Monday, February 19, 2018

Premier League Review: Matchday twenty-six

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 6 Feb 2018

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Matchday twenty-six in the Premier League concluded with a bang at Vicarage Road on Monday evening with Watford thumping Chelsea by four goals to one.

The soon-to-be dethroned champions were reduced to ten men after half an hour after Tiemoue Bakayoko was shown two yellow cards though the France international was arguably doing more harm than good on the pitch.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors three minutes before the break when the Hornets were awarded a penalty which was duly dispatched by Troy Deeney, giving his side a deserved lead.

All of the hosts’ hard work appeared to have been undone when Eden Hazard fired in a stunning equaliser eight minutes from time though late goals from Daryl Janmaat, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pererya secured a stunning win for Javi Gracia’s side – not a bad housewarming gift for the Spaniard, who was named as Marco Silva’s just over a fortnight ago.

Thin ice

There were far contrasting fortunes in the opposition dugout with Antonio Conte overseeing a three goal loss for the second time in six days, and the Italian is now the odds on favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.

Sunday’s heavyweight clash at Anfield failed to disappoint with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur sharing the spoils in a match not short of controversy.

Unsurprisingly the game was largely about the league’s top two scorers and it was advantage Mo Salah after just three minutes with the Egypt international grabbing his twentieth league goal of the season.

Victor Wanyama drew Spurs level on eighty minutes with one of the strikes of the season before Harry Kane got his chance to pull further ahead of Salah in the race for the Golden Boot with a penalty with time running out.

100 up

The England forward hit the spot kick straight at Lorus Karius and three minutes later Salah got his second to put Jurgen Klopp’s men back in front only for Kane to redeem himself from the spot in stoppage time – his one hundredth goal in the Premier League.

League leaders Manchester City looked to be firmly in control against Burnley only for the Clarets to grab a surprise equaliser to take a share of the spoils allowing Manchester United to close the gap between themselves and their rivals to thirteen points with a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town.

Ramsey streak

Aaron Ramsey grabbed a hat-trick as Arsenal thumped Everton 5-1 at the Emirates Stadium in Saturday’s late kick-off with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also on the scoresheet.

The Gunners are now just five points outside of the top four and can be backed at a price of 11/2 to end the season in the Champions League places.

At the other end of the table, West Bromwich Albion remain rooted to the bottom after Southampton edged past them in a five goal thriller at the Hawthorns while about the Baggies come three sides on twenty-four points – the first of which being the Terriers following their defeat at Old Trafford.

Stoke City are in eighteenth place after Bournemouth came from behind to beat them and secure back-to-back league wins for the first time this season while Swansea City are above the dotted line on goal difference following a 1-1 draw with Leicester City.

Elsewhere, Brighton and Hove Albion secured an impressive win over West Ham United while Sunday’s clash between Crystal Palace and Newcastle United ended in a 1-1 draw.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 SoccerNews.com and FreeBetting.com, 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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