Premier League Recap

Week 17 of the Barclay’s Premier League saw Liverpool host rivals Manchester United. It also gave us 28 goals and 26 bookings.

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Manchester City v Everton 

3-1 

Gabriel Jesus says his mother’s arrival in England has helped improved his confidence as he ended his Premier League goal drought to help City return to the top of the table for 24hrs. Jesus had not scored a league goal since August, a run of 11 games and 487 minutes, but netted twice before Raheem Sterling secured the 3pts with City’s third of the afternoon.

Yerry Mina‘s misplaced pass led to the opening goal, allowing Ilkay Gundogan to find Leroy Sane in space, who sent Jesus springing into the area to score with a low finish. The Brazilian scored his second just 28 minutes later, Sane played provider once again, with Jesus meeting his precise cross to fire home an unstoppable header.

The hosts looked in complete control but Everton gave themselves hope just after the hour mark when Dominic Calvert Lewin scored from Lucas Digne‘s cross. The visitors were briefly back in the game, though not for long, with substitute Sterling  – a week after suffering alleged racial abuse at Chelsea – heading in Fernandhino‘s cross four minutes later with his first touch of the game.

 

Up Next:

League Cup – Quarter-Final

Leicester v City – Tuesday, December 18th (2:45pm)

Premier League 

City v Palace – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

Everton v Spurs – Sunday, December 23rd (11am)

 

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Crystal Palace v Leicester City 

1-0 

Palace secured their first league victory without Wilfried Zaha in over two years thanks to captain Luka Milivojevic‘s wonder strike in a scrappy win against Leicester.

Both sides struggled to create chances in a dull first half until the midfielder beat Foxes goalie Kasper Schmeichel from 25 yards out with a powerful, curving shot.

Jamie Vardy saw a goal disallowed earlier for a foul on Vincent Guaita as the forward caught the keeper, making his league debut, dawdling on the ball. After the break Guaita made a brilliant save to deny the England striker – flicking the ball onto the inside of the post and claiming the rebound. That was as close as the Foxes came, with Demarai Gray and Rachid Ghezzal both seeing their efforts go inches wide.

The hosts failed to exploit the openings they found but held firm under pressure in the closing stages to claim what could be a vital win and move five points clear of the relegation zone.

Up Next:

League Cup – Quarter-Final 

Leicester v City – Tuesday, December 18th (2:45pm)

Premier League

City v Palace – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

Chelsea v Leicester – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

 

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Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United

0-1 

Terries manager David Wagner said his side “has to believe” after the Magpies inflicted a fourth consecutive league defeat on the hosts.

Against the run of play Salomon Rondon struck the only goal of the game after 55 minutes to send Newcastle 6pts clear of the Yorkshire side – and the relegation zone. Up to that point Huddersfield had dominated the contest and both Philip Billing and Chris Lowe spurned notable opportunities on a frustrating afternoon. Despite the relentless pressure, the visitors held on to record their fourth win of the season.

Huddersfield drop to 19th after Southampton’s win and have now lost nine of their last 13 games in the league.

Up Next: 

Huddersfield v Southampton – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

Newcastle v Fulham – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

 

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Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley 

1-0 

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said it was important to follow up their dramatic Champions League knockout stage qualification with victory over Burnley in the Premier League.

The Lilywhites needed Luca Moura‘s 85th minute equalizer at Barcelona on Tuesday to earn them a spot in the Final 16, another late strike on Saturday meant they keep pressure on the top two in the League. This time it was Christian Eriksen who came to the rescue, slamming a 91st minute shot past Joe Hart.

Until that point it looked as if the Clarets would come away with a well deserved point following a fantastic defensive display. They limited Spurs to a handful of clear-cut chances, with Moura and Son Heung-min both coming close, while Hart produced a stunning save to deny Erik Lamela.

The victory keeps Spurs in 3rd on 39pts, within six of Liverpool. Meanwhile Burnley drop to 18th with just 12pts, two above the relegation zone.

Up Next:

League Cup – Quarter-Final 

Arsenal v Spurs – Wednesday, December 19th (2:45pm)

Premier League

Everton v Spurs – Sunday, December 23rd (11am)

Arsenal v Burnley – Saturday, December 22nd (7:30am)

 

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Watford v Cardiff City

3-2 

Hornets manager Javi Garcia said his side had been taught a “good lesson” after they held off a late Cardiff comeback to seal their first league victory since October.

Three outstanding goals from Gerard DeulofeuJose Holebas and Domingos Quinas saw Watford cruise to a comfortable lead, with their opponents ultimately proving no match for the Hornets for much of the game.

With 10 minutes remaining, Junior Hoilett pulled back what seemed to be a consolation goal before Bobby Reid added a second to give the Welsh side a sniff of an unlikely point. Neil Warnock’s side would have been dead and buried early on had it not been for the acrobatics of goalie Neil Etheridge, who produced a string of stunning saves either side of the break to keep his side in the game, which marked the first top-flight meeting between the two teams.

 

Up Next:

West Ham v Watford – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

Cardiff v Man Utd – Saturday, December 22nd (12:30pm)

 

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Wolverhampton Wanders v AFC Bournemouth 

2-0 

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said his side must show “big character” after their sixth defeat in their last seven saw Wolves climb above them into seventh.

The opener came against the run of play, Raul Jimenez got his fifth of the season after turning in Diogo Jota‘s deflected shot after a bad error by Charlie DanielsJota then picked up an injury and was replaced at the break by Helder Costa, who should have doubled the host’s lead but fired wide with only Asmir Begovic to beat.

