Friday, 14 April 2017

Premier League Pre Easter Catch Up

The month of April began with the Merseyside derby as Liverpool hosted neighbours Everton at Anfield. The Reds took an early lead as Sadio ManĂ© slotted the opener on eight minutes. Everton hit back as debutant Matthew Pennington levelled on 29 minutes but the equality was short-lived as Philippe Coutinho restored the hosts' lead three minutes later. A second half strike from substitiute Divock Origi wrapped up a 3-1 win for Reds.

Tottenham Hotspur continued their title challenge with a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor. Eric Dier and Son Heung-Min sealed the points with strikes on 66 and 72 minutes.

Crystal Palace caused an upset as they stunned fellow Londoners and league leaders Chelsea with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge. A rapid opener from Cesc Fabregas five minutes saw Palace swiftly level through Wifried Zaha before Christian Benteke completed the comeback in the 11th minute.

Hull City boosted their battle against the drop with a 2-1 win over West Ham United. The Hammers took the lead with an Andy Carroll strike after 18 minutes before Andrew Robertson levelled on 53 minutes. The points went to the hosts as Andrea Ranocchia struck the winner on 85 minutes.

Leicester City's revival continued with a 2-0 win at home to Stoke City. The Foxes secured the points with Wilfrid Ndidi opening the scoring on 25 minutes before Jamie Vardy struck the second goal two minutes after half-time.

Manchester United missed the chance to close on the top four as they shared the points in a 0-0 with West Bromwich Albion.

Sunderland's hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a blow as they lost 1-0 away to Watford. The Hornets secured the points with a strike just before the hour mark from Miguel Britos.

The South Coast derby at St Mary's saw Southampton and Bournemouth share the points in a 0-0 draw.

Sunday's action began with Swansea City and Middlesbrough face off in a relegation six-pointer. The sides though had to share the points in a 0-0 stalemate.

A battle at the other end of the table saw Arsenal and Manchester City share the points in a 2-2 draw. An early opener for City saw Leroy Sane strike inside six minutes but the Gunners drew level with half-time approaching as Theo Walcott made it 1-1. City would go into the interval in front though after Sergio Aguero resotred the lead on 42 minutes. The Gunners hit back for a second time on 53 minutes as Shkodran Mustafi ensured the visitors were denied a win.

A full midweek programme opened on Tuesday night as Burnley secured a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Turf Moor. The Clarets claimed the three points thanks to George Boyd's 59th minute effort.

Leicester City piled further pressure on Sunderland at the bottom with a 2-0 win. Second half strikes from Islam Slimani (69) and Jamie Vardy (78) were enough to leave the visitors rooted to the bottom.

Watford moved into the top half after claiming a 2-0 win over high-flying West Bromwich Albion. The Hornets went ahead with a strike from M'Baye Niang on 13 minutes before Troy Deeney doubled the lead just after half-time. The Baggies hopes of a comeback were boosted by the dismissal of Miguel Britos on 65 minutes but they were unable to utilise the man advantage.

Manchester United made it two home draws in the space of a week as they salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw with Everton. The Toffees opened the scoring on 22 minutes with a clever strike from Phil Jagielka but there were to suffer a double blow late on as Ashley Williams was dismissed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic slotting in the resulting penalty.

Arsenal continued their top for hunt with a comfortable 3-0 win in a London derby against West Ham United. The sides played out a close run first half and the Hammers continued to keep their hosts out as the hour approached but Arsenal had other ideas as Mesut Ozil opened the scoring. The Gunners were 2-0 up ten minutes later as Theo Walcott struck and the gloss on the win came seven minutes from the end via an effort from Olivier Giroud.

A six goal thriller at the KCOM Stadium saw Hull City oust fellow strugglers Middlesbrough 4-2. A rapid opener from Alvaro Negredo gave Boro the lead but Lazar Markovic equalised for the hosts within eight minutes. A six minute double from Oumar Niasse and Abel Hernandez saw the hosts lead 3-1 but the visitors were to cut the gap just before the interval as Marten De Roon struck for 3-2. The win was sealed for the hosts with 70 minutes on the clock with a strike from Harry Maguire.

