17.00 – 50p Lost
Aaron Ramsey To Score Anytime (v Hull) 2.25 – £1 Lost
Southampton To Win To Nil (v Villa) 2.60 – £1 Lost
Romelu Lukaku To Score 2 or More (v Man United) 10.00 – 50p Lost
Over 2.5 Goals and Over 12 Corners and 4-6 Cards (Liverpool v Norwich) 10.00 – 50p Lost
Chelsea To Win Both Halves (v Sunderland) 3.50 – £1 Lost
Alvaro Negredo First Goalscorer (v West Brom) 5.50 – £1 Refunded
Man United v Everton – 1.73 Lost
Sunderland v Chelsea – 1.91 Won
Swansea v Newcastle – 1.65 Lost
Arsenal v Hull – 2.30 Lost
Stoke v Cardiff – 2.00 Lost
West Brom v Man City – 1.65 Won
Sixfold – 41.30 – 50p Lost
Running Total: -£16.92
West Brom v Norwich – Home Win 1.91
Stoke v Chelsea – Away Win 1.67
Liverpool v West Ham – Home Win 1.28
Southampton v Man City – Away Win 1.80
Fourfold – 7.36 – £1
Wayne Rooney to Score 2 Or More (v Newcastle) 4.00 – £1
Rickie Lambert To Score Anytime (v Man City) 3.00 – 50p
Palace To Keep A Clean Sheet (v Cardiff) 2.90 – £1
Chelsea To Win Both Halves (v Stoke) 4.20 – £1
Liverpool 3-0 West Ham 8.00 – 50p
Steven Fletcher To Score First (v Spurs) 8.00 – 50p
Fulham v Villa – Away Win 2.60
Arsenal v Everton – Home Win 1.67
Double – 4.33 – £1.50
Villa to Come From Behind and Win or Draw (v Fulham) 5.00 – 50p
Olivier Giroud and Romelu Lukaku to Score Anytime (Arsenal v Everton) 6.00 – £1
Southampton v Man City – 1.73
Sunderland v Spurs – 1.91
Fulham v Villa – 1.65
Arsenal v Everton – 1.70
Swansea v Hull – 2.00
Fivefold – 18.50 – 50p
Running Total: -£25.92
Team Of The Week
Maybe not everyone’s choice for the team of the week, but their resilient and determined performance against West Ham impressed me. Yes there were possibly a couple of controversial decisions but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Palace played with belief and a drive that they were certainly missing before. A great home debut for Tony Pulis and a step in the right direction for Crystal Palace.
There really couldn’t be anyone else could there? He almost singlehandedly took Norwich apart and scored 4 pretty decent goals in the process too. You could hardly notice that Rodgers’ other star striker wasn’t playing! Another masterclass from Suarez, you certainly can’t fault his footballing ability.
Must Try Harder
The Blues may have won at Sunderland, but it was by the skin of their teeth (and a Phil Bardsley own goal) that Chelsea came away with the 3 points. The fact that they won is great but it will (and should) be a great concern to Mourinho that his side are shipping goals so easily. If they want to stand any chance of winning the League they have to get that back line performing like the back line of old. Otherwise more and more teams will smell blood in the water and try their luck against the Blues.
A Terrible return to form for me albeit not helped by some shocking results. Liverpool losing to Hull and Spurs not conceding a bucketload against United! Luckily for me its a short break before a full fixture list in midweek which will give me the chance to get back some pride (and cash) quickly!
