Saturday 17th December 2016

Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea

Costa (43′)

Chelsea secured their 11th successive Premier League victory after beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.  Chelsea’s goal came from their Spanish forward Diego Costa when he headed home a cross from Chelsea right back Cezar Azpilicueta.  Marcos Alonso almost doubled Chelsea’s lead with a curled free kick when he hit the underside of the cross bar.  Chelsea have now gone 7 points clear of 2nd placed Manchester City at the top of the Premier League after this match.

Middlesbrough 3-0 Swansea

Negeredo (18′,29′ pen), de Roon (58′)

Middlesbrough have added another 3 points to their tally after a 3-0 victory over relegation battlers Swansea at the weekend.  Through doing this Middlesborough are picking up this victory they are making themselves more likely to survive this Premier League season and they could potentially build on this season’s performance next season.  It was a good solid at the weekend too for Middlesbrough to say the least.  The first goal of their 3 came from former Manchester City striker Alvaro Negeredo after he netter 18 minutes in after he hit the ball first time off of a cross in from Adam Clyaton after a counter attack from Middlesbrough.  Their second goal came 11 minutes later again from Negredo after he converted a penalty conceded by Swansea City centre back Jordi Amat tripped Adam Foresaw in the box.  Their third and final goal of the evening cam from an excellent pass through from playmaker Gaston Ramirez to Marten de Roon who calmly slotted the ball away to give them the victory.

Stoke City 2-2 Leicester City

Bojan (39′ pen), Allen (45+3′) | Vardy (28′) , Ulloa (74′), Amartey (88′)

Leicester managed to rescue themselves on Saturday away from home at the Britannia stadium after they were reduced to 10 men after start striker Jamie Vardy was sent off in the 28th minute.  Vardy was given his marching orders by referee Craig Pawson after he went in for a two footed tackle on Mame Biram Diouf.  Off the back of this Stoke managed to put themselves 2-0 up before half time, with Bojan converting a penalty that was conceded by Danny Simpson handling the ball and Joe Allen tapping in from close range.  Leicester however were determined not to miss out on a point and staged a magnificent comeback 15 minutes before the end.  This was started in the 74th minute after super sub Leandro Ulloa came on and scored and then completed when Daniel Amartey headed home in the 88th minute to snatch a point for them.

Sunderland 1-0 Watford

Van Aanholt (49′)

3 points for Sunderland allowed them to move off the bottom of the table after they snatched a narrow victory against Watford at the stadium of light.  The first half saw plenty of chances for both teams but neither was able to overcome the gridlock.  This was until the 49th minute when Jermain Defoe hit a low cross across the box which was then touched and shot in across goal by Patrick Van Aabolt to give the Black Cats the league.  Watford did have a chance to equalise when he rose to meet a cross from Nordin Amrabt but this header flew wide.  Watford also had chances with Daryl Janmaat and Odion Ighalo but these efforts were both saved by Jordan Pickford to keep the 3 points for Sunderland.  Off the back of this result Watford have now picked up 4 defeats in their last 5 games, a terrible record considering the decent start they had to the season.

West Ham United 1-0 Hull City

Noble (76′ pen)

Despite winning on Saturday, it cannot be said that West Ham United deserved the result after a poor performance against Hull City at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.  Hull City did play well in the game and had a number of chances to scored in the game to put themselves ahead, however in the 76th minute Tom Huddlestone brought down Michail Antonio in the box after he had his hands on him although the contact made looked minimal.  Despite the giving of the penalty being controversial, the conversion of it was not as West Ham legend Mark Noble converted the penalty giving their first back to back win of the season and their first at the Olympic Stadium.  Hull did have chances to scored later on through Mbokanik, but he hit the wood work as he went one on one with Darren Randolph.

West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Manchester United

Ibrahimovic (5′, 56′)

Zlatan’s great goalscoring form continued after he grabbed a brace to give Manchester United another win to add to their campaign to put them level on points with Tottenham despite Spurs having a game in hand on them.  Zlatan’s 2 goals in their game made his form now ten goals in nine fixtures.  His first goal came only 5 minutes in to the game after a great cross in from Jesse Lingard which he then headed home.  His second came in the 56th minute after his shot deflected in off of West Brom defender Craig Dawson.  Manchester United’s run has now extended to 10 matches unbeaten in all competitions.  West Brom’s streak of good form is over and it could continue as they will be facing Arsenal in their next Premier League fixture.

Sunday 18th December 2016

Bournemouth 1-3 Southampton

Ake (6′) | Bertrand (14′), Rodriguez (48′, 85′)

Bournemouth weren’t able to hold onto their lead for long at the weekend after they ended up losing 3-1 to Southampton after Jay Rodriguez ended his goal drought with a brace.  Bournemouth scored with their first shot on target of the game after Nathan Ake scored with an acrobatic header 6 minutes in.   However Bournemouth’s early lead was soon cancelled out by Ryan Bertrand in the 14th minute after a solo effort with him dribbling through and then putting the ball away.  Southampton then made a super sub at half time after they brought on Steven Davis, he made an immediate impact on the game with him setting Jay Rodriguez for his first goal since August.  He then added to his tally 5 minutes from the end after a superb 20 yard finish to seal a fine away win for Southampton.

Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal

Sané (47′), Sterling (71′) | Walcott (5′)

Walcott early goal had gunners fans excited for a victory over the blue side of Manchester, however unfortunately this wasn’t the case for them as Manchester City ended up coming form behind to win.  Theo Walcott’s goal came from a cool finish on his behalf after a pass through to him from Alexis Sanchez.  However in the second half, Manchester City were able to turn things around to give Arsenal their second loss in 2 games.  Leroy Sane put City on level terms as he ran onto a pass through from David Silva to put the ball past Petr Cech.  Raheem Sterling then 19 minutes from the end got on the end of a pass through from Kevin de Bruyne with a low finish to give Manchester City a vital and much needed victory to keep them in contention for the title.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Burnley

Alli (27′), Rose (71′) | Barnes (21′)

Despite Spurs going behind originally they ended up picking up for themselves a win to give them their second consecutive win in the Premier League in the space of a week.  Burnley went ahead in the 21st minute through  goal from Ashley Barnes after a sloppy start by Spurs.  This was enough to give Spurs a kick up the arse as 6 minutes later wondered Dele Alli put the home team on level terms as he struck in from close range after a low cross in from Kyle Walker.  Later on in the game, Moussa Sissoko was controversially not sent off and only given a yellow card after a high late tackle on Stephen Ward, a tackle which many believe he should have been sent off for.  However he took advantage of not being sent off and helped to put the homeside ahead as he Danny Rose through on goal to score his second goal of the season and Spurs’s winner.

Monday 19th December 2016

Everton 0-1 Liverpool

Mané (90+4′)

I think its fair to say we saw a bit of Fergie time again in Monday night football after we saw 8 minutes of added time in last night’s Merseyside Derby which allowed Liverpool to get themselves 1 up on their neighbours in the local Derby.  This winner came through Summer signing Sadio Mané who reacted well to a loose ball which came off the post after a shot from Daniel Sturridge half way through stoppage time.  Liverpool through this win regained their position of 2nd in the league and keep their title hopes alive.