Premier League Weekly Roundup – 1/27/18

Welcome to The American Toffee blog and the first Premier League Weekly Roundup! Here I will be giving you weekly updates from around the league; from scores, stats, transfers and appointments, to everything else in between.

Premier League Side Results: 

Man U 4 – 0 Yeovil Town

New boy, Alexis Sanchez, was straight into the side for United as they took on Yeovil Town in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Mourinho deployed Sanchez into the left winger role and he did not disappoint. Linking up with Rashford late into the first half and after a few poor tackles and clearance, the young forward slotted one past the keeper upping his season tally to 10 goals. The second half was more of the same as United continued to dominate the hosts with Alexis involved again, finding Ander Herrera in the 61’ to double the lead. United would see the game out adding two more goals from the bench via Lingard and Lukaku in the 89’ and 90’+3. United are setting their sights on a record-tying 13th FA Cup Championship, as this competition may be their best bet for silverware this year.

Leicester 5 – 1 Peterborough

Leicester was in action early Saturday morning against League One side Peterborough. With 10 changes from their last match and club heroes Vardy and Mahrez on the bench, the visitors cruised to a 5-1 win. Leicester pounced early with two goals from Diabate and Iheanacho in the first 12’. The ex-Manchester City striker added another goal in the 29’, giving Iheanacho his second consecutive brace in this year’s cup. Peterborough defender, Andrew Hughes, scored in the 58’ to make it 3-1 giving the hosts a small ounce of hope, but Diabate’s brace ended Peterborough’s cup dream in the 87’. Ndidi scored in stoppage time as Leicester coasted into the 5th round.

Brighton 1 – 0 Middlesbrough  

A game that went right down to the final whistle ended in Brighton’s favor thanks to a late match winner from Glen Murray in the 90’. Middlesbrough impressed in the first half with a solid performance from wide man Adama Traore. With the game being as tight as it was and a unlucky defensive mistake, Boro will feel gutted for not getting the result they were in search of. In other news, match winner Glen Murray and his wife were arrested on Tuesday morning on tax fraud charges. Investigation is ongoing.

Southampton 1 – 0 Watford

It was Javi Garcia’s first match as manager of Watford as the club sacked ex-boss Marco Silva not even a week ago and it was not the start he envisioned. Both sides have been in rut as Watford has only picked up only one win in their last 11 games while Southampton have yet to win a league game in the last 11. However, it was Southampton that broke the slump thanks to birthday boy, Jack Stephens, who scored from close range in the 4’ to ensure the Saints a spot in the 5th round. Javi Garcia must re-instill belief and confidence in this Watford side who started out the year in fantastic fashion. 

Huddersfield 1 – 1 Birmingham

In the midst of a relegation battle in the Championship, Birmingham made a handful of changes to their side as they hosted Huddersfield. It was the Terriers that struck first through the means of an early header from Steve Mounie, although Birmingham started very lively. American, Danny Williams, left the game early as Wagner confirmed he is doubtful for midweek action against Liverpool. Ex-Huddersfield loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz tied up the game in the 54’ earning both side an unwanted replay.

Swansea City 1 – 1 Notts County

Drama for the Swans led to a draw with League Two side, Notts County, as the hosts appeared to get away with the ball crossing the byline, eventually leading to a Notts cross which was tapped in by Jon Stead. Notts County will be feeling good going into the replay and hoping for a little of their own FA Cup magic as they will travel to Wales for the 4th round replay next Tuesday.

Wigan Athletic 2 – 0 West Ham

West Ham came into the game in fine fettle as they took on Wigan Athletic, but it was the latter who opened the game up first via Will Grigg’s top corner header. A great chance was presented for West Ham in stoppage time of the first half as the Hammers arguably should have converted to tie the game, but a few blocks and the final errant shot left West Ham down 1-0 at halftime. A red was shown to Masuaku in the 49’ as he spat on midfielder Nick Powell. Will Grigg added another goal to his tally on the day after a penalty was called for a handball in the box. It appeared to be a little harsh as the West Ham defender was in close proximity to the cross with his arm fairly close to his body. Nonetheless, it was Wigan on the day who prevailed.