Crystal Palace remain on the fringes of the drop zone after a 3-1 defeat away a Southampton. The Saints fell behind to a 31st minute opener from Christian Benteke but went into the interval level after Nathan Redmond's late equaliser. The turnaround was completed in the last ten minutes as a two-minute double saw Maya Yoshida and James Ward-Prowse.

Swansea City remain in the drop zone after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. The Swans took the lead early on through Wayne Routledge's 11th minute strike and they looked on course for a welcome three points as the game entered the final minutes. Spurs staged the ultimate turnaround as Dele Alli levelled on 88 minutes before an added time double from Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen sealed the win.

Chelsea moved closer to the title as they dented Manchester City's title hopes with a 2-1 win. Eden Hazard put the Blues ahead inside 11 minutes only for Sergio Aguero levelled for the visitors on 26 minutes. The points were sealed before half-time for the hosts as Hazard struck his second goal in the 35th minute,

The final game of the programme saw Liverpool and Bournemouth share the points after a 2-2 draw at Anfield. A lapse in the Reds defence allowed Benik Afobe to fire the Cherries ahead inside eight minutes. Philippe Coutinho drew the hosts level just before half time before Divock Origi gave the hosts a 2-1 lead on the hour mark. The Cherries were not to face a long miserable return journey though as Joshua King struck three minutes from the end to salvage a point and dent the Reds title hopes.

Tottenham Hotspur cut the gap to leaders Chelsea with a comfortable 4-0 derby win over Watford. After a tight first half hour, Spurs took full control with three goals before half-time as Dele Alli and Eric Dier struck ahead of an effort from Son Heung-Min. Son wrapped up the rout with his second and Spurs' fourth goal in the 54th minute.

Manchester City boosted their top four hopes and dented Hull City's survival hopes with a 3-1 win. The hosts went ahead on 31 minutes after an Ahmed Elmohamady own goal. City doubled the lead just after the interval with a strike from Sergio Aguero and the points looked to be safe just after the hour as Fabian Delph made it 3-0. Hull would have the last say though as Andrea Ranocchia scored his second goal for the Tigers.

Middlesbrough remained in the drop zone after sharing the points in a 1-1 draw with Burnley.

Liverpool sit third in the table after coming from behind to secure a 2-1 win at Stoke City. The Potters went ahead just before half-time via a strike from Reds nemesis Jon Walters. A double change at the interval saw the Reds' Brazilian duo come on and they turned the game around with a goal apiece in a two minute period as Philippe Coutinho struck on 70 minutes to level at 1-1 before Roberto Firmino (72) sealed the win.

A mid table battle at The Hawthorns saw Southampton claim a narrow 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. The crucial strike came in the 25th minute as Jordy Clasie's effort saw the Saints cut the gap to their opponents to four points.

West Ham United moved clear of the drop zone after a 1-0 win over struggling Swansea City. The Hammers secured the points just before half-time with a strike from Cheikou Kouyate.

Chelsea continued their passage to the title with a 3-1 win away at Bournemouth. The Blues went ahead after an own goal from Adam Smith on 17 minutes before Eden Hazard doubled the lead three minutes later. Joshua King cut the gap for the Cherries just before half-time but it was only a consolation as Marcos Alonso wrapped up the win on 69 minutes.

Sunderland's woeful run continued as Manchester United got back to winning ways with a 3-0 victory at the Stadium of Light. Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the visitors ahead on the half hour mark before the hosts suffered blows either side of half-time with Seb Larsson dismissed in the 43rd minute before Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled United's lead within two minutes of the restart. The visitors wrapped up a comfortable win late on with a third goal via Marcus Rashford. 

Everton continued their push for a European spot with a 4-2 win over Leicester City. The Toffees made the perfect start with Tom Davies striking the opener in the first minute but the lead lasted just three minutes as Islam Slimani levelled for the Foxes. Marc Albrighton put the visitors ahead in the tenth minute but the hosts hit back through Romelu Lukaku (22) before Phil Jagielka made it two goals in a week for a 3-2 half-time lead. The points were sealed just before the hour mark as Lukaku struck his second.

Arsenal's top four hopes were dented by a 3-0 loss to London rivals Crystal Palace. The Eagles went ahead via Andros Townsend's 17th minute opener before a five minute double after the hour wrapped up the points. Yohan Cabaye made it 2-0 before Luka Milivojevic slotted in a penalty.