GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-1 Werder Bremen (Coman 62)
A close-range header from Kingsley Coman has brought Bayern level.
“No goals so far at Tannadice, Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “But it’s Ayr United 2 Dundee 0 so, you know.”
Oh I know.
It’s half time at Villa Park, where Danny Welbeck’s jaunty finish has given Brighton an early lead. Both teams missed good chances and Mat Ryan made a couple of fine saves. It could easily be 2-2, maybe even 3-3.
“We may be 1-0 down but after the misery of the last ten years it’s fun being a villa fan,” says David Bertram. “Lamptey is the first player I’ve seen who has handled Grealish well. Bargain for what they paid for him.”
Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton Tariq Lamptey is having another eye-catching game at right wing-back. He made a couple of good chances for Welbeck and Lallana and has been his usual irrepressible self.
“As well as players being physically tired, I wonder if mental tiredness is just as significant a factor in the high number of injuries, some brainless goals conceded, high number of penalties, and such like so far this season,” says David Wall. “Karen Carney recently told about how she suffered a serious injury towards the end of a game during her career when she was so mentally tired she didn’t pay attention to how she was putting her feet down as she would normally do if fresher.
“If players are mentally tired it’s more difficult to concentrate so they’ll tend to make poorer decisions, or take longer to make a decision, which might lead to mistakes in how they’re moving, say, having to change direction later and more abruptly. And if anything in football takes concentration it’s defending properly (including not making challenges in the box when it’s more sensible to hold off).
“Incidentally, I’ve always thought that it’s mental tiredness that is the key reason why players struggle to play 2/3 games a week for an extended period of time. If there’s no respite then one match would just blur into the next and you’re likely to get a bit fed up of it. Not the best conditions for maintaining good form.”
I’m sure there’s something in that, certainly with the quality of defending. I’m not sure how it would cause, say, a hamstring injury while taking a corner. But the body is a strange thing, so maybe it’s all interlinked.
Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton And now Ben White makes a fantastic tackle to deny Watkins a tap-in from Grealish’s low cross.
Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton Mat Ryan improvises brilliantly to volley Tyrone Mings’ looping shot off the line. It was a strange save but an extremely good one.
Villarreal 0-1 Real Madrid “Afternoon Rob,” says Stephen Carr. “The decision to allow Real’s goal has me utterly flummoxed. The lino called offside and the replays confirmed it. Real, rightly, played to the whistle, scored and celebrated with authority – it’s almost as if that’s why the goal was given. Bonkers stuff.”
How strange. I haven’t seen it yet because of the thrill-a-minute action at Villa Park, but it sounds like another triumph for all concerned.
Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton Lallana misses an excellent chance, slicing Lamptey’s cross well wide with his left foot. After a slow start, Brighton have looked really dangerous on the break.
“Slight but strong, good close control and an energetic give and go style, can pick out the bottom corner, England’s Next Great Hope?” says Iain Chambers. “Joe Cole eventually faded and probably didn’t fulfil his potential as did so many other ENGH’s. Let’s hope Grealish goes on to great heights because he’s a joy to watch.”
Cole’s career is an intersting story. There’s a perception that Mourinho ruined him, but Cole played his best football under Mourinho and says he was the best coach he ever had. He was never the same after that cruciate injury in 2008-09.
Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton An imaginative curler from Grealish is pawed away by the flying Mat Ryan. This is a really enjoyable game.
Championship Here’s more on Bournemouth’s barnstorming comeback against Reading.
“The ten-man high press in football is like the absent third man in cricket,” says Gary Naylor. “It earns you 10% more attacking options at 90% loss of defensive capability. Jamie Vardy will play ‘til he’s 50.”
I also wonder whether teams are even more exposed this season because all the players are on their last legs.
The latest scores in our featured games
- AFC Bournemouth 4-2 Reading (FT)
- Middlesbrough 0-0 Norwich
- QPR 0-1 Watford
- Villarreal 0-1 Real Madrid (3.15pm)
- Bayern Munich 0-1 Werder Bremen (2.30pm)
Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton A double chance for Trezegeut! The first was superbly blocked, and then he somehow wafted the loose ball past the post. That was a sitter.
