Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 16
The 16th week of the 2019-2020 Premier League season saw:
34 goals - most by Tottenham = 5
261 shots - most by Man City and Leicester = 23 each
97 on target - most by Liverpool = 9
91 corners - most by Man City = 16
222 fouls - most by Aston Villa = 21
38 bookings - most by Aston Villa = 6
0 red cards
1 penalty - 1 scored (Rashford for Man United)
My first prediction went out of the window very quickly! Richarlison gave the Toffees the lead after just five minutes and the home side never looked back or in any trouble after that. Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed the win with his brace (49’, 84’), leaving caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson in wild celebrations at a very happy Goodison Park. The win ended a run of three straight defeats, the three points taking them out of the relegation zone and up to 14th. It was just what the doctor ordered for the blue Scousers after the Merseyside derby thrashing in midweek finally saw Marco Silva sacked. Frank Lampard meanwhile, saw his side lose for the third time in the last four matches, as many as in the previous 20 league matches, and not for the first time thanks to their defensive shambles. Worrying.
The Reds cruised to victory at the Vitality Stadium, despite Jürgen Klopp making seven changes, surprising most, worrying some. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring off a top long-range pass from the skipper Jordan Henderson (35’). Naby Keïta doubled the lead with the outside of his boot after a cheeky backheel pass by Mo Salah (44’). The scorer turned provider to set up the great Egyptian to make it three goals and three points for the league leaders (54’). The result extends Liverpool's club record unbeaten run to 33 league games, having won 15 of 16 Premier League matches this season. Boom. The Cherries didn’t record a single shot on target and have now lost five consecutive matches, pushing them down to 15th. Just one point above the drop zone, and with injuries piling up for Eddie Howe and his men, it doesn’t look good. Gloom.
Spurs took Sean Dyche’s side apart, thrashing them 5-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Without a doubt, Son Heung-min’s pitch-length run past everything and everyone and fine finish to make it 3-0 after just over half an hour, not only sweetly sealed the win but is also one of the greatest individual goals of the season (32’). Harry Kane’s brace (5’, 54’), Lucas Moura (9’) and Moussa Sissoko (74’) all added to the thrashing too nice and easy and got José Mourinho’s men back on track = winning ways and up to seventh, whilst their opponents drop down to 13th after their third consecutive defeat.
There’s not much to write about after the two lowest scoring Premier League teams played out a disappointing, boring goalless draw at Vicarage Road. The result sees Roy Hodgson’s men drop down to tenth, whilst new manager Nigel Pearson watched from the stands as interim boss Hayden Mullins took charge of his final match with the bottom side still left searching for their first home win of the season. Dire.
I don’t know why I still bother with predictions... Ole Gunnar Solskjær watched Marcus Rashford (pen 23’) and Anthony Martial (29’) fire his side ahead in a breathless start at the Etihad. Nicolás Otamendi pulled one back late on (85’), to set up a tense ending to the clash, but it was too little too late for Pep Guardiola and co, the defending champions falling 14 points behind the league leaders. FOURTEEN! (And it would have been much more of a thrash if it weren’t for City keeper Ederson, who made plenty of top stops!) This is Pep’s worst points return after the first 16 matches of a top-flight season in his managerial career (32). The Red Devils meanwhile, climb up to fifth, five points off the top four, their Norwegian boss surely having brushed off some of the pressure on him by banking local pride with this result. Tusen takk!
The Foxes thrashed the Villans at Villa Park, Jamie Vardy’s brace (20’, 75’) making him just the second player in Premier League history to score in eight successive games on two separate occasions, after Ruud van Nistelrooy in January 2002 and August 2003. The club-record eighth consecutive Premier League win keeps Brendan Rodgers and his side eight points behind the Reds at the top and takes them six points ahead of the Citizens in third. Dean Smith on the other hand, was left frustrated, his side improving but not getting the needed results, to be blown away by the 2016 champions, dropping down to 17th, level on points with the Saints in 18th. Worrying.
The perfect comeback for the Magpies means they haven’t lost a home league match since the opening day of the season. Federico Fernández’s 87th-minute winner came after Jonjo Shelvey had cancelled out Danny Ings' opener with a second-half header (68’ and 52’ respectively). Since Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first game in charge exactly a year ago, the Saints have lost five league games in which they have opened the scoring - more than any other side, pulling them down into the relegation zone. Steve Bruce must be buzzing and shutting up his critics, his side in 11th having earned 22 points from their opening 16 games this season, nine more than they had at the same stage last season. Comeback-and-a-half!
Another comeback win, this time the visitors shocked the hosts. Alexander Tettey capitalised on confusion in the United box to lace in a skimming shot and give the home side the lead (27’). But the Blades stepped up after the break and hit back, twice, George Baldock providing the cross for Enda Stevens' equaliser (49’) and then turned to fire in what proved to be the winner (52’) to keep their unbeaten away form in the league this season going. Only league leaders Liverpool can match that run. As Chris Wilder’s side moved up eighth, two points behind fifth-placed Manchester United. The Canaries, in 19th, and their leaky defence missed the chance to close the gap on Aston Villa and Southampton, who both lost.
It was a crazy first half at Brighton, all four goals falling in a crazy 16 minutes. Diogo Jota scored the opener following a nice and quick counter (28’). Neal Maupay equalised thumping home Dale Stephens’ long ball (34’), and just 96 seconds later, the Seagulls took the lead when Davy Pröpper headed in Leandro Trossard's cross (36’). But Jota levelled the score again shortly before the break (44’), with a nice turn and take to make it a brace for the Portuguese and two goals and one point for each side. And it stayed that way after the second half didn’t live up to the hype and action of the first half, the point moving Wolves up to sixth in the table, whilst the fearless Seagulls remain 12th. An 11th game without defeat means Nuno Espírito Santo’s side are now on their longest unbeaten run in the top flight since 1962 and look well up for the top-six race.
The Gunners never make it easy for themselves, do they?! They came from behind to end their nine-match winless streak and let Freddie Ljungberg enjoy his first victory as interim manager at the expense of his former club West Ham. Angelo Ogbonna's deflected first-half opener gave the home side the lead at London Stadium (38’). But three goals in nine minutes turned the game on its head after the visitors took an hour to get into gear and make up for a shambolic start. Eighteen-year-old Gabriel Martinelli marked his full Premier League debut by side-footing in the equaliser (60’), Nicolas Pépé curled in a magnificent second into the top corner (66’) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired in a third to seal the win (69’), piling more pressure on Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini. His side remain a point above the relegation zone in 16th, after losing three in a row at home in the Premier League for the first time since August 2015. Meanwhile, Arsenal move up to ninth, seven points separating them from the top four and bottom three, after coming back from a half-time losing position to win a Premier League away game for the first time since October 2011 (5-3 v Chelsea).
My Predictions - Actual Results
Everton 1:2 Chelsea - 3:1
Bournemouth 1:2 Liverpool - 0:3
Tottenham 2:1 Burnley - 5:0
Watford 0:2 Crystal Palace - 0:0
Man City 4:2 Man United - 1:2
Aston Villa 1:3 Leicester - 1:4
Newcastle 2:2 Southampton - 2:1
Norwich 1:1 Sheff United - 1:2
Brighton 1:1 Wolves - 2:2
West Ham 2:2 Arsenal - 1:3
All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports and RMC Sport coverage.