Man City stay in first but Tottenham and Manchester United continue their relentless chase for the top spot of the Barclay's Premiere League.
|Photo Credit: mcfc.co.uk|
Wednesday January 11, 2012
Tottenham 2-0 Everton: (Match played out after being rescheduled) Spurs boosted their hopes of reaching the top spot as they left their Wednesday night home fixture against the Merseyside team with all three points. Goals from Aaron Lennon and defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the 35th and 63rd minute finished off the Toffees. Lennon’s goal in the 35th minute barely trickled into the back of the net after Tim Howard had already committed to dive to his right hand side but buildup was impressive as Lennon used his speed and skills to beat Everton’s crumbling defense and got himself a look at goal. By the half Tottenham could have been leading by at least four goals to nil but Adebayor was unable to finish any of the through balls from van der Vaart in the midfield. After the half, Tottenham remained in possession of the ball and had more looks at goal before left-back Assou-Ekotto shot from just outside the box and scored a splendid goal. Although the ball took a slight deflection off of Tim Cahill, the shot was bound for the back of the net. Tottenham remains in third place but are now tied with Manchester United with 45 points. Everton is level on points with 10th place Sunderland but lacks the goal difference and sits in 11th place.
Saturday January 14, 2012
Aston Villa 1-1 Everton: Only a point separated the two teams going into the fixture and it would remain so as each team went home with a point from the draw. Aston Villa held more possession and looked to be the team to win when Darren Bent scored in the 56th minute to put the home side ahead but just over ten minutes later, Donovan and Anichebe linked up to score the tying goal in the 69th minute. Everton still sit in 11th place a point below Swansea City. Sunderland sit in a buffer zone between Everton and Villa who are in 13th place with 24 points.
Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Fulham: Despite holding 59% of possession and seven shots on target, Fulham lost out to Blackburn during their visit to Ewood Park. The home netted their first goal in the third minute of stoppage time in the first half and their second came a minute just after the restart. Duff scored in the 56th minute to put his side back in the game but a goal from Formica in the 79th minute finished off Fulham and secured much-needed points for Blackburn. Rovers are not a point clear of the relegation zone, teetering above Queens Park Rangers by a five goal goal-difference Fulham are in hot pursuit of the 13th place spot and are currently in 14th place behind Aston Villa.
Chelsea 1-0 Sunderland: Veteran Frank Lampard was the one to grab the three points for Chelsea and Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge. Sunderland put up a good fight, forcing nine fouls from the home side and taking four on-target shots. Lampard’s goal came in the 13th minute and Chelsea were able to hold on to the lead but unable to score again for the remainder of the match. Chelsea needed the win if they wish to try to close the eleven point gap between themselves and league leaders Manchester City. The London side sit in fourth place six points behind Tottenham Hotspurs. Sunderland are in twelfth place at the middle of the table with 24 points and are just a point behind Everton.
Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City: Liverpool played out another frustrating drat at home against Stoke City at Anfield. The home side had 60% of possession and eleven corner kicks but were not able to put the ball in the back of the net despite the return of skipper Steven Gerrard who scored a crucial goal last weekend against Manchester City. The strikeforce of Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy were still unable to score after they came on to replace Downing and Henderson. Liverpool is five points clear and one place ahead of Stoke in 7th place. Stoke is two points ahead of 9th place Norwich City.
Manchester United 3-0 Bolton Wanderers: If Henry can do it, so can Scholes. The midfielder made his Premiere League return by scoring United’s opening goal in the 45th minute off of an assist from Wayne Rooney. Scholes was in the perfect position far at the far post to tap home Rooney’s pass that swooped across the box and right to his feet. Welbeck and Carrick added to the scoreline in the 74th and 83rd minute to win the match for United 3-0. The points were crucial as United are racing for the top spot against fellow Manchester side. Bolton are still second from the bottom with 16 points. Manchester United sit in 2nd place with three points and eight goals separating them from Manchester City.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Wolverhampton: Luka Modric and Gareth Bale savored the point at White Heart Lane against visiting side Wolves. Fletcher scored in the 22nd minute to give the visitors the lead despite Tottenham holding 70% of the possession and shooting ten times on target to the three from Wolves. In the 51st minute, Modric hit home but his goal was the only one for the home team and the game finished 1-1. Spurs are still trying to close the two point gap between themselves and second place Manchester United. They hold the third Champions League spot with 46 points. Wolves are two teams and two points clear from the relegation zone with 18 points but separated from 15th place team West Brom.
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Norwich City: A penalty kick for the home side was not enough to help them defeat visiting Norwich City. Norwich scored the first goal just before the half in the 43rd minute when Surman finished an assist from Hoolahan. After the restart in the 68th minute, Albion substitution Long hit home a penalty kick to tie up the match but the winner came from Norwich City attacker Morison. Norwich remain in 9th place two points behind Stoke City. West Bromwich Albion are in 15th place comfortably clear of the relegation zone and just pints away from a jump to 12th place.
Sunday January 15, 2012
Newcastle United 1-0 Queens Park Rangers: A cool finish from Leon Best was all it took to secure the win for Newcastle United. Their last loss came to Liverpool back in December, so it was so surprise that they were able to capitalize on their fixture against QPR. Newcastle held 61% of possession but were out shot by the visiting side. QPR had trouble finding the back of the net despite their 9 shots on target. Newcastle United sit a point above Liverpool in 6th place while Queens Park Rangers sit in the top spot of the relegation zone with 17 points.
Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal: Swansea and Arsenal played out a thrilling match at the Liberty Stadium. Robin van Persie put his side in the lead in the 5th minute with a cool finish past Vorm. In the 16th minute, Scott Sinclair put his side level after he converted a penalty kick when Dyer was fouled just inside the Arsenal penalty box. Dyer himself put his side in the lead after the half in the 58th minute when he fired a shot past Szczesny to make the scoreline 2-1. Theo Walcott scored in the 69th minute off of an assist and some good individual work from Djourou but it only took a minute for Swansea to respond when Graham scored the winner just seconds later in the 70th minute. Swansea remain in 10th place with 26 points while Arsenal are fighting to get into the Champions League qualification spots. The London side currently sit four points behind fourth place Chelsea.
Monday January 16, 2012
Wigan Athletic 0-1 Manchester City: Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko scored the match winner early on in the 22nd minute as he finished an assist from David Silva. Wigan held 53% of the possession as they battled the league leaders but they were unable to finish any of their four shots they had on target. Despite the strong performance Wigan left the fixture pointless and still sit at the bottom of the league with 15 points. City sit at the top with 51 points, three points clear of Man United and five points clear of third place Tottenham.