Premier League Recap

The first Premier League games of 2019 have officially been played. The New Year started off with a bang, giving us 29 goals, referees wrote 34 players into the book and two were sent off.

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Everton v Leicester City

0-1

Everton manager Marco Silva said his Everton side were “too anxious” and “too nervous” as they fell to a fourth loss in five league games.

Jamie Vardy scored the only goal of an error-filled encounter, during which the Toffees rarely roused their supporters inside Goodison Park. His goal was one of very few highlights from the affair. Ricardo Pereira capitalized on Michael Keane‘s error to play in the England striker, who finished with an angling drive against fellow countryman, Jordan Pickford.

The hosts weren’t much of a force to reckoned with offensively, with Jonjoe Kenny‘s first-half shot off the bar being the closest they came to scoring.

The Toffees haven’t won in their past four home games and drop to 11th in the table, while the Foxes move above Wolves into seventh.

Up Next:

FA Cup

Everton v Lincoln City – Saturday, January 5th (10am)

Newport County v Leicester – Sunday, January 6th (11:30am)

Premier League

Everton v Bournemouth – Sunday, January 13th (9:15am)

Leicester v Southampton – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

 

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Arsenal v Fulham 

 4-1

Arsenal boss Unai Emery‘s decision to substitute goalscorer Alexandre Lacazette for Aaron Ramsey was met with a negative reaction from a large number of the home fans. They weren’t to worry though as the Welshman netted their third of the game to settle the affair.

On the back of suffering their heaviest defeat of the season last week when they lost 5-1 at Anfield, goals from Granit Xhaka, Lacazette, Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped secure just their second win in six games.

Xhaka put the hosts ahead after a good cross from Alex Iwobi, shortly after Ryan Sessegnon had missed two good chances for the visitors. Lacazette then doubled the lead when he finished off Sead Kolasinac‘s pull-back.

Kamara pulled one back for the visitors from close range, but Ramsey came on to score after Aubameyang had hit the post to put the game to bed. Aubameyang‘s deflected shot gave the Gunners their fourth and a well deserved three points.

Arsenal remain in 5th, just three points ahead of Manchester United and trailing fourth-placed Chelsea by the same margin.

Up Next:

FA Cup

Blackpool v Arsenal – Saturday, January 5th (12:30pm)

Fulham v Oldham Athletic – Sunday, January 6th (9am)

Premier League

West Ham v Arsenal – Saturday, January 12th (7:30am)

Burnley v Fulham – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

 

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Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur 

0-3

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said his side need to be consistent if they want to be title contenders after his side strolled to a 3-0 win at Cardiff, seeing them climb back up to second. That only lasted for 24hrs as they dropped back to third after Man City’s win against Liverpool.

Harry Kane bundled in a fortuitous opener after just three minutes. Spurs continued to bombard Cardiff’s flimsy defense when Christian Eriksen struck a fine ball into the bottom corner nine minutes later. Son Heung-min added their third in the 26th minute and, from that point, the untroubled visitors seemed to relax.

It took Cardiff until the second half to register their first on-target efforts. with the damage already done, they dropped to 17th in the table, just 2pts clear of the relegation zone.

On the other side of the ball, a sixth victory in seven league games narrows the gap between Spurs and leaders Liverpool to six points.


Up Next:

FA Cup

Gillingham v Cardiff – Saturday, January 5th (10am)

Tranmere Rovers v Spurs – Friday, January 4th (2:45pm)

League Cup – Semi-Final

Spurs v Chelsea – Tuesday, January 8th (3pm)

Premier League

Cardiff v Huddersfield – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

Spurs v Man United – Sunday, January 13th (11:30am)

 

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AFC Bournemouth v Watford

3-3

All six goals arrived in a frantic first half, four of them came in the space of six minutes. Watford captain Troy Deeney said “Sunday League” defending contributed to his team’s astonishing 3-3 draw.

The Cherries recovered from a two-goal deficit and then leveled things again after Ken Sema‘s strike to end the game 3-3.

