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EPL 2015/16 WEEK 24 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

Arsenal 0 v 0 Southampton
Another worrying result for the Gunners fans, four games now without a win and Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to spend money on a goalscorer in the January transfer window may be their downfall, all teams have ups and downs throughout the season and Arsenal have been suffering of late, they have the qualities but are finding it very difficult to produce the finishing touches.
Arsenal dominated the Saints and had the opportunities to take the three points, but a resolute Southampton defence inspired by the performance of keeper Fraser Forster, who kept out everything that Arsenal threw at him, making a number of impressive saves.

Arsenal drop to fourth in the table, five points behind leaders Leicester, but more concerning for the Arsenal fans is that Tottenham are now above them in the table, ouch that hurts !

 

Leicester 2 v 0 Liverpool
The Leicester City fairytale continues,  with their main man Jamie Vardy scoring  twice as Leicester beat Liverpool to stay three points clear at the top of the Premier League. Vardy (who will most certainly and deservedly earn the Player of the year award) opened the scoring with a brilliant 25-yard strike over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and he completed a good evenings work with he followed up on Okazaki’s deflected effort.

Leicester fully deserved the victory over a Liverpool side who are still treading water after the arrival of Juergen Klopp, I think that Klopp will get it right, but he will need time, meanwhile Leicester continue their incredible season’s form,

in years to come the youngsters could be learning about Leicester defeating the Premier League rather than David defeating  Goliath !

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZDgU8NwVLA

Norwich 0 v 3 Spurs
The Spurs roadshow came to the East Coast of England and they did not let the travelling supporters down, they entertained, were consistent in defence and unforgiving in front of goal, the game was over after two minutes when Dele Alli (who will most certainly and deservedly win the Young player of the year awards) when he tapped in after Eriksen’s shot had been blocked, Alli was following everything in and after Kane had had a shot well saved, Alli was fouled as he tried to tap home his second, and the penalty was awarded, he was Able and Cain, sorry Kane triumphed stroking home from the spot. Alli was withdrawn at half time with an illness, but this did nothing to stop the Spurs marching on and a second from Kane after being set up by Eriksen, sealed victory which lifted Spurs up to third, above Arsenal on goal difference.
Norwich who was the most active team during the transfer window are going to have to hope that the newcomers settle in quickly, as relegation is a real possibility.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF_1Hewe1tQ

Sunderland 0 v 1 Man City
A well under par performance from Man City against a stubborn Sunderland side, saw man City go home with the three points after Aguerro’s sixteenth minute strike, the City side’s performance could be described as very low key, choosing to defend their one goal lead rather than to keep attacking Sunderland and put them to the sword.
It was Man City’s first game after the news that Pep Guadiola (the Bayern Munich manager) will be their new manager as from July 1st.
The current manager Pellegrini is well liked by his players and this news might be the spark that ignites Man City’s challenge on the Premiership title.

Click here for Aguerro’s goal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5rJ3AUXFDU

West Ham 2 v 0 Aston Villa
The hammers continued their good form with an easy victory over lowly Villa, to add to the Villa woes they had Jordan Ayew sent off for elbowing Cresswell, the result was always a formality and two goals from Antonio and Kouyate leave West Ham in sixth place in the league.
Aston Villa remain bottom of the league, with not much light yet coming from the end of the tunnel for them.

Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Bournemouth
Crystal Palace whose form for most of the season has seen them at the dizzy heights of the Premiership, have imploded, five defeats in a row now see them down in eleventh place and manager Alan Pardew must try and restore their confidence, Palace took the lead through when Scott Dann tapped home from Zaha’s cross, but then Palace squandered it, Marc Pugh scored six minutes later and then the winner came from Afobe.
A fantastic result for Bournemouth who now see themselves climbing out of immediate danger at the bottom of the league, Bournemouth are the team that everyone wants to see do well, it is a dream for this club from on the South coast of England to be playing entertaining football in the Premier League, long may it continue.

Man Utd 3 v 0 Stoke
Manchester United’s Jekyll and Hyde performances continue, they were booed off after being beaten in their last home game against Southampton and then last night they completely outplayed Stoke City, Louis Van Gaal must not have a clue which Manchester United team is going to be turning up, the one that shows the class that the players in the side clearly have or the inconsistent Manchester United that stumble their way through games.

Their star player this season has been Antony Martial (he might come second to Dele Alli in the Young player of the year) who was again the inspirartion, Lingard opened the scoring when he headed home after 14 minutes, then Martial scored a classy second before setting up Wayne Rooney for the United third.

This victory has kept United in contention for a top-four Premier League place and if they can maintain this attitude and performance levels they will give their manager  a lot more peaceful nights sleep.United are now in fifth place, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

Click here for Martial’s goal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POaiv5XXXOA

West Brom 1 v 1 Swansea
West Brom’s stance on their striker Saido Berahino is somewhat difficult to understand, in the last transfer window, Spurs came in for him, but their offer was declined, Berahino made a meal of this and fell out with the management, but he was brought back into the team, however in the last transfer window that finished a couple of days ago, Newcastle came in with a £21 million offer for him and again this was declined by the West Brom board, and then amazingly in the first game that West Brom play after the transfer window has closed, Berahino is not playing but sitting as a £21 million substitute.
Lucky for the Baggies that Salomon Rondon’s injury-time goal was enough to give them a point, up until then Gylfi Sigurdsson’s second-half strike from 12 yards looked to have secured victory for the visitors.

It moved the Baggies up to 13th, while Swansea drop to 16th.


Everton 3 v 0 Newcastle

Everton finally found the form that we have been expecting, without a win since Boxing Day, they completely dominated lowly Newcastle with Ross Barkley being the star of the night (Ross will probably come third in the young player of the year awards, behind Delle Alli and Martial)

Everton claimed their first home league win since November with victory over Newcastle at Goodison Park.

Aaron Lennon’s low shot opened the scoring, the the last two goals coming from penalties in the latter part of the game the second penalty was a cheeky delightful chip.

Roberto Martinez’s Everton move up to 11th in the table, while Newcastle remain 18th, two points from safety in the relegation zone.

Click here for Ross Barkley’s delightfully chipped penalty – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aud77wOhbO0

 
Watford 0 v 0 Chelsea
Chelsea were frustrated by a well organised Watford side, Chelsea had most of the best chances with former Spurs keeper

Heurelho Gomes having a fantastic game to keep out the Chelsea onslaught. Chelsea’s unbeaten run under Guus Hiddink has now been extended to seven Premier League games, a big improvement on their previous seven games under Jose Mourinho.

The draw moves Chelsea up to 13th on 29 points, while Watford are four points and four places better off, who would have believed at the start of the season that at the beginning of February, Chelsea would be four places behind newly promoted Watford and 21 points behind leaders Leicester !
Click here for some great saves – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_bccN5SpSM

I have just added the clips from Barcelona’s 7 v 0 victory over Valencia, in my opinion Lionel Messi is the best player in the World, have a look at his quality touches in this game.

Click here for the Messi show – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJmN5Ixcb8E

I have done okay this week with my predictions with six correct results.

My week 25 predictions :-

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

Have a good week

Gary

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