Friday, 13 January 2017

Blues End 2016 On Top As Reds Defeat City

Gameweek 19 marked the halfway point in the Premier League season and in doing so also was the final round of games in 2016. 

Friday night saw a four goal thriller as Hull City and Everton shared the points in a 2-2 draw.

The hosts raced into the lead with a sixth minute opener from Michael Dawson before gifting the Toffees a leveller on half-time with a David Marshall own goal. Robert Snodgrass restored the lead on 66 minutes but the hosts were denied the win by Ross Barkley's 84th minute equaliser.

Burnley ended the year on a high as they secured a 4-1 win over struggling Sunderland. A superb hat-trick from Andre Gray saw him strike in the 31st, 51st and 53rd minutes to secure the first ever Clarets hat-trick in the division. Ashley Barnes completed the rout with a 67th minute penalty.

Chelsea claimed a record 13th consecutive win as they defeated Stoke City 4-2.

Gary Cahill put the Blues ahead on 34 minutes before Bruno Martins Indi drew the Potters level just after the interval. Willian restored the lead for the hosts on 57 minutes before a leveller from Peter Crouch made it 2-2. An instant second from Willian made it 3-2 before Diego Costa confirmed the win five minutes from the end.

Leicester City ensured they would enter 2017 outside of the bottom three after claiming a 1-0 win over West Ham United. The crucial strike came on 20 minutes as Islam Slimani secured the three points.

Manchester United closed the gap to the top four with a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough. After Grant Leadbitter struck a 67th minute opener, the visitors were stung late on by a United double as Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba sealed the win with strikes in the 85th and 86th minutes,

Southampton completed a miserable December with a 2-1 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion. The Saints took the lead four minutes before half-time through Shane Long but were rapidly pegged back by a Matt Phillips leveller two minutes later. 

Hal Robson-Kanu completed the turnaround for the Baggies within five minutes of the restart and for the hosts, it only got worse with Virgil van Dijk dismissed late on.

Swansea City continued their torrid run with a 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth.

The Cherries took the lead on 25 minutes through Benik Afobe before Ryan Fraser doubled the lead just before the interval. The points were wrapped up by Josh King's 88th minute strike.

The final game of 2016 saw title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City face off at Anfield. 

The Reds came out on top and ensured they would enter 2017 with just Chelsea above them thanks to an eighth minute winner from Georginio Wijnaldum.

The first game of 2017 saw Watford hosting Tottenham Hotspur in a London derby that saw the Hornets lose 4-1.

A rapid brace from Harry Kane saw him open the scoring on 27 minutes before striking a second five minutes later. Dele Alli got in on the act with a brace either side of half-time for a 4-0 advantage that was dented late on by a strike from former Spur Younes Kaboul.

The second all-London battle of the day saw Arsenal host Crystal Palace with the Gunners winning 2-0,

Olivier Giroud put the hosts ahead after just 17 minutes with Alex Iwobi confirming the win with a 56th minute effort.