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EPL 2015/16 WEEK 23 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

Norwich 4 v 5 Liverpool

What a game, Liverpool who up until this game had a goal difference of minus three and had only scored 25 goals in 22 games, fired in five to grab the three points at Norwich in a nine goal thriller. Norwich losing 4-3 at the end of 90 minutes, equalised in the 92 minute only for Liverpool’s Lalana to grab the winner in the 95 minute, these are the games that make you realise the joys of a game of football and the emotions that one single game can bring about.

This has to be the most dramatic Premier game of the season, the game swung to and fro, Roberto Firmino put Liverpool ahead, after breaking down the Norwich offside trap, Mbokani’s cute backheel put Norwich back in the game, followed by Norwich taking the lead through Steven Naismith, a Hoolahan penalty put Norwich 3-1 up and in the driving seat, before Jordan Henderson and Firmino struck, bringing Liverpool level, Milner put the Reds ahead in the 74th minute, then Sebastian Bassong netted in added time to make what looked certain to be an amazing draw, before Lalana delivered the killer blow in the 95th minute.

The fans of both teams will probably never get as many swings in emotion as this game delivered.

I would guess that both managers will be putting on defensive training sessions this week !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click here for the goals from My Goals Team – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m52MPz6rmUs


Crystal Palace 1 v 3 Tottenham

How much longer before I can seriously put forward a motion that Spurs have the capability of putting in a challenge on the Premiership title, Spurs have never finished any higher than fourth in the Premier League, but the way that this young side are growing in stature and maturity with every game they play, is sending out a very strong message to the rest of the league. They had to come from a goal behind away at Palace to take the three points, which shows the character of this team that Pochettino is assembling. This is a Tottenham team that has quality, potential, passion, character and a team who want to win together.

After going behind to a Jan Vertongen own goal, from a Zaha cross, Spurs showed their resilience, Harry Kane gave Tottenham their equaliser, when he headed home a Chadli cross, then an amazing 25-yard volley from Dele Alli gave Spurs the lead, Ali’s petulence in getting himself in a position to volley the ball home, belies his youth, Chadli got the third for Spurs when he curled in late in the game.

Tottenham are now only five points behind leaders Leicester and are five points in front of fifth placed Man United, Spurs are hovering menacingly close to the top of the table.

Click here and see Ali’s incredible skill – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D26UQA9VbEM

 

Everton 1 v 2 Swansea

Swansa’s new manager Francesco Guidolin’s had a dream start with an impressive and much-needed victory at Everton.

Ex Spur Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty gave the Swans the lead before the Toffees levelled when Gareth Barry’s near-post flick was turned into his own net by Jack Cork,  but Ayew wathe match winner seeiing his shot deflected past Howard in the Everton goal. deflected strike won it

Swansea are now  up to 15th in the table, wilst Eveton’s home form remans a concern for their mager Martinez, Eveton are 12th but not reaching the high expections at the start of the season in the table having gone into the campaign hoping to improve on last season’s 11th-placed finish.

 


Leicester 3 v 0 Stoke

After Leicester’s home defeat to Spurs last week in the FA Cup, the demise of Leicester was the talking point, had they finally burst their bubble and would their time at the top be about to crumble, well they certainly answered their critics with this convincing win and performance against a difficult Stoke side. Leicester moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League with an impressive 3-0 victory over Stoke.

Leicester took the lead through Danny Drinkwater just before the break, then Vardy rounded Butland and slotted into an open net, before Leonardo Ulloa added a third from close range late on.

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

 

Arsenal 0 v 1 Chelsea
The weekends games continued their excitement with Chelsea leaving the Emirates with the three points, Diego Costa’s first-half strike earned Chelsea victory and a league double over title-chasers Arsenal, Per Metersacker was sent off in the 18th minute after a clumsy and mistimed challege on Diego Costa, therewas very little contact but enough to convince the referee to brandish the red card, within five minutes Costa put the Blues ahead when he tucked home Branislav Ivanovic’s low cross, Chesa had a couple of decent chances, but so did Arsenal, who showed great spirit in the second alf to try aclaw their wa back into the gam, unfortunately their best chances fell to Flamini, the last person you would want in a goalscoring position.