Villa v Sunderland – Home Win 2.00 Lost
Cardiff v Arsenal – Away Win 1.61 Won
Everton v Stoke – Home Win 1.60 Won
Treble – 5.17 -£1 Lost
Palace To Keep A Clean Sheet (v Norwich) 4.00 – £1 Lost
Olivier Giroud First Goalscorer (v Cardiff) 3.75 – £1 Lost
Newcastle 1 – 3 West Brom 26.00 – 50p Lost
Over 2.5 Goals and 10-12 Corners and 4-6 Cards (Everton v Stoke) 15.00 – 50p Lost
Hull v Liverpool – Away Win 1.61 Lost
Man City v Swansea – Home Win 1.30 Won
Spurs v Man United – Away Win 2.60 Lost
Chelsea v Southampton – Draw 3.80 Lost
Lucky 15 – £1.50 Partial Win
Rickie Lambert To Score Anytime (v Chelsea) 3.75 – £1 Lost
Alvaro Negredo First Goalscorer (v Swansea) 4.50 – 50p Won
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge To Score Anytime 4.00 – £1 Refunded
Spurs 0 – 2 Man United 13.00 – 50p Lost
Villa v Sunderland – 1.91 Lost
Newcastle v West Brom – 1.60 Won
Chelsea v Southampton – 1.91 Won
Man City v Swansea – 1.95 Lost
Fourfold – 11.37 – 50p Lost
Running Total: -£13.88
Swansea v Newcastle – Home Win 2.15
Arsenal v Hull – Home Win 1.20
Southampton v Villa – Home Win 1.67
Liverpool v Norwich – Home Win 1.28
Lucky 15 – £1.50
Sunderland v Chelsea – Away Win 1.53
Fulham v Spurs – Away Win 1.70
West Brom v Man City – Away Win 1.61
Patent – £1.40
Swansea 3 – 1 Newcastle 17.00 – 50p
Aaron Ramsey To Score Anytime (v Hull) 2.25 – £1
Southampton To Win To Nil (v Villa) 2.60 – £1
Romelu Lukaku To Score 2 or More (v Man United) 10.00 – 50p
Over 2.5 Goals and Over 12 Corners and 4-6 Cards (Liverpool v Norwich) 10.00 – 50p
Chelsea To Win Both Halves (v Sunderland) 3.50 – £1
Alvaro Negredo First Goalscorer (v West Brom) 5.50 – £1
Man United v Everton – 1.73
Sunderland v Chelsea – 1.91
Swansea v Newcastle – 1.65
Arsenal v Hull – 2.30
Stoke v Cardiff – 2.00
West Brom v Man City – 1.65
Sixfold – 41.30 – 50p
Running Total: -£22.78
Team Of The Week
This week was a tough call, with City sweeping aside Swansea, Everton decimating Stoke. Chelsea coming back from a terrible Essien assist for Southampton, West Ham sticking 3 past Fulham and Spurs getting a decent draw with United. But for me the accolade has to go to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger’s team are playing some of the best football in the league and finally it seems that his philosophy is reaping some reward. For almost as long as I can remember the Gunners have played well but not been lethal enough in front of goal, or have been too sloppy at the back, but now they finally seem to have found the balance the sits just right and on top of that they’re getting amazing performances out of player that have previously been written off aka Aaron Ramsey & Mathieu Flamini. Their performance against Cardiff was no different. They played well from beginning to end and the goals flew in.
The ever so popular Frenchman was just on another level against Swansea. He created no end of trouble and it paid off handsomely with him bagging 2 goals. Seems like he is finally getting a run in the team which is starting to reap the benefits and remind City why they stole him away from Arsenal in the first place. A stellar performance from a player clearly not short on confidence.
Must Try Harder
After struggling all over the pitch, yet again, it was no surprise that come Sunday Martin Jol was replaced by Rene Meulensteen. The question is though, has the rot already set in? Or can the Dutchman turn it all around? One thing is for sure if they have many more performances like they have in recent weeks, especially against a team like West Ham, who should be at around the same position in the league and don’t seem to have a striker available to them, then the Cottagers will be plying their trade in the Championship next season.
In a weekend where there were no draws at all (surprising after all the draws in the previous weeks), and nine teams keeping clean sheets, 29 goals were scored, only 2 of which were scored by away sides.
Leaders PSG kept their distance at the top by beating Lyon very comfortably. Cavani got his 10th goal of the season, while Ibrahimovic scored a brace of penalties (the first a Panenka style chip) to make it 11 goals that keep him at the top of the scorers’ list. Captain Thiago Silva got the other goal in a 4-0 win.
Lille made sure of staying second by being the only team that won away this weekend when they beat Valenciennes 1-0 in the Northern derby. This makes it their 13th clean sheet from 15 games, and 10th in a row. Their Nigerian keeper Enyeama has now gone 945 minutes without having to pick the ball from his own net. It also means that Lille, along with Serie A’s Roma, are the team that has conceded the least goals in the top 5 leagues in Europe, with just four goals showing in their ‘against’ columns.
Monaco proved too strong for Rennes, even without their main striker Radamel Falcao. Another Colombian, James Rodriguez ran the show and got his first goal for the club. 17 year old debutant Anthony Martial also got his 1st goal in Ligue 1 to double their lead just before half-time and make the points safe for Ranieri’s side.
Marseille became the first team in France to win a thousand games in Ligue 1 when they beat Montpellier 2-0 at the Stade Velodrome. They stay in fourth place, though still ten points behind PSG.
St.Etienne got their biggest win of the season when they beat Reims 4-0 to climb up to fifth in the table, helped by two goals from their captain Loic Perrin.
Nantes lost the western derby when they travelled to Guingamp. Sankharre’s goal just after the hour mark was enough to give the home side the win, and help them climb up to 7th place, just one point behind their opponents.
