Perfect weekend on Merseyside as Chelsea slump continues

Jurgen Klopp has his first Premier League victory after his Liverpool side came from behind to beat Chelsea 3-1. Chelsea had taken the lead through an early Ramires goal, but Philippe Coutinho equalised just before the break. Coutinho put Liverpool in the lead with a deflected effort, and substitute Christian Benteke sealed the win. Both sides could have had a man sent off, with Lucas committing a professional foul whilst already booked, and Diego Costa kicking out at Martin Skrtel.

Philippe Coutinho's brace ended a run of 710 minutes without a Premier League goal. Source: dailymail.co.uk

Philippe Coutinho’s brace ended a run of 710 minutes without a Premier League goal. Source: dailymail.co.uk

The Blue half of Merseyside will be equally happy, after their 6-2 demolition of Sunderland. Gerard Deulofeu and Arouna Kone put the Toffees 2-0 up. Sunderland pulled level though, as Jermain Defoe’s shot deflected past Howard and Steven Fletcher headed the equaliser. Everton then took the points with three goals in quick succession, as Sebastian Coates diverted a cross in to his own net, Romelu Lukaku scored a fine individual goal and Kone added his second. Kone completed his hat-trick late on with a header to complete the rout.

Manchester City remain top after a nervy win over Norwich. Nicolas Otamendi gave them the lead with a powerful header, but Joe Hart spilt a routine cross for Cameron Jerome to tap in with just minutes to go. But there was still plenty of drama left, as Russell Martin was sent off for handling the ball with John Ruddy well out of position. Yaya Toure converted the penalty, a feat the Aleksandar Kolarov could not equal as City were awarded a second penalty in stoppage time.

Arouna Kone netted his first Premier League hat-trick against Sunderland. Source: dailymail.co.uk

Arouna Kone netted his first Premier League hat-trick against Sunderland. Source: dailymail.co.uk

Arsenal kept up with City with a 3-0 win over Swansea. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring, and Laurent Koscielny doubled the lead despite Swansea claiming that Fabianski was impeded. Joel Campbell sealed the win with his first goal for Arsenal. Leicester moved up to third with a thrilling 3-2 win at West Brom. Solomon Rondon headed the hosts in front, but a Riyad Mahrez brace gave the Foxes the lead. Jamie Vardy made it 8 consecutive games in which he has scored, joining Ruud van Nistelrooy and Daniel Sturridge, with a well placed finish. Rickie Lambert ensured a tense finish with a late penalty, especially as Christian Fuchs appeared to commit three late fouls in the area which all went unpunished.

Southampton overcame Bournemouth in a South coast derby. A Steven Davis volley and a Graziano Pelle header gave Saints the lead in the first half, but Victor Wanyama was sent off in the second half for picking up a second yellow card. Odion Ighalo scored both goals as Watford beat West Ham. In a game of shocking defending, his first came courtesy of Andy Carroll failing to clear his lines, whilst his second was an impeccable finish after an error from James Tomkins.

Crystal Palace and Manchester United played out a goalless draw, United’s third consecutive stalemate, whilst Jack Butland almost single handedly held Newcastle at bay, producing six saves to keep the game goalless. On Monday night, Tottenham host mangerless Aston Villa, although Remi Garde will be in the stands prior to his expected appointment.

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Hammers pile on misery for Mourinho

West Ham continued their impressive record against the top sides as they beat Chelsea 2-1 at Upton Park. The match was a heated display, as Chelsea had Nemanja Matic sent off, had five other players pick up bookings, as well as having Mourinho and his assistant sent to the stands. Mauro Zarate gave the Hammers the lead as Chelsea failed to clear a corner. Chelsea came within centimetres of equalising, as a Zouma header was scrambled off the line. Cesc Fabregas also had a goal ruled out before Matic recieved his marching orders. Gary Cahill equalised in the second half with a powerful finish from a corner, but Andy Carroll headed the winner with just ten minutes left.

Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail

Harry Kane will hope his hat trick against Bournemouth will kickstart his season. Moussa Dembele and Eric Lamela also scored as Spurs recovered from a first minute Matt Ritchie goal to win 5-1. Sunderland continued their fine derby form, smashing 10 man Newcastle 3-0 at the Stadium of Light. Adam Johnson opened the scoring from the spot just before half time after Fabricio Coloccini was controversially dismissed. Billy Jones and Steven Fletcher completed the rout in the second half, lifting the Black Cats above their rivals.

