EPL Week 13 Round Up 2014-2015

The Barclays English premier league continued over the weekend as Chelsea dropped two vital points at the Stadium of Light.
The Londoners were held to a goalless draw by Sunderland. Jose Mourinho's men are still on top of the table after 13 round of matches.

At the Saint Mary's stadium, Southampton were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City. The defending champions played a larger part of the second half with just 10 men after Mangala was sent off.
The one man shortage couldn't prevent Manuel Pellegrini's from grabbing the vital points that took them to the second spot on the EPL log standings.

In other games, Manchester United crushed Hull City by 3-0 at the Old Trafford stadium while Liverpool laboured to overcome Stoke City by a Glen Johnson's goal.
The Englishman nodded in the ball after a rebound that followed Rickie Lambert's effort.

Arsenal moved into the top 5 with a 1-0 away win against West Bromwich Albion. Danny Welbeck's header was enough to see off a resolute West Brom team at The Hawthorns.

Roberto Soldado scored his first league goal in 8 months as Tottenham Hotspur defeated Everton by 2-1 at the White Hart Lane.

Newcastle United suffered an uncommon defeat in the hands of West Ham United at the Upton Park. The Magpies had won about four games in a row before that 1-0 reverse.

At the Liberty stadium, Swansea City settled for a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace.

Burnley and Aston Villa also played a one all draw.

Week 14 matches takes place on December 2nd/3rd.

Leicester City will host Liverpool while Manchester United will host Stoke City.

The Anfield giants will be without Balotelli,Suso and Flanagan due to injury,while Sakho won't be fit to start the match.

Keshi must not coach Nigeria again

Stephen Okechukwu Keshi is a man that shouldn't go near any Nigerian soccer bench. After winning the 2013 edition of the African cup of Nations in South Africa, a steady fall was noticed in the performance of the team.

Just a month after the continental victory, Nigeria forced Kenya to a 1-1 draw in a World cup qualifier that was played in Calabar in March 2013.

The team have lacked coordination ever since February 2013. The team had a poor performance at the FIFA Confederations cup in Brazil where they lost 2 of their 3 group games.

After managing to overcome Ethiopia,Kenya and Namibia ensure route Brazil 2014 World cup, the Eagles lost a couple of friendlies against Greece, USA and Jordan.

The 2015 Nations  cup qualifier started in September with Nigeria losing at home to Congo Brazaville by 3-2. A goalless draw against South Africa and a 1-0 loss to Sudan made it almost impossible for the team to book a place at the AFCON 2015 tournament.

Victories over Sudan in Calabar and a 2-0 away win over Congo Brazaville revived the hopes of Nigerian fans,  but a shocking 2-2 home draw nailed the coffin on the crooked Super Eagles team.

It's still unclear  why Keshi decided to invite Emmanuel Emenike who had failed to score an international goal since February 2013.

Kenneth Omeruo was forced to play the match in Uyo despite having an injury. Azubuike Egwueke had been a suspect in the Nigerian defence for a long time and Keshi paid dearly for it as the South Africans got an impressive draw.

Nigeria's president actually facilitated the return of Keshi after NFF had failed to extend his contract.

Nigeria crash out of 2015 Nations cup race

The Bafana Bafana of South Africa have denied the Super Eagles of Nigeria a place at Equatorial Guinea 2015 in Uyo, Nigeria.

South Africa had earlier won the group before playing their final qualification match in Nigeria, but the African champions failed to capitalise on home advantage as they played out a 2-2 draw at the Nest of champions stadium.
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The visitors took the lead in the 42nd minute after Nigeria had missed several chances. Ahmed Musa rattled the crossbar in the early minutes of the encounter.

The free flowing style of play exhibited by the South Africans unsettled the sluggish and weak Nigerian defence line.
The quartet of Juwon Oshaniwa,Azubuike Egwueke, Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose couldn't prevent the 1996 champions from claiming a point in Uyo.

Omatsone Aluko scored a brace to earn Nigeria a 2-2 draw at home.

Stephen Keshi was earlier sacked by the Nigerian Football Federation after a poor showing in the first four matches of the campaign.

The team eventually finished 3rd with 8 points from 6 games.

The strong headed Keshi refused to invite top Nigerian players like Victor Anichebe, Chinedu Ogbuke and Sammy Amoebi.

The defending champions won't be in Equatorial Guinea between January 19th and February 2015.

Manchester City hammered in London

Manchester City succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against West Ham United at the Upton Park in London.
The premier league match kicked off during lunch time on Saturday 25th October 2014 with both sides in the top four.

Manuel Pellegrini's men were placed second before the match while Sam Allardyce's London club were fourth.

Morgan Amalfitano put the home team in front after 22 minutes of action in which Joe Hart had made a couple of saves for City.

