Arsenal kicked off the season with an uninspiring performance against West Ham on Sunday, that ended in a defeat.
Arsene Wenger brought in Petr Cech from Chelsea in the summer to stop conceding cheap goals. Yet, the experienced Czech international looked like a youth player making his debut at full level at the Arsenal v West Ham derby in the opening round of the 2015-16 Premier League season. Cech made two errors, both of them leading to goals, scored by Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate.
But the aspect of the game that could be the most discouraging for Arsenal fans was the Gunners’ overall display. As Arsene Wenger put it after the game, they were unconvincing. Up front and at the back as well. Despite Arsenal players are anything but inexperienced youngsters, they looked like an Arsenal team from an earlier period of Wenger’s reign. Arsenal are 5.5 (9/2) to win the Premier League at Bet365.
Arsenal doomed themselves, Arsene Wenger expressed after Arsenal v West Ham, that ended 0-2. The Gunners’ manager said defensive lapses caused their defeat against their city rivals in the opening round of the 2015-16 Premier League season. He also said that his team’s overall performance was “not convincing”, online mobile news report.
The visitors clearly deserved the win in the Arsenal v West Ham derby. The match also saw a poor performance from Petr Cech, who made his Premier League debut for Arsenal on Sunday after a summer switch from Chelsea, after he spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge. He made errors before both goals the Hammers scored. Wenger did not blame the defeat on the 33-year-old Cech international however.
He said, “The way we conceded the goal just before half-time, with the experience that we have in our team – it’s difficult to understand. It was a collective lapse. There are many things to say about that. I knew that if the delivery was good, we would be in trouble, even before the free-kick was taken. The concentration was not completely there on the set piece, the organisation was not perfect. The positional play – we were too far from our goal. We gave him [Kouyaté] too much distance to run into. We killed ourselves.”
After a promising spring and an impressive summer transfer window, Arsenal looked like genuine title contenders, according to fans, pundits and experts of gambling facts. Yet they started the season with a defeat, as Arsenal v West Ham ended 0-2 on Sunday. This doesn’t change the Gunners’ status however, but pointed out that Arsene Wenger need to invest in a world class striker to challenge for the title indeed.
Though Petr Cech made two big errors in the Arsenal v West Ham game, he might still be a worthy addition to the squad. However, Arsenal needs a natural striker, as Olivier Giroud is not enough for a successful title run. Arsenal’s other attackers, like Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez are versatile forwards, but neither of them is a pure striker.
Update on Olivier Giroud: contrary to some reports, he was not unconscious at any point after collision today and has returned home as usual
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 9, 2015
Danny Welbeck is more useful in that position, but he seems to be prone to injuries. Giroud might be a better player than the public sees him, but Arsenal need more options up front to win the league. Arsenal and Manchester United, and maybe the other two teams from last year’s top four have the same problem. And maybe all of them are about to complete one big signing each before the transfer market closes.
Arsene Wenger expressed after the Arsenal v West Ham match, where the home team was beaten 2-0, that his team was not convincing regarding attacking and defending. He also mentioned the easy goals, both coming with a very bad timing, at both sides of half time. Wenger said that West Ham looked sharper, and that they are clearly ahead of Arsenal considering preparation.
That is hardly a surprise for those, who follow sports scores, since Slaven Bilic’s side completed six competitive matches already this season. Even though the Croatian had to give up the last Europa League qualifier, and with that the competition too, as the Hammers’ squad is anything but equipped for double strain.
Wenger admitted, “I knew before game it would be tricky game on that front. A big part of it was not to concede, even if we played for a 0-0. The way we conceded the goal just before half-time, with experience we have in our team, is difficult to understand.”
Hungarian side Debrecen completed a club record 9-2 victory over Skonto Riga in the second leg of the second round in the Europa League qualifiers.
Debrecen were considered as top dogs against Skonto after their first leg fixture in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers. However, looking at their first respective match, nobody thought that the reverse fixture will bring Debrecen’s record European success. However, the Hungarian side dominated the Latvian outfit that is not used to the hot weather, bagging a goal in every ten minutes on average, nine in total.
While Loki thrashed Riga 9-2 and advanced with a 11-4 aggregate score, the West Ham United players were fighting for their lives in the Maltese heat. After winning the first leg in the last minutes in London, they conceded early against Birkirkara. Moreover, they went down to ten before half time, and they faced a long night. Only the penalties saved them eventually, as the WHU players scored all of their spot kicks, sending themselves to the next round.
Debrecen played a 2-2 in the first leg in Riga against Skonto in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers. That result made the Hungarian outfit favourite to advance, but not too many of those who are involved in UEFA Europa League betting would expect what would have come in the reverse fixture.
Tibor Tisza opened the scoring in the seventh minute, and Debrecen finished the game off in the first half with a 5-0 havoc in the Hungarian heat. That wasn’t enough for the home side however, and Loki stopped at nine goals eventually, while the visitors also had two for consolation. The 9-2 result that marks out from this week’s sports scores is the largest European win in Debrecen club history, while also the biggest loss for Skonto.