Bastia keeper Mickael Landreau celebrated his record equalling Ligue 1 appearance (602 games, and counting) by seeing his side beat Evian 2-0 at home, thanks to goals from Milos Krasic, and Wahbi Kasri. He made a great double save when the game was still 0-0 to make sure he played his part in helping Bastia climb up to 8th in the table.
Bordeaux also recorded their biggest win of the season when they beat struggling side Ajaccio 4-0. They couldn’t have asked for an easier fixture after being knocked out of the Europa League, and bounced back in style to make it into the top half of the Ligue 1 table.
In two matches from the lower side of the table, Lorient continued their mini-revival by beating an off-form Nice 3-0. This was Nice’s 5th defeat in a row, and Lorient now go above them in the standings, even if only on goal difference. Meanwhile, Sochaux showed why they’re stuck at the bottom of the table as they got trashed 5-1 at Toulouse, even though they had gone ahead. This win moves Toulouse up to 12th, and more importantly nine points away from the relegation zone.
Looking at the standings, only the top four and bottom three positions remained unchanged after these games, and a gap is now opening at both ends.
Just like England, there’s a midweek programme in Ligue 1 as well, with these games being played between Tuesday and Thursday…
Tuesday 3rd December
Lille – Marseille, Nantes – Valenciennes, Nice – Monaco.
Wednesday 4th December
Ajaccio v Bastia, Guingamp – Bordeaux, Montpellier – Lorient, Rennes – St.Etienne, Sochaux – Reims, Evian – PSG.
Thursday 5th December
Lyon – Toulouse.
For latest league table, click link below:
For all the goals from week 15, click here (Ligue 1’s official YouTube channel):
Hooray! Finally some wins!! I reduced the spread of the bets last week and concentrated on just getting some of the buggers right instead! It seems to have worked too. Such a fantastic weekend of football and with an added bonus of getting my running total heading back in the right direction too.
Fulham v Swansea – Away Win 2.25 Won
Stoke v Sunderland – Away Win 4.00 Lost
Double – 9.00 – £1 Lost
Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku to Score Anytime (Everton v Liverpool) 4.60 – £1 Won
Rickie Lambert to Score Anytime (v Arsenal) 3.25 – £1 Lost
Wilfried Bony to Score First (v Fulham) 6.50 – 50p Lost
Chelsea to Score Both Halves (v West Ham) 2.62 – £1 Won
Man City v Spurs – Home Win 1.70 Won
Cardiff v Man United – Away Win 1.60 Lost
West Brom v Villa – Home Win 2.00 Lost
Treble – 5.44 – £1 Lost
Man City to Win Both Halves (v Spurs) 4.00 – £1 Won
West Brom 2-0 Villa – 9.50 – 50p Lost
Wayne Rooney to Score First (v Cardiff) 4.50 – £1 Won
Arsenal v Southampton – 1.80 Lost
Hull v Palace – 2.10 Lost
Stoke v Sunderland – 2.00 Lost
Treble – 7.56 – 50p Lost
Running Total: -£8.26
Villa v Sunderland – Home Win 2.00
Cardiff v Arsenal – Away Win 1.61
Everton v Stoke – Home Win 1.60
Treble – 5.17 -£1
Palace To Keep A Clean Sheet (v Norwich) 4.00 – £1
Olivier Giroud First Goalscorer (v Cardiff) 3.75 – £1
Newcastle 1 – 3 West Brom 26.00 – 50p
Over 2.5 Goals and 10-12 Corners and 4-6 Cards (Everton v Stoke) 15.00 – 50p
Hull v Liverpool – Away Win 1.61
Man City v Swansea – Home Win 1.30
Spurs v Man United – Away Win 2.60
Chelsea v Southampton – Draw 3.80
Lucky 15 – £1.50
Rickie Lambert To Score Anytime (v Chelsea) 3.75 – £1
Alvaro Negredo First Goalscorer (v Swansea) 4.50 – 50p
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge To Score Anytime 4.00 – £1
Spurs 0 – 2 Man United 13.00 – 50p
Villa v Sunderland – 1.91
Newcastle v West Brom – 1.60
Chelsea v Southampton – 1.91
Man City v Swansea – 1.95
Fourfold – 11.37 – 50p
Running Total: -£17.26
The league was back this weekend after France managed to overturn a 2-0 defeat by beating Ukraine 3-0 in midweek, meaning Les Bleus will be going to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
A bit surprisingly, there was only one home win in a programme that included four 1-1 draws as well.