Enner Valencia's cut back was converted by Morgan from close range.

Despite having 67% of the ball possession,  Manchester City failed to break down the Hammers and went into the break by a goal down.
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After the restart,  the hosts managed to prevent the league champions from breaching their defence.

Diafra Sakho made it 2-0 to West Ham in the 75th minute after going close three minutes earlier.

Aguero's effort came off the crossbar in the 65th minute before Sakho scored his sixth consecutive league goal.

David Silva scored a brilliant goal in the 77th minute, but that was not enough to deny West Ham United a famous victory.

Jelavic and Toure failed ti equalise for the visitors during injury time.

The Londoners defeated Liverpool by 3-1 a month ago.

NFF fires Stephen Keshi

The executive board of the Nigerian football federation has relieved Stephen Keshi of his job. The ex international took over the mantle of the Super Eagles gaffer in December 2011 after the nation failed to book a ticket to the AFCON 2012 tournament.

Nigeria won the African cup of nations under his tutelage in a tournament that was hosted in South Africa last year. The team laboured to go beyond the group stage of the tournament after playing draw against Burkina Faso and Zambia.

Victor Moses scored a brace in their last group match against Ethiopia before the team went on to claim the African title for the first time in 19 years.

In June 2013, Nigeria participated at the FIFA Confederations cup that was held in Brazil. The team beat Tahiti by 6-1, but lost their games against Spain and Uruguay.

The NFF decided to appoint a technical adviser that will assist Keshi, but the former Togo manager, rejected the offer as he claimed that there was no need to get a foreign assistance.

Sylvanus Okpala that assisted him had been fired by the board due to financial and disciplinary issues.

                                    Where did Keshi go wrong?
Stephen Keshi was at loggerheads with the top players in the team. He accused players like Ikechukwu Uche, Peter Odemwingie and Obafemi Martins of indiscipline and lack of commitment.

Uche's case was more pronounced because of his scintillating form in the Spanish league, but he was ignored by Keshi.

The manager refused to update his knowledge and his lack of technical depth affected the team's performance against established sides like USA, Greece, Scotland and Ireland.

Keshi also led the home based team to the third place at CHAN 2014 event. He chose a 3rd choice goal keeper in a club as the national team's first choice at the mundial. He eventually conceded 8 goals.

His poor tactics also led him to replace an injured Elderson Echiejile with a midfielder.

Finally, his poor form in the AFCON 2015 qualifiers where his wards picked just 4 points from a possible 12 nailed his coffin.

The Super Eagles can still make it to Morocco 2015 if they beat Congo Brazaville and South Africa in November.

Swansea shocks Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford

Manchester United has started the 2014-2015 English premier league season with a shocking 2-1 home defeat against Swansea City.

Louis Van Gaal was hoping to start his career at Old Trafford on a bright note, but Monk's men had other ideas. The Welsh team took the lead through Ki Sung Yueng in the 28th minute against the run of play. Phil Jones forced Lukasz Fabianski to make a great safe in the first half.

The Red devils were not too impressive and didn't show the sign of a team that is ready to make the top four at the end of the season. Javier Hernandez, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney were on the starting line up, but Swansea didn't give them the chance to create clear cut chances.

It was a match that witnessed just four corner kicks that were taken by the home side. The last time United lost a match on the opening day of the league was in 1972. While the Welsh team also claimed their first victory over their fancied hosts for the first time in 83 years.

The former Dutch manager deployed a 3-5-2 formation that also featured Ashley Young. The Englishman later got injured and was replaced by Lingard.

After the restart, Rooney got the equaliser for the home side. The captain scored via a scissors kick to revive the hope of the Old Trafford faithfuls. He was denied a brace when his free kick came off the crossbar,

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the winning goal for Swansea after United defenders failed to take clear their lines.

Garry Monk's men recorded the first three points of the new season.

Fear of ebola threatens AYC Qualifier

The football association of Lesotho seems to have pulled the country's under 20 national team out of the scheduled African Youth Championship qualifier against Nigeria.

The ebola virus disease that is currently ravaging some parts of West Africa is the reason for this decision. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have recorded over 1000 deaths in the last few months while Nigeria have witnessed the death of 3 citizens in Lagos. The citizens died after having contact with Patrick Sawyer who died from the same disease. The Liberian flew to Lagos with the disease.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian football federation has claimed that they have not received any official notice from Lesotho. The two countries were billed to play the first leg tie of the final qualifying round for the 2015 African Youth Championship.
Some members of the flying Eagles of Nigeria were part of the under 17 team that won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2013.
The venue for the proposed match is the Ahmadu Bello stadium in Kaduna,Nigeria.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is expected to decide on the overall winner of the tie if Lesotho should boycott the match on Sunday 17th August,2014.