Premier League Week 15 Review

Premier League Week 15 Review

Saints left feeling sore from 3 back to back losses

Prior to the beginning of the season, nobody figured this matchup between Southampton and Manchester United would have such significance going into the Christmas period. After Southhampton’s electric start to the season in which they commanded 2nd spot in the Premier League only two weeks ago, this game had become a crunch tie for 3rd place.

Southampton played well throughout and had enough ability down both the flanks to cause United all sorts of problems. Davis and Wanyama looked dynamic in midfield as opposed to the pedestrian Fellaini and Juan Mata. However, Southampton made a critical error when a poorly placed back-pass was latched on to by Robin Van Persie who took his time before slotting the ball through Fraser Forster’s legs. The goal was the catalyst for a further onslaught from Southampton. The Manchester United makeshift back three/back four was at sixes and sevens and Pelle broke his goal drought for the Saints when he showed his physical prowess and strikers instinct to brush aside Michael Carrick and put a loose ball into the back of the net.

The second half was more or less the same. Southampton asking questions and United answering them with hoofed clearances and misplaced passes. Southhampton’s high pressing game didn’t allow for United to get any rythm going, but they managed to improve as the second half progressed. The killer blow for the Saints was dealt when Van Persie grabbed his second of the game with an incredibly deft touch from a Wayne Rooney free kick. Southampton will be left feeling hard done by, as they deserved a win in this game and at least a draw against Arsenal, but their Premier League campaign is still in great shape.

Arsenal leave it too little too late

Stoke were absolutely rampant in the first half against Arsenal and Arsenal were completely apathetic. Stoke took the lead in the first minute when Peter Crouch slotted in after only 19 seconds. Arsenal could have brought the score to 1-1 but Olivier Giroud missed a crucial chance that had a major impact on how the first half went. Stoke extended their lead in the 35th minute when Bojan slotted home from  Walters’s cross. Walters would turn from provider to scorer when he thumped the ball into the back of the net from close range to make it 3-0.

The scoreline could have been 4-0 when Bojan showed some trickery and fired past Damian Martinez, But Mame Diouf was ruled offside in the lead up to the goal. Arsenal had a huge hill to climb and despite Danny Welbeck’s introduction they still lacked the killer finish to get a goal. Santi Carzola scored from the spot after Diouf gave a penalty away. Ramsey scored a great volley to put Arsenal within touching distance of an equaliser, but their miserable afternoon was compounded when Chambers was dismissed for a second yellow card.

 

 Cisse cuts Chelsea deep

The unstoppable Chelsea charge was stopped this past weekend by this years super sub, Pappe Cisse, and his Newcastle teammates. Pappe Cisse has scored a brace of goals from the bench twice this year and arguably kept Pardew in a job when one of those braces rescued a win from the jaws of defeat earlier in the year. Chelsea were unbeaten in 23 games and a game away from a club record 24. The first-half provided a 0-0 stalemate where it looked like neither team was finding their feet, minus a few shots from Willian and a good save by Thibaut Courtois from Newcastle’s Colback.

21-year-old goalkeeper Jak Alnwick made his Newcastle debut when he replaced the injured Rob Elliot at halftime, and he made a big contribution to the Newcastle win with a fantastic save at the end of the game. Cisse capitalised on Gary Cahill’s missed attempt to intercept an Ameobi cross and put the Magpies into the lead just before the hour mark. Chelsea pressed on and Hazard had a shot that ricocheted off the post, but 40 seconds later, a swift Newcastle counter attack saw the ball end up in the back of the Chelsea goal. Chelsea pulled one back through a Didier Drogba header, which rewarded Fabregas with his 11th assist of the season, fuelling his ambition to exceed Thierry Henry’s record 20 assists in Premier League season.

Results

Southampton 1 – 2 Man Utd

West Ham 3 – 1 Swansea

Aston Villa 2 – 1 Leicester

Newcastle 2 – 1 Chelsea

Hull 0 – 0 West Brom

Liverpool 0 – 0 Sunderland

QPR 2 – 0 Burnley

Stoke 3 – 2 Arsenal

Tottenham 0 – 0 Crystal Palace

Man City 1 – 0 Everton

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