“My first memory of Grealish, you ask?” says Phil Podolsky. “Him coming on as a late sub against a title-chasing Man City, and being among the hapless Villa players chasing Yaya. He looked so tiny I remember thinking good thing he knew better than to try sliding into a tackle, would’ve only got himself trampled. Trying to decide what playmakers he reminds me of stylistically: Wilshere is an obvious one but we can probably aim higher. Deco? Redondo?”
He’s not in the same class but he reminds of Zidane because of his technique in tight areas and ability to protect the ball.
GOAL! Villarreal 0-1 Real Madrid (Mariano 3)
Mariano, who according to some reports might be heading to West Ham, ha given Real Madrid an early lead at Villarreal.
Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton A heavy first touch costs Welbeck the chance of a second goal.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 0-1 Werder Bremen (Eggestein 45+1)
Well I never. Maximilian Eggestein has given Werder Bremen a shock lead at the Allianz Arena.
“Jack Grealish,” says Will Morgan. “He’s a little, how shall I put it… he has an odd relationship with gravity…”
I’ve never really seen him as a diver, I just think he’s very good at drawing fouls because of his strength and fast feet.
GOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Brighton (Welbeck 12)
Danny Welbeck gets his first goal for Brighton! That came out of nothing. Villa’s defenders were too high and Welbeck was able to run from inside his own half onto Lallana’s through pass. He moved to the edge of the area, drew Martinez and flipped the ball gently over him. Lovely finish.
In the Championship, Ben Wilmot has given Watford an early lead at QPR. They could go top if they win that game.
Aston Villa 0-0 Brighton Ben White makes a good block from Trezeguet’s vicious cross-shot. Villa have started strongly.
Aston Villa 0-0 Brighton Bertrand Traore has come on to replace Ross Barkley.
Aston Villa 0-0 Brighton Ross Barkley is the latest footballer to pull a hamstring. I think he did it while taking a free-kick on the left. Either way he’s going off, which is a big blow to Villa. These injuries are getting ridiculous.
Aston Villa 0-0 Brighton The first foul on Jack Grealish comes after 35 seconds.
Bayern Munich 0-0 Werder Bremen It’s still goalless after half an hour at the Allianza Arena. The Bayern left-back Lucas Hernandez has gone off with a back injury.
Right, it’s time for the 3pm games to begin. Play!
“Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Some big games in Scotland today, as the domestic action resumes after the high of Belgrade (let’s not mention the lows of Slovakia and Israel that inevitably followed). Micky Mellon’s Dundee United host Hamilton at Tannadice, where three points for the home side would see them remain comfortably in fifth position, and move them 13 points clear of Hamilton who are bottom. Hibs in fourth welcome second place Celtic to Easter Road, and elsewhere it’s St. Johnstone v Motherwell, Kilmarnock v Ross County and Livingston v St. Mirren.
“In the Scottish Championship Dunfermline beat Hearts 2-1 last night to go top, but Raith Rovers will replace them if they win at Inverness today. Exciting times in the Kingdom of Fife. In Scottish League One leaders Cove Rangers will be hoping to make it five wins out of five as they travel to second place Falkirk.”
BUT WHAT ABOUT ORKNEY. (They’re not playing this weekend, in case you were wondering.)
Chelsea’s victory at Newcastle means that Aston Villa will only go top if they score at least four against Brighton and win by three goals or more.
Full time: Bournemouth 4-2 Reading Bournemouth go top of the Championship after a cracking match at the Vitality Stadium. They were 2-0 at half-time but ran riot in the second half, with Lewis Cook scoring a glorious goal to put them 3-2 up.
Villarreal v Real Madrid team news
Villarreal (4-3-3) Asenjo; Mario, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Iborra, Trigueros; G Moreno, Bacca, Moi.
