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Barclay’s Premier League Wrap-up Week 12

 Posted by on November 27, 2013 at 12:08 am  England, EPL
Nov 272013

Everton 3 – 3 Liverpool

It was a tense and exciting Mersey-side Derby on Saturday.  This one was a true nail biter and the fans at Goodison Park were not happy in the fifth minute when Philippe Coutinho put the Reds on top.  He was left unmarked for a corner kick and headed home Steven Gerrard’s kick beyond Toffees’ keeper Tim Howard’s reach.  The home side pulled even in the eighth minute from their own set piece when Ross Barkley got to Leighton Baines’ free-kick ahead of Reds’ central defender Martin Skrtel and diverted the ball over to Kevin Mirallas who was able to get ahead of Gerrard and poke home past keeper Simon Mignolet.  The Reds retook the lead in the 19th minute when they earned a free-kick in their attacking third when Garth Barry brought down Luis Suarez.  The Uruguayan striker took the kick and was able to hit a brilliant, curling shot that went through the gap in the Everton wall and into the goal just past Howard’s finger tips.  No Mersey-side Derby has ever been without controversy, and the controversial moment for this match happened in the 36th minute when Mirallas made a really clumsy challenge on Suarez and caught his cleat into the striker’s thigh.  The Belgian international was booked for the challenge, but replays suggested that he should have been sent off as his challenge actually drew blood.  The second half saw Barcelona loanee Gerard Deuloeu replace Leighton Baines and nearly score in the 53rd minute when he was put through on goal by Mirallas.  Mignolet was able to make a brilliant save to keep the Reds’ one goal advantage.  But that advantage was gone in the 72nd minute when Romelu Lukaku got hold of a loose ball in the Reds’ penalty area and slammed it into the goal to level the scores.  The home fans thought they had the match won in the 82nd minute when an unmarked Lukaku headed home Mirallas’ corner kick to put Everton into the lead.  But in the 89th minute substitute Daniel Sturridge, rested after playing a full international match on Wednesday, Was able to head home a Steven Gerrard free-kick to level the score and share the points.

Arsenal 2 – 0 Southampton

Olivier Giroud scores twice as the Gunners extend their lead at the top of the BPL table.  This was a match that Mauricio Pochettino had been looking forward to.  The Saints hadn’t lost in their last eight league matches and had a chance take over the top of the table with a win at the Emirates Stadium.  But any hopes of beating the Gunners at home looked in serious jeopardy in the 11th minute when Jack Wilshere made a great run into the Saints’ penalty area and looped the ball over keeper Artur Boruc.  But the far post came to the Polish international keepers’ rescue as the ball bounced off the inside of the post and into the hands of the relieved keeper.  The woodwork came to the rescue of the Saints again in the 17th minute when Mesut Ozil’s cross was knocked towards the goal by Aaron Ramsey.  But the ball bounced off the post again to keep the match goalless.  The opening goal did come for the Gunners in the 22nd minute.  Boruc, made an absolute mess of a back pass given to him by the defense.  He tried to dribble past Giroud and the French international was able to nick the ball off him and poke it home into the empty net for the score.  There wasn’t much more to this one for the rest of the first half.  The Saints tried to battle back in the second half did make an attack or two on goal.  However, Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny was more than equal to anything that the visitors could muster.  The home side made the victory safe in the 86th minute when Jose Fonte was penalized for pulling the shirt of Per Mertesacker in the Saints’ area.  Giroud slotted home the penalty kick and the Gunners increased their lead at the top to four points.

Fulham 1 – 2 Swansea

The Swans travel to Craven Cottage, get the win and put Martin Jol in deeper trouble.  It was the Swans first win in over a month and the Cottagers fifth loss.  The home fans have had enough and spent most of the match chanting “Jol out”.  Most of the action took place in the second half and the Cottagers’ horrible luck bit them again in the 55th minute when Aaron Hughes knocked the ball into his own net.  They did manage to equalize in the 3rd minute with Scott Parker’s shot from Bryan Ruiz’s corner kick that went into the top right corner of the net.  But any thoughts of holding on for the draw were ended in the 80th minute when substitute Jonjo Shelvey’s shot from Roland Lamah’s corner kick found the upper corner of the goal.  The loss has the Fulham in the bottom three and rumors spreading of a replacement for Jol increasing.  There is a rumor that Clint Dempsey might do a loan spell at Craven Cottage to get himself fit for the World Cup this summer.  I hope for his sake that he thinks twice before landing in this mess.

