EPL 2015/16 WEEK 35 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

Tottenham Hotspur 1 v 1 West Bromwich Albion

I was at the Spurs game and it was an incredible atmosphere inside the stadium, with all the Spurs fans very optimistic that their team would beat the Baggies and close the gap on Leicester, and this was exactly how the game started, in the first half Tottenham were in total control, with West Brom camped inside their own half and only first ventured into the tottenham penalty area in the 15th minute of the game. Spurs had numerous good chances and were only foiled by the excellent goalkeeping of Myhill and the woodwork as two efforts came back off the post. Spurs finally took the lead through an own goal when Dawson bundled Christian Eriksen’s teasing cross into his own net, but Spurs could not find the second goal before half time and West Brom came out for the second half with more purpose and Tottenham Hotspur’s title ambitions were dealt a severe blow when Craig Dawson managed to score another goal but for his team. Despite continuing to huff and puff and hitting the post again Spurs could not find the winning goal and it has now left Leicester City within one victory of winning the Premier League.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OYvtGxSjwY

 

Leicester City 4 v 0 Swansea City

If I had not been associated with Spurs for the last 34 years, I would most definitely be cheering for Leicester to win the Premiership title, they have been outstanding this season, not necessarily in their style of play, but in all of the attributes that make up a successful team. After a tough week that saw their talisman Jamie Vardy being suspended for a dive that never was, droppiing two points at home to West Ham and having to watch their nearest rivals Spurs swamp Stoke with a masterclass in football, Leicester responded with a 4-0 demolition of Swansea.

Riyad Mahrez took advantage of Ashley Williams’ awful clearance to score with a composed finish before Leonardo Ulloa  headed in Danny Drinkwater’s free-kick before the break, he then scrambled in the third goal from a loose ball on the hour to give Leicester the advantage their domination deserved, Substitute Marc Albrighton added a fourth to leave Leicester now needing only three points from three games to win the title for the first time in their history.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXIWldlguV4

 

Sunderland 0 v 0 Arsenal

Sunderland were unlucky to not get the victory and the three points they desparately need in their fight against relegation. Arsenal were sloppy and well below par and had it not been for a number of heroic saves from Petr Cech, then Arsenal would have been travelling home a lot more disappointed, however it is amazing how Arsenal have failed to step up to the mark when the opportunity of winning the title was in front of them, instead they appear to have taken their foot off the gas and are looking forward to their summer holidays !! Sunderland climbed out of the relegation zone with this deserved point, and despite both sides having penalty appeals for handball denied, the deadlock was not broken.

 

Manchester City 4 v 0 Stoke City

Stepke conceded four goals for the third game in a row, and Manager Mark Hughes has to address the defensive side of his teams game, Manchester City easily disposed of Stoke, despite resting half of the team for their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid on Tuesday. Fernando headed the hosts in front from a corner before a Sergio Aguero penalty, awarded for Ryan Shawcross’s foul on Kelechi Iheanacho, put them two up, Iheanacho, added the third from close range, then the teenager rounded the keeper to seal Stokes thrashing.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJwgx1oGw9E

 

Aston Villa 2 v 4 Southampton

It must be very difficult to be a Villa fan at the moment, already relegated and watching your team play out their remaining games in this manner, cannot be easy and they clearly showed their disgust at what is happening to this team full of history and tradition, booing constantly throughout the game and staging an organised protest in the 74th minute against the clubs owners, the Villa fans then had to see out Villa’s tenth straight premiership defeat. Shane Long netted an early header then raced onto Leandro Bacuna’s awful backpass and squared for Tadic to double the lead, Westwood pulled one back for Villa, before Long again set up Tadic to finish from the edge of the area, Westward got his second for Villa before Sadio Mane headed in in injury time.

Southampton remain eighth, but close the gap on sixth-placed West Ham to two points, although they have played a game more.

Villa fans look away – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsUFh8Kbgfc

 

Bournemouth 1 v 4 Chelsea

I am a big fan of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who performances last season, scoring 19 goals were one of the main reasons Chelsea won the title, but amazingly his two goals yesterday against Bournemouth were his first goals of this season, an incredibly poor return from him, Hazard was blamed in part for Jose Mourinho’s departure from the club after the Blues awful start of their title defence, but as I said Hazard is a firm favourite of mine and I am expecting to see him back to his best next season.

In an exciting game for the fans, Cesc Fabregas provided Chelsea’s first three goals, teeing up Pedro and Hazard in the first half before releasing Willian for the third after the break, Bournemouth’s Tommy Elphick had reduced the arrears in the first half when his header sneaked in before half time, but Hazard, got his second from Nemanja Matic’s pull-back, leaving Chelsea with a comfortable victory. Unfortunbately too little too late for Chelsea’s chances of European qualification this season.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8EgzTRawIM

 

Liverpool 2 v 2 Newcastle United

Liverpool’s roller coaster of a season continued at Anfield, with the fans yet again unsure of which Liverpool team is going to turn up,

after Daniel Sturridge’s goal after just 76 seconds and Adam Lallana’s second for the Reds saw Liverpool were coasting 2-0 at the break and the writing was on the wall for a thrashing of relegation candidates Newcastle, but the tide turned after half time when Papiss Cisse headed United back into contention early in the second half and when Jack Colback pulled the Magpies level with a deflected shot, to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation, Newcastle stay in the bottom three but are now just a point behind 17th-placed Norwich, whilst the Reds fans were seeing another Jekyll and Hyde Liverpool performance.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EGYAHkNss0

 

I did pretty well with my predictions getting seven correct.

Here are my predictions for week 36

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

Have a good week

Gary

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