ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 22 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

MANCHESTER CITY 3 V 0 WOLVES

Gabriel Jesus scored twice as Manchester City eased past 10-man Wolves to cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to four points.

Jesus opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Leroy Sane ran on to a peach of a pass by Aymeric Laporte and squared for the Brazilian to slide home, a tough task for Wolves got even harder when Willy Boly was dismissed nine minutes later, with the French defender shown a straight red card for a dangerous jumping challenge on Bernardo Silva. Ryan Bennett sent Raheem Sterling tumbling as he burst into the box and Jesus stepped up to take his personal tally to seven in City’s past three matches and put his side in complete control by half-time.

Substitute Kevin de Bruyne whipped in a cross from a short corner routine, and Conor Coady could only deflect it into his own net to complete a miserable night for the visitors.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iec5sr6mnak

SPURS 0 V 1 MANCHESTER UNITED

I was at Wembley to see a great game of football, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea produced a Wembley masterclass as interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it six wins out of six to damage Tottenham’s Premier League title ambitions.

Marcus Rashford’s low finish from Paul Pogba’s superb pass on the stroke of half-time stretched Solskjaer’s flawless start – but the Norwegian had De Gea to thank for a magnificent display as Spurs laid siege to United’s goal after the break.

The Spaniard made a succession of crucial interventions, 11 in total, including many with his feet, as Spurs tried in vain to avoid a defeat that makes their task of keeping pace with Liverpool and Manchester City even more arduous.

United showed great resilience to back up their early positive approach but it was De Gea who broke Spurs’ hearts by denying Harry Kane on several occasions, as well as Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld.

The result leaves Spurs nine points behind leaders Liverpool and United level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal as they revive their top-four hopes.

On another day Spurs would have won comfortably, given the chances they had, but sometimes you just have to accept the brilliance of a fellow professional and yesterday the game saluted David De Gea, for his majestic performance.

United fans click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU4Wg53C1Bw

EVERTON 2 V 0 BOURNEMOUTH

Two second-half goals gave Everton an edgy victory over Bournemouth that lifted them into the top half of the Premier League table.

Kurt Zouma powerfully headed in his first goal for the club from Lucas Digne’s cross following a corner in the 61st minute, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin added the second in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Bournemouth pushed hard for an equaliser in the final minutes, with Michael Keane producing an excellent block to deny Dan Gosling before Calvert-Lewin sealed the three points.

While Everton climb to 10th, Bournemouth stay 12th.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zha8grlwdiI

WEST HAM UNITED 1 V 0 ARSENAL

In a highly-competitive London derby, Alexandre Lacazette was denied by an excellent save from Lukasz Fabianski as Arsenal failed to score in the league for the first time since the opening day of the season as 19-year-old Declan Rice gave the Hammers victory over Arsenal.

Rice’s superb finish, his first Premier League strike was the only goal at London Stadium, denting Arsenal’s top-four ambitions.

West Ham was full value for their win, with Marko Arnautovic, Rice, Nasri and Felipe Anderson all going close when the game was goalless.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZs1UEGPPPY

BRIGHTON 0 V 1 LIVERPOOL

Mohamed Salah’s penalty edged out Brighton to extend their lead to seven points at the top of the Premier League.

The Reds dominated with more than 70% possession against their cagey hosts but created little in a workmanlike performance until Salah was felled in the area by Pascal Gross, the Egyptian duly lashed the spot-kick left-footed across his body and into the net for a 17th goal of the season.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPgMdxmK7Jo

BURNLEY 2 V 1 FULHAM

Burnley manager Sean Dyche conceded that luck was on Burnley’s side after two Fulham own goals in three minutes saw them claim victory at Turf Moor, without registering a single shot on target.

A stunning Andre Schurrle volley had seen the visitors take the lead after two minutes before defenders Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi both diverted the ball into their own net, Jeff Hendrick was the provider for both goals, with the Republic of Ireland international’s drilled cross cannoning in off Bryan’s left leg for the equaliser, and then a clipped cross into the Fulham box from the left, saw Odoi head past Sergio Rico.

