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Feb 222015
Premier League

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Stoke

Victor Moses’s late second half penalty kick gives the Potters the win at Villa Park. Saturday’s match was Tim Sherwood’s first in charge of the Villains. He made is return after leaving Tottenham back in May 2014. His side took the lead in the 20th minute when Scott Sinclair headed in a Fabian Delph cross. But, as has been the problem for the Villains’ all season, the defense started to fall apart. The Potters nearly leveled the score in the 29th minute when Villains’ keeper Brad Guzan made a great save from a Victor Moses shot from distance. They would equalize in the 45th minute when Mame Biram Diouf would head in a Stephen Ireland cross. Sherwood tried to inject a bit of pace into his side in the 58th minute by bringing on midfielder Andreas Weimann to replace Carles Gill. They had a chance to take the lead in the 89th minute when Gabriel Agbonlahor’s header from a Fabian Delph cross was saved by Potters’ keeper Asmir Begovic. A draw would have been OK for the Villains, but just when it looked like it might happen, Ron Vlaar conceded a penalty kick when he brought down Moses in the Villains’ area. The Villains’ defender, who had been booked earlier, was sent off for the offense and Moses converted the spot kick for the win for the Potters. The loss leaves the Villains second from bottom in the BPL table and Villain fans have that sinking feeling.

Chelsea 1 – 1 Burnley

A Nemanja Matic second half brain cramp allows the Clarets to steal a point from the Blues at Stamford Bridge. This was the last thing that the Blues needed in their quest to win the BPL. They were getting over a disappointing UEFA Champions’ League draw in Paris against Paris St Germain. They had a seven point lead coming into Saturday’s match and looked to extend that lead to ten points. They were playing a Clarets’ side who were stuck in the bottom three, so a win was the likely result. They did take the lead in the 13th minute when Branislav Ivanovic slotted home a pass from Eden Hazard. They had two penalty kick shots ignored by the referee. The first was when an Ivanovic shot struck midfielder Michael Kightly’s arm in plain view of the referee. The second happened when Diego Costa was pushed off the ball by defender Jason Shackell and the referee waved for play to continue. So tempers where a bit short and in the 70th minute, Matic took exception to a Barnes studs-up challenge. The midfielder got to his feet and got face-to-face with Barnes. He then pushed Barnes to the ground in anger. That list bit the referee saw and sent the Chelsea player off for violent conduct. The Clarets took advantage of being a man-up in the 80th minute when Ben Mee headed in a Kieran Trippier cross. They almost won the match deep into stoppage time when a Danny Ings shot from a George Boyd assist went just over the goal. While the win doesn’t quite lift the Clarets out of the bottom three, it does give them a fighting chance to avoid relegation.

Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Arsenal

The Gunners beat Palace to move up the table and contend for a Champions’ League spot. They came to Selhurst Park on Saturday after a decent week of winning their FA-Cup and Champions League matches. They took the lead in the seventh minute when striker Danny Welbeck earned a penalty-kick after he was tripped on the Palace area by defender Pape Souare. Santiago Cazorla scored from the spot to get the Gunners going in the right direction. Olivier Giroud goal number two in the 45th minute when he poked home a rebound from a Danny Welbeck shot that had been saved by Palace keeper Julian Speroni. Palace did their best to try to get back into the match, but most of their shots were nowhere near the goal. They did get a bit of luck right at stoppage time when Glen Murray poked in a loose ball after the Gunners’ defense failed to clear a corner-kick. The result now has Arsenal competing with Southampton and Manchester United for the third automatic qualifying spot for Champions’ League.

Hull 2 – 1 Queens Park Rangers

The Tigers beat QPR as they try to keep themselves in the BPL. This match on Saturday was one of those bottom-of-the-table clashes that is hard fought as one would expect. The Tigers scored first in the 16th minute when Nikica Jelavic hit a free-kick into the bottom left corner of the goal beyond the reach of QPR keeper Robert Green. QPR nearly equalized in the 18th minute when Darnell Furlong’s header of a Joey Barton cross was saved by Tigers’ keeper Alan McGregor. QPR midfielder Charlie Austin had his shot from a Matthew Phillips cross blocked by the Tigers’ defense in the 28th minute. Then things went downhill for QPR in the 32nd minute when Barton was sent off for getting into a scuffle and taking a swing at Tom Huddlestone. But instead of giving up, QPR kept fighting and got the equalizing goal in the 39th minute when Austin headed in a Phillips cross. That inspired the visitors to keep pushing even though they were down a man. They nearly took the lead in the 79th minute when Phillips made another great cross that forced keeper McGregor to make a great save from Steven Caulker’s header. But the winner for the Tigers came in the 88th minute when striker Dame N’Doye headed in a Robbie Brady cross. QPR substitute striker Mauro Zarate had a chance to level the score again in stoppage time, but his shot from an Armand Traore missed the goal off to the right. The win moves the Tigers up four points from the bottom three and has fans believing they’ll remain in the BPL. We shall see.

Sunderland 0 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

It’s scoreless between the Black Cats and the Baggies at the Stadium of Light. This was a classic Tony Pulis style match. Since taking over the management of the Baggies on January 1st, they’ve only lost once in their last 10 matches. The football itself is quite ugly, but he was brought on to keep the side in the BPL. So it was so surprise that the match on Saturday was one where there wasn’t much attacking and the Baggies did everything they could to defend their goal. The Black Cats need the win in order to get themselves away from the relegation fight. But they just couldn’t breach the Baggies defense. The result leaves them just three points and two places above the bottom three with a lot of football left to play.

