Friday, 20 December 2013

An Atlantic League

With the Top 5 or 6 European Leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal) pulling away from the rest the question poses  for the medium sized leagues to merge into an North Sea or Atlantic League?

The main reason to do this would be to challenge the big 5/6 in Europe as the Television deals in those countries are massive i.e. Barclays Premier League - £5.74 billion over 3 years. The biggest current deal of the leagues that could be involved is the Eredivisie - €1 billion over 12 years.

There is a precedent as in Rugby Union the Scottish, Irish and Welsh leagues (eventually joined by Italy) merged into the Celtic League to rival the Aviva Premiership (England) and Top 14 (France). This worked as all three leagues are about even in Heineken Cup wins.

From what countries would the teams have to be in to get in this so called "Atlantic League"?


Ideally it would be made of a contingent of Dutch, Belgian, Scottish, Danish, Swedish and Norweigian clubs. There would not be one league, there would have to be a Premiership and a Championship of about 18 clubs in each.

For example, the Netherlands would have 8 teams (5 in Prem), Denmark would have 7 (3 in Prem), Belgium would have 6 (4 in Prem), Scotland would 6 (3 in Prem), Sweden would have 6 (2 in Prem) and Norway would have 3 (1 in Prem).

What is the allocation of teams based on?


This is an educated guess but this is mainly based on current UEFA coefficients and also on history of these countries in European competition:

Current UEFA coefficients:
89Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Netherlands Netherlands (LC)9.41611.16613.6004.2144.75043.146
1011Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Belgium Belgium (LC)8.7004.60010.1006.5006.20036.100
1915RedDownArrow.svg −4Denmark Denmark (LC)4.4006.7003.1003.3003.60021.100
2324Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Scotland Scotland (LC)2.6663.6002.7504.3003.25016.566
2423RedDownArrow.svg −1Sweden Sweden (LC)2.5002.6002.9005.1253.20016.325
2627Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1Norway Norway (LC)2.1002.3752.3004.9002.60014.275

If the qualifying was now what would the leagues look like?

Premiership:

  1. Ajax  Netherlands (4 times European Cup Winners)
  2. Feynoord Netherlands (European Cup Winners)
  3. PSV Netherlands (European Cup Winners)
  4. Twente Netherlands 
  5. Vitesse Netherlands
  6. FC Copenhagen Denmark
  7. Nordjaelland Denmark
  8. Midtjylland Denmark
  9. Standard Liege Belgium
  10. Anderlecht Belgium
  11. Club Brugge Belgium
  12. Lokeren Belgium
  13. Celtic Scotland (European Cup winners)
  14. Dundee Utd Scotland (European Cup SF, UEFA Cup finalists)
  15. Motherwell Scotland
  16. Molde Norway
  17. Malmo Sweden
  18. Elfsborg Sweden

Championship:

AZ Alkmaar Netherlands
Heerenveen Netherlands
Gronignen Netherlands
Randers Denmark
Bronby Denmark
Odense Denmark
AaB Denmark
Genk Belgium
Club Brugge Belgium
Hibernian Scotland
Aberdeen Scotland
Inverness Scotland
AIK Sweden
IFK Gothenburg Sweden
Helsingborgs Sweden
Kalmar Sweden
Rosenberg Norway
Stormsgodset Norway

Can this really happen?

In an ideal world, yes. However if either the Dutch, Belgian, Danish or Scottish leagues pulled out it would have a major impact in this going ahead. Several Chairmen have muted the possibility like Harry van Rajj of PSV. The likelyhood is that the national Assocations will never agree to this or UEFA/FIFA will block this, which is a shame as it gives a chance for a small team like Motherwell to compete against Europe's elite.

Games of the Week - 14-15th December

This weeks games of the week are:

  1. Manchester City vs Arsenal (Barclays Premier League)
  2. Kilmarnock vs Dundee United (Scottish Premiership)

Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal

Ethiad Stadium

Inform Aguero opened the scoring after 14 minutes as he volleyed past Szcensny. Arsenal equalised as Ozil's cut back found Theo Walcott after 31 minutes whose shot was deflected in of Demichelis' head to make it 1-1. Seven minutes later, City retook the lead as Alvaro Negredo taps in Zabletta's low cross. At the start of the second half, Fernandinho curled the ball into the top corner to give him his first goal for the club. After the hour mark some great play from Ozil and Ramsay gave Walcott his second and reduced the deficit to one. City put their lead back to two after 66 minutes as Navas' cross found the unmarked Silva who headed in. Two minutes from time Fernadinho scored his second as he and Nasri caught out the pressing Arsenal defence in a counter attack Nasri's cutback to the Brazilian led to him beating Mertesacker and poking the ball over the Polish goalkeeper. After 94 minutes, Arsenal got their third as Sagna's corner found Mertesacker who headed in from close range. More Drama as James Milner was fouled in the box and Toure converting the penalty to be the last kick of the ball in a true classic in Manchester.

