Premier League Review
Saturday 9th March, 2019
Crystal Palace 1 Brighton 2
Brighton got their second win in a week against their A23 rivals to draw level with them on points, 5 points clear of the bottom three. It was former Palace man Glenn Murray who scored the opener after 19 minutes with a right footed angled shot. Murray had not been scheduled to start but came in at the last minute because of an injury to Andone. This was Murray’s 100th league goal for Brighton against his old club, and his celebration was muted.
Palace defender James Tomkins was denied a first half added time penalty as Knockaert made contact just inside the area. Palace did get a penalty in the second half when Townsend was fouled by Propper, and Milivojevic scored his eighth successful penalty of the season. Knockaert scored a stunning left footed curler in the 74th minute to win the game for the visitors.
Cardiff City 2 West Ham 0
Cardiff had a welcome win after three successive defeats, but they are still in the bottom three. They had the lead after only four minutes when Murphy crossed low from the right and Hoilett met the ball to score at the near post with a rising shot. Hernandez was booked for diving in the Cardiff area, as the “Hammers” had failed to test Etheridge’s goal.
It was 2-0 to the home side after 52 minutes. Hoilett and Murphy were involved again, but this time Hoilett crossed from the left, Murphy headed down and Camarasa finished from very close range at the keeper’s right-hand post. Niasse had three great chances to score in the game, the third of which was well saved by Fabianski in the West Ham goal. Fabianski also saved Murphy’s follow-up. Rice did hit the outside of the Cardiff post with a 25-yard shot after 71 minutes, and Arnautovic had a rasping shot well saved three minutes later, but that was as close as West Ham came to scoring.
Huddersfield Town 0 Bournemouth 2
Bournemouth welcomed back Calum Wilson who opened the scoring after 20 minutes, converting Ryan Fraser’s cross from the left inside the 6-yard area. The Huddersfield defence was opened up again in the 66th minute and Wilson became the provider for Fraser, cutting the ball back from the right before Fraser scored from 12 yards. Bournemouth ended a horrible run of 9 consecutive defeats on the road in the league.
Perhaps the remaining highlight of Huddersfield’s second Premier league season will be their mid-April visit to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Leicester City 3 Fulham 1
Brendan Rodgers made a winning home start to his Leicester career, but Fulham look doomed with 8 games to play. 21-year-old Belgian Youri Tielemans (on loan from Monaco) scored Leicester’s first goal after 21 minutes. Vardy was through, but unselfishly passed sideways for Tielemans’ first goal in English football.
Leicester had been on top, but Fulham got a 51st minute equaliser through Ayite coming into the right side of the area beating Schmeichel with a cruelly deflected shot that just rolled over the line.
Harvey Barnes had a nice shot to the keeper’s left corner well saved by Sergio Rico, and Leicester fans were beginning to get frustrated. Their fears were eased by Jamie Vardy’s 100th Leicester goal in the 78th minute. Gary Lineker was the last player to achieve that 100 goal feat for Leicester. Vardy ran onto Maddison’s pass and scored with his right foot from the right of the Fulham area.
It was 3-1 after 86 minutes and Vardy scored his 101st Leicester goal. This one was with his left foot from Barnes’ cross, hitting a well-placed shot just inside the keeper’s left post. Leicester’s happy clapping cardboard fans were being well exercised!
Newcastle United 3 Everton 2
Newcastle made a dramatic second half comeback and climbed closer to Premier League safety with this, their fourth successive home win. Calvert-Lewin headed in Digne’s cross to give the “Toffees” an 18th minute lead, scoring at The Gallowgate End.
Jordan Pickford failed to hold a cross by Matt Ritchie and then brought down Rondon rugby style. Newcastle fans wanted the goalkeeper sent off, but he didn’t even get a yellow card. Pickford added to the home fans’ pain by saving Ritchie’s spot kick. Things got worse when Gomes advanced on the right of the Newcastle area and crossed for Richarlison to finish from close range (32 minutes). Pickford saved from Perez late in the first half.
In the second half, Rondon went close but he scored after 65 minutes after a good combination with Perez. Rondon’s shot beat Pickford to his left. After 81 minutes, Almiron’s drive could only be parried by the England goalkeeper and Perez was delighted to fire home the rebound. Perez got a second goal three minutes later following a corner and a lobbed ball over the Everton defence before a pass by Rondon.
Southampton 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Okay, I am starting to believe again. Win our home games, and win at Bournemouth. Get what we can at Anfield and City. The Chelsea result was good for us. United still have to play City and Chelsea. I would though have preferred a draw between Arsenal and United. Even a United win would have been better for Spurs, bearing in mind their fixtures.
This was one of those games and performances which gave us a spursometer result where we had a least worst rather than a best player. That player was goalscorer Harry Kane.
Manchester City 3 Watford 1
City maintained their position at the top of the table with their 15th home win in 16 Premier League games this season. Watford’s focus seems to be on next week’s FA Cup quarter-final, as they made seven team changes, but it took City till the second half before they broke down the resistance of the visitors.
That first goal was not without controversy. It came 42 seconds into the second half when both Aguero and Sterling looked offside. Aguero passed to Sterling to whom the goal was credited, having rebounded off him when Janmaat tried to clear. The assistant’s flag was up, but referee Paul Tierney overruled him.
Sterling’s next goal was a lot clearer and a lot simpler too, as he finished off Mahrez’s cross from close range. Goal number three came on 59 minutes as Sterling ran into the box from the left side, onto David Silva’s pass, before he beat a player and scored with his right foot.
Deeney and Deulofeu came on and combined for Watford’s goal as soon as they had with Deeney heading down Foster’s long clearance for Deulofeu to score.
