Season 2 - The Business End
So our exploits in the first half of the season were pretty solid, but we ended on a real sour note, losing 6-0 to megabucks City, before being dumped out of the FA Cup by Burnley and the League Cup by Spurs. With confidence low, we would have to rebound in January.
Well, we don't really have money to spend, and what there is out there isn't great value for money. I shall wait until next offseason to spend any cash we may still have, but to be honest, the club is struggling somewhat from last season's big deals which were paid for mainly by installments.
Wed, 9.1.2013 19:45 Blackburn A 4 - 0 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Carlos Fierro, Olivier Giroud, Jan Vertonghen.
Sun, 13.1.2013 13:30 West Brom H 2 - 0 Olivier Giroud, Xherdan Shaqiri.
Sun, 20.1.2013 13:30 Sunderland A 2 - 2 Christian Eriksen, Kolbeinn Sigþórsson.
Sat, 26.1.2013 15:00 Tottenham H 2 - 2 Xherdan Shaqiri, Phil Jagielka o.g.
A bounce back from our poor form was an absolute must, and January went just about as well as it could have. One change of formation later, and we recorded a massive 4-0 win over Blackburn which really restored confidence, as did a routine win over West Brom. I was particularly pleased with the contribution of young Carlos Fierro getting his first taste of league action, and scoring on his debit. I would have liked to have won over the Mackems, who wouldn't, but a draw at their place is decent enough. A draw against Spurs, whose free-scoring Edinson Cavani is dominating the goal scoring charts, was a good result.
Tue, 5.2.2013 19:45 Norwich A 3 - 1 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Jan Vertonghen, Yohan Cabaye.
Sun, 10.2.2013 16:00 Chelsea H 1 - 1 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson.
Sat, 16.2.2013 15:00 Everton A 0 - 1 None
Mon, 25.2.2013 19:45 Birmingham H 4 - 1 Xherdan Shaqiri, Christian Eriksen, Daniel Sturridge(2).
Another decent enough month, with two good wins against "lesser" teams. There was a hard-fought draw with Chelsea at home, but it was disappointing not to get a draw at Everton. You can't win 'em all though I suppose. That said, you can still enjoy crackers like this one, a swerving, dipping strike from our Vice-Captain Cabaye:
Mon, 4.3.2013 20:00 Man Utd A 1 - 3 Carlos Fierro.
Sat, 9.3.2013 15:00 Bolton H 1 - 0 Jan Vertonghen.
Sun, 31.3.2013 15:00 Burnley H 1 - 0 Tore Reginiussen o.g.
No shame in losing to the Red United, they are a very good team. However, more worryingly, we just scraped through our other two fixtures, and Burnley appear to be becoming somewhat of a bogey team for us, as we failed to find the net until the 89th minute, and even then, only through a massively unlucky own-goal by Tore Reginiussen.
Sat, 6.4.2013 17:30 Arsenal H 3 - 1 Yohan Cabaye, Daniel Sturridge, Olivier Giroud.
Sun, 14.4.2013 13:30 Reading A 3 - 0 Cheick Tioté, Olivier Giroud, Rafael Tolói.
Sun, 21.4.2013 15:00 Stoke H 1 - 0 James Tomkins.
Wed, 24.4.2013 19:45 Wolves A 2 - 3 Olivier Giroud(2).
Sat, 27.4.2013 15:00 Fulham A 2 - 2 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson(2).
Great results to start this month, building on our wins in late March, the win over Arsenal was a real highlight, and marks Olivier Giroud's return to form. However, I was absolutely furious following the loss to Wolves, in which we surrendered a two goal lead to eventually lose the game. At Fulham we showed more fight, coming back twice, but really we shouldn't have let ourselves get into that position in the first place. Some players are really going to have to start looking at themselves if this continues.
Sun, 5.5.2013 16:00 Liverpool H 2 - 0 Daniel Sturridge, José Manuel Reina o.g.
Wed, 15.5.2013 19:45 Aston Villa A 3 - 2 Olivier Giroud, Matt Phillips, Hatem Ben Arfa.
Sun, 26.5.2013 15:00 Man City H 3 - 0 Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, Daniel Sturridge, James Tomkins.
The lure of Champions League football was there. We needed a few positive results in this month if we were to make it. We'd ended April rather poorly, but turned in a first class performance against Liverpool, and should have won by more. Daniel Sturridge was easily man of the match, scoring one and forcing an own goal by Reina for the second from his right-wing inside-forward position. He could have had a hat-trick in this game, but Reina, despite his own goal, actually put in a good performance, making several key saves. A gritty, hard-fought win against Aston Villa cemented our place in Europe, and we celebrated this achievement with a 3-0 win over City. I won't lie, revenge was sweet, and we thoroughly outclassed them to win this game with ease.