Premier League Recap

After a break for the FA Cup the Premier League returns, just not for Chelsea, Man City, Everton and Brighton. The former two will be facing off in the Carabao/League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Even without two of the big hitters we were treated to 24 goals, 28 bookings (27 yellows, one red).

 

Friday

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Cardiff City v Watford

1-5

Gerard Deulofeu scored Watford’s first hat trick in the top-flight since 1986 as they boosted their hopes of securing a Europa League spot by thrashing Cardiff 5-1.

The Spaniard put the Hornets ahead after 18 minutes, before scoring two goals in as many minutes in the second half to end any hopes of a comeback for the hosts, who played a pivotal role in their own downfall with horrific defending.

Deulofeu completed his hat trick after Harry Arter was sloppy and gave the ball away tamely. He then set up Troy Deeney for a tap-in as the visitors took a 4-0 lead.

Cardiff were denied what looked like a clear penalty when Daryl Janmatt brought down Josh Murphy. They did however, score a consolation when Sol Bamba fumbled home in the 82nd minute, but the four-goal margin was restored when Deeney scored his second in stoppage time.

The victory moves Watford up to seventh whilst Cardiff remain 17th.

 

Up Next:

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

Liverpool v Watford – Wednesday, February 27th (3pm)

 

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West Ham United v Fulham

3-1

Javier Hernandez‘s controversial goal contributed to Fulham’s 18th Premier League defeat of the season as West Ham fought from behind to win 3-1.

Facing a 1-0 deficit, the Mexican’s goal first appeared to have been headed in from a yard out, but a replay from behind the goal clearly showed it was converted off his arm, but the goal was given and the West Ham comeback was on.

Issa Diop headed home five minutes before half-time to give the Hammers a 2-1 lead, before Michail Antonio nodded in a late third.

Fulham started off brightly when, after just three minutes, Ryan Babel scored from close-range, making amends for the glaring miss within the opening 30 seconds.

West Ham move up to ninth, whilst Fulham remain 19th, 8pts adrift of safety, missing a critical opportunity to pounce on 17th-placed Cardiff who lost 5-1 to Watford.

Up Next:

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

Southampton v Fulham – Wednesday, February 27th (2:45pm)

 

Saturday

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Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur

2-1

The visitor’s Premier League title challenge suffered a huge blow as they were beaten by Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor.

The hosts opened the scoring shortly after the break when Chris Wood rose highest to head home an in swinging corner.

Harry Kane, who was making his first appearance since January 13th, equalized for Spurs, before Ashley Barnes tapped in a late second for Burnley.

There was a dramatic end to the game as the frustrations of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino spilled over at the final whistle. The Argentine, who showed signs of unhappiness early on over the awarding of a corner that led to the opener, angrily confronted referee Mike Dean before being pulled away by Burnley’s Phil Bardsley.

Tottenham remain in third, 6pts behind Liverpool, Burnley sit 14th and are now 6pts clear of the relegation zone.

 

Up Next:

Newcastle v Burnley – Tuesday, February 26th (3pm)

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

 

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AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers 

1-1

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo, said referees have a “difficult task” after three dubious penalties were awarded – two against the hosts – in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.

Cherries striker Joshua King scored from the spot after going down a little too easily under Joao Moutinho‘s challenge, and then missed one in the second following a foul, which was actually outside the box – on Ryan Fraser.

Roger East, the referee, was at the centre of the action all afternoon and turned down a penalty shout from the visitors when Chris Mepham misjudged a clearance and the ball bounced off his arm.

East did award Wolves a spot-kick when Adam Smith was judged to have brought down Matt DohertyRaul Jimenez cooly converted for the equalizer.

If East‘s performance wasn’t already under scrutiny from both sides, he only showed Bournemouth midfield Jefferson Lerma a yellow for an elbow in the face of Moutinho.

However, the point was enough to move Eddie Howe‘s side up to 10th, 6pts and two places adrift of Wolves.

