‘Premier League’

Profile: Ryan Giggs, from pin-up to old master

“Following his parents’ divorce, Giggs adopted his mother’s surname and it was with that name on the back of his shirt that he was to become an international sporting icon. Giggs was the first member of United’s feted ‘Class of ’92′ youth team to infiltrate the senior squad, setting an example that David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers would go on to emulate. A wiry, jet-heeled left-winger, Giggs’s weaving runs made him one of the stars of Ferguson’s first great United team and moved team-mate Gary Pallister to comment that he gave his opponents “twisted blood”.”

My AFP profile of Ryan Giggs, who announced his retirement on Monday after an era-defining 23-year career, can be read here.

Report: Man City stroll to Premier League title

“London (AFP) – Manchester City secured a second Premier League title in three seasons by comfortably defeating West Ham United 2-0 at a jubilant Etihad Stadium on Sunday.”

My AFP report on the final day of the 2013-14 Premier League season can be read here.

Analysis: Man City out-punch rivals to Premier League glory
Review: Liverpool slips allow Man City to succeed United

Report: Džeko sends 100-goal City to brink of title

“Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City are within touching distance of the Premier League title after overwhelming Aston Villa 4-0 on Wednesday to close to within a point of the championship.”

My AFP match report from a soggy but satisfied Etihad Stadium can be read here.

Reaction: Manchester City will be worthy champions, says Pellegrini

Report: Man United past and future see off Hull

“Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Teenage debutant James Wilson scored twice as Manchester United rang out the old and ushered in the new in a 3-1 win at home to Hull City on Tuesday.”

My AFP match report on a night of hellos and goodbyes at Old Trafford can be read here.

Reaction: Giggs ‘still undecided’ on Man United future

Report: Palace fightback shreds Liverpool’s title bid

London (AFP) – Liverpool’s Premier League title bid was left in ruins after Crystal Palace mounted a sensational comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Selhurst Park on Monday.”

My AFP match report on an extraordinary night at Selhurst Park can be found here.

Reaction: Rodgers proud despite Liverpool collapse

Report: Norwich leave Chelsea’s title bid in tatters

“London (AFP) – Norwich City all but ended Chelsea’s Premier League title challenge and gave themselves a fighting chance of avoiding relegation by recording a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.”

My AFP match report on the day that Chelsea’s title dream died can be read here.

Reaction: Chelsea wait on trio amid title disappointment

Report: Gerrard slip lets Chelsea back into race

“Liverpool (AFP) – An untimely slip by Steven Gerrard inadvertently helped Chelsea claim a 2-0 win over Premier League leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday that reignited their title ambitions.”

My AFP match report on the day that Liverpool appeared to let the Premier League title slip through their fingers can be read here.

Reaction: Chelsea ‘parked two buses’, fumes Rodgers
Reaction: Mourinho revels in Liverpool derailment

Analysis: Man United break with tradition in Moyes sacking

“Whereas United had not lifted the English title for 18 years when [Alex] Ferguson was appointed in November 1986, [David] Moyes’s job was to take command of the juggernaut that his predecessor had built. Ferguson hoped the structures he had put in place would allow Moyes — who failed to win a trophy in his 11 years at Everton — to slot seamlessly into place, thereby enabling United to maintain a tradition of appointing promising, hungry, British managers. It was for these reasons that United opted for Moyes, rather than a brash upstart such as José Mourinho, but the former Everton manager’s subsequent failure laid bare the shortcomings in their recruitment process.”

I wrote a piece for AFP on how the David Moyes affair exposed the fallacy of the club’s attachment to tradition, and you can read it here.

Profile: How Moyes shrivelled beneath the United spotlight
Analysis: Five issues for Moyes’s successor to address
Profile: Studious Giggs set for another reinvention

Report: Liverpool beat Man City in title crunch clash

Liverpool, United Kingdom (AFP) – Philippe Coutinho’s 78th-minute winner gave Liverpool a crucial 3-2 victory over Premier League title rivals Manchester City on a day of raw emotion at Anfield on Sunday.”

My AFP match report on an emotional and unforgettable afternoon at Anfield can be read here.

Reaction: Tearful Gerrard calls for Liverpool focus

Report: Džeko downs United to give City derby spoils

“Manchester (United Kingdom) — Manchester City snuffed out Manchester United’s recent revival and closed on Premier League leaders Chelsea as Edin Dzeko scored twice in a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday.”

My AFP match report on a night when the mood changed at Old Trafford can be read here.

Reaction: Rebuilding United will take time, warns Moyes
Analysis: Moyes faces backlash after United derby woe

Profile: Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s professorial pioneer

“The 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ season was the stuff of legend, as a team spearheaded by [Thierry] Henry cut elegant swathes through the Premier League to complete the first unbeaten top-flight campaign since Preston North End in 1889. Legendary former Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough — never one to mince his words — described Wenger’s team as “nothing short of incredible”.”

My AFP profile of Arsène Wenger, who takes charge of Arsenal for the 1,000th time on Saturday, can be read here.

Related link: Five classic Arsenal matches under Wenger

Report: Title-chasing Liverpool sink sorry Man United

“Manchester (United Kingdom) — Steven Gerrard scored two penalties as Liverpool closed to within four points of Premier League leaders Chelsea with a 3-0 win at beleaguered rivals Manchester United on Sunday.”

My AFP match report on a memorable day out at Old Trafford for Liverpool can be read here.

Analysis: Stars align for Chelsea and José Mourinho

“City’s games in hand — away to United, and at home to Sunderland and Aston Villa — will also be complicated by the pressure of knowing that Chelsea have already bagged the points that Manuel Pellegrini’s side are trying to make up. Furthermore, whereas only half of City’s remaining 12 league games are against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, Chelsea will face teams in the bottom 10 in seven of their last nine fixtures. For both Arsenal and second-place Liverpool, meanwhile, only four of their 10 remaining opponents are in the bottom half.”

I’ve written a piece for AFP on why the fates may be conspiring in Chelsea’s favour in the Premier League title race. You can read it here.

Report: Arsenal, Man United keep each other in check

“Arsenal and Manchester United each had cause for regret after playing out an attritional and occasionally turgid 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Wednesday.”

My AFP match report on a night of frustration for both sides at the Emirates can be read here.

Reaction: Moyes looks to past for United inspiration

Report: Chelsea raid robs Man City of home comforts

“Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Chelsea defied Manchester City’s scintillating home form with a superb 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Monday that injected fresh intrigue into the Premier League title race.”

My AFP match report on Chelsea’s victory at the Etihad can be found here.

Reaction: Mourinho talks down title chances for ‘little horse’ Chelsea

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