Premier League Recap

Once again the Premier League gave us a weekend full of goals (31), bookings (40 yellows, 1 red) and plenty of entertainment, even with some managers playing it safe with the Champions League and Europa League returning this week.

 

Saturday

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Fulham v Manchester United

0-3

A confident Manchester United moved into the top four with a dominant win over struggling Fulham.

Paul Pogba netted twice for the Red Devils, the first from an almost impossible angle and the second from the penalty spot after Juan Mata was brought down.

After assisting Pogba‘s first, Anthony Martial scored in the middle of his countryman’s goals, a stunning strike to secure their 10th victory in 11 games under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Since he took over from Jose Mourinho, Manchester United have claimed 25 points, under their former manager they managed just 26pts.

Despite playing a much-changed defense, United were rarely troubled by the Cottagers, who have now conceded 58 goals this season and remain firmly stuck in the relegation zone.

After the three goals, Solskjær substituted some of his key players, after resting others completely, in preparation for hosting Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford in the Champions league on Tuesday.

 

Up Next:

Champions League

Man United v PSG – Tuesday, February 12th (3pm)

FA Cup

Chelsea v Man United – Monday, February 18th (2:30pm)

Premier League

West Ham v Fulham – Friday, February 22nd (2:45pm)

Man United v Liverpool – Sunday, February 24th (9:05am)

 

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Crystal Palace v West Ham United 

1-1

Wilfried Zaha‘s deflected equalizer gave Crystal Palace a deserved point after an entertaining clash with West Ham. The point sees Palace move into 13th place, four points above the relegation zone.

Zaha surged into the box in the 75th minute and saw his tight-angled shot hit the boot of Issa Diop before looping into the net to cancel out Mark Noble‘s first half penalty.

The hosts should have been level earlier in the second half, but James McArthur shot against the post despite being open inside the six-yard box.

Zaha could have put his side ahead just after his equalizer, but Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski made an excellent save. The Ivoriano’s goal was his third in as many games and came as he returned to the side following his ban for a red card against Southampton in January.

The results sees West Ham climb two places into 10th after their second 1-1- draw of the week.

Up Next:

FA Cup

Doncaster Rovers v Palace – Sunday, February 17th (11am)

Premier League

Leicester v Palace – Saturday, February 23rd (12:30pm)

West Ham v Fulham – Friday, February 22nd (2:45pm)

 

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Huddersfield Town v Arsenal

1-2

Arsenal manager Unai Emery told media that finishing in a top-four spot will be “difficult, but we can” after his side’s first away win since November.

Once Alex Iowbi‘s strike deflected into the bottom corner, the visitors rally looked like they would relinquish the points in Yorkshire.

Alexandre Lacazette‘s clean finish from Ainsely Maitland-Niles‘ cross ensured victory and all three points, despite a late Huddersfield rampage.

Saed Kolasinac‘s own goal represent the Terriers’ first in 597 minutes of football.

The result sees the Gunners, who move up to fifth after Chelsea’s 6-0 hammering, move within a point of fourth-placed Manchester United and are level on points with Chelsea,

Meanwhile Huddersfield remain anchored to the bottom of the table, 13pts from safety with just 12 games remaining.

 

Up Next:

Europa League

BATE Borisov v Arsenal – Thursday, February 14th (12:55pm)

Premier League

Newcastle v Huddersfield – Saturday, February 23rd (10am)

Arsenal v Southampton – Sunday, February 24th (9:05am)

 

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Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth 

3-0

Despite their 3-0 victory, Liverpool remain second in the league on goal difference, after Manchester City thrashed Chelsea 6-0.

After a nervy opening in which Ryan Fraser tested Liverpool goalkeeper AlissonSadio Mane settled the nerves by heading home from James Milner‘s cross. He looked marginally offside, but has now scored in four successive league games for the first time.

