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When that victorious Chelsea side walked off the pitch at the Britannia Stadium on December 22, no one could have dare imagine w

in Herzlich willkommen! 05.12.2017 09:24
von jokergreen0220 | 1.170 Beiträge | 7020 Punkte

When that victorious Chelsea side walked off the pitch at the Britannia Stadium on December 22, no one could have dare imagine what was to unfold across the Barclays Premier League over the course of the next 10 days as a crestfallen Chelsea team exited White Hart Lane Thursday signifying the conclusion of the BPL festive season. Dan Marino Jersey . From the sheer joy for Manchester City as they climbed to the summit, through to the absolute pain for Liverpool as Steven Gerrard announced he would be taking his Anfield bow at seasons end, this has been anything but a holiday for the league which keeps on giving. In this era of constant change, which demands instant success, surprisingly we went into the Boxing Day fixtures with the same cast of managers we had begun the season with. To put this into a clearer perspective, the last time this happened, you have to go all the way back to the 1995-96 season when on January 2, Derby County fired their manager. This time, the axe finally fell off course on Neil Warnock whose Crystal Palace had only managed three victories in the 16 matches the 66-year old Englishman was in charge. The club had seen more than they could take following a Boxing Day reversal at Selhurst Park. No surprise for the London bookies, who had installed Warnock as favourite for the chop. The only surprise was his appointment at Palace in the first place. Warnocks CV includes guiding two of his previous clubs to the horrors of BPL relegation. Victors in southeast London Boxing Day, Southampton rediscovered their BPL mojo over the holidays and to me, were the best performing club over this defining period. The club had gone into the Palace match in a tailspin, managing only a single win in six matches. All that early season guile and promise where Southampton were an unbridled joy to watch as they cemented a position in the top four, had all but vanished come early November. The Saints went marching on over the holidays as they destroyed Palace, were fully deserving of a point against Chelsea and then, on New Years Day, dismantled a rejuvenated Arsenal and in doing so, rightfully restored their position amongst the BPL elite. The two Manchester clubs had gone into the holidays as the two best teams in the league. Following the festive folly, the red half enter the New Year with more questions than answers. Whereas their noisy neighbours reminded us once again why they, unlike no other club in recent seasons, know how to ride the roller coaster ways of the BPL. The current champions were given up as genuine title contenders in November, as a rampant Chelsea opened up a seemingly insurmountable eight-point gap at the top. The only thing that separates the two clubs now is name only. If that scenario of identical records was to present itself at seasons end, it would result in a one-off match to decide the destination of the title. Not sure thats what league CEO Peter Scudamore envisioned when, just a few seasons back, discussing plans for adding that so termed, 39th game of the season. What though can we make of Chelseas Holiday Horribulus? From Invincibles to Invisibles quicker than Mourinho can blame the referees as his over-active mind invents conspiracy theories and anti-Chelsea campaigns are the root and cause that Chelseas procession to the title is in tatters after the thoroughly deserved walloping they took against Tottenham Thursday. Following this weekends traditional BPL break for the FA Cup third round, all the headlines leading into Newcastles visit to Stamford Bridge January 10th will all be about a highly improbable season double. If that comes to be, we can well imagine Mourinho will lay fault with the fixture scheduler. Chelsea have been perfect to date at Stamford Bridge, its their lack of success away from home that has been their undoing. May 24 is when we will really discover how vital Frank Lampards New Years Day winner was, let alone how valuable his late equalizer against his old club was back in late September. Fridays hilarious quote from Arsene Wenger that he hasnt yet counted out his club from being title contenders from a position of 13 points back almost tops the classic bon mots from Louis Van Gaal following Manchester Uniteds scoreless draw at White Hart Lane on December 28. The Dutchman described the second half against Spurs as a struggle for life, his way of criticizing the league for scheduling matches 48 hours apart, something UEFA and FIFA would not ever allow he reminded us. Welcome to England, Louis. If LVG is struggling to understand why his team that had £150m [$275m] lavished on it in the summer only managed to collect five of the nine holiday points on offer, which included a mighty fortunate draw with Stoke Thursday, I suggest the greatest thing to happen to Manchester since the Smiths texts his opposite number at Burnley, Sean Dyche. The budget for Manchester Uniteds Christmas Party likely dwarfed the entire transfer budget handed to Dyche last spring following Burnleys promotion. Yet, here was a team that followed up Boxing Days underserved home reversal against Liverpool with that now famous fight back at the Etihad some 48 hours after trudging off the Turf Moor pitch. Down by two goals to a rampant Manchester City at halftime, through sheer will and determination, Burnley not only salvaged a point, it was they in the closing minutes who seemed the team more likely to find the winner. The only conclusion to be drawn is that 48 hours in Manchester must have flown by in a New York minute for Van Gaal. Which leads us rather aptly into one of the biggest headlines over the festive season, the confirmation on New Years Eve that Frank Lampards stay at the Etihad was extended through the end of the season; even longer perhaps if Manuel Pellegrini gets his way which is sure to ruffle more stateside