The 17 round of English Premier League matches kicked off with Manchester City taking on Crystal Palace in their quest to close down the gap to league leaders Chelsea but they were without talisman Sergio Aguero. Manchester United were looking for a 7th victory in a row as they travelled to Aston Villa and there was a tasty tie between Southampton and Everton.
On Sunday all eyes were on the clash between Liverpool and Arsenal while there was a derby match between Newcastle and Sunderland with Jack Colback playing a central figure as he switched clubs in the off season. Here is a roundup of all the action from the Premier League.
Manchester City 3-0 Crystal Palace
Manchester City played without a striker but they comfortably defeated Crystal Palace thanks to a brace from David Silva and a goal from Yaya Toure, all coming in the second half. Palace were resolute in their defence but could not keep City at bay, the win means that City are now equal on points with Chelsea and only second on goal difference. This was City’s 8th win in a row in all competitions.
Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United
Manchester United missed a chance to consolidate their 3rd position in the league when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa. It was Villa who took the lead thanks to Christian Benteke early in the first half but Falcao levelled in the second half. Villa were reduced in the second half to 10 men with Agbonlahor being sent off but United could not get the winner.
Hull City 0-1 Swansea City
Hull’s wretched form continued as they slumped to a home defeat to Swansea. A long range strike by Jonjo Shelvey was deflected into the net by Ki Sung Yeung in the 15th minute. The win helped Swansea move up to 8th in the table while Hull remain in the relegation zone, Hull have only won 1 of their last 10 games.
Queens Park Rangers 3-2 West Bromwich Albion
The game of Saturday night in terms of goals and drama, West Brom took an early 2 goal lead thanks to Lescott and Varela but then the Charlie Austin show began with the striker bagging a hat trick, he scored his 11th goal of the season in the 86th minute to seal a win for QPR which helped them climb out of the relegation zone. All 17 points for QPR have come from their home matches and that will decide if they stay up or not.
Southampton 3-0 Everton
Southampton comfortably beat Everton thanks to goals from Graziano Pelle, Yoshida and an own goal from Romelu Lukaku who started the scoring for the Saints. The win was all the more important as Southampton ended a run of 5 consecutive defeats in all competitions as they stayed in the hunt for a top 4 finish in the league.
Tottenham Hotspurs 2-1 Burnley
A 14 minute blitz saw all the goals being scored in the first half, it was Harry Kane who opened the scoring in the 21st minute but Ashley Barnes quickly equalized for the away team with a brilliant goal from 25 yards out before Erik Lamela scored his first Premier League goal for Tottenham and sealed the win for the team.
West Ham United 2-0 Leicester City
West Ham continued their charge for a top 4 finish with an easy 2-0 win over Leicester City who remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. Andy Carroll opened the scoring with a smart goal chipping the Leicester City goalkeeper before Stewart Downing finished the away team in the second half. Leicester did have many good chances to score but were denied by Adrian throughout the game.
Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland
A feisty affair at the Sports Direct Arena ended with an away win for Sunderland thanks to an 89th minute goal from Adam Johnson. Sunderland did have the better chances in the game and got the goal from a counter from a Newcastle corner, this is the first time Sunderland have won 4 consecutive derbies against Newcastle.
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
Liverpool and Arsenal played an entertaining 2-2 draw with Liverpool scoring the equalizer in the 97th minute thanks to Martin Skrtel. Liverpool took the lead thanks to Coutinho but Arsenal hit back thanks to goals from Debuchy and Giroud, Liverpool were reduced to 10 men as Borini was sent off but Skrtel got the goal to give Liverpool a deserved point.
The final game of the week Stoke City vs. Chelsea will take place tonight.
Picture courtesy: News now, Guardian, 90 min & the Independent