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Premier League Review

A review of all the weekend’s Premier League action. Big wins for Tottenham and Arsenal as they close the gap on league leaders Leicester, while Newcastle sunk back into the bottom three with a sorry performance at Stamford Bridge.

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Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United.

The first encounter of the weekend was at the Stadium of Light where the biggest upset took place. The Black Cats managed to beat Manchester United at home for the first time in the Premier League, and what a win it was. Goals from Wahbi Khazri and an own goal from David De Gea meant the points would be going to Sunderland, whilst Anthony Martial netted for the visitors.

The hosts found themselves ahead in the 3rd minute, Khazri’s free kick was not dealt with and the ball found itself in the United net, a dreadful start for the Red Devils. Jermain Defoe was unlucky not to double the lead, failing to get his shot off from close range. Juan Mata recorded the visitor’s first effort, but it was a comfortable save for Vito Mannone. The Red Devils were level in the 39th minute, Mannone producing a great stop to keep Mata out, but Martial raced to the rebound first and chipped the ball into the net.

Lamine Kone had the first attempt of the second half, but his shot was well saved by De Gea. Daley Blind prevented the hosts going ahead, his crucial block denied Defoe his name of the scoresheet. The winning goal came in the 83rd minute, Kharzi’s good corner in was met by the head of Kone, as Martial attempted to clear the ball off the line the Frenchman’s clearance hit De Gea and trickled into his own net. The hosts saw out the win comfortably and picked up three huge points.

Top four ambitions are probably over from the Red Devils now, as the pressure mounts even higher on Louis van Gaal. This was a big win for Sunderland, picking up four points from their last two is massive for their survival hopes. Well played throughout and a deserved victory.


Bournemouth 1-3 Stoke City.

Stoke proved to be too much for the newly promoted Bournemouth as they came out comfortable winners on the south coast. Goals from Giannelli Imbula, Ibrahim Affelay and Joselu assured the visitors the three points, whilst Matt Ritchie struck a consolation goal for the hosts.

The visitors were ahead after nine minutes, Imbula’s long range volley was well placed and soared into the bottom corner to give the Potters the best possible start. They could have doubled their lead shortly after, Johnathan Walters saw his volley fly into the side netting. They did however get their second in the 52nd minute, Walters pass was met by a first time finish from Affelay that flew into the top corner.

Three minutes later and the game was put to bed, Xherdan Shaqiri’s dink into the box was met by a good header from Joselu to put the visitors 0-3 up. Ritchie netted in the 57th minute for the hosts with a great volley from the edge of the box, unfortunately they could not find another and the score stayed 1-3.

Stoke will hope this performance reignites their impressive team with some form. They’ve got a good team and played well at the Vitality Stadium Saturday. For Bournemouth, they were outplayed on the day. It’s going to be a tough few months for the Cherries but if they keep playing with the confidence and desire they have been since the start of the season, they’ll back themselves to maintain Premier League status.


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Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle United.

A very good result for Chelsea as they blew the Toon away in the Saturday evening kick off. Goals from Diego Costa, Willian, Bertrand Traore and a brace from Pedro for the hosts, while Andros Townsend netted for the visitors in stoppage time.

The Blues were ahead in the 5th minute, Willian’s ball into Costa who scored from close range set the hosts up for the perfect start. Rolando Aarons then had a moment to forget, his weak pass was intercepted by Pedro who ran onto goal and put Chelsea ahead with a neat finish. They had their third in the 17th minute, Costa’s clever ball into Willian who netted with a first time finish. Aleksandar Mitrovic saw his effort just wide of the post as the Magpies struggled to get into the game.

The visitors started the second half better and began to press Chelsea when they were on the ball. Despite their improved performance they fell four behind in the 59th minute. Cesc Fabregas picked out Pedro with a long ball, the Spaniard brought the ball down with his chest and produced a sublime finish to kill off the visitors. The Blues found time to add a fifth in the 83rd minute, Cesar Azpilicueta’s low cross was met well by Traore who converted from close range. Townsend did score for the visitors during stoppage time, a good run and finish from the Englishman took Chelsea’s clean sheet from them.

Great performance from Chelsea, strong in all departments. After a dreadful first half of the season it’s unclear where they’ll finish, if they keep picking up maximum points like they have been they may set their targets on Europa League football. For Newcastle, it was one to forget. They were never in the game and have now fell back into the bottom three, back to square one for Steve McCLaren.


