Leaders Chelsea were held to a goalless draw as Manchester City jumps past second placed Southampton with a 3-0 win over them and remain 6 points behind the Blues. Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool too posted victories in the game week 13. Here is a round up of all the matches in the Premier League.
Burnley 1-1 Aston Villa
As Gharam Scott blew the full-time whistle at Turf Moor Burnley (19th) and Aston Villa (16th) shared a point each. Joe Cole opened the scoring for the visitors on 38 minutes, and with three minutes of normal-time remaining Burnley’s Danny Ings scored from a penalty-spot. Burnley enjoyed a better share of possession (53%) to Aston Villa (47%) – Lacked accuracy as they managed only 3/7 (1/3 was a successful penalty) shots on target while, Aston Villa couldn’t add to their 1st half lead despite 6 attempts on the Burnley goal.
Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City
As the clock ticked-down Liverpool’s unlikely hero-of-the-match was Glen Johnson who scored the only goal of the match on 85 minutes. Steven Gerrard was on the bench for Liverpool on his 16th anniversary to the day since he first played for Liverpool against Blackburn Rovers. Liverpool came on the back of back-to-back league defeats and a Champions League draw against Ludogorets. Liverpool’s win didn’t lift them from the bottom-half of the table (11th), and are only 2 points ahead of opposition Stoke City who are on 12th. It was a much needed win Rodger’s men as they go into the busy December month with Leicester City to play next, and a crucial Champions League match against Basel at Anfield with a trip to Old Trafford on the horizon.
Queens Park Rangers 3-2 Leicester City
A five goal-game! Charlie Austin scored the final-goal of the game on 73 minutes; 6 minutes after Leicester City equalized through Jeffery Schlupp. Queens Park Rangers came on the back of a 3-game winless-run; while, this was Leicester City’s 4th loss in the last-5 Premier League games. Cambiasso opened the scoring for the visitors inside 5 minutes, Queens Park Rangers equalized with a goal a Morgan own-goal on 37 minutes only to take the lead 8 minutes later through Fer. Both teams were desperate for points coming into this game – Currently, both the team are in the relegation-zone with Queens Park Rangers on 18th (11 points) and Leicester City on 20th (10 points). Leicester City are to face Liverpool next, and Manchester City in mid-December.
Manchester United 3-0 Hull City
Normal services’ have resumed or maybe, just a false dawn, again. Nevertheless, Van Gaal’s men ran-out comfortable winners against a discouraged Hull City side; commanding in every department, and with De Gea as mere spectator throughout the game Manchester United cruised-past Hull City with Van Persie, Rooney on the score-sheet! An own-goal from Hull City goalkeeper McGrager started things for the home-side, and after that everything looked perfect – Just like the good-old-days. Manchester United entertains Stoke City next at Old Trafford with a trip to Southampton, later, and an upcoming Liverpool’s visit to the Theatre of Dreams is on the horizon.
Also, Swansea hosted Crystal Palace (Full-Time: Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace) in which Bony opened the scoring for Swansea on 15 minutes who’s goal was cut-short from a penalty scored by Jerdinak 10 minutes later. Despite being a more dominant side, Swansea weren’t able to capitalize with their advantages. Swansea currently is without the threat of relegation while Crystal Palace lie 2-points off 18th place Queens Park Rangers. West Ham United 1-0 Newcastle United: Pardew’s fairy-tale run came to a halt at Upton Park with the only goal of the match scored by Aaron Cresswell on 56 minutes. While, a 60th minute Danny Welbeck striker secured all 3 points for Arsenal away at West Bromwich Albion. Giroud and Koscielny started for the first-time since returning from injuries; the latter did feature against Manchester United in the previous gameweek. Arsenal plays Southampton at the Emirates next and West Bromwich Albion host West Ham United.
Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea
Doesn’t change the scenario at the top-of-the-table much but, just another 2 points dropped by Jose’s men who are still unbeaten this season. Poyet’s Sunderland came with a gameplan and executed it to near perfection as they achieved something out of nowhere against a high-flying Chelsea team. They’re the first side this season against whom Chelsea has failed to score, quite an achievement.
Southampton 0-3 Manchester City
With Chelsea’s goalless-draw against Sunderland on Saturday, this weekend saw a meeting between their two closest challengers. The winner of Southampton (26 points) versus Manchester City (27 points) would finish in second place behind Chelsea (33 points).
Against Manchester City, Southampton didn’t press as intensely as they did under Mauricio Pochettino, but their defensive line still took up a position close to the halfway line when possible. Well, if there’s one player you don’t want to face with a high defensive line, it’s Sergio Aguero; he loves racing in behind defenders, and the space left-behind by the Southampton centre-backs was perfect for Sergio Aguero to operate in. Sergio Aguero may not have scored, but was phenomenal against Southampton providing 2 assists in a Premier League game for the third time. It was Manchester City’s 100th Premier League away win, and also Sergio Aguero’s 100th league appearance for Manchester City. Southampton conceded as many goals in this game as they did in their previous 10 at home in the Premier League combined.
Sergio Aguero assisted two goals: first, Yaya Toure and second, Clichy, who scored his first Premier League goal for Manchester City, in his 86th appearance. He netted 1 in 187 games for Arsenal. Lampard scored Manchester City’s second goal. Lampard (45) is the only midfielder to score more Premier League goals than Yaya Toure (44) since the latter joined Manchester City in August 2010.
Even Steven Davis, who usually plays in the advanced midfield position, and rotate regularly with their midfield colleagues combined with his forward runs wasn’t effected against Manchester City’s not-so-defensively-sound midfield of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho. It was a crucial zone, where Manchester City was decisive. Though, Manchester City hasn’t looked entirely comfortable deep in midfield this season they were well organized against a high-tempo Southampton side. Frank Lampard has performed well as a substitute, but despite having struggled against high-tempo opposition he was very composed on the ball and distributed passes accurately.
Both Hart and Foster came into the match on the back of poor goalkeeping performances against Bayern Munich and Aston Villa respectively. There were no glaring errors, but Hart was made to look foolish for both Bayern Munich goals – first Xabi Alonso neatly despatched a free-kick into the bottom corner with Hart rooted to his goalline, and then he was beaten by Robert Lewandowski’s miscued header, which deflected off the Pole’s shoulder, and in off the post. Meanwhile, Foster’s darted forward from his goalline, but failed to intercept a long ball, and allowed Gabriel Agbonlahor to nip in and score. But, made a good stop while he one vs. one against Sergio Aguero, yesterday. Hart kept a clean-sheeting as he failed to clear the ball just once.
Overall, Manchester City was a deserved winner who won the tactical battle against Southampton. Even after Mangala’s dismissal on 74 minutes, Manchester City didn’t panic and stood firm at the back, and counter-attacked an all-out-attack Southampton side scoring two goals, in the course. First real blow for Southampton with Arsenal, next and Manchester United on the horizon.
Tottenham 2-1 Everton
Roberto Martinez’s men led in the 15th minute thanks to Kevin Mirallas picking out the top corner in superb style.
However, Everton’s advantage was short-lived as Christian Eriksen, scorer of Tottenham’s last-gasp winner against Hull City last weekend, converted the rebound when Tim Howard saved from the impressive Harry Kane. Christian Eriksen has scored 11 Premier League goals in 2014; Yaya Toure (14) and Steven Gerrard (12) are the only midfielders with more.Roberto Soldado scored the winner of the match in first-half added time – Roberto Soldado ended a run of 627 minutes without a league goal.
The result means Tottenham lie seventh in the Premier League table – three points better off than their opponents – two points behind 4th place Manchester United – and Mauricio Pochettino’s team have won six of their past seven matches in all competitions ahead of Wednesday’s short trip to face leaders Chelsea.