Premier League Recap

The Premier League fixtures this weekend were full of entertainment, goals (23) and bookings (30 yellows).

 

Saturday

 

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Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United 

1-0

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino likened Son Heung-min to a battery, referring to his energy levels after his late strike beat Newcastle and moved them up to second in the Premier League, if only for 24 hours.

The South Korean took advantage of an error by Martin Dubravka with seven minutes left as his powerful 20-yard attempt went under the keeper’s body and in.

To Newcastle’s credit they were well organized and gritty throughout. Fabian Schar made an acrobatic goal line clearance to deny Christian Eriksen in the second half.

Rafael Benitez‘s side had chances of their own, Salomon Rondon headed against the post, but their resistance was shattered when Fernando Llorente played the ball to Son, who scored his ninth goal in his last 10 games for Spurs.

The victory sees the hosts set a Premier League record – they reached 29 matches in a row without a draw, eclipsing Bolton Wanderers mark of 28 set in 2011.

 

Up Next:

Spurs v Leicester – Sunday, February 10th (8:30am

Wolves v Newcastle – Monday, February 11th (3pm

 

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Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford 

0-0

Watford manager Javi Garcia told media that goalkeeper Ben Foster produced a “special performance” after preventing the Seagulls from claiming their first league win of 2019.

The former Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion netminder pulled off a string of impressive saves in their goalless draw. Garcia added that the 36-year-old is a “very important player for us”.

In an uninspiring first half the veteran kept out the only attempt on target the he pawed Jurgen Locadia‘s header to safety.

Brighton improved after the break but they had to wait until the 79th mine to register a shot on target with Locadia directing another header Foster‘s way. The goalie pulled out another good save to tip the ball behind for a corner, before scrambling an overhead effort by Shane Duffy off his own line from a set-piece, to earn a valuable point for the visitors.

Brighton remain 13th and Watford move above Everton, who lost to Wolves, into eighth.

 

Up Next: 

FA Cup

West Brom v Brighton – Wednesday, February 6th (3:05pm

Premier League 

Brighton v Burnley – Saturday, February 9th (12:30pm)

Watford v Everton – Saturday, February 9th (10am

 

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Burnley v Southampton 

1-1

Although Ashley Barnes‘ spot-kick deep into stoppage-time salvaged a point for Burnley, manager Sean Dyche and his team were convinced they should have been awarded a penalty in the first half when it appeared Barnes was brought down by Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, however, referee Anthony Taylor booked the 29-year-old for simulation, leaving Dyche “baffled” by the decision.

Nathan Redmond had given the visitors a 1-0 lead early in the second half after picking up Jan Bednarek‘s pass and firing a low shot into the bottom corner from about 20 yards out.

Barnes struck the crossbar late in the second half but made no mistake from the spot 10 minutes later, after Peter Crouch pressured Jack Stephens, who then handled the ball in the box.

The two teams sit on 24 points, just 2pts above the relegation zone following Cardiff’s win over Bournemouth.

 

Up Next:

Brighton v Burnley – Saturday, February 9th (12:30pm)

Southampton v Cardiff – Saturday, February 9th (10am)

 

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Chelsea v Huddersfield Town 

5-0 

Loan signing Gonzalo Higuain scored twice on his Chelsea debut, after signing on until the end of the season from Serie A champions Juventus during the January transfer window.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri believes the Argentinian and Eden Hazard are “suitable” to play with each other, with the pair both striking twice in Chelsea’s dominant victory of struggling Huddersfield, moving Chelsea back into fourth.

Higuain opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge, followed up by a Hazard penalty, although replays suggested the foul by Elias Kachunga on Cesar Azpilicueta actually occurred outside the box. It was the Belgian’s first league goal since December 26th.

Hazard made it 3-0 on 66 minutes after rounding Terries keeper Jonas Lossl and slotting home from a tight angle. Just three minutes later Higuain got his second, a curling shot from the edge of the box that took a slight deflection.

Brazilian David Luiz added a fifth in the closing minutes with a powerful header from a corner that was deflected into his own bet by Kachunga.

The victory ends a troubled week for the Blues, following Wednesday’s 4-0 trouncing by Bournemouth, their heaviest league defeat in 23 years.

It’s an 11th loss in 12 league games for the visitors, who remain bottom of the table and a whopping 13pts from safety.

 

Up Next:  

Man City v Chelsea – Sunday, February 10th (11am)

Huddersfield v Arsenal – Saturday, February 9th (10am)

 

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Crystal Palace v Fulham 

2-0

Palace manager Roy Hodgson claimed his side are facing “anxious times” despite their hard-fought victory over Fulham at Selhurst Park.

Captain Luka Milivojevic opened the scoring from the penalty spot mid-way through the first half after Cyrus Christie was deemed to have handled the ball in the area.

Jeffrey Schlupp added a late second, tapping home the rebound following Sergio Rico‘s brilliant save to deny deadline-day arrival Michy Batshuayi, who had come off the bench moments earlier.

The Eagles, who now sit 14th, had only won one of their previous six league games prior to the victory – which was just their third home win in the league this season.

The Cottagers have now lost 16 of 25 league games this campaign and remain 19th, seven points from safety.

 

Up Next:

Palace v West Ham – Saturday, February 9th (10am

Fulham v Man United – Saturday, February 9th (7:30am)

 

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Everton v Wolverhampton Wanderers

1-3

Everton were booed off the field at Goodison Park following an impressive Wolves victory, manager Marco Silva says he understands why the fans reacted in such a way.

