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7 March 2016

Premier League Week 29 2015/2016 Roundup

Football this weekend began with a mouth-watering tie between Tottenham and Arsenal at White Hart Lane with both teams needing a win to keep the pressure on Leicester. Tottenham started off the better side creating a couple of half-chances but were unable to make a breakthrough. Arsenal took the lead through Aaron Ramsey after a brilliant cross from Bellerin. It could have been more before half-time as Arsenal seemed to cut Spurs open at will. After the break, it was again Tottenham that started the better of the two teams and on 56 mins Francois Coquelin was shown his second yellow card for a foul on Harry Kane. Momentum was behind Spurs and their persistence soon paid off after Kane had his effort saved on the line by Ospina. Shortly after from a corner the ball fell in the box to Toby Alderweireld who smashed the ball into the Arsenal net to give the fans a real belief against the ten men. Just minutes later Harry Kane picked up the ball out wide a bent the ball from a tight angle past Ospina to put his side 2-1 ahead and even closer to being top of the league. Emotions soon turned as it was Alexis Sanchez who collected the ball just outside the Tottenham box and drilled his effort past the helpless Lloris. The game ending 2-2 and the points shared it gave Leicester the chance to move 5 points clear at the top of the league.

Watford entertained Leicester at Vicarage Road with the chance to consolidate top spot with 9 games remaining. It was a game either strike force may shine with Vardy and Mahrez for Leicester and Deeney and Ighalo for Watford. It was Mahrez who set up Vardy early on but failed to score. Early in the second half, it was Mahrez who smashed the ball into the roof of the Watford goal putting them 1-0 ahead. He has now scored or assisted 26 goals this term in which is a huge contrast to where Leicester were last year sitting bottom of the table in a relegation fight. Fans were worried late on when Mahrez seemed to be substituted after what looked like he pulled his hamstring but later stated it was just cramp. Leicester are now even closer to what would be the best sporting achievement for some time if they managed to win the league.

Bottom of the table Aston Villa travelled to Manchester City and it was a case of men against boys as City breezed past Villa who are surely going to be relegated now. Yaya Toure opened the scoring from a David Silva cross and from that point it was always going to be a City onslaught. Aguero scored two but missed the chance for a hat-trick as he hit the post from the penalty spot. Raheem Sterling added a fourth goal and wrapped up a comfortable win to keep the heat on Arsenal after their draw.

West Ham travelled to Goodison Park to take on Everton and who could have predicted the outcome after Everton were so dominant in the first half with a goal from Lukaku. He also saw a penalty saved by Adrian before Kevin Mirallas gave West Ham a lifeline by picking up a second yellow card Aaron Lennon added to the scoresheet to give his side a comfortable 2-0 lead. Slaven Bilic brought on Andy Carroll at half time and it was West Ham that took the game to ten-man Everton. West Ham made the pressure count when they went on to score 3 goals in 12 minutes to turn the game on its head. Headers from Antonio and Sakho put them level before Man of the Match and West Ham’s playmaker Payet struck and completed and outstanding victory and keep his side in the race for a place in  Europe.

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren may have lost his job over the weekend after a dismal display from his side saw them beaten by Bournemouth 3-1 and fans calling for him to go. There was a real lack of desire with Steven Taylor having a torrid time scoring and own goal and being at fault for Bournemouth’s third which was rifled into the roof of the net by Josh King. Newcastle remain second bottom and with the Tyne-Weir derby against Sunderland coming up it is now make or break for the club.

Chelsea rested a lot of their players for their home tie against Stoke with a mid-week Champions League tie against PSG in mind. Youngster Traore smashed the ball into the Stoke net to put them ahead but it was always Stoke that looked the more threatening after Diouf had missed 2 great chances. It was him that levelled the score at 1-1 before he was substituted immediately after scoring.

Other results from Saturday were as follows:

Southampton 1 – 1 Sunderland
Swansea 1 – 0 Norwich

Sunday saw Liverpool head to Crystal palace in the days early kick off. It was Palace who took the lead when Joe Ledley scored just after half time and things soon seemed to get even better for Palace when Milner was sent off after receiving his second yellow card. However, Roberto Firmino equalised for Liverpool who would have settled for a point. Controversy struck when substitute Christian Benteke went down in the box under a tackle from Delaney in injury time, a penalty was awarded but on closer inspection it looked as though Benteke had gone down after minimal contact. He brushed himself off to step up and convert the penalty and take all three points.

Man Utd were the late kick-off away to West Brom and it was a day Juan Mata would rather forget as it was him that was sent off in the first half for two bookings which made the trip a lot harder for his side. West Brom were pushing for the winner and it came through striker Rondon netted on 66 minutes. Man Utd did threaten but never had any clear cut chances and it remained 1-0 to West Brom.

With Leicester now 5 points clear their dream is still alive.

 

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Written By Tom