Month: January 2015

Roman Reigns Supreme In The Royal Rumble

Former Shield member Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble, after finishing runner up last year.

Former Shield member Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble, after finishing runner up last year.

Sunday 25th January may not be a date that most people will mark in their calendars or diaries – but for WWE fans 25th January was the date for the 28th Royal Rumble event. ‘The Rumble’ event promised to be a good one with the returning Daniel Bryan one of the entrants for this years event, who bullishly declared his intentions to win the event.

To the extreme disappointment of the vast majority of fans who made the journey to Philadelphia to watch the Royal Rumble, the event was won by Roman Reigns, all be it with a ‘little help from a friend’ – much to the disappointment of some of the ‘WWE Universe’. Interest faded soon after the realisation Daniel Bryan wasn’t going to win the event.

Not even the new of other entrants including Reigns’ former Shield partner Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler; Ryback could brighten the very dim mood in Philadelphia. Ryback and Ziggler who only just got their jobs back after an ongoing spat with the ‘authority’,were seen as potentially ‘dark horses’ in this event.

Bray Wyatt’s achievements of staying in the event for 40 minutes – and managing to eliminate nine opponents, almost went unnoticed – such was the frustration of the WWE universe were feeling.

A few old faces were drafted to capture fans imagination such as Bubba Ray Dudley, who replicated the legendary ‘3D’ move, sadly on this occasion ‘Devon didn’t get the table’ . A further ‘blast from the past’ saw three time WCW champion Diamond Dallas page enter the fray – but it seemed quite clear that the WWE got the script wrong on this occasion, well in the WWE fans’ opinion anyway.

After seeing the eliminations of ‘popular faces’ such as Ryback, Ziggler,Daniel Bryan and a four second elimination of Titus O’Neil – the number of wrestlers were soon down to ‘four’.

Two of those ‘four’ were veterans record breaking Kane, who now has the most Royal Rumble eliminations of opponents to his name and 10 time entrant of the event Big Show. Both men had been really talking up their chances of winning the event, none more than ‘Show’. The worlds largest athlete came unannounced at the Raw reunion a couple of weeks ago to make clear his bemusement after a panel of Sean Michael’s and Rick Flair declared other wrestlers – and not the Big Show as wrestlers who could win the WWE event.

The other two men were former ‘Shield Brethren’ Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. The duo are still very much on the same page – but not in the three man mean machine team that is the shield, due to Seth Rollins defecting to the Authority as we know.

The trio in the peak of their Shield days, were notorious for obliterating what ever was in their path- this however was a different proposition against the authority duo of Big Show and Kane. With the odds seeming to be against them, Ambrose and Reigns bravely went about their task.

The ‘task at hand’ though was a difficult one – and a bit to much, well for Ambrose at least. The lunatic fringe was eliminated, which ultimately left Roman Reigns in a handicap match – if you can put it that way. As the ‘winning line’ got closer so did the friction between Kane and Big Show. Both men though however, against all odds would be eliminated by Roman Reigns.

In the heat of battle it appeared Reigns has bettered last years performance of runner up to win the Royal Rumble – but not yet, as more drama was yet to unfold. Kane and Big Show who were both eliminated, much to their annoyance, decided to exact their revenge on Roman Reigns. Reigns was subjected to a beat down from The Big Red Machine and Big Show.

With Reigns having no one to turn to it seemed pretty bleak for the former Shield member. The Royal Rumble which might go down as one of the more disappointing Rumbles in recent times , was boosted -all be it slightly by the appearance of the Brahma Bull- the peoples champion the Rock!

The Rock’s cousin Roman Reigns was in need of help – and in the form of the 10 time WWE champion, Reigns got it. The Rock came to his cousins aid and very quickly went about attacking Big Show and Kane. A few signature moves such as the Rock Bottom, and the laying of ‘the Smack Down’ followed – but the legendary ‘peoples elbow’ on Kane capped of the Rocks cameo appearance.