Andre Gomes cancelled out Ruben Neves‘ opener from the spot before goals by Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker secured Wolves’ seventh-placed league position.

The Toffees have won just three of their last 12 league games leaving them 9th in the standings.

In peculiar news, the game was stopped for approximately three minutes after the break due to a pitch invader, just not the kind you think, a black cat found its way onto the pitch.

 

Up Next:

Everton v Man City – Wednesday, February 6th (2:45pm)

Wolves v Newcastle – Monday, February 11th (3pm)

 

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Cardiff City v AFC Bournemouth 

2-0

Cardiff produced one of their best performances of the season to pick up a vital victory thanks to birthday boy Bobby Reid‘s double on an emotional night in the Welsh capital.

It was the home fans’ first opportunity to pay a full tribute to striker Emiliano Sala, who is still missing after the plane carrying him and his pilot David Ibbotson disappeared over the Channel island of Guernsey 12 days ago.

Amid all the emotion and touching scenes, the Bluebirds produced on the pitch, racing to an early lead when Reid cooly converted a penalty after Steve Cook handled the ball. He added his second just 15 seconds after the break racing clear to slot home a morale-boosting second for the hosts.

Bournemouth seemed to wilt in the absence of David Brooks, who has scored six and assisted four, made worse by England forward and their top scorer Callum Wilson also missing the match due to injury.

The Cherries didn’t register a shot until Ryan Fraser shot wide midway through the first half. They came extremely close to scoring when Andrew Surman‘s 25-yard effort was tipped by Neil Etheridge.

Once Cardiff extended their lead, the belief amongst the visiting team seemed to evaporate, despite them having over 70% of possession.

It was Cardiff’s first league win in five games and moves them two points from safety in 18th position, while Bournemouth stay 10th.

 

Up Next:

Southampton v Bournemouth – Saturday, February 9th (10am

Liverpool v Bournemouth – Saturday, February 9th (10am)

 

Sunday 

 

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Leicester City v Manchester United 

0-1

Manchester United extended their unbeaten run under Ole Gunnar Solskjær to 10 games with a narrow victory against Leicester City.

Marcus Rashford scored the lone goal in the ninth minute of his 100th appearance for the club, his 10th goal of the season.

Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira‘s poor clearance fell straight to Paul Pogba, who lifted the ball over the defense toward Rashford, the England striker allowed it to come over his shoulder before neatly drilling a low shot past Kasper Schmeichel.

The only consistent story at Leicester this season is their inconsistency. The defeat comes on the back of a well-earned point at Liverpool in midweek, though they did have their chances. Jamie Vardy connected with an acrobatic bicycle kick, but fired straight at David de Gea.

The visiting goalkeeper also made a diving one-hand to deny Rachid Chezzal‘s free kick from hitting the top corner of his goal.

The Red Devils may have dropped their first points under their Norwegian interim boss in their 2-2 draw with Burnley on Tuesday, but the victory boosted their hopes of a top-four spot and a place in the Champions League next season.

Man United move up to fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, helped by neighboring rivals Man City’s win over Arsenal later in the day. Meanwhile Leicester remain 11th.

 

Up Next:

Spurs v Leicester – Sunday, February 10th (8:30am)

Fulham v Man United – Saturday, February 9th (7:30am

 

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Manchester City v Arsenal 

3-1

Sergio Aguero recorded his 14th hat-trick for Manchester City to help them close the gap on league leaders Liverpool to just three points.

The Argentine put the reigning champions ahead inside the first minute, as he did in their shock defeat at Newcastle earlier in the week, but Arsenal restored equality after Laurent Koscielny escaped poor marking to head home from the corner.

The hosts’ nerves were eased by a beautiful second from Aguero just before the break. He rounded off a perfectly constructed move between Ilkay Gudogan and Raheem Sterling with a simple finish at the post.

The 30-year-old secured the win when he thrust in Sterling‘s cross after 61 minutes.

The defeat sees Arsenal drop to 6th, one point behind fifth-placed Manchester United, who narrowly won at Leicester earlier in the day, and 3pts behind fourth-placed London rivals Chelsea.

 

Up Next:

Everton v Man City – Wednesday, February 6th (2:45pm)

Huddersfield v Arsenal – Saturday, February 9th (10am

 

Monday 

 

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West Ham United v Liverpool 

1-1

League leaders Liverpool suffered an uncharacteristic lapse on defense as they only managed a draw against West Ham, boosting the hopes of their title rivals.

Despite the draw the Reds do extend their lead over second-placed Man City to three, though the odds strongly favored them taking all three points against the 12th-placed London side.

The game started off well for the visitors when Sadio Mane fired one home past Lukasz Fabianski in the 22nd minute. Six minutes later West Ham got a well deserved equalizer when Liverpool’s defense failed to read Felipe Anderson‘s disguised free-kick and spot Michail Antonio‘s run into the box. The Englishman finished with a low angled drive which went in off the post.

The only other times Liverpool put pressure on the Hammers’ defense were two efforts from Mo Salah and a header from Mane, both of which were comfortable dealt with my the home goalkeeper. Their best chance at a winner came in the final seconds from Divock Origio, who saw his effort go straight at the keeper even with a clear sight of goal.

 

Up Next:

Palace v West Ham – Saturday, February 9th (10am

Liverpool v Bournemouth – Saturday, February 9th (10am)

 

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN

 

 

 

 

 

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