Kilmarnock 1-4 Dundee United

Rugby Park, Att 3452

The first chance in the match was Ryan Gauld's free kick which was saved by Samson at the near post. 18 minutes in, Gabriel Rubin was booked for a rash challenge on Stuart Armstrong, 5 minutes later he was at it again; this time he cynically tripped Armstrong and Rubin was booked again and subsequently sent off. The Tannidice side did not make their numerical advantage count until the hour mark when some great passing play from Armstrong and Robertson was finished off by Keith Watson from 6 yards. Dundee United made it 2 as Stuart Armstrong's run strolled past the Killie defence and past Cammy Bell for a great individual piece of skill after 73 minutes. Stuart Armstrong was involved again as his shot just inside the box was stopped but gave Ryan Gauld an easy tap in. Kris Boyd got one back as he headed the oncoming cross in past Cierzniak in the 89th minute. However United had the final say as after 94 minutes David Goodwillie scored his second league goal in his second spell at Tannadice as he fooled the defence to slot home from 14 yards out.

MotM: Stuart Armstrong

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Scottish Cup Round 4 Round-Up and Round 5 Draw

One year ago I started this blog with a preview of the Scottish Cup 4th Round, this year I am doing a review instead, so that means no "games of the week" this week; instead highlights from all 16 ties in the Scottish Cup:

Friday 29th November

  1. Dundee United vs Kilmarnock (19:45)
Saturday 30th November
  1. Falkirk vs Rangers (12:15 - SKY)
  2. Albion Rovers vs Motherwell
  3. Alloa Athletic vs Stirling Albion
  4. Ayr United vs Dunfermline
  5. Berwick vs Dumbarton
  6. Brechin vs Forfar
  7. Clyde vs Stranraer
  8. Dundee vs Raith
  9. Inverness CT vs Greenock Morton
  10. Queen of the South vs St Mirren
  11. Ross County vs Hibernian
  12. St Johnstone vs Livingston
  13. Stenhousemuir vs Fraserburgh
Sunday 1st December
  1. Partick Thistle vs Aberdeen (12:45 - SKY)
  2. Hearts vs Celtic (15:00 - BBC)

Dundee United 5-2 Kilmarnock

Tannadice Park, Attendance 6979 (looked like 8500)



After early pressure from both teams, Dundee United in the Friday night match  took the lead after 26 minutes when Andrew Robertson fired it into the net from 12 yards. Kilmarnock came out firing in the second half as a mistake from Cierzniak let Darren Barr in with a lucky shot to give Killie an equaliser. Two minutes later, a fantastic shot from Chris Johnston beat Rado Cierzniak into the top corner. Dundee United came back fighting as Nadir Ciftci's cross found Stuart Armstrong to give United an equaliser after 63 minutes. Dundee United took the lead 12 minutes later when Andrew Robertson's shot from outside the box bounced past Craig Samson. Ryan Gauld won Dundee United a penalty 8 minutes later when he was fouled by Gabriel inside the box. Brian Graham stepped up and scored. Dundee United sealed their place in Monday's draw when Ryan Gauld charged down a pass back that was cleared to Gary Mackay-Steven who scored into an open goal from 25 yards.

MoTM: Andrew Robertson

Falkirk 0-2 The Rangers

The Falkirk Stadium, Attendance 6228

The first real chance in the game came after 33 minutes when Lee Wallace was through on goal with a one-on-one with Micheal McGovern, the shot which was easily saved by the Falkirk No. 1. After 57 minutes, a dive by Nicky Clark in the box resulted in The Rangers being awarded a penalty and David McCracken a red card. Justice was done as Lee McCulloch's penalty was saved by Micheal McGovern and a shot from the rebound went in but McCulloch was offside. After 67 minutes, The Rangers subsitute Fraser Aird's shot hit the bar from 12 yards out. Three minutes later, after a mistake by Cammy Bell the home side came close to taking the lead but their attack was eventually foiled by the referee.  Nicky Law gave the Rangers the lead after 88 minutes. David Templeton sealed the victory for the minnows two minutes in injury time.

MoTM: Micheal McGovern

Albion Rovers 1-0 Motherwell

New Douglus Park, Attendance 2950



This Lanarkshire derby had to be moved from Cliftonhill to Hamilton which is actually closer to Motherwell than Coatbridge due to a fire at the ground. Motherwell had the best of the chances in the first half with Rob McHugh coming right on half time from a Hammell free-kick. The game was a lot more even in the second half and Albion Goalkeeper Parry stoppped any chance from Motherwell. The tie looked like it was going to a replay  at Fir Park but in the 90th minute Gary Phillips' left foot shot beat Gunnar Nielsen to give Albion their first ever win against Motherwell, as the side third bottom of the Scottish Professional Football League have beat the side third top of it.

MoTM: Neil Parry

Alloa Athletic 3-2 Stirling Albion

Recreation Park, Attendance 1278



Stirling Albion opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Kieren McAnespie's free kick was put in by a glancing header from Jordan White. Albion were reduced to 10 men late in the first half as 18 year-old Alex Cunningham kicked out at Alloa defender Micheal Doyle. Alloa equalised after 51 minutes when they were awarded a penalty as McAnespie brought down John Tiffony inside the box, Ryan McCord scored the penalty. On the hour mark, Paul Hartley's men took the lead as Tiffony's cross was headed in by Graham Holmes. Jason Marr sealed the win in stoppage time as he scored from close range. Albion got one back in this Central derby as Graham Weir scored a stunner from 25 yards but it was too little, too late for Stirling.

MoTM: Jonathan Tiffony

Ayr United 1-1 Dunfermline

Somerset Park, Attendance 1391



Ayr dominated much of the first half but Dunfermline took the lead as Andy Geggan finished off Millen's cross. Ayr United got a goal which gave them a deserved replay just before the hour mark as Micheal Donald finished from ex-Hearts and The Rangers striker Kevin Kyle.

