ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 29 ROUND UP
EVERTON 0 V 0 LIVERPOOL
Everton ensured Manchester City remained top of the Premier League as they produced a battling performance to hold Liverpool to a goalless draw at Goodison Park. Liverpool needed a victory to leapfrog City after their win at Bournemouth but Jurgen Klopp’s side lacked the cutting edge to break the deadlock in a tense Merseyside derby. The usual quality of the Liverpool front three was sadly missing at Goodison Park, as they laboured about their business, poor decision making, poor passes and first touches of lower leagues quality, severely hampered Liverpool’s title challenge
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, the villain when Divock Origi scored Liverpool’s 96th-minute winner at Anfield in December, was the hero with a brilliant first-half save from Mohamed Salah, who was denied by a superb last-ditch challenge from Michael Keane after the break.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was rarely troubled apart from a diving save from Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header and while the title chasers created the better opportunities, they were frustrated – as they were against Manchester United at Old Trafford a week ago.
Manchester City now stands a point clear with nine games remaining, while Everton stays 10th.
FULHAM 1 V 2 CHELSEA
The Premier League strugglers produced a much-improved performance in their first game since the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, but remain deep in relegation trouble. With nine matches remaining, they are 10 points from safety and have lost eight of their past nine league games.
Gonzalo Higuain set Chelsea on the way to a first Premier League away win of 2019 with a high-quality finish from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.
Fulham equalised through Calum Chambers from a corner, awarded after recalled Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga produced an outstanding stop to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s volley.
They were level for only four minutes, Jorginho’s well placed finish from 20 yards now leaving Chelsea only two points adrift of the fourth spot.
WATFORD 2 V 1 LEICESTER CITY
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City reign got off to a losing start as Andre Gray’s injury-time goal earned Watford all three points at Vicarage Road.
Troy Deeney capitalised on Kasper Schmeichel’s poor clearance before playing in Gray, who finished confidently past the Leicester goalkeeper and was then booked for removing his shirt amid raucous celebrations.
Deeney had given Watford an early lead, heading Gerard Deulofeu’s cross past Schmeichel.
Jamie Vardy appeared to have earned the visitors a point with a low finish from Youri Tielemans’ pass, but Gray’s goal clinched the win for Watford.
The Hornets move level on points with seventh-placed Wolves, while Leicester remains 11th following a seventh defeat in 10 league games.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 V 1 ARSENAL
I was at Wembley for one of the biggest games of the season, against our North London rivals Arsenal.
Spurs totally had Arsenal on the back foot for most of the game, but could not turn that domination into clear chances.
Harry Kane’s contested penalty put Spurs level with 16 minutes left after Aaron Ramsey’s coolly taken 16th-minute goal threatened to inflict a third successive league defeat on boss Mauricio Pochettino for the first time in his reign.
Arsenal was then handed a golden opportunity to close to within one point of Spurs after Davinson Sanchez fouled Aubameyang, but the striker’s tame penalty was easily saved low to his right by the diving Lloris.
And to add to the late chaos, Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira was sent off for a reckless challenge on Danny Rose in the closing seconds.
After Ramsey’s strike, keeper Bernd Leno kept Arsenal on level terms with a miraculous double save from Christian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko but the Gunners paid a heavy price for a glaring second-half miss from striker Alexandre Lacazette before Aubamayeng’s wayward spot-kick.
Lacazette failed to hit the target from eight yards and Spurs took advantage, Kane scoring from the spot to equalise after referee Anthony Taylor adjudged he was fouled by Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal was also angry as they believed offside should have been given in the build-up but Kane stayed calm amid the chaos to send Leno the wrong way from the spot for his ninth goal in this fixture and keep Spurs four points ahead of Unai Emery’s side.
Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etVI9YsjFFo
BOURNEMOUTH 0 V 1 MANCHESTER CITY
This victory takes Man City back to the top of the table, but it came at a cost, just before the break they suffered their first injury blow when De Bruyne went down unchallenged and immediately signalled to the bench that he wanted to come off.
It was the same scenario at the start of the second half, with John Stones walking off the field to be replaced by Vincent Kompany.
Despite those setbacks, City continued to push forward and deservedly took the lead after 55 minutes. Charlie Daniels failed to properly clear Bernardo Silva’s pass, the ball falling to Silva who teed up Mahrez to fire home at Artur Boruc’s near post.
The Bournemouth goalkeeper could possibly have done better but made up for it with a series of impressive stops to keep the score at 1-0.