Source: Daily Mail

Source: Daily Mail

Arsenal beat Everton 2-1 at the Emirates. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with a deft header, and Laurent Koscielny doubled the lead two minutes later. Ross Barkley pulled one back before half time with a heavily deflected strike, but Arsenal saw the game out comfortably. Gareth Barry was sent off in stoppage time for a second booking.

Both Ayew brothers scored as Swansea beat Aston Villa. Jordan Ayew gave Villa the lead, but Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised with a free kick. Andre Ayew scored in the 87th minute to give Swansea the win, which proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Villa boss Tim Sherwood.

Zouma's header was just millimetres from crossing the line. Source: bbc sport

Zouma’s header was just millimetres from crossing the line. Source: bbc sport

Troy Deeney netted his first of the season as Watford shocked Stoke. Almen Abdi completed the scoring as he took advantage of Mark Wilson being caught in possession deep in his own half. Jurgen Klopp is still searching for his first win as Liverpool boss after a 1-1 draw with Southampton. Christian Benteke thought that he had won it for the Reds with a powerful header, but Sadio Mane bundled in to equalise late on. Mane was subsequently dismissed after picking up two needless bookings in stoppage time.

Jamie Vardy has now scored in seven consecutive games, helping Leicester to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. Salomon Rondon’s close range header saw West Brom to a 1-0 win at Norwich. The Manchester derby ended up goalless, a result that saw City stay on top of the table on goal difference.

McClaren safe as Toon hit six

After much speculation about his position, Steve McClaren looks a lot safer after his Newcastle side thumped Norwich 6-2. Summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum scored four, with strikers Ayoze Perez and Aleksander Mitrovic also netting. Dieumerci Mbokani had pulled the Canaries back to 1-1, and Nathan Redmond kept them in with a shout by making it 3-2 at half time. The result catapults Newcastle above rivals Sunderland, and they are now just two points from safety.

Source: the guardian

Source: the guardian

Manchester City brought their total to 11 goals in two games with a 5-1 demolition of Bournemouth. Raheem Sterling netted a first half hat-trick, with Wilfried Bony also scoring, whilst Glenn Murray had given the visitors hope with his strike making it 2-1. Bony completed the scoring late on to prove that City could perform without Kompany, Silva or Aguero.

Arsenal sit in second after a second half salvo at Watford. The hosts had held the Gunners at arms length, but three goals in 11 minutes, courtesy of Sanchez, Giroud and Ramsey, secured Wenger’s side the three points. Manchester United are in third after ending their Goodison Park hoodoo. Morgan Schneiderlin opened the scoring with a tidy finish, with Herrera and a rare Rooney goal sealing the win.

Source: the guardian

Source: the guardian

West Ham overcame their old boss Alan Pardew at Selhurst Park. Carl Jenkinson opened the scoring for the visitors, but Yohan Cabaye equalised with a retaken penalty. The game changed as Dwight Gayle was sent off for Palace, allowing Lanzini and Payet to take advantage in the dying minutes. Leicester produced a magnificent comeback at St Mary’s, with Jamie Vardy nabbing a second half brace. Southampton centre backs Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk had given Saints a half time lead, but the Premier League’s top scorer netted the equaliser in stoppage time.

Chelsea remain in the bottom half of the table despite a 2-0 against Aston Villa. The returning Diego Costa and an Alan Hutton own goal saw the Blues through. Saido Berahino netted the only goal as West Brom beat bottom of the table Sunderland, and an early Bojan penalty was the only action of note in the Monday night game as Stoke won at Swansea. Jurgen Klopp’s first game as Liverpool manager ended in a 0-0 stalemate at Spurs.

Aguero hits five and two bite the bullet

Sergio Aguero’s five goals for Manchester City was the biggest on field event of the weekend, as City came from behind to dismantle Newcastle 6-1. The Argentine’s goals came within 20 minutes either side of half time, with Kevin De Bruyne also scoring for City, and Mitrovic scoring for Newcastle.

