By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 31
- Full results
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK -There were only five Premier League games but that did not stop Mohamed Salah from making more headlines. That plus more in our Matchweek 31 & FA Cup quarter-final recap.
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Salah continues to amaze
Mohamed Salah hit four in the hammering of the Hornets, the first of which came only four minutes in when he danced through the Watford defence before slotting home. Salah would add a second before half time by poking home an Andy Robertson cross.
The winger then turned provider when he set up Roberto Firmino to make it three, before adding two more for himself to complete the thrashing.
Salah moves to 28 goals for the season and becomes the clear frontrunner for the golden boot, especially with Harry Kane currently nursing an injury. The Egyptian could make history if he adds four more goals by becoming the highest scorer in a single Premier League season since it’s inception.
With seven games to go, Salah has to average just less than a goal every two games for the remainder of the season and in this form, it is hard to see him failing to do so.
Liverpool move back into third with the win, but Tottenham do have a game in hand on them due to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Palace boost survival hopes
After a run of four straight defeats, Crystal Palace got back into the win column with a crucial 2-0 against Huddersfield on Saturday.
The game had a lot riding on it with both teams locked in the relegation survival battle, so it was a huge relief for Palace fans when they took the lead through James Tomkins in the first half. Palace were on top for large parts of the game, and their effort was rewarded a penalty after Andros Townsend was brought down by Martin Jorgensen. The penalty was converted by Luka Milivojevic as the game faded away from the hosts.
Huddersfield did not register a shot on target until ten minutes from time, and their lack of attacking impetus meant they could not find a way back into the game.
It was a crucial win for Palace, not only for the three points but also for their confidence after a run of four defeats. The Eagles move out of the relegation zone and are now within a point of Huddersfield.
West Brom one step closer to relegation
West Brom suffered yet another defeat as they let a 1-0 lead slip to lose 2-1 at Bournemouth.
The Baggies were desperate for points heading into this game as they sat bottom, seven points from Stoke in 19th. The desperation paid off when they took the lead through Jay Rodriguez four minutes after half time, and from there Alan Pardew’s side looked to hold on to claim three points.
However, Bournemouth have a lot to fight for themselves and they found an equaliser through Jordan Ibe 13 minutes from time. It set up a nervy finish at the Vitality stadium, and it took a moment of individual brilliance to break the deadlock. A late Junior Stanislas free-kick won the game for Bournemouth and condemned West Brom to a seventh straight defeat.
With just seven games to go in the season, West Brom look destined from the Championship. They need a miracle to stay up at this point, and it does not look like they will.
Stoke face uphill battle to survive
Stoke City failed to take their opportunity to move out of the relegation zone after suffering a 2-1 home loss to Everton.
January signing Cenk Tosun scored twice to help the Toffees to their first away win of the year at the Bet 365 stadium.
The Potters spent a large portion of the match with only 10 men on the field after Charlie Adam’s first half sending off. Everton failed to take advantage until the 69th minute when Tosun opened the scoring. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting brought a glimmer of hope by scoring the equaliser 13 minutes from time, but Tosun would pop up again to net the winner.
Stoke have only one win in their last 12 which is not the form a team needs when fighting relegation. The Potters are now four points from safety and many of the teams around them are yet to play their 31st game.
FA Cup round-up
Two goals from Christian Eriksen helped Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-0 win at Swansea to become the first team to put their name in the hat for the semi finals. They were followed later that night by Manchester United who comfortably beat Brighton 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Southampton did what Manchester City could not, and avoided an upset at Wigan by beating them 2-0. The game of the quarter finals however came at the King Power where an extra time goal from Pedro saw Chelsea become the last team to reach the last four, beating Leicester City 2-1.
The semi final draw was made after the match and it pitted Tottenham against Manchester United and Chelsea against Southampton. One must assume the Blues will make the final based on their experience in the competition and Southampton’s struggles as of late. The other semi final is much more balanced though, even with Tottenham’s home advantage. It promises to be an exciting end to the competition, but who will lift the FA Cup in May?
With there only being four Premier League games this weekend, there was not much movement in terms of the prediction league with both our writers getting two points for the week.
||Actual Score||Neil (205)
|Bournemouth 2-0 West Brom (1)||Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom||Bournemouth 2-0 West Brom (1)|
|Huddersfield 1-1 Crystal Palace||Huddersfield 0-2 Crystal Palace||Huddersfield 1-1 Crystal Palace|
|Stoke 1-1 Everton||Stoke 1-2 Everton||Stoke 1-2 Everton|
|Liverpool 4-1 Watford (1)||Liverpool 5-0 Watford||Liverpool 4-0 Watford (1)|
The Premier League returns on March 31st
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