Saturday, January 25, 2020

Premier League Review – Matchday 31

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 19 Mar 2018

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Matchday thirty-one in the Premier League belonged to one man – Mo Salah – who moved clear in the race for the Golden Boot with a four-goal haul in a 5-0 win over Watford.

With Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero both currently struggling with injury, the Egypt international has been installed as favourite to finish the season as the top scorer in the English top flight and is now on twenty-eight strikes after running the show against the Hornets.

Salah scored twice in the first half to give Jurgen Klopp’s side a commanding lead before turning provider four minutes after the restart – Roberto Firmino providing a cheeky finish for his sides third.

Two more goals in the final fifteen minutes put the result beyond doubt with the result lifting the Reds up to third place, two points behind Manchester United though they have played a game more than all of their top six rivals.


Salah is now odds on to win the Golden Boot while he is behind Kevin De Bruyne in the market for Player of the Year and can be backed at a price of 8/5.

The result at Anfield saw Javi Gracia’s side slip out of the top half, with Bournemouth moving ahead of them into tenth place after they came from behind to beat bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion on the south coast.

After a goalless first half, Jay Rodriguez gave the visitors the lead only for strikes from Jordan Ibe and Junior Stanilas to turn the game on it head an condemn the Baggies to a seventh straight league defeat – and eighth in all competitions.

Alan Pardew’s side remain on twenty points and are now ten points from safety while in a further blow, two of the bottom four have an extra game to play.

Crystal Palace ended their recent poor run of form with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town – a result that moved them out of the bottom three and to within a point of the Terriers, who sit in fifteenth place.

Finally, Stoke City’s woes continued as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Everton.


The hosts’ task was made even more difficult after just half an hour when they were reduced to ten men after Charlie Adam was given a straight red card following a poor challenge on Toffees forward Wayne Rooney.

It took until the sixty-ninth minute for the deadlock to be broken – Cenk Tosun putting the visitors in front only for Eric Choupu-Moting to level eight minutes later.

However, Tosun grabbed a second to secure a first win on the road since December for Sam Allardyce’s side, and move them to within three points of seventh place Burnley.


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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