Premier League Weekend Review (Feb 8th and 9th)

Published: Feb 10, 2014 07:34am EST
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 10, 2014 @ 07:34am EST


Another weekend of Premier League action and the result come Monday morning was more questions raised than answers discovered. Twenty nine goals over the two days were scored although the team with the most Premiership goals this season drew a blank for the second game in a row. Here is a look back as the events unraveled. 

First off on Saturday the top team at the beginning of play, Arsenal, traveled to Liverpool with the possibility of extending their lead at the top of the table to five points before the other two chasing teams played later on in the day. Ten minutes in to the game at Anfield and two strikes from defender Martin Skrtel saw the Gunners game plan instantly turn to one of damage control. Ten more minutes saw two more goals from Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge double the deficit and that 4-0 score line held for half time. Less than ten minutes from the restart and Liverpool were at it again, through another Sterling strike. Arsenal did get a goal back through Mikel Arteta from the penalty spot after Captain Steven Gerrard brought down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but it really was only a consolation with that being the final score of the game. 

Chelsea kicked off their home game to Newcastle knowing the result at Arsenal meant they could take top spot with a good result in their own game. Less than half an hour in Edin Hazard scored the opener before doubling the lead seven minutes later to give the Blues a 2-0 half time lead. With just under half an hour to go referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Edin Hazard stepped up to complete his hat trick and secure a 3-0 Chelsea win. 

The only team able to keep Chelsea from top spot were free scoring Manchester City who traveled to Norwich City. A poor performance saw the Premiership title hopefuls fail to convert possession into clear chances with almost 68% of the ball converted to only two shots on target. Manuel Pellegrini’s substitutions were questionable as the Citizens failed to score in the last two games. Now two points behind Chelsea it is vital that they are ready to go again Wednesday when Sunderland visit. 

Other games kicking off at this time saw Aston Villa fail to pull themselves further away from the relegation zone as they hosted a poor West Ham side. Two goals from Kevin Nolan in the first three minutes of the restart saw Paul Lamberts side slide back into the mix for relegation as their visitors now find themselves only two points behind the hosts. 

Crystal Palace did manage to do what Villa failed to do and got a good win against relegation rivals West Brom. The hosts went ahead through their new signing Tom Ince before another new signing, Joe Ledley doubled the lead. West Brom pulled one back just after the restart before Marouane Chamakh restored the two goal lead from the penalty spot and secure a 3 point gap between them and their visitors.

Mid table sides Southampton and Stoke City hammered out a two all tie in their game giving Stoke a valuable point as they try to increase their gap between the bottom three and themselves.

Sunderland though gave themselves a mountain to climb when Wes Brown was sent off for the hosts in the opening minutes. Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic fount the net just after fifteen minutes into each half to secure the win, lift Hull City up the table and keep Sunderland right in the relegation mix. 

The late game on Saturday had the two Welsh side face off. Swansea hosted Cardiff and eventually scored three second half goals after a dull 0-0 first half. Wayne Routledge scored just two minutes after the restart with Nathan Dyer and Wilfried Bony making it secure in the last ten minutes. With that result Swansea are propelled into the top half of the table but Cardiff, who fired manager Malky Mackay toward the end of last year, find their new manager three points from safety and continuing to struggle.

Moving to Sunday and there were just two games with Champions League chasing Tottenham taking on rivals for fourth position Everton. In the end a solitary Emmanuel Adebayor strike was enough to separate the two sides. This means Everton have now only won one of their last four games as their season shows signs of stalling. Tottenham though, under Tim Sherwood, now finds themselves only three points behind that coveted fourth place. 

Manchester United had the chance to gain points on Everton after their result earlier in the day when they hosted bottom club Fulham at Old Trafford. After twenty minutes though all Uniteds pressure had resulted in no goals before they got caught on the break and Steve Sidwell was found unmarked in the box. The Fulham man finished neatly to give the visitors an unlikely lead which they kept until the last twelve minutes. Manchester United finally converted all their pressure into goals and two strikes in two minutes made the 1-0 deficit a 2-1 lead. Robin Van Persie struck first before a deflected Michael Carrick seemed to have secured the win. Darren Bent had other ideas though and when United failed to clear their lines it was the Fulham striker on hand to give the bottom club a vital point and United Manager David Moyes yet another headache. 

For the teams who slipped up this weekend it is vital they focus as the turnaround in this League is quick. All teams need to be ready to go again with the next round  of games coming on Tuesday and Wednesday.


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