PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND UP WEEK 30
Swansea 0 v 0 Middlesbrough
The draw bore of the week came at Swansea where both teams showed why they are relegation candidates, despite both sides creating chances, opportunities were squandered, Swansea’s Leroy Fer wasted a fine chance as he blazed over from close range in the 89th minute while Rudy Gestede headed wide for the visitors in added time.
The Swans remain one place and one point above the bottom three, while Boro stay 19th and five points adrift of safety.
Arsenal 2 v 2 Man City
Arsenal showed signs of recovery from their recent dismal run of form as they twice fought back from behind to draw with Manchester City at Emirates Stadium, the knives were out for Arsene Wenger and a defeat here might have been the final straw for the Gunners fans.
Things did not start well when Leroy Sane put City ahead after only five minutes, running on to Kevin de Bruyne’s routine pass to round David Ospina and score. Theo Walcott capped a spell of Arsenal pressure to scramble home an equaliser five minutes before the break but they were on terms for only two minutes before Sergio Aguero’s powerful finish put City back in front. Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi rose above City’s defence from a corner to restore parity after 53 minutes, City and Aguero in particular missed two good chances but a draw does nothing to help both teams chances of a top four finish.
Liverpool 3 v 1 Everton
Liverpool overcame their biggest rivals to give themselves a realistic chance of a top four finish, Sadio Mane gave the hosts an early lead when he played a one-two with Roberto Firmino and finished off an angled run with a shot into the far corner. Everton equalised when Jagielka flicked on a corner at the near post and, after Ashley Williams got a touch, Matthew Pennington arrived to slot in his first Everton goal on his first appearance of the season, however, the match was level for only three minutes before Coutinho beat two players and curled a shot into the top corner, and he then set up substitute Divock Origi to score in Liverpool’s third. The result leaves the Reds six points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, who have two games in hand while Everton are seven points off the top four having played more matches than their rivals.
Burnley 0 v 2 Tottenham
Tottenham once again are going to be the only challengers to the team at the top (Chelsea) as they were to Leicester last season, they have now closed the gap on the Premier league leaders to seven points, as they got a deserved victory over a Burnley side who have achieved miracles at home this season. Spurs struggled in the first half against a determined and defensive home team. Dele Alli had a chance but fired wide when well-placed, Spurs were not on top form but continued to exert pressure on the Clarets from corners, with Eric Dier firing in after the hosts failed to properly clear Christian Eriksen’s delivery. Son made sure of victory as he tapped in Alli’s squared pass on 77 minutes as Spurs controlled the final stages.
Victory, coupled with Chelsea’s shock 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, ensures Mauricio Pochettino’s side stay in contention for the title with nine games remaining.
Chelsea 1 v 2 Crystal Palace
Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to seven points after they suffered a shock home defeat by Crystal Palace and Tottenham beat Burnley. Antonio Conte’s side had won their past 10 league games at Stamford Bridge and had not lost there in any competition since 16 September, but saw that run ended by a workman like Eagles side. The Blues struck first, when Cesc Fabregas turned home Eden Hazard’s cross after five minutes, but they were quickly behind. Wilfried Zaha produced a fine solo finish to turn and fire home from the edge of the box and, 91 seconds later, set up Christian Benteke to put Palace ahead with delicate effort. Chelsea piled on the pressure and had 24 shots at goal, their second-highest total in 29 league games this season.
But they could find no way past Eagles keeper Wayne Hennessey, whose performance was exemplary, earning a well deserved victory for Palace.
Watford 1 v 0 Sunderland
Miguel Britos’ second-half header ended Watford’s four-game winless run, giving them victory over Sunderland and leaving David Moyes’ side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, the Uruguayan headed home at the back post in the 59th minute after Stefano Okaka’s header from a corner hit the crossbar, Sunderland are failing to take their chances and relegation is looming.
Hull City 2 v 1 West Ham
Hull City claimed a priceless win in their battle against relegation from the Premier League as a second-half fightback saw off West Ham at the KCOM Stadium. Andy Carroll’s 50th Premier League goal put West Ham into a deserved lead at the break, but strikes by Andrew Robertson and Andrea Ranocchia turned the game in Hull’s favour in the second half.
Man United 0 v 0 West Brom
Another drawn game and another two points thrown away, Jose Mourinho’s side have now drawn 11 games in the top flight more than any other side and including eight at home and are in fifth place, four points behind rivals Manchester City. Striker Marcus Rashford forcing Baggies keeper Ben Foster into two stunning, full-stretch saves was the closest the hosts came to a goal.
West Brom, as expected, put eleven men behind the ball and fought their way to an unexpected point. For once the impressive Marouane Fellaini dragged a shot off target in the second period and Henrikh Mkhitaryan came close with a chipped effort.
Leicester 2 v 0 Stoke City
The Champions are finally finding their pride and have now won four consecutive league games, under caretaker manager, Craig Shakespeare, Leicester had the better of the opening stages before Wilfred Ndidi put them ahead with a superb strike from 25 yards out, the ball curling past Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant and into the top corner, Stoke were unable to moloch I put Leicester under any sustained pressure and paid the price when Jamie Vardy exploited the space in front of the goal to beat Glen Johnson and volley home.
I got seven correct results again this week, top of the table form is continuing !!!
My week 31 predictions
Man City 3 v 1 Hull
Tottenham 3 v 1 Watford
Middlesbrough 2 v 1 Burnley
Stoke 1 v 2 Liverpool
West Brom 2 v 1 Southampton
West Ham 2 v 1 Swansea
Bournemouth 1 v 2 Chelsea
Sunderland 1 v 2 Man United
Everton 2 v 1 Leicester
Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Arsenal
Have a good week,