Premier League Review – Gameweek 16

Norwich 1 – 1 Everton

The out of form Norwich produced an excellent display in the second half as they held Everton to yet another draw in the Premier League.

Romelu Lukaku managed to get on the end of a floating Gerard Deulofeu ball 15 minutes in to head in his 7th goal in the last six Premier League matches. This took his tally to 12 in the league this season, but he went on to spurn a host of chances as Everton looked to wrap up the game. Leighton Baines also hit the woodwork. But Norwich came out swinging in the second half, with Wes Hoolahan bundling in the equaliser just two minutes after the restart. The struggling hosts continued to press throughout the second half, but they couldn’t finish any of their chances off. A terrible finish by Cameron Jerome from six yards out pretty much summed up this entertaining game.

Norwich are pushed into the drop zone after Newcastle and Bournemouth picked up all three points, whilst Everton’s 3rd straight draw leaves them in 10th position.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S-NNg69aNE

Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Southampton

A first half strike from Yohann Cabaye saw Crystal Palace secure their first ever Premier League win over Southampton in an entertaining, if low scoring, match on Saturday.

Southampton came into this game hoping to avoid a 3rd straight defeat in the Premier League, but a close range finish from Yohann Cabaye proved enough come the final whistle. Southampton did have a few chances to equalise, with an injury time attempt by Shane Long coming closest. But Wayne Hennessey produces another outstanding save to wrap up the three points for Crystal Palace.

This win moves Crystal Palace level on points with 5th place Tottenham Hotspur as they extend their unbeaten run to three Premier League matches. Southampton’s 3rd successive league defeat sees them drop to 12th.

Manchester City 2 – 1 Swansea

An injury time winner for Manchester City saw them pick up a somewhat fortuitous win over the struggling Swansea.

Swansea’s caretaker manager Alan Curtis seems to have breathed some life into the struggling Swansea side, and they will really feel they deserved something from this game on Saturday. The visitors created the better chances throughout the game, and kept their chins up despite Wilfried Bony’s opener midway through the first half. Bafetimbi Gomis, who stepped up as Bony’s replacement following his departure from Swansea last season, managed to grab a late goal to level the scores. They fully deserved a point from this game, but it wasn’t to be as Yaya Toure’s shot deflected in off substitute Kelechi Iheanacho to give Manchester City an undeserved win.

This win sees Manchester City keep the pace with Leicester and Arsenal above them, and after Leicester’s win on Monday night they remain three points behind the leaders. Swansea have now won just one of their last 12 Premier League games and slip down to 16th following this defeat.

Sunderland 0 – 1 Watford

Watford scored an early goal against Premier League relegation candidates Sunderland to secure another win.

It took just four minutes for Watford’s in form striker Odion Ighalo to break through the meek Sunderland defence. Ighalo slid in to meet a low cross early on to divert the ball past Costel Pantilimon. Jose Jurado hit the post later in an otherwise uneventful first half. Sunderland found some form of response in the second half and dominated, but spurned chances from Jermain Defoe and Jack Rodwell allowed Watford to hang on for their 3rd successive Premier League win.

Sunderland are now two points from safety following wins for their relegation rivals Newcastle and Bournemouth, whereas Watford move up to an impressive 7th place.

West Ham 0 – 0 Stoke

Stoke couldn’t find the same attacking flair that they did last week as they played out a scrappy goalless draw with the out of form West Ham on Saturday.

West Ham came into this game having not won any of their last five matches, and they looked determined to end this streak as they enjoyed a flurry of goalmouth activity. But the excellent work of Jack Butland denied the hosts time after time. Stoke managed to beat Manchester City last weekend, but they couldn’t find the same sort of attacking flair against West Ham, with their best chance of the game seeing Marco van Ginkel shoot wide from close range. Stoke have now kept seven clean sheets in their last nine Premier League games.

West Ham’s 6th consecutive failure to win sees them drop to 8th in the Premier League table, whilst Stoke remain in 12th despite a spell of relatively good form.

