Friday, 9 December 2016

Chelsea Clear After Cherries Stun Reds

As the packed Xmas schedule grow near, game-week 14 of Premier League action saw a number of high scoring games with three sides scoring four or more which made it no surprise that there were only four shut-outs.

The weekend began with the meeting between title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea. The hosts were gifted the lead just before the interval as Gary Cahill hit into his own net for a 1-0 advantage that was cancelled out by Diego Costa on the hour.

Willian completed the comeback for the visitors before Eden Hazard sealed a 3-1 win. The game had a fiery end though as a tackle from Sergio Aguero on David Luiz saw the Argentine sent off before a brawl between the sides saw Fernandinho dismissed among many bookings.

Crystal Palace moved clear of the bottom three with a comfortable 3-0 win over Southampton.

The hosts went ahead after Saints 'keeper Fraser Forster gifted an opener to Christian Benteke. James Tomkins doubled the lead for the Eagles who would go onto score their third late on as Benteke rounded off a good performance with his second strike on 84 minutes.

Stoke City sit just inside the top half after securing a 2-0 victory against Burnley.

The Potters went ahead with 20 minutes on the clock as Jon Walters struck for 1-0 and the points were to be sealed by a 35th minute goal from Marc Muniesa.

Sunderland continued their stay off the bottom with a surprise 2-1 win at home to champions Leicester City.

The Foxes gifted their hosts the lead with 64 minutes played as former Black Cats defender Robert Huth hit into his own net before Jermain Defoe continued his superb scoring form with what proved to be the winning goal on 77 minutes. The visitors pulled one back just three minutes later as Shinji Okazaki made it 2-1 but it proved to be only a consolation.

Tottenham Hotspur closed the gap to the top four as they thrashed struggling Swansea City 5-0.

The Swans did well to hold off their hosts in the first half until a double blow saw Harry Kane open the scoring with a penalty before Son Heung-Min struck before the interval for 2-0.

Kane extended the lead within four minutes of the restart before a brace from Christian Eriksen completed the rout.

West Bromwich Albion hit the heights of seventh spot after claiming a 3-1 win at home to Watford.

Jonny Evans put the Baggies ahead after just 16 minutes with Chris Brunt doubling the lead before the interval. Christian Kabasele opened his account for the Hornets on the hour mark before their hopes of a late comeback were dealt a blow as Roberto Pereyra was dismissed on 84 minutes. Their misery was to be extended though as Matt Phillips struck late on.

West Ham United remain on the fringes of the drop zone after a 5-1 humbling by Arsenal in a Saturday evening London derby. An opener from Mesut Ozil on 24 minutes put the Gunners into a 1-0 lead but the match would not spring into action until the final 20 minutes as Alexis Sanchez struck twice in eight minutes for 3-0.

Andy Carroll pulled one back for the Hammers only to see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain instantly regain a three-goal advantage with Sanchez's hat-trick strike completing the rout.

Bournemouth prevented Liverpool from closing the gap to leaders Chelsea as they staged a huge comeback to win 4-3. The Reds raced into a 2-0 lead with two strikes in as as many minutes from Sadio Mane and Divock Origi. 

Callum Wilson cut the gap with a penalty on 55 minutes ahead of a stunning effort from Emre Can restored the visitors' two goal advantage. However, the Cherries staged a superb comeback with two goals in three minutes from Ryan Fraser and a superb Steve Cook effort to draw level at 3-3. The winning goal came as Reds 'keeper Loris Karius fumbled and allowed Nathan Ake to strike in added time.

Sunday's final game saw Everton and Manchester United share the points in a tight 1-1 draw. The visitors took the lead three minutes before the interval with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's striking.

However, it was a former Toffee who would dent United's lead as Marouane Fellaini conceded a penalty which Leighton Baines converted in the 89th minute.

Monday night saw the weekend rounded off as Middlesbrough secured a 1-0 win over Hull City. After a number of former players inadvertently aided their former side, Gaston Ramirez haunted his former side with the winning goal in the 61st minute.