With Kane and Big Show ‘out of the way’ Roman Reigns thought he could celebrate – but that wasn’t to be the case … just yet.

Back came ‘Russian brute’ Rusev into. Rusev who is currently the United States champion, wasn’t actually knocked over the top rope so hadn’t been eliminated. Reigns who was feeling battered and bruised this point after The Big Show and Kane beatdown, had to find the energy to overcome the adopted Russian fighter, who is surely the last person you want to face after a Kane and Big Show beat down.

Reigns though wasn’t to be denied, and a spear to Rusev allowed Reigns to push his man over the top rope to win the Royal Rumble, much to the delight of Roman Reigns’ fans.

This Royal Rumble event might not go down in history as the one of the best Royal Rumble events due to Daniel Bryan not winning – but Roman Reigns won’t worry about that to much. A headlining world heavyweight title fight at Wrestle-mania against ‘The Beast In Carnet’ Brock Lesnar now awaits Roman Reigns.

Chelsea Vs Bradford City Fourth Round FA Cup Match Report

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson masterminded yet another Premier League scalp, this time it was Premier League leaders Chelsea in one of the greatest shocks of FA Cup history.

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson masterminded yet another Premier League scalp, this time it was Premier League leaders Chelsea who lost 4-2 to at Stamford Bridge in one of the greatest shocks of FA Cup history.

Bradford City produced one of the all time shocks of the FA Cup as they dumped out Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after being 2-0 down.

Chelsea who were looking for glory domestically and in Europe, rested several of their normal first team squad- but on paper you still would have backed the Blues to win this one.

The West Londoners had Petr Cech in goal and also gave only a second start Andreas Christensson who was playing at right back, Diego Costa who I talked up before the game, was left out all together. Chelsea did though however have Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard on the bench, maybe the Blues had one eye on this weeks second leg semi final against Liverpool.

As for the visitors Bradford they were at full strength, well they fielded the best team they had available. Billy Clarke who has been a key player for The Bantams this year, returned to the squad after a six game lay off- but the 27 year old started on the bench for this one.

At the start of this game there was 49 places separating the two sides – but it was Bradford who arguably had the better of the opening exchanges against their Premier League counterparts. Bradford centre back Andrew Davies forced Chelsea keeper Petr Cech into a fine save.

Bradford who many were expecting to offer their main threat from set pieces, conceded from a set piece themselves. Chelsea midfielder Oscar delivered the corner which centre back Gary Cahill converted to give the Premier League side the lead.

The League One side at this point might have been fearing the worst against their Premier League hosts. It deed indeed get worse for Bradford, Mohammed Salah, a player who benefited from Jose Mouriniho’s decision to rotate his squad. The former Basel player who is expected to leave Chelsea, provided the ball for Ramires to convert to make the score 2-0 and put the game out of Bradford’s reach – or so we thought.

Bantams striker John Stead scored a couple minutes after Chelsea’s second goal with a powerful strike from the edge of the box which left Chelsea keeper Petr Cech with no chance. A great time for Bradford to score, the League One visitors were only one goal behind at the break.

Buoyed by grabbing a late first half goal, it was Bradford who started the second half the better. The visitors despite being two leagues lower than their hosts, were not overawed – and were asking questions of the league leaders.

Sensing that the League One side were getting more confident, Blues boss Mourinho looked to some of his big guns in an attempt to regain control of the match. Mohammed Salah was replaced by Brazilian Willian as Jose Mourinho was looking to kill this game off as a contest.

An injury to Jon Obi Mikel forced the Chelsea boss to bring on Cesc Fabregas as well. With the introduction of the former Barcelona midfielder, many would have seen such a substitution as a plus, due to Fabregas’ brilliant passing ability and calming influence – which was definitely needed.

Ironically Bradford grabbed an equaliser, and were daring to dream of an FA Cup replay. Former Chelsea player Filipe Morais who left Chelsea as a teenager, grabbed the equaliser with a right footed shot in to to the bottom right hand corner.