Deeney‘s textbook header gave the Hornets the lead, he then scored his 117th goal for Watford as he lifted the ball over Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth hit back thanks to Ryan Fraser‘s free-kick deliveries. Nathan Ake headed home and Callum Wilson scored a looping header to bring the hosts level. Watford then regained their lead however 85 seconds later, with Sema finding the bottom corner from 20 yards out.

The advantage lasted just over a minute as Fraser steered a right-footed shot into the bottom corner after a Josh King dummy, to conclude an astonishing 13-minute spell that contained five of the six goals.

The draw sees Watford move to eight and Bournemouth remain 12th.


Up Next:

FA Cup

Bournemouth v Brighton – Saturday, January 5th (7:30am)

Woking v Watford – Sunday, January 6th (9am)

Premier League

Everton v Bournemouth – Sunday, January 13th (9:15am)

Palace v Watford – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

 

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Chelsea v Southampton 

0-0

Maurizio Sarri hinted at the need for a new striker after his Chelsea side failed to break down a reinspired Southampton at Stamford Bridge. The hosts had 72% possession but couldn’t find a way through a well-organized and disciplined Saints side.

The draw saw Southampton keep their first clean sheet in 11 Premier League games, but still found themselves back in the bottom three as Burnley moved into 18th with their 2-1 win at Huddersfield.

Eden Hazard had the Blues’ best chance of the game, but saw his well-hit shot saved by Angus Gunn, who was making his Premier League debut.

Morata and his teammates thought he’d scored when he found the back of the net midway through the second half, only to have it ruled out for offside.

Southampton offered just as little attacking force, with Oriol Romeu‘s shot easily saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The London side wanted a late penalty as Marcos Alonso went to ground under a Shane Long challenge, but referee Jonathan Moss wasn’t having any of it.

Chelsea remain fourth, just three points ahead of Arsenal and four behind third-placed Tottenham.

Up Next:

FA CUP

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest – Saturday, January 5th (10am)

Derby County v Southampton – Saturday, January 5th (10am)

League Cup – Semi-Final

Spurs v Chelsea – Tuesday, January 8th (3pm)

Premier League

Chelsea v Newcastle – Saturday, January 12th (12:30pm)

Leicester v Southampton – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

 

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Huddersfield Town v Burnley 

1-2 

Ashley Barnes scored the winner for the Clarets which moved them out of the relegation zone.

The hosts had taken the lead through Steve Mounie‘s header in the 33rd minute but conceded Chris Wood’s equalizer and had Christopher Schindler sent off just before halftime. Schindler had earlier been booked for a foul on Wood and was shown a second yellow for bringing down Dwight McNeil on the edge of the penalty box. The German protested after his dismissal, seemly unaware he’d received his first caution earlier in the game.

That left the Terriers playing for 50 minutes at a man disadvantage, succumbing to a record eighth successive league defeat which leaves them eight points from safety on 10pts from 21 games.

No team has ever stayed up with as few points after 21 games, but Huddersfield boss David Wagner says he’s excited to try and “do something that nobody has done before.”

The visitors also finished with 10 men after Robbie Brady received a straight red for a two-footed challenge in the 90th minute, thankfully for him the three points were already secured, seeing his team jump to 16th and two points clear of the bottom three.

Up Next:

FA Cup

Bristol City v Huddersfield – Saturday, January 5th (12:30pm)

Burnley v Barnsley – Saturday, January 5th (7:30am)

Premier League

Cardiff v Huddersfield – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

Burnley v Fulham – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

 

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West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion 

2-2

Wednesday’s draw left Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini “absolutely frustrated” despite Marko Arnautovic scoring a double to salvage a point against the Seagulls.

Brighton took a 2-0 lead within the space of two minutes, with their eighth and ninth goals from corners this season.

Arnautovic, who’s been linked with Chelsea, proved his value one again by turning the game around after a drab first half, which saw Andy Carroll make his first start in exactly 12 months.

Dale Stephens rifled the visitors ahead from the edge of the box, for his first league goal, before the visitors doubled their advantage when Shane Duffy cleverly poked the ball in at the back post.

Pellegrini made two substitutions, which unleashed their star striker as Mark Noble chipped a beauty to the Austrian who hammered home from close range. Two minutes later Michail Antonio cut the ball back for the 29-year-old to score his second of the game and seventh of the season.