Sergio_Aguero

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Arsenal moved up to second after stunning Manchester United in the first 20 minutes. Alexis Sanchez scored either side of a precise Mesut Ozil goal to give the Gunners the win, which probably should have been even more emphatic. Chelsea’s poor form continued as they were outclassed at home to Southampton. Willian put Mourhino’s side ahead with an overhit free kick, before a Steven Davis volley levelled things up. Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle netted in the second half to give the Saints a deserved win.

Brendan Rogers was sacked by Liverpool after their derby disappointment, drawing 1-1 at Everton. Danny Ings headed the visitors in front, but Romelu Lukaku equalised just before the break to bring Rodgers’ reign at Anfield to an end. Dick Advocaat had become to first manager to leave his post earlier in the day, resigning after his side threw away a two goal lead against West Ham. Steven Fletcher and Jeremain Lens put Sunderland ahead, but Carl Jenkinson pulled a goal back. Lens was sent off in the second half, and just minutes later Payet equalised for the Hammers.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Source: dailymail.co.uk

Two Christian Eriksen free kicks salvaged a draw for Spurs against Swansea, who twice led through Andre Ayew and a Harry Kane own goal. Crystal Palace continued their great start to the season with a 2-0 win over West Brom, with goals from Bolasie and a Cabaye penalty. Jamie Vardy followed up his England call up with a goal at Norwich. Jeffery Schlupp also scored for the Foxes, with Mbokani pulling one back for the hosts. Two of the promoted sides met as Bournemouth hosted Watford. Cherries’ keeper Artur Boruc gifted Watford the lead with a stray pass, but new signing Glenn Murray equalised. Watford stopper Heurelho Gomes saved a late Murray penalty to keep the score level. Stoke have recorded back to back wins as Marko Arnautovic scored the only goal against Aston Villa.

It looks like Jurgen Klopp will be taking over at Anfield, but is he the right man for the job? Have your say in the comments below.

Liverpool hammered and Palace stun Chelsea

West Ham were the big winners of a bad-tempered weekend in the Premier League which saw five red cards awarded. The Hammers humiliated Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield, with goals from Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho. The Reds saw Phillipe Coutinho given a second yellow after a needless tackle on Payet, whilst Noble was harshly dismissed as he won the ball with a good tackle after the referee had already blown for a foul.

LanziniCrystal Palace became only the second team to beat Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as they came away with a 2-1 win. New signing Bakary Sako gave Palace the lead, but Falcao equalised with ten minutes left. However, Joel Ward headed Palace back in front almost immediately to give the Eagles the win. Manchester City continued their 100 per-cent record with a 2-0 win against Watford, eventually breaking down the Hornets with goals from Sterling and Fernandinho.

Yann M’Vila scored the pick of the goals with a superb free-kick in Sunderland’s 2-2 draw at Villa, and a Fabricio Coloccini own goal saw Arsenal overcome 10-man Newcastle, who had striker Aleksandar Mitrovic sent off earl on. Callum Wilson’s overhead kick was cancelled out by a late Jamie Vardy penalty in Bournemouth’s draw with Leicester, whilst Solomon Rondon scored the only goal as West Brom beat Stoke, who had Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam sent off within the first half hour. The tea-time kick off saw Tottenham and Everton play out a goalless draw.

GomisOn Sunday, Southampton picked up their first win of the season as they thumped Norwich 3-0. Graziano Pelle opened the scoring just before half time and Dusan Tadic scored a second-half brace. The visitors saw Steven Whittaker sent off in the first half. The later game saw Swansea come from behind to beat Manchester United for the third game in a row. Juan Mata opened the scoring for United, connecting with a Luke Shaw cross, but Andre Ayew headed Swansea level before Bafetimi Gomis squeezed the ball under Romero from close range.

Premier League 2015/16 Preview – Aston Villa

villaVilla’s appearance in the FA Cup final last year showed that they had the quality to beat almost any team on their day. But the departures of Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke will be difficult to replace. Micah Richards returns to England to replace Ron Vlaar, Idrissa Gueye has been brought in to replace captain Delph, whilst Rudy Gestede and Jordan Ayew will be charged with replacing Benteke’s goals. But Ayew is not a prolific goalscorer, and Gestede has not been tried at Premier League level, so goals may be hard to come by. Jack Grealish emerged as a key player last season, and his creativity on the wing will be needed if the Villains are to improve on last year’s 17th place finish. Manager Tim Sherwood still has something to prove as well, needing to show that he is more than a short-term fixer.