The former Porto manager Mourinho probably couldn’t believe what was unfolding out on the pitch in front of him. Bradford were starting to defend deeper were ushered forward by their manager Phil Parkinson. Eden Hazard came on for The Blues as they tried to avoid an FA Cup replay, which is the last thing you want to see as Bradford player. With pace to burn and with plenty of ‘trickery’ Chelsea were hoping Hazard could be the man to save them from FA Cup embarrassment.

Bradford who hadn’t made any substitutions, at this point would have been understandably tired. The West Yorkshire side battled hard and were well worthy of the replay for their sheer endeavour alone. The Bantams made their first substitution 10 minutes from the end, the change inadvertently paid dividends as Bradford went in front!

Jon Stead who scored the first goal, this time turned provider for Andy Halliday who smashed an unstoppable effort into to the top right corner to send the 6,000 Bradford fans behind Petr Cech’s goal into raptures!

The League One side, who would have been content with an FA Cup replay before the start of the game, were on the brink of a famous FA Cup – and another ‘giant killing’ . Chelsea from not wanting a replay, were now desperately searching for the equaliser which would have saw this game go to a replay at Valley Parade.

As Chelsea were pushing forward, they left themselves open to the counter attack – and that’s what duly happened. Mark Yeates who came on as a sub, placed his effort into the bottom right corner to kill of this FA Cup tie once and for all with a fourth.

This defeat was only the second at home for Jose Mourinho, an impressive feat for Bradford City. It’s onwards and upwards from here on in for the mighty Bantams! Who will no doubt fear no one in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

World Cup 2015 Preview

The I.C.C World Cup kicks off on Friday 13th February, where India will be looking to retain their crown.

The I.C.C World Cup kicks off on Friday 13th February, where India will be looking to retain their crown.

The Cricket World Cup 2015 is almost upon us. Fourteen teams from across the globe will be competing for crickets top prize. With cricket’s biggest event under a month away, the team here at Asian Sunday we thought that we would get you into the cricket world cup spirit.

We take a look at England’s preparation for the tournament as well as the Asian nations as well. Sri Lanka kick the tournament off against in form co hosts New Zealand on 14th February.

This years tournament, just like previous tournaments will see two groups of seven which will also include qualifiers of the round robin event to qualify for the tournament. Afghanistan, Ireland, UAE and Scotland were the teams to qualify through the round robin event.

Pool A consists of: England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan , Scotland.

Pool B consists of: South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland , UAE .

Pool A Review:

Group A sees England in a very difficult group. The three Lions will be joined by Australia the team with the most world cup trophies (four) , in form New Zealand, Bangladesh, T2O winners Sri Lanka, Scotland and the very dangerous to underestimate Afghanistan.

With the first four teams from each group going through to the super eight phase, on paper you would expect England, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka to all progress to the next round. The gulf of class between the more experienced teams shall we say and the so called smaller sides is still big – but surprises do happen such as Ireland beating Pakistan in the 2007 tournament. It will have to take a surprise of extreme proportions for one of the qualifiers to qualify, which we don’t see happening .

England who have been marred by controversy off the field such as Kevin Pieterson’s criticism of the England set up, in the media and in his auto biography, hasn’t helped their preparation. On the pitch however England’s form has been poor which lead to Alistair Cook been replaced as captain by Eoin Morgan.

The Dubliner who replaced Cook due to the test captains poor form in one day internationals, hasn’t faired much better himself with the bat – but the 28 year old does have a good scoring average as captain and did hit a 100 in a losing cause in the match against Australia last week . A brilliant nine wicket win against India, should given Morgan confidence in his ability as a one day leader for England.

The Three Lions have taken a good squad with them with a mixture of ‘big hitters’ and ‘sensible batters’. Some may argue the exclusion of Ben Stokes is a mistake – but the Durham man’s bowling looks to have counted against him.

The ‘smaller nations ‘ if you can call them that I am afraid haven’t closed the gap yet – but countries such as Afghanistan, UAE and Ireland for example can only beat the best if they compete against the best.