MoTM: Micheal Donald

Berwick 1-3 Dumbarton

Shielfield Park, Attendance 406


The League Two side took the lead after 8 minutes when Lee Currie scored a wonder free kick from 25 yards. Dumbarton equalised after half an hour when a handball from Stephen Tulloch inside the box gave Bryan Puntry the opportunity to give the team from the Rock an equaliser and he did. Two minutes from half time Dumbarton took the lead when Puntry's through ball to Mitch Megginson whose shot went into the bottom left corner beating Bald. Dumbarton sealed a place in the hat 10 minutes after half time when Scott Linton's shot beat the Berwick goal keeper.

Brechin City 1-1 Forfar Athletic

Glebe Park, Attendance 724



Nothing beats an Angus derby and temperatures where rising since the off as Stuart Malcom (Forfar) was sent off for pushing Derek Carcary off the ball after 8 minutes. Brechin's Ewan Moyes was the next to be sent-off, he halved Chris Templeman just outside the box and denied a goal scoring opportunity. Fifty-three minutes in Carcary's cross was turned in by Alex Trouten. However Forfar forced a replay at Station Park as Martyn Fotheringham's late free-kick was deflected in, in stoppage time. Mark Baxter was sent-off for his second yellow after 95 minutes.

Clyde 1-1 Stranraer

Broadwood Stadium, Attendance 



The League Two leaders Clyde got an excellent start to this game as after only a quarter of a hour Keiran McDonald's well placed header beat the struggling David Mitchell to the back of the net. One minute before half time Jaime Longworth caught the Clyde defence on the break and earned a reply next Tuesday at Stair Park. Stranraer captain Frank McKeown worked through the night (Friday) as a fire fighter at the scene of the tragic helicopter crash at the Clutha pub in central Glasgow.

MoTM: 

Dundee 0-1 Raith

Dens Park, Attendance 3184



The Funniest goal in Scottish Cup fourth round was scored in a fairly uneventful game at Dens as it was scored after only 8 minutes when Jason Thompson's run was halted on the end of the box Gary Irvine's pass back to the goalkeeper was ignored and bobbled in the goal to provide the men from Kirkcaldy the winner at Dens.

Inverness CT 4-0 Greenock Morton

Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Attendance



After 44 minutes Inverness were awarded a penalty as Craig Reid fouled Ross Draper inside the box. Nick Ross gave the highlanders an advantage going into half time. Half Time was 40 minutes long as a sub-station failure plunged Inverness into darkness. Billy McKay killed off any chance of a famous cup-shock after 71 minutes when Carl Tremarco's cross was headed in by the Northern-Irishman. McKay scored his second when Aaron Doran's pass gave the SPL's top scorer (last season) a one on one with the Morton Goalkeeper. Late in stoppage time Inverness made it 4-0 when Scott Taggart was sent-off for fouling Agdestein in the box which Doran scored.

MoTM: Billy McKay

Queen of the South 2-2 St Mirren

Palmerston, Attendance 2176



St Mirren took the lead after nine minutes when Conor Newton's shot went in from the edge of the box. Queens then equalised, ten minutes from half-time, when Ian McShane's free kick went to Iain Russell whose left foot shot went in from ten yards. Saints took the lead again, this time six minutes after half time when Sean Kelly's cross found the waiting Steven Thompson inside the box who beat Zander Clark to the far corner. The men from Dumfries weren't leaving empty handed as, 18 minutes from time a cross headed by Paul Burns to Micheal Paton found the back of the net from 8 yards out. Queens held on to the onslaught by Saints to earn themselves a replay at St Mirren Park.

MoTM: Steven Thompson

Ross County 0-1 Hibernian

Victoria Park, Attendance 2213



Hibs started the game the stronger of the won with only 20 minutes on the clock Hibs had their first chance, as Liam Craig's corner eventually found Paul Cairney whose resulting shot was mishit and almost cleared the small stand behind the goal. Hibs took the lead eleven minutes later, as Liam Craig's pass found Danny Handling inside the box who took a shot and beat Mark Brown from 15 yards out. It looked like Hibs were going to keep their advantage but Ross County were helped after 71 minutes when Cairney's storming run past the  County defence was stopped when it looked like he stumbled and fell over the goalkeeper. The referee subsequently booked him for diving and since it was his second yellow he was off. Late in the game, Terry Butcher took off substitute Ross Caldwell, Caldwell walked straight into the tunnel as he walked past and ignored the Hibs boss.

MoTM: Liam Craig

St Johnstone 2-0 Livingston

McDairmid Park, Attendance 2294



The Saints have been playing some good football this season,and they made sure the did not slip up on a potential banana skin that came from Livi they took the lead after 24 minutes as Steve May scored an effort from 25 yards out as the pass came from McDonald. After 64 minutes, May's corner missed the keeper an found the feet of Sanel Janic who tapped the ball in and secured Saint Johnstone's place in the last 16.

MoTM: Steve May

Stenhousemuir 3-0 Fraserburgh

Ochillview, Attendance 487



The only non-league team left in the Scottish Cup was Fraserburgh of the Highland League, they faced a tough task away to League 1 Stenhousemuir. After 63 minutes, the Broch failed to clear a cross which led Ross McNeil giving the home side the lead. Two minutes from the end Fraserburgh's hopes were extinguished as McNeil's shot from the outside of the box slipped out of the hands of the Broch's goal keeper and went into the net. In stoppage time salt was added to the wound as Bryan Hodge's through ball was slotted home by Errol Douglas to make it 3-0. But the Highlanders can go back up North with their heads held high.

