ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 34 ROUNDUP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

ASTON VILLA 0 V 3 MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United continued their impressive recent run, extending their unbeaten streak to 17 games in all competitions, and closed to within a point of fourth placed Leicester.
The excellent Fernandes converted from the penalty spot after being tripped by Ezri Konsa, a avery harsh decision as it was gamesmanship by Fernandes as he played for the penalty and tricked the referee and VAR into giving it. It was never a penalty.
United controlled the possession and tempo of the contest and doubled their advantage through teenager Mason Greenwood, who further highlighted his ruthless finishing ability by firing in his 16th of the campaign, Paul Pogba stroked in a delightful third and Anthony Martial smashed against the crossbar, with the heavy defeat leaving Villa second bottom, four points adrift of safety with four games remaining.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px5YQJ0e4ek

EVERTON 1 V 1 SOUTHAMPTON

Danny Ings continued his good goalscoring season as Southampton drew at Everton in an entertaining Premier League match.
Saints had the better chances and captain James Ward-Prowse fired a penalty, awarded after he fell into the standing Andre Gomes, against the crossbar.
Ings opened the scoring with a clever finish after latching on to a misplaced shot from Stuart Armstrong – who had earlier had a goal disallowed for offside.
Richarlison equalised against the run of play from Lucas Digne’s wonderful 40-yard cross-field ball.
Everton and Southampton, remain 11th and 12th respectively, safe from relegation but unlikely to threaten the European places.

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

BOURNEMOUTH 0 V 0 SPURS

This was the bore draw of the week, if not the season !!
Bournemouth were denied a late winner in a goalless draw with Tottenham, they thought they had snatched a significant victory in their bid to avoid relegation only for Callum Wilson’s overhead kick to be ruled out by the video assistant referee.
A point did little to further Spurs’ European ambitions, though the visitors felt they should have had a penalty for a push on forward Harry Kane.
Kane did not have a touch in the opposition box until the 78th minute as a lacklustre Spurs side failed to register a single shot on target.
Bournemouth substitute Harry Wilson forced Hugo Lloris into a late save while King had earlier put the ball in the net from close range, but Stanislas was offside earlier in the move.
Erik Lamela glanced a header wide in Tottenham’s only real chance of note, with their early penalty appeal Jose Mourinho’s side’s best chance of breaking the deadlock.
Kane appeared to be shoved in the back by King from a corner but VAR looked at the incident and decided it was not a foul.
It leaves Tottenham ninth, one point behind north London rivals Arsenal, who we face on Sunday.

Click here for the lowlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rzzpdzY6-I

WEST HAM UNITED 0 V 1 BURNLEY

Jay Rodriguez’s winner edged Burnley closer to a Europa League spot as relegation-threatened West Ham were left to rue a host of missed chances.
The forward met Charlie Taylor’s whipped delivery with a flicked header that looped over Lukasz Fabianski and dropped in off the crossbar.
It came after a string of fine saves from Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Michail Antonio also struck a post and Pope then turned substitute Sebastien Haller’s effort wide with his studs.
The win takes Sean Dyche’s side to within one point of eighth-placed Arsenal, while the Hammers remain four points above the relegation zone.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmODzG4ShmI

SHEFFIELD UNITED 1 V 0 WOLVES

I tipped Sheffield United to be fighting relegation and now here they are in with a chance of qulifying for European competition.
John Egan scored with a dramatic 93rd-minute header to give Europe-chasing Sheffield United victory over Wolves at Bramall Lane.
The away side had earlier hit the woodwork when Ruben Neves’ free-kick from just outside the penalty area bounced off the top of the crossbar.
Sheffield United thought they had taken the lead as Billy Sharp spun and fired the ball past Rui Patricio but the Blades captain was offside when he collected the pass.
But the Blades won it in injury time as Oliver Norwood’s corner from the right wing was met by Egan’s powerful header.
Sheffield United, who have never qualified for a major European competition, move up from ninth to seventh and are now one point and one place behind Wolves, who lost for the second time in five days.