The Afghan’s in particular have impressed in World Cups, Asghar Stanikzai is a player that caught our eye in the last tournament, Mohammed Shazhad is another who has impressed for the Afghans. The Achilles heel for the Afghans has been their fielding – and the Asian side will have to improve on that if they are to compete in matches in this World Cup.

Sri Lanka the T20 winners have struggled in the build up to the World Cup. The current series against New Zealand has been a difficult one – but the Sri Lankan’s have a lot of talent at their disposal – and not to forget the legendary Mahela Jayawardena and his partner in crime Kumar Sangakarra. I don’t think they need to worry to much, ideally though the Asian side would love to carry a winning momentum into the tournament.

Bangladesh the other Asian side in the group, unfortunately I think will not get past the first round. Off the field issues in The Tigers build up to the tournament hasn’t been ideal build up.

Teams we predict To Qualify From Group A:

Australia (Winners)
New Zealand (Runners Up)
Sri Lanka
England

Pool B Review:

Defending champions India, start their defence against arch rivals Pakistan on 15th February in a mouth watering game. The defending champions since their title 2011 win have gone onto to dominate recent tournaments. An ICC Champions Trophy and a runners up spot in the T20 World final emphasise the dominance the South Asians have had in recent years.

India’s preparation for the tournament hasn’t been the best however. The defending world champions have lost their last two games, which is never ideal. With superstars such as Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and not to forget to mention Suresh Raina it can be argued that the Indian’s have an embarrassment of riches.

Their opening game against Pakistan won’t be easy due to the way these matches have always been well contested – but the Indian’s haven’t lost to their fierce rivals in World Cup games.

Pakistan who will be facing arch rivals in the first match of their world cup campaign, come into this tournament with not as much cricket as their rivals. Matches against England and Bangladesh, just before the tournament starts could help the 1992 champions get into the right mindset.

The Pakistani’s forever known to be unpredictable, were rocked at the start of the tournament with the news that star spinner Saed Ajmal will miss the tournament as the 34 year looks to correct his illegal bowling action. The inclusion of all rounder Mohammed Hafeez who has also been reported for his action is a plus – but the 34 year old is expected to be just a batsmen for the tournament.

With the other teams including South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland; UAE and that the first four qualify, you would expect a safe passage through to the super eights for both Asian sides .

The Teams We Predict To Qualify From Group B

India ( Group Winners)
South Africa (Runners Up)
Pakistan
West Indies

Our Verdict :

The 2015 tournament promises to be a good one. Australia, South Africa, India and Pakistan will no doubt feel they could go all the way and win the tournament. Australia the most successful side in the history of the tournament might have their work cut out in this tournament as they look to add to their four world cup wins.

India will feel they have something to say about, the defending world champions who have won the title twice and will be seen as favourites for this tournament by many , ourselves included. The beauty of sport and in particular sports tournaments – they’re never won on paper – but rather on the sports field.

New Zealand who will look to bring their good form to the world cup will be a potential dark horse. A team with Brendan McCullum in it, definitely has a chance of being successful, the Black Caps have never got past the semi-final – but maybe this team can?

England and Sri Lanka will be seen as outsiders by many – but both have good enough good squads to cause some surprises in the latter stages. Sri Lanka will be looking to give the legendary pair of Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardena a fitting send off, who most definitely will be playing in their last world cups.

The World cup starts on the 14th of February and finishes on the 29th of March.

Chelsea Vs Bradford Match Preview

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson takes his Bradford side to Premeir League Leaders Chelsea, in what should be a finically rewarding game for the Bantams.

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson takes his Bradford side to Premier League Leaders Chelsea, in what should be a financially rewarding game for the Bantams.

Bradford resume their quest for another cup final day – but this time the challenge can’t be much tougher for the Bantams. The League One side who will be in FA Cup fourth round action this Saturday, will take on Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues do post a good record in this tournament of late. The West London side will be hoping to add to their four FA Cup trophies in the last eight seasons – but the visit of Bradford will provide a tougher test than people may think.