Swansea 2 – 1 Manchester United

Jonjo Shelvey’s goal helps the Swans beat United at the Liberty Stadium. Saturday was the second loss in 20 matches for the Red Devils. There was a glimmer or two of hope that Louis Van Gaal’s style was finally paying off and the old days of winning beautiful football were coming back. But the match against the Welsh side proved that there is still quite a bit of rebuilding work left to do. United dominated possession throughout most of the match and took the lead in the 27th minute when Ander Herrera hit a shot from distance into the bottom left corner of the goal. But the one weakness that still plagues the team has been the defense and it was exploited again in the 30th minute when Shelvey found an unmarked Ki Sung-yueng with a fine cross and the Korean international score the equalizer in the bottom right corner of the goal. Sung-yueng cut through the United defense again in the 48th minute and was found by another Shelvey cross. Luckily for the Red Devils, keeper David De Gea was able to make the save to keep the score level. But the Swans took the lead in the 72nd minute when Shelvey cut through the defense and hit a shot from distance that was slightly deflected into the net. From that point forward, the Swans were able to successfully defend their goal from the United onslaught. The result saw them win both away and home matches over United for the first time in their history.

Manchester City 5 – 0 Newcastle

The Champions deliver a whuppin’ to the Magpies as they close the gap at the top of the BPL table. Saturday was the first win for Citeh since January 4th. It all started in the first minute Magpies midfielder Vurnon Anita fouled Edin Dzeko in the penalty area. Sergio Aguero converted the spot kick for the first goal. Goal number two came in the 11th minute when Samir Nasri curled a shot into the top left corner of the goal. It was obvious that the Magpies defense couldn’t keep up with Citeh and they got knocked down again in the 21st minute when Dzeko scored from a David Silva through pass. Silva would score himself in the 50th minute when he finished a Nasri assist. Silva would score again in the 53rd minute when he hit a shot from distance into the bottom right corner of the goal. New-guy Wilfried Bony almost got a sixth goal for the Champions when his shot from a Yaya Toure through pass was saved by Magpies’ keeper Tim Krul. The win puts the BPL Trophy contest back on again and gives Citeh fans a bit of hope that they can retain the cup.

Tottenham 2 – 2 West Ham

Harry Kane’s late goal salvages the draw for Spurs. They were coming off a mid-week draw in the UEFA Europa League so they were a bit flat facing the Hammers on Sunday. The visitors took the lead in the 21st minute when Cheikhou Kouyate headed in a cross from Aaron Creswell. The Hammers were playing without injured striker Andy Carroll and nearly scored again in the 58th minute when Diafra Sakho’s shot from a Mark Noble through pass was saved by Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris. Sakho did score in the 62nd minute when he hit a Noble cross into the bottom left corner of the goal. Hammers’ boss Sam Allardyce then decided to defend the two-goal lead by replacing Noble with Carlton Cole and later Enner Valencia with Matthew Jarvis. The move back fired on the visitors in the 80th minute as Danny Rose powered home a corner-kick into the net. Spurs drew level when they earned a penalty kick deep into stoppage time. Hammers’ midfielder Alex Song fouled Kane in the penalty area and the striker took the spot-kick. Hammers’ keeper Adrian was able to save the kick, Kane was able to poke home the rebound.

Everton 2 – 2 Leicester

Matthew Upson’s late own goal denies the Foxes a much needed win at Goodison Park. I guess it wasn’t Roberto Martinez’s fault that the Toffees were a bit flat on Sunday. They were coming off a convincing UEFA Europa League win on Thursday in which striker Romelu Lukaku got a hat-trick. They did nearly score in the 17th minute when Muhamed Besic’s short from distance was saved by Foxes keeper Mark Schwarzer. But that was the only chance they made in the first half. The Foxes came out of the half-time interval with a bit of confidence and nearly scored in the 46th minute when Matthew James’ shot was saved by Toffees keeper Tim Howard. The home side finally got going and scored in the 56th minute when Steven Naismith powered in a Lukaku assist. But the Foxes were able to equalize in the 62nd minute when David Nugent poked in a shot from close range. They surprisingly took the lead in the 70th minute when Esteban Cambiasso scored from a Jamie Vardy assist. Lukaku nearly scored in the 71st minute when his shot from a Steven Naismith through pass missed the goal off to the right. The equalizer would come in the 88th minute when Christian Atsu would hit a cross for Lukaku that the striker would miss. But Foxes defender Upson, in an effort to clear the ball, would miss kick and place it into his own net. So while they’re not dead yet, instead of being one point adrift, the Foxes are four points away from the other teams above them.

Southampton 0 – 2 Liverpool

The Reds move to with two points of a Champions’ League place by beating the Saints at St. Mary’s Stadium. They are the only team in the BPL who have not lost a league match in 2015. Much of this has been done without their captain Steven Gerrard, who did not play Sunday due to an injury. They scored early when Philippe Coutinho hit an amazing shot from distance into the top left corner of the goal. The Saints, who seem to have gone a bit flat in the month of February, didn’t get much in the way of an attack going in the first half. The one shot on goal they did have was easily saved by Reds’ keeper Simon Mignolet. The second half was pretty much the same for the Saints. They went further behind in the 73rd minute when Raheem Sterling broke through their defense and finished a great shot into the bottom left corner of the goal. In the 86th minute, substitute Daniel Sturridge, nearly made it three when his shot from an Emre Can assist was saved by Saints’ keeper Fraser Foster. Morgan Schneiderlin almost got a goal back for the Saints in the 89th minute when his shot from a Victor Wanyama assist was saved by keeper Mignolet. The win moves the Reds over Spurs into sixth place and has their fans hoping for a top three finish. We shall see.

Lanny Short

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