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EPL 2015/16 WEEK 21 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

An amazing 34 goals were scored in week 21 of the Premier League, with only Leicester getting a victory out of the top four teams.

 

Chelsea 2 v 2 West Brom

James McClean’s late equaliser earned West Brom a share of the points as they refused to accept defeat at Chelsea.

The Blues went ahead when Cesar Azpilicueta turned in fellow full-back Branislav Ivanovic’s low cross.

Craig Gardner’s skimming shot levelled, but it seemed Chelsea had done enough when Gareth McAuley prodded Willian’s cross into his own net.

But when the home defence failed to clear McClean made them pay with a pinpoint shot into the bottom corner.

The Republic of Ireland international’s leveller was the final twist in an often ill-tempered game with Chelsea striker Diego Costa at the centre of several flashpoints, including a confrontation with several West Brom players after the final whistle.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkNOGdwU8Sw

 

Man City 0 v 0 Everton

The bore draw this week came surprisingly at the Ethiad Stadium, Manchester City missed the chance to make up ground in the Premier League title race as they were held to a goalless draw by a stubborn Everton.Manuel Pellegrini’s side dominated the second half but were repeatedly denied by away keeper Tim Howard.It was a supreme defensive display from the Toffees, who had been the better attacking side in the first half.They also rode their luck, as City were denied a late penalty for a foul on Raheem Sterling by John Stones.For Everton, it is a point won – and a confidence-boosting one, following a run of seven games in which they have won just once.

Click here for the no goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3RP3cBoNgo


Southampton 2 v 0 Watford

Goals from Shane Long and Dusan Tadic earned Southampton only their second league win in nine games as they saw off Watford at St Mary’s Stadium. The Saints were exceptional and outshone their in-form visitors on a wet and cold night on the south coast. Long opened the scoring when he directed his header past Heurelho Gomes from a excellent Matt Targett delivery.

Dusan Tadic made it 2-0, two minutes after coming on in the 71st minute, when he fired in from eight yards.

The Saints move up from 13th to 12th with the win, two points behind Watford who remain on 29 points, but drop from ninth to 10th.

 

Stoke City 3 v 1 Norwich

Stoke City moved up to seventh in the Premier League as three second-half goals saw off a Norwich side which played over an hour with 10 men.The game was goalless when Canaries midfielder Gary O’Neil saw red for needlessly clattering through the back of Ibrahim Afellay on the touchline.Stoke’s Jon Walters slid in the opener at the far post, only for Jonny Howson to level with a 20-yard half volley.Joselu’s low drive and Ryan Bennett’s headed own goal sealed the home win.

 

Swansea 2 v 4 Sunderland

Jermain Defoe struck a hat-trick as Sunderland dragged 10-man Swansea closer to the bottom three in a game packed with refereeing controversy.Defoe pounced on Lukasz Fabianski’s mistake to score, but Swansea equalised with Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty. Kyle Naughton was controversially sent off for a foul on Yann M’Vila but Andre Ayew put the Swans ahead by half-time.

Patrick van Aanholt’s deflected shot levelled and Defoe struck twice to secure a second successive league win.

Sunderland have now leapfrogged arch rivals Newcastle into 18th in the Premier League table, just one point and one place below Swansea.

 

Liverpool 3 v 3 Arsenal

Arsenal had their advantage at the top of the Premier League cut after Joe Allen’s late equaliser gave Liverpool a deserved point in an Anfield thriller. Olivier Giroud’s second-half strike his second of the night and 18th of the season, looked to have put the Gunners on course for a crucial victory, but substitute Allen rewarded the hosts for a display bursting with energy and spirit with a low 90th-minute finish. Roberto Firmino twice gave Liverpool the lead in a breathless first half, the second a spectacular 20-yard drive, but Arsenal took advantage of poor defending from Jurgen Klopp’s side to level through Aaron Ramsey and Giroud.

Giroud also missed an open goal in the first half, while Firmino struck the bar in a wide open game.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ4feUFuLD8

 

Tottenham 0 v 1 Leicester

I was at White Hart Lane, with high expectations of a victory over high flyers Leicester City, but Robert Huth scored a late winner as Leicester beat Premier League top-four rivals Tottenham.If it had been a boxing contest, then the Leicester camp would have thrown in the towel, but this very well organised and hard working side deserve their status this season, I was impressed with Leicester and the way they kept Tottenham at bay and then hit them with a sucker punch.

The Foxes, who are now level on points with leaders Arsenal, looked like they were heading for a fourth league game without a goal until unmarked Huth headed home Christian Fuchs’ corner. Harry Kane had Spurs’ best chance when his effort was touched on to the bar by keeper Kasper Schmeichel. Foxes striker Jamie Vardy returned from groin surgery but had a quiet game.

All Leicester fans click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy1oiE-Iook

 

Aston Villa 1 v 0 Crystal Palace

Bottom club Aston Villa secured their first win under Remi Garde after an awful mistake by Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. Hennessey allowed Joleon Lescott’s header from a corner to squirm from his grasp and trickle over the line.

Palace almost took the lead when Wilfried Zaha hit a post after just 42 seconds at Villa Park.In a much improved Villa display, returning striker Libor Kozak forced a fine save when the game was goalless

 

Bournemouth 1 v 3 West Ham

Dimitri Payet inspired a West Ham comeback to secure victory over Bournemouth which moves them to fifth in the Premier League.Harry Arter had given the hosts the lead with a 25-yard strike. But West Ham were much improved after the break thanks to the inventive Payet who deservedly scored a wonderful free-kick into the top left corner. Payet then fed Enner Valencia for a tap-in before the Ecuadorian produced a stunning free-kick late on, the victory for Slaven Bilic’s men, which seemed unlikely at the break, moves the Londoners to within a point of Tottenham in fourth.

The win, West Ham’s first away from home in six games, also equals a club record eight-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.

 

Newcastle 3 v 3 Man Utd

Paul Dummett’s late strike rescued a point for Newcastle as Manchester United missed the chance to go level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham. It was a remarkable end to a game that had seen the away side lead twice. Wayne Rooney’s penalty and Jesse Lingard’s finish put them 2-0 up before Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty levelled the scores.

Rooney’s second looked to have won it for Louis van Gaal’s side but Dummett salvaged the draw in the last minute.

The point earned is not enough to lift Newcastle out of the bottom three as they remain a point and place behind 17th-placed Swansea, but it represents another notable improvement following three successive 1-0 league defeats.

For Louis van Gaal’s side, it will represent two points lost and a step backwards after back-to-back Premier League and FA Cup victories had offered improvement on a winless December.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-okj-yIeu4

Slightly below par performance from me this week in the predictions, with only three correct results.

 

My week 22 Predictions :-

Tottenham 3 v 1 Sunderland
Bournemouth 2 v 1 Norwich
Chelsea 2 v 1 Everton
Man City 3 v 1 Crystal Palace
Newcastle 2 v 1 West Ham
Southampton 2 v 1 West Brom
Aston Villa 1 v 2 Leicester
Liverpool 2 v 1 Man Ttd
Stoke 2 v 3 Arsenal

Have a good week

Gary

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