feathers. This, though, pails into complete insignificance with the news on Liverpools website less than 24 hours later of Steven Gerrards Anfield departure come seasons end. As much disagreement and debate abounds on who has been the best foreigner in history to grace the English Premier League, there is no doubt on who is the greatest ever player in league history not to win a title. At least on two occasions, the native Liverpudlian spurned highly lucrative offers to leave a club he joined as a youth player in 1987 in search of adding more trophies to his personal collection. Steven Gerrards real place and impact at and for Liverpool will only truly be known years after he finally hangs up his BPL boots, which will happen May 24 when Liverpool visit Stoke. Most poignantly, 24 hours later, the five-time European Champions celebrate the 10th anniversary of Istanbul - one of the most remarkable of improbable achievements in the entire 150-year history of the beautiful game. Surely no one, not even the self-ordained Special 1, would begrudge Gerrard or his club a place at this seasons FA Cup Final on May 30 and in doing so, allow the curtain to drop on Gerrards Liverpool career at the venue of so many triumphs for his club through their history. Wembley Stadium truly is Liverpools second home. Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter AJ Duhe Jersey .com) - Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos had an arthroscopic procedure performed on his right elbow last week, the teams official site reported Wednesday. Custom Miami Dolphins Jerseys . The Earthquakes (6-9-7) were coming off a 5-0 loss at home last Saturday to FC Dallas. Even with the draw, the Sounders (13-7-3) climbed back into a tie for both the Western Conference and overall top spot in MLS. Seattle, West co-leader Real Salt Lake and East leader Sporting Kansas City all have 42 points. http://www.thedolphinsfansclub.com/Black-Cameron-Wake-Dolphins-Jersey.html?cat=869 .com) - The Hatch Attack is back in the Southern Conference.CHICAGO -- Yadier Molina had a simple goal for his ninth-inning at-bat with the bases loaded and the score tied on Sunday. "I was looking not to strike out," he said. After fouling off some tough two-strike pitches, Molina hit a ground-ball single up the middle to drive in two runs and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped out of an offensive funk with a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. "I got a little lucky that they were playing me to pull," Molina said. "It was a good at-bat. I was able to put the ball in play and good things happened." The defending National League champions had lost four of five to fall a game below .500. The Cardinals scored all their runs with two outs. Molina, moved into the No. 2 spot to jump start the lineup, was 0 for 4 before coming through in the ninth. But it was a wild pitch in the seventh inning that allowed the Cubs to tie the score at 3 that had Molina more frustrated. The pitch from reliever Carlos Martinez was in the dirt and trickled through Molinas legs, allowing Luis Valbuena to score. "I was there," Molina said. "I dont know. Its one of those things. I was ready for it and the ball still goes through my legs." Kevin Siegrist (1-1) got the win in relief, while Trevor Rosenthal picked up his eighth save in as many opportunities despite a scare in the ninth inning. Hector Randon (0-1) took the loss for the Cubs, who were attempting to win four straight games for the first time since July. While Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had looked for Molina, one of his hottest hitters, to get the offence going, it was a couple of struggling batters at the bottom of the lineup that got things started early. With two outs in the second inning and Jhonny Peralta on first base, Randal Grichuk drilled a triple into the right-centre field gap for a 1-0 lead. Mark Ellis, who went 3 for 4, followed with a double to left-centre to make it 2-0. Both Grichuk (.167) and Ellis (.143) entered hittingg well below . T.J. McDonald Jersey. 200. St. Louis stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third as Matt Adams doubled home Matt Holiday. The Cubs pulled within 3-2 in the fourth with some clutch two-out hitting. With one out, Ryan Kalish singled and John Baker walked. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, Cubs starter Jason Hammel singled to right to drive in both. Molinas go-ahead single to centre came on the sixth pitch of the at-bat from Randon. "I thought I made a good pitch today, but something happened," Randon said. Molina seemed more relieved that the wild pitch wasnt a factor than he drove in the game-deciding runs. "(Molina) does a good job of not wearing his emotions and how frustrating that is for him," Matheny said. "Its hard to count the number of balls he keeps in front of him, the number of runs he saves. Its something we dont take for granted." Valbuena doubled in a run with two outs in the ninth to make it 5-4, but Rosenthal got Anthony Rizzo to ground out to end the game. "Guys kept grinding it out," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "We just fell a little short." NOTES: The ESPN broadcast team of Dan Shulman and John Kruk worked from the bleachers. ... While making a rehab start Sunday with Double A Springfield, LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) was hit by a pitch on the left elbow and left after two innings and 28 pitches. "I think they went in and took precautionary X-rays," Matheny said. "I havent heard anything back yet." ... In the same game, RHP Jason Motte threw a scoreless inning, striking out three, in his first rehab outing. ... Rizzo entered with a .429 on-base percentage, which was fifth-best in the National League. ... The Cards open a series in Atlanta on Monday, with RHP Shelby Miller (3-2) facing RHP Aaron Harang, while the Cubs host the crosstown White Sox with RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-3) going up against LHP Jose Quintana (1-2). Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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