The West Yorkshire side have been in good form of late in League One as they went 10 games unbeaten in League One. Bradford’s results in their last few games however have been disappointing – and they have lost two of their last three games. Despite those two defeats Bradford are in a respectable fifth position – but are sweating over their play off place with those defeats, which has allowed rival teams to close the gap.

The game against Chelsea could prove a welcome distraction however. The Bantams who enjoyed a memorable League Cup campaign in 2013 where they reached the final, will most definitely have their work cut out in this game.

The Blues who will be at home for this fourth round tie, will be expected to win – which sometimes can be an added pressure with in itself. Chelsea who have arguably the best side in the Premier League, are five points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester City. The West London club did lose some points over the Christmas period – but have bounced back superbly as the Blues look for glory on all fronts at home and in Europe.

If you were to analyse this game on the outside, one would most definitely say that this game will end in a Chelsea win -but strange things happen in the FA Cup, that’s what makes the cup so great! Watford although 3-0 losers, did compete bravely with Chelsea in round three.

Manchester United have been held at then Conference side Exeter at Old Trafford in the past so the outcome of this fourth round tie between Chelsea and Bradford isn’t a forgone conclusion. Let’s not forget Bradford do have previous in beating Premier League sides as Aston Villa and more notably Arsenal have succumbed to Bradford City in the League Cup. So you can’t really say anytime is safe from a ‘giant killing’ isn’t that right Manchester United fans?

This match is different though right? I mean Jose ‘the special one’ Mourinho is the manager of Chelsea let’s not forget – but that in itself doesn’t guarantee success surely. It’s 11 men Vs 10 and Eden Hazard (just joking Chelsea fans) so surely it’s an equal playing field, both teams chase a round ball and aim to put that ball in the goal more than the other.

If it only it was that simple. Chelsea many feel (yours truly included), have an abundance of talent at their disposal. The Blues boast of attacking talent such as Willian, Oscar, Fabregas and some bloke called Costa isn’t that bad either – and I am not talking about the fella who run owns coffee chain here.

The 26 year old Diego Costa who was signed from Ateltico Madrid this summer has been nothing short of sensational. The former Ateltico striker has scored 17 goals this year, that was more than Samuel Etoo, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba scored in the entire season- enough said.

Bradford on the other hand might not have the super stars, like their premier league counterparts – but they don’t lack in team spirit. The Bantams showed already in this years FA Cup that they can compete against higher competition after impressively sweeping Millwall aside 4-0 in the last round.

The Bantams as we know can boast that they have beaten premier league opposition in the past, Arsenal and Aston Villa fans won’t need reminding of that . As for Chelsea however, I think that they will not be the next premier league scalp for Bradford I am afraid.

This is Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea we’re talking about. The Portuguese manager always knows how to tactically out think an opponent it seems. This Chelsea side as much as they have been praised for their brilliant football, can play with ‘their sleeves rolled up’ and get ‘stuck in’ I feel they will have to on Saturday.

If I was a betting man I would go for a 2-0 Chelsea win with Oscar scoring in the 25th minute and Costa doubling the lead in the 83rd minute. That’s not an invitation to go to William Hill by the way. If Bradford do lose like many expect them to, it would be far from a tragedy. FA Cup produces good ‘pay days’ for the so called smaller clubs – and Bradford will benefit from that no doubt.

More money would hopefully mean more playing talent, which would help Bradford to get to the next level, no Bradford fan wouldn’t want that.

Leeds Vs Bournemouth

Luke Murphy grabbed the only goal in this game to give 10 man Leeds United a precious three points at home to promotion chasing Bournemouth.

Luke Murphy grabbed the only goal in this game to give 10 man Leeds United a precious three points at home to promotion chasing Bournemouth.

Championship strugglers Leeds United gained a precious three points with a narrow 1-0 victory against Championship leaders Bournemouth, who also saw a late Yann Kermorgant penalty hit the bar.

