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Barclay’s Premier League Wrap-Up Week 34

 Posted by on April 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm  England, EPL
Apr 092014

Manchester 4 – 1 Southampton

Citeh keep up the pressure on the league leaders. This is yet another home win for Citeh and they got things stated off early when they earned a penalty kick in the second minute. Saints’ defender Jose Fonte made a rash challenge on Edin Dzeko and when the striker went down in the area, the referee pointed to the spot. Yaya Toure scored the penalty kick and it looked like the home side would have an easy time. To their credit, the Saints refused to give in as the first half continued. They earned their own penalty kick in the 35th minute when midfielder Jack Cork was fouled in the Citeh penalty area by defender Pablo Zabaleta. Rickie Lambert converted the spot kick to level the score and the Saints turned the match into a fight. That fight was ended controversially in first half stoppage time when Samir Nasri, who appeared to be in an offside position, was found with a David Silva pass and slotted the ball into the goal. The goal was awarded after the referee consulted with the assistant and they decided that Nasri was not offside. Edin Dzeko made it 3-1 when he headed home an Aleksandar Kolarv cross right at the stroke of half time. That goal pretty much took the life out of the visitors. They were not able to mount much of a fight in the second half and conceded goal number four in the 80th minute when substitute Stevan Jovetic slotted home a Jesus Navas cross. The win narrows the gap from the top to two points and Citeh still have two matches in hand. They face league leaders Liverpool next week.

Aston Villa 1 – 2 Fulham

The Cottagers get a much needed win at Villa Park. The action in this match happened in the second half. The Villains, who are currently safe in the middle of the table may have taken this match a bit lightly. They may have also felt that there was no possible way that the Cottagers would be able to mount any sort of attack that they would need to worry about. Well, they got proven wrong in the 61st minute when Kieran Richards curled a left-footed shot into the top right corner of the goal beyond the grasp of Villains’ keeper Brad Guzan. Grant Holt leveled the score in the 70th minute when he headed home a Marc Albrighton cross from a corner kick. Aleksander Tonev should have but the home side in the lead in the 77th minute when his shot was saved by Cottagers’ keeper David Stockdale. Andreas Weimann had a chance to do the same for the Villains in the 80th minute but his headed from a Marc Albrighton cross was just over the goal. They paid for those misses in the 85th minute when Hugo Rodallega headed in the winner from a Lewis Holtby cross. While they’re not out of the bottom three yet, the Cottagers are off the foot of the table and still have a chance to save themselves from relegation.

Cardiff City 0 – 3 Crystal Palace

It’s an ugly day for the Welsh side at Cardiff City Stadium. It looks like they’re pretty much going to take the drop at the end of this season. The fans, already angry with their owner Vincent Tan, spend most of the match singing chants expressing their anger at the Malaysian owner. Manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer hasn’t been able to find any rhythm or chemistry in the team and it showed on Saturday as they were simply dominated by Tony Pulis’ boys. Pulis, whose specialty is keeping a team from being relegated has done a great job with Palace this season. They took the lead in the 31st minute when Jason Puncheon slotted home a Joe Ledley assist. Frustration continued to mount for the home side as they just couldn’t get anything started in the first half. The second half wasn’t much better and they conceded a second goal in the 71st minute when Marouane Chamakh’s header was saved by Cardiff keeper David Marshall, but Joe Ledley slotted home the rebound. The home side’s humiliation was completed in the 88th minute when Puncheon hit home a shot into the top left corner of the goal. After that, most of the home fans gave up hope and left. It looks like one of the relegation places may have been decided.

Hull City 1 – 0 Swansea City

George Boyd’s first half goal is good enough for the win. One couldn’t blame Steve Bruce’s side for being a bit distracted. They’re going to be playing League One side Sheffield United on Sunday in the FA-Cup semi-final. This is their only chance at any silverware this season, so they did struggle a bit on Saturday. But in the 39th minute, Boyd headed home Lim Rosenior’s and ensured that they wouldn’t have to worry about getting dragged down the BPL table. Swansea, on the other hand, are in a bit of a slump. The closest they came to scoring was a week Jonjo Shelvey effort in the second half. The loss means, at 33 points, they’re only six points from the drop zone.

Norwich City 0 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

The Baggies send the Canaries deeper into trouble. This was a bad loss for the Canaries, who hadn’t lost in the BPL since December. But this was their fourth loss in six matches. They had several chances to take the early lead, but Alexander Tettey missed his third minute shot and Gay Hooper had his 12th minute effort saved by Baggies keeper Ben Foster. Johan Elmander missed his 13th minute effort off to the left of the goal. The Canaries were made to pay for their horrible finishing in the 15th minute when Baggies striker Morgan Amalfitano scored from a Youssuf Mulumbu assist. From that point forward, the Baggies resolutely defended their lead and that resolve, combined with the Canaries in-ability to create any scoring chances sealed the win for the visitors. The Canaries now sit one place above the drop zone and boss Chris Hughton was fired the on Monday.

