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Premier League Round-Up: Gameweek 16

Liverpool go top after Manchester City slip up at Stamford Bridge

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West Ham 3-2 Crystal Palace: Nine goals in three games. A worldie from Felipe Anderson. Another goal for Chicharito. West Ham won yet again – it’s starting to become a bit tedious now. Crystal Palace thought they’d rattled Pellegrini’s men when James McCarthur gave the Eagles the lead, sneaking through to slide the ball past Fabianski. West Ham weren’t at the races in the first half, but more than made up for it in the second period. Robert Snodrgass got the Hammers on level terms almost immediately, with a beautiful finish into the top corner. Javier Hernandez had them in front just fifteen minutes later, only for Felipe Anderson to round the game off three minutes later with an utter peach of a strike. Picking the ball up on the edge of the area, he placed it to utter perfection in the top right corner. Wayne Hennessey? Pipe down. This was the first time West ham have won three top-flight games by scoring three or more goals since October 1982. 16 years before that, we won the World Cup. Crystal Palace will hope to pull away from the bottom three when they host Leicester next Saturday. West Ham face Fulham next Saturday evening, where they should (and will, obviously) make it four wins on the trot.

Leicester City 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Ahead of one of the biggest games of the season against Barcelona tonight, Spurs showed grit in grinding out what was an unimpressive win, a quality they have been greatly lacking this season. Moments before half-time, Heung-Min Son produced a moment of world class quality to gain the lead for Spurs, netting a 25 yard left-footed curler into the top left corner of the net. This was a lead which was deserved, despite the match being entirely uninspiring in the first half. The second half produced more of the same, Spurs holding on to the ball and refusing to take many risks, which had many fans worried of another collapse, but when Dele Alli scored his 50th Tottenham goal, in almost identical fashion to his very first Spurs goal away at Leicester and even in the same net, the Foxes’ fate was sealed and Spurs’ quietly impressive points tally grew a little larger. Flying under the radar yet again.

Everton 2-2 Watford: For many, myself included, this looked like a really poor pick for a Monday night game. Thankfully, however, it proved to a really exciting occasion. Richarlison got the opening goal against his old side, much to the delight of former Watford manager Marco Silva, who now of course manages Everton. However, Watford fought back and stunned Goodison Park with two goals in the space of two minutes midway through the second half. Seamus Coleman put the ball into his net after 63 minutes, and Abdoulaye Doucoure put the Hornets ahead to send their travelling faithful absolutely wild. They thought all three points were wrapped up, as well as a satisfying triumph over Silva. However, Lucas Digne’s free-kick in the dying moments meant the points were shared here. Everton face a tough trip to the Etihad on Saturday, whilst Watford will be looking to get out of their rot when they host Cardiff.

Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield Town: Hilariously, and not unsurprisingly, Arsenal proved themselves as a bunch of Prima donna frauds as they limped past Huddersfield at home with a Lucas Torreira bicycle kick, which will only add fuel to the Gunners’ delusion that he is anything more than a Poundland Darren Fletcher. The primary talking point of this game was that Arsenal set a new Premier League record for the most players booked for diving in a single game, setting the bar at three. Granit ‘I Score the Odd Flukey Screamer But Am Actually Really Rubbish’ Xhaka, Matteo ‘Sideshow Bob’ Guendouzi and Shkodran ‘Poor Man’s Mertesacker’ Mustafi were all shown yellow cards for diving, just a week after the entirety of South London (that’s where the club is from, learn your history) were crying injustice over Heung-Min Son winning an unjust penalty against them. Dry your tears you frauds and get back to pretending you’re actually any good, you won your cup final luckily but now you’re cheating your way past relegation fodder – business as usual.

Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City: Manchester City lost both their unbeaten record and their position at the top of the table on Saturday evening, as Chelsea bounced back from two consecutive defeats. Last season’s champions dominated the first-half but would pay the price for not converting the chances they had. N’Golo Kante put Chelsea in front on the stroke of half-time, powerfully shooting past Ederson after Hazard’s perfectly timed pass. Maybe we’re now starting to see why Maurizio Sarri changed the Frenchman’s position in the Chelsea XI. City continued to come at Chelsea in the second-half, but couldn’t find a way past Arrizabalaga, who had another impressive performance. The home side all but wrapped up the three points twelve minutes from time through David Luiz’s header.
Given that Liverpool continued their unbeaten run and beat Bournemouth, City drop down to second on 41 points. Guardiola’s men are five points clear of Spurs in third and seven clear of Chelsea in fourth. Perhaps, there’s more than two teams in this title-race now…
Both sides face European adventures midweek; Manchester City host Hoffenheim in the Champions League, whilst Chelsea travel to Budapest to face Mol Vidi.