Georginio Wijnaldum, who hadn’t been allowed to stay in the Liverpool hotel on Friday night because of illness was in fine form, doubling their lead with a sublime lob over a helpless Artur Boruc.

Moments into the second half, Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino combined in a move that manager Jurgen Klopp called “world class” to set up Mo Salah‘s 20th goal in all competitions this season, a simple finish from 10 yards,

The visitors never looked remotely close to losing their lead and moved on to 65pts, a tally which, with the exception of City’s mark of 69 last season, would have been enough for at least a nine-point lead at the same stage of the season in the previous four seasons.

 

Up Next:

Champions League

Liverpool v Bayern Munich – Tuesday, February 19th (3pm)

Premier League

Man United v Liverpool – Sunday, February 24th (9:05am)

Bournemouth v Wolves – Saturday, February 23rd (10am)

 

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Southampton v Cardiff City

1-2 

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl believes his side “have no chance of staying in the league” if they continue to perform the way the did in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat.

Kenneth Zohore struck in the third minute of stoppage time to earn the visitors all three points on an emotional afternoon for the Welsh side, who continue to mourn the death of their record signing Emiliano Sala.

Southampton’s Jack Stephens looked to have reduced a point for the hosts moments before the winner, when he tapped Charlie Austin‘s pass behind Neil Etheridge.

Sol Bamba had opened the scoring for Cardiff after beating Alex McCarthy from close range with their first on target effort.

Due to Burnley’s victory over Brighton in Saturday’s late game, Southampton slip into the relegation zone for the first time since early January.

 

Up Next:

Premier League

Arsenal v Southampton – Sunday, February 24th (9:05am)

Cardiff v Watford – Friday, February 22nd (2:45pm)

 

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Watford v Everton

1-0

The game marked Marco Silva‘s first return to Vicarage Road since he was sacked by the Hornets at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, due to rumors of him talking to Everton about taking over as manger.

His team were lackluster throughout the affair and could have gone behind in the opening moments, but Jordan Pickford made a fine save with his head to deny Etienne Capoue‘s point-blank range effort.

Substitue Andre Gray scored the only goal of the match halfway through the second half when he tapped in Will Hughes‘ low cross.

Whilst the Toffees did rattle the woodwork twice after half time, they didn’t apply any really pressure until the closing stages. Sub Dominic Calvert-Lewin twice should have done better with headers, but the Hornets deserve credit for how they defended.

In an otherwise tame meeting, tempers flared after the final whistle when Kurt Zouma was shown two yellow cards for dissent.

Everton remain 9th with 33pts and Watford stay in 8th with 37pts, two points behind seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.

 

Up Next:

FA Cup

QPR v Watford – Friday, February 15th (2:45pm)

Premier League

Cardiff v Watford – Friday, February 22nd (2:45pm)

Cardiff v Everton – Tuesday, February 26th (2:45pm)

 

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Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley

1-3

Chris Wood scored twice for Burnley and goalie Tom Heaton produced a series of fine saves as Burnley eased their relegation worries with victory and another 3pts in Brighton.

The Clarets are now unbeaten in seven league games and find themselves level on 27pts with the Seagulls, three above the relegation zone.

Wood has scored five goals in those seven games and continues to show his importance in the side’s new year resurgence, but it has been the performances of 32-year-old Heaton, re-introduced at the start of the run, that have given his side the platform.

He excelled once again in Saturday’s late game – twice denying Pascal Groß and making a beautiful save to deny Solly March.

Ashley Barnes should have made it 3-0 from open play, but was brought down as he tried to take the ball around Mathew Ryan. The keeper was shown a yellow and Barnes converted against his former club.

Heaton was eventually beaten in the 76th minute when Shane Duffy headed home from Anthony Knockaert‘s free-kick.

 

Up Next:

FA Cup

Brighton v Derby – Saturday, February 16th (7:30am)

Premier League

Leicester v Brighton – Tuesday, February 26th (2:45pm)

Burnley v Spurs – Saturday, February 23rd (7:30am)

 

Sunday

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Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City

3-1

Spurs ensured they remain in contention for the title race as Mauricio Pochettino‘s side earned a 3-1 victory against Leicester.

