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EPL 2015/16 WEEK 34 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

Leicester City 2 v 2 West Ham

This result was a travesty for Leicester City, the Jamie Vardy sending off for what was in the referee’s opinion a blatant dive inside the penalty area, was in fact a clear penalty for Leicester and Vardy should have stayed on the field.
In football there is a saying that what goes around comes around, meaning that sometimes you get the decisions and sometimes you don’t, and if this was a game at the beginning of the season then you feel hard done by, but these decisions with only five games to play when you are fighting for the most unexpected title win in history have the ability to derail you.

Vardy had broken into the penalty area in front of Ogbonna, Ogbonna grabbed Vardy’s right arm with his left arm and pulled him back as Vardy stepped across him, thus both tangling and both falling to the floor, if you put a hand on an opponent in this situation and pull him back, it is a clear penalty, what the referee saw only he will know. Yes Vardy maybe made a meal of it, but the facts are that he was impeded and as he was in front of Ogbonna, he had the right to step across him, it was the defenders job to not collide with him and having already tugged him back, I would have had no sympathy with him if the penalty had been given and he had been sent off, however he got away with it and it has certainly frustrated many Leicester fans.
However this result has opened up the title race again, by dropping two points it allows their nearest challengers to close the gap on them at the top of the table, Vardy (Leicester’s star player) will now miss the game against Swansea next week and how vital that might be !!

Jamie Vardy’s crisp finish from a quick counter attack gave Leicester the lead on 18 minutes, ut was sent off early in the second half. Referee Jon Moss then awarded West Ham a penalty with six minutes left when he decided to punish Wes Morgan for pulling back Winston Reid at a corner, Substitute Andy Carroll slotted home the penalty and Aaron Cresswell looked to have given West Ham all three points with a stunning left-footed finish two minutes later, going into injury time referee Moss produced another controversial decision when he pointed to the spot once more after Carroll made the merest contact with Jeff Schlupp and Ulloa stepped up to gain a point for the Foxes.

The manner of this result will hurt Leicester and they are going to have to pick themselves up and re focus otherwise the most unexpected dream of winning the title may just be a dream.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FztC6VjzxMw

Click here for the sending off – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGqQ8OWceio&spfreload=10
Stoke City 0 v 4 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham produced an outstanding display to thrash Stoke 4-0 and move five points behind leaders Leicester with four games of the season remaining. This performance and result could be a defining moment of this season. With Leicester reeling from some poor refereeing decisions against West Ham, This result will put a huge amount of pressure on the Leicester team and with their star player Jamie Vardy banned for mthe game against Swansea this week and with a further ban possible after swearing at the referee, it appears that the Leicester bubble might be bursting.

Spurs in all honesty could have won about 7-0, the first came from Harry Kane’s sublime curling finish, his 23rd Premier League goal of the season, Christian Eriksen then had a great chance but hit the crossbar, Dele Alli doubled the lead and then unbelieveably missed the easiest chance of the season, he had gone around the goalkeeper and had the goal wide open in front of him to roll the ball into, but his effort struck the outside of the post ond went wide, Kane rolled in the third after a lovely counter attacking move, before Alli’s right-foot volley wrapped up Spurs’ ninth away league win of the season.

The result lifted Mauricio Pochettino’s side to 68 points from 34 matches, with Leicester on 73 from the same number of games.

There will be a lot more twists and turns in the final four games, but Spurs are in the prime position to snatch the title.

 

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yar0luGi_yE

 

Bournemouth 1 v 2 Liverpool

Juergen Klopp made ten changes to the Liverpool team that started their midweek game against Dortmund in the Europa League and the youngsters came up trumps and got all three poits for the Reds at Bournemouth.

Roberto Firmino’s rebound and Daniel Sturridge’s header gave the visitors a commanding 2-0 lead at half-time.

Bournemouth replied with a Joshua King stoppage-time strike, but it was too little too late for the Cherries

The result lifts Liverpool up to eighth place in the Premier League table, while the Cherries remain 13th.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBOQzqAF9Zg

 

Norwich 0 v 3 Sunderland

Norwich had the chance to put distance between them and Sunderland in the relegation battle at the bottom of the league, but instead, Sunderland climbed to within a point of safety by snatching the points from at Carrow Road.

Fabio Borini scored Sunderland’s first just before half time tucking away a penalty following Andre Wisdom’s awful over the top challenge in the box, the Italian then put in an excellent cross for Jermain Defoe to finish expertly to turn in the second after the break before Duncan Watmore scored a third in injury time.
Click here for the goials – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdHgWEAL0kU

 

Newcastle United 3 v 0 Swansea City

There was no way Newcastle were going to let their biggest rivals Sunderland, get the better of them in their relegation battle, so produced a performance that got them their first win under new manager Rafael Benitez, Jamaal Lascelles headed in from a corner to put Newcastle in front, then after Swansea had missed some good opportunities to draw level,  Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend struck late goals, to give Newcastle an emphatic looking 3-0 victory.

Newcastle are now three points adrift of safety, while Swansea drop to 15th.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq9VBtvwMvM

 

Arsenal 1 v 1 Crystal Palace

It appears that only Leicester City and Spurs actually want to win this title, Arsenal once again have thrown away points that would have taken them to third in the table above Man City, but wasted chances, failure to score when completely dominating games has once again cost them dearly, Alexis Sanchez headed in Danny Welbeck’s chip to give the Gunners the lead but failed to capitalise on their control of the game and they paid the price when Yannick Bolasie struck late beating Petr Cech at his near post to give Crystal Palace a share of the points.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHRuhbKh840

 

Everton 1 v 1 Southampton

The Saints went to Everton with high hopes of gaining all three points in their fight for a European place next season, but despite

controlling much of the game, they could only muster a draw, against the run of play Ramiro Funes Mori gave the home side the lead with a deflected shot off Ryan Bertrand, Southampton equalised when Sadio Mane swept in a shot, but they could not find a winning goal and had to settle for a point despite plenty of pressure.

 

 

Chelsea 0 v 3 Man City

Where have this Manchester City been for most of this season ? this was an excellent performance and it makes you wonder why they have not even had a sniff at the title this season. A Sergio Aguero hat-trick confined Chelsea to their first league home defeat under Guus Hiddink, but it was what they deserved, it was a poor Chelsea performance and Man City profited from slick counter attacking football, the first goal came when Kevin De Bruyne fed Aguero, who fired in, then De Bruyne led a clinical counter after the break, finding Samir Nasri, who put Aguero clear to finish smartly, late in the game Thibaut Courtois was sent off for fouling Fernandinho, allowing Aguero to whip home his third from the spot.

Click here for Man City’s demolition of Chelsea – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2AI13QoqpU

 

 

West Brom 0 v 1 Watford

Former Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes saved two second half penalties to give Watford the three poinhts to take them above their opponents into 12th place in the table, Gomes guessed correctly to save both penalties from Saido Berahino in the 67th and 87th minutes, Ben Watson got the winner, volleying home a near-post corner in the first half.

Click here for Gomes’s great penalty saves – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tND9A22_mLE

 

Manchester United 1 v 0 Aston Villa

This defeat at Man United, means that Villa are now relegated for the first time sonce 1987, it was their ninth defeat in a row and their performances this season and ntheir fight against reklegation have been pitiful for a club with such a great tradition and history.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal, sweeping Antonio Valencia’s cut-back past goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Villa fans do not click here click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfDVtClxBj8

 

In my predictions I had six correct results and one correct score, maintaining my recent good form !!

My predictions for the games being played this week :-

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

Have a good week

Gary

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