Friday, 15 April 2016

Foxes Stay Clear While Reds Defeat Potters

After a break in writing due to technical issues, gameweek 33 saw some really close results and while eight sides hit two goals or more, six sides sealed a shut-out.

The weekend began with the early kick-off at Upton Park as West Ham United hosted Arsenal in a London derby between two sides in the mix for a top four spot. The Gunners made a superb start with Mesut Ozil opening the scoring on 17 minutes ahead of the lead being doubled on 35 minutes by Alexis Sanchez. The Hammers staged a stunning comeback as Andy Carroll struck twice either side of the half-time break to level at 2-2 before sealing his hat-trick for 3-2 just seven minutes after the restart.Arsenal salvaged a draw through as Laurent Koscielny fired in a 70th minute equaliser for 3-3. The result leaves the Gunners all but out of the title race while the Hammers remain fimly in the top four chase.

Rock bottom Aston Villa hosted Bournemouth at Villa Park knowing that a defeat coupled with a positive result for Norwich would see the Villans relegated for the first time in the League's history. A tight first half saw the Cherries break the deadlock late on through Steve Cook for 1-0. The lead was doubled midway through the second half as Josh King made it 2-0 on 74 minutes but Villa remained in the game and forced a frantic finale after Jordan Ayew's 85th minute strike. However, it proved to be sheer consolation as they slipped to yet another defeat.


Crystal Palace hosted Norwich City at Selhurst Park with both sides still not safe from the clutches of the drop zone.  The game proved to be tight one as just one goal was enough to claim all three points and with Villa needing the Canaries to lose in order to stave off relegation, they got their wish. The Eagles claimed the narrow win in the second half as Jason Puncheon opened his scoring account for the season in the 68th minute.

Southampton looked to stay in the hunt for Europe as they hosted a Newcastle United side at St Mary's looking to avoid relegation.. The Saints started superbly as Shane Long fired them ahead inside four minutes before Graziano Pelle doubled the lead in the 37th minute. Victor Wanyama wrapped up the win for the hosts just ten minutes after half-time for 3-0 but Newcastle did have the last say on the score as Andros Townsend made it 3-1 in the 66th minute.


Swansea City looked to edge closer to safety as they hosted Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium with the Blues hoping to boost their chances of a Europa spot. However, the hosts came out on top in a close game that was settled by just a single goal. Gylfi Sigurdsson sealed the three points for the Swans with the crucial strike in the 25th minute.

Watford hosted Everton at Vicarage Road with both sides looking to move closer to the top half with safety all but sealed for both sides. The game looked to be going into half-time with the sides goalless but a frantic double saw James McCarthy put the Toffees ahead before Jose Holebas levelled in added time for 1-1. The late first half flurry proved to be the last say on the score at the sides shared the points.



Manchester City looked to keep up their slim title hopes as they hosted West Bromwich Albion at the Etihad Stadium. The Baggies staged an early upset as Stephane Sessegnon fired them 1-0 ahead inside six minutes but the lead was soon cancelled out as Sergio Aguero converted from the penalty spot on 19 minutes. The points were sealed for the hosts just after the hour mark as Samir Nasri slotted in for 2-1 in the 66th minute.

Sunday's action began at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland hosted league leaders Leicester City hoping to cut the gap to Norwich in the bottom four. The sides played out not only a goalless first half but even first hour before Jamie Vardy fired the Foxes ahead on 67 minutes. The hosts came close to levelling but were condemned to a 2-0 defeat late on as Vardy struck for a second time.


Liverpool hoped to keep up their top four hopes as they hosted a Stoke City side at Anfield who had the same ambition in sitting just above the Reds ahead of the game. The hosts struck an early lead as Alberto Moreno fires in a superb opener in the eighth minute but the Potters drew level on 22 minutes with a strike from Bojan Krkic. Daniel Sturridge regained the lead for the Reds on 32 minutes before a superb brace from substitute Divock Origi in the 50th and 65th minutes wrapped up a comfortable 4-1 victory.

The final game of the weekend saw title hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur host European hopefuls Manchester United at White Hart Lane. The game was delayed by traffic congestion but in a close first hour, the sides remained level before a superb seven minute blitz by the hopes wrapped up a comfortable win. Dele All started the spree in the 70th minute before Toby Alderweireld's 74th minute effort was followed by Erik Lamela's 77th minute strike to seal a 3-0 triumph.


An addition to this post sees two further games as West Ham United hosted Manchester United on Wednesday night in the FA Cup sixth round replay. The sides battled in a goalless first half before United took the lead on 54 minutes via a clever strike from Marcus Rashford before Marouane Fellaini doubled the lead on 67 minutes. West Ham pulled one back through James Tomkins on 79 minutes but it proved to be just a consolation in a 2-1 defeat meaning the final cup game at Upton Park was sadly a defeat for the Hammers.

The Premier League also resumed on Wednesday night as Crystal Palace hosted Everton at Selhurst Park but the game turned out to have all the hallmarks of two mid-table sides as they shared the points in a 0-0 draw, the only notable piece of action saw James McCarthy dismissed in the 51st minute after two bookings.