Marseille started the ball rolling by beating a poor Ajaccio side 3-1 away from home. They had Gignac starting for the first time in four league games, and apart from pulling the strings, he scored an absolute beauty of a goal when he chested the ball and hit it from just outside the box. Payet and Thauvin got the other two, while Perozo had temporarily equalised for relegation threatened Ajaccio.
PSG visited Reims, the last team that had beaten them on the league, but kept the ball rolling by leaving with a convincing 3-0 win to keep the gap at the top to four points. Lucas Moura started the scoring after an excellent pass from Ibrahimovic, who himself went on to score in the last minute after Reims’ keeper poor throw left him with an open goal to score his 9th goal and go top of the scorers’ list with team-mate Cavani and Monaco’s Falcao. Menez had scored the second goal of the day to make the game safe for the Champions.
Second placed Lille left it late against Toulouse, but an 84th minute Pape Souare goal was just about enough to give them the win they needed to hang on to PSG’s coat-tails. This means that Lille have now kept an impressive NINE clean sheets in a row, making it a total of 12 clean sheets from 14 games. Once again, they had goalkeeper Enyeama to thank for another excellent display, which meant that when Lille’s only shot on target hit the back of the net, it was enough to get the three points.
After getting just one point from their last two games, Monaco knew that nothing but a win would do them in the fight for the title, and though still five points behind PSG, a 1-0 win at fellow promoted side Nantes was achieved when Mounir Obbadi scored the only goal of the game with 20 minutes to go. Nantes piled on the pressure after that, but couldn’t find an equaliser, even having a goal disallowed in the last minute.
Due to many teams drawing in mid-table, Saint-Etienne climb up to 6th from 11th place after winning by a solitary goal at the Allianz Riviera, meaning that their opponents Nice have now lost four games in a row, including the last two at home. Nice’s reserve keeper Veronese, handed a chance to fight for his place with main keeper Ospina out for six weeks, didn’t do himself any favours by letting a backpass slide under his foot which resulted in Mevlut Erding pouncing to score the only goal of the game.
Lyon failed to beat struggling Valenciennes at home, in a game that finished 1-1 to stay in 7th place in the table. Credit goes to the away side who seem to be improving with every game, and though still in the bottom three, are showing signs of revival under new manager Jacobs Ariel.
Montpellier, looking for their first win in five games, instead managed their 9th draw of the season when they drew 1-1 at home to Guingamp. After going ahead through a peach of a goal from Remy Cabella, Thibault Giresse equalised from the penalty spot to make sure that Guingamp get a point to keep them in 8th place.
Another 1-1 draw featured 10th placed Bastia, who were playing at bottom club Sochaux. The away side went ahead quite controversially when the assistant referee waved play on instead of giving a throw-in after the ball had gone out of play, and Krasic was first to react, before the ball fell for former Sochaux player Boudebouz to score and put Bastia ahead. After then having two goals disallowed, the home side deservedly equalised, though a point wasn’t enough to take them off the foot of the table.
Rennes and Bordeaux couldn’t be separated either and a goal each in the space of less than two minutes (Rennes went ahead on 63 minutes, but Bordeaux scored straight away on 64 minutes) means that both teams stay in mid-table on 18 points.
Lorient got the surprise scoreline of the weekend by winning 4-0 at Evian, giving them their first away points of the season after seven defeats, which also means it’s their first away win in seven months.
Once again, attention now turns to European football with PSG hosting Olympiakos and Marseille travelling to London to face Arsenal in the Champions League, while Bordeaux and Lyon host Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Betis respectively in the Europa League.
For the latest league table, click link below:-
For all the goals from week 14, click this link (Ligue 1’s official YouTube site):-
Like it could be anyone else?! The strike partnership of Aguero and Negredo is brutal when City are at home. They have scored bags of goals together already. Against Spurs they countered so very effectively and sliced open AVB’s men with ease time and time again. Spurs were TERRIBLE but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that City were lethal and clinical in the decimation of the visitors.
The little Brazilian was the big difference in the London derby at the weekend. He caused the West Ham back four so much trouble that they ended up falling apart and just presenting Chelsea with opportunities, which the Blues happily took. This season’s Oscar 2.0 is a massive improvement on last season’s, and he was no slouch!
Must Try Harder
Its was always going to be the abject performance of AVB’s side that fell into this category wasn’t it? Spurs had more possession than City yet managed to lose 6-0! That is simply ridiculous! Spurs made mistakes to gift City chances but they just kept fannying around with the ball seemingly more bothered about keeping their possession stats nice and high rather than putting any real pressure on City. Spurs have many good quality players in their side but they need to adjust the way they approach games if they want to hold on to that dream of securing Champions League football next season.