The 39-year-old showed great athleticism to tip Sergio Aguero’s lofted long-range effort on to the bar before pushing Mahrez’s header away from point-blank range. Bournemouth offered little as an attacking force in reply, failing to have a shot at goal or force a single corner.
City’s win puts the pressure back on title rivals Liverpool.
Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wj8zTZ2sJY
BRIGHTON 1 V 0 HUDDERSFIELD
Brighton struggled in this game, especially in the first half, until Alireza Jahanbakhsh hit the crossbar just before half-time for the hosts, who then dominated after the break.
Jahanbakhsh forced a fine save from Jonas Lossl before Andone powerfully headed Anthony Knockaert’s cross past the Huddersfield keeper.
Brighton rises one place to 15th in the table, while Huddersfield stays 13 points short of safety.
BURNLEY 1 V 3 CRYSTAL PALACE
Crystal Palace put in another superb away performance to win at relegation rivals Burnley and take another step towards securing their top-flight status.
The two sides went into the game level on 30 points and Palace made the early breakthrough as Jeffrey Schlupp’s cut-back cannoned off Phil Bardsley’s thigh into his own net.
Burnley began to show their frustration towards the end of the first half and Michy Batshuayi doubled Palace’s lead just after the break, sweeping in a low ball by fit-again full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Palace continued to keep it tight at the back while Wilfried Zaha grabbed the goal his work-rate and class deserved, tormenting the Burnley defence before firing low past Tom Heaton.
Ashley Barnes pulled one back late on while Burnley substitute Peter Crouch almost set up a nervy finish, but Palace held on to claim their third straight away game in all competitions.
The victory also lifted the Eagles up to 13th in the Premier League, putting eight points between themselves and the relegation zone, while Burnley dropped one place to 16th, five points clear of third-bottom Cardiff.
MANCHESTER UNITED 3 V 2 SOUTHAMPTON
Yan Valery had given struggling Saints a surprise lead with an outstanding finish from around 25 yards before United turned it around with two goals in six second-half minutes, Andreas Pereira equalised with a spectacular long-range strike before setting up Lukaku to make it 2-1.
Saints fought back to make it 2-2 through James Ward-Prowse’s exquisite free-kick before Lukaku’s dramatic winner. In an incident-packed match, Paul Pogba missed the chance to make it 4-2 when Angus Gunn saved his late penalty.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWOA_a81i-c
WOLVES 2 V 0 CARDIFF
Diogo Jota opened the scoring from Wolves’ first real attack of the game
Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez were on target as Wolves ended a three-match winless run in the league with a victory over struggling Cardiff. Jota broke the deadlock in the 16th minute, finishing confidently past Neil Etheridge following a free-flowing move.
Wolves doubled their lead just two minutes later when Jota teed up Jimenez, who fired low into the corner for his 11th league goal of the campaign.
Leander Dendoncker nearly made it 3-0 in the first half but struck the post from point-blank range before being denied by Etheridge on the follow-up.
Cardiff’s woes were compounded by an injury to Sol Bamba, who was carried off on a stretcher before half-time with what appeared to be a knee injury.
The win lifts seventh-placed Wolves onto 43 points – more than they have previously amassed in the Premier League – while Cardiff remains 18th, two points off safety following a third consecutive defeat.
WEST HAM UNITED 2 V 0 NEWCASTLE
First-half goals from Declan Rice and Mark Noble ensured West Ham eased to a deserved Premier League victory over Newcastle at London Stadium.
Rice headed in from a Robert Snodgrass corner to put the Hammers ahead after seven minutes.
Noble then doubled the hosts’ advantage from the penalty spot as the interval approached, following Newcastle defender Florian Lejeune’s foul on Javier Hernandez.
The Magpies failed to offer much attacking threat, although Salomon Rondon did go close to grabbing a consolation as his free-kick struck Lukasz Fabianski’s post.
Victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s side lifts them to ninth in the table, while Newcastle remains six points clear of the relegation places in 14th.
I got seven correct predictions this week, getting back to form.
Please see following my predictions for week 30:
Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Brighton
Cardiff 1 v 2 West Ham United
Huddersfield 1 v 2 Bournemouth
Leicester 2 v Fulham 1
Newcastle 1 v 2 Everton
Southampton 1 v 3 Spurs
Manchester City 3 v 1 Watford
Liverpool 3 v 1 Burnley
Chelsea 2 v 1 Wolves
Arsenal 1 v 2 Manchester United
Have a good week,