In Gary Mabbutt Blog


Xherdan Shaqiri came off the bench to inspire a Liverpool victory over a lacklustre Manchester United, that takes them back to the top of the Premier League, I said at the start of the season that Jose Mourinho seems to have lost the respect of his players and once again, they are clearly underperforming.

It was substituted Shaqiri’s rapid-fire double strike in the second half that gave Jurgen Klopp’s side the three points they fully deserved.

Sadio Mane’s 24th-minute volley from Fabinho’s perfect delivery gave Liverpool the lead their lightning start merited, only for a dreadful error by goalkeeper Alisson to give United an unlikely lifeline before the break when he fumbled Romelu Lukaku’s cross into the path of Jesse Lingard.

United barely offered an attacking threat but was frustrating Liverpool until Klopp introduced Shaqiri with less than 20 minutes remaining, with devastating effect. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba remained an unused substitute on United’s bench. Liverpool deserved their victory against this desperately ordinary United side.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmOrhr4CgYA


Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl apologised to Arsenal counterpart Unai Emery after forgetting to shake hands amid the emotion of a late victory on his home debut, the Saints ended Arsenal’s 22-match unbeaten run and won their first home league game since April thanks to Charlie Austin’s 85th-minute header

In a see-sawing encounter, the hosts took the lead after 20 minutes as Danny Ings muscled home a header from Matt Targett’s cross.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan nodded in shortly after for Arsenal, following good work by Alex Iwobi and Nacho Monreal, but Ings struck again just before the break, Nathan Redmond’s floated cross was precise and Ings cushioned a looping effort into the far corner.

Arsenal turned the screw in the second half and restored parity as Mkhitaryan’s shot deflected in off Jannik Vestergaard. Shane Long then provided a teasing cross for Austin’s winner. The victory takes Southampton out of the relegation zone and up to 17th.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5aZKauzzkY


Eden Hazard scored one goal and assisted another as Chelsea, beat the Seagulls. The 27-year-old set up the Blues’ opener with a wonderful pass across the face of goal for the arriving Pedro to tap in on 17 minutes.

Willian then pounced on a loose pass from Leon Balogun and played in Hazard, who ran from just over the halfway line, outpacing the Brighton defence before slotting past Mat Ryan. It was his eighth league goal of the season, breaking an eight-game scoring drought, and he has nine assists, the most in Europe’s top five leagues.

Brighton pulled a goal back when Bernardo headed a cross back across goal and Solly March was unopposed as he hooked his shot past Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea stays in fourth in the Premier League, two points behind Tottenham. Brighton remains in 13th place.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS4DBxAkhSM


Manchester City won their 10th league game in a row at home and it was rarely in serious doubt once Jesus had fired his side ahead. Yerry Mina’s misplaced pass allowed Ilkay Gundogan to find Leroy Sane in space, and he sent Jesus galloping into the area to score with a fine low finish. Jesus only had to wait another 28 minutes for his second of the game.

When it arrived just after half-time, Sane was the provider again, with Jesus meeting his precise cross to plant an unstoppable header past Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford.

City looked in complete control but Everton gave themselves hope just after the hour when Dominic Calvert Lewin met Lucas Digne’s cross to reduce the deficit. The visitors were only briefly back in it, however, with substitute Sterling heading in Fernandinho’s cross four minutes later with his first touch.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3SSrgAcUwY


Crystal Palace secured their first Premier League victory without Wilfried Zaha in over two years thanks to captain Luka Milivojevic’s superb strike in a scrappy win against Leicester at Selhurst Park, both sides struggled to create chances in a drab first half until Milivojevic beat Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel from 25 yards out with a powerful, curling shot, and claimed a potentially vital win and have moved five points clear of the relegation zone.


Huddersfield dominated the game. but against the run of play, Salomon Rondon struck the only goal on 55 minutes to send Newcastle six points clear of Huddersfield and the relegation zone.

Huddersfield remains 18th and have now lost nine of their last 13 league games.


I was at Wembley to see Spurs frustrated by a dogged Burnley defensive line up, Burnley got ten men behind the ball for the whole game and made it difficult for Spurs to create chances.

Spurs needed Lucas Moura’s 85th-minute equaliser at Barcelona on Tuesday to earn a spot in the knockout round and had to be satisfied with another late strike to keep up the pressure on the Premier League’s top two. This time it was substituted Christian Eriksen who came to their rescue when he slammed his shot past Joe Hart in the 91st minute.

The victory moves third-placed Spurs to 39 points and within three of Liverpool in second. Burnley remains in 17th with 12 points, two points above the relegation zone.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyZr8Mr4jJo


Three fine goals from Gerard Deulofeu, Jose Holebas and Domingos Quinas saw Watford cruise into a comfortable lead, with their opponents proving no match for the Hornets for much of the game, however complacency set in and with 10 minutes remaining at Vicarage Road, Junior Hoilett pulled back a seeming consolation goal before Bobby Reid added a second to give Cardiff a sniff of an unlikely point and set the Watford fans nerves jangling for the remaining few minutes, but Watford held on for the three points.


Raul Jimenez opened the scoring with his fifth goal of the season, turning in Diogo Jota’s deflected shot after a bad Charlie Daniels error, Wolves second goal came from with substitute Ivan Cavaleiro finishing coolly in an easy one on one set, up by Costa’s pass on the halfway line.

Bournemouth has had a dire few weeks and manager Howe must use all his know-how, to turn things around for the Cherries.


West Ham earned a fourth consecutive Premier League win for the first time in almost five years to keep woeful Fulham bottom of the table.

The Cottagers, who have not kept a clean sheet all season, wasted several chances in the first half while abysmal defending allowed the Hammers to take the lead with their first two shots. Robert Snodgrass curled the visitors into the lead from Felipe Anderson’s pass, and Michail Antonio was left unmarked to double the advantage. Fulham looked very poor and have only won once in Claudio Ranieri’s first five games in charge.


I had my best week of the season with my predictions, getting eight correct results with two spot-on scores!

Please see following my week 18 predictions

Wolves 1 v 3 Liverpool

Arsenal 3 v 1 Burnley

Bournemouth 1 v 2 Brighton

Chelsea 3 v 1 Leicester

Huddersfield 1 v 2 Southampton

Manchester City 3 v 1 Crystal Palace

Newcastle 2 v 1 Fulham

West Ham United 2 v 1 Watford

Cardiff 1 v 2 Manchester United

Everton 1 v 2 Tottenham

Have a great week,


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