EPL 2015/16 WEEK 17 ROUND UP

Chelsea 3 v 1 Sunderland

The main talking point this week has been the sacking of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, I think that Jose is a fantastic character for the game, but his management decisions this season have clearly put a wedge between him and his players. the treatment of the Chelsea female doctor was outrageous and instead of holding up his arms and apologising he was adamant that he was in the right, this has led to discord between him and the players and it was clear to see during Jose’s post match interview after the defeat last week at Leicester. here was a manager looking to put all the blame on his team and none upon himself. Jose had lost the dressing room and once this happend the only thing that can paper over the cracks are victories, when things are not going well, these cracks get bigger and bigger and that is what we have seen at Chelsea. once the players do not want to play for the manager then changes have to be made.

Chelsea started the post-Jose Mourinho era with a comfortable 3-1 victory against Sunderland, but the shadow of the former manager hung heavily over Stamford Bridge. The Blues’ fans delivered almost unanimous backing for Mourinho, with banners all around Stamford Bridge declaring support, while Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas were jeered before and during the game by supporters who clearly believe they have been central to the sacked manager’s downfall. Branislav Ivanovic’s towering fifth-minute header put Chelsea on the way and victory was effectively confirmed against the struggling Black Cats when Pedro pounced on a loose ball before half-time. Guus Hiddink, confirmed as Chelsea boss until the end of the season hours before the game, watched from the stands alongside former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and club owner Roman Abramovich as Oscar added a third from the spot after Costel Pantilimon fouled Willian. Fabio Borini pulled one back for Sunderland when he bundled in from close range, but this day was so much about Mourinho’s departure.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDcSQBbljv0

 

Arsenal 2 v 1 Man City

Arsenal moved to within two points of Premier League leaders Leicester City with victory over Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners showed the sort of impressive form, cutting edge and resilience that will lead manager Arsene Wenger to believe Arsenal can finally

make a serious challenge for the title. City dominated early possession but Kevin de Bruyne wasted a good chance and Theo Walcott punished the visitors with a right-foot finish from 20 yards in the 33rd minute. Eliaquim Mangala’s dreadful clearance allowed Mesut Ozil’s 15th assist of the season as he set up Olivier Giroud for an angled finish in first-half stoppage time. Yaya Toure’s clever shot from outside the area set up a tense finale which saw both Toure and substitute Wilfried Bony waste chances to equalise.

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

 

Watford 3 v 0 Liverpool

Watford profited from Liverpool’s calamitous opening at Vicarage Road to continue their remarkable rise with a fourth consecutive Premier League win. Adam Bogdan dropped a corner with the very first touch of his league debut, allowing Nathan Ake to stab the home side ahead after just three minutes. Odion Ighalo doubled the lead, firing in off the post from a tight angle. And the Nigerian sealed a deserved victory with his 12th of the season, nodding in from Valon Behrami’s cross. The Hornets, promoted from the Championship last term, move to within a point of the Champions League places. Defeat for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who are now without a win in their last three league games, leaves them ninth, four points behind Quique Flores’ side in seventh.

All Watford fans click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpI9A-5qXrY

 

Swansea 0 v 0 West Ham

The bore draw of the week was in Wales where Swansea City remain in the Premier League relegation zone after they were held by a West Ham side who recorded a third straight goalless draw. The managerless Swans dominated the first half as Ki Sung-yueng and Andre Ayew missed good chances. Jack Cork had a spectacular volley saved by Adrian after the break, while Swansea appealed in vain for a penalty for a James Collins handball. Swansea stay 18th, two points from safety, while West Ham remain eighth. The Hammers had to settle for a fifth draw from six Premier League games, but the result will have been frustrating for the Swans, who have now won only one of their last 13 league matches.

 

Everton 1 v 3 Leicester

Leicester City ensured they will be top of the Premier League at Christmas by beating Everton at Goodison Park.

Riyad Mahrez scored the first of two penalties after Ramiro Funes Mori held back Shinji Okazaki.

Romelu Lukaku levelled, but Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard tripped Jamie Vardy to allow Mahrez to again convert from the spot.

Okazaki fired in a third for the Foxes, who held on despite Kevin Mirallas’ late strike.

Leicester, predicted to be relegation candidates by many commentators before the start of the season, are now the only team in Premier League history to be bottom on Christmas Day one year and top the following Christmas.

