Sport Recaps

The Premier League Recap: Matchweek 17

We bring you all of the biggest headlines from the opening round of New Year fixtures in the Premier League. Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea, Southampton host current champions Liverpool, plus we’ll cover the rest of the action from the start of 2021.

West Ham take all three points in Merseyside

Tomas Soucek scored a late winner yet again as his goal in the 86th-minute was enough for West Ham to secure a 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. The Irish international goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who was a last-minute replacement in the Hammers starting XI in place of Lukasz Fabianski, was forced into an early save by Bernard in what was a very nervy start to the game from both teams. The Toffees introduced James Rodriguez at half-time but he was unable to add any creativity that the home side were lacking. The visitors had a big chance to go ahead just past the hour-mark after Pablo Fornals saw his header go just wide of the post. However, Soucek made no mistake when just four minutes from the end of the match he converted a tap-in at the back post when Creswell’s shot was deflected into his path. On his return, this is David Moyes’ first win back at Goodison ever since he left Merseyside back in 2013. West Ham remain in 10th whilst Everton find themselves in 4th place as their five-game unbeaten run comes to an end. 

Fernandes penalty sends United second 

A second-half Bruno Fernandes penalty gave Manchester United a 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford to put them level on points with current league leaders Liverpool. The Red Devils took the lead inside the 40th-minute when Anthony Martial headed in a cross by right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to put the home side 1-0 in front. Villa found the equaliser just after the break when Jack Grealish put a ball into the box for Bertrand Traore who fired into the back of the net to score his third goal within the space of four games. It didn’t take long for the hosts to regain their lead as just three minutes later Paul Pogba was brought down in the area by Douglas Luiz, with Fernandes converting the resulting penalty. This means that Manchester United go second on goal difference but Aston Villa drop to 6th after recording their first defeat in six matches. 

Mourinho’s men put three past Leeds

Dynamic duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both scored and provided an assist in what was a triumphant 3-0 victory for Tottenham Hotspur against Leeds United in the capital. Spurs won a penalty just before the half-hour mark when Alioski fouled Steven Bergwijn on the edge of the area with Kane hitting the target to get his 10th league goal of the season so far. Just two minutes before half-time, Son scored his 100th goal for Tottenham to double their advantage after finishing off Kane’s pacy ball into the box. This is the 13th time that the pair have combined this season which is currently a joint Premier League record. 

Toby Alderweireld then added a third and wrapped up the game for the home side after converting his header from Son’s corner. Spurs defender Matt Doherty got sent off in stoppage-time after receiving a second yellow from the referee but it didn’t stop them from clinching onto all three points. Leeds did look threatening throughout the game but failed to score away from home for the first time this season. 

The Eagles soar against struggling Sheffield

A sensational individual goal by the former QPR man Eze was enough for Crystal Palace to claim a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at Selhurst Park. The Eagles opened the scoring in just the fourth minute after Jeffrey Schlupp fired the ball into the back of the net through the guided pass of Christian Benteke. Schlupp picked up an injury just before half-time and was replaced by Eze who ran all the way from his own half and beat multiple players to curl the ball home in what was a superb solo effort. The closest the Blades came to a goal was when 16-year-old Antwoine Hackford saw his shot cleared away by Palace defender Joel Ward. These three points lift the home side up to 14th whilst Sheffield United are still without a win and remain bottom of the table on just two points.

Honours are even at the Amex

Brighton and Hove Albion came back from two goals down at half-time to draw 3-3 with Wolves at the Amex. It was the Seagulls who took an early lead when Aaron Connolly slotted the ball past keeper Rui Patricio to put his team 1-0 ahead. The visitors soon responded with two back-to-back goals with the first coming from Romain Saiss who was able to head in a cross by Nelson Semedo. The second was an unfortunate own goal by Dan Burn after the shot from Pedro Neto hit him and rebounded into his own net. Things went from bad to worse for Burn as just before half-time he brought down Adama Traore inside the area with Ruben Neves converting the penalty to make it 3-1 to Wolves. There was another spot-kick awarded to Brighton just seconds after the break with Neal Maupay successfully pulling a goal back for his team after he had been fouled by Joao Moutinho. In the 70th-minute, a deflected header by the captain Lewis Dunk drew the home side level and although both teams pushed for a late winner, nothing could be done to separate them meaning that the spoils were shared.

Arsenal seal victory at the Hawthorns

A brace by the in-form Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette earned the Gunners a comfortable 4-0 victory away from home against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. The visitors started the game the stronger of the two sides and deservedly took the lead when Kieran Tierney placed the ball into the top-right corner after beating defender Darnell Furlong. The Baggies’ Matt Phillips forced a save out of Bernd Leno just before Arsenal doubled their advantage with a slick attacking move where Emile Smith-Rowe squared the ball for Bukayo Saka to tap in from close range. The French international Lacazette added a third on the hour-mark after he slotted in a loose ball before getting on the end of Tierney’s cross to get a fourth for his team just minutes later. This means that Lacazette has now scored for the third match in succession which moves his team up to 11th place. West Brom remain in 19th just six points from safety. 

Magpies suffer home defeat against Leicester

Leicester City have recorded a fifth straight win at Newcastle United with a 2-1 victory at St. James’ Park. Jamie Vardy had his goal in the first-half ruled out for offside but he was on hand to set up the opener in the 55th-minute when he teed up James Maddison, whose powerful strike was sent past the Magpies keeper Karl Darlow to put the visitors 1-0 ahead. Youri Tielemans made it two just twenty minutes from the end as Marc Albrighton pulled the ball back for him to hit sweetly which went in off the inside of the right post. The Newcastle substitute Andy Carroll rescued a goal back for the hosts with a volley in the final ten minutes but they were unable to find that all important equaliser. The Foxes now move up to just one point behind Liverpool and Manchester United and Newcastle drop to 15th place. 

Man City shine at Stamford Bridge

Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden both claimed a goal and an assist each after a superb performance by the visitors ensured they took all three points with a fully deserved 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Man of the match Ilkay Gundogan was the first to find the net after an excellent turn and shot from Foden’s pass put them a goal up in the capital. Just three minutes later, the midfield pairing combined as De Bruyne’s low cross was put into the path of Foden who scored with an accurate finish to make it 2-0 to City. De Bruyne then added a third in the 34th-minute to put the visitors in cruise control after he slotted in a loose ball from close range after the initial shot by Raheem Sterling rebounded off the post. Even though they had some good spells of possession, the hosts struggled to create any clear cut chances before Callum Hudson-Odoi netted for Chelsea in stoppage-time in what would only be a consolation goal. 

Liverpool suffer second defeat of the season at St. Mary’s

Saints striker Danny Ings was on hand to score against his former club on Monday night as Southampton earned a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at the St. Mary’s Stadium. Ings opened his account in just the 2nd-minute of the game when he cleverly volleyed the free-kick from James Ward-Prowse over the Reds keeper Alisson. This was also his 50th Premier League goal of his career. The visitors became more dominant in the second-half but it wasn’t until the 75th-minute that Sadio Mane recorded only their first shot on target all match. Yan Valery came very close to adding a second for the home side when Alisson came racing out of his area but the shot just lacked the power to end up in the back of the net. These three points take Southampton up to 6th place on 29 points, whilst Liverpool remain top of the table on goal difference from their next opponents Manchester United who have an extra game in hand. 

Fixture Update

Please note that the game between Burnley and Fulham that was originally scheduled to take place over the weekend has been postponed due to a Covid outbreak at the London club. A new date and kick-off time for the match will be announced in due course. 

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