ENGLISH LEAGUE CUP FINAL
MANCHESTER UNITED v SOUTHAMPTON
The first silverware of the current season was played for at Wembley, and it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late winner that secured the EFL Cup and gave Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho his first success since his summer appointment, as brave Southampton were beaten at Wembley. Southampton were the better side for most of this final but were left heartbroken by a controversial offside decision and the inspiration provided by the 35-year-old Swede as he took his tally to 26 goals this season. Saints’ striker Manolo Gabbiadiani saw a goal contentiously ruled out before United took an undeserved two-goal lead through Ibrahimovic’s superb 19th minute free-kick and Jesse Lingard’s measured finish seven minutes before the interval.
Southampton, as their performance merited, were level after two predatory strikes from Gabbiadini either side of half-time. Oriel Romeu hit the woodwork before Ibrahimovic stole in on Ander Herrera’s cross three minutes from time to give United a victory that looked beyond them for long spells. Heartbreak for the fantastic Saints fans, but you just have to love the confidence that exudes from Zlatan.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAO_cCoda90
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND UP WEEK 26
LEICESTER CITY 3 V 1 LIVERPOOL
Finally, we saw a performance from the Champions that reminded us of their fantastic achievement last season, the first half in particular was reminiscent of the way they swept away all before them, to be crowned as the Champions.
It was a superb display in their first game following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, they moved out of the Premier League bottom three as two goals from Jamie Vardy and a Danny Drinkwater strike saw off Liverpool, it was a much-improved display from the Foxes under caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare, who took over after the departure of the man who led them to last season’s remarkable title triumph. The first strike was straight from the 2015-16 annual as Vardy collected Marc Albrighton’s precise long pass before racing clear and finishing low past Simon Mignolet to score his second goal in a week, the second was an absolute cracker from Vardy’s England team-mate Drinkwater, who showed superb technique to lash home his first goal of the campaign from outside the box following a clearance from a long throw, and Vardy sealed the win with a glancing header from Christian Fuchs’ cross in the second half before Philippe Coutinho stroked home a consolation goal.
The goals were the first the Foxes have scored in the league in 2017 and ended a run of five straight top-flight defeats in spectacular fashion.
Liverpool failed to turn up until they were 3-0 down and have now lost five of their past seven matches in all competitions.
Click here all Leicester fans (that is most of us, after last season, no one wants to see them go down) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYLvA1HISDE
WATFORD 1 V 1 WEST HAM
The hosts went ahead on three minutes through Troy Deeney’s penalty after Mauro Zarate was brought down in the box by Cheikhou Kouyate, ex Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes kept Watford in front when he brilliantly kept out Jose Fonte’s header with a full-stretch save, before Michail Antonio’s low shot struck both posts and Ayew was on hand to tuck in the rebound to give West Ham a point.
The result moved both sides up a place in the table. The Hornets climbed to 12th, while the Hammers go ninth.
CHELSEA 3 V 1 SWANSEA
Chelsea stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 10 points after victory over Swansea City at Stamford Bridge, Cesc Fabregas marked his 300th Premier League appearance by firing the Blues ahead, poking the ball through the legs of Jack Cork and into the net, the hosts were stunned when Swansea equalised from their first serious attempt on target on the stroke of half-time, when Fernando Llorente headed in Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick.
Fabregas hit the bar before Pedro’s curling effort restored the lead and Diego Costa netted the third from close range.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNvvh-_cTXM
CRYSTAL PALACE 1 V 0 MIDDLESBROUGH
Palace had the better of the first half and deservedly took the lead through Patrick van Aanholt’s low drive from the edge of the box, his first goal since joining the club in the January transfer window, Middelbrough rarely threatened the Palace goal and have now gone nine league games without a win and are 16th in the table, one point above the relegation zone and level on points with their opponents.
EVERTON 2 V 0 SUNDERLAND
Everton stretched their unbeaten league run to nine games with victory over bottom of the table Sunderland at Goodison Park, Idrissa Gueye netted his first goal for the Toffees as he lashed Seamus Coleman’s low cross beyond Jordan Pickford before the break, Lukaku got the second after a fine surge forward, avoiding Bryan Oviedo’s tackle and slicing the ball over Pickford via a deflection to register his 60th Premier League goal for the Blues, equalling the club record with current first-team coach Duncan Ferguson.
Everton are now four points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, while Sunderland are three points behind 17th placed Crystal Palace.
Click here all Everton fans – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72dC-nl6Hto
HULL CITY 1 V 1 BURNLEY
Hull City missed the opportunity to move out of the Premier League bottom three as they drew with a Burnley side who remain without an away league win this season and who have the worst away record in the league, the hosts went ahead through Tom Huddlestone’s penalty after Burnley defender Michael Keane handled in the penalty area, however, the lead only lasted four minutes before Keane blasted in an equalizer following a corner.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LRrxi8NZ9w
WEST BROM 2 v 1 BOURNEMOUTH
West Brom came from behind to inflict a fourth straight Premier League defeat on struggling Bournemouth in aN exciting game at The Hawthorns, Joshua King’s calm penalty put the visitors ahead on five minutes after Allan Nyom had clumsily wrestled Ryan Fraser to the ground inside the area, Craig Dawson equalised at the end of a thrilling first 10 minutes as his strike took a big deflection off Charlie Daniels as Artur Boruc dived in vain, Boruc’s woeful error in failing to punch clear a corner allowed Gareth McAuely to put his side in front on 22 minutes.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xijL6c7_2O4
SPURS 4 v 0 STOKE CITY
I was at White Hart Lane to see Harry Kane score his third hat-trick in nine games as Tottenham Hotspur reacted to their European exit by hammering Stoke to move second in the Premier League, the England forward struck three times in 23 minutes before the break, his first a well-taken finish into the bottom corner as the ball dropped to him in the area before an exquisite half-volley with his left foot from Christian Eriksen’s corner, Kane completed his third treble of 2017 when his low drive from Eriksen’s tapped free-kick took a huge deflection off Peter Crouch in the Stoke wall, leaving goalkeeper Lee Grant stranded.
Dele Alli then added a fourth first-half goal for the hosts, sliding in to convert Kane’s cross from the right as a woeful Stoke fell apart at White Hart Lane.
Click here to see Harry Kane’s hat trick – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUGEsAV_HOQ
In my predictions I got four correct results and two correct scores, so not so bad as Liverpool’s performance.
Please see following my week 27 predictions :-
Man United 3 v 1 Bournemouth
Leicester City 2 v 1 Hull
Stoke 2 v 1 Middlesbrough
Swansea 2 v 1 Burnley
Watford 2 v 1 Southampton
West Brom 2 v 1 Crystal Palace
Liverpool 2 v 1 Arsenal
Sunderland 1 v 2 Man City
Tottenham 2 v 1 Everton
West Ham 1 v 2 Chelsea
Have a good week