MoTM:  

Partick 0-1 Aberdeen

Firhill Stadium, Attendance 3642

Four minutes in  and Andrew Considine headed in after leaving his marker (Craigen)  from a Barry Robson corner. Ten minutes later a Peter Pawlett shot from long range was saved by Scotland international Scott Fox. Aberdeen should have been 2 or 3 up at half time. 49 minutes in, a Barry Robson corner was spilled by Scott Fox but he was able to recover the ball. Partick had a chance on the hour mark when Sinclair's cross found the head of Doolan who headed just wide. Aberdeen were able to see out the game and sealed their place in the fifth round.

MoTM: Peter Pawlett

Heart of Midlothian 0-7 Celtic

Tyncastle Stadium, Attendance 10,636



It only took Celtic three minutes to get the breakthrough with a left foot shot from Kris Commons. 12 minutes in Lustig's shot was blocked by Hammell and the follow up well over the bar. 18 minutes in and Hammell's shot from 25 yards was just wide of the post. A quick free kick from Lustig let Commons through and gave Celtic a 2-0 lead 20 minutes in. Just after the half hour mark, after Stokes hit the post Brown followed up and scored Celtic's third. Celtic made it 4 after 42 minutes as a cross in front of goal gave Joe Ledley a tap in. One minute later, Mikael Lustig made it 5 from 25 yards out beating McDonald in an identical shot to James McFadden's goal against France. At half time it was Hearts 0-5 Celtic. On the hour mark a penalty was awarded as Danny Wilson appeared to handle the ball in the box and Commons converted to make it 6-0. After 74 minutes, Brown's half-volley  from 18 yards took a deflection and beat McDonald to make it the "magnificent seven". 

MoTM:  Kris Commons

Fifth Round Draw

  1. Alloa Athletic (SC) vs Dumabrton (SC)
  2. Clyde (SL2) or Stranraer (SL1) vs Inverness Caledonian Thsitle (SP)
  3. Hibernian (SP) vs Raith Rovers (SC)
  4. Albion Rovers (SL2) vs Stenhousemuir (SL1)
  5. Brechin City (SL1) or Forfar Athletic (SL1) vs St Johnstone (SP)
  6. Celtic (SP) vs Aberdeen (SP)
  7. Dundee United (SP) vs St Mirren (SP) or Queen of the South (SC)
  8. The Rangers (SL1) vs Dunfermline Athletic (SL1)
Ties to be played weekend 8/9 February. 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Games of the Week - 23rd-24th November

This week my games of the week are, sorry should be six games but there has been a lot of technical issues with the blog recently:

  1. West Brom vs Aston Villa  (Premier League)
  2. Hearts vs Ross County (Scottish Premiership)
  3. Dundee United vs Partick Thistle (Scottish Premiership)

West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa

The Hawthorns, Attendance 24902

Aston Villa did not have a good start to the game as Shane Long caught out the Villa defence and his shot from the edge of the box found it's way past Guzan. Long made it 2-0, only 8 minutes later as Bacuna's pass was intercepted by Long, who took a shot from the edge of the box which hit the underside of the crossbar. Seven minutes later West Brom could have made it 3-0 as Sessengnon did not controlled the ball that had came into the six yard box and sent it wide. However, Aston Villa showed great heart and determination to keep the score as it was before half time. The Villians started the second half "all guns blazing" and almost scored on 58 minutes when Weimann's shot was saved by Myhill and the save just pushed the ball wide for a corner. On 66 minutes, Villa finally got the goal they deserved as Bacuna's cross was headed on by Weimann to El Ahmadi who put the ball in the net to get Villa back in the game. Nine minutes later, a half cleared cross fell to Westwood who smashed the ball from 25 yards to give Aston Villa an important point for a deserved draw.
MoTM: Weimann

Heart of Midlothian 2-2 Ross County

Tynecastle Stadium, Attendance 12508

After 22 minutes a bad pass by Tapping gave Carey a clean sight of goal which gave County the lead in Edinburgh. Paterson's half-volley gave Hearts the equaliser six minutes later. Five minutes after half time De Leuuw gave County the lead again after Gary Glen's pass to the Dutchman who fired it home from 15 yards. Fourteen minutes later Richie Brittain was booked for a second time as he halved Jamie Walker outside his own box. For Ross County it looked like their resilience had payed off in them getting all three points but one minute from time Danny Wilson's header deflected off Brian McLean to give Hearts a vital point in their relegation struggle.
MoTM: Jamie McDonald

Dundee United 4-1 Partick Thistle

Tannadice Park, Attendance 6700

Dundee United started the game with a bang as within 80 seconds Ryan Gauld's run from the halfway line led to his pass which was perfectly timed given Mackay-Steven an easy goal from 17 yards out. Dundee United came close again after 25 minutes when Gary Mackay-Steven's chip was cleared off the line by Aaron Muirhead, but he had broke the net so there had to be a six minute stoppage of play to fix the problem with the net. It was on 56 minutes when Ross Forbes cross hit John Souttar's hand and a penalty was awarded. Aaron Muirhead converted the penalty to equalise. It was only 13 minutes later when Ryan Gauld's through ball to Andrew Robertson who slotted it home to give United the lead again. It was from here on in that Partick lost their discipline as four minutes later Conrad Balatoni - that's Balatoni not Ballotelli - halved Mackay-Steven and was booked for a second time. Two minutes later, Gauld's through ball to Mackay-Steven who slotted the ball past Scott Fox. With five minutes to go, Dundee United sealed the win when Ryan Gauld gave Brian Graham a through ball who beat the keeper from twelve yards. With one minute to go Stuart Bannigan was sent off for halving Mackay-Steven.

