This week the rains pelted the ballplayers as they tried to execute passes in the last third under trying conditions. Even before the rains cometh, coaching storms have been brewing in the E.P.L. Di Matteo has made an early exit from Chelsea as Chelsea made a pre-mature exit from the Championship League. Di Matteo won the Championship League last season but Abramovich spends his millions and demands immediate gratification. Rafael Benitez will now walk the Chelsea tightrope.
Chelsea vs Manchester City
Under difficult conditions Chelsea and Manchester City played to a deserving nil all draw. Both Chelsea and Manchester City pack potent offenses but the respective defensive unites closed down the passing lanes in the last third.
Manchester City was more fluid in their passing and Yaya Toure as usual was the general in mid-field. But his strikers could not create the necessary spaces to be effective.
Soccer must be admired not just for the offensive prowess of forwards but the defensive grit of central defenders and full backs. Chelsea’s central defender, Kompany, has emerged as one of the top defenders in the E.P.L.
Swansea vs Liverpool
Brendan Rodgers is walking on thin ice at Liverpool but the management at Liverpool are not as trigger happy as Chelsea’s Abramovich. Liverpool also played to a nil all draw against Swansea. Liverpool is still a work in progress and one wonders if the Liverpool squad as presently constituted can rise to the top of the heap in the E.P.L. There is Suarez and Sterling and Gerard but Liverpool suffers from a dearth of mid-field creativity.
Liverpool created most of the chances yet Swansea possessed the ball with greater ease but lacked finesse in the last third.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa
Arsene Wenger is not in danger of being fired but there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. Villa and Arsenal played to a scoreless draw. The new acquisitions at Arsenal have not demonstrated much offensive guile. At this rate, Arsenal will fall below the top four. They failed to score against a porous Aston Villa defense, a team in the regulation zone. Arsenal’s finances are in fine shape and their financial success is a far cry from what is being accomplished by Wenger’s ammunition-less Arsenal.
Manchester United vs Queens Park Rangers
The Queens Park Rangers’ crew gave Mark Hughes a great deal of rope but he kept using it to hang himself and to trip up the team. Q.P.R. owners’ cups eventually ran over and they have put Hughes out to pasture and brought in Tottenham’s ex-boss, Harry Redknapp.
Unfortunately, Q.P.R. was up against the best finishing team in the League. Manchester United have parked Nani but they are firing on all cylinders with Van Persie, Rooney, Welbeck and Young. Their problem is what do they do with “Chicharito” Hernandez, the scoring machine. How do you not play Van Persie and Rooney?
Manchester United spanked Q.P.R. 3-1 to return to the top of the table. If they continue to score goals in bunches, then they will soon break away from their rivals in the E.P.L.