Victory sees the Blues move up to 28 points and 13th position, their highest placing since 26 October. Defeat for the Gunners leaves them in third, three points behind Leicester who have 47 points and only two points in front of Spurs.

Chelsea are now unbeaten since Guus Hiddink took over from Jose Mourinho and the players at last are looking like they are enjoying their football.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0wRgIjGBss

I will say it again Tottenham are going about their business in a very professional, manner, picking up points through consistency and teamwork, and slowly but quietly putting themselves in an excellent position.

Tottenham did the double (winning the league and the FA Cup in the same season) in 1961, the year I was born and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that it might happen again soon !!!!!!!!!  NOT THAT I AM BIASED.

 

Manchester United 0 v 1 Southampton

I believe that Jose Mourinho’s phone might be like the hotline after this game, Southampton inflicted another defeat on Louis Van Gaal’s team and board at United will be monitoring things very closely !!! Watch this space !!!

Mourinho would in my opinion love the job at Old Trafford and I for one would like to see him back in the Premier League.

It was down to Saints debutant Charlie Austin to settle this game, within seven minutes of coming off the bench, he scored the only goal of the game to inflict more Old Trafford pain on a well below par Manchester United. Austin rose to head home a corner in the 87th minute to win an otherwise awful game where few goal scoring chances were created.

 

Click here for the goal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad0kZhIKzpA

 

 

.Watford 2 v 1 Newcastle

Newcastle’s erratic form continues whilst Watford recover from a poor run, winning their first league game in six with victory over struggling Newcastle at Vicarage Road.

The Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo also rediscovered his goal scoring form after beating the offside trap to slot in Troy Deeney’s through-ball.

Ighalo then set up Craig Cathcart, who scored Watford’s second from close range. Newcastle gave themselves a lifeline when Jamaal Lascelles headed home in the 71st minute but Watford survived. The Magpies remain in the bottom three with 21 points, while the Hornets move up to 10th with 32 points.

 

Sunderland 1 v 1 Bournemouth

A bottom of the table clash, saw both teams go away with a point, Sunderland showed some spirit to come from behind, relegation rivals Bournemouth had taken the lead through Benik Afobe’s diving header, but Patrick van Aanholt scoring for the second game in a row, gave Sunderland a share of the spoins. Bournemouth stay 15th, while Sunderland remain 19th, three points from safety.

 

West Brom 0 v 0 Aston Villa

The bore draw of the week came at the Hawthorns where lowly Aston Villa managed to go away with a point, The baggies manager Tony Pulis (a good friend of mine) will not be happy with this result, although he will be delighted with the clean sheet !!

In an uninspiring game West Brom failed to register a single shot on target, and Villa were not any better.

 

West Ham 2 v 2 Man City

Manchester City had to come from behind twice to get a point that keeps them in touch with leaders Leicester,

Sergio Aguero’s two goals earned a hard-fought draw at West Ham, Enner Valencia struck in the first minute for the Hammers but Aguero equalised with a penalty after he had been brought down, The hosts retook the lead when Valencia capitalised on some poor defending to score his second,

However, Aguero had the final say when he struck from inside the box to earn his side a point.

The result means Manchester City are second, three points behind Leicester, while West Ham are sixth.

 

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

 

I only had four correct results this week in my predictions and one correct score, please see following my predictions for week 24. Does anyone want to challenge me, and to try and beat me at predicting the Premier League scores.??
Arsenal 3 v 1 Southampton
Leicester 2 v 1 Liverpool
Norwich 1 v 3 Spurs
Sunderland 1 v 2 Man City
West Ham 2 v 1 Aston Villa
Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Bournemouth
Man Utd 2 v 1 Stoke
West Brom 2 v 1 Swansea
Everton 2 v 1 Newcastle
Watford 1 v 2 Chelsea

Have a good week

Gary

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