Bournemouth 0-4 Liverpool: Liverpool are still riding the wave. They faced a weaker Bournemouth than we have been used to this season, without striker Callum Wilson due to an injury, much to the annoyance of Fantasy Premier League manager everywhere. Mohammed Salah scored yet another tap-in on 25 minutes to set Liverpool on their way to the win, adding two more to his tally later on in the game with two other average goals, which of course were overly lauded by the press all over, as is everything the red half of Liverpool do. A bizarre Steve Cook own goal was their third of the afternoon, which topped off another lucky afternoon for a distinctly average side who seem to be fluking their way to the top of the league. Gross club from top to bottom and a bad afternoon for the level-headed neutral, topped off by Salah pretending to be humble yet again and giving James Milner his man of the match brick, safe in the knowledge he was officially credited the award anyway.

Manchester United 4-0 Fulham: This was United’s biggest league win of the season, which must have acted as a bit of a sweetener in a season that has been plagued by dogmatic, boring football for the United faithful. Ashley Young, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku (yes, really) were the scoring ensemble who blew away a still struggling Fulham side who are falling further behind at the foot of the table. Zambo Anguissa’s red card on 68 minutes didn’t help their cause, especially as it killed any possible momentum generated by Aboubakar Kamara’s penalty moments before. United now sit in the top six after what will feel like an eternity to the giant club, but still sit eight points behind fourth and fifth placed Chelsea and Arsenal. As Jose Mourinho said in the week, finishing in the top four would be a ‘miracle’ for Manchester United.

Newcastle 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Newcastle thought they’d picked up another crucial point yesterday (Sunday), only to be stunned by a last-minute winner from Matt Doherty. Diego Jota gave the visitors the lead after 17 minutes, only for Ayoze Perez to get Newcastle back on level terms six minutes later with a delightful header. Both sides had good chances to score again before the end of the first 45 minutes, but neither was clinical enough. The main talking point of the game since its conclusion has been Deandre Yedlin’s sending off after 57 minutes. The American took down Diego Jota by pulling on his shirt, and there is much debate as to whether Jamal Lascelles would’ve got back in time to help the Newcastle defence. Therefore, Mike Dean dismissed Yedlin on the basis he denied Jota a clear goal scoring opportunity. Controversial as this may be, many pundits have supported Mike Dean, saying he is merely sticking to the letter of the law. The home side thought they’d held on for a point, but Matt Doherty stunned St James’ Park with his winner. Diego Jota’s shot wasn’t quite enough, but the Wolves captain was on hand to head the ball home and take all three points back to the Midlands. They host Huddersfield next Saturday, whilst Newcastle visit fellow strugglers Huddersfield, desperate for a win.

Cardiff City 1-0 Southampton: Ralph Hassenhuttl’s first game in charge of Southampton didn’t end the way he and Saints fans would’ve liked, but there still some positives to take from it. The only goal of the game came with 15 minutes to go through Callum Paterson. Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard took far too long after receiving a pass from Victor Camarasa, allowing Paterson to steal the ball and score past McCarthy. Hassenhuttl’s side had a vast majority of the possession but had just one shot on target. They’re now without a win in 14 games, their longest winless run since 1989. Cardiff move up to 14th position and are now four points clear of the drop zone. Southampton, meanwhile, have dropped to 19th, three points off safety. Matters aren’t going to get easier for the Saints, who host Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. Cardiff visit Watford, where a win could put them seven points clear of the relegation zone, where many expected them to be for most of the season.

Burnley 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: Burnley stopped the rot in what continues to be an underwhelming season for the Clarets. Before the game they languished in 19th, an unfamiliar low for a team that were in the Europa League this very same season. James Tarkowski netted with his chest, an unorthodox method of scoring, which proved to be the winner in what was a hard-fought win that saw them claw out of the bottom three and into 17th.

 


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