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Dec 052014
Premier League

Burnley 1 – 1 Newcastle

Papiss Cisse’s second-half strike earns the Magpies a point and denies the Clarets their third BPL win in four matches. It was Clarets’ boss Sean Dyche’s 100th match in charge and he was feeling pretty good in the 33rd minute when midfielder George Boyd get them the lead in the 33rd minute when he finished off Danny Ings’ headed pass. Magpies boss Alan Pardew was clearly relieved with Cisse’s finish from a Daryl Janmaat cross that leveled the score. Both sides had opportunities to win the match but had to settle for a point apiece.

Leicester 1 – 3 Liverpool

The Reds come from behind to beat bottom club Leicester. This was a match where the Reds scored all the goals. The Foxes, who really needed to win, took the lead in the 21st minute when Reds keeper Simon Mignolet mishandled a shot from Foxes’ striker Leonardo Ulloa and the ball ended up in the Reds goal. The Reds were able to make up for that gaff in the 26th minute when they were awarded a free-kick in their attacking third and Adam Lallana scored the set piece. Of course Steven Gerrard took the lead in the 53rd minute when hit a shot in from distance. Things got a lot easier for the Reds in the 62nd minute when Foxes’ defender Wes Morgan was sent off for a bad challenge on Reds’ midfielder Rickie Lambert. The Reds sealed the win in the 83rd minute when Raheem Sterling cut through the Foxes’ defense and set up defender Jordan Henderson who smacked home his hot into the roof of the goal. So now the Foxes sit three points from safety and this is the part of the season when things get rough. It looks like they’re headed back to the Championship.

Manchester United 2 – 1 Stoke

Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata score as the Red Devils win their fourth consecutive BPL match. It looks like both players, who had looked lost when boss Louis Van Gal took charge of United, have now found ways to contribute to their team. Fellaini, who is getting used to his role in the United midfield, scored the opening goal in the 20th minute when he headed in Ander Herrera’s cross. United still have a hole or two in their defense and the Potters were able to take advantage and level the score in the 39th minute when Steven N’Zonzi hit a shot that United keeper David De Gea had no chance to stop. Fellaini almost retook the lead for United in the 41st minute, but his shot was saved by Potters’ keeper Asmir Begovic. Mata did get the lead back for United in the 59th minute. They were awarded a free-kick in the attacking third and the Spanish international midfielder curled the shot into the top left corner of the goal. United almost lost the lead again in stoppage time when Potters’ striker Mame Biram Diouf’s right-footed shot was saved off the line by keeper De Gea. But United would hold on for the win which brings them within a point of third place Southampton.

Swansea City 2 – 0 Queens Park Rangers

QPR still can’t break their away match curse. I am wondering of boss Harry Redknapp is a bit frustrated with his side. The only shot they managed on goal in the first half was a 41st minute strike from Leroy Fer that was saved by Swans’ keeper Lukasz Fabianski. Although they couldn’t get anything good on goal, they were defending well and held the Swans scoreless for the first half. They looked like they were going to get out of the Liberty Stadium with a point which would have lifted them out of the bottom three. But their away match bad luck got them in the 77th minute when Swans’ midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng scored his left-footed shot from an impossible angle. It was all over in the 82nd minute when midfielder Wayne Routledge scored the second in the 82nd minute from a Nathan Dyer assist. So the fight to stay in the BPL is on for QPR.

Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Aston Villa

Christian Benteke’s first half goal is good enough to end the Villians’ nine-match winless run. The Belgian international striker was playing just his fifth match of the season after recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He scored the 32nd minute goal after Palace defender Scott Dann messed up and lost possession of the ball. Benteke curled his shot into the bottom corner of the goal from distance past Palace keeper Julian Speroni. It was then all about Villain’s keeper Brad Guzan who was able to make save after save to keep Palace off the score sheet. The loss for Palace now has them just two places above the bottom three. It looks like they might get caught in the relegation fight.

