Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 30: Open Thread

It’s a big day in the Premier League today. Manchester City has an opportunity to close the gap near the top from 12 points to nine. Everton will be focused on bouncing back after their shocking 3-0 loss against Wigan Athletic last Saturday in the FA Cup game.

At 3pm UK time, there are four games happening at once. The match between Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers, especially, is a must-see. Whoever loses this one will be staring relegation right in the face.

In the other games, Swansea plays Arsenal, Southampton battles Liverpool, while Stoke City takes on West Brom.

The late kickoff is Manchester United against Reading featuring caretaker manager Eamonn Dolan in charge of his first match for the Royals.

Last but not least, if you’ve never watched a rugby match but you’re intrigued, tune in to BBC America today to watch Wales against England (1pm ET). The game is live from Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, so expect a raucous atmosphere.

Have a wonderful Saturday.

115 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 30: Open Thread”

  1. Hooray! Long night of EPL football in store for us ahead. Gonna be exciting, beginning with the early match. Hope City’s bogey troubles against Everton continue.

    The bad news is, an international break is coming up, so we’ll have to wait another 2 weeks after this before we can enjoy club football again.

  2. A question for the Brit readers — why are the tannoy systems at Goodison Park and Anfield so much louder than the rest of the clubs in the Premier League?

    The Gaffer

  3. A great day of football, rugby and ACC basketball with an early St. Paddy’s Day party thrown in for good measure. Is it too much to ask for a Stoke win, as well?

    Don’t answer that! 😉

  4. you know where Everton has spent most of the first half? IN THE AREA!!!!!!!!!!

    also, they got screwed by the linesman and should be up 1-0. Mirallas wasn’t offside.

    1. I know many, MANY others would disagree, but I think they should have video replay for plays like that. Play is already stopped and it wouldn’t take much for the 4th official to look at a monitor and tell the referee that the goal should stand. It wouldn’t slow anything down and would make the 4th official relevant for something other than the managers’ whipping boy.

    1. I agree. Must be nice to be ESPN to be able to magnify the still-image and zoom in to see whether the linesman was correct or not.

      The Gaffer

      1. Yes, and I don’t see why any of the officials can’t be given the privilege to do that too. Wouldn’t it make decisions much easier to call?

  5. When was the last time that Swansea was featured in a live game on FOX Soccer on either a Saturday or Sunday? If memory serves me correctly, it was 5 months ago when Manchester City beat Swansea 1-0.

    Looking forward to watching Swansea-Arsenal at 11am ET on FOX Soccer today.

    The Gaffer

  6. Now with Pienaar getting red carded, there should be no excuses from Manchester City. They’ve been handed a huge opportunity to get 3 points in this game. The next 30 minutes should be riveting.

    The Gaffer

  7. Everton better play defensively now. Better to not score another goal but keep a clean sheet than to concede one goal and lose all three points.

  8. Fabianski starting instead of Sczesseny for the Arsenal match later. Heard that Sczesseny has fallen out with the club. Is that really true? If so, that’d be really sad.

    Monreal also starting. Hoping to watch him play today as I haven’t really got to see him play before. Heard that he’s just as good as Gibbs.

  9. Awful day today for referee Lee Probert. Both Everton and City should be incredibly upset by his decisions.

    The Gaffer

    1. I’ve seen much worse. At least the result of the match ended up being fair. City were pants. (And not taking away from Everton. They were excellent.)

  10. Lee Probert should be retroactively suspended 2 games for that horrible string of decisions, firstly it was handball 2 yards in the box, secondly the wall was only back 8 yards.

    Shocking poor string of decisions.

  11. Down goes city they could not handle the pressure of the moment.mankini shows no class leaves early.heavy is the head that carries the crown.

  12. Well if anyone didn’t think the Premier League title race was over, it’s over today.

    Shocking performance by City against a very strong Everton side who played the last 30 minutes with just 10 men.

