Cleat Geeks

CHELSEA THRASHED BY SPURS AS CITY MOVE LEVEL AT THE TOP IN GOAL GLUT ON NEW YEARS DAY

Eight of New Years Days’ thirty three goals came at White Hart Lane as Tottenham hammered league leaders Chelsea 5-3. The Blues took the lead through Diego Costa’s 14th league goal of the season; but two brilliant strikes from home grown striker Harry Kane, a goal from full-back Danny Rose and a penalty from Andros Townsend laid the foundations for Spurs’ tenth league win of the season. Belgian Eden Hazard made it 4-2 before his compatriot Nacer Chadli re-established Tottenham’s three goal lead with twelve minutes left to play. John Terry scored a late consolation for Chelsea, who conceded five goals in a Premier League game for only the third time. For Spurs, it was only the fourth time in their history that they had put five past their local rivals.

Manchester City moved level on points and goal difference with Mourinho’s men after former Chelsea favourite Frank Lampard scored the winner against Sunderland at the Etihad. City took the lead just before the hour thanks to a thunderous strike from Yaya Toure before Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic doubled the home sides’ advantage. For the second time in a week, though, Pellegrini’s side were pegged back to 2-2, with two former players doing the damage for the Black Cats. Jack Rodwell headed home from a corner before Pablo Zabaleta wildly brought Billy Jones down in the box to earn Sunderland a penalty. Adam Johnson sent stand-in ‘keeper Willy Caballero the wrong way from 12 yards to make it all square. Lampard came off the bench to head home a Gael Clichy cross and put his new side level at the top of the table with his former employers. The 36 year-old announced the day before that he would be staying with City until the end of the season.

Stoke City drew 1-1 at home to Manchester United and were somewhat unfortunate not to claim all three points. Former United academy player Ryan Shawcross volleyed home Peter Crouch’s goal bound header after only two minutes to give the Potters the lead. Radamel Falcao equalized on 26 minutes to earn Louis Van Gaal’s charges a point and extend their unbeaten run to ten games, while Stoke manager Mark Hughes was left fuming that a clear handball by Chris Smalling in the box was missed by referee Michael Oliver.

At St Mary’s, Southampton recorded a comfortable victory over a disappointing Arsenal, who were left to rue defensive mistakes. Sadio Mane scored Saints’ first after Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had gone AWOL, and the Senegalese strikers effort was helped over the line by the sprawling Per Mertesacker. More indecision from the Arsenal defence led to Southampton’s second, Steven Davis’ cross caused panic between the hapless Szczesny, Mertesacker and Matthieu Debuchy, before the Polish ‘keeper toe poked the ball into the path of Dusan Tadic, who was left with an easy finish. Saints continue to be this season’s surprise package, holding onto fourth place and Champions League football next season is still a real possibility.It was the Gunners fourth away defeat of the season, and one disgruntled fan confronted manager Arsene Wenger in the dug out before being swiftly ejected by stewards.

Hull City notched up a much needed home win against Everton to ease their relegation fears. Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady headed Liam Rosenior’s cross past Joel Robles in the Everton net before former Toffee Nikica Jelavic heaped more pressure on Roberto Martinez by lobbing the Spanish goalkeeper two minutes before half time. The Merseysiders have now lost 9 times this season, they only lost 8 games through the whole of last season.

Two Steven Gerrard penalties weren’t enough for Liverpool to see off bottom of the table Leicester City at Anfield. Both penalties were very contentious, the first came as referee Mike Jones adjudged Raheem Sterling’s cross had been blocked by the arm of centre-back Wes Morgan, however replays showed the ball clearly hit the 30 year-old in the face. Jones awarded Liverpool a second penalty for handball after Phillippe Coutinho hit the ball against Danny Simpson in the box. The MLS-bound Liverpool captain dispatched both spot kicks to put the Reds 2-0 up but the Foxes fought back in the second half. Liverpool born David Nugent scored a superb volley from the edge of the area to half the deficit before Jeffrey Schlupp struck home from twenty yards out to earn Leicester a share of the spoils.

John Carver was in charge of Newcastle for their 3-3 draw at home to Burnley. The Magpies led three times thanks to goals from Steven Taylor, Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko as Carver took temporary charge in the wake of Alan Pardew’s departure to Crystal Palace. Danny Ings, George Boyd and a Phil Dummett own goal were enough to earn the Clarets a second away draw of the week.

Pardew’s new side eeked out a goalless draw away at Aston Villa, who have scored just 11 goals in their 20 Premier League games so far this season. The point for the Eagles means they stay in the relegation zone, just one point off safety.

West Brom claimed a point away at West Ham with new manager Tony Pulis watching on from the stands. Diafra Sakho put the Hammers ahead on ten minutes with his eighth goal of the campaign, but Saido Berahino levelled for the Midlanders just before half time. Pulis’ first game in charge will be the FA Cup third round tie at home to Gateshead on January 3rd.

Swansea striker Wilfried Bony earned the Welsh side a point away at QPR with a 90th minute equaliser. The Ivorian may have played his last game for the club, however, as he will be out of league action throughout January whilst he is featuring in the African Nations Cup, and has been heavily linked with a move away from the Swans. Leroy Fer had put the R’s in front with a stunning long range strike, however the point leaves Harry Redknapp’s men 16th.

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