All the scores and highlights from match day 32 Premier League fixtures. Video highlights included for each EPL match (as available) for U.S. viewers. Big matches this weekend including the starter with Reading v Southampton followed by Stoke City v Aston Villa with both matches given more definition to the relegation battle. QPR and Wigan face off later Sunday as well as Tottenham v Everton earlier in the day. The weekend ends with Monday’s Manchester derby.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Reading 0 – 2 Southampton: A bit of controversy in this one with a possible Reading goal being chalked off. Replays showed the majority of the ball had crossed the line, but it was difficult to tell if the entire ball had gone over. This would have been a great time to use video replay technology In the end, Southampton was the better team and did deserve the win. They could’ve had several more goals and their win pushes them further away from relegation while almost certainly dooming Reading to the Championship.
Norwich City 2 – 2 Swansea City: Norwich were hit with a massive injury blow when Mark Bunn was taken off early in the first half. Swansea should have been up in the first 10 minutes until the referee pulled it back for an very soft foul. Swansea did take the lead through Michu before Robert Snodgrass equalized for Norwich.
The second half was much more lively for both teams as Michael Turner scored for Norwich in the 60th minute and this was followed up by a 70th minute goal for Swansea from Luke Moore. Michu should have put the game away in the second minute of extra time, but missed a complete sitter.
The draw certainly favors Norwich in their bid to stay in the Premier League for another season. They move up the Premier League table into 13th place, one point above Stoke City.
Stoke City 1 – 3 Aston Villa: I did not have a chance to watch or listen to this match live, but I really wish I had listened to at least the last 3 minutes. Stoke was able to peg back Aston Villa through a Michael Kightly goal in the 80th minute, but the game was far from over. Matt Lowton and Christian Benteke gave Aston Villa a much needed win and three points with goals in the 87th minute and in the first minute of extra time.
Stoke City are well and truly into the relegation battle now with their last win coming back in February. Aston Villa may just escape the drop now that this win moves them up to 16th level on points with Newcastle United (33) and only one point behind Stoke City’s 34.
West Bromwich Albion 1 – 2 Arsenal: Arsenal looked comfortable for most of the game and seemed to be mostly cruising to another win. This all changed in the second half and even more so when Per Mertesacker was sent off in the 70th minute and James Morrison dispatched the penalty. With this goal it certainly gave West Brom a chance and they looked much better in the last 20 minutes.
Arsenal managed to hang out and keep West Brom out of the goal. Arsenal’s win keeps their hope of a top four finish in the EPL table still alive.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Liverpool 0 – 0 West Ham United: Liverpool took 20 shots and managed to get 8 of those on target while dominating possession with 65% of the ball. This compared to West Ham who had none of their 11 shots on target. Liverpool remains unchanged in the table sitting in seventh place. West Ham are in 12th level on points with Southampton at 37 and look safely out of the drop in the Premier League.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 2 Everton: I had predicted a 2-1 Everton win, and I really thought they were going to hang on for that result until Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 87th minute goal gave Spurs the draw. Everton will still have a game in hand and remain in 6th place with a chance of getting the Europa League place if results go their way. Tottenham remain in third place still two points ahead of Arsenal.
Everton will surely be disappointed that they weren’t able to hang on to the win, but getting a point at White Hart Lane was a good result for them.
Chelsea 2 – 1 Sunderland: A shocking Azpilicueta own goal gave Sunderland some hope of getting a result as they went into half time 1-0 up on Chelsea. In the second half Sunderland repaid the favor with a 47th minute Kilgallon own goal to level the score. This was soon followed up by an Ivanovic goal in the 55th minute.
Both teams had a few decent chances but neither team could manage to have anything come of it. Chelsea was certainly the dominant team with Sunderland’s chance mostly coming from set pieces. Even then they were unable to really trouble Cech in goal with none of their 8 shots landing on target.
The loss for Sunderland means that they wait to see what the result of the QPR v Wigan match will turn out. They sit just outside of the relegation zone. For now anyway. Chelsea’s win sees them leapfrog Arsenal and Tottenham back into third. They are level on points with Spurs but ahead on goal difference while they are 2 points ahead of Arsenal who are in fifth in the EPL Table.
Newcastle United 1 – 0 Fulham: A highly dramatic finish capped a much needed Newcastle United win thanks to a last minute goal from Papiss Cisse. Newcastle dominated in chances with 28 shots, however only 5 of those were on target. Possession was nearly 50/50, but Newcastle certainly had the better chances overall including 10 corners (Fulham had 3).
Newcastle’s win could be enough to get them out of the relegation battle as they move up into 13th place, one point ahead of Norwich. Fulham sit in 10th place for another week.
Queens Park Rangers 1 – 1 Wigan Athletic: Queens Park Rangers had Bobby Zamora sent off for a dangerously high boot to Wigan’s Jordi Gomez. Otherwise the first half ended rather tamely with Wigan unable to capitalize on their advantage.
QPR then sat back and “parked the bus” with an occasional foray forward on the counter. This completely changed in the 83rd minute. Wigan had a free kick at the top of the area following Christopher Samba’s handball and yellow card. The ensuing counter attack ended with Loic Remy putting Queens Park Rangers in front against the run of play in teh 85th minute. It also transformed the Rangers fans who went from booing to cheering.
Once again Wigan showed that they almost need to have pressure on them to do well. In the fourth minute of stoppage time Shaun Maloney’s free kick put them level to earn a point and reduce the QPR crowd to booing once again. The mistake came in Stephane Mbia giving away a stupid, pointless foul right at the top of the area. Additionally the QPR wall did not do its job as the ball curled in between the defenders past Cesar’s fingertips.
The draw certainly helps Wigan more than Queens Park Rangers in their bid to stay in the Premier League. Both teams stay in the relegation zone of the EPL table, but Wigan still have a massive game in hand and are in 18th place only on goal difference while being level on points with 17th placed Sunderland. Queens Park Rangers stays in 19th place on 24 points, almost certainly doomed to head back to the Championship.
Monday, April 8, 2013
3:00 pm/8:00 pm GMT: Manchester United v Manchester City