    The Gaffer

  13. WoW… LoL

    What a great game to watch…unless you are a city fan.

    This is great for the race for 2nd,3rd &4th, now City are sucked in, they have us at the lane & CFC still

    Now it’s time to scream
    For Swansea, COME ON SWANSEA.

  14. Great match for Everton. I am particularly thankful for the performances of Pienaar and Moron in giving Stoke a better chance next match.

    1. yaa hats off to them…good performance coming from a lfc fan, but it felt like City have packed their bags to go on vacation already.

    1. If you don’t mind spending that much money, yeah. It probably is worth it. It’s a legal, (mostly) stable stream that gives you access to most matches. You will still miss out on some of the larger matches being broadcast live (such as today’s Swansea v Arsenal and Manchester United v Reading matches).

      For me personally, I don’t think it’s worth it. I get FSC with my dish package and find ways to watch/listen to any other matches I want and deal with the buffering and quality. Would rather give FOX that much money.

      I will say that during the free trials I had a ton of issues with streaming over my mobile network (4gLTE) and it was unwatchable.

  15. Well, Man Utd might as well celebrate their title victory now.

    What this also means is that the race for Champions League qualification is getting more intense and we can’t really count anyone out yet. As of now, Arsenal need to be the most careful to ensure it does not begin slipping away from them, as Everton are now ahead of them.

  16. Great result for Everton. City fans will cry about the ref and the penalty and how it would have changed the game but they should have been 2-0 at that point . Should have been a 3-1 win for Everton if the right calls are made.

  17. Originally thought I would be torn between Arsenal and Swansea for this one, but I’ve decided I’ll go for the Gunners, my first team. Think they might be in need of some morale-boosting in the league. Gonna be hard for them to score at the Liberty though. Swansea are safe for the season already so nothing much to worry for them.

  18. Hey, Gaffer, I know you despise Cardiff, but wouldn’t even one teeny part of you be happy to see the “Reds”, nee Blues, in the Prem next year? 😉

    1. Not even a teensie-weensie part! They’ve been slipping in the last four games. The pressure is getting to Cardiff.

      The Gaffer

  19. Not your finest effort there, Bob. Dreadful squad selection and in-game management. And just a dreadful effort all around by everyone with exception of Tevez and Nasty.

    If I’m the Spurs I am salivating at the thought of the second-place slot. Lucky for City Chavski has that punishing fixtures list. Otherwise I’d feature them and Spurs ahead of us after watching this.

  20. I approve of the first result of the day. Now I just need Villa, West Brom, Swansea, and Southampton to win to make it a perfect day.

  21. Swansea’s final ball has been terrible today, plenty of space, but poor execution from Swansea…. Michu looks like he’s gonna explode with rage if they don’t figure it out.

    1. Ki Sung-Yueng. He’ll come good in the second half. His beautiful pass in the first half to Angel Rangel also made it 1-0 to Swansea.

      The Gaffer

  22. A textbook example of how awful FOX Soccer’s half-time analysis is when it comes to teams outside the top six:

    Within 10 seconds of going to Rob Stone and Warren Barton, they throw out one cliche (Swanselona) and make a stupid mistake — Barton referred to manager BRIAN LAUDRUP.

    I don’t know why I even bother watching or listening to these guys.

    They simply don’t do their homework.

    Those two silly comments were followed by 30 seconds of inside jokes, laughing at why Wynalda was happy (did he get hired by another network, perhaps?). How is that interesting or entertaining? They just create a massive distance between them and the audience, instead of pulling them in.

    The Gaffer

    1. Gaffer is this De Guzman kid any good. I’ve seen his name mentioned in a couple of transfer rumors but haven’t seen him play much.

      1. He’s brilliant. A superb passer on the ball. He’s got a great free kick on him, and he’s very calm under pressure. He’s been linked to Manchester United as a possible creative midfielder. He’s currently on loan at Swansea from Villarreal, but Swansea are trying to sign him on a permanent deal.

