Saturday, 14 January 2017

Blues Top Despite Defeat While Sunderland Deny Reds

Completing a bumper festive and new year schedule was gameweek 20 which was the last round before the hallowed FA Cup third round.

The round opened with Middlesbrough hosting champions Leicester City at the Riverside Stadium.

The sides shared the points in a 0-0 draw which saw the hosts avoid a potential drop into the bottom three.

Everton moved up to seventh with a comfortable 3-0 win over Southampton.

The Toffees struck three times in the final 18 minutes with Enner Valencia opening the scoring on 73 minutes ahead of a penalty from Leighton Baines. The gloss on the win came as Romelu Lukaku struck in the 89th minute.

Manchester City moved into the top four with a 2-1 win over Burnley. The hosts were dealt a blow on 31 minutes with the dismissal of Fernandinho but shrugged it off to lead 2-0 just after the hour mark, 

An opener from Gael Clichy was followed by Sergio Aguero's 63rd minute effort. Ben Mee pulled one back for the Clarets just seven minutes later but it was to be just a consolation.

Liverpool narrowly cut the gap to leaders Chelsea after Sunderland denied them a win in a 2-2 draw.

The Reds opened the scoring through Daniel Sturridge on 20 minutes before being pegged back within five minutes by a Jermain Defoe penalty. Sadio Mane looked to have given his side a parting gift ahead of leaving for the AFCON as he made it 2-1 on 71 minutes but he went from hero to villain as he conceded an 84th minute penalty which Defoe converted to salvage a point. 

West Bromwich Albion continued their good run of form with a 3-1 win over struggling Hull City.

The visitors opened the scoring through Robert Snodgrass on 20 minutes before being pegged back by Chris Brunt's leveller five minutes after half-time. Gareth McAuley gave the Baggies the lead just after the hour with James Morrison wrapping up the win in the 73rd minute. 

Manchester United continued their winning streak with a 2-0 win over struggling West Ham United.

The Hammers suffered an early blow as Sofiane Feghouli was sent off after 15 minutes (has been rescinded after appeal). However, the ten men did well to hold off the visitors until after the hour mark when Juan Mata struck an opener which was followed by an effort from Zlatan Ibrahimovic on 78 minutes.

Arsenal staged a stunning comeback to deny Bournemouth a win in a 3-3 draw. 

The Cherries raced into a 2-0 advantage with strikes from Charlie Daniels and Callum Wilson inside 20 minutes. Ryan Fraser put the hosts three goals to the good just before the hour mark before a superb fightback from the Gunners saw Alexis Sanchez and Lucas Perez make it 3-2. 

Simon Francis was dismissed for the hosts and the blow seemed to inspire the visitors as Olivier Giroud struck in added time to claim a point. 

Swansea City moved off bottom spot with a much needed win as they defeated Crystal Palace 2-1. 

The Swans opened the scoring with four minutes left of the first half through Andy Mawson and looked to be on course for the points as the game entered the final ten minutes but were pegged back by an equaliser from Wilfried Zaha on 83 minutes. The visitors did secure the win though with a late strike from Angel Rangel.

Stoke City closed the gap to the top half with a 2-0 win over Watford. 

The Potters took the lead just before the interval with a strike from Ryan Shawcross with Peter Crouch's effort four minutes after half-time enough to secure the win. 

Chelsea saw their record winning streak end at 13 after a 2-0 defeat to city rivals Tottenham Hotspur. 

Spurs secured the points with a superb headed braced from Dele Alli with the midfielder opening the scoring just before the interval before adding a second in the 53rd minute.