Tuesday 13th – Wednesday 14th December 2016
Tuesday 13th December
Bournemouth Shine: Bournemouth 1 – 0 Leicester City
It was a great day for the home side at the Vitality Stadium, as Bournemouth defeated the defending champions, leaving them in 8th – their highest ever Premier League position. The only goal of the match came from Pugh, in the 34th minute of a first-half in which the home side dominated, with 70% possession. The Foxes rallied in the second-half, but couldn’t dent Bournemouth’s robust defence. Ranieri’s side continued to languish at a disappointing 14th.
Toffees Too Sticky for Gunners: Everton 2 – 1 Arsenal
The Toffees thwarted the Gunners’ attempt to make the top of the table, at Goodison Park. It was Arsenal who started the scoring, with a Sánchez goal at the 20’ mark, but that was where it stopped as the Gunners failed to take advantage of an initially struggling home side. Everton, supported by an enthusiastic home crowd, found their drive and Coleman equalised in the 44th minute, and Williams sealed the deal in the 86th. Jagielka saw a red card in the 3rd minute of extra time, but nothing could dent the relief that must have been felt by Everton boss Koeman, given his side’s single win over the ten previous Premier League matches.
Wednesday 14th December
Reds Run Rings around Boro: Middlesbrough 0 – 3 Liverpool
The Reds found their mojo again in a dramatic win at Riverside Stadium, defeating Boro with conviction. Adam Lallana was clearly ‘man of the match,’ scoring twice against a progressively more and more outclassed Boro. Origi also added to the Liverpool tally in a match that saw Liverpool climb to second in the table and Middlesbrough drop to 17th, leaving them just above the relegation zone. Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka was pragmatic about his side’s performance, but must be sweating and needs to do something to sharpen his front end.
Blues Confirm their Lead: Sunderland 0 – 1 Chelsea
Chelsea cemented their league lead, moving 6 points clear of Liverpool, after defeating a plucky Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. The only goal came from Fàbregas in the 40th minute, but the match was entertaining, with a spirited defence from the home side, including Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford repeatedly denying the visitors a chance to claim a bigger victory. The Black Cats remained at the bottom of the league, but the game proved that they do have serious talent and retain the potential to take on the best.
Hammers Hit the Clarets: West Ham United 1 – 0 Burnley
The Hammers clinched a victory over visiting Burnley at the London Stadium, thanks to a goal by Noble in first-half stoppage time. West Ham striker Andy Carroll proved his worth during the match and Pedro Obiang also hit the woodwork and Aaron Cresswell was frustrated by Burnley defender Matt Lowton. Burnley fought back in the second-half, with both Scott Arfield and Sam Vokes coming close to scoring, but it was to no avail, and the match ended seeing Burnley remain in 13th and West Ham move up to 15th.
Last Minute Victory for United: Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Manchester United
It looked like United were going to be held to a 1-1 draw by Palace at Selhurst Park, after McArthur had scored for the home side and Pogba for the visitors but then, just two minutes from the final whistle, Ibrahimovic took advantage of Paul Pogba’s pass and found his target. Referee Craig Pawson caused consternation on both sides when he appeared to ignore two handballs, and United’s Marcos Rojo was sailing close to the wind with an overly aggressive tackle against Palace’s Wilfried Zaha. But overall Mourinho will be happy with his side’s performance, especially the way Ibrahimovic and Pogba worked in unison. The match left United still sitting in 6th and Crystal Palace fell to a dangerous 16th.
City Give it Some Welly: Manchester City 2 – 0 Watford
City defeated Watford at the Etihad Stadium as they displayed more determination than style, to win with goals from Zabaleta and Silva. The Hornets, whilst not falling apart, failed to make opportunities and Mazzarri also had a new injury worry when Argentine Roberto Pereyra left the pitch with a knee problem. Guardiola’s side seem to have made much-needed progress fixing their defence, and ended still in 4th place in the league, as Watford fell to 11th.
Outnumbered Potters Hold the Swans: Stoke City 0 – 0 Southampton
The Potters and the Saints held each other to a goalless draw at the Britannia Stadium, in a match that saw the visitors fail to capitalise on their numerical advantage, after Stoke’s Marko Arnautović got sent off in the 23rd minute. Southampton had control of the ball for most of the match, but couldn’t get things together to finish things. Overall, Mark Hughes and the Stoke fans will be disappointed with a lacklustre performance that saw then remain at 12th in the league, while Southampton manager Claude Puel will be frustrated at what could have been, though his side did move up to 9th.
Tigers Roar but Don’t Bite: Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 0 Hull City
Spurs saw off an energetic Hull at White Hart Lane, with two goals from Danish international Christian Eriksen, and one from Wanyama. The Tigers played well and held their own for a fair part of the match, but the defeat is heavy for a club sitting second-from-bottom of the league. Jake Livermore demonstrated Hull’s spirit, which the hosts failed to dent, with a couple of promising attempts, and boss Mike Phelan will take some solace from his players’ fighting spirit. Still, it comes down to the points, and Spurs were left sitting at 5th, just three points behind Manchester City.
Rondón Creates Some Magic: West Bromwich Albion 3 – 1 Swansea City
The Swans saw a glimmer of hope in the first-half at the Hawthorns, outplaying their hosts for a time, but the second-half was a cruel wake-up for Swansea. The Baggies woke up with gusto and Rondón used his head, literally, to score a hat-trick, with a salvo of goals at the 50’, 61’ and 63’ marks. Late in the match Wayne Routledge did salvage some self-respect for Swansea, but it wasn’t enough to save the day for Bob Bradley’s side, who ended the day still at 18th – in the relegation zone. Tony Pulis can be content that the Baggies demonstrated what they’re capable, of as they climbed to 7th.
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