Bournemouth 2 – 1 Manchester United

Bournemouth recorded a second famous victory in under a week as they beat an injury hit Manchester United on Saturday evening.

It didn’t take long for Bournemouth to find an opener as Junior Stanislas curled a corner into the box which baffled David De Gea and went in without a touch. Marouane Fellaini equalised 20 minutes later, but generally Manchester United failed to make a massive impact on the game. But former Manchester United striker Joshua King netted after the break to put Bournemouth back in front, and the visitors didn’t have it in them to reply. There were some tense moments in the final minutes, but Bournemouth managed to hold on and get a famous three points.

This takes Bournemouth up to 14th place, two positions above Chelsea whom they beat last weekend. Manchester United’s top four position was saved thanks to Spurs’ loss, but they are now six points adrift of Premier League leaders Leicester.

Aston Villa 0 – 2 Arsenal

Arsenal kept pace with top of the Premier League Leicester with a 2-0 win over sure fire relegation favourites Aston Villa.

A hugely impressive 3-0 victory at Olympiakos saw Arsenal qualify for the Champions League knockout stages, and they continued their good week with a comfortable win over the struggling Aston Villa. The away side dominated throughout the game and led through Olivier Giroud’s early penalty, his 4th goal for the week. Aaron Ramsey added a second to all but seal the victory as he finished off a lethal counter attacking move seven minutes before the break.

This defeat continued Aston Villa’s club record streak of 15 Premier League matches without a win, and they now find themselves eight points from safety and rock bottom of the table. Arsenal led the Premier League for a couple of days thanks to this victory, but now find themselves two points behind Leicester after their Monday night victory.

Liverpool 2 – 2 West Brom

A very late strike from Divock Origi saved Liverpool’s blushes as they came from behind to claim a point at home to West Brom on Sunday.

Liverpool started this game well and led through Jordan Henderson, who finished off an excellent passing move 20 minutes in. But a Simon Mignolet error nine minutes later allowed Craig Dawson a gift of a goal before Jonas Olsson put the visitors ahead 20 minutes from time. Divock Origi scored a deflected equaliser five minutes into injury time to salvage a point for Liverpool, and few could argue that they didn’t deserve it. The hosts had a huge 28 shots on goal and enjoyed 70% of possession, with the Baggies having just four shots.

This draw leaves Liverpool in 9th position, with five points and five places separating them from the top four. West Brom sit in 13th position with four fewer points than Liverpool.

Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 2 Newcastle

Relegation candidates Newcastle scored two late goals to come from behind against a lacklustre Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.

Spurs started the game the better of the two sides, with Rob Elliot twice denying Erik Lamela early on. Eric Dier made their dominance count when he nodded in a Christian Eriksen corner to put the hosts ahead. But Harry Kane and Danny Rose’s spurned opportunities were made to appear costly when Aleksandar Mitrovic stabbed home from close range to level the scored, and then substitute Ayoze Perez scored a winner in the 3rd minute of injury time to five Newcastle their 3rd win in five Premier League games.

This lifts Newcastle up to 15th in the table and above Premier League champions Chelsea. Spurs have now failed to win any of their last three matches, and missed the opportunity to move into the top four. They remain in 5th position, ahead to Crystal Palace on goal difference and three points behind Manchester United.

Leicester 2 – 1 Chelsea

Leicester maintained their position at the top of the Premier League with a deserved victory over current champions Chelsea in the Monday night fixture.

Chelsea managed to secure a spot in the Champions League knockout stages in midweek as they beat Porto, but they certainly didn’t look like champions as they slumped to a defeat against an impressive Leicester. Jamie Vardy scored his 15th Premier League goal of the campaign to open the scoring before half time, ending his one match goalscoring drought. Riyad Mahrez added a second with a brilliant curling shot just after the break, and despite Loic Remy pulling one back with 13 minutes remaining Leicester looked extremely comfortable.

Jose Mourinho blasted his players in the post match interview, claiming he feels betrayed and ashamed, as the pressure increases on him. Chelsea now lie just a point above the relegation zone, whilst Leicester return to the top of the table and maintain their two point advantage over Arsenal.

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