 

Up Next:

Arsenal v Bournemouth – Wednesday, February 27th (2:45pm)

Huddersfield v Wolves – Tuesday, February 26th (2:45pm)

 

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Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town

2-0

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez believes record signing Miguel Almiron‘s impressive full debut against Huddersfield shows he has “the right mentality” to succeed.

The Paraguayan, who cost £21m from Atlanta United of the MLS, helped the Magpies ease past the 10-man Terriers and move 4pts clear of the relegation zone.

Salomon Rondon swept in the opener 59 seconds into the second period, before Ayoze Perez drilled home the second, unfortunately Almiron just couldn’t add the goal that his performance deserved.

Huddersfield, who remain anchored to the bottom of the table, had captain Tommy Smith sent off after just 20 minutes for a high tackle on Almiron.

The hosts recorded their third consecutive league win at St James’ Park for the first time since last April, moving them up to 15th.

Huddersfield have lost all four of their games under new manger Jan Siewert and remain 14pts from safety.

Up Next:

Newcastle v Burnley – Tuesday, February 26th (3pm)

Huddersfield v Wolves – Tuesday, February 26th (2:45pm)

 

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Leicester City v Crystal Palace

1-4

It’s the first time in 19 years that Leicester have lost four league games in a row at the King Power. Foxes boss Claude Puel said “it is normal for the fans to be worried” after their 4-1 defeat.

They have gone six games without a win and have concede the first goal in 19 matches, more than any other team.

Wilfried Zaha scored twice as Crystal Palace eased relegation worries on the day that Roy Hodgson became the oldest man to manage a Premier League game at 71 years and 198 days.

The first half saw few chances, but the Eagles broke the deadlock when Michy Batshuayi deflected James McArthur‘s effort past Kasper Schmeichel.

Jonny Evans hit home Harvey Barnes‘ cross to equalized midway through the second half, before Zaha ghosted in at the back post to retake the lead for the visitors.

Captain Luka Milivojevic then converted from the spot after Evans clumsily brought down Jeffrey Schlupp. 

Zaha added their fourth in injury time to secure the points for Hodgson‘s side.

Up Next:

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

Palace v Man United – Wednesday, February 27th (3pm)

 

Sunday 

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Arsenal v Southampton

2-0

Struggling Southampton were punished by Arsenal with two first-half goals to move back into the top four of the Premier League.

The Gunners jumped out ahead when Alexandre Lacazette reacted quickly to turn in Henrik Mkhytaryan‘s shot, with the Saints’ claims for offside waved off.

They doubled their lead shortly after when Mkhitaryan drilled one home into the bottom corner.

Southampton, who missed some great chances through Nathan Redmond and Matt Targett before each of the Gunner’s goals, were much stronger after the break. They remain in the bottom three and 1pt from safety.

Up Next:

Arsenal v Bournemouth – Wednesday, February 27th (2:45pm)

Southampton v Fulham – Wednesday, February 27th (2:45pm)

 

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Manchester United v Liverpool

0-0

Liverpool got the point they needed to return to the top of the Premier league but were left frustrated by their failure to break down a Man United side that was ravaged by injuries, being forced into making all three substitutions in the first 42 minutes.

A draw at the home of their arch rivals would usually be seen as mission accomplished for the Reds, but this went down as a wasted opportunity to get some space between them and title rivals Man City.

Whilst most of the injuries affected the hosts, Liverpool did not escape unscathed, with Roberto Firmino only lasting 30 minutes, without him his side struggled to pose a threat in front of goal.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side failed to test United’s David de Gea, with a shot from distance by substitute Daniel Sturridge being their only shot on target, which came in the 90th minute.

United’s best chance came from Jesse Lingard after he ran onto Romelu Lukaku‘s pass and attempted to go around Reds keeper Allison, but the Brazilian denied the Englishman.

Old Trafford roared as the fans thought they’d taken a late lead over their rivals, only for it to be ruled offside.

United drop to fifth, with Arsenal rising above them after their win over Southampton.

Up Next:

Palace v Man United – Wednesday, February 27th (3pm)

Liverpool v Watford – Wednesday, February 27th (3pm)

 

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN

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