By Ryan Moran
- Kieran Gibbs earns Arsenal a draw in North London derby.
- Marko Arnautovic sunk Chelsea to their seventh league defeat of the season.
- Remi Garde’s Aston Villa earned a point against Manchester City.
Kieran Gibbs earned Arsenal a point in the North London derby while Jamie Vardy scored in his ninth consecutive Premier League game. Jose Mourinho was powerless in Chelsea’s defeat to Stoke but fans saw the funny side of the stadium ban, wearing masks of the manager in his absence on a weekend where minute silences were held in memory of the fallen who fought for their country.
Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
The Gunners remain in the hunt at the top of the Premier League as Gibbs rescued a point in a game dominated by their North London rivals, Tottenham. Harry Kane had put Spurs into a deserved lead, going through on goal, finding the back of the net from his resultant strike. The point keeps Tottenham in fifth position, three points off of Manchester United in fourth.
Kane’s strike midway through the first half started to spark the home side into life after a slow start following their midweek exploits in Munich. The Reds found themselves level when Mesut Ozil’s cross deep into the box was met by the left back to level the derby at 1-1. It was Tottenham who feel they have dropped two points as Petr Cech made a number of good saves to prevent the opposition from extending their lead with Toby Aldeweireld coming the closest to adding a second. In the closing stages, Arsenal had their chances with Olivier Giroud’s aerial presence proving a threat in the closing stages with one header striking the bar before Gibbs’ equaliser.
AFC Bournemouth 0-1 Newcastle United
Newcastle United have climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time this season as Ayoze Perez’s goal was enough to separate the two sides, one point apart before kick-off. The score line however doesn’t represent the events of the game as Rob Elliot was key in ensuring the Magpies return to St James’ Park with the three points.
In the first 25 minutes, the Cherries had six efforts on goal to not one Newcastle attempt. Elliot conjured up two saves saves from Joshua King while the opposing defence threw their bodies in front of an array of shots in the opening exchanges, blocking three shots towards goal. The home side however were punished as the away side’s first attempt on goal ended up in the back of the net. Perez found space in the box whose shot squirmed past Adam Federici, giving the Magpies an undeserved lead.
Newcastle’s only other real opportunity came through a Fabricio Coloccini as the home side dominated game but couldn’t reap the rewards that their persistence warranted. Eddie Howe’s side registered 20 shots, five on target also forcing 16 corners but the wall of white and blue shirts stood firm along with Elliot denying King on two occasions while keeping out Matt Ritchie’s diving header. Dan Gosling was also denied a goal against his former side as the home side could not find a breakthrough.
The 1-0 win pulled Steve Mclaren’s side out of the bottom three, swapping places with Bournemouth who fell into the relegation zone as a result.
Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten start at Liverpool was brought to an end as a late Scott Dann header gave Crystal Palace all three points. Yannick Bolasie had put the away side ahead as the home side failed to clear, turning in the opposing 18 yard box and striking the ball past Simon Mignolet. Philippe Coutinho had pulled a goal back for the hosts just before half time.
The home side’s midweek trip to Russia seemed to take its toll as Klopp’s side started slowly and were punished as Alan Pardew’s side turned their early possession into a goal when Bolasie found space in the box, tucking the ball into the bottom right corner. This seemed to be a wakeup call for the Reds as they struck five attempts towards goal in the next 10 minutes after the goal, in comparison to their one attempt in the first 20 minutes.
Five minutes left in the half, Adam Lallana flicked the ball towards Coutinho who found the back of the net from Nathaniel Clyne’s cross from the right. Their earlier faults had however meant the midfielder’s goal was only an equaliser despite their dominance since Bolasie’s goal. In the second half, the home side were looking the more likely to claim all three points as Christian Benteke headed just over to give the away side a scare, 30 minutes from the end. Palace took the lead as Dann headed into the top left of the goal from a corner. Coutinho nearly earned his side a point when the Brazilian tried his luck from outside of the box, requiring a save from Wayne Hennessey.
Palace’s win was watched by Steven Gerrard, a man whose final game at Anfield was spoilt by a 3-1 loss to Pardew’s side put a slight dent in Gerrard’s last home league game before his move to America. The win moved the away side up to eighth, above Everton and their opposition, who moved down to 10th.