MoTM: Ryan Gauld, who is definitely worth £6 million.



  

Monday, 18 November 2013

O/T: Dundee City of Culture 2017

Slightly off topic, I know but could you please give this video a like as it would help Dundee in its bid to be UK City of Culture 2017:


Please visit the website as well We Dundee.

Sorry about the few blog posts recently, I have had technical problems with my internet.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Games of the Week - 9-10th Nov

Here are the games of the week for the week commencing 9th November:

  1. Chelsea vs West Brom (Premier League)
  2. Bristol Rovers vs York City (FA Cup 1st Round)
  3. Aberdeen vs Hearts (Scottish Premiership)

Chelsea 2-2 West Brom

Stamford Bridge, Attendance 41623

Chelsea opened the scoring just before half time when Hazard's shot was not cleared and Eto'o was given the easiest goal he will ever score. West Brom did not bow down as on the hour mark as Cech's save came to Long who was able to equalise despite the melee in the box. West Brom were not settling for a point; as 8 minutes later Sessengon's shot looked like it was an easy save but somehow it squirmed past Cech to give Steve Clarke's men the lead. After Chelsea's numerous attacks it looked like West Brom had pulled off a unlikely win at Stamford Bridge; but in the 95th minute Ramieres' obvious dive was given as a penalty and unfortunately for West Brom, Hazard went up to take the penalty and scored to give Chelsea an important point.

MoTM: Ridgewell

Bristol Rovers 3-3 York City

Memorial Stadium, Attendance 4654

The visitors took the lead after 35 minutes when Ryan Jarvis' right foot shot found its way in. Their lead did not last long as two minutes later when Mildenhall's free kick was whipped in Richard's was able to get on the end of it to equalise to make it 1-1. Four minutes later it was York again, this time with Carson's left foot from 30 yards which gave the visitor's the lead going into the break. On the hour mark, Lee Brown's free kick found Matt Harrold head which gave Rovers an equaliser. Rovers took the lead for the first time in the match with Micheal Smith's cross which was headed in by Chris Beardsley. The home side thought they had won it, but in the 86th minute Oyebanjo's cross was spilled which gave Wes Fletcher an easy tap in to give the visitors a replay next week.

Aberdeen 1-3 Hearts

Pittodrie Stadium, Attendance 13940

Niall McGinn gave the home side the lead after 25 minutes when Barry Robson's corner missed everyone it gave McGinn a shot from 10 yards out. Aberdeen were pilling on the pressure but Hearts defended brilliantly. But after several penalty claims wrongly not given, the dons were given a penalty for what looked like the ball had hit his back McGinn stepped up and his shot was easily saved by Jamie McDonald. The turning point came after 55 minutes when Barry Robson was booked for a second time and was subsequently sent-off. On 66 minutes, Danny Wilson's through ball came to Jamie Walker who found his way around the defence to give Hearts an equaliser. 8 minutes later, Walker's run into the box led to his cutback to Paterson who fired it into the top corner. In added time Hearts caught the ten men on the break and Ryan Stevenson scored a fantastic goal from the edge of the box.
MoTM: Jamie Walker


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Games of the week 2nd-3rd November

Sorry, this week I have had a technical problem getting the highlights and I could only get Scottish Premiership matches. Should be fixed for next week.

  1. Celtic vs Dundee United (Scottish Premiership)
  2. St Mirren vs Ross County (Scottish Premiership)

Celtic 1-1 Dundee United

Celtic Park, Attendance: 47568

The game started out fairly even with Celtic producing the first chance on 3 minutes with a cross from Commons being headed away by 17 year-old half-back John Souttar before finding Stokes who's shot was headed away by Souttar. Nine minutes later, Mark Wilson's cross found Brian Graham who's header was saved by Forster. On 37 minutes, John Rankin's run which ended up in him leading the ball to Graham, resulted in Graham passing to Nadir Ciftci who's chip gave Stuart Armstrong a 1-on-1 with Forster who rounded the Wannabe England Number 1 to give Dundee United the lead. Just before half time, Mulgrew's free kick which was punched away by Cierniak fell to Van Djik who's shot was headed off the line by a defender. At the start of the second half Andrew Robertson's through ball almost gave Stuart Armstrong a chance to make it 2-0. A golden chance for Dundee United to finish Celtic off came in the 63rd minute when Nadir Ciftci's cross found the head of Graham in the box, who headed the ball onto his knee and squandered the perfect opportunity to start his goal tally at Dundee United. As United learned against Inverness the game is not over until it is over. In the 92nd minute a cross came, for Celtic, from Izzaguire which found Mulgrew who headed the ball in to make it 1-1 and did not let Dundee United get their fist win at Parkhead since Boxing Day 1992. 