After the 11-4 aggregate victory, Debrecen will meet Rosenborg, one of the three Norwegian sides advancing to the third round, while West Ham United will face Astra Giurgiu. To set up the trip to Romania, the Hammers needed to survive 120 minutes plus penalty shootouts in Malta. Birkirkara, the home team scored the only goal of the game in the 15th minute, and WHU went down to ten in the first half. However, they were able to secure an advance in the Russian roulette.
West Ham United, playing the majority of the match with ten men, relied on a penalty shootout against Birkirkara. The Maltese side achieved a 1-0 through Fabrizio Miccoli’s goal on a humid and hot evening. Matching the result from the first leg of the second round in the Europa League qualifiers, extra time and then a shootout was needed to determine who to advance.
All five selected WHU players scored from the spot. The decisive penalty was sent home by Diego Poyet, the son Gustavo, the former Uruguayan international. Gus played for Chelsea and Tottenham, as many of those, who follow live sports results might remember.
The Hammers were down to ten in the first half, when James Tomkins, who scored the winner in the first leg, was sent off. He was the second WHU player who received a red card this year’s competition, after Diafra Sakho was sent off in the previous round. This is interesting, since the Hammers were qualified to the Europa League through their Fair Play ranking. The numbers were evened out when Birkirkara’s Mauricio Mazzetti was also red carded in overtime.
Astra Giurgiu eliminated Scottish Cup winners Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers. Through this, they set up a meeting with West Ham United, however Inverness midfielder Greg Tansey thinks that the weaker side advanced from their respective fixture.
He said, “We look at them and there’s better sides in the Scottish Premiership. We more than held our own and I firmly believe we were the far better side.” However, Caley Thistle weren’t able to score a single goal during the two legs, and experts of gambling facts know, that such an unprolific display rarely results advancing.
Tansey added, “We gave everything, but we’re just lacking maybe that bit of killer edge in the final third and it’s something we need to get as quickly as possible. For the possession we had, I thought we could have done better. I thought over the two legs we were by far the better side in terms of ball possession.”
Teams participating in the first round of the UEFA Europa League will have to start their campaign as early as July 2 with the reverse fixture scheduled to a week later. Those sides beginning their campaign in the second round of the UEFA Champions League will play their first game in the middle of July. West Ham United, the first placed team in the English fair play ranking will return to European football after an eight-year long absence, while Celtic, the Scottish champions, who not so long ago started the European competition in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, will enter in the second qualifying round this term.
Celtic, the champions of the Scottish Premier League will start its 2015-2016 European campaign in the second qualifying round of the Champions League in the middle of July, online gambling news reported. As keen followers of sports scores might remember, the Hoops failed to make it into the group stages last year after being eliminated by Maribor.
Now the Bhoys will entertain Icelandic champions Stjarnan, while West Ham United, the other British side involved in the early stages of the competition, will face FC Lusitans from Andorra in the first qualifying round of the Europa League. West Ham, the side that finished twelfth in the English Premier League gained qualification through their Fair Play record.
The Hammers will start the campaign with their new boss Slaven Bilic as early as July 2. After a clash of fixtures between the two Andorran sides occurred, the initial schedule was reversed, so West Ham will play the first game home at Upton Park before travelling to Andorra a week later.
The draw of the Europa League qualifying was held on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland. West Ham United were paired with FC Lusitans from Andorra in the first round, and the Hammers will kick off their campaign at the beginning of July, five weeks before the start of the Premier League.
Those with an adept knowledge of gambling facts might recall that West Ham participated in the competition last time in the 2006-07 season. Now they will play in Andorra at Camp d’Esports d’Aixoval, a 1,000 capacity stadium. Andorra’s other team in Europe, Sant Julia will entertain Randers from Denmark in the first round.
England was ranked first by the UEFA fair play system and that provided them an extra place in the competition that went to West Ham, the team that came first in the English first-tier’s fair play ranking. 102 teams participated in the draw and the former European Cup winner Red Star from Belgrade will also enter in the first round travelling to Central Asia to visit Kairat Almaty in Kazakhstan.
After the draw for the UEFA Champions League qualifiers was held in Nyon, Switzerland, the teams’ representatives spoke about their upcoming opponents. Icelandic champions Stjarnan will play against Celtic after they eliminated Motherwell in the Europa League qualifiers last year, as keen followers of live sports results might remember.
“We have mixed feelings,” said Stjarnan defender Daniel Laxdal. “It is great to meet Celtic but I think they are the most difficult team we could have met. We saw them against KR last year and know it will be hard work in defence. Last season we showed anything is possible if we are at our best so hopefully we can do something similar. Celtic will start their season against us and that might help a little but we are up against a great team.”
Celtic FC assistant manager John Kennedy commented the draw via his social media account. He expressed that all pressure is on Celtic, and this situation might suit the Icelandic underdogs. He added, “We have to make sure we go in fully prepared and we win the game. That’s the most important thing.”