Click here for the goal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa95mftteHQ

MANCHESTER CITY 5 V 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED

Newcastle were outclassed by a free flowing Man City side, as City returned to winning ways in style by thrashing hapless Newcastle at Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side were surprisingly beaten at Southampton in their previous Premier League game but two goals in the opening 20 minutes against the Magpies effectively settled this contest.
Gabriel Jesus ended his nine-game goal drought by converting from David Silva’s cutback, while Riyad Mahrez swept home the second from Kevin de Bruyne’s pass.
It got worse for Newcastle in the second period when Federico Fernandez inadvertently deflected Matt Ritchie’s attempted clearance into his own net and David Silva added the fourth by curling in a sublime free-kick.
Raheem Sterling came off the bench to add the fifth for City in injury-time, rolling in from Silva’s pass.
With four games remaining, City have strengthened their claim to second place, moving nine points clear of Chelsea, while Newcastle drop to 13th.

Click here or the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_o4PSDuSkc

CRYSTAL PALACE 2 V 3 CHELSEA

Chelsea strengthened their position in the Premier League’s top four with victory over Crystal Palace in an entertaining encounter at Selhurst Park, that included a stunning long-range strike from Wilfried Zaha and a rare goal from Christian Benteke.
There was an element of fortune about the game’s opening goal, with Palace defender Gary Cahill pulling up with a match-ending injury to allow Willian to charge into the box unimpeded and set up Olivier Giroud to finish.

Twice Chelsea looked to have put the game beyond the home side, first through Christian Pulisic’s rising shot to make it 2-0 in the first half and then via Tammy Abraham’s neat finish with 19 minutes to go to put the Blues 3-1 up.
But this reckoned without the input of Zaha and Benteke.
Zaha’s goal was a superb strike, fiercely fired into the net via the crossbar from an unlikely distance. Benteke’s was more routine, tapped in from point-blank range following a neat move,
And Palace came within a whisker of snatching a point when Scott Dann’s header struck the inside of the post before Chelsea hacked the ball clear.
Chelsea’s win means they move above Leicester into third place in the table, five points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1wZk-6htE8

WATFORD 2 V 1 NOWICH CITY

Danny Welbeck scored the winner with a spectacular overhead kick as Watford came from behind to beat Norwich and move four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
Norwich, who remain bottom of the table and are now 10 points behind the 17th-placed Hornets, will be relegated if they lose to West Ham on Saturday.
Emiliano Buendia’s curled effort gave Norwich an early lead before Craig Dawson equalised with a close-range header.
The home side won it through Welbeck’s wonderful goal, after the ball looped up following a poor clearance by Max Aarons.

Click here for the goals and Wellbeck’s amazing winner

ARSENAL 1 V 1 LEICESTER CITY

Fortunately for the Spurs fans, Jamie Vardy’s late equaliser gave Leicester City a vital point to keep their Champions League hopes on track and end Arsenal’s recent winning streak. Spurs meet Arsenal at the New Tottenham Hotspur stadium on Sunday.
The Gunners looked on course for a fifth successive victory to maintain their own outside chance of a place in Europe’s elite competition next season after Pierre Emerick Aubameyang swept in his 20th league goal of the season in the first half.
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel kept Arsenal at bay with a string of fine saves before the interval, twice denying Alexandre Lacazette as well as Bukayo Saka, and it proved to be a vital contribution.
Arsenal were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes left when Eddie Nketiah was sent off four minutes after coming on as substitute for a ridiculous challenge on James Justin, and Leicester cashed in when Vardy slid home Demarai Gray’s cross in the 84th minute, the goal finally awarded after a lengthy VAR check for offside.
It was Vardy’s 22nd league strike of the season and restored his two goal advantage over Aubameyang at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.
Leicester drop to fourth, four points ahead of Manchester United having played a game more, but this was an important point that left Arsenal frustrated in seventh.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJBaCbFZ3O0

A number of draws ruined my predictions with only 4 correct results and one exact score.

Please see following my predictions for week 35 🙂

Norwich City 1 v 2 West Ham United
Watford 2 v 1 Newcastle United
Liverpool 4 V 1 Burnley
Sheffield United 1 V 2 Chelsea
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 V 3 Manchester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 V 1 Everton
Aston Villa 1 V 2 Crystal Palace
Tottenham Hotspur 3 V 1 Arsenal
AFC Bournemouth1 V 2 Leicester City
Manchester United 3 V 1 Southampton

Enjoy the weekend

Stay safe

Gary

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