Thursday, April 19, 2018

Premier League Matchday 13 Review

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 23 Nov 2015

Manuel Pellegrini's side slipped to third after being thumped by Liverpool

Manuel Pellegrini’s side slipped to third after being thumped by Liverpool

With the top two in the Premier League falling to surprise defeats this weekend, the title race is wide open with most sides having played thirteen games.

Manchester City headed into the weekend on top of the table and would have confident in strengthening their grip as they entertained a Liverpool side rocked by injury and a recent defeat to Crystal Palace – the first since Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as manager.

However, the Reds put in a superb first half performance, shocking the then league leaders by taking a 3-0 lead that eventually proved too much to come back from.

While Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back for the hosts, and hope of them getting back into the game were ended as Martin Skrtel thundered in a fourth for the visitors ten minutes from time.

Gunners miss out

Arsenal failed to capitalise after losing at West Bromwich Albion, who themselves won for the first time in three games.

Santi Cazorla had a chance to salvage a point for the Gunners but failed to convert an eighty-fourth minute penalty.

Even if the Spaniard’s spot kick had have hit the back of the net, a draw would have not been enough to see Arsene Wenger’s side rise to the top as there wins for both Manchester United, who are second after beating Watford in Saturday’s early kick-off, and Leicester City who continued their fine form this calendar year with a thumping 3-0 win at Newcastle United.

The Foxes moved up to first place, with Jamie Vardy grabbing the headlines after scoring in a tenth consecutive league game. The England international is now on thirteen for the season and can be backed at 2/1 to win the Golden Boot.

Villa woes continue

Braces from both Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku secured a 4-0 win for Everton over Aston Villa, who remain rooted to the bottom of the division and among the favourites to be relegated at 1/3.

The only side more likely to end the season in the bottom three in the eyes of the bookmakers are nineteenth place Sunderland, who travel to Crystal Palace on Monday evening while Bournemouth squandered a two goal lead to take just a point from their trip to Swansea City.

The South Wales side have won just one of their last ten games in all competitions, and Garry Monk remains the favourite to be the next manager to lose his job.

Chelsea return to winning ways

Tottenham kept the pressure on the top four with an impressive 4-1 win over London rivals West Ham United, with Harry Kane continuing his fine current form with a brace while champions Chelsea ended a run of three straight league defeats with a narrow win over Norwich City – Diego Costa grabbing the only goal of the game.

Next up in the league for Jose Mourinho’s side is a tough trip to in-form Tottenham, while Manchester City and Arsenal will look to bounce back against Southampton and Norwich respectively.

After equalising Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record for scoring in consecutive games, Jamie Vardy will look to go on better as the leaders host second place Manchester United while the three sides in the relegation zone have home games.

Aston Villa welcome Watford to Villa Park, Bournemouth entertain Everton and Stoke travel to Sunderland while elsewhere, Crystal Palace play Newcastle and West Ham face West Brom.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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