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Premier League Round-Up: Gameweek 23

Arsenal dispatch Chelsea and Manchester United make it six out of six

AFC Bournemouth
2-0 West Ham:
If there’s one thing that’s always a certainty, it’s Callum
Wilson scoring against West Ham.  After
an uninspiring first half from both sides, he put Bournemouth ahead early into
the second.  Painful to admit it may be, there’s
no denying that it was a beautiful finish from the forward, who Chelsea have
expressed interest in over the last few weeks. 
West Ham had much more of the possession than Bournemouth, but what does
that matter when Andy Carroll is the man your hopes rest on to finish chances
off.  It was another hopeless performance
from him, but hopefully one West Ham fans won’t have to suffer through too much
more, as his contract is up in the summer. 
Eddie Howe’s side wrapped up all three points in added time through Josh
King.  Bournemouth’s win moves them onto
30 points, just one point behind West Ham, who drop to 10th


Fulham 1-2
Tottenham Hotspur:
With Patrick off sick as he still struggles to deal with
Tottenham’s looming injury crisis and elimination from the Champions League, I’m
going to do my best to ensure his neutral stance on all things Spurs is maintained.  Basically, Fernando Llorente is deeply
misunderstood.  His own goal was purely
there to make sure that Fulham weren’t completely humiliated.  Dele Alli’s equaliser was delicious, and no
one at all is concerned in any way that he might now be injured.  Mitrovic is a nasty player, and he better
watch himself if he’s ever around the Nouse office.  Harry Winks’ equaliser was deserved, and our
title challenge is back on.  Whatever
Chay Quinn’s Man United do, they’re no match for us.


Arsenal 2-0
Unai Emery and his side recorded a massive win over London rivals
Chelsea in Saturday’s evening kick-off. 
Although they began the season well, and went on a 22-match unbeaten
run, their Christmas period was not what they would have hoped, and last week
they were beaten by West Ham. 
Nevertheless, this performance was back to the sort of quality we
witnessed during that impressive run. 
Alexander Lacazette put them after a quarter of an hour, before Laurent
Koscielny’s lucky goal doubled the Gunners lead.  Aaron Ramsey was instrumental in Arsenal's
victory, and surely many of their fans will be gutted at his upcoming move to Juventus.  Maurizio Sarri was so angry at his Chelsea
sides performance that he chose to do the post-match press conference in
Italian, believing this was the only way he could truly convey how furious he
was.  Arsenal close the gap between them
and Chelsea to just three points.


Liverpool 4-3
Crystal Palace:
This is a fixture which has thrown up some classic
performances over the years – Liverpool bottling a 3-0 lead away at Selhurst
Park in 2014 and Crystal Palace ruining Steven Gerrard’s Anfield farewell to
name just a few.  Saturday’s fixture was
another cracker, with seven goals and a red card.  Andros Townsend put Palace in front towards
the end of the second-half, with many beginning to think they could pull of
another upset reminiscent of their victory over Manchester City in
December.  However, Liverpool proved why
they’re serious title contenders, as Roberto Firmino and Mohammed diveSalah put
them in front.  2019 World Footballer of
the Year James Tomkins got the Eagles level, but diveSalah and Sadio Mane put
them back ahead again.  Meyer’s first
goal for Palace in the 95th
minute turned out to be a mere
consolation, but it was a spirited effort from Hodgson’s men.


Wolves 4-3
Leicester City:
Before kick-off, this fixture looked to be a pretty dull pick
for the Saturday lunchtime tie, but it was anything but.  Jota put Wolves ahead after just four
minutes, and it was 2-0 after 12 thanks to Ryan Bennett.  However, Leicester came out fighting in the
second-half, and were level on 51 minutes. 
Demarai Gray got the first, whilst Conor Coady’s own goal put the Foxes
level.  More goals were to come, as Jota
grabbed his second of the game ten minutes later to put Wolves back in
front.  Wes Morgan was partly to blame
for handing the lead back to Wolves, but he redeemed himself with three minutes
to go as he put Leicester back on level-terms once again.  The travelling fans were delirious, and
convinced they’d earnt themselves a solid point away from home.  But, the game would provide once last twist
in the 94th
minute, as Jota got his hattrick and all three points
for Wolves.


Huddersfield Town
0-3 Manchester City:
Can we just relegate Huddersfield now? Fair enough, it
was Manchester City, but I don’t think Mark Hudson or whoever eventually gets
the job at the John Smith’s Stadium is going to get Huddersfield anywhere near
a position good enough to survive. 
City’s first had a bit of luck, as Danilo’s effort deflected off
Christopher Schindler.  However, their
second and third goals were vintage City (rapid and organised) and vintage
Huddersfield (sloppy, poor defending). 
Raheem Sterling headed in Sane’s cross, before Aguero assisted Sane two
minutes later.  Guardiola’s side keep up
the pressure on Liverpool, with the gap at four points.


Manchester United
2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s excellent run as
interim Manchester United manager continues. 
Before Saturday, no United manager had ever won their first six league
games.  Bravo, Sir.  Paul Pogba won a penalty midway through the
first half, which in his current form, he was only ever going to score.  Moments before the half time whistle was
blown, United were two up.  It was a
lovely goal from Marcus Rashford, who has now already amassed 150 appearances
for the Reds.  Brighton gave it a really
good go in a fixture they wouldn’t have expected to pick up points and gave
themselves a chance of defying the odds when Pascal Gross pulled one back.  However, it wouldn’t be enough, as United
held on for all three points to close the gap between them and fourth place to
just three points.


Newcastle United
3-0 Cardiff City:
The end of the world is coming.  Newcastle United have won a game.  Newcastle United have scored a goal from open
play.  In doing so, they’ve swapped
places with Cardiff, putting Neil Warnock’s side into 18th
and the
relegation zone, whilst the Magpies go clear of it by two points.  Fabian Schar, who wouldn’t have played had
Ciaran Clark been fit, was the hero of the day. 
His first goal was primarily down to some atrocious defending from
Cardiff, and his second was fairly straightforward.  Nevertheless, they all count, and at this
point I doubt Newcastle fans will mind whatsoever who scores the goals or how
they go in.  Ayoze Perez made it 3-0 in
the final moments of the second half.


Southampton 2-1
Ralph Hassenhutl’s side recorded another huge win as they moved
further away from the bottom three. 
Everton, meanwhile, perhaps aren’t experiencing the superstar
world-beater Marco Silva they thought they would.  Didn’t Big Sam have a better points per game
ratio? Woops.  Southampton were the
better side in the first half, but it took until early into the second for them
to get the lead.  It was worse the wait
though, as James Ward-Prowse’s goal was top class.  The Saints’ lead was doubled through a
hilarious own goal from Lucas Digne, perfectly placing it into the bottom
corner from 20 yards, just at the wrong end of the pitch.  Sigurdsson’s goal in added time did little to
satisfy Silva or the Everton fans.


Watford 0-0
Instantly forgettable.  Two
dull teams.  A dull Saturday
afternoon.  Two dull sets of fans.  The sad thing is some poor kids probably got
tickets to this for their Christmas presents. 
Watford stay seventh.  Burnley
drop to 16th
, three points above the relegation zone. 

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