West Bromwich Albion 1 – 2 West Ham

Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins goals send the Baggies to their fourth straight BPL defeat. Things started out so well for the Baggies on Tuesday. They ended their 33 minute BPL goal drought in the tenth minute when Craig Dawson headed in a Graham Dorrans’ free-kick. But Nolan equalized for the Hammers in the 35th minute. Baggies keeper had to make a brilliant save from Andy Carroll’s overhead kick, but Nolan was there to head in the rebound. Tomkins got the winner in first-half stoppage time when he headed in a corner kick from Stewart Downing. From that point forward, it was all about holding their lead as the Hammers’ fans were chanting “We’re going to win the league” while blowing their bubbles. The Baggies are sliding down toward the bottom three and there are rumors flying around that boss Alan Irvine might be replaced by unemployed Tony Pulis. We shall see.

Arsenal 1 – 0 Southampton

Alexis Sanchez’s goal rescues the win for the Gunners. It would seem that some of the Arsenal fans are wanting Arsene Wenger to be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium. There were banners flying around the stands saying just that as the Gunners played the Saints. Perhaps the anger is because the Home side just don’t look good and Saints’ keeper Fraser Forster spend most of the match making great saves from Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and the rest of the Gunners. What did in the Saints was a major stroke of bad luck that came in the 83rd minute when defender Toby Alderweireld had to come off due to a major leg injury. Saints boss Ronald Koeman had already used his three substitutions, so the Saints played a man short. It was in the 89th minute that the Gunners scored when Sanchez has able to knock in a cross from Aaron Ramsey. The win lifts the Gunners up to sixth place, most Gunners fans are not happy about being one place behind West Ham of all teams.

Chelsea 3 – 0 Tottenham

The Blues get another easy win over Spurs at Stamford Bridge. It’s been 24 years since Spurs had won at Stamford Bridge. They had a really great chance on Wednesday as the Blues were without BPL leading scorer Diego Costa who was serving a yellow-card accumulation suspension. But Spurs couldn’t finish their early chances with striker Harry Kane striking the bar with a header in the seventh minute and narrowly missing the goal in the 11th minute. It was Didier Drogba, who played in place of Costa who created the first Blues’ goal when he set up a one-two pass for Eden Hazard to score in the 19th minute. Drogba scored himself in the 22nd minute when he took advantage of Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris’ mistake and poked in the loose ball. It was then the “Jose Mourinho Strategy” of defending what they had for the rest of the match. Although Loic Remy was able to get through the Spurs’ defense again in the 73rd minute to score number three. Can anyone beat Chelsea?

Everton 1 – 1 Hull

Sone Aluko’s goal ends the Tiger’s four match losing streak. Everton took the lead in the 34th minute when Romelu Lukaku scored from a Kevin Mirallas pull-back pass. But the Toffees defense let them down again in the second half when substitute Sone Aluko, got past Silvain Distin to hit a hard shot past the reach of Toffees keeper Tim Howard. So once again Everton miss out on a chance to climb up the table. Hull, on the other hand, get themselves out of the bottom three. For now.

Sunderland 1 – 4 Manchester City

Sergio Aguero scores two goals as the Champions get an easy win over the Black Cats. There was an inkling of hope that the home side might steal a result from the Champions. They did score the first goal in the 19th minute when Connor Wickham got one past keeper Joe Hart. But, as he always does, Aguero took his time on his back and equalized in the 21st minute when hit a great shot from distance. Stevan Jovetic gave the Champions the lead in the 39th minute when he hit his shot through the legs of Black Cats’ keeper Costel Pantilimon. Pablo Zabaleta got the third in the 55th minute when he hit a fine chip shot that found the corner of the goal. Aguero finished off the scoring in the 71st minute with a shot in the bottom right corner from a James Milner assist. So the Champions look to have their march to defend the BPL trophy finally in motion. It may be too late.

Lanny Short

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