Real Madrid (4-3-3) Courtois; Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Mendy; Modric, Kroos, Odegaard; L Vazquez, Mariano, Hazard.
Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea Frank Lampard’s side go top of the table after an easy win at Newcastle.
GOAL! Bournemouth 4-2 Reading (Solanke 89) Dominic Solanke completes a famous comeback at the Vitality Stadium. Rafael came out of his area, made a fool of himself and was robbed by Solanke, who rammed the ball into the empty net from 20 yards. Bournemouth are going top of the Championship; Reading, the leaders this morning, have lost four league games in a row.
Bournemouth 3-2 Reading Asmir Begovic has just made an awesome save from Lucas Joao’s header. Reading thought the ball had crossed the line; they were wrong.
Middlesbrough v Norwich team news
Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1) Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Bola; Howson, Saville; Spence, Tavernier, Johnson; Akpom.
Norwich (4-2-3-1) Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Sorensen; Rupp, Skipp; Buendia, Stiepermann, Placheta; Hugill.
Hibernian v Celtic team news
Hibernian (4-3-3) Marciano; P McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon, Mackie; Gogic, Newell, Mallan; Boyle, Nisbet, Murphy.
Celtic (4-2-3-1) Bain; Frimpong, Bitton, Ajer, Laxalt; Brown, McGregor; Christie, Rogic, Elyounoussi; Ajeti.
GOAL! Bournemouth 3-2 Reading (L Cook 77) Bournemouth’s comeback is complete! They were 2-0 down at half-time; now they are 3-2 ahead after a stunning long-range shot from Lewis Cook. That was some strike, which dipped spectacularly and gave Rafael no chance.
Aston Villa v Brighton team news
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1) Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Douglas Luiz, McGinn; Trezeguet, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins.
Substitutes: Taylor, Steer, Hourihane, Traore, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Elmohamady.
Brighton (3-4-2-1) Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Gross, Bissouma, March; Lallana, Maupay; Welbeck.
Substitutes: Connolly, Jahanbakhsh, Alzate, Steele, Burn, Veltman, Molumby.
Chelsea are going top of the league, at least until 4.56pm: Tammy Abraham has put them 2-0 up at Newcastle.
GOAL! Bournemouth 2-2 Reading (Danjuma 59)
Crikey, Bournemouth are level! Arnaut Danjuma made a fine run infield from the left, onto David Brooks’s excellent through ball, and forced the ball past Rafael at the near post.
GOAL! Bournemouth 1-2 Reading (Solanke 56)
Bournemouth are back in the game thanks to a flying volley from Dominic Solanke. Excellent finish, that. Edit: it was actually Stanislas who volleyed the ball across goal for Solanke to turn it into an empty net. I think Stanislas was going for goal.
Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen team news
Bayern Munich (4-1-4-1) Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Hernandez; Javi Martinez; Coman, Muller, Musiala, Douglas Costa; Lewandowski.
Werder Bremen (3-4-2-1) Pavlenka; Toprak, Gross, Friedl; Gebre Selassie, Eggestein, Mohwald, Augustinsson; Rashica, Bittencourt; Sargent.
In the Championship, the leaders Reading look set to end their run of three consecutive defeats. An early penalty from Lucas Joao and a cool finish from Sone Aluko have put them 2-0 up at half-time away to Bournemouth.
Chelsea are 1-0 up and in complete control at St James’ Park. You can follow that with Scott Murray.
Afternoon. Today is a glorious day, for we get to watch Jack Grealish play football. Or read about somebody else watching him, which I appreciate might not be quite as impactful upon the soul.
Aston Villa, who can go top of the table, are at home to Brighton in the Premier League’s only 3pm kick-off. There are also big games in Scotland, Spain and Germany; these are our featured matches (all 3pms unless stated):
- Newcastle 0-1 Chelsea (12.30pm)
- Aston Villa v Brighton
- AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Reading (12.30pm)
- Middlesbrough v Norwich
- QPR v Watford
- Villarreal v Real Madrid (3.15pm)
- Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen (2.30pm)