The Premier League continues to throw up remarkable results, with plenty of David’s getting the better of Goliath opposition.
Stoke 2 v 0 Man Utd
Stoke City condemned Manchester United to a fourth straight defeat to increase the pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.
Bojan Krkic broke the deadlock after a poor header back to David de Gea from Memphis Depay allowed Glen Johnson to play it back to the Spanish forward. Stoke went 2-0 ahead through Marko Arnautovic’s 25-yard finish after Bojan’s free-kick had hit the wall. Van Gaal dropped captain Wayne Rooney, who came on as a half-time substitute, and United struggled to create chances. Stoke were superior throughout and could have won by more. Arnautovic missed a great chance to add to United’s misery when clean through, while Potters keeper Jack Butland denied Marouane Fellaini, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata.
Click here for Stoke’s demolition of Man Utd – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yzgBlI-sxM
Aston Villa 1 v 1 West Ham
A Jordan Ayew penalty helped bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa come from behind to earn a draw against a West Ham team which has not won since 24 October. In an evenly contested game, Villa twice went close in the first half through Rudy Gestede before Aaron Cresswell scored with a low strike.The spirited hosts levelled through Ayew after Gestede was clumsily felled by Angelo Ogbonna. As Villa searched for the winner, Alan Hutton went close with a header, but the right-back’s effort was cleared by James Collins as West Ham held on for their fifth successive draw to remain ninth in the league.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTjMWbxHpbo
Bournemouth 0 v 0 Crystal Palace
The bore draw of Christmas came in Bournemouth where In-form Crystal Palace ended Bournemouth’s three-match winning streak with a battling goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium. Alan Pardew’s side started brightly and Simon Francis cleared Damien Delaney’s goalbound volley off the line.
But Bournemouth recovered well and Matt Ritchie headed wide before Eunan O’Kane’s shot was tipped over. However, they could not break through as Palace extended their unbeaten away run to four matches. A draw was a fair result in a match in which both teams enjoyed spells of superiority, but in truth this was a disappointing encounter as two of the division’s form teams struggled to carve out clear-cut chances.
A point nevertheless sees Crystal Palace climb one place to fifth, while Bournemouth remain 14th.
Don’t click here, – nohighlights/boring/##?
Chelsea 2 v 2 Watford
Diego Costa scored twice as Guus Hiddink’s second spell as Chelsea boss started with a draw against Watford.
It could have been more for Hiddink, in charge after Jose Mourinho’s sacking, had Oscar not missed a late penalty.
Spaniard Costa hooked in the opener for the Blues before Nemanja Matic’s handball allowed Troy Deeney to level from the penalty spot.
Odion Ighalo’s deflected shot gave the visitors the lead, only for Costa to fire in and earn Chelsea a point.
Click here for Guus Hiddinks first point after taking over from Jose Mourinho – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-trJjdANxzo
Liverpool 1 v 0 Leicester
eLan CEO Mark Taylor will have had a smile on his face as leaders Leicester saw their nine-match unbeaten Premier League run ended by his Liverpool team, substitute Christian Benteke’s scored second-half winner.
The Reds dominated the first half at Anfield, but failed to fully test Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel. They were rewarded when Roberto Firmino’s pull-back from the left was steered in by a stretching Benteke. Leicester offered little threat, Nathan Dyer going closest as they failed to score for the first time this season.
Hi Mark, enjoy this one – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNAd2kU9mRQ
Man City 4 v 1 Sunderland
Manchester City thrashed relegation-threatened Sunderland but home substitute Vincent Kompany limped off soon after his return from injury.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring by heading in Kevin de Bruyne’s cross. The lead was doubled through Yaya Toure’s low 20-yard drive before Wilfried Bony headed in another de Bruyne delivery. The brilliant Belgian calmly scored before Fabio Borini’s consolation, as Bony skied a penalty later on. City will be concerned by the second-half departure of skipper Kompany, just minutes after coming on, having missed the previous eight matches with a calf injury, The defeat leaves Sunderland still five points adrift of Premier League safety, while City remain in third place.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rLb8ucdoog
Swansea 1 v 0 West Brom
Swansea overcame West Brom to secure their first win in more than two months and climb out of the relegation zone.
Ki Sung-yueng stabbed in the only goal of the game after goalkeeper Boaz Myhill failed to hold a loose ball from Angel Rangel’s shot.
West Brom rarely threatened in the first half, but pressed forward more after the interval. However, headers from Craig Dawson and Rickie Lambert were as close as the visitors came. Swansea are up to 16th, a point and two places above the crowded Premier League drop zone.
Tottenham 3 v 0 Norwich
Tottenham recorded a convincing win over Norwich thanks to two goals from Harry Kane and one from Tom Carroll. Norwich had the better chances early on, but faded away after conceding a penalty that Kane scored. The England striker doubled Spurs’ lead before the break after being set up by the impressive Dele Alli. The hosts were rarely troubled in the second half and sealed the win when substitute Carroll drove the ball home with 10 minutes left. Kane has now scored 27 Premier League goals in 2015, a eclipsing the previous club record for a calendar year set by Teddy Sheringham.
All Spurs fans click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiKc3450NCc
Newcastle 0 v 1 Everton
Tom Cleverley scored at the death at Newcastle as Everton secured a first Premier League win in five games.
He headed home his first goal for the club after goalkeeper Rob Elliot raced off his line to punch a corner, but sent it straight to the midfielder.
Georginio Wijnaldum went closest for Newcastle, but his powerful header was saved by Tim Howard.
The win moves Everton up to ninth while Newcastle drop into the relegation zone.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz7BL2k71Ew
Southampton 4 v 0 Arsenal
Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League as they were thrashed by Southampton at St Mary’s.
Saints full-back Cuco Martina marked his first league start with a stunning goal, curling in from 30 yards out.
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott missed free headers, before Shane Long finished from close range and Jose Fonte headed in the third.
Striker Long struck the post with three minutes remaining, but managed to add a fourth through the legs of Petr Cech.
It could have been even worse for the visitors. Virgil van Dijk had a header ruled out for offside, while Dusan Tadic’s dipping strike was pushed away by Cech.
All Arsenal fans look away, the Gunners (current title favourites) were dreadful – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aELIt1ORXHE
In my predictions I had four correct results, so about average for me this season so far !!!
My week 19 predictions :-
Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Swansea
Everton 2 v 1 Stoke
Norwich 2 v 1 Aston Villa
Watford 1 v 2 Tottenham
West Brom 2 v 1 Newcastle
Arsenal 3 v 1 Bournemouth
Man Utd 1 v 2 Chelsea
West Ham 2 v 1 Southampton
Leicester 2 v 1 Man City
Sunderland 1 v 2 Liverpool
Enjoy the holiday period.
All the best