Norwich City 2-2 West Ham United.

Norwich will see this game as two points lost, for sure. Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan put the hosts 2-0 up before Mark Noble and Dimitri Payet equalized for the Hammers.

Russell Martin had the first attempt of the afternoon, his effort flying over the bar. Enner Valencia then forced John Ruddy into making an incredible save, his shot from a tight angle forcing Ruddy to push the ball over the bar. Jonny Howson saw his effort over the bar as the first half was all Norwich.

Brady opened the scoring in the 54th minute, his long range strike going in off the bar. The Canaries had their second nine minutes later, Hoolahan with a close range finish. Up until this point it is key to note that Norwich were playing incredibly well and thoroughly deserved their two goal lead, but Payet halved the deficit in the 74th minute, the first to the rebound of a Victor Moses shot. Two minutes later, and the scores were level. Payet with the assist, Noble with the well struck finish.

What a disappointing finish for the hosts, they played so well all afternoon and deserved the win. Its matches like this one that they need to win to stay in the league, definitely two points dropped for Norwich. The Hammers showed great Spirit to come back and snatch a point and will be happy with a point after being 2-0 down.

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Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford.

Palace’s woes continued as they were beat at home by Watford, a Troy Deeney double was the difference, whilst Emmanuel Adebayor scored for his new team.

The Hornets were ahead in the 3rd minute, Mile Jedinak bringing down Deeney in the box and a penalty being awarded. Deeney made no mistake as he stepped up and converted the penalty, his fifth successful spot kick this season, to give the visitors the dream start, but Adebayor equalized on the stroke of half time for the hosts with a great lopping header to set up a tense second half.

Deeney then scored in the 82nd minute to restore his teams lead from the back post. Yohan Cabaye came close to bringing Palace level late on as his long range volley struck the post and back into play. Pape Souare saw red late into stoppage time for a nasty challenge. Joel Ward should have levelled the encounter with the last attempt of the game, his header rose over the bar as Watford held on for a great result.

The win saw Watford rise to 9th in the league, an incredible feat after gaining promotion to the Premier League last season. Crystal Palace fall to 13th in the league and need to start producing results if they wish to stay away from the danger zone.


Everton 0-1 West Brom.

How did this one finish 0-1? Everton recorded 34 shots, although they managed to only have six of those shots on target. They hit the post twice and generally dominated play, but when it’s not your day it really isn’t your day. The only goal came from Baggies forward Solomon Rondon.

The Baggies were ahead in the 14th minute, Rondon finishing with his chest following a header from Martin Olsson. Ross Barkley then saw his effort deflected wide of the post as Everton started to wake up, before Aaron Lennon saw his effort well saved by Ben Foster as Everton were starting to dominate.

Ross Barkley hit the post with a good shot from the edge of the box as the Baggies were holding on for dear life. Gareth Barry could have scored his first goal in two years (after his goal a few weeks back was marked down as an own goal), but his shot just rose over the bar. Chris Brunt had a glorious chance to put the game to bed, but could only direct his effort wide of the target. The game finished 0-1 and the home fans could not believe their team didn’t find the net all game.

Everton’s disappointing home form continues. They’re struggling to put together back to back victories this season and it shows with their league position of 11th. Tony Pulis will be thrilled with the result despite being outplayed in every department other than defending, they certainly defended well to keep the hosts at bay.


Swansea City 0-1 Southampton.

Another good win for the Saints as they picked up another narrow 0-1 win. The only goal came from Shane Long who has been playing very well for them this season.

Long had a good chance early into the game, but his headed effort was straight at Lukas Fabianski in the Swansea net, before Graziano Pelle then had his goal disallowed for a foul on the Swans goalkeeper. Long did get the breakthrough in the 69th minute, his headed effort beating Fabianski thanks to a good James Ward-Prowse cross. Charlie Austin had a late chance to put the game to bed but was denied by a good save from Fabianski.

Good win for the visitors that see them rise to 6th in the league,’ seven enpoints off Manchester City in 4th place. Although Swansea have improved of late they still need to tally up a fair few more amount of points to confirm their place in next year’s Premier League.

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Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City.