Hull 0 – 1 Crystal Palace

New Palace boss Tony Pulis watches his boys get a win over the Tigers.  He was watching from the stands as the caretaker boss, Keith Millen served his last match behind the bench.  Perhaps the biggest story for most of this match was the plans by Hull owner Assem Allam to rebrand the team as Hull Tigers (They are currently known as Hull City).  The match itself was quite boring as neither side was able to mount any sort of significant attack for most of the match.  There was an incident in the second minute when Paul McShane and Marouane Chamakh clashed head and required some significant treatment.  As the match wore on, more and more of the home fans voiced their displeasure over the owner’s off-pitch actions and when a banner was unveiled that read “We are Hull City” it was met with overwhelming applause.  The visitors went down a man in the 77th minute when Yannick Bolasie was sent off for a really bad challenge on Jake Livermore.  So it wasn’t surprising when the home side switched off and sat back to settle for the draw.  And so it was in the 81st minute when Palace pulled off the miracle upset.  Cameron Jerome managed to dance his way into the Hull penalty area and hit a square ball across the goal that Barry Bannan hammered home.  Although Hull had a couple of more chances to equalize, they just couldn’t find a way through Palace.  The win lifts them off the bottom and there is a faint hope that Pulis might be able to save the side from relegation.  We’ll see.

Newcastle 2 – 1 Norwich

Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran score as the Magpies get the home win over the Canaries.  Things are not going well for the Canaries.  They got hammered by Manchester City 7-0 in their last BPL match and the pressure is building on boss Chris Hughton.  So it was no surprise at all when they went behind in the second minute of the match.  The Magpies had earned a corner kick that was taken by Yohan Cabaye.  Loic Remy was able to out jump everyone to meet the ball and head it home for the first goal.  The Canaries nearly had a response in the 11th minute when Nathan Redmond was played ahead by Michael Turner’s cross, but his shot went well over the goal.  They had another chance saved in the 13th minute when Leroy Fer’s shot from close range was deflected away from goal by Magpies’ keeper Tim Krul.  Newcastle doubled their advantage in the 38th minute when Shola Ameobi was able to pick out Remy’s run.  Remy then floated over a cross that Ameobi headed on goal.  Although Michael Vorm was able to make the save, the rebound was not cleared and Yoan Gouffran poked it home for the second goal. That would be all the goals the Magpies would need for the win.  Although the Canaries pulled a goal back in the 80th minute from Fer’s header of a Nathan Redmond corner, they just didn’t have enough to get any sort of result.  Hughton can be grateful that there are four teams that are worse off than the Canaries.  But his job is in jeopardy.

Stoke 2 – 0 Sunderland

The Potters get their first win in nine matches and send the Black Cats back to the bottom of the BPL table.  The one thing that Black Cats boss Gus Poyet needs to correct as soon as possible is how his team plays on the road.  They haven’t won away from the Stadium of Light this season and didn’t look good in their loss on Saturday.  They had a chance to open the scoring early in the match as Jack Colback’s shot was deflected away from goal for a corner kick.  They had another chance in the 13th minute when Steven Fletcher was put through on goal by Adam Johnson.  Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic was able to parry the shot away from the goal.  The resulting corner kick was headed on goal by Fletcher, but Begovic was able to take care of the ball.  The Potters were able up the tempo of the match a bit and their pressure paid off in the 30th minute when Charlie Adam was put through on goal by Steven N’Zonzi.  Adam was able to slot home into the bottom left corner of the goal past Black Cats’ keeper Vito Mannone.  Things got worse for Sunderland in the 36th minute when defender Wes Brown was sent off for a challenge on Adam.  The referee felt that Brown, who had come a long way to challenge Adam, had gone in dangerously and issued the red card for violent conduct.  The replay though seemed to indicate that Brown did not make contact with Adam at all.  The Black Cats did their best to keep the margin at a single goal and had a couple chances to equalize in the second half.  They thought they had a penalty kick claim when Begovic, coming out to clear a cross, planted his foot into Fletcher’s chest.  However the referee did not agree and no foul was awarded.  Stoke got the second goal and the win in the 81st minute when N’Zonzi knocked home Peter Crouch’s through ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.  The win places the Potters into 14th on the table which suits boss Mark Hughes just fine.