Sunday 10th March, 2019
Liverpool 4 Burnley 2
Burnley took a surprise lead in the 6th minute when Westwood's corner kick (taken from the left) floated straight into the far corner of the net. Liverpool were convinced that Alisson had been impeded in his 6-yard area. Liverpool equalised in the 19th minute when Salah got to the bye-line on the right and crossed low. Both Tarkowski and Heaton failed to deal with the ball which rolled along to Firmino who was able to poke the ball into the net at very close range.
It was 2-1 in the 29th minute. Lallana (who was in for Henderson) blocked an attempted clearance. The ball ran to Salah, who was well tackled by Charlie Taylor, but the ball ran to Mane, who has been the source of most of Liverpool's goals recently and did not fail here.
Liverpool had to wait till the 67th minute for their third goal. Heaton, who has played so well recently in the Burnley goal, kicked a ball directly to Salah, who ran forward, and although he was again well tackled by Taylor inside the area, the ball ran to Firmino for another easy finish.
Liverpool should have gone 4-1 up after 81 minutes when Alexander-Arnold crossed from the right, but Mane somehow managed to fire over. He slid in for the ball which actually hit the ground before bouncing over the bar. Three minutes from time, Heaton dived to his right and saved well from Salah.
Burnley substitute Gudmundsson got one back for Burnley in added time scoring from the right of the box, but Mane regained the two-goal advantage receiving from substitute Sturridge and scoring from the left side of the area.
Liverpool play Fulham next weekend while Manchester City are playing an FA Cup quarter-final, so they could then regain the lead in the table. Burnley have lost three consecutive games now since beating Spurs two weeks ago and are back in the relegation battle.
Chelsea 1 Wolves 1
The game was played in sunny, but cold and windy conditions with Chelsea dominating possession but causing little threat on goal in the first half hour apart from a couple of near post efforts by Higuain. Wolves were content to get men behind the ball and hope for a random breakaway.
A breakthrough looked likely after 50 minutes when Hazard was brought down just outside the area. David Luiz's free kick took a strong deflection and resulted in a corner. It was Wolves who took the lead after 56 minutes. Jimenez and Jota broke from their own half in tandem, and Jimenez's shot took a deflection from Azpilicueta's tackle, but still rolled over the line. I can tell you that Wolves fans were not the only ones cheering this goal!
Higuain nearly countered immediately but Rui Patricio saved to his right. The Wolves keeper then had to push over Pedro's shot and then a corner nearly went in at the back post off a Wolves head. Loftus-Cheek snatched a shot in front of goal after a shot from outside the box took a looped deflection, but Rui Patricio saved. Willian went close with a shot after 86 minutes, but the goalkeeper saved again.
In added time Higuain got the ball to Loftus-Cheek whose shot passed across the area. Hazard got a late, late equaliser in the 92nd minute after a corner, scoring with a right-footed shot to the left of the keeper. The Wolves game plan had so nearly worked, but the fact Chelsea only drew is still good news for Spurs fans.
Arsenal 2 Manchester United 0
The game was of an open and attacking style. United hit the crossbar in their first attack after a Shaw cross and Lukaku's close range shot. However, Arsenal took a 12th minute lead when Xhaka received a ball from the right nearly 25 yards out. De Gea somehow wrong-footed himself and was beaten to the right when he had moved to the left for an unknown reason. Fred hit the outside of Leno's left post with a shot from outside the area.
United had a great chance after 50 minutes. Pogba and Fred worked the ball from right to left to Rashford, who delayed and lifted a pass to Lukaku, whose shot from close range was well smothered by Leno. Koscielny had charged down a shot by Fred only moments earlier. Pogba put Rashford through after 64 minutes, but Leno again covered the threat. Xhaka had a shot go wide of De Gea's left post at the other end.
Arsenal were awarded a penalty after 67 minutes when Fred nudged Lacazette from behind. Aubameyang, who had failed against Spurs last week, scored this time. Lacazette went close with a shot soon after too. United never really looked like scoring after this, and the result was probably the worst outcome for Spurs, as it leaves Arsenal just one point behind. Our nearest rivals have no remaining games against a top six side.
C. Palace 1-2 Brighton
Cardiff 2-0 West Ham
Hds'field 0-2 B'mouth
Leicester 3-1 Fulham
Newcastle 3-2 Everton
S'hampton 2-1 Spurs
Man City 3-1 Watford
Liverpool 4-2 Burnley
Chelsea 1-1 Wolves
Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Man City 30 24 2 4 79-21 58 74
2. Liverpool 30 22 7 1 68-17 51 73
3. Spurs 30 20 1 9 57-32 25 61
4. Arsenal 30 18 6 6 63-39 24 60
5. Man Utd 30 17 7 6 58-40 18 58
6. Chelsea 29 17 6 6 50-31 19 57
7. Wolves 30 12 8 10 38-36 2 44
8. Watford 30 12 7 11 42-44 -2 43
9. West Ham 30 11 6 13 37-43 -6 39
10. Leicester 30 11 5 14 38-42 -4 38
11. Everton 30 10 7 13 41-42 -1 37
12. B'mouth 30 11 4 15 41-54 -13 37
13. Newcastle 30 9 7 14 29-38 -9 34
14. C. Palace 30 9 6 15 36-41 -5 33
15. Brighton 29 9 6 14 32-42 -10 33
16. S'hampton 30 7 9 14 34-50 -16 30
17. Burnley 30 8 6 16 34-57 -23 30
18. Cardiff 30 8 4 18 27-57 -30 28
19. Fulham 30 4 5 21 28-68 -40 17
20. H'dsfield 30 3 5 22 15-53 -38 14