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Barclay’s Premier League Review.

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Manchester United 2-1 Swansea City.

A much needed win for United on Saturday as they picked up their first victory in eight attempts. A rare goal from Wayne Rooney and a goal from Anthony Martial was enough to see the hosts home. Gylfi Sigurosson netted for the visitors. Rooney had the first attempt of the match, but could only direct his effort wide of the target. Lukas Fabianski then produced a fantastic save to keep out Rooney, who looked threatening all afternoon. The deadlock was broken two minutes into the second half, Ashley Young’s cross was met well by Martial who headed powerfully into the ground to beat the despairing dive of Fabianski. Andre Ayew looked to respond immediately for the Swans, his headed effort hitting the post and coming back into play. Sigurosson’s looping header beat David De Gea in the United goal as it looked to be another gloomy afternoon at Old Trafford. Swansea were back on level terms for seven minutes, Wayne Rooney was due a goal and he did not disappoint. Martial provided a powerful low cross which was met by Rooney, his inventive back flick flying into the goal. De Gea kept out a powerful strike from Ashley Williams late on as the home team were defending in numbers. In what happened to be the final touch of the match, Fabianski came up for a Swansea corner, his headed effort just wide of the target and the game remained 2-1. A much needed win for United as the pressure on Louis Van Gaal has been eased, even if it is momentarily. For Swansea, it’s hard to see where their next win will come from.

Norwich City 1-0 Southampton.

Norwich picked up an impressive victory when they hosted a talented Southampton team on Saturday. Despite only the one goal, which was scored by Alexander Tettey, the game was full of action at both ends and it could have went either way.  Jonny Howson had the first attempt of the match, but could only fire wide. Shane Long was then kept at bay twice by Declan Rudd. Dusan Tadic had an effort but did not trouble Rudd in the Norwich net. Victor Wanyama picked up a yellow card in the first half for a badly timed tackle. Wanyama picked up his second yellow in the second half, both the challenges were mistimed and unneeded, the Kenyan international put his manager into a dilemma. That was his second red of the season. Norwich smelt blood when the Saints were down to ten and made the most of it, a fabulous finish from Tettey to assure that the hosts would be picking up a huge three points for their survival fight come May.

Leicester City 0-0 Bournemouth.

The only goalless game of the weekend, but the chances were galore. Leicester know if they want to be any threat to the top teams then these are games that they simply must win. With the chances they created they will be left feeling distraught they could not get on the scoresheet during this encounter. Josh King had an early chance for the visitors, his headed effort just shy of the target. Jamie Vardy was his usual self, as he was causing the Cherries back four all sorts of problems, his early attempt came off the post and back into play as frustration started to grow around the King Power Stadium. Dan Gosling should have put the visitors in the lead, his effort flying well over the bar, the Englishman should have done much better from the position he was in. Artur Boruc had to produce a fantastic save in the second half to keep Vardy at bay. Midway through the second half Vardy was unleashed and it was a glorious 1v1 chance to open the scoring. Simon Francis knew he was in trouble and brought Vardy down in the area, the defender was rightly shown his marching orders and Riyad Mahrez stepped up to take the Foxes penalty. Normally faultless from the spot, it turns out that Mahrez is human after all as his lacklustre penalty was saved comfortably by Boruc and the game remained goalless. Despite the goalless game it was still an enthralling encounter that both teams could have won. The Cherries will be the happier of the two with the result though.

Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea.

Finally Chelsea decided to play for the fans, what a performance it was too. Despite Palace having serval regulars out, Chelsea dominated for large parts of this encounter. Goals from Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa ensured Chelsea got revenge for their home defeat at the hands of the Eagles. Wilfred Zaha had a good chance early on but could only direct his effort wide of the target. John Obi Mikel then produced a nasty challenge early on, lucky to go unpunished. Chelsea had their first in the 29th minute, great passing play. Cesc Fabregas producing a perfectly weighted ball for Costa to run onto, his unselfish pass made it a simple tap in for Oscar as the Blues were into a deserved lead. Chelsea should have doubled their lead early into the second period, Willian’s fine free kick was met by the head of Kurt Zouma, who could not control his header as it flew wide of the target. In the 60th minute a Willian masterclass happened. The Brazilian ran onto the ball just outside of the area and struck it with his first touch, the ball flying into the top corner. He has been Chelsea’s best player this season, by a long way. Chelsea completed the scoring in the 66th minute, Diego Costa with a simple tap in at the back post to finally bring some cheers to the South West London team.

Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur.

A tight encounter finished 1-1 as both teams threw everything to win this match. Goals from Dele Alli and Aaron Lennon assured the points would be shared. Harry Kane hit the post early on from an incredible range. The home side scored with their first attack of the game, Romelu Lukaku heading down the ball for Lennon to blast home against his former team. Ben Davies hit the woodwork for Spurs at long range, his powerful effort cannoning off the bar and back into play. The visitors got their equalizer during stoppage time of the first half, Toby Alderweireld’s long ball was met well by Alli who blasted home. Kane had the first attempt of the second period, his effort agonisingly wide of the target. Hugo Lloris was then called into action to keep an impressive Muhamed Besic volley out. Lukaku then had an attempt at goal but his effort was well over the bar. With the last attack of the game Ross Barkley tried his luck by Lloris kept out the Englishman well and the game finished 1-1. Fair result, both teams deserved something from a highly entertaining Premier League encounter.


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