Chelsea 3 – 0 Stoke City

It’s yet another easy win at Stamford Bridge for the Blues. One would have imagined that the week’s training session was quite intense for the home side. They came out Saturday knowing they needed to win big to get them back into the BPL race and develop some momentum for their Champions’ League match on Wednesday. They always dominate at home and nearly scored early in the ninth minute when striker Fernando Torres narrowly missed his shot off to the left of goal. A minute later, Blues’ midfielder Mohamed Salah had his shot saved by Potters’ keeper Asmir Begovic. They continued to dominate the first half and in the 31st minute, Salah scored the opening goal from a Nemanja Metic cross. The Potters never could get a grip in the match and conceded a penalty kick in the 60th minute when Salah was fouled by defender Andy Wilkinson in the visitor’s penalty area. Frank Lampard took the spot-kick and although it was initially saved, he slotted home the rebound for the second goal. Goal number three came in the 72nd minute when Salah set up Willian to score from just outside the penalty area. The only real shot the Potters were able to make came in the 84th minute when Charlie Adam missed off to the right of the goal. The win closes Chelsea to with two points of Liverpool and makes the title race more and more interesting each week.

Everton 3 – 0 Arsenal

The Toffees make the Gunners look absolutely silly as they close the gap to one point between them. The wheels have come off the wagon for Arsene Wenger and the Gunners. Their trip to Goodison Park on Sunday was just awful. Everton were onto them early and often. Not even losing striker Leon Osman to a head injury could deter the home side and they took the lead in the 14th minute. Romelu Lukaku hit a shot that was saved by Gunners’ keeper Wojciech Szczesny and Steven Naismith was on hand to poke home the loose ball. Lukaku made it two in the 34th minute when he was put through on goal by Kevin Mirallas and the Chelsea on-loan striker slotted home the goal into the bottom left corner of the goal. The Gunners’ day was complete in the 60th minute. Lukaku busted through the defense onto the goal again and Gunners’ midfielder Mikel Arteta’s challenge deflected the ball into his own goal. The result brings the Toffees within a point of the Gunners who now occupy fourth place. Could Arsenal finish as poorly as Manchester United?

West Ham 1 – 2 Liverpool

The Reds edge themselves a little closer to the BPL Trophy. This one was a tough, scrappy affair at Upton Park. It featured Hammers’ striker Andy Carroll who wanted to prove himself to the side that decided they didn’t want him two seasons ago. He nearly got the first goal in the 10th minute when his shot from outside the Liverpool penalty area was blocked by the defense. Reds’ striker and BPL leading goal scorer Luiz Suarez should have scored in the 19th minute when his first-time shot from a Philippe Coutinho bass bounced off the cross-bar. The first half went back and forth and would have finished goalless. In the 44th minute, Hammers’ defender James Tomkins was penalized for blocking a Suarez shot in the Hammers penalty area. Steven Gerrard converted the spot kick for the opening goal. The Hammers equalized right a the half-time break when Guy Demel got on the end of a loose ball from a corner-kick and slotted home into the center of the goal. Replays of the goal showed that Carroll seemed to block Reds’ keeper Simon Mignolet from getting to the initial corner kick. The second half showed the same scrappiness that filled the first half. The Reds got another penalty called in their favor in the 70th minute when Hammers’ keeper Adrian was judged to have tripped Reds’ Jon Flanagan while saving the midfielder’s shot on goal. Gerrard converted the spot-kick again to put his side into the lead. They nearly made it three in the 81st minute when striker Daniel Sturridge had his shot saved by keeper Adrian. Suarez would hit the bar a minute later and have a shot of his saved in the 87th minute. Although they wouldn’t score again, the Reds were good enough to win the match and tighten their grip on the top spot ahead of their match next week versus Manchester City at Anfield.

Tottenham 5 – 1 Sunderland

Spurs deliver a smack down to the Black Cats and send them to the bottom of the table. Black Cats’ manager Gus Poyet will look back at this match with a bit of sadness. They took the lead in the 17th minute with Lee Cattermole’s shot found the bottom right corner of the goal. That goal woke up the home side and their start striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, leveled things in the 27th minute. Christian Eriksen found the Ivorian international who slotted home into the bottom right corner of the goal. Spurs really let loose in the second half and they took the lead in the 58th minute when Harry Kane poked home an Eriksen cross. Eriksen would get on the score sheet himself in the 77th minute when he slotted home a Nacer Chadli pass. Goal number four came for Spurs in the 85th minute when Kane would have a shot saved by Black Cats’ keeper Vito Mannone and Adebayor poked home the loose ball. The ribbon on the match was tied off in second half stoppage time when Gylfi Sigurdsson would poke home a Younes Kaboul free-kick. Bye-bye Sunderland.

Lanny Short

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