        The Gaffer

  23. For all the fancy footwork, and granted there have been a couple chances for each side, I have felt from about 15 minutes on that this game at Swansea was going to be goalless.

    Got twenty minutes to see if my feeling is wrong…

    1. and three minutes later… i’m wrong. Dammit. Don’t mind being wrong but would have much preferred the other team to have scored.

    1. Gervinho will be a good player for Arsenal. I thought he played well as a sub against Bayern and he scored today. Just needs more playing time and he could be a real contributor. Don’t give up on him yet…

  24. If things stay the same, Villa would be on good form among the relegation-battling teams and 6 clear of the drop zone. Southampton will also get a boost, especially considering the nature of their victory.

    As for Stoke, all I can say is that they can be really annoying with their results and I wouldn’t want to watch them at the moment.

    1. With you all the way on Stoke and I’m a fan. They make me want to pull my hair out…..and that would be problematic for me.

  25. Great results today… congrats to Everton on their big game (Except it’s now sealed for United… as if it wasn’t already, maybe even the moment we so wisely gave them RVP). Nicely done Gunners against Swansea… two great teams who play exciting soccer (I was excited and nervous for this match… never expected this result). Same with Liverpool… unexpected, but puts a little more breathing room into the fix as we can now look forward instead of backward.

  26. Good win for Arsenal. No complaints. They were the better team on the day. Swansea were disappointing with their finishing in the first half. Could have been a different game if they were more accurate.

    The Gaffer

    1. People counting Aresenal out of the CL have the cart way before the horse. For me, 3rd, 4th and 5th are a wide open “pick ’em”. Going to make the rest of the season fun for those of us not gritting our teeth over how it actually winds up.

      I’ll be backing whoever can do Stoke the most good, ’cause I’m none too sure they’re going to take care of business for themselves.

      1. I would love some more basketball, but Fox doesn’t have any more games. Or, is that matches?

        Just like Arnold: “I’ll be back!!”

  27. I can’t believe NBC/MLS scheduled the Redbulls vs DC United match at the same time as the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade. NBC New York is showing the match at 8:30pm because they are showing the parade now. Good thing I can watch the match on NBC Connecticut, but the “local” market can’t watch the game live which is just dumb.

  28. You call that a goal call? These announcers are boring me to sleep. They need to step it up and become a bigger part of the show. Do some yelling and wake me up.

    1. Not unless you are suggesting that Rio Ferdinand is going to become a pundit, which I can’t really imagine him being one :)

  29. It must be very maddening for Liverpool fans as it’s always one step forward and two steps backwards for them under Brendan Rodgers. Since only a 5th place finish will get a team into the Europa League I think Liverpool won’t have any European soccer next season. Am I the only one that thinks Rodgers is overrated as a manager? Liverpool may finish worse off than last season and they got rid of Daglish even though he won the Carling Cup and got them into the FA Cup final. Is Rodgers’ job safe? Southampton should stay up with this win today. Played better and had better tactics on the day.

    Great win for Arsenal and given their easier schedule and only EPL fixtures for the remainder of the season I think they will finish in the top 4.

    Great win for Aston Villa as well. This result will definitely give them the belief that they can stay away from the bottom 3 for the remainder of the season.

    Congratulations to Man United who have one hand on the trophy and will now try to concentrate on winning the FA Cup. They will be fresher for their quarter final replay with Chelsea and will be favored to win. I think Mancini will be fired at the end of the season even if they manage to win the FA Cup.

    1. Rodgers couldn’t use Sahin properly. He was asked to play out of his normal position and now that Sahin is back with Dortmund he is playing like the Player of the Year he was when last there. Today he scored two goals and set up a 3rd. Ended up with man of the match. I think Rodgers is too set in his tactics and has no plan B. He will be given another year before Liverpool decide whether to stick with him or not.

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