Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 36 - Action Summary
This weekend we saw 19 goals, 32 bookings, two red cards, 249 attempted shots on goal, 136 of which were on target. Most goals were scored and shots attempted at Craven Cottage (six and 38 respectively), Reading enjoying most of the attempts and aiming most on target (20 and 13 respectively). Most cards were shown at the Hawthorns (seven), most fouls were committed at Carrow Road (28), Norwich being the dirtiest team of them all (with 15 free kicks conceded). Here are the summaries of all the Week 36 matches:
Another Great/Late Escape?!
Callum McManaman scored yet another decisive goal for Wigan Athletic with his late dramatic winner at West Bromwich Albion which kept his sides' hopes of survival alive in 18th, three points behind Newcastle, Norwich and Sunderland with three games left to play for Roberto Martinez's side. Shane Long put the home side ahead but Arouna Kone headed the Latics level before the break. Gareth McAuley restored the Baggies' lead but Wigan equalised again when James McArthur headed in 96 seconds after coming on as a substitute. Ten minutes from time Shaun Maloney set up man-of-the-match and match-winner McManaman to reward his fighting side with three crucial points.
Great/Late Escape II
Aston Villa reached the crucial 40-point mark thanks to Gabriel Agbonlahor's late winner at Norwich leaving the home side hovering on 38 points in 16th with only a three-points gap to the relegation zone. Agbonlahor opened the scoring for Paul Lambert's side with a 25-yard shot, a stinging drill into the corner of the net early on in the second half. Grant Holt drew the Canaries level from the penalty spot after Joe Bennett brought down Robert Snodgrass 16 minutes from time. But in the last minute of normal play, Agbonlahor calmly finished off Ashley Westwood's pass to move Villa five points clear of the drop zone, with Chris Hughton's men two behind.
First Win For Adkins!
Craven Cottage saw plenty of entertainment between two sides in miserable form with five goals in 21 minutes, as relegated Reading saw off Fulham 4-2, their first win in 11 matches and very first win under manager Nigel Adkins. Hal Robson-Kanu scored from the spot after being fouled by John Arne Riise to put the Royals ahead early on in the first half and added a second with a left-foot curler just under half an hour from time. Bryan Ruiz pulled one back for the Cottagers but Adam Le Fondre's close-range effort added a third for Reading. A Ruiz header gave the visitors another scare two minutes later but Jem Karacan's late strike secured a Royals win.
Bale To The Rescue Yet Again
PFA and Young Player of the Year Gareth Bale produced yet another magic moment scoring a match winner four minutes from time for Tottenham to keep their Champions League hopes alive for next season and leave his former club Southampton's chances of survival in the balance. On Thursday, the Welshman added the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award to his long list of recognition.On Saturday, the first half was a half to forget for Bale and his London side as Andre Villas-Boas' men were outplayed by the Saints for the most of it. But the game was ultimately decided by one swing of Bale's left boot, a special strike, his fourth goal in his last five league appearances.
Walcott Record Winner Goal
It took Theo Walcott just 20 seconds to latch on to Mikel Arteta's pass, fire past Rob Green and score the fastest Premier League goal of the season to beat relegated QPR and send Arsenal up to third. It was a nervy finish for the Gunners as Rangers improved after the break but the closest they came to an equaliser was when Wojciech Szczesny denied Loic Remy. Walcott's goal provided Arsene Wenger's side with an ideal start and perfect response to Tottenham's win over Southampton earlier on Saturday which had seen the Gunners temporarily drop to fifth place, a point behind Spurs and Chelsea who both have games in hand.
Hammers And Toons Goalless
Newcastle picked up a hard-fought point and clean sheet after a goalles draw against West Ham, a vast improvement on last weekend's 6-0 thrashing against Liverpool. Chances were few and far between at the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers put Alan Pardew's side under pressure, Kevin Nolan pulling a double-save out of Rob Elliot after Papiss Cisse saw his shot cleared off the line by Winston Reid, while Andy Carroll headed wide. The Magpies are three points ahead of third-bottom Wigan after their win against West Brom and will be hoping for a Latics slip up in their game in hand.
No Goals At The Liberty Stadium
Manchester City and Swansea played out a low-key goalless stalemate, the Swans still looking for their first win since their 1-0 win over Newcastle on 2nd March and their Capital One victory against Bradford back in February. Roberto Mancini's FA Cup finalists could not find a way past Michel Vorm, with substitute Edin Dzeko missing an open goal with five minutes remaining. This draw takes them seven points ahead of Chelsea in the league which will their direct qualification for the Champions League if the Blues drop poinst in their game in hand against Tottenham.
Own Goal Beats Champions
Champions Manchester United failed to score for the first time in 67 successive home league games with a lacklustre performance and deflected Juan Mata strike handing Chelsea a crucial win in the chase for direct Champions League qualification. The only chances worth mentioned fell to Oscar, his shot for the visitors was palmed on to the post by keeper Anders Lindegaard before United's Robin van Persie glanced a shot just wide. The match appeared to be petering out when Mata's 87th minute shot went in off Phil Jones and the post. Moments later, United's Rafael was sent off for kicking David Luiz. The Brazilian defender was seen smiling on the ground after Rafael's crude challenge as the game ended in the kind of fiery intensity the match was largely missing.
Goalless Merseyside Derby
Everton were denied their first league derby win against Liverpool at Anfield since 1999 in a tense Merseyside derby which ended goalless. After a frenetic first half lacking chances on goal, Sylvain Distin thought he had broken the deadlock when he headed home a Leighton Baines corner, but referee Michael Oliver ruled that Victor Anichebe had impeded goalkeeper Pepe Reina which replays showed was a very harsh decision. The Reds had gone close through Daniel Sturridge earlier on in the match and responded well to the let-off, putting the pressure up and on David Moyes' side with captain Steven Gerrard having an effort cleared off the line by Distin. The Toffees remain in sixth, five points clear of Liverpool and with two games remaining they will expect to finish above their bitter rivals in successive top-flight seasons for the first time since 1937.
Sunderland Fight Back
Ten-man Sunderland fought back a vital goal and point against Stoke City at the Stadium of Light on Monday in their battle for survival in the Premier League. Jonathan Walters gave the Potters an early lead when he scored a rebound following Charlie Adam's corner. And the hosts were reduced to 10 men later in the first half after Craig Gardner saw red for his dangerous lunge on Adam. However, John O'Shea levelled the score, firing the ball home from five yards out after a Sebastian Larsson set-piece. The hosts had a late chance to snatch all three points when Danny Rose shot from the edge of the box, but it came off the outside of the post. The Black Cats showed their character to fight back and secure a draw after a woeful first half with Walters's early goal and Gardner's red card which had left Paulo Di Canio's men facing their 17th league defeat of the season.
My Predictions => Actual Results
Fulham 3-0 Reading => 2-4
Norwich 2-1 Aston Villa => 1-2
Swansea 1-2 Man City => 0-0
Tottenham 2-0 Southampton => 1-0
West Brom 3-1 Wigan => 2-3
West Ham 3-1 Newcastle => 0-0
QPR 0-1 Arsenal => 0-1
Liverpool 3-1 Everton => 0-0
Man United 2-2 Chelsea => 0-1
Sunderland 3-2 Stoke City => 1-1
Week 33: Rescheduled Matches:
Man City 2-1 West Brom => 1-0
Wigan 2-1 Swansea => 2-3