Newport County 1 – 1 Tottenham 

Newport County proved to be a handful against Spurs as the sides drew level 1-1 setting up for a well deserved consolation trip to Wembley. Having just escaped relegation to non Football League status on the final game of the season last year, the Exiles proved to be a strong side as Tottenham appeared to struggle in the hostile atmosphere even with a lineup littered with regulars. It was Harry Kane however who clawed Tottenham to a draw in the 82′ as he was left unmarked allowing for an easy tap in on the line.

West Brom 3 – 2 Liverpool

What a game at Anfield as two Premier League opponents clashed for the FA Cup tie. Bobby Firmino open Liverpool’s account in the 6′ through a long chip over the keeper as West Brom’s defense could not make the proper clearance. It did not take West Brom long to answer however with Jay Rodriguez scoring in the next minute and securing his brace in the 11′. The Baggies could have went up 3-1 in the 19′, but a VAR decision ruled the goal out. It was not the only VAR incident on the day as the system picked up a foul committed on Salah on a corner kick allowing Firmino to step up and attempt to bag his own brace, but the striker hit the crossbar for a miss. Liverpool has been heavily criticized for their porous defense and rightfully so. Another display of non-textbook defending led to an OG on Matip in stoppage time of the first half bringing the score to 3-1. Salah managed to score in the 78′ for the Reds, but it was not enough as Liverpool crashed out of this year’s competition.

Chelsea 3 – 0 Newcastle

Newcastle went into this fixture with one thing on their minds, defend. The Blues had another idea of their own and eased to a 3-0 win. With Morata still out due to injury, backup Batshuayi was the front man and he made no mistake on the day. Scoring a brace in the first half, he set up Chelsea to see the game out in the second half with Marcos Alonso adding a goal to his name after setting one up in the first half. In a window with the likes of Dzeko, Carroll, and Crouch being linked to Chelsea, should the Blues consider looking at one of their own? After a performance like today, the answer has to be yes.

Manchester City 2 – 0 Cardiff

City fielded a strong side for this one and it was more of the same for the current league leaders. Kevin De Bruyne scored off of a cheeky free kick in the 8′, slotting his shot right underneath the wall leaving the keeper glued to his spot. Another man in fine form, Raheem Sterling, added to his season tally with a goal in the 37′. The big story on the day was VAR, or lack thereof. City had a goal disallowed on a shot Sane was deemed offside and being an obstruction to the line of sight for Cardiff’s keeper, but replay showed Sane was level with Cardiff’s defense. The second instance was just short of halftime when Joe Bennett went in with a studs up challenge on Sane, resulting in the latter being subbed off at the start of the second half. VAR, however, was not in play for this match. City was always in control of this game as they keep their hopes of winning the quadruple alive.

Championship/League Side Results:

 Sheffield Wed. 3 – 1 Reading

Coventry City 1 – 0 MK Dons

Millwall 2 – 2 Rochdale

Hull City 2 – 1 Nottingham

Sheffield Utd 1 – 0 Preston NE





NBC Sports Gold – Is it worth it?

NBC Sports decided to offer a premium subscription service for the Premier League 17/18 season. If your match isn’t being played on national television, you are now forced to purchase the NBC Sports Gold subscription in order to watch. 

Here’s the big question – Is it worth it?

I was skeptical and attempted the less conventional streaming methods at the beginning of the season. After attempting to watch two matches in the worst quality, I decided to go for it.

NBC Sports Gold is offered at a flat rate of $49.99 at the beginning of the season. This allows you to stream all matches that are not nationally televised. Furthermore, it will give you access to all the extras such as Premier League News, Fanzone, and a couple other features. 

When you take into account how many games throughout the season will not be televised, there’s no question about it. However annoying the new premium subscription structure may be, it is a must have for avid fans.