Cherries’ top scorer Callum Wilson returned from injury shortly after as a sub, but it was Junior Stanislas who almost found the equalizer with his free-kick rattling the crossbar.

Howe’s side dominated possession with much of the game played in Wolves’ half, but they failed to find a way past a solid defense. They were punished on the counter as they threw everything forward in injury time, with substitute Ivan Cavaleiro finishing cooly in an easy one-on-one set up by Costa‘s pass from the halfway line.

Wolves are now just a point behind Man United, while Bournemouth slip to 11th.

 

Up Next:

League Cup – Quarter-Final

Chelsea v Bournemouth – Wednesday, December 19th (2:45pm)

Premier League

Wolves v Liverpool – Friday, December 21st (3pm)

Bournemouth v Brighton – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

 

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Fulham v West Ham United 

0-2 

The Hammers earned their fourth successive Premier League victory for the first time in almost five years to keep Fulham bottom of the table.

The Cottagers haven’t kept a clean sheet all season and wasted several chances in the first half whilst falling asleep defensively, allowing West Ham to take the lead with their first two shots.

Robert Snodgrass pulled the visitors into the lead from Felipe Anderson‘s cross before Michail Antonio was left unmarked to double the visitor’s advantage. Anderson himself almost score late on with the second half’s only shot on target, but saw his effort saved by Sergio Rico.

Fulham have only won once since Claudio Ranieri took charge.

 

Up Next:

Newcastle v Fulham – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

West Ham v Watford – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

 

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Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea 

1-2 

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says there’s more to come from Eden Hazard after the Belgian masterminded Chelsea’s victory at the Amex Stadium. He scored the second of the game and assisted the first. The 27-year-old set up the opener with a wonderful pass across the face of goal for Pedro to tap in after 17 minutes.

Willian then pounced on a loose pass from Leon Balogun and played in Hazard, who ran the ball from just over the halfway line and slotted it past Mat Ryan. It was his eighth goal of season, breaking his eight-game drought, he also has nine assists – the most in Europe’s top five leagues.

The hosts barely threatened for the first hour. But they improved following Glenn Murray‘s substitution for Romanian striker Florin Andone, pulling a goal back in the 66th minute. Bernardo headed a cross back across goal and Solly March was unopposed as he hooked his attempt past Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Seagulls fans felt as though Marcos Alonso should have been sent off as the last man after fouling March late on, but the Spaniard was only shown a yellow.

The visitors withstood Brighton’s late attacks to record their first win in three away matches and stay fourth in the league, 2pts behind Spurs, whilst the hosts remain in 13th.

 

Up Next:

League Cup – Quarter-Final

Chelsea v Bournemouth – Wednesday, December 19th (245pm)

Premier League

Bournemouth v Brighton – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

Chelsea v Leicester – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

 

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Southampton v Arsenal

3-2 

Arsenal manager Unai Emery received an apology from Southampton counterpart Ralph Hasenhuttl, who forgot to shake hands amid the emotion of a late victory on his home debut.

The Saints ended the Gunners’ 22-match unbeaten run and won their first home league game since April thanks to a Charlie Austin header in the 85th minute. Hasenhuttl ran onto the pitch to celebrate with his players upon the final whistle.

In a to-and-fro encounter, the hosts took the lead 20 minutes in after Danny Ings muscled home a header from Matt Targett‘s cross. Henrikh Mkhitaryan nodded one in shortly after for the visitors, following great work form Alex Iwobi and Nacho Monreal. Ings struck again just before the break  after a precise Nathan Redmond cross to give his team the lead once more.

The Gunners turned the screw in the second half and restored parity as Mkhitaryan‘s shot deflected in off Jannik Vestergaard. Arsenal had their chances with Alex McCarthy impressing in the home goal, but the south coast side were too dangerous on the break and Shane Long had a goal rightfully ruled offside before providing the teasing cross for Austin‘s winner.

The victory lifts Southampton out of the relgation zone and up to 17th. Whilst Arsenal are 3pts off the top four thanks to rivals Chelsea winning away.

 


Up Next:

Huddersfield v Southampton – Saturday, December 22nd (10am)

Arsenal v Burnley – Saturday, December 22nd (7:30am)

 

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Liverpool v Manchester United 

3-1 

Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to inspire Liverpool’s victory over a lackluster Man United side to take them back to the top of the Premier League. They needed to win after Man City beat Everton on Saturday, and it was the substitute’s rapid-fire double strike in the second half that secured the fully deserved 3pts.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring with a 24th minute volley from Fabinho‘s perfect delivery, only for a dreadful error by goalie Alisson handed United an unlikely lifeline before the break when he fumbled Romelu Luaku‘s cross into the path of Jesse Lingard, who turned 26 yesterday.

The Red Devils hardly offered an attacking threat but were frustrating the hosts until Jurgen Klopp introduced Shaqiri with less than 20 minutes left, with devastating effect. There was an element of luck around both of the Swiss international’s goals, one deflected in from close range and the other off Eric Bailly to beat David De Gea, though one cannot begrudge Liverpool their victory against a desperately ordinary United side.

Meanwhile in the ongoing soap opera that is Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba‘s relationship, the World Cup Winner remained an unused sub on the United bench, with the Portuguese opting instead to bring on Belgian Marouane Fellaini after the break with his side short of inspiration.


Up Next:

Wolves v Liverpool – Friday, December 21st (3pm)

Cardiff v Man Utd – Saturday, December 22nd (12:30pm)

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN

 

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