Leeds came into the game on the back of two successive draws. The hosts made some changes to their starting line up. Most notably Mirko Antenucci could only find a place on the bench against The Cherries, highly rated Alex Mowatt started for Leeds United in this one. The Whites came into the game in dire need of a result after a disappointing run of results which has seen the Yorkshire side winless in eight games.

As for visitors Bournemouth who lead the way in the championship they were pretty much at full strength. Bret Pittman and Callum Wilson started for the visitors who came into this one looking to maintain their lead at the top of the championship and had won six of their last seven.

Leeds who have been struggling in the championship, started the brighter in this one – and deservedly went ahead before the break. Luke Murphy who scored in Saturday’s draw against Birmingham, also scored in this game with a 25 yard effort which left Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc with no chance, to claim his second goal in two games.

Bournemouth were finding it difficult to come to terms with the difficult snowy conditions and were struggling to exert the authority that they usually do in matches. The visitors thought they had equalised a few minutes after going a goal down minutes only for the linesman’s flag to rule the goal out for offside.

Not even the introductions of Dan Gosling and Yann Kermorgant could help Bournemouth in salvaging a precious point. It was actually the subs who conspired to not get on the end of a brilliant Callum Wilson cross after a break down in communication.

Bournemouth did get a lifeline late on when Giuseppe Bellusci brought down Cherries striker Callum Wilson, which lead to Leeds defender Bellusci receiving a red card and an award of a Bournemouth penalty kick. Leeds however though were given a reprieve as Bournemouth’s Yann Kermorgant could only strike his penalty against the bar.

Leeds managed to hang on with 10 men and pull six points clear of relegation after this priceless win. For Bournemouth this defeat hasn’t changed their league position, they remain top of the league – but with Middlesborough beating Cardiff Middlesborough night the gap between the top three is extremely tight with one point and goal difference separating the top three.

Snooker Masters Review

Sean Murphy became the 10th player to complete the "triple crown" when he beat Australia's Neil Robertson to win the Snooker Masters.

Sean Murphy became the 10th player to complete the “triple crown” when he beat Australia’s Neil Robertson to win the Snooker Masters.

One Of the three prestigious snooker events, on the snooker calendar came to a close on Sunday 18th January. The Snooker Masters, a week long tournament started with Sean Murphy who beat the reigning World champion Mark Selby – and ended with Murphy defeating Neil Robertson by a massive 10 frames to 2.

The Masters tournament itself did produce a lot of high quality matches, with each game having a century in it bar one. There were also a few surprise results, such as Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen beating Scotland’s John Higgins who has won this tournament in the past. Wins for Sean Murphy and Marco Fu against Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham respectively deserve a mention.

In fact Marco Fu in his match against Bingham made a 147, which for once was the only one of the tournament. Great news for snooker fans and Ali Carter fans in particular. The Essex who returned to the sport after a cancer scare, returned to action to a standing ovation in the first round.

Carter in his first round match was quite simply brilliant and took apart an out of sorts Barry Hawkins 6-1. Ali Carter’s tournament would end though in the next round with a 6-1 defeat of his own to world number 1 Neil Robertson, there is no shame in that.

Practice partner and pre tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan started his campaign with a solid 6-4 win over Ricky Walden. The Rocket however in the quarter final defeated Marco Fu with a 6-1 demolition. The Rocket was gaining momentum it seemed and was seen as the man to beat by many.

Sadly for O’Sullivan fans, their hero’s quest for yet another masters title was over as the 39 year old lost quite convincingly to world number 1 Neil Robertson in the semi finals, it finished 6-1 to the Australian. The Australian was into yet another Masters final after having a monopoly on this tournament in recent years.

If commentators and analysts thought this tournament was a forgone conclusion they were wrong. Sean Murphy a former world champion and Uk champion winner came the man who was looking to stop Neil Robertson in this one.

