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Blog - The Match

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

High fives all round as Arsenal thrash hopeless Aston Villa

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol breaks down Arsenal's 'demolition' of Aston Villa and raises his concerns about the job security of Villa manager, Paul Lambert.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Olivier Giroud goal (8') Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Mesut Ozil goal (56') Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Theo Walcott goal (63') Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Santi Cazorla penalty kick goal (75') Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Hector Bellerin goal (90+2') Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa

LONDON -- Three thoughts on Arsenal's emphatic 5-0 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League.

1. Arsenal tear Villa apart

Patience is fast becoming a virtue for this Arsenal team. Arsene Wenger has become a late convert to the type of tactics that rivals like Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson have so often picked apart his team with -- sit back and wait and take the opportunities when the game comes to you.

Arsenal, having taken an early lead, had struggled to open any floodgates and a smidgeon...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Mourinho's silence speaks volumes as Chelsea, Man City fail to entertain

Under-siege Chelsea retained a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League after repelling Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Former Chelsea man Craig Burley breaks down Chelsea's 1-1 draw with reigning title holders Manchester City.

LONDON -- Jose Mourinho had a result he probably accepted, but the world beyond the Special One definitely didn't receive the match it desired. Nor did it get to hear his views on a 1-1 draw in which his Chelsea team held Manchester City at arm's length.

Saturday's game was billed as the "biggest" game of the season so far and could have had a major impact on the title race; sadly, the latest of his self-imposed media blackouts meant that neither he nor any of his coaching staff gave their opinions...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Chelsea, Man City play for a draw that keeps both teams happy in title race

Saturday's draw wasn't fun for the fans but does help both teams stay in lockstep atop the Prem.

LONDON -- Three thoughts on Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the Premier League.

1. Title rivals share points

There were a reported 650 million people looking on from across the globe but planet Earth may not have been too impressed by an often-turgid encounter between English football's two best teams. Five points remains the gap between leaders Chelsea and Manchester City.

As expected, neither team was ready to bet the farm on the whole affair. Given that their need for victory...

Real Madrid rout Real Sociedad without Cristiano Ronaldo

Carlo Ancelotti wants Real Madrid to cut out early errors after watching his side come from behind to beat Real Sociedad 4-1.

MADRID -- Three quick thoughts from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as La Liga leaders Real Madrid got an early scare but ran out easy 4-1 winners against David Moyes' Real Sociedad.

1. Madrid get it done without Ronaldo

When Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off last weekend for kicking an opponent at Cordoba, a three-game ban was immediately feared. Controversially, the verdict was just a two-game suspension, which was greeted with relief as it meant he would be back for next weekend's "derbi" at Atletico...

United are a work in progress, and Wayne Rooney in midfield is wrong

ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down Manchester United's comfortable win over Leicester City.
Robin van Persie ended his dry spell with a spectacular finish that propelled Manchester United to a comfortable 3-1 win over Leicester.

MANCHESTER, England -- Three thoughts on Manchester United's 3-1 win over Leicester to move up to third in the Premier League.

1. Odd and unconventional, but United winning again

They rarely look comfortable, they are certainly not orthodox, but Manchester United have a habit of winning games regardless. With a formation that defied numerical description and with several players out of position, Louis van Gaal's team comfortably defeated Leicester City at Old Trafford.

Demons were exorcised here....

Atletico Madrid lose control going toe-to-toe with Barcelona in Copa del Rey

Two goals from Neymar proved decisive as Barcelona knocked Atletico Madrid out of the Copa del Rey.

BARCELONA, Spain -- Three quick thoughts from the Vicente Calderon as Barcelona's 3-2 win over Atletico Madrid (4-2 on aggregate) puts the Catalans into the Copa del Rey semifinals.

1. Barcelona's great chance to win the Copa

When the madness ended in this fantastic cup tie, around the 50th minute or so, one thing was crystal clear: Barcelona have a great chance now to win this season's Copa del Rey.

Before the game, Luis Enrique had played down the idea that his team already had one hand on...