21 August 2016

CHIEVO 2 (Birsa 49, Birsa 81)

Frank De Boer got his Inter reign off to a glorious start, overseeing an embarrassing loss to the little engine that could, Chievo. Having dominated the first half, Inter fell behind early in the second. Ranocchia, who barely featured last season because he's crap, failed to track Cacciatore as he made a run into the box and pulled back a centre to Birsa, D'Ambrosio dived in two footed, Birsa stepped away and fired past Handanovic. The Milan reject scored a brilliant second. He bounced Miranda's headed clearance off his chest, feigned to shoot as he checked inside Medel as he brought the ball onto his right foot, took a couple of steps forward then sent a shot dipping and swerving inside the right post.

Chievo have a player called Inglese, who is of course Italian.

Attendance : 24,000
Assists : Cacciatore, n/a

MILAN 3 (Bacca 38, Bacca 50, Bacca 62 Pen)
TORINO 2 (Belotti 48, Baselli 91)

Bacca opened the scoring with a diving header from Abate's cross. Abate looks to have bulked up considerably over the summer, I didn't even recognise him. Belotti got in front of two static defenders to head Torino level but within two minutes Milan were back in front. Belotti, having made the equaliser, was at fault. Bonaventura was hauled down for the penalty. Bacca smashed the ball down the middle to claim his first Milan hat-trick. Baselli ran onto a loose ball to equalise and in the fourth minute of injury time Paletta pulled down Belotti to concede a penalty but Milan's giant teenage goalkeeper denied him with a brilliant save down to his left. The boy is going to be a superstar.

Attendance : 32,254
Red Card : Paletta 95 (Milan)
Assists : Abate, Molinaro, Niang, Bonaventura (won pen), De Silvestre

SUNDERLAND 1 (Van Aanholt 71)
MIDDLESBROUGH 2 (Stuani 13, Stuani 45)

The Wear-Tees derby returned to the EPL (named after the rivers in Sunderland and Middlesbrough respectively) after a near 7 year absence. Stuani gave Boro the lead with a ridiculous right foot shot from 25 yards. Forshaw played a one-two with Ramirez before finding Negredo with a great reverse pass, Negredo checked inside a defender, rolling a centre to the back post and Stuani tapped in his second to send Boro 0-2 up at half time. A minute or so after Negredo blew a one vs one against Mannone, Guzan spilled an eminently saveable shot and Van Aanholt snared the rebound.

Goalkeeper is the problem position for Boro. Guzan, who looks like a Leukaemia victim, was poor for Villa last season, last season's first choice Konstantopoulos is 300 years old and Valdes cost them all 3 points last week.

Moyes was surprisingly pessimistic post match, stating that Sunderland would be in a relegation dog fight. You could argue he was being honest but it doesn't say a lot for the confidence in his team. Sunderland cannot be so inferior to a Boro side with limited EPL experience and despite having a bigger budget than half the league (in theory, given the size of the stadium) they've gone out and signed garbage like Pienaar and Man United rejects.

Attendance : 43,515
Assists : Negredo, Negredo, n/a

20 August 2016

BURNLEY 2 (Vokes 2, Gray 37)

This was typical of Klopp's reign in that Liverpool followed an impressive performance (beating Arsenal away) by tanking the next week and given the lack of quality reinforcements in defence there's nothing to suggest they'll mount a top four challenge.

Clyne under hit a pass out of defence, Gray intercepted and passed to Vokes who turned in slow motion before letting rip from the edge of the box past a helpless Mignolet. Ward picked the pocket of Sturridge on the edge of the Burnley box, Defour lead a counter attack, bulldozed his way through a challenge before passing to Gray who ran through two non tackles before slotting into the bottom left corner. Awful defending.

Attendance : 21,313
Assists : Gray, Defour

19 August 2016

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Ibrahimovic 36, Ibrahimovic 52 Pen)

This was played on a Friday I assume to give Man United more time to prepare and recover for the Europa League.

Pogba made his debut and played well but Ibrahimovic grabbed the headlines with a brace. He has such a dominating presence on the field, he makes the other players look like children. This is what leadership looks like. Mourinho has already spoken about Ibrahimovic being around for two seasons, despite the fact that he signed a one year deal.

Attendance : 75,326
Assists : Negredo, Negredo, n/a