MoTM: John Rankin

St Mirren A-A Ross County

St Mirren Park, Game Abandoned due to Waterlogged Pitch

The Buddies almost opened the scoring early on with a Paul McGowan shot hitting the crossbar. St Mirren opened the scoring with Paul McGowan finding a way through the Chaos  in the wet box to give the Buddies the lead. The second goal came just after the first with John McGinn's through ball finding Steven Thompson who was clean through and made it 2-0. The Conditions continued to get worse and after 51 minutes the referee decided to take the players off the pitch, soon after a decision was made to abandon the game. 
Do you think this was the right decision, tell me your opinions in the comments below.


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Games of the week - 26-27th Oct

This week the games of the week for this week are:

  1. Manchester United vs Stoke City (Premier League)
  2. Dundee United vs St Mirren (Scottish Premiership)
  3. Barcelona vs Real Madrid (La Liga)
  4. Bayern Munich vs Hertha Berlin (Bundesliga)
  5. Chelsea vs Manchester City (Premier League)

Manchester United 3-2 Stoke City

Old Trafford, Attendance 75,274

In the fourth minute, Erik Peters run on the left wing for the visitors resulted in him going past 3 players - Nani, Cleverly and Smalling - and crossing the ball into Crouch who's shot was originally saved but he was able to get a toe poke onto the rebound and stun Old Trafford as Stoke took the lead. Two minutes from half time Nani's cross into the box had found Wayne Rooney who's shot was magnificantly saved by Begovic but the rebound came to the flying dutchman Robin Van Persie who volleyed it into the net from twelve yards. A minute later, Stoke were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, Arnautovic took the free kick and the ball swung over the wall beating De Gea and hitting the underside of the bar and bouncing into the net. Thirteen minutes from full time a Robin Van Persie corner found Wayne Rooney who was not marked properly by Stephen Ireland and Rooney headed it into the net to equalize. Manchester Utd were pushing for a winner and were rewarded in the 80th minute as Evra's cross found Hernandez and he headed it home for the home support at Old Trafford to a state of relief.  
MoTM: Wayne Rooney

Dundee United 4-0 St Mirren  

Tannadice Park, Attendance 6331

The home side started strongly straight from the kick-off as Dundee United took the saints defence apart and Nadir Ciftci came close in the first minute. Dundee United were holding onto the ball quite a lot with several one-twos unlocking the visitors' defence. A long ball from John Rankin, on 27 minutes, was not controlled by MacGregor which gave Nadir Cifitci a easy goal to give United the lead. Seven minutes later and the goalscorer was fouled in the box by Sean Kelly, the ex-Portsmouth player took the penalty and scored to double the Tangerines lead. Just before the break Ryan Gauld came close to scoring with a run from out side the box almost catching a dodgy piece of defending. On the hour mark, it was Gauld again this time with a shot from 35 yards going into the top corner to make it 3-0 the home side. St Mirren's only chance came from Steven Thompson who mis-controlled his one on one for Andrew Robertson to clear. United had the last laugh 7 minutes from time as subsitute Ryan Dow set up fellow sub Chris Erskine for a fantastic shot from outside to beat debutante Marrion Kello to make it 4.

MoTM: Ryan Gauld (speaking of)

Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

Camp Nou, Attendance 98671

Neymar opened the scoring on 18 minutes with a shot going in at the far post beating Lopez in goal. Welshman Gareth Bale was not as his best and so he was replaced by Benzema after one hour.The match was fairly even with both teams coming close. Barca doubled their lead 12 minutes from time as Alexi Sanchez on the break chipped Lopez to male it 2-0. Real scored a consolation in stoppage time with Jese beating Valdes and pelting it into the top corner.
MoTM: Neymar

Bayern Munich 3-2 Hertha BSC

Allianz Arena, Attendance 71000

The visitors opened the scoring after four minutes when a Hertha corner was whipped onto the head of Adrian Ramos who gave the top team in Berlin the lead. Twenty-nine minutes Ribery's free-kick was headed in by Mandzukic. Fifty-one minutes in the match took another twist with a goal from yet another Bayern free-kick; this time Schweinstiger crossed in for Mario Mandzukic to score his second. It looked like Bayern had sealed the game three minutes later with a cross from Ribery finding Gotze who put the ball into the back of the net to give Bayern a two goal lead. The match was not over as Hertha were able to get one back four minutes later with a run by Schulz cutback to Ben-Hatira who scored to get Hertha back into the game. Hetha were unable to get that crucial equaliser as they left Munich only knowing they have to defend better from set-pieces.

MoTM: Frank Ribery

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

Stamford Bridge, Attendance 41495

Chelsea opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge after a great run by Torres along the wing ended up 
in him cutting back for Schurrle who scored to after 32 minutes of play. Three minutes into the second half a pass from Nasri led Aguaro clean through to score an equalise for City. It looked like it was going for a draw until in the 90th minute where Torres was given a through ball and it went past everyone to give Chelsea a massive boost in their title bid.
MoTM: Fernando Torres

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Games of the Week - 19th-20th October

The games of the week this week are:

  1. Liverpool vs Newcastle (Barclays Premier League)
  2. St Mirren vs St Johnstone (SPFL Premiership)
  3. Bayern Munich vs Mainz (Bundesliga)
  4. Hibernian vs Celtic (SPFL Premiership)
  5. Twente vs Ajax (Eredivise)