Stop him he did, Sean Murphy was solid throughout the week with out catching the headlines like Ronnie O’Sullivan or Neil Robertson were. The Rotherham man won the masters final at a canter, winning it by 10 frames to two. Ironic to think Sean Murphy was planning to quit the sport when he quite clearly has more to give to it.

Queens Park Rangers Vs Manchester United Match Report

Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring in the 2-0 win over QPR.

Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring in the 2-0 win over QPR.

Manchester United overcame a spirited Queens Park Rangers performance, to return winning ways after last weeks defeat against Southampton.

The Reds recalled striker Radamel Falcao after Robin Van Persie was unavailable for this one. Di Maria is again up front for the Reds in a new tactical formation for Manchester United.

As for QPR, the hosts included Nedum Onuha – but new loan signing Mauro Zarate only could make the bench as Rangers looked to maintain their impressive home form.

It was QPR who started the better as Manchester United were struggling with the 3-5-2 formation, which at times Louis Van Gaal blindly choses it seems. Not to take anything away from the West Londoners who were impressive and matched United for certain parts of this game.

Main man Charlie Austin had a couple of efforts brilliantly saved by Man United keeper David De Gea on both occasions . United were second best in the first half and Manchester United fans let their feelings known to their manager Van Gaal.

Radamel Falcao had a couple of opportunities at the other end, firstly hitting straight at Rob Green then in the second half forcing the QPR into an unbelievable save – but the facts were clear Manchester United were poor.

The Man United fans made their opinion very clear of the first half and what should be done to change it. The Manchester United fans chanted for a change of formation and got their wish of a change of formation as Van Gaal switched to the more renowned United formation of 4-4-2.

With in minutes it lead to the first goal. Antonio Valencia set up Marouane Fellaini who emphatically beat Rob Green in the Rangers goal. QPR pushed for an equaliser but to no avail.

James Wilson who came on as a second half sub, killed the game off as a contest with a classic breakaway goal. The United sub went on a surging run, only to see his shot at the end of it blocked – but fortunately for the youngster he got a second chance.

A good result for United – but the Reds will have to improve on their away from. Manchester United might have won here – but in the last month to many dropped points on the road have allowed United’s rivals back into the race for a top four position.

As for QPR, the Hoops can be proud of such a brave performance. Rangers’ performance wasn’t a performance of a team that is at the wrong end of the table. The performance although a defeat will be encouraging for Harry Redknapp who has been subject to rumours this week of losing his job.

Middlesborough Vs Huddersfield Match Report

A Lee Tomlin brace helped Middlesborough see of Huddersfield.

A Lee Tomlin brace helped Middlesborough see off Huddersfield.

A Lee Tomlin brace helped Middlesborough’s promotion charge get back on track with a win against Huddersfield.

The Teesiders came into this game with a nine game unbeaten run at home – and were looking to overcome the disappointment of last weeks draw with Reading. Middlesborough opted to start with ‘Kike’ and Patrick Bamford upfront, with Jelle Vossen on the bench.

As for the visitors Huddersfield, they were looking to build on last weeks impressive win against promotion chasing Watford. The Terriers included their three ‘big guns’ for this one, Nakhi Wells James Vaughan and Jacob Butterfield all start for the West Yorkshire side.

It was to no surprise considering how well Boro are doing, that they started the brighter in the first half. The ever impressive Patrick Bamford was denied by Huddersfield Town keeper Alex Smithies. Huddersfield couldn’t get into the game and there task was made harder when striker James Vaughan was forced off with a head injury.

Middlesborough did eventually go in front in the 61st minute, Lee Tomlin from a Kike pass rifled home an unstoppable shot from distance which left keeper Alex Smithies with no chance. That goal meant Huddersfield had to come out and attack – and to be fair they did.

Town top scorer Nakhi Wells unluckily hit the post with a fantastic effort which left the Boro keeper with no chance. As Huddersfield went in search of the draw, they were always going to be prone to the counter attack – and that proved the visitors un doing.

