Another week of football, another week of joy and tears. In case you missed it, here’s a quick guide to all you need to know from the events of the Premier League fixtures:
Liverpool 2-2 Bournemouth
Anfield was left stunned by an 87th minute Josh King equaliser as Liverpool were very much dominate as the stats show, the home side had 20 attempts on goal compared to Bournemouth’s 8. The Cherries managed to take the lead just 7 minutes into the game after a wayward back-pass from Wijnaldum found Afobe who rounded Mignolet. Liverpool then fought back to make it 2-1 just before the hour mark with goals from Coutinho and Origi who both scored in the Merseyside derby. Bournemouth’s top scorer Josh King made room for himself in the box before slotting home to make it 2-2 and secure a point for the sea siders.
Liverpool failed to take advantage of favourable results elsewhere in both Manchester clubs dropping points and solidify their top 4 place. They now sit only 2 points ahead of City having played 1 game more and 6 points ahead of Arsenal and Man United who have 2 games in hand. Bournemouth have taken a small step towards securing Premier League safety as they now sit 7 points ahead of the relegation zone yet they do have a tough run in having to play Chelsea, Spurs and Leicester in their last 8 games.
Hull 4-2 Middlesbrough
On paper this game would look the least appealing to the neutral with both teams not having a great deal of fortune in front goal. However with 6 goals this game was the highest scoring game in the Premier League this game-week. This was Hull’s fifth victory since Marco Silva took over in January and it his appointment has given Hull new levels of confidence. The Tiger’s were excellent throughout the game and this paid off with Markovic, Niasse and Hernandez responding in the first half to Negredo’s early goal. De Roon’s header placed doubts in the Hull’s fan’s minds as to whether they would do enough to see out the game but Harry Maguire’s powerful header eased fan’s concerns and wrapped up all three points for the home side who now see themselves 2 points above the relegation zone.
Defeat for Middlesbrough in what would be called a ‘six-pointer’ has seriously damaged any hope of survival this season as they now need 8 points to escape the relegation zone. With 4 of the top 5 all left to play Boro’s relegation is looking increasingly likely which stems from their inability to regularly score goals.
Arsenal 3-0 West Ham
Arsene Wenger needed this win not only for Arsenal but for himself as he comes under increasing pressure with his contract running out at the end of he season. After a disappointing 2-2 at home with Man City Arsenal needed a win to get their top 4 fight back on track. They put their fans through a frustrating 45 minutes as they failed to score however their attack really clicked in the second half with Walcott, Giroud and Ozil all finding the net. All three players have come under scathing criticism from fans after very poor performances this season.
This puts Arsenal on levels terms with Manchester United who both have 54 points after 29 games and both seek a top 4 place. Gunner’s fans will hope that this result will spark a run of games that will lift them into a prized Champions League spot. West Ham are in a more distressing situation as their move to the London Stadium has gone as planned with the Hammer’s only sitting 5 points the drop zone. Manager Slaven Bilic will need a few more points to guarantee safety and relieve fans.
Southampton 3-1 Crystal Palace
Palace had achieved a remarkable win away at leaders Ch
elsea last gameweek therefore spirits were high going into their, on paper, easier tie with Southampton. The man in form Chistian Benteke gave the visitors an early lead and looked as if Palace would continue where they left off against Chelsea. However, recent England international Nathan Redmond struck just before half time volleying the ball home. It seemed for large parts of the second half that the teams were going to walk away with a point a piece but Southampton scoring two in the last 10 minutes put those thoughts to bed. Japanese defender Maya Yoshida tapped into an early before James Ward-Prowse slotted home Cedric Soares’ cross to make it 3-1 and seal all three points.
This result pushes Southampton into the top half of the table with 37 points brushing away any distant fears of relegation however, for Palace they are thrown right back into the mix sitting only 3 points off Swansea who lie in 18th.
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City
Come the start of the season many would have though this fixture would have a key say in who wins the title, however, Conte’s Chelsea have proved to be dominant this season. The London side struck their first blow through Eden Hazard’s deflected shot which had Willy Cabellero beaten. The first half was very open with Sergio Aguero capitalising on a poor clearance from Thibault Courtois to make it even. Hazard scored his second 11 minutes from the spot after clumsy defending saw Fernandinho clearly trip Pedro.
The majority of City fans will be feeling they should have at least have received a point from this game with Vincent Kompany’s header hitting the bar and defensive partner John Stones missing from six yards with almost the last kick off the game. This result sends Chelsea 7 points clear of second placed rivals Tottenham. City occupy the last Champions League spot and are 4 points clear of Arsenal.
Leicester City 2-0 Sunderland
Craig Shakespeare’s dream start continues under the
Foxes as he becomes the first British Premier League manager to win their first five games. The controversial sacking of Claudio Ranieri has perhaps inspired Jamie Vardy to score six in the eight games since the Italian’s dismissal, including one past a poor Sunderland side.
