Monday, January 21, 2019

Premier League Review – Matchday 20

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 31 Dec 2018

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Liverpool turned in a five-star performance as they asserted themselves as serious contenders for this season’s title with victory over Arsenal at Anfield in Saturday’s late kick-off.

The Gunners took the lead on eleven minutes from Ashley Maitland-Niles – his first goal for the club though a quick-fire double from Roberto Fimino shortly after turned the game on its head.

Sadio Mane added a third just past the half-hour mark before Mo Salah made sure of the points from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.

The Reds were awarded another penalty on sixty-five minutes, with Firmino stepping up to secure his first career hat-trick and put the gloss on fine win for Jurgen Klopp’s side who went nine points clear at the summit until Manchester City beat Southampton on Sunday afternoon.

Needed

It was a much-needed win for Pep Guardiola’s side, who went in to the game on the back of back-to-back defeats and they must have feared the worst when Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg cancelled out David Silva’s with an equaliser eight minutes before the break.

However, a James Ward-Prowse own goal and a strike from Sergio Aguero had the champions 3-1 up by half-time and that’s how things stayed though the Saints finish the game with ten men with Hojbjerg shown a straight red card five minutes from time.

Tottenham Hotspur are back down to third after they were beaten 3-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley.

Spurs had led through Harry Kane though second-half goals from Willy Boly, Raul Jiminez and Helder Costa gave Nuno Espirito Santo’s side a surprise victory.

Perfect

Chelsea are just two points behind Mauricio Pochettino’s side after edging past Crystal Palace – N’Golo Kante with the only goal of the game while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continued his perfect start as Manchester United as they thumped Bournemouth by four goals to one at Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba was the star of the show and put the hosts in a commanding position with a brace inside thirty-three minutes, with Marcus Rashford making it three on the stroke of half-time just before Nathan Ake pulled one back for the Cherries.

Romelu Lukaku scored with (almost) his first touch after coming off the bench to make sure of the points before Eric Bailly was shown a straight red card eleven minutes from time.

The result puts the Red Devils eight points off the top four and can now be backed at a price of 9/2 to finish the season in the Champions League qualification places.

Six-pointer

At the other end of the table, Fulham moved four points clear of Huddersfield Town after beating the Terriers by a goal-to-nil at Craven Cottage while only goal-difference is keeping Burnley in the bottom three after they beat West Ham United 2-0 at Turf Moor.

Cardiff City are three points clear of the drop zone after edging past Leicester City while Newcastle United drew 1-1 at Watford and one goal was enough for Brighton and Hove Albion, who beat Everton at the Amex Stadium.

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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