The big one of the weekend finished in exciting style as Arsenal pipped Leicester deep into second half stoppage time. Goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck for the hosts while Jamie Vardy scored the opener from the penalty spot for the Foxes.

Petr Cech had to be alert early on to keep out a powerful Vardy header, a great stop to keep the scores level. He was called into action again shortly after, keeping out N’Golo Kante’s attempt. The deadlock was broken in the 45th minute though as Nacho Monreal brought down Vardy in the box. The Englishman stepped up and took the spot kick, with a good finish the visitors were ahead going into half time.

Danny Simpson was book for a foul on Sanchez early into the half, and then saw his second yellow midway through the second period, tugging on Olivier Giroud’s arm and bringing the Frenchman down. The scores were level in the 70th minute, Walcott finishing from Giroud’s headed assist. Kasper Schmeichel made an outstanding save deep into the second half to deny Giroud from close range. The Foxes couldn’t hold on as the substitute Welbeck’s headed effort beat Schmeichel late into stoppage time.

The Gunners broke hearts all over Leicester Sunday afternoon. A great win for the hosts as they close the gap to two points, despite losing the game Leicester were once again incredible and looked dangerous with eleven men on the field. The sending off for Simpson was the moment the game swung to Arsenal and credit to the Gunners for taking advantage of the situation Leicester were put in.


Manchester City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur.

What a huge result this was for spurs. The way this team are playing they can definitely go on to win the league come May. Goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen for the away side while Kelechi Iheanacho scored a good goal for City.

The opening exchanges were ironically all the home team as they were pressing for the opener. Sergio Aguero had a good chance but could only direct his effort over the bar. Son saw his goal disallowed for offside, with replays suggesting it was the correct decision. Joe Hart had to produce a tricky save as Eriksen’s shot was swerving in the air, but the deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute, Raheem Sterling being penalised for a ‘handball’ within the area. Replays showing that the ball hit his back and it was indeed the wrong decision. Kane did not need asking twice as he stepped up and put Spurs into the lead, against the run of play.

Yaya Toure almost hit back immediately for City as he saw his impressive free kick hit the upright and come back into play. The hosts were level in the 74th minute, Gael Clichy’s cross across the box was met by Iheanacho who produced an excellent finish. Hugo Lloris came to the rescue to deny City the lead, as the home team were pushing for a winner. The winning goal came in the 83rd minute, an excellent through ball produced by Erik Lamela unleashed Eriksen who kept his cool with a tidy finish. David Silva had City’s best chance but could not get under his shot as the ball flew over the bar.

A magnificent win for Spurs that closes the gap between them and league leaders Leicester to two points. They dug in throughout the game and defended well. Lloris was at his best to deny several good chances, whilst City wasted too many chances on the day, and despite being extremely unlucky for the decision to go against them regarding Tottenham’s penalty, they did not take their chances to deserve victory on Sunday afternoon.


Aston Villa 0-6 Liverpool.

Disappointing from Villa as they were taught a lesson in football during this Sunday afternoon fixture. Liverpool managed to score six against a poor Villa team and managed to produce six different goal scorers. Goals from Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, Emre Can, Kolo Toure, Nathaniel Clyne and Divock Origi.

Liverpool were ahead in the 16th minute, Sturridge rising well and meeting Philippe Coutinho’s impressive cross with a powerful header that was directed into the bottom corner. The visitors had their second in the 25th minute, Milner’s intended cross from a free kick found its way past everyone and into the Villa net, poor defending. Can effectively put the game to bed in the 58th minute, his sublime finish from the edge of the box was unstoppable.

Coutinho’s defence splitting pass was then met by Origi who ran on to beat the keeper to increase Liverpool’s lead. They got their fifth thanks to Clyne, who had the last touch of a goal mouth scramble which Villa had several chances to clear. Five wasn’t enough for Liverpool as they netted their sixth in the 71st minute, Toure with a powerful header from Jordan Henderson’s corner. At the death Scott Sinclair almost netted for Villa, his long range effort striking the bar and going out of play.

There’s very little hope for Aston Villa as relegation looks to be certain. Their players did not look interested and no one was pressing Liverpool when they were on the ball. For Liverpool, it’s a great result. The difference that Coutinho and Sturridge make when they’re fit is evident and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to keep those two fit for the rest of the season.




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