Key Player: Jack Grealish

One to Watch: Rudy Gestede

Prediction: 15th

5 things to look out for this weekend in the Premier League

With just seven games remaining of the Premier League season, there is still everything to play for. This weekend sees several important games at both ends of the table which will go some way to answering these five questions.

Will Chelsea lift their Loftus Road hoodoo?

Only Lionel Messi (8) has more assists than Matt Phillips (7) in Europe's top 5 leagues in 2015

Only Lionel Messi (8) has more assists than Matt Phillips (7) in Europe’s top 5 leagues in 2015

Leaders Chelsea should have the title wrapped up by now, however their recent performances have been all but impressive. Added to that is the fact they have only won at Loftus Road once in their last 13 visits to West London. With Matic and Fabregas walking a disciplinary tightrope, and Diego Costa out injured, this could be yet another tough afternoon for Chelsea. QPR have scored seven goals in their past two games with Matt Phillips becoming instrumental in the R’s push for survival. If Chelsea can overcome this hurdle, the title is almost guaranteed, but if they slip up then they could give Arsenal a chance to catch up.

Can Arsenal maintain their title challenge?

For 75 minutes of their match against Liverpool, Arsenal played like champions. This weekend they face Burnley at Turf Moor in a test of their title credentials. In normal circumstances you would assume the title race is all but over, but with Chelsea stuttering recently and with such an unpredictable season already, the Gunners know that nothing except a win will do. Burnley will be a tough test, recently drawing with Chelsea and Tottenham, and beating Manchester City, and it will be a test of this Arsenal team’s mental toughness to see whether they can challenge at the top of the table.

Arsenal have picked up the most points in the league so far in 2015

Arsenal have picked up the most points in the league so far in 2015

Who will be relegated?

Okay, so this question can’t be answered this weekend, but the game at the Hawthorns could go a long way to answering it. If Leicester lose, then they risk being cut adrift at the bottom of the table. West Brom have conceded seven goals in their last two games and could be in danger of being dragged back in to the scrap if they lose. Leicester’s late win at West Ham saw them gain ground on their rivals, whilst West Brom were on the end of a surprise thumping at home to QPR. QPR, Burnley and Hull all unlikely to pick up maximum points in their games, and Sunderland and Villa have tough games, so three points for any of the bottom seven will be welcome in the fight against the drop.

Will the Manchester derby be the final nail in Pellegrini’s coffin?

Despite their poor run of form, City can be the first team in the Premier League era to win 5 in a row against United

Despite their poor run of form, City can be the first team in the Premier League era to win five in a row against United

Sunday sees a stuttering Manchester City visit their in-form rivals United, with the pressure building on boss Manuel Pellegrini. City have lost three out of their last five, and plenty of their stars are out of form. Sergio Aguero hasn’t scored in over 500 minutes and Yaya Toure has failed to reach the heights of last season. Louis van Gaal, on the other hand, appears to have stumbled across a team that fits, with injuries to Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao allowing Wayne Rooney to flourish up front with Marouane Fellaini finding his Everton form in midfield. After winning the title last year, Tuesday’s defeat to Palace has left the Champions in fourth, below their rivals for the first time in 18 months. Rumours about Pellegrini’s future refuse to go away, and however much his players have let him down this season, a defeat at Old Trafford could be the final nail in his coffin.

Who will finish fifth?

With just one point separating Liverpool in fifth and Southampton in seventh, the battle for fifth is hotting up. Liverpool have lost the momentum with two losses in a row, all but ending their hopes for a top four finish. This week they face Newcastle on Monday night, which on form is a guaranteed three points. Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel are back from suspension, which will good news for Brendan Rodgers who may want to shake the team up to get back to the form of the last couple of months. Spurs have laboured to getting results in recent weeks, edging past Leicester and QPR whilst drawing with Burnley. Aston Villa visit White Hart Lane, led by former Spurs boss Tim Sherwood. Villa could be a tough test for Tottenham, with Christian Benteke being the highest scorer in the Premier League since Sherwood’s appointment. Southampton, despite playing well, have struggled to score goals recently, as highlighted by their defeat at Everton last week. The host a hapless Hull side who could conceivably not pick up a single point for the rest of the season. Sadio Mane could return for the Saints in order to give Graziano Pelle the support he needs for Saints to find the net.