Newcastle 2-2 Liverpool 

St James' Park, Attendance 51703

Yohan Cabaye opened the scoring midway through the first half with a wonder strike from forty yards which bounced past Pepe Reina. Three minutes before half time Liverpool were awarded a penalty as Yanga-Mbiwa brought down Sturridge and was susequenrtly sent-off. The penalty was converted by Steven Gerrard  who slotted the ball past Tim Krul to score his 100th Premier League goal. At the start of the second half, Cabaye crossed in a free-kick which went all the way to the back post to young Paul Dummett who came on as a first half sub to head the ball in the net and to give the magpies the lead, again. With 18 minutes to go Moses found Suarez on the left wing who ran into the six yard box and cut the ball back to give Sturridge a tap in with his head, or in FIFA 14 terms "a sweaty goal". Late on, Liverpool were pushing Newcastle defence to the limit, as they were trying to score a third and go top of the table but Newcastle held on to a point.
MoTM: Daniel Sturridge

St Mirren 4-3 St Johnstone

New Love Street, Attendance 3739

The home side were coming into this game after beating relegation rivals Hearts 2-0 at Tynecastle, whilst the visitors had hammered high-flying Inverness at McDairmid Park 4-0. In the 8th minute after some poor defending McGowan put the ball through to Kenny McLean who beat the goalie in a 1 on 1 to give the home side the lead. Nine minutes later, Hasslebank did a 1-2 with May to go through the Buddies' defence who crossed it in to Steven McLean who tapped it in for the equaliser. The Perth side were looking to take the lead as Hasslebank was denied by Dilo from outside the box. In the 60th minute Lee Mair played a straight ball which went to Paul McGowan who slotted the ball past Manus to make it 2-1 to the men from Paisley. A minute later, Chris Miller ran along the right wing into the box and cut the ball back to Nigel Hasslebank who put his shot into the bottom corner to retake the lead for St Johnstone. Three minutes later, Gary McDonald fouled Kenny McLean in the box to give St Mirren a penalty. Jim Goodwin stepped up and powered the ball into the bottom corner for it to be saved by Alan Manus. With 14 minutes to go St Mirren were awarded a second penalty; this time Kenny McLean and Frazer Wright were wrestling in the box as a through ball was played over the to of them, McLean went down and the referee awarded a penalty and sent-off Wright for a last man challenge. The penalty was taken this time by Kenny McLean who did not make the same mistake as Goodwin and put it in the roof of the net. The match seemed a certainty now as the Buddies' had a goal and a man advantage. However, six minutes from time Steve May crossed the ball into the box for Fallon to slide in for an equaliser. The match took another twist as in the 89th minute as McLean's cross found McGregor who headed it on to Steven Thompson who slid in to give St Mirren the edge in this 7 goal thriller in Paisley. With Hearts losing away to Motherwell, Danny Lennon's side now have a 15 point gap to bottom side Hearts and are now out of the play-off spots as well.
MoTM: Kenny McLean

Bayern Munich 4-1 Mainz

Allainz Arena, Attendance 71,000

The first half was dominated by the European champions but just before half time a through ball by a Mainz defender took a deflection of KP Boetang and fell to Shawn Parker who ran into the box and went round the keeper and slotted it in to the back of the net to shock the Bayern faithful. Bayern Munich came all guns blazing in the second half as Mainz were only able to defend their lead for 5 minutes before Mario Gotze's pass found Arjen Robben who had ran right past the Mainz defence to get the ball and placed the ball past Wetklo in the Mainz goal. Two minutes later some excellent passing of the ball in the Mainz box lead to Thomas Muller taking the lead for the Bundesliga champions. With 20 minutes to go Bayern Munich scored again this time almost a repeat of the second goal except Mario Manzukic guided it in with Gotze creating his second assist. The Mainz defence had collapsed in the second half. In the closing stages Bayern were taking Mainz apart and 10 minutes from time a push in the box on Schwiensteiger caused the referee to give the home side a penalty. Robben stepped up to take it but Muller was insistent and took it himself and he put it into the bottom left corner to seal the three points for Bayern Munich.
MoTM: Mario Gotze

Hibernian 1-1 Celtic

Easter Road, Attendance 14,220

The early pressure came from the SPL champions but 17 minutes in a pass intercepted by Kevin Thompson who gave Paul Heffernan, who was in an offside position, a one-on-one with Forrester and he slotted it past the England number 2 and the goal stood. Hibs held out till half time in the lead there was a lot of physicality from Hibs which was probably the cause of their own downfall. With 15 minutes to go, Ryan McGivern's late challenge on Amiro Balde led to both players going off the pitch and both teams being down to ten men. This left a gap in the Hibee's defence as James Forrest went on a fantastic run going past three players before shooting a sort of banana shot of the outside of his foot past Ben Williams and of the post into the net to make it 1-1. Late on a finger-tip save by Williams kept it at 1-1, and a lucky point for Hibs. This draw gave Inverness the chance to close the gap to Celtic to 1 point at the top of the table.
MoTM: Ben Williams

