Local Sports News

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.

Huddersfield Vs Watford Match Report

Huddersfield top scorer Nakhi Wells set the Terriers up for victory by grabbing  the opening goal at the John Smiths Stadium

Huddersfield top scorer Nakhi Wells set the Terriers up for victory by grabbing the opening goal at the John Smiths Stadium

A spectacular goal from returning defender helped Huddersfield Town gain a crucial win in their game against promotion chasing Watford.

The Terriers under the stewardship of Chris Powell have seen results improve under the former Charlton boss. Huddersfield had their big guns available, both top scorer Nakhi Wells and James Vaughan start for the Yorkshire side.

Visitors Watford who are flying high in the Championship and very much in the play offs mix, included deadly strike due Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney -but Scottish international Ikeche Anya started on the bench for a game that Watford really wanted to win to keep in touch with the teams above them.

The game only burst into life in the second half, after a goaless first half. Nakhi Wells who used to play for West Yorkshire rivals Bradford, open the scoring from close range to put The Terriers 1-0 up. The Hornets drew level however after a horrible error by Town keeper Alex Smithies allowed Ogion Igallo to level, just three minutes after coming on.

Watford after drawing level were looking to gain a foothold in the match – but it was actually Huddersfield who would increase their lead. Huddersfield goal scorer Nakhi Wells this time turned provider and set up strike partner James Vaughan, who put Wells’ cross in the bottom right corner of the Watford net.

Huddersfield were much improved from last weeks disappointing defeat, and Jacob Butterfield was key to this weeks improved performance. The midfielder set up chances for strikers Wells and Vaughan in the first half.

There was time for further gloss to be added the score line. Defender Joel Lynch who had been out of action for six weeks, marked his return with injury in with a brilliant overhead kick, to make the score 3-1 and end the match as a contest.

The win for Huddersfield sees the Yorkshire club move up to 15th and pull further clear of relegation, as for Watford they drop a place to sixth – but are now level on points with seventh place Norwich who defeated league leaders Bournemouth.

Bolton Vs Leeds Match Report

Eidur Gudjonsen grabbed a crucial equaliser to keep Bolton's resurgence under Neil Lennon going.

Eidur Gudjonsen grabbed a crucial equaliser to keep Bolton’s resurgence under Neil Lennon going.

Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen’s first goal since since rejoin Bolton allowed the Trotters to gain a crucial point from this one.

Bolton who endured a very difficult start to the season which saw them in the bottom three, have been a different proposition for opposing teams under Neil Lennon as Bolton gradually move up the table. At the start of the season the Lancashire looked like they ‘lacked fight’ but that’s all changed since the arrival of Neil Lennon who has only suffered a single defeat in 10 games as Bolton manager.

The former Celtic boss started with veteran duo Emile Heskey and Eidur upfront for this game, Andy Lonnergen started in goal in place of usual number one Adam Bogdan.

Visitors Leeds who have endured all sorts of turmoil this year off the pitch and on the pitch with three managers this season, find themselves flirting with relegation.

Former Bradford player and current Leeds boss Neil Redfearn decided to drop Mirko Antenucci and Tomasso Bianchi to the bench in aim to freshen things up. Sean Morrison made his third league start for Leeds since joining from Millwall.

It was the visitors Leeds who drew first blood in this one. Leeds’ Sam Byram managed to draw a foul from home keeper Andy Lonnergen in the penalty area, which gave the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Leeds skipper Rodolph Austin stepped up and scored to give the Yorkshire side the lead.

The home side were lucky not to be 2-0 down, Steve Morrison who impressed as a lone striker, drew a fine save from home keeper Andy Lonnergen. That chance seemed to wake up the home side – and Bolton were starting to get into the game – and it was Leeds this time who were indebted to their goalkeeper, Marco Silvestri doing well to keep out Luke Murphy’s effort.

Bolton did eventually equalise through a penalty of their own, Luke Murphy fouled Darren Pratley in the box, again leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot for the second time in the game. Upstepped Gudjohnsen who confidently placed his penalty into the top left corner of Silvestri’s goal.

In an evenly fought contest Eidur Gudjohnsen did have a chance to grab his and Bolton’s second – but the former Icelandic International saw his fantastically blocked by Leeds defender Liam Cooper. So a point it finished then, which isn’t the best result for either side – but Bolton would be the slightly happier.

As for Leeds they are only two points above the drop zone. Neil Redfearn will need to turn things around quickly otherwise he could be out of a job soon.

Liverpool Captain Steven Gerrard To Leave At The End Of The Season To Move To LA Galaxy

Liverpool captain will leave the Anfield side at the end of the season, ending a 25 year association with The Reds

Liverpool captain will leave the Anfield side at the end of the season, ending a 25 year association with The Reds

For many football fans, the words Liverpool and Steven Gerrard would tend to go hand and hand – but not not for much longer. The 34 year old Liverpool captain announced this week that he is to end his 25 year association with the Reds and move to American club LA Galaxy.

Steven George Gerrard who has been at Anfield since the age of nine, will no doubt leave a big ‘hole’ in the Liverpool squad after ‘carrying’ the Liverpool team on it’s own it could be argued. What can be argued is Stevie G’s desire to succeed. The soon to be former Liverpool captain does boast of an impressive medal collection, Uefa Champions League, UEFA Cup (as is was known back then), FA Cup and League Cup medals.

It’s quite an impressive medal collection – but the lack of premier league medal will always be a ‘black mark’ if there was one on an impressive Liverpool career which spans 16 years. I am sure there wouldn’t have been many people in the football world, who would have thought at the time that a young 18 year old midfielder player from Whiston would turn out to be such a Liverpool icon.

The Whiston born midfielder made his debut in 1998 – but would have to wait until 2000 to become a permanent fixture in the Liverpool side. Three years later in 2003, Gerrard was made club captain replacing club legend Sami Hypia.

Steven Gerrard’s undoubted ability was always going to attract admiring glances from rival clubs and through out Gerrard’s career that was always the case with speculation always linking the Liverpool captain to clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid – but Gerrard remained very loyal.

The lack of premier league title on his impressive list of honours did tempt Gerrard to leave Liverpool for Chelsea – but the Reds’ captain ended up staying at Anfield. What made the Liverpool captain decide that his future lies elsewhere was the more frequent appearances on the subs bench this season – and how he was getting managed. What might make the Liverpool’s captain more painful was that he 34 year old has come out and said he might have stayed at Anfield if a deal was offered sooner. The Anfield clubs board only offered Gerrard a new deal in November.

The FA Cup tie against AFC Wimbledon, was an example that the 34 year old still has the ability to contribute in the key games, which has been something that he has done time and time again over the years. It could be argued ‘ it’s only Wimbledon ‘ but if Gerrard hadn’t made his contribution in the third round game against Liverpool, then I am not 100% sure we would be talking about Liverpool being in the fourth round draw of the FA cup.

It’s a real shame that a player of Gerrard’s calibre is leaving these shores – but what Liverpool’s loss is most definitely LA Galaxy’s gain because at 34 Steven Gerrard still has the ability to perform at the highest level.