Tuesday 26 May 2015

Crossing the Bridge

Week 31 Liverpool are virtually out of contention for a Champions League place after being blown away 4-1 at Arsenal with the Gunners moving into 2nd place. Manchester City failed to reclaim 2nd spot when they lost 2-1 at Crystal palace on Monday evening and are now behind Manchester United who enjoyed a 3-1 home win over Aston Villa. The other big winners were Queens Park Rangers who thumped their hosts 4-1 at West Brom and picked up a further point in a 3-3 thriller at Aston Villa one Tuesday evening, but bottom team Leicester City were also winners when they rallied to a 2-1 win at home to West Ham and Burnley earned a point in a no-score bore draw at home to Tottenham. Charlie Adam scored from 66 yards but Stoke lost 2-1 at leaders Chelsea and a single goal gave Sunderland an important win over neighbours Newcastle United. A single goal was also enough to give Everton all 3 points against Southampton and Hull are in imminent danger of being sucked into the relegation zone after losing 3-1 at Swansea.
Week 32 Manchester City scored an early goal at Old Trafford but were taken apart 4-2 by Manchester United who extended the gap in 3rd place ahead of their neighbours. Arsenal picked up their 8th win in a row with a single goal at Burnley while a late goal at Queens Park Ranger broke the deadlock to give Chelsea another 3 points as they march on at the top. Sunderland fell apart in front of their home fans as Crystal Palace struck 4 times in 14 minutes to smash the Black Cats 4-1 with Yannick Bolasie grabbing an 11-minute hat-trick while Leicester City scored in stoppage time to come from behind and win 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion. Tim Sherwood took Aston Villa to his old club Tottenham where they won 1-0 with another Benteke goal. There were 1-1 draws for Everton at Swansea and Stoke City at West Ham United while Southampton put 2 past their visitors from Hull as did Liverpool against Newcastle on Monday evening.
 Week 33 Chelsea took another strep towards the league title with a solitary goal at home to Manchester United while Manchester United moved within a point of their neighbours with 2 home goals against West Ham. Leicester City gave their home supporters hope with a 2-0 win against Swansea City as they moved off the bottom and were replaces by Burnley who fell to a single goal at Everton while Crystal Palace lost 2-0 at home to West Brom and Newcastle were swept aside 3-1 by Tottenham at St James' Park. With Arsenal, Aston Villa and Liverpool on FA Cup duty the only other league match was played at Stoke where the Potters came from behind to inflict a 2-1 loss on Southampton.

Week 34 Chelsea picked up a point in a goalless draw at Arsenal who fell below Manchester City into 3rd place on goal difference after the Blues scored a last-minute winner having relinquished a 2 goal lead at home to Aston Villa while Manchester United were beaten 3-0 at Everton. Southampton and Tottenham shared 4 goals at St Mary's failing to catch up with Liverpool who drew 0-0 at West Brom. Newcastle suffered their 7th defeat in a row, losing 3-2 at home to Swansea while Sunderland drew 1-1 at Stoke City. Queens Park Rangers missed a penalty as they drew 0-0 at home to West Ham while Burnley's penalty miss at home was immediately punished by Leicester City who scored the only goal of the match at the other end. An N'Doye brace at Crystal Palace secured a 2-0 win for Hull City who further enhanced their chances of survival with a vital goal at home to Liverpool on Tuesday evening while on Wednesday Chelsea came from behind to win 3-1 at Leicester and leave themselves a win away from the league title.
Week 35 A gaol at Stamford Bridge against Crystal Palace secured the Premier League title for Chelsea with 3 matches to go. Newcastle United ended the match with 9 players as they suffered their 8th straight defeat with Ulloa netting a brace to help hosts Leicester City to a 3-0 win moving them within a point of the Magpies while 10-man Queens Park Rangers lost 2-1 at Liverpool with Gerrard heading the late winner having earlier missed a penalty and Burnley who were controversially reduced to 10 men lost to a spot kick at West Ham. West Bromwich Albion celebrated a 1-0 victory at Manchester United while a single goal gave Manchester City a win at Tottenham and Southampton, who were reduced to 10 men, lost 2-1 to 2 Jordi Gomez penalties at Sunderland. Everton lost 3-2 at Aston Villa and Stoke were defeated 2-0 at Swansea with both losing sides having a player sent off while on Monday evening Arsenal scored 3 goals in the first half to win 3-1 at Hull.       
Week 36 Sunderland took a step towards safety with a 2-0 win at Everton and Newcastle finally earned a morale-boosting point drawing 1-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion, while Burnley's 1-0 win at Hull City was not enough as they became the first Premier League side to be relegated this season dragging their hosts into the bottom 3 in the process. A day later in Manchester, Queens Park Rangers were dumped into the Championship by a rampant City side who put 6 past the hapless Hoops. Mahrez scored 2 early goals as Leicester City continued to move in the right direction with a 2-0 home win over Southampton while West Ham lost to a single goal at Aston Villa and Tottenham were brushed aside 3-0 at Stoke. Manchester United won 2-1 at Crystal Palace while Liverpool drew 1-1 at newly crowned champions Chelsea and on Monday evening Arsenal suffered a huge blow in their attempt to finish 2nd when they lost 1-0 at home to Swansea City.
 Week 37 Sadio Mane grabbed a hat-trick for Southampton in just under 3 minutes to break a Premier League record as the Saints thrashed Aston Villa 6-1 at St Mary's while Steven Gerrard said goodbye to Anfield in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. Hull City remained on the brink of relegation after a 2-0 loss at Tottenham while Newcastle lost 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers and Sunderland earned a point in their 0-0 draw at home to Leicester City. Stoke could only draw 0-0 at relegated Burnley and Everton won 2-1 at West Ham while on Sunday Swansea City came back from 2 down, but lost 4-2 at home to Manchester City with Yaya Toure netting a brace for the visitors while in Manchester Arsenal drew 1-1 with United and on Monday evening Berahino scored twice as champions Chelsea were beaten 3-0 at West Brom. On Wednesday evening Sunderland secured their Premier League survival with a goalless draw at Arsenal that cemented 2nd place for Manchester City.
Week 38  Having already secured the title, Chelsea lifted the Premier League trophy at Stamford Bridge after their 3-1 win over Sunderland with Loic Remy netting twice for the Blues, while at the other end of the table Newcastle United celebrated survival with a 2-0 win over West Ham United at St James' Park sending Hull City down after their goalless draw at home to Manchester United who had Marouane Fellaini sent off. Frank Lampard scored in his last match in England as Manchester City ended the season with a 2-0 home win over Southampton while Steven Gerrard, also bowing out of English football, scored as Liverpool were taken apart 6-1 at Stoke who struck 5 times in the first half. Theo Walcott scored a first-half hat-trick in front of his home crowd as Arsenal triumphed 4-1 over West Brom and relegated Queens Park Rangers were outclassed 5-1 at Leicester while Burnley bid farewell to the Premier League with a 1-0 win at FA Cup finalists Aston Villa. Harry Kane scored the only goal of the match at Everton to secure Tottenham the 5th spot and Crystal Palace ended their season on a high with a 1-0 win at home to Swansea City.

On Monday Norwich City followed Bournemouth and Watford into the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at Wembley.

The final standings were 1- Chelsea  2- Manchester City 3- Arsenal  4- Manchester United 5- Tottenham 6- Liverpool 7- Southampton 8- Swansea City 9- Stoke City 10- Crystal Palace 11- Everton 12- West Ham United 13- West Bromwich Albion 14- Leicester City 15- Newcastle United 16- Sunderland 17- Aston Villa 18- Hull City 19- Burnley 20- Queens Park Rangers