- Match Analysis
Matchweek 25 in the Premier League kicked into gear today, and it saw a fairytale season continue. Leicester City upset the odds once again, while the bottom three all picked up precious points in their fight against relegation.
Here is a roundup of all the games played on Saturday 6th February:
Manchester City 1-3 Leicester City – Etihad Stadium
This most sensational of seasons for the Foxes continued as they beat Manchester City away from home. This was not some lucky result either, as they took the game to their hosts.
In the days leading up to this game, City announced that Pep Guardiola would be taking over as manager in the summer from Manuel Pellegrini. But it was Leicester that took the lead through defender Robert Huth. He got in front of Martin Demichelis to knock in a free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.
Home goalkeeper Joe Hart had to be alert to dent Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater as Leicester continued to press. Leicester had more chances as the half went on.
They doubled their lead when N’Golo Kante found Mahrez, who emphatically fired home to double the lead.
Yaya Toure and Fabian Delph made way for Fernando and Kelechi Iheanacho. Kasper Schmeichel denied Iheanacho from a corner.
Huth then headed his second, and Leicester’s third, from a corner to stun their hosts further.
Sergio Aguero pulled one back for the home side, but it was too little too late.
Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City – Villa Park
Aston Villa recorded only their third win of the season against Norwich, but still remain eight points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Goals from Joleon Lescott and Gabby Agbonlahor put paid to the Canaries, and pulled them into the bottom three after Newcastle’s win.
On a heavy pitch, Leandro Bacuna fired in a cross on ten minutes, which Agbonlahor fired wide.
Norwich started taking control, and had chances through Dieumerci Mbokani and Steven Naismith.
Villa took the lead on the stroke of half-time, when Lescott headed Carles Gil’s free-kick home.
On 51 minutes, it was 2-0. Jordan Veretout slotting a through ball to Agbonlahor, who fired past Declan Rudd.
Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland – Anfield
An impressive late fightback saw Sunderland claim a point at Liverpool, who were missing the influence of manager Jurgen Klopp, with a bout of suspected appendicitis.
The home side’s injury curse struck again, as Dejan Lovren was forced off early on. Joe Allen later joined him on the sidelines, replaced by Jordon Ibe.
Injury problems were not limited to the home side either, as Sunderland had Duncan Watmore go off, replaced by Dame N’Doye.
On the hour mark, Liverpool went ahead through Roberto Firmino. He headed in a cross from James Milner.
Firmino squared for Adam Lallana to double the lead on 70 minutes, and seemingly seal the points.
Liverpool fans walked out in the 77th minute mark their disgust at the arrival of £77 tickets in the stadium in the new pricing structures announced for next season.
Maybe Sunderland saw that as motivation for a fightback, as within a few minutes they were back in the game.
Adam Johnson knocked in a free-kick past Simon Mignolet.
The comeback was complete when Jermain Defoe turned before shooting home, to give the Black Cats a valuable point.
Newcastle United 1-0 West Brom – St James’ Park
Another side in the doldrums going into today were the Toon, but they gained a precious victory over West Brom.
The only goal came in the 33rd minute from Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Newcastle looked to seize control from the start, with Giorginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend and Mitrovic all had efforts blocked.
Three minutes before the goal, Cheick Tiote was denied by the offside flag, Mitrovic the player caught.
Jonjo Shelvey slipped the ball through to Mitrovic, who fired home.
Saido Berahino and Alex Pritchard were brought on at the break, in a bid to change the Baggies’ fortunes.
Wijnaldum headed over from Townsend’s cross as the hosts held on.
Stoke City 0-3 Everton – Britannia Stadium
Stoke City conceded three goals for the third consecutive game, this time against Everton in difficult conditions.
They were missing a trio of regulars in Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron and Marc Wilson, and they were never really in this match.
Romelu Lukaku hit the frame of the goal in second minute, and nine minutes later he put the visitors in front from the penalty spot. Tom Cleverley was tripped by Stoke keeper Jack Butland to win the spot-kick.
Cleverley then delivered a cross for Seamus Coleman to double the lead on 28 minutes, his first goal in almost a year.
The game was never in doubt after Aaron Lennon capitalised on a misplaced pass to make it 3-0 three minutes before half time.
The visitors were always in control, and comfortably saw out the second half.
Swansea City 1-1 Crystal Palace – Liberty Stadium
Gylfi Sigurdsson netted his fifth goal in six matches, but it was not enough to give Swansea victory.
He scored a fine free-kick on thirteen minutes, curling round the Palace wall.
Emmanuel Adebayor almost scored on his first Eagles start, heading over a Yohan Cabaye free-kick.
Wilfried Zaha, Adebayor and Dann all threatening in quick succession just prior to the break.
And it was Dann who brought the sides level just into the second half after a Cabaye corner was flicked on by Damien Delaney.
Sigurdsson tried his luck with another effort late on, Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey this time equal to the effort.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Watford – White Hart Lane
Spurs kept up their impressive form, a win over Watford was their fifth win in six. They also moved to second in the table after Manchester City’s surprise defeat earlier in the day.
It was an unlikely source that gave Spurs the points, the goal coming from Kieran Trippier, his first top-flight goal.
Ben Davies tested Hornets stopper Heurelho Gomes with a couple of efforts early on.
Watford were on the back foot for most of the opening 45 minutes, but went close when Almen Abdi chipped just over the bar.
Harry Kane had a shout for a penalty turned down when he was tripped by Gomes.
The only goal came on 64 minutes. Dele Alli crossing from the left for Trippier to fire home unmarked.
It is now just one win in eight for the visitors.
Southampton 1-0 West Ham United – St Mary’s Stadium
The Saints gained a hard-fought win with ten men.
An early goal for Maya Yoshida put Southampton ahead, but they were made to work for the points, especially after Victor Wanyama was sent off on 54 minutes for fouling Dimitri Payet.
An early warning for the Hammers saw Shane Long head towards goal, denied by goalkeeper Adrian.
But Yoshida was able to score his first goal of the season monents later, found by Wanyama.
Compact and resolute defending followed, as Southampton were able to repel visiting attacks, while unable to add to their lead.
Their task was made harder when Wanyama received his third red card of the season, with more than half an hour still to play, but they were able to hold on.
There are another two games to be played on Sunday: Bournemouth take on Arsenal, while Chelsea host Manchester United.
By Steve Osborne @BlizzardSteve75