ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP ROUND UP WEEK 23

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog


ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP ROUND UP WEEK 23

Arsenal 1 v 2 Watford

Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes suffered a huge blow with a shock home defeat as Watford dominated the Gunners in the early stages and did enough to secure their first top flight win over Arsenal since 1988.

It made me smile that ex Spurs defender Younes Kaboul lashed in the opener within 10 minutes for Watford with a shot from outside the area which deflected off Aaron Ramsey.

Just two minutes and 57 seconds later, the visitors doubled their lead as Troy Deeney tapped in the rebound after Etienne Capoue’s fine run ended with his shot being saved by Petr Cech.

Arsenal improved significantly in the second half and Alex Iwobi pulled a goal back by steering Alexis Sanchez’s cross home, but despite Lucas Perez striking the crossbar with a powerful drive, they could not find the equaliser.

All Arsenal fans look away – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpsBIkCAlg

Liverpool 1 v 1 Chelsea

After a torrid last three home defeats for Liverpool, they bounced back to form with a well deserved draw against league leaders Chelsea.

It could have been different had Diego Costa scored with a late penalty, which was well saved by Simon Mignolet. Chelsea took the lead with David Luiz’s superb free-kick from 25 yards, Georginio Wijnaldum’s close-range header 11 minutes after the break gave Liverpool a point.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeaVbdC14vQ

Bournemouth 0 v 2 Crystal Palace

Sam Allardyce can smile again after Crystal Palace finally earned their first Premier League victory since he became manager, after a goalless first half, Scott Dann broke the deadlock shortly after the restart from Damien Delaney’s flick-on, Christian Benteke added a second in the closing moments, heading home a pinpoint cross by ex Spurs player Andros Townsend,

Palace had only earned two points from the last 24 before this result and remain inside the relegation zone, two points behind Swansea, this result also brings the relegation dogfight a little closer to Bournemouth’s door, Eddie Howe’s side drop to 14th place and are now seven points above the drop zone after a run of just one win in seven.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hxO1MCrXmw

Swansea 2 v 1 Southampton

Swansea boosted their Premier League survival hopes and secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a spirited victory over Southampton.

The Swans took the lead when Alfie Mawson headed in Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner via a deflection off Oriol Romeu, The Saints hit back after a good move with Shane Long prodding in Ryan Bertrand’s low cross, however the quality of ex Spurs player Sigurdsson was to be the difference between the sides when he scored from Luciano Narsingh’s cross.

Sunderland 0 v 0 Spurs

The bore draw of the week came at the Stadium of Light, where very few chances were created by either side. Spurs did themselves no favours in their challenge on the title but Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the table with a hard-fought draw.

Spurs remain nine points behind leaders Chelsea, but threw away the opportunity to close the gap,

Mauricio Pochettino’s side dominated possession against the Black Cats, seeing 73% of the ball, but could not make the breakthrough.

No highlights I am afraid !!

Middlesbrough 1 v 1 West Brom

Middlesbrough came back from a goal down but were left frustrated as a resilient West Brom claimed a point at the Riverside Stadium. The in-form Baggies started the game stronger and took the lead from their first attack as James Morrison fired home from long range after the home side had failed to clear a free-kick, Boro levelled soon after through Alvaro Negredo’s penalty after the Spain striker had been fouled in the box by Gareth McAuley.

Middlesbrough looked to be in control and the more likely to win, but their failure in front of goal means that they are now only two points above the drop zone. Meanwhile Tony Pulis’s side are in the dizzy heights of eighth in the table.

Burnley 1 v 0 Leicester

Burnley secured their fifth consecutive home Premier League win with victory over Leicester at Turf Moor, in the home and away league tables. Burnley are third in the home table with 28 points and are bottom of the away table with 1 point, quite a remarkable statistic.

The Clarets dominated for long spells but routinely failed to hit the target until substitute Vokes hooked in Michael Keane’s knock-down from a corner in the 87th minute.

The Champions remain without an away Premier League win this season and have failed to score for a fourth consecutive league game.

West Ham 0 v 4 Man City

Manchester City tore West Ham apart in this encounter at the Olympic Stadium.

Even without striker Sergio Aguero and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who were rested, it was an easy victory. City led when Kevin de Bruyne played a one-two with Jesus before stroking home, four minutes later, they doubled their lead when the impressive Leroy Sane beat two defenders and his deflected cross was tapped home by David Silva. The game was over before half-time when Raheem Sterling squared the ball to Jesus to tap home the third. Yaya Toure added a fourth after the break from a penalty when Hammers debutant Jose Fonte brought down Sterling.

Man United 0 v 0 Hull

If United cannot overcome the bottom club in the league, who have already conceded 47 goals this season, then it does not look good for the United fans. A couple of chances for Ibrahimovic and Pogba that went begging, was the best that the Red Devils could muster. Well done to Hull, they have lifted themselves off the bottom with this point.

Stoke 1 v 1 Everton

Ex Spurs striker Peter Crouch scored his 100th Premier League goal as Stoke were held to an entertaining draw at home to Everton, Crouch, 36, applied a simple finish early in the first half to bring up his century almost 15 years on from opening his account. Everton equalised when Seamus Coleman, on his 200th league appearance for the Toffees, saw his cross-shot fly in off Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross, the goal was initially ruled out for offside after Romelu Lukaku strayed beyond the last Stoke outfield player, but after a conversation between referee Craig Pawson and his assistant, the decision was reversed. These decisions clearly have to be looked at. Lukaku was in an offside position when the ball was crossed into the box, in his desperation to stop the ball reaching Lukaku, Shawcross turned the ball into his own net. Had Shawcross missed the ball and Lukaku had scored, then the goal would have been disallowed. What nonsense that this goal was not disallowed – it is obvious that Lukaku was interfering with play, as if he was not there then Shawcross could have let the ball run out for a goal kick, but as he was there he is obviously interfering with play and the goal should have been disallowed.

The stalemate sees Stoke move into ninth place on 29 points, while Everton eight points better off are in seventh.

Click here to see Peter’s 100th goal and the Lukaku offside – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO6OZkUYVts

I had a bottom of the table result with my predictions with only three correct results and one correct score.

My week 24 predictions

Chelsea 2 v 1 Arsenal
Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Sunderland
Everton 2 v 1 Bournemouth
Hull 1 v 2 Liverpool
Southampton 2 v 1 West Ham
Watford 2 v 1 Burnley
West Brom 2 v 1 Stoke
Tottenham 3 v 1 Middlesbrough
Man City 3 v 1 Swansea
Leicester 1 v 2 Man United

Have a good week

Gary

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