Monday, 26 October 2015

City Top After Derby Draw While Reds Held By Saints

Gameweek ten in the Premier League and after the high scoring of recent weeks, this set of games saw just two sides score three or more while six teams kept clean sheets. In a rare weekend with no early kick-off or Monday Night Football, the ten games took place in a split of five 3pm's, an evening game on Saturday, a Super Sunday treble and single 2pm kick-off.

After the recent departures of Advocaat (Sunderland) and Rodgers (Liverpool), a third manager was to leave the league this weekend but at the kick-off of Aston Villa's hosting of Swansea City at Villa Park, the thought was non-existent. In a game where the Ayew brothers faced off, Jordan got the first joy as he put Villa ahead on 62 minutes but Swansea levelled through Gylfi Sigurdsson just six minutes later.

After his brother had scored earlier, Andre got in on the act with the winning goal for Swansea in the 87th minute and it proved to be even more vital as the 2-1 defeat for Villa saw Tim Sherwood dismissed as manager less than 24 hours later.

Leicester's superb form continued as they hosted fellow high-fliers Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium and sealed a 1-0 victory courtesy of a 59th minute strike from Jamie Vardy who in scoring joined a select group of players to net in seven consecutive games.

Norwich City hosted West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road with both sides keen to move clear of the bottom three. The Baggies had the better luck as they sealed a 1-0 win courtesy of a 46th minute strike from Salomon Rondon.

Two other sides who were on the fringes of the bottom three faced off at the Britannia Stadium as Stoke City hosted Watford. The Hornets opened the scoring just before the interval with a first top-flight strike for Troy Deeney on 43 minutes.

Almen Abdi doubled the lead to 2-0 on 69 minutes which proved to be enough to secure the three points. 

When West Ham United and Chelsea were paired on the fixture list, the fact that the Hammers would go into the game higher placed in the table was a prediction of fantasy with Chelsea languishing in 15th as they visited Upton Park. The hosts made the better start of the two as they opened up a 1-0 lead inside 18 minutes through Mauro Zarate before Chelsea's half got even worse with the sending off of Nemanja Matic on 44 minutes.

However, the ten men were soon level as Gary Cahill equalised on 56 minutes but the extra man advantage paid off for the hosts as they secured a 2-1 win on 79 minutes with a strike from Andy Carroll.

The evening game saw Everton travel to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium with the Gunners looking to leapfrog Manchester City at the top. They made a good effort of doing so in the first half against the Toffees by scoring twice in as many minutes through Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny on 36 and 38 minutes. Everton responded just before the interval with a Ross Barkley shot deflecting in on 44 minutes for 2-1. The Gunners held the narrow lead until the end where Everton suffered a late blow with the sending off of Gareth Barry. 

Super Sunday kicked off with the Tyne-Wear derby at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland hosted fierce rivals Newcastle United looking to move off the bottom with a record breaking sixth win in a row against the Magpies. A tight first half sparked into action just before the interval as Fabrizio Coloccini was dismissed for impeding Steven Fletcher with Adam Johnson converting from the penalty spot for 1-0.

The hosts went further ahead just after the hour as Billy Jones tapped in n 65 minutes and the bragging rights were confirmed with four minutes to go as Fletcher fired in for 3-0.

The only game not televised on Sunday proved to be the highest scoring as Bournemouth hosted Tottenham at the Vitality Stadium with the sides sharing six goals. The Cherries made the perfect start with an opener from Matt Richie inside the first minute for 1-0. The visitors soon drew level as Harry Kane equalised with a ninth minute penalty but they then went ahead on 17 minutes as Moussa Dembele made it 2-1. Tottenham were in full control on 33 minutes as Eric Lamela struck to make it 3-1 leaving the hosts with a huge task to avoid defeat. Their task was made greater by Kane striking twice in five minutes either side of the hour mark to make it 5-1 as Spurs stormed to victory. 

The second derby of the day came from Old Trafford as Manchester United hosted city rivals Manchester City with both hoping to displace Arsenal at the top of the table. A tight game was expected and the whole 90 minutes proved to be just that as they shared the points in a 0-0 draw but one that meant City regained top spot.

The weekend came to an end with the Super Sunday trilogy culminating with Southampton's trip to face Liverpool at Anfield. Both sides have had mixed starts to the season so it was a surprise that the game was so tight and remained 0-0 well into the second half. However, the deadlock was broken by a superb header from Christian Benteke on 77 minutes but the Reds' joy was short lived as Sadio Mané equalised on 86 minutes for 1-1 before being sent off late on after a two rapid bookings as Liverpool drew for the seventh time in nine games.