- March 10, 2016
By Greg Lea.
With the two teams in contention for the Premier League title, last weekend's meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal was billed by many as the most important north London derby of all-time. For the first time in the fixture's history, the biggest winners were Leicester City.
Both Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger expressed regret that their team were unable to claim all three points from the clash at White Hart Lane, which ended with Spurs and Arsenal each taking a share of the spoils after an entertaining 2-2 draw. The fact that their two closest rivals both dropped points was fantastic news for table-topping Leicester, who duly took full advantage with a 1-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road that moved them five points clear at the summit of the standings a few hours later. It was a showing that gave the best indication yet that Claudio Ranieri's side have what it takes to pull off what would be the most extraordinary title triumph
- March 07, 2016
Right now, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, and arguably even West Ham United are all battling to clinch one of the English Premier League's top four spots. As in previous years, the top four clubs in the division this season will qualify for the Champions League-with the top three earning entry into the group stage and the fourth-place club heading into the final play-off round.
The race for these four slots is even more intense this year, given the fact that last year's EPL champion-Chelsea FC-has very little chance of qualifying for the Champions League. As such, clubs that haven't traditionally qualified for Europe's most prestigious tournament in the past-Leicester, Tottenham, and West Ham are getting ever close to breaking the cycle in 2016.
But what if England didn't get four spots in the Champions League? Recent rumors have suggested that the Premier League could, at some point in the not-too-distant future, be
- March 03, 2016
When Manchester United faced off against Midtjylland for the first leg of the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League, in many ways, the game was an important one. The Red Devils were looking to save face, after a disappointing season in the Premier League and an early exit from the Champions League; these troubles have left the once-dominant English heavyweights looking almost weak. The Europa League could prove to be United's last shot at a trophy for the 2015/16 campaign.
And yet, there was a least one thing missing from United's big round of 32 game: Manchester United fans.
The Manchester United Boycott
Indeed, as has been reported in publications all throughout Europe, Manchester United supporters planned a boycott
- February 22, 2016
Leicester City lost a game last weekend, falling 1-2 against Arsenal, but the defeat barely seemed to matter. The Foxes remain the highest ranked team in the Premier League, and as the weeks go on, it's becoming increasingly probable that they will at very least contend for the top-flight title in 2016. Such a victory would be a game-changer for the EPL, not because this has been a great or even particularly good season for English soccer, but because it would further challenge the idea of the Premier League's virtual "class system."
Since the English Premier League began with the 1992/93 football season, the division has crowned 23 champions. The 2015/16 campaign will mark the 24th Premier League winner. However, despite the fact that this league has now persisted for nearly a quarter of a century, the number of different soccer clubs to actually hoist the trophy remains a very small figure. Indeed, 23 seasons in, only five different teams have won the Premier
- February 16, 2016
By Edward Stratmaan.
It took four and a half years for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to finally notch up his first Premier League away goal for Arsenal by scoring against Bournemouth.
He broke the drought in some style, however, with a finish that was well and truly worth the wait. Following a misplaced pass from Steve Cook that went straight to Aaron Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain quickly jetted forward, down the right, to provide a viable option for his Welsh colleague. Ramsey duly acknowledged his run, sliding a neat ball into the path of the Ox. The 22-year-old's accomplished first touch meant he was now in a perfect position to shoot, albeit from a very harsh angle. The finish that followed was sublime, as he rocketed the ball into the bottom left hand corner, past a hapless Artur Boruc, to give Arsenal a vital 2-0 lead. The placement, power and execution were all perfect here. Oxlade-Chamberlain's splendid goal was also his first Premier League goal in 16 months.
- February 08, 2016
Has there ever been a Premier League season as tumultuous and unpredictable as this one? Starting with Chelsea's complete and utter collapse and continuing with surprisingly limp campaigns from both Liverpool and Manchester United, the 2015/16 English Premier League has been anything but a foregone conclusion. In fact, 25 weeks into the competition (and with only 13 games to go until the end of the season), the EPL title is still anyone's game.
Leicester City: Your New Frontrunners?
Leicester City, previously part of the Premier League's so-called "middle class," have been one of the major game-changers this season. Spurred forward by a record-breaking scoring run from Jamie Vardy, the Foxes have been hanging around
- February 04, 2016
The January transfer window is never as eventful as the summer gap. Fewer teams dip into the market to flesh out their ranks or spend big on new stars, and fewer clubs are willing to let go of big stars. In other words, you're never going to see a Cristiano Ronaldo transfer in January, or any transfer fees that land in the top 10 or 20 of all time. Still, this year's January window was bigger than it has been in the past, with Premier League spending topping £1 billion for the first time ever. Read on to find out which clubs made the biggest signings of the month.
Pep Guardiola: Sure, he's not a player, but the deadline day announcement that Pep Guardiola is indeed on his way to Manchester City handily overshadowed everything that was going on in the
- February 02, 2016
A year ago, by the time the fifth round of the 2014/15 FA Cup rolled around, only three heavyweight Premier League clubs had survived the eliminations. Those three teams-Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United-had managed to avoid an upset-ridden fourth round that had sent Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Southampton (among others) packing. Arsenal went on to win the tournament, beating Aston Villa in the finals for a second consecutive FA Cup trophy.
This year, things could hardly be more different. Most of the football clubs to qualify for the round of 16 in the 2015/16 FA Cup are big names from the Premier League. The fourth round of the tournament-played this past weekend, in place of regular league competition-saw Arsenal, both Manchester teams, Chelsea, Everton, and Crystal Palace all earning spots in the final 16. Furthermore, most of those soccer
- February 01, 2016
2015 was, in many ways, a banner year for women's football. The summer's Women's World Cup was both a viral sensation and a ratings juggernaut, garnering tons of attention on Twitter and scoring viewership figures typically unprecedented for the tournament. Particularly in the United States-whose women's national team won their third Women's World Cup title in 2015-the tournament was a hit. Airing on the Fox Network, the tournament garnered a little shy of 23 million American viewers-not only making it the most-watched soccer game ever for U.S. audiences, but also delivering numbers comparable to Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series. Considering that baseball is generally much bigger in the United States than soccer, that stat is a remarkable one.
Women's football also got more interest in Europe last year. The Women's FA Cup-played at Wembley Stadium between Notts County and FA WSL champions Chelsea-drew an attendance of over 30,000 fans. That figure shattered
- January 25, 2016
Don't call it a comeback just yet, but Chelsea FC are beginning to resemble their old consistent selves again. The Blues haven't lost a match since Guus Hiddink took over as manager. Indeed, their last defeat came on December 14th against Leicester City-the last game for which Jose Mourinho was in charge. Granted, it hasn't been all wins for Chelsea since. The soccer club drew matches against Watford, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion, and Everton. But sprinkled in among those stalemates have been a few promising victories, and the most promising of those yet took place over the weekend against Arsenal.
The last time the Blues took on their London rivals, it was the sixth week of the 2015/16 Premier League season and things were beginning to look dire for Chelsea. The football club had only won one of their first five matches, leaving the reigning Premier League champions in a not-so-stellar 16th place. Despite what was clearly a low-momentum time for