ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND UP WEEK 35

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND UP WEEK 35

ARSENAL 4 V 1 WEST HAM

Arsene Wenger has announced that he will step down as manager of Arsenal at the end of this season, he has been an amazing manager over the last 22 years for the Gunners and he will be missed by the game of football. His farewell started in the perfect manner as the Gunners scored three goals in seven second-half minutes to ease to victory against West Ham at the Emirates.

The Gunners had taken the lead on 51 minutes after Nacho Monreal volleyed in from a corner, but Marko Arnautovic equalised just after the hour mark, rifling a shot past David Ospina. Aaron Ramsey put the hosts back into the lead in the 82nd minute when his tame cross was not dealt with by Hammers’ defender Declan Rice and Joe Hart could only watch as the ball rolled in at his far post, Alexandre Lacazette made it three as his close-range shot beat Hart at the near post in the 85th minute, before the Frenchman sidefooted in his second four minutes later, Victory keeps Arsenal sixth, 11 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with four games remaining, but while they can still mathematically finish in the top four, their most likely route into the Champions League is by winning the Europa League.

West Ham, drop to 15th place, six points from the drop zone.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOqE1rUlKY8

STOKE 1 V 1 BURNLEY

Stoke had looked set for victory when Senegalese midfielder Badou Ndiaye found the bottom corner with a deflected effort in the first period, but Burnley responded after the break, with Barnes touching the ball beyond home goalkeeper Jack Butland with his thigh. Not really a great result for both sides, Stoke are still fighting relegation and Burnley are trying to get into the Europa League places in the Premier League.

MANCHESTER CITY 5 V 0 SWANSEA CITY

Click here to see the Guard of Honour for the Champions – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-P35O_3e4E

Manager Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s focus is now on chasing records after they celebrated being crowned Premier League champions by thrashing Swansea. Manchester City was given a guard of honour and there were celebrations at full-time in their first match since their third league title in seven seasons was confirmed.

Raheem Sterling’s cut-back set up David Silva’s early opener before the winger poked in from six yards to make it two within 16 minutes. Kevin de Bruyne scored with a sensational 25-yard drive before Bernardo Silva pounced on the rebound of Gabriel Jesus’ saved penalty. The Brazilian eventually found the back of the net when he headed in Yaya Toure’s chipped pass. Swansea is without a win in five league matches and remains four points above the relegation zone with four games to play.

Click here to see the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdYXs_5O1Uc

WEST BROM 2 V 2 LIVERPOOL

West Brom were 2-0 down after 79 minutes, Liverpool were ahead after just four minutes through Ings, then another master finish from Mo Salah continuing his brilliant form with a chipped second-half goal, the Baggies comeback started when ex-Spurs player Jake Livermore scrambled home at a corner for his first goal at the club before Rondon headed in Chris Brunt’s free-kick in the 88th minute, rescuing a point for relegation-threatened West Brom.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnhOQwB0oA8

WATFORD 0 V 0 CRYSTAL PALACE

This was the bore draw of the week, even with Watford fan, superstar singer Elton John watching from the stands the home team could not muster up a goal. The Eagles climb one place to 15th in the table, Watford remain 12th, nine points clear of relegation with three games to go.

Sorry, no highlights!

EVERTON 1 V 0 NEWCASTLE

Everton’s laboured style of football is not what the fans want to see, but Theo Walcott’s first goal since January was enough to seal the three points as the Toffees moved up to eighth in the Premier League.

A dull first half bore all the hallmarks of an end-of-season mid-table encounter with goalscoring opportunities at a premium. However, the deadlock was broken soon after the break when Yannick Bolasie’s cross deflected off DeAndre Yedlin to Walcott, who took a touch before driving the ball into the roof of the net. Newcastle remains 10th on 41 points and needs just one more point to be mathematically safe from relegation.

FA Cup Semi-Finals

I was at Wembley this weekend for the FA Cup Semi-Finals, Spurs v Manchester United and Chelsea v Southampton, and it was not a good weekend for me!

SPURS 1 V 2 MANCHESTER UNITED

I was well situated in a Private Box at Wembley hoping to see Spurs overcome United, but after a scintillating start by Spurs in the first twenty minutes, going one nil up and having put United on the ropes, we could not find the final punch to knock out United.

Ander Herrera’s winner sent Manchester United into a record-equalling 20th FA Cup final and condemned Tottenham to their eighth successive defeat at this stage of the competition. Spurs started at a ferocious pace and fully deserved the early lead they took after only 11 minutes when Dele Alli slid home a finish from Christian Eriksen’s cross after Davinson Sanchez’s long pass opened up Manchester United’s defence.

Jose Mourinho’s side survived the siege and levelled on 24 minutes, Wembley specialist Alexis Sanchez rising to direct an athletic header across Spurs keeper Michel Vorm from Paul Pogba’s perfect cross for his eighth goal in eight appearances at the stadium. Eric Dier’s deflected shot hit the post on the stroke of half-time but Spurs had lost vital momentum and Herrera’s crisp low finish just after the hour set up an FA Cup final date for United with Chelsea.

It left Spurs suffering more FA Cup semi-final pain and with a losing sequence stretching back to their win in the last four against Arsenal here in 1991 and Pochettino still without a trophy after four seasons at the club.

All United fans click here, Spurs fans look away – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZh0MxdINkU

CHELSEA 2 V 0 SOUTHAMPTON

Olivier Giroud’s brilliant semi-final goal helped Chelsea beat Southampton to reach the FA Cup final and set up a meeting with Manchester United. Chelsea striker Giroud received the ball from Eden Hazard and jinked his way past two Southampton players in a crowded area before he stabbed the ball home. Giroud was replaced by Alvaro Morata with 10 minutes to go and the substitute sealed safe passage with Chelsea’s second when he headed in at the back post from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross, It means Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will come up against managerial adversary Jose Mourinho at Wembley on 19 May.

There is no love lost between Conte and former Chelsea manager Mourinho, who have traded insults all season.

The final is also repeat of 2007, (I was at this game along with Terry Venables as the new stadium was opened with all winning captains and managers doing a lap of honour) when Mourinho guided Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over United in the first to be played at the rebuilt Wembley.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B08dHBOsvUs

I got four correct results this week, need to do better (as my schoolmaster used to say)

My week 36 predictions

Liverpool 3 v 1 Stoke
Burnley 2 v 1 Brighton
Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Leicester
Huddersfield 2 v 1 Everton
Newcastle 2 v 1 West Brom
Southampton 2 v 2 Bournemouth
Swansea 1 v 2 Chelsea
West Ham 1 v 3 Man City
Manchester United 2 v 1 Arsenal
Spurs 3 v 1 Watford

Have a good week,

Gary

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