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Barclay’s Premier League Mid-Week Wrap-up

 Posted by on March 26, 2014 at 10:07 pm  England, EPL
Mar 262014

Arsenal 2 – 2 Swansea

A defensive screw up knocks the Gunners out of the title race.  Poor Arsene Wenger, he must be feeling really bad over recent results.  After losing his 1000th match in charge to Chelsea last Saturday, he was hoping his side would bounce back and win at home.  They managed to get back Kieran Gibbs, whose red card from last Saturday had been over turned after the FA corrected the referee’s mistaken identity.  But they didn’t start the match well at all.  They fell behind in the 10th minute when Swans’ striker Wilfried Bony headed home defender Neil Taylor’s cross.  To their credit, the Gunners tried hard to comeback in the first half.  The closest was a Santi Cazorla right-footed shot in the 42nd minute that was saved by Swans’ keeper Michel Vorm.  They did manage to equalize in the 72nd minute when Lukas Podolski knocked home a Gibbs assist.  They even managed to take the lead in the 73rd minute when Olivier Giroud scored from a Podolski cross.  There were even glimmers of hope at the Emirates that Gunners might grab a much needed win and haul themselves back into the race for the trophy.  All that ended in stoppage time.  Swans midfielder Leon Britton grabbed onto a loose ball just outside of the Gunners’ penalty area.  He made his way toward the goal and when he took his shot, it was blocked by Gunners’ Per Mertesacker.  The ball bounced off keeper Wojciech Szczesny and back onto defender Mathieu Flamini and into the goal.  So now any hope of a trophy for Arsenal now lies with the FA-Cup.

Newcastle 0 – 3 Everton

The Toffees grab a convincing win over the Magpies.  It was their biggest away win of the season and it was a total dominating performance.  The highlight of the match was the first goal in the 21st minute.  Ross Barkley got hold of the ball in his own half and weaved his way through the Magpies’ defense.  When he got to into the Newcastle penalty area, he hit a wonderful shot into the top left corner of the goal to finish off the move.  Romelu Lukaku got the second goal in the 52nd minute when eased Gerard Deulofeu’s cross into the top right corner of the goal.  The home side should have gotten a goal back in the 56th minute, but USA international goal keeper Tim Howard kept the Toffees’ goal empty when he saved CHeick Tiote’s attempt toward the center of the net.  Howard was the man again in the 80th minute when he saved a Papiss Demba Cisse header of a Vurnon Anita cross.  Leon Osman finished off the home side in the 87th minute when he slotted home a Lukaku assist.  The win lifts Everton over Tottenham into fifth place and has Roberto Martinez’s boys thinking about European qualification for next season.  Who was that David Moyes guy again?

West Ham 2 – 1 Hull

The Hammers end their losing streak.  They were on a run of three league losses which was the worst run that boss Sam Allardyce had ever experienced in his managerial career.  It looked like Wednesday might be more of the same for the Hammers when midfielder James Collins had to be replaced by Roger Johnson in the ninth minute due to injury.  But they finally found a bit of fortune in the 20th minute when Mohamed Diame was fouled in the Hull penalty area by their keeper Allan McGregor.  He was sent off for the challenge and replaced by Steve Harper.  Mark Nobel converted the spot kick and Upton Park was full of joy.  But the home side couldn’t seem to take advantage of the extra man and nearly dropped a goal right at half time when Hull striker Maynor Figueroa’s shot was deflected away from the goal by Hammers’ keeper Adrian.  The Hammers would concede in the 48th minute when Nikica Jelavic knocked home a loose ball from a Tom Huddlestone free-kick.  The fans were really angry with their side by now, but were satisfied when Hull defender James Chester knocked the ball into his own goal in the 53rd minute.  But the home side couldn’t seem to muster any more offense and nearly conceded a stoppage time goal when Liam Rosenior’s shot just missed off to the right.  When the final whistle blew, the fans booed their side’s performance even though they won.

Liverpool 2 – 1 Sunderland

The Reds close to within a point from the top spot.  The one benefit Liverpool have over the other contenders for the BPL is that they have not had the distractions of European competitions this season.  So this match at Anfield on Wednesday should have been an easy one for them.  Sunderland are on their way out of the BPL.  They sit three points adrift in the bottom three and just haven’t been able to find any way to win.  But if they’re going to be relegated Gus Poyet’s boys are going down fighting.  They managed to hold on for most of the first half until the 38th minute.  Defender Santiago Vergini committed an unnecessary foul on Luis Suarez just outside of the Black Cats’ penalty area.  Reds’ captain Steven Gerrard curled his free kick into the top right corner of the goal to open the scoring.  They got the second goal in the 48th minute when Daniel Sturridge powered home Jordan Henderson’s assist into the top left corner of the goal.  It was his 20th league goal of the season and with strike partner Suarez’s 28 goals, the two strikers have accomplished something that strikers Ian St. John and Roger Hunt did 50 years previously.  If the Reds have any weakness that might hinder their journey of hope, it’s their defense and it showed in the 75th minute when Ki Sung-Yueng was found unmarked at the far-post by an Adam Johnson corner kick and the Korean international headed home the goal.  The visitors tried their best to press for the equalizer.  Striker Jozy Altidore gave USA coach Jurgen Klinsman yet another reason why he shouldn’t be chosen to go to Brazil this summer when he failed to hit a sitter in the six yard box in the 82nd minute.  John O’Shea should have scored in the 88th minute when his header from a Johnson cross barely missed off to the right of goal.  So the question being asked now is can the Reds win the league?


Lanny Short

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