ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 24 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

Quite an amazing week with only two of the top six teams winning their matches, leaving the title chase wide open!

BOURNEMOUTH 4 V 0 CHELSEA

Chelsea manager Sarri kept his players locked in the dressing room for an hour after this embarrassing thrashing at Bournemouth. Despite only having 30% of the game’s possession, the hosts took just two minutes of the second half to go in front as Joshua King arrived late in the Chelsea box to smash Brook’s cutback past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The duo combined again for the second as King lofted the ball over a scrambling Chelsea defence for Brooks to latch on to and fire into the bottom corner, King added a third with the final touch of a flowing Bournemouth move, a right-footed finish from close range, substitute Daniels produced the finishing touch within a minute of being on the pitch with a stooping header in injury time for Bournemouth’s fourth, to conclude a humiliating defeat for Chelsea.

A second consecutive league win for Bournemouth moved them up to 10th in the table, while Chelsea drops to fifth by virtue of scoring fewer goals than Arsenal.

Bournemouth fans click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDP4tRxqfk4

SOUTHAMPTON 1 V  1 CRYSTAL PALACE

Wilfred Zaha’s first goal since September had given the visitors a deserved lead four minutes before the interval, but Ward-Prowse’s third strike in as many Premier League games earned Southampton a share of the spoils.

Zaha was then sent off for sarcastically applauding the referee after he had been booked, Mamadou Sakho missed two glorious opportunities to score Palace’s second either side of Ward-Prowse’s equaliser, the former Liverpool defender having a header cleared off the line by Jan Bednarek before sending another powerful header over the bar.

The two teams remain level in the table, four points above the Premier League’s bottom three.

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

LIVERPOOL 1 V 1 LEICESTER CITY

Jurgen Klopp’s side started the game with intent, as they sought to capitalise on Manchester City’s defeat the previous night at Newcastle and took an early lead when Mane finished off a sublime 30 pass move in the third minute, but Harry Maguire deservedly equalised in front of the Kop at the end of the first half after the hosts failed to deal with a free-kick carelessly conceded by left-back Andrew Robertson.

Liverpool could have gone seven points clear with victory over a team that had lost their previous three league and cup games, but could not score the second goal and missed a golden opportunity. The Premier League title is still up for grabs.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzx05V8tlNo

TOTTENHAM 2 V 1 WATFORD

Manager Mauricio Pochettino said it was “so important to smile” again after Tottenham bounced back from two cup exits with a victory over Watford at Wembley, having lost to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and Palace in the FA Cup, this was an important victory.

However Spurs had to come from behind to claim the three points, Craig Cathcart gave Watford the lead when he headed home Jose Holeba’s out-swinging corner seven minutes before the break, Tottenham increased the pressure in the second half. Llorente, deputising for injured leading striker Harry Kane, twice had great opportunities to score but missed from close range before Son Heung-min lifted the home support when he thrashed home from 12 yards out, but with full-time fast approaching, Llorente finally hit the target when he guided Danny Rose’s hanging ball past Ben Foster.

Spurs remain in third but are now only two points behind defending champions Manchester City and seven behind leaders Liverpool. Watford stays in ninth.

All Spurs fans click here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swhbBgOyxLM

ARSENAL 2 V 1 CARDIFF CITY

This was a difficult night for the Cardiff players, as the Bluebirds played for the first time since the disappearance of striker Emiliano Sala, during his flight from Nantes to Cardiff to secure a 15 million pound transfer.

Neither side had a shot on target in the first half, but Arsenal went ahead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 66th-minute spot kick after Bruno Ecuele Manga clumsily brought down Sead Kolasinac, Alexandre Lacazette doubled Arsenal’s lead with a fine low strike into the bottom corner, although substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing pulled one back for Cardiff in added time when he curled a shot past Bernd Leno.

However, it was not enough for Cardiff and the Gunner’s win takes them to 47 points, the same as fourth-placed Chelsea.

Click here for the highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAddD4XtJlE

FULHAM 4 V 2 BRIGHTON

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri said his side are “alive” in the race to avoid relegation from the Premier League after the Cottagers staged a remarkable comeback from two goals down to claim a crucial victory over Brighton at Craven Cottage.