Click here to see the stunning goal from Schurrle – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4LJYSJpwmY

CARDIFF 0 V 0 HUDDERSFIELD

In the bore draw of the week, the only bit of excitement came with14 minutes left, Huddersfield thought they had a golden opportunity to snatch what would only have been their third win of the season when referee Lee Mason awarded them a penalty after Cardiff’s Joe Bennett brought down Florent Hadergjonaj, but assistant referee Stuart Burt intervened to tell Mason that it was, in fact, Hadergjonaj who had fouled Bennett, and Mason reversed his decision, prompting a furious reaction from the Huddersfield dugout.

The result means the Terriers stay at the foot of the Premier League, eight points adrift of safety, while Cardiff remains 17th in the table, one point in front of 18th-placed Newcastle.

Sorry, no highlights!

CRYSTAL PALACE 1 V 2 WATFORD

Tom Cleverley’s superb second-half volley helped Watford come from behind to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The former Manchester United midfielder thumped James Tomkins’ clearance into the top corner for his first league goal since October 2017.

Palace had taken the lead seven minutes before half-time, Abdoulaye Doucoure’s attempted clearance rebounding off the unfortunate Craig Cathcart and past the despairing dive of Ben Foster, the Watford centre-back atoned for his own goal midway through the second half when he headed Jose Holebas’ corner into the roof of the net  and Cleverley struck just seven minutes later to earn Javi Gracia’s side a hard-earned three points.

The victory lifts the Hornets into seventh place in the table, while Palace remains in 14th, just four points above the relegation zone.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0DW5zctmYY

LEICESTER CITY 1 V 2 SOUTHAMPTON

James Ward-Prowse gave Southampton an early lead from the penalty spot after Shane Long was bundled over in the area by Nampalys Mendy.

Saints defender Yan Valery was then shown a second yellow card for a foul on Marc Albrighton before Long doubled their lead shortly before the break, Wilfred Ndidi scrambled home Ricardo Pereira’s cross to bring Leicester back into the game at the start of the second half, but Southampton held on for a priceless victory.

The three points lift Southampton above Newcastle and Cardiff into 16th place. Leicester drops one to eighth.

Click here for the goals –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKHZsInfD2o

CHELSEA 2 V 1 NEWCASTLE

Chelsea had failed to score in their previous two league matches at Stamford Bridge but they netted in the ninth minute when Pedro collected David Luiz’s ball over the top, took a touch, then shot past Dubravka for his seventh goal of the season.

However, with Eden Hazard again featuring as a ‘false nine’ with Olivier Giroud on the bench and Alvaro Morata left out of the squad, they struggled to create further clear-cut chances before Clark equalised for Newcastle, powerfully heading in from Matt Ritchie’s corner.

There were boos heard inside Stamford Bridge at half-time, but Sarri’s side were greatly improved in the second half, with Hazard a much more prominent threat, the Belgian led Chelsea’s attack, which resulted in their second goal as he ran at the Newcastle defence, offloaded to Willian who, from a tight angle, cut inside onto his right foot and curled a beautiful effort past Dubravka with the ball going in off the post.

Chelsea is now fourth, one point behind third-placed Tottenham, but six points clear of Arsenal, who they face at Emirates Stadium in their next game on 19 January, while the Magpies have dropped into the relegation zone.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=413JN-H8JSo

 

In my predictions, I got five correct results.

Please see following my predictions for week 23

Wolves 2 v 1 Leicester City

Bournemouth 1 v 2 West Ham United

Liverpool 3 v 1 Crystal Palace

Manchester United 2 v 1 Brighton

Newcastle 2 v 1 Cardiff

Southampton 1 v 2 Everton

Watford 2 v 1 Burnley

Huddersfield 1 v 4 Manchester City

Fulham 1 v 3 Tottenham Hotspur

Have a good week,

Gary

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