Boring Saturday Exciting Sunday

01st May 2017

Sport

Tags: English Premier League

Fancy going over to Tesco’s or Do It All for some furniture rearranging? Thinking of putting up a new shed in the garden? Saturday was the perfect day as probably the worst ever day in Premier League history reared it’s ugly head.

There were 5 matches in the to division. No home wins and weirdly no home team managed to register a goal as the away teams either ended with a 0-0 draw or were beating the home sides with aplomb.

On a grey day for football in the Premier League Andre Gray scored Burnley’s second goal in a 2-0 win for the Turf Moor Crew in a vital win for Sean Dyche’s men as they secured Premier League football next year.

This was Burnley’s first away win of the year. Despite a Palace side dominating the early stages, Barnes opened the scoring as he slid Stephen Ward’s low cross through Wayne Hennessey’s legs.

Barnes had a second effort disallowed after he handled Michael Keane’s header as he turned to scuff the ball home.

Palace improved in the second half, dominating possession in the final 15 minutes, and was aggrieved when Wilfried Zaha was denied a penalty when he was brought down by Jon Flanagan.

But Burnley’s resilience paid off as substitute Gray drilled home a low shot as the Clarets won for the 11th time in the league this season.

Sunderland are down. Surprise surprise. They lost 1-0 to Bournemouth. Joshua King scored the only goal with just two minutes left, tapping home from Ryan Fraser’s pass.

The Norwegian had also gone close in the 20th minute, but his shot rebounded off the post and crossbar and into the arms of Jordan Pickford.

Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc saved from Jermain Defoe in the first half, and Fabio Borini and George Honeyman in the second, but the Black Cats failed to sustain any real pressure.

West Brom having a poor run lost in the local derby with Leicester City to extend it further. After a dull first 43 minutes, Leicester broke the deadlock when Shinji Okazaki intercepted Salomon Rondon’s poor backpass and fed Jamie Vardy, who finished coolly past Ben Foster.

Vardy, who had just one shot on target all afternoon, almost turned provider in the second period but Okazaki failed to connect with his cross.

West Brom, who are attempting to reach a club-record Premier League points tally of 50, have failed to score in five consecutive games for the first time in their history, losing four of them and they looked dull as dishwater.

Southampton and Hull drew 0-0 as did Stoke and West Ham so just 4 goals in 5 games and all from the away teams.

Sunday in contrast was a revelation. Chelsea stuffed Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park to keep Spurs at bay. Pedro’s 25-yard stunner, Gary Cahill’s close-range finish and Willian’s tap-in kept Antonio Conte’s side four points clear of second-placed Tottenham.

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It means the Blues could drop three points in their remaining four games and still claim a second title in three years, even if Spurs win all of their remaining fixtures.

Chelsea had to be patient, with Pedro’s left-footed, long-range strike not coming until the 66th minute. Gary Cahill sealed the win when Maarten Stekelenburg parried Eden Hazard’s free kick onto the onrushing defender, before Willian slotted home from Cesc Fabregas’ cutback.

Spurs though haven’t given up the ghost on the title and responded in style against local rivals Arsenal with a 2-0 win with a ninth successive league win to continue their best sequence since October 1960, when they won 13 games in a row.

The match was decided with two goals in just over a minute, Dele Alli scoring his 21st goal for Spurs this season with a close-range finish in the 55th minute before Harry Kane netted from the spot after he was fouled by Gabriel.

Arsenal, whose top-four hopes are in serious jeopardy, as they remain six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand, were only spared a heavy defeat in the last derby at this stadium in its current incarnation by a magnificent display from keeper Petr Cech.

Middlesbrough held on for a tenacious 2-2 draw at home to Man City. City twice came from behind to rescue a point in the race for a top-four finish and dent Middlesbrough’s Premier League survival hopes.

Boro thought they had secured a valuable win when Calum Chambers poked in from close range on 77 minutes, only for Jesus to rise and convert Sergio Aguero’s cross with five minutes remaining.

Manchester United drew at home again as Swansea gained some self respect and pride. More importantly a wonderful Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick earned Swansea a precious point in their battle for Premier League survival and damaged Manchester United’s push for the top four.

Sigurdsson curled over the wall from about 20 yards to cancel out Wayne Rooney’s penalty and move the Swans to within two points of 17th-placed Hull.

United stay fifth, a point behind both Manchester City and Liverpool after the same number of games.

The disappointment of the dropped points was compounded by injuries to both Bailly and Shaw joining a list that already includes fellow defenders Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo.

But the result was probably fair on Swansea, who had every reason to claim Marcus Rashford dived for the penalty that Rooney converted.

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