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:
Everton 4-2 Leicester City
Two of the leagues in form teams went head-to-head and it only took 30 seconds for the first piece of action. Midfielder Tom Davies managed to poke home past Kasper Schmeichel after a great run by Mirallas. This kicked Leicester into gear replying with 2 quick fire goals, the first being Slimani slotting through an onrushing Robles and the second a brilliant freekick from Albrighton catching the keeper off guard.
Lukaku continues to be immense when playing at Goodison scoring two goals either side of a powerful Phil Jagielka header from a corner. The Belgian’s first was made easy thanks to a fantastic cross by Ross Barkley who whipped the ball Beckham-esque onto Lukaku’s head, his second was a drilled in from the aftermath of Leicester failing to clear a corner. Everton host Burnley next whilst Leicester travel to Palace after their midweek encounter with Atletico Madrid.
Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal
This was perhaps the most shocking result of the gameweek with a struggling Palace side managing to dispatch Arsenal with ease. Arsene Wenger looked uncomfortable throughout the game becoming more irritable every time Palace had a set-piece which threatened his side’s goal. The home side took the lead through Townsend poking home after some great wing-play by Zaha. Monreal was given a torrid time by the Ivorian as he twisted and turned providing the pass for Cabaye to lob Martinez in the Arsenal goal.
Arsenal’s fate was sealed when some poor defending from Bellerin allowed Townsend to get goal-side where an onrushing Martinez took the winger down. The penalty was cleanly put away by Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic. This piles the pressure on Arsene Wenger as top 4 looks increasingly unlikely. Whereas Allardyce’s side have had a revival and look a different side to the one before January, they now lie 6 points clear of the drop zone. Arsenal are on the road again travelling north to face Middlesbrough. Palace host Leicester next.
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Watford
Tottenham continue their push for the title with an emphatic victory over Londoners Watford. Dele Alli set the tone with a delightful curved effort evading the full stretch Heurelho gomes to nestle in the top corner. Fellow Englishman Eric Dier joined him on the scoresheet after smashing home a loose ball on the edge of the Watford area. In Harry Kane’s absence Korean Son Hueng-Min took control by rifling in a left footed shot just inside the area, he then added his second of the game from by placing home a Trippier cross on the volley.
Spurs have not been affected by the absence of their star striker Kane as midfield trio Son, Eriksen and Alli have all popped up with goals. Watford’s performance started off quite promising with the pace and power of Niang, Success and Okaka putting the Spurs defence under pressure for the first period. However, they couldn’t made their pressure count and they soon paid for their missed opportunities. Spurs host Bournemouth next whereas Watford host a desperate Swansea side.
Sunderland 0-3 Manchester United
Any neutral predicting the score for this game would probably say: “It has 0-0 written all over it”, as both teams have found goals hard to come by in recent weeks. However, with the return of Ibrahimovic the goals were sure to start coming in and it took the Swede 30 minutes to break the deadlock with a powerful curling effort from the corner of the box. The biggest talking point of the match was Seb Larsson’s 43rd minute red card for a strong challenge on Ander Herrera. The Sunderland man went in studs up and over the ball however many complained that there was not enough malice in the tackle to warrant a straight red. This incident effectively sealed Sunderland’s fate in this game, if it didn’t Mhkitaryan’s goal 40 second’s into the second half surely did.
With Manchester United in cruise control much of the second half it was just a matter of time before there was a third goal. Wonderkid Marcus Rashford slotted home Ibrahimovic’s pass to score his first goal since September. Another dismal week for Sunderland fans as they watch their club slide down into the Championship for the second time in 11 years. They host West Ham next week. United host league leaders Chelsea after a midweek trip to face Anderlecht in the Europa League.]
Manchester City 3-1 Hull City
Manchester City’s four game winless run came to an end after managing to see off a rejuvenated Hull side under Marko Silva. The deadlock was broken by an Elmohamady own goal, the defender turned Jesus Navas’ low, drilled cross into his own net. Sterling then managed to evade multiple Hull challenged before squaring to Aguero to knock home City’s second goal. The third came from the forgotten man Fabian Delph as he had space on the edge of the area to power home and rule out any chance of a Hull comeback.
Defender Ranocchia pulled one back for the away side but it was a consolation goal as it was too little too late for Hull to savoir anything from this game. Marko Silva looks to continue his good work when Hull visit Stoke next week. Guardiola will be hoping Southampton won’t harm their Champions League spot ambitions.
Stoke 1-2 Liverpool
Before a ball had been kicked there was a shock, it was Liverpool’s team sheet. With Brazilian due Coutinho and Firmino both not making the starting eleven Liverpool’s side looked very bare in the attacking department. It was Stoke who took the lead through a Jon Walters header at the near posts. Liverpool failed to register a shot on target in the first half, this perhaps encouraged Klopp to look to his bench and call upon Firmino and Coutinho to rescue the game. Coutinho levelled with a first time shot before Brazilian strike partned Firmino smacked home a ball over the top to snatch all three points from Mark Hughes’ Stoke side.
Liverpool’s top 4 spot remains in tact and they look on course to secure a place in the Champions League Group Stage next year. Stoke’s season remains consistently inconsistent failing to put together any sort of form sees them slide down the table into 13th, below Burnley. Liverpool travel to a tough West Brom side whereas Stoke host Hull.
West Brom 0-1 Southampton
A fantastic strike by Jordy Clasie proved to be the difference between these two sides. The tenacious Dutchman was set up by Tadic on the edge of the box before smashing a piledriver into Ben Foster’s top corner. The Baggies have now failed to score in five of their last six games. Their continued efforts to find an equaliser were met by an inspired performance by Saints’ keeper Fraser Forster who made three standout saves to ensure they came away with the 3 points. This win pushes Southampton just 4 points behind The Baggies who are having a great season by their expectations.
They look to improve on their season when they host Liverpool. Southampton host a strong Manchester City side next.
West Ham United 1-0 Swansea
West Ham ended their recent bad run of form with a 1-0 victory over relegation battling Swansea. Cheikou Kouyate’s low powerful strike was enough for the London side to see off a Swansea side to face the prospect of being relegated. The Welsh team have lost 5 consecutive Premier League away games for the first time in their history, this comes as no surprise as striker Llorente has been absent for much for these games.
West Ham seemed to have escaped being drawn into the thick of a relegation battle as they sit 8 points clear of the relegation zone and with Everton, Spurs and Liverpool all to play this game had an extra importance. Swansea are now left in a desperate position being 3 points from safety with 6 games to play and with their form rapidly declining relegation is very much on the cards for the Welsh side. West Ham travel to a disjointed Sunderland next and Swansea travel to an inconsistent Watford were they must pick up three points.
Middlesbrough 0-0 Burnley
Middlesbrough’s season has been defined by their goalscoring from, or lack of it. They failed to score again against a Burnley side who are yet to win away this season. This was a golden chance missed for Boro to boost their survival hopes, however they just cannot seem to find the net. They came closest with a spectacular overhead kick from Negredo which produced a equally as brilliant save from Tom Heaton who has singlehandedly kept Burnley in games this season.
The final few periods of the game proved to be extremely frustrating for the home side as they saw Burnley defender Lowton make two goal line clearances to deny Boro snatching the three points. Middlesbrough host a Arsenal team lacking in confidence and Burnley travel to a free scoring Everton side.