West Ham 0 – 3 Chelsea

The Blues get an easy win over the Hammers at Upton Park.  This was touted as a “London Derby” with former Hammer Frank Lampard featured going against former Blue Joe Cole.  But there really wasn’t much to this one as the Blues dominated throughout the match.  West Ham have had a hard time scoring so far this season and it showed as time after time, their attacks would just falter and die.  Things got really bad for the Hammers in the 20th minute when Oscar was brought down in their penalty area by Hammers’ keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.  Lampard took the spot kick and hammered it home like he usually does for the first goal.  The Blues doubled their lead in the 33rd minute when Eden Hazard flicked on a pass for Oscar who charged unchallenged onto the goal and poked home into the bottom corner of the net.  That was the score at the end of the half and the Upton Park fans let the home side feel their frustration as they left for the half time interval.  The second half did not get any better for them as their side just could not penetrate the Blues defense.  The closest they would come would be in the 64th minute when Guy Demel was able to hit a cross for Modibo Maiga, but the shot was put well wide of the goal.  The third goal for the Blues came in the 81st minute when Branislav Ivanovic found Hazard with a cross.  His shot was blocked, but not cleared and Lampard was able to poke home the loose ball into the corner past Jaaskelainen.  The win sees the Blues secure third place and it looks like fortune is hiding from the Hammers again.

Manchester City 6 – 0 Tottenham

It’s another easy win for Citeh at home in the Etihad Stadium.  To say that Spurs failed to show up for this match would be a gross understatement.  They were handily beaten by a side that has not lost at home this season.  Boss Andre Villas Boas had barely taken his seat when his side were down a goal.  After Sergio Aguero had his shot saved, Jesus Navas got the rebound and floated the ball into the top left corner of the goal over Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris’s reach.  Number two came in the 33rd minute when Alvaro Negredo had his shot on goal blocked but the rebound deflected off Spurs’ defender Sandro and into the net for the own goal.  Navas and Aguero combined in the 40th minute for goal number three with Aguero finishing with a great left-footed shot into the left corner of the net.  Number four came in the 50th minute.  This time Yaya Toure was the one who set up Aguero and the Argentine international easily slotted home the finish.  Negredo got on the scoresheet himself in the 55th minute when he was put through on goal by Fernandinho and he curled his shot into the top right corner of the goal.  Number six came in stoppage time when Navas scored from substitute James Milner’s through ball.  In the post-match interview, Villas Boas was obviously disappointed as this result drops Spurs from third place to ninth in the table.  It was a good win for Citeh boss Manuel Pellegrini and it lifts them up to fourth.  Now if they could play like this when away from the Etihad Stadium, they might have half a chance at winning the league.

West Bromwich Albion 2 – 2 Aston Villa

The Villains stage a brilliant second half comeback to get the draw.  The Baggies started this match out so well.  They took the early lead in the second minute when Shane Long expertly controlled a Chris Brunt looping cross and then hit his shot past Villa keeper Brad Guzan.  Villa had a chance to equalize in the fifth minute when Aleksandar Tonev had his shot kick-saved by Baggies keeper Boaz Myhill.  But the Baggies doubled their advantage in the 10th minute when Long stole the ball from Leandro Bacuna.  The Republic of Ireland international was able to elude the Villa defense and floated a wonderful curling shot over Guzan’s reach into the top left corner of the goal.  Stephane Sessegnon should have made it 3-0 in the 19th minute when he was found by Morgan Amalfitano’s cross, but his control let him down and he sent his shot wide of the goal.  Villa had a chance to get a goal back in the 24th minute when Libor Kozak’s shot rebounded off the bar.  Long nearly had his hat-trick in the 30th minute when he was able to get through the Villa defense, but his shot went straight into Guzan’s gut.  The half time interval may have let the Baggies get a little overconfident with their two goal advantage.  Villa boss Paul Lambert made three changes in the second half.  He brought on Fabian Delph, Andreas Weimann, and Gabriel Agbonlahor for Libor Kozak, Aleksandar Tonev, and Yacouba Sylla.  The changes had almost an immediate effect as Weimann nearly got his shot by keeper Myhil in the 58th minute.  The Villains did score in the 67th minute when Karim El Ahmadi was sent through on goal by a Weimann header and El Ahmadi was able to slot home past Myhil.  The equalizer came in the 76th minute when Ashley Westwood’s shot from outside of the box went into the bottom right corner of the goal.  Villa nearly had a chance to grab all three points in the 85th minute when Weimann’s shot from outside the Baggies penalty area went just over the goal.  But the draw was well earned and a fair result.

Lanny Short

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