The hosts had to withstand a late Foxes fightback to remain third in the table after 26 games. They reached the deficit to leaders Man City and Liverpool to five points.

Christian Eriksen provided a pin-point cross to set up Davinson Sanchez‘s first Spurs goal after 33 minutes, before he produced a moment of class to double the hosts’ advantage from the edge of the box in the second half.

The Dane’s strike came just three minutes after Leicester’s Jamie Vardy emerged from the bench in dramatic style to take a penalty on the hour mark – only to be denied by Hugo Lloris.

Vardy made a huge difference to Leicester’s attack and scored from Ricardo Pereira‘s low cross to set up a tense finish, before Son Heung-min made sure of a home victory in a stoppage time.

It’s Spurs’ fourth successive league win.

 

Up Next:

Champions League

Spurs v Borussia Dortmund – Wednesday, February 13th (3pm)

Premier League

Burnley v Spurs – Saturday, February 23rd (7:30am)

Leicester v Palace – Saturday, February 23rd (12:30pm)

 

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Manchester City v Chelsea

6-0

Sergio Aguero was once again Manchester City’s hat-trick hero as they returned to the top of the table in vivacious style by outclassing Chelsea the Etihad Stadium.

The opening 25 minutes saw a burst of four goals as Chelsea were left disheveled, humiliated and on the receiving end of their worst defeat since they 7-0 to Nottingham Forest in 1991.

Kevin De Bruyne caught Chelsea napping early with his free-kick that left Raheem Sterling free to fire home at the far post. Aguero, who had already missed an open goal, then curled in a magnificent right-footed finish past the stretching Kepa Arrizbalaga from 25 yards out.

The Blues’ afternoon was summed up by Ross Barkley‘s inexplicable header straight to the feet of the Argentine, who poached his second, before Ilkay Gundogan capped the early biltz with a low shot.

Aguero completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after 56 minutes following Cesar Azpilicueta‘s foul on Sterling. It was his 15th hat trick for City and a record-equalling 11th in the Premier League, an honor he shares with Alan Shearer. It was also his second in consecutive home games after his hat-trick in their 3-1 win against Arsenal.

 

Up Next:

FA Cup

Newport County v City – Saturday, February 16th (12:30pm)

Chelsea v Man United – Monday, February 18th (2:30pm)

Europa League

Malmö v Chelsea – Thursday, February 14th (3pm)

Champions League

Schalke v City – Wednesday, February 20th (3pm)

League Cup Final

Chelsea v Man City – Sunday, February 24th (11:30am)

Premier League

City v West Ham – Wednesday, February 27th (3pm)

Chelsea v Spurs – Wednesday, February 27th (3pm)

 

Monday

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Wolverhampton Wanders v Newcastle United

1-1

Wolves defender Willy Boly scored a dramatic late equalizer as Newcastle were denied a precious victory in their battle against relegation.

The Magpies appeared on course to move three points clear of the relegation zone courtesy of Isaac Hayden‘s 56th minute strike, but as the game drifted beyond the minimum of four minutes stoppage time, Boly climbed above Newcastle goalie Martin Dubravka to head home Adama Tarore‘s lofted cross.

Newcastle players, manger Rafael Benitez and the visiting fans appealed for a foul, with the former Porto defender appearing to have both arms on the goalkeeper, referee Graham Scott waved off the protests.

The result leaves Newcastle a point above the bottom three in 16th place, whilst Wolves remain seventh.

 

Up Next:

FA Cup

Bristol City v Wolves – Sunday, February 17th (8am)

Premier League

Bournemouth v Wolves – Saturday, February 23rd (10am)

Newcastle v Huddersfield – Saturday, February 23rd (10am)

 

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN

 

 

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