Click here to see the surprise package of the first half of the season – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1sx5mip2KY

 


Manchester United 2 v 3 Norwich

Manchester United were booed off the pitch as Norwich earned a shock victory at Old Trafford, increasing the pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.

Despite all of United’s possession, it was Norwich who took the lead in the first half through Cameron Jerome.

It got worse for the home side in the second half as Jerome broke clear to feed Alex Tettey, who poked in.

Anthony Martial pulled a goal back, but United’s winless run is now six games while Norwich are out of the drop zone.

Juan Mata saw a free-kick from the edge of the area pushed away by Declan Rudd as the hosts went in search of the equaliser in the second half.

Centre-back Chris Smalling could have earned a point late on, but headed narrowly wide as United dropped to fifth in the Premier League table.

 

All Norwich fans click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO4iD_6J1cU

 

 

Southampton 0 v 2 Tottenham

Harry Kane scored on his 100th Tottenham appearance as they moved into the Premier League top four with victory at struggling Southampton.

Kane broke through the Saints defensive line and finished coolly for a 10th goal in his past 10 games.

Soon after, Dele Alli benefitted from some lax defending to score from close range and put Spurs firmly in control.

Spurs managed the game superbly in the second half against a Saints side who are now without a win in six matches.

Southampton  remain seven points clear of the relegation zone but in need of an upturn in form to avoid slipping closer to danger.

In contrast, Tottenham gave the perfect riposte to last weekend’s surprise defeat at home to Newcastle with a professional performance to take them to 29 points from 17 league games.

Click here for the goals, watch Kane’s quality as he drives through the Saints defence and cooly slots home for Spurs first goal. – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll6kZOPjcIs

 
Stoke 1 v 2 Crystal Palace

Substitute Lee Chung-yong lashed home a sensational late winner for Crystal Palace at Stoke to put the Eagles level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham. Connor Wickham’s powerful penalty gave Palace a first-half lead. Stoke levelled from the spot when Damien Delaney was punished for handball and Bojan stepped up to dispatch his fourth goal of the season. With both sides looking for the winner, Lee found it with a 30-yard shot which sailed past Jack Butland on 88 minutes. Stoke will feel aggrieved not have taken at least a point, but Mark Hughes’ side lacked the spark of two weeks earlier when they beat Man Cityat home.

Palace never dominated but were always a threat on the break and they will wake up on Christmas Day level on points with Manchester United and Spurs, who occupy a Champions League spot.
West Brom 1 v 2 Bournemouth

Charlie Daniels’ late penalty earned Bournemouth a third successive Premier League victory at the expense of West Brom, who finished with nine men. The Baggies were a man down in the 34th minute when James McClean was shown red for scything down Adam Smith.

The Cherries took the lead when Smith fired in low from 20 yards before Gareth McAuley equalised with a header.

Daniels crashed home the winner three minutes from time before Salomon Rondon saw red for a clash with Dan Gosling.

The result sees manager Eddie Howe’s Cherries stay 14th in the table, although they are now only two points behind 13th place West Brom who have 20 points.

 

Click here to see the Bournemouth revival – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mlzy8YY29t0

 


Newcastle 1 v 1 Aston Villa

Jordan Ayew’s superb second-half goal earned Premier League bottom club Aston Villa a point at Newcastle.

Ayew drove into the top corner from inside the area to cancel out Fabricio Coloccini’s close-range opener.

Both sides had chances to win in the closing stages, with Newcastle striker Georginio Wijnaldum and Villa’s Rudy Gestede having shots saved.

Villa, without a Premier League win since the opening game of the season, remain 10 points from safety.

 

Click here for Ayew’s wonderful goal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmUC-2-3aJg

 

My form in the predictions was average with only two correct scores and one correct result his week.

My Boxing Day predictions

Stoke 2 v 1 Man Utd
Aston Villa 1 v 2 West Ham
Bournemouth 2 v 1 Watford
Chelsea 3 v 1 Watford
Liverpool 1 v 2 Leicester
Man City 3 v 1 Sunderland
Swansea 1 v 2 West Brom
Tottenham 3 v 1 Norwich
Newcastle 1 v 2 Everton
Southampton 1 v 2 Arsenal

Have a lovely Christmas time.

Regards

Gary

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