Friday, April 20, 2018

Premier League Review – Matchday 15

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth took the scalp of the  weekend as last season's Championship winners beat Chelsea

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth took the scalp of the weekend as last season’s Championship winners beat Chelsea

Both the title favourites and the champions lost at the weekend as the drama that is the 2015/16 Premier League season continued.

Manchester City and Stoke City got the action underway at the Britannia Stadium in Saturday’s early kick-off and the team who began the day on top of the table were humbled as Mark Hughes’ side played sublimely to upset the odds and take all three points.

A first half brace from Marco Arnautovic was enough to separate the sides and despite the visitors creating chances, the hosts never looked in trouble with the Austria international unlucky to not get at least twice as many goals as he did himself.

The Potters, who have won six from nine are now in tenth while Manuel Pellegrini’s side have slipped two places to third.

Chelsea stunned

Saturday’s action concluded at Stamford Bridge, and the game provided the shock of the day as Bournemouth, who hadn’t won in the league in eight games took the points with substitute Glenn Murray getting the only goal of the game.

The Cherries are now in seventeenth place, out of the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference and are just two points behind Jose Mourinho’s men who sit in fourteenth and have now lost eight of their fifteen games so far.

Arsenal have moved into second place after returning to winning was against Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland who stay in the bottom three.

Goals from Joel Campbell, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey secured the points for Arsene Wenger’s men who are now just two points behind Leicester City, who returned to the top after thumping out-of-form Swansea City.

Mahrez treble

Jamie Vardy’s long goal-scoring run came to an end at the Liberty Stadium so it was left to Riyad Mahrez to grab the headlines, which he did by grabbing an impressive hat-trick, becoming the first Algerian to do so in Premier League history.

Tottenham Hotspur stay fifth despite dropping two points when they travelled to West Bromwich Albion, who drop to thirteenth while Watford moved into the top half after another impressive victory, this time against a Norwich City side who themselves are now above the drop zone only on goal difference.

Bottom of the table Aston Villa are still searching for their first league win since their opening day triumph over Bournemouth, but did move onto six points after drawing with Southampton, who are now twelfth but just two points behind West Ham in sixth.

Newcastle win

Sunday’s sole Premier League game came from St James’ Park where Liverpool crashed back down to earth having hit the Saints for six in the League Cup quarter finals on Wednesday evening.

A Martin Skrtel own goal and a stoppage-time strike from Georginio Wijnaldum gave Steve McClaren’s side a much needed victory, though they remain in the relegation zone on the same number of points as Bournemouth and Norwich and can be backed at 11/10 to go down.

The latest round of Premier League fixtures ends at Goodison Park on Monday evening where Everton host Crystal Palace, with either side certain to move into sixth place with victory.

Can Newcastle’s season turn around following their triumph over Liverpool?


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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