Leicester City 2-1 Watford
The Foxes have moved one point off the top spot as goals from Ngolo Kante and a Vardy penalty had put the home side 2-0 up against Watford. Troy Deeney notched his second Premier League goal in as many weeks as the striker’s penalty halved the deficit but was only a consolation come the final whistle.
It was a game to forget for Heurelho Gomes as both goals materialised through the ex-Tottenham goalkeeper’s errors. The Blues kept out the away side, who had more of the play in the first half without getting that much needed goal, and pushed on for the victory in the second half. Kante worked his way into the box, past three players before releasing a weak effort towards goal at the Brazilian shot stopper but surprisingly through the hands, under the body and into the net, gifting the Foxes the lead in a tight game. 10 minutes later, the keeper was at fault again when Vardy ran through on goal, only to be brought down unnecessarily by the on rushing Gomes. The penalty was converted by the striker who continued his streak to nine games in a row where he has found the back of the net. Deeney converted a penalty after Juan Carlos Paredes was fouled in the box by goal scorer Kante but the away side could not push for the equaliser.
With Arsenal and Manchester City only able to claim a point from their fixtures, Leicester sit a point behind both sides while Watford sit comfortably in mid table, the highest of the promoted sides.
West Ham United 1-1 Everton
Two sides predicted to be just inside the top 10 in close succession proved how even they were in the encounter at Upton Park. A curling effort to be admired from Manuel Lanzini opened the scoring only for Romelu Lukaku to deny the Hammers taking all three points.
In a tight contest, it seemed a goal of few games and that was what prevailed as a point seemed fair for both sides. The loss of Dimitri Payet after half time affected the home side, the Frenchman a key player in Slaven Bilic’s side. Victor Moses’ had a shot a blocked as the ball fell for Lanzini who curled a brilliant effort across the goal into the top corner to open the scoring. Gerard Deulofeu provided a cutting edge through ball to Lukaku who levelled the scores before half time as a goalless second half ensued. Winston Reid went the closest with a header in the second half for West Ham while the Everton striker missed a chance to take all three points for the away side.
Stoke City 1-0 Chelsea
As the pressure mounted on Mourinho, it didn’t help the situation that the manager was unable to be present in the dugout due to his one match stadium for his expletive rant against West Ham. The Portuguese manager was there in spirit as many Chelsea fans saw the comical side of the punishment as Mourinho masks could be seen around the stadium. However, on the pitch it was a different story for last season’s champions as Marko Arnautovic produced an acrobatic finish as the away side slipped ever closer to the relegation zone.
The performance from the Blues warranted at least a point from the game but the inspired form of Jack Butland denied Ramires and Diego Costa along with a gritty defensive display from Stoke. Pedro hit the post for Chelsea and Loic Remy rounded Butland but stumbled as contact appeared to be made, penalty appeals were waved away as luck just isn’t in the away side’s favour. Xherdan Shaqiri showed the quality that earned him the transfer from Basel to Bayern Munich, causing Abdul Baba Rahman problems down the right flank.
Stoke moved five points clear of their opposition while the Blues are now only three points clear of Bournemouth who occupy the first relegation spot. Reports suggest a three man shortlist has been prepared for the interim manager position if Mourinho was to be relieved of his duties. This list includes Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Di Matteo and Guus Hiddink.
Manchester United 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
After failing to score in their last two games, Louis Van Gaal will be relieved as two goals were enough to beat a West Brom side who have now conceded five goals in two games. A goal from youngster Jesse Lingard and a penalty from Juan Mata kept United in the top four with Tottenham three points behind with a superior goal difference.
In a goalless first half it was Lingard who gave the home side the upper hand when the winger curled in an effort from the edge of the box to give United the lead. Saido Berahino had the opportunity to level proceedings, the striker’s header just over from close range. In stoppage time Gareth McAuley brought down Anthony Martial, giving Mata the task to double the lead from the spot, the Spaniard making no mistake.
The Red Devils sit one point behind third placed Leicester City and two points behind joint leaders Arsenal and Manchester City as the title race hots up as a result of the top two dropping points in their ties.
In the weekend’s other fixtures:
Norwich City 1-0 Swansea City
Sunderland 0-1 Southampton
Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester City
Watford host Manchester United for the lunchtime kick off after the international break on a Saturday fixture list that includes Manchester City vs Liverpool in the evening fixture.
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