The reigning champions looked below their recent best in the first periods of the game however, the current Foxes boss can do no wrong at the moment as his two substitutions, Marc Albrighton and Islam Slimani, proved to be a stroke of genius. Albrighton played a vital part in both goals, swinging in the cross for Slimani to head home and driving forward before giving the ball to the man inform Jamie Vardy for Leicester’s second. This win places Leicester 10th sitting 9 points from the relegation zone.
Bad to worse for Sunderland boss David Moyes as his side fail score for the sixth successive game. This result comes after the controversy following the Scot’s comments jokingly threatening a female BBC reporter saying that she may “get a slap.” Moyes’ team did not create enough good chances for top scorer Jermaine Defoe and never looked like scoring. Sunderland now sit eight points off safety with their Premier League status looking increasingly doomed and with Manchester United visiting the Stadium of Light next.
Swansea City 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham conjured an amazing comeback in Wales scoring 3 goals in the last 8 minutes of the game to snatch all three points from a desperate Swansea. The Swan’s had taken the lead through winger Wayne Routledge and managed to hold out for the next 70 minutes where it looked as if the Welsh side would take a huge step to avoiding relegation. However, Spur’s produced a sensational 10 minutes which turned the game on its head, midfield trio Alli, Son and Eriksen all struck to give the London side their 5th consecutive win putting the pressure on Chelsea not to slip up.
Swansea’s resilient defence was picked apart in the final 8 minutes which leaves fans questioning their ability to stay in England’s top flight division. The Swan’s find themselves in the relegation zone 3 points from safety, they will looking to take advantage of games against fellow stragglers West Ham and Sunderland in their remaining 8 games.
Manchester United 1-1 Everton
A extremely frustrating week to be a Manchester United fan after rescuing a point in the 94th minute following a goalless draw with West Brom on Saturday. Jose Mourinho’s men may be on a 20 game unbeaten run in the league yet still fail to find themselves inside the Champions League spots. This match looked to be more promising for United as Ibrahimovic, Herrera and Pogba all made a return to the squad however, they failed to make things tick as the Red Devils struggled to lift the tempo of their attacks all game. This opened the game up for Everton to counter with the likes of Belgian duo Lukaku and Mirallas.
The home team struggled to build any sort of tempo going forward this built a nervous atmosphere around Old Trafford.The away side invited Untied to attack them by retreating deep into their own half but Mourinho’s men failed to capitalise for long periods after striking the bar twice through Herrera and Pogba. United fans were up in arms after the linesman ruled Ibrahimovic’s goal offside, replay’s show it was an incredibly close call. It took the home side 93 minutes to break down Everton’s defence with reward after Ashley Williams throws himself in front of Luke Shaw’s tame, but goalbound, shot with the referee having no choice but to award a penalty and red card to the Welshman.
This result leaves United 4 points from their rivals Manchester City in fourth and Everton level on points with a struggling Arsenal side.
Watford 2-0 West Brom
Both teams have performed above expectations finding themselves in the top half of the league. After Saturday’s result could West Brom continue their form against Arsenal and Manchester United into their midweek clash with an uncertain Watford?
No they couldn’t, the combination of Niang and Deeney proved to be too much for the resolute Baggies defence with both on the score sheet. Surely the Hornet’s are safe from the drop only 3 points of the sacred 40 point mark which is the icon of Premier League safety. The January signings of Tom Cleverley and M’Baye Niang have had a positive impact on Watford’s performances adding workrate and flair to the fray. Watford managed to hold on for around half an hour with 10 men after centre-back Britos was sent off for a second yellow after bringing down Solomon Rondon.
It seems as if West Brom left all their defensive stability at Old Trafford after the London side out two past them with relative ease. However, this slip up does not derail their season as they sit in mid table with no fear of relegation and a slight glimmer of a European spot. The return of winger Matt Phillips should add the extra goal threat in upcoming games. The Baggies host Southampton next.
Burnley 2-0 Stoke
Burnley managed to end their win-less streak of seven games with a 1-0 win over fellow mid-table rivals. George Boyd’s 58th minute strike proved to be enough for the home side to snatch all three points as they look to confirm their Premier League safety. Sean Dyche’s men were not at their robust best as Stoke’s free-roaming Marko Arnautovic was played in behind and should have scored on both occasions.
This loss was following Mark Hughes’ decision to jump on the 3-4-3 formation bandwagon which has proved to be success for sides such as Chelsea and Everton. Stoke’s failure to score comes at no surprise as they have failed to score in their last five away games. However, this formation switch did produce a couple of promising pieces of play especially the new role of Arnautovic who could have won the game for Stoke had he applied better finishing.