Cleat Geeks

PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND UP

Chelsea and Manchester City played out an enthralling 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night. The league leaders, who were without the injured Cesc Fabregas or the suspended Diego Costa, maintained their five point lead over City at the top of the table. Costa’s replacement Loic Remy tapped home Eden Hazard’s cross to put the Londoners in front five minutes from half-time.

Loic Remy

Loic Remy

The French striker was making just his second league start for the Blues, but that was his fourth goal in the competition this season. The lead lasted just four minutes, though, as David Silva diverted Sergio Aguero’s shot goalwards, past ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois. City pressed for a winner in the second half but were unable to break through Chelsea’s stubborn defence; and manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted after the game that he was disappointed with just one point; “We created, especially in the first half, clear chances to deserve more than the point. That’s why I am not happy about the point but I am happy with the performance.” Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho again refused to speak to the media following Costa’s suspension for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can in midweek.

Radamel Falcao grabbed his fourth goal for Manchester United and Robin Van Persie scored for the first time since Boxing Day as the Reds eased to a 3-1 victory over bottom of the table Leicester City at Old Trafford. A Wes Morgan own goal had United three up by half-time, before centre-back Marcin Wasilewski headed home a consolation goal for the Foxes late on. United boss Louis Van Gaal told MUTV after the match of his delight that two of his strikers had found the net; “It’s fantastic they scored – beautiful goals I think with very quick transition for the goal by Falcao, with Robin also having a big part in it, so I’m very happy.

Southampton slipped down a place to fourth following a home defeat to Swansea City on Sunday. Despite controlling the game for most of the first half the Saints failed to convert any of their chances and succumbed to a wonderful long range strike from Jonjo Shelvey as Garry Monk’s charges took all three points.

Ryan Bertrand receiving a red card for his

Ryan Bertrand receiving a red card for his tackle of Modou Barrow .

A bad day for Saints was compounded by Ryan Bertrand’s straight red card, given by Michael Oliver for an horrendous tackle on 22 year-old Modou Barrow, who was subsequently stretchered off.

Arsenal are now breathing down Southampton’s neck in the battle for a place in next season’s Champions League, as they thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Olivier Giroud set the Gunners on their way early on, racing onto a sublime back flick from Mesut Ozil before lifting the ball over goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Giroud set up Ozil for the second ten minutes into the second half. Theo Walcott scored on his first league start in thirteen months before Santi Cazorla made it four from the penalty spot after Guzan had brought down Chuba Akpom in the area. Young right-back Hector Bellerin scored his first goal for the club in added time with a side foot shot from the edge of the box to secure Arsenal’s biggest league win in two and a half years.

Tottenham’s good recent form continued as they comfortably beat West Brom at the Hawthorns. Christian Eriksen’s superb sixth minute free-kick gave Spurs the initiative, before the in form Harry Kane bagged a brace to condemn new Baggies boss Tony Pulis to his first defeat at the club. Kane now has 22 goals in his 25 appearances for Tottenham this season. Manager Mauricio Pocchetino described the win as ‘one of the best’ performances since he took charge at White Hart Lane.

Daniel Sturridge scores a goal

Daniel Sturridge scores a goal in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory.

Daniel Sturridge scored in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over West Ham at Anfield, in his first appearance since August 31st because of injuries. Raheem Sterling put Brendan Rodgers’ men ahead on 51 minutes before Sturridge scored only 11 minutes after coming off the bench. Phillippe Coutinho played in the England striker, and he smashed the ball past ‘keeper Adrian. The Merseysiders are now unbeaten in their last seven league games and climb above the Hammers in the table.

Everton notched up a much needed victory away at Crystal Palace, their first league win since December 15th. Eagles ‘keeper Julio Speroni could only palm Steven Naismith’s cross onto Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, and he bundled the ball into the back of the net for his tenth goal of the season. Palace manager Alan Pardew lost for the first time since taking over at Selhurst Park.

ameobi

Sammy Ameobi scored a goal and doubled the lead.

John Carver recorded his first victory as interim Newcastle manager as the Magpies easily beat a poor Hull City at the KC Stadium. Woeful defending from Steve Bruce’s team helped the Toon on their way, Andrew Robertson gifted the ball to Remy Cabella who clinically put the visitors ahead just before half-time. Sammy Ameobi’s 25 yard strike doubled the lead, before Yoan Gouffran made the points safe for the visitors. The French midfielder was allowed to run virtually unchallenged from just inside Hull’s half to the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a shot that deflected over Allan McGregor.

Sunderland was the only team in the bottom seven to win over the weekend as they beat relegation rivals Burnley 2-0 at the Stadium of Light. Connor Wickham’s fourth goal of the season gave the home side the lead before Jermain Defoe scored his first goal for the club since joining from Toronto FC. Sunderland now sit four points above the relegation zone, three points ahead of Burnley. Clarets boss Sean Dyche lamented his sides first half display, saying; “The players know and I know that at this level you can’t give chances away like we did.”

Jonathan Walters scored a hat trick in the 3-1 victory.

Jonathan Walters scored a hat trick in the 3-1 victory.

QPR’s run of away league defeats was extended to 11 as they went down 3-1 at Stoke. Jonathan Walters, who Potters boss Mark Hughes described as ‘magnificent,’ bagged a hat-trick. The Republic of Ireland international was making his 200th appearance for City and gave them the lead on 21 minutes before netting his second 13 minutes later – Stephen Ireland providing the assists. A couple of minutes later Nico Krancjar knocked home the rebound after Charlie Austin’s shot had been saved by Asmir Begovic to half the deficit. Rangers had chances to level in the second half but Walters grabbed his third right at the end to secure the win and his first hat-trick for Stoke.

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