There were additional chances for the hosts with Antonio and Declan Rice coming close, but the point moves West Ham into the top half of the table.

Up Next:

FA Cup

West Ham v Birmingham City – Saturday, January 5th (7:30am)

Bournemouth v Brighton – Saturday, January 5th (7:30am)

Premier League

West Ham v Arsenal – Saturday, January 12th (7:30am)

Brighton v Liverpool – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

 

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Wolverhampton Wanders v Crystal Palace

0-2

Palace struck two late goals to help them edge further away from the relegation zone, with a victory over Wolves at the Molineux.

Jordan Ayew put the visitors ahead with just seven minutes left, producing a beautiful touch to control Patrick van Aanholt‘s effort before converting from close range, it was his first goal for the club.

Luka Milivojevic once again scored from the penalty spot, coming deep in stoppage time after Wilfried Zaha was brought down by Ryan Bennett. 

The London based visitors dictated the play early with captain Milivojevic‘s effort from the edge of the box forced Rui Patricio into a fine save.

Raul Jimenez registered Wolves’ first meaningful attempt, before Matt Doherty missed the best chance of the first half, heading over in empty space from a corner.

Palace’s late show ensured they moved six points clear of the relegation zone, whilst Wolves conceded seventh place to Leicester.

Up Next:

FA Cup

Palace v Grimsby Town – Saturday, January 5th (12:30pm)

Wolves v Liverpool – Monday, January 7th (2:45pm)

Premier League

Palace v Watford – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

City v Wolves – Monday, January 14th (3pm)

 

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Newcastle United v Manchester United 

0-2

Ole Gunnar Solskjær became just the second manager in club history to win his first four league games in charge. The Norwegian emulates the feat of the great Sir Matt Busby in 1946.

Romelu Lukaku opened up the scoring with his first touch after coming off the bench. The Belgian had only been on the pitch for 38 seconds when he pounced on an error by Martin Dubravka, with the Slovakian keeper spilling Marcus Rashford‘s free-kick.

Rashford then doubled the lead after a sweeping move involving substitutes Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, handing the Magpies their eighth home defeat of the season.

Newcastle’s best chance fell to Ayoze Perez who got in behind the visiting defense, but Luke Shaw made a last-ditch tackle to stop the Spaniard.

United Goalkeeper David De Gea kept his first clean sheet under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjær. 

The hosts were lucky to finish the game with all 11 players after sub Jonjo Shelvey‘s reckless challenge from behind on Paul Pogba went unpunished.

The Red Devils remain 6th, just 3pts behind Arsenal. Meanwhile Newcastle sit 15th with 18pts from 21 games.

Up Next:

FA Cup

Newcastle v Blackburn Rovers – Saturday, January 5th (12:30pm)

Man United v Reading – Saturday, January 5th (7:30am)

Premier League

Chelsea v Newcastle – Saturday, January 12th (12:30pm)

Spurs v Man United – Sunday, January 13th (11:30am)

 

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Manchester City v Liverpool

2-1 

The hosts reignited the title race as they ended the Reds’ 20-game unbeaten start to the season to cut the deficit at the top to just four points.

City knew nothing but a win would do on a night riddled with tension that produced a very frantic meeting.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a rising near-post drive just before the break. It came after a wild sequence of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane hitting the post and John Stones scrambling the ball off the line after his attempted clearance struck keeper Ederson – goal-line technology showed the ball had failed to cross the line by just 1.12cm.

Leroy Sane produced the winner 18 minutes from time after connecting with Raheem Sterling‘s cross to fire past Liverpool keeper Alisson, after it seemed Roberto Firmino‘s header would maintain the visitor’s unbeaten run.

Both sides had chances in a frenetic few minutes, but it was City who claimed the crucial victory.

Up Next:

FA Cup

Man City v Rotherham United – Sunday, January 6th (9am)

Wolves v Liverpool – Monday, January 7th (2:45pm)

League Cup – Semi-Final

Man City v Burton Albion – Wednesday, January 9th (2:45pm)

Premier League

Man City v Wolves – Monday, January 14th (3pm)

Brighton v Liverpool – – Saturday, January 12th (10am)

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN

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