Twente 1-1 Ajax

De Grolsch Vetse, Attendance 30000

The top of the table clash in the Eredivisie as the champions visited league leaders FC Twente. In the 21st minute a bit of trickery in the box from Quincy Promes led to him setting up a 1 on 1 for Castaigons who scored and gave the leaders the lead. Twente came close to sealing the victory before half time but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. For Ajax it looked like they were going to suffer their third defeat of the season but nine minutes from time a missed header from Andreas Bjellend gave Sigthorsson the perfect chance for an equaliser which he took. Twente stay top but they are only one point clear of Ajax, FC Zwolle and PSV Eindhoven. Ajax will be playing Celtic in the crunch match in the Champions League on Tuesday.
MoTM: Quincy Promes









Friday, 18 October 2013

Scotland end on a high

Scotland 2-0 Croatia

Hampden Park, Attendance 45000
2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - UEFA Pool A

Scotland waiting for their first home competitive win in over two years faced a Croatia side looking to secure a play-off spot. Croatia started the match the better side but few chances were created. The first proper chance of the match came in the 28th minute with Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew crossing the ball from the North End onto Robert Snodgrass's head who put it past Pletikosa to give Scotland the lead. Scotland started to play some "straight from the Training ground" football as Anya, Mulgrew and Snodgrass playing one touch passes and unlocking Croatia's defence. Scotland almost scored again with a Bannan free kick, but during the half time interval Croatia found out that they had secured a play-off place with them being secured as at least being the 8th best second place team. The game was not as exciting as it was in the first half, but a needless foul on Ikechi Anya gave Scotland a penalty 18 minutes from time. Barry Bannan took the penalty but was the keeper got his gloves to it and pushed it wide for it to go to Naismith who put the ball in to make it 2-0. Scotland saw out the game and despite Jelavic coming on kept a clean sheet. 
MoTM: Robert Snodgrass

Scotland have moved up in the World Rankings from 63rd to 35th with their win at Hampden on Tuesday night. On another point, the Scots have secured a place in pot 4 for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying which is important as this will be Scotland's best chance to end what will be an 18 year drought of major tournament football, as their are 23 places (as France have already qualified as hosts) available at the championships in 2016. Also, Gibraltar will be competeting for the first time as they are now members of UEFA.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Games of the Week - 5th-7th October

Not as many games this week, but the games of the week are as follows:

  1. Hearts vs St Mirren (Scottish Premiership)
  2. Manchester City vs Everton (Barclays Premier League)
  3. Dundee United vs Kilimarnock (Scottish Premiership)
  4. Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munchen (Bundesliga)
  5. Juventus vs Milan (Serie A)
  6. Celtic vs Motherwell (Scottish Premiership)

Hearts 0-2 St Mirren

Tynecastle, Attendance 14769
Scottish Premiership

Nine points was the gap going into the bottom of the table clash. A relatively even first half but exciting was topped off by a header from close range by John McGinn to give the buddies the lead three minute before half time. Hearts opened up in the second half trying to score an equaliser but the buddies doubled their lead 13 minutes after halftime as a failure to clear the ball by Dylan McGowan let the other one Paul slot it into the net to make it 2-0.
MoTM: Paul McGowan 
Video: SPFL

Manchester City 3-1 Everton

Ethiad Stadium, Attendance 47267
Barclays Premier League

Roman Lukaku took the lead for the toffees after 15 minutes but the lead for Everton only lasted 92 sceonds as new signing Alvaro Negrado scored for city. The stalemate almost lasted to halftime but after missing a few sitters earlier Aguero made it 2-1. Man City were awarded a penalty with 20 minutes to go but Aguero's shot was saved by Howard who put the ball onto the post and was deflected in off of his back.
MoTM: James Milner

Dundee United 1-0 Kilmarnock

Tannadice Park, Attendance 5850
Scottish Premiership

Despite heaps of pressure in the first half including David Goodwillie's run which goes right through Kilmarnock's atrocious defence and dummied past the goalkeeper Goodie was unable to finish from the tight angle it stayed 0-0. Eleven minutes after halftime a through ball that looked like a lost cause was chased down by Goodwillie ran to a wide position and crossed the ball to Nadir Ciftci who performed a perfect volley from just outside the box to make it 10 goals in 5 games. Youngster Ryan Gauld was absolutely brilliant for the Terrors as he took Kilmarnock's  defence apart almost making them look like an amateur side at times during the match. The key moment in this match was late on when a miraculous save from in-form Rado Cierzniak stopped Irvine's shot from going in and Kille stealing a point. Hot prospect John Souttar did not damage his growing reputation with English clubs as he put in a solid performance in defence even though he did not need to do much.  If Kilmarnock's performance on Saturday is anything to go by then Kille look in real trouble in the relegation battle(s) this season.
MoTM: Ryan Gauld
Video: SPFL


Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Bayern Munchen

BayArena, Attendance 30210
Bundesliga

The top two sides in the Bundesliga went head to head at the BayArena in Leverkusen. The course of the match was decided in sixty seconds as after twenty-nine minutes a pass to Kroos led him to put the ball into the top corner for the German. Then a minute later Sidney Sam scored the equaliser for the home side.
MoTM: Kroos


Juventus 3-2 AC Milan

Juventus Stadium, Attendance 38000
Serie A

Muntari scored in the first minute for Milan but Pirlo was at his best and scored an equaliser right on the quarter-hour mark. The game looked like it was heading for a draw until Giovinco scored for the young boys and Geilinni added another quickly. Muntari gave Milan late hope as he scored in the 89th minute to make it 3-2. However, AC Milan's last-ditch attempt to sneak a draw were unsuccessful as it ended 3-2 to the champions.
MoTM: Pirlo