Ranieri’s side had trailed 2-0 at the break, with Glenn Murray’s two first-half goals had given Brighton what appeared to be a comfortable lead inside the opening 20 minutes, the veteran striker slotting into the far corner from Martin Montoya’s cross before turning home Pascal Gross’s overhead flick-on, but Calum Chamber’s superb strike gave them hope early in the second half before Aleksandar Mitrovic’s brace put Fulham in front for the first time in the match, Luciano Vietto headed home Fulham’s fourth after Tom Cairney’s long-range effort had cannoned off the crossbar.

The victory lifts 19th-placed Fulham to within six points of safety, while Brighton stays in 13th.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZenS0Jj6f5o

HUDDERSFIELD 0 V 1 EVERTON

Richarlison scored the only goal from a rebound in the third minute after his initial shot was saved to help lift some pressure on manager Marco Silva after the Toffee’s embarrassing FA Cup exit at Millwall on Saturday, Everton were down to 10 men for the final 24 minutes after substitute Lucas Digne brought down Adama Diakhaby, who was in on goal.

Huddersfield remain 11 points adrift of safety.

WOLVES 3 V 0 WEST HAM UNITED

The Hammers were convincingly swept aside by the hosts who climbed to seventh in the Premier League and could have recorded a greater margin of victory but for the heroics of visiting keeper Lukasz Fabianski. This defeat followed their embarrassing FA Cup exit at League One’s bottom club AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Wolves were in total control carving out chance after chance before Romain Saiss finally opened the scoring midway through the second half with a powerful header past Fabianski from Joao Moutinho’s corner, on loan Benfica forward Raul Jimenez took centre stage late on, flicking in a second from a Moutinho free-kick before rounding off the scoring with a deft chip over Fabianski.

The result allowed Wolves to complete their first ever league double over 11th-placed West Ham.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn7MPutqbVo

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 V 2 BURNLEY

Manchester United was facing their first defeat under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer until Paul Pogba scored from the penalty spot in the 87th minute and Victor Lindelof scrambled in a 92nd-minute equaliser.

The hosts had previously won all eight matches since the Norwegian took charge. Burnley had defended resolutely until conceding twice late on and were in front thanks to second-half goals from Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood. Barnes smashed home from inside the penalty area at the start of the second half after a mistake by Andreas Pereira and Wood headed in Barnes’ cross in the 81st minute.

Burnley goes up a place to 15th, four points clear of the relegation zone.

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

NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 V 1 MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City’s title hopes suffered a huge blow as Newcastle came from a goal down to record a remarkable victory over the defending champions at St James’ Park, The Champions could not have got off to a better start when Sergio Aguero hooked home after only 24 seconds.

The Argentine also had a goal disallowed soon after when referee Paul Tierney adjudged Kevin De Bruyne had delivered a free-kick before he gave him the signal. Guardiola’s side rarely troubled Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka thereafter, and Rafael Benitez’s men grew in belief.

The home support erupted in the 66th minute when Salomon Rondon instinctively fired in after connecting with Isaac Hayden’s header from 12 yards out, and the match turned on its head in the 78th minute when the Magpies were awarded a penalty after Fernandinho fouled Sean Longstaff in the area after being robbed of possession.

Matt Ritchie waited more than two minutes as City keeper Ederson received treatment, before firing his spot-kick beyond the reach of the Brazilian.

Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzMglhRCz6w

In my predictions, I got five correct results, not too bad considering there were so many big shock results this week.

Please see following my week 25 predictions:

Tottenham Hotspur 3 v 1 Newcastle

Brighton 2 v 1 Watford

Burnley 2 v 1 Southampton

Chelsea 3 v 1 Huddersfield

Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Fulham

Everton 1 v 2 Wolves

Cardiff 2 v 1 Bournemouth

Leicester City 1 v 2 Manchester United

Manchester City 2 v 1 Arsenal

West Ham United 1 v 2 Liverpool

Have a good week,

Gary

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