Terriers Keeper Alex Smithies who was up for a corner was clinically exposed by Lee Tomlin who scored with a 40 yard effort in the dying seconds, which killed the game off as a contest.

That win for Middlesborough sees them remain in fourth, as for Huddersfield this defeat sees them drop to 17th.

Leeds Vs Birmingham Match Report

Neil Redfearn's Leeds came back to win a point - but did little to reduce the pressure off the former Bradford midfielder

Neil Redfearn’s Leeds came back to win a point – but did little to reduce the pressure off the former Bradford midfielder

Leeds had settle for a draw for second successive week as a Luke Murphy goal helped the Yorkshire side share the spoils in this one.

The Whites decided to play Mirco Antenucci in this one after the forward wasn’t in last weeks starting line up. The visitors included highly rated Omari Gray in their side, as Gary Rowett’s side were looking to extend their brilliant run since the former Burton manager’s appointment.

It was the visitors who were quicker out of the blocks – and they went ahead through an eighth minute penalty which was scored by Paul Caddis. Clayton Donaldson was the man fouled which lead to the award of the penalty kick.

Leeds to their credit battled back admirably as Steve Morrison hit the upright for the hosts. The visitors did have chances of their own, Clayton Donaldson was extremely unlucky to see his effort come back off the woodwork.

The Yorkshire side overall had the better of the game, Scot Wooton and Steve Morrison missed some good chances, which thankfully didn’t prove to costly in the end.

Just when the Elland faithful thought they were heading for a defeat, up popped Luke Murphy late on to grab a hard earned point for Leeds and deny Birmingham a win which would have close the gap between them and the playoffs.

A good point for Leeds, in the circumstances – but the Whites will need to turn some of these draws in to wins. This result sees them move above Yorkshire rivals Rotherham into 20th. Birmingham on the other hand are looking up the table rather than down, the Blues are 11th nine points off the play offs.

Yeovil Vs Bradford Match Report

 Yeovil striker Gozie Ugwu scored on his debut as Yeovil beat Bradford, which could potentially damage the Bantams' play off hopes.

Yeovil striker Gozie Ugwu scored on his debut as Yeovil beat Bradford, which could potentially damage the Bantams’ play off hopes.

Gozie Ugwu the only goal, which gave League One strugglers Yeovil a priceless win against Bradford, which dents their play off hopes.

The home side Yeovil are struggling in League One and find themselves in the relegation zone coming into this one. New signings Gozie Ugwu and Jamar Loza started in a new looking strike force for the home side as the Glovers look to boost their firepower in their quest for survival.

Visitors Bradford came into this one looking to get back to winning ways after losing to Rochdale last time out.Jordan Pickford is available after the goalkeepers red card against Rochdale, the extremely influential Billy Clarke is still out.

Bradford who needed to win this game, seemed to be a bit hungover from the brilliant midweek performance against Millwall – and never were really in this one. The home side who had plenty of endeavour throughout this contest, deservedly went ahead.

Debutant Gozie Ugwu grabbed the goal when he headed in Keiffer Moore’s flick home, that goal was just Yeovil’s sixth at home. The visitors knew they needed something from this game in their quest to maintain their play off push – but the visitors looked flat in this one and never looked like scoring.

The only real chance of note came to James Hanson, but the Bradford man couldn’t keep his header down after Moore’s initial error. In a desperate search to get something from the game, Bradford boss Phil Parkinson made a double substitution – but to to no avail. The Glovers hung on for a priceless win as they look to kick start a winning run to get themselves out of relegation trouble.

For visitors Bradford, this is a disappointing defeat. This is a second league defeat in a row for the Bantams, which isn’t ideal as they try to maintain their playoff push – but on a brighter and more positive note, the other sides around Bradford such as Preston, Sheffield United and Chesterfield all dropped points.

It could be argued then that this was the best day to have a off day – but the Bantams will no doubt be desperate to regain a winning run in League one. First though the West Yorkshire side have the small task of facing Premier League giants Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round, well that should be easy then.