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Premier League review 02nd January 2013

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Daniel Sturridge were both in the news yesterday.Wright-Phillips for scoring the winner at Chelsea and Sturridge for completing his move to Liverpool

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Daniel Sturridge were both in the news yesterday.
Wright-Phillips for scoring the winner at Chelsea and Sturridge for completing his move to Liverpool

With three Premier League games taking place last night there was always going to be drama.

The biggest drama or shock of the night came at Stamford Bridge, where QPR defeated Chelsea 1-0.

The rock-bottom club arrived at their London neighbours in bad shape and must have feared the worst.

However, through a mixture of resilient defending and lacklustre play from Chelsea the Hoops came out on top. The key moment of the game came in the 16th minute, as QPR star Junior Hoilett picked up what looked like a hamstring injury.

The Canadian was replaced by former-Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips. The diminutive star turned out to be the match winner, with a goal in the 78th minute. Mercurial star Adel Taarabt teed up the former-England international on the edge of the penalty box and he fired low past Ross Turnbull in the Chelsea goal.

Chelsea had late chances, but QPR hung on for what could prove a vital victory in their season.

Survival

The win moved QPR level with 19th place Reading in the Premier League table, but Harry Redknapp’s men are still five points away from safety. It will be an uphill struggle for the Hoops to stay up, but Redknapp has managed the trick before and will be optimistic about the challenge ahead.

Blip

Interim Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez will see this as just a blip. He has done a decent job at Stamford Bridge so far and the Blues are in decent form. They just have to dust themselves off and move on from this result.

Europe

Another team challenging for those European places Everton claimed a 2-1 victory at Newcastle last night. Yesterday really was a rollercoaster ride for the Toon Army. They were hit by the news that Demba Ba was in London discussing a move to Chelsea, and then within 70 seconds of kick-off Papiss Cisse had headed their team into the lead from close-range.

That was as good as it got for the Magpies though. Everton started to get into the game and on the stroke of half-time equalised. England full-back Leighton Baines struck a powerful free-kick from 30 yards which flew into Tim Krul net’s, definitely a contender for goal of the season.

Newcastle never really got going again and Everton took the lead on the hour mark. The goal was an excellent team move with Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic all playing a part, the latter finding substitute Victor Anichebe, who fired home from close-range.

The Nigerian international had been on the pitch a matter of minutes. Everton had to survive a few late scares, but hung on to three very valuable points. The victory moved the Toffee’s up to fifth place in the Premier League table.

Newcastle remain just two points outside the relegation zone and fans will be wondering where the next victory is coming from. Without the goals of Ba they could be in for a tough few months.

Suarez

Luis Suarez was again the star for Liverpool, as the Reds defeated Sunderland 3-0 at Anfield. The Uruguayan played in Raheem Sterling for the opening goal on 16 minutes, the young winger lobbing the ball over the out-rushing Simon Mignolet and into the goal.

Suarez scored Liverpool’s second in the 26th minute, firing home after Carlos Cuellar had fouled him and referee Phil Dowd had played the advantage. Suarez scored his second goal in the 52nd minute, latching onto an arrowed ball from Steven Gerrard and forcing a shot past Mignolet.

He looked for a hat-trick in the second half, but had to settle on two goals in the end as Liverpool kicked-off 2013 with a victory. The win leaves Liverpool seven points off fourth place Chelsea in the Premier League table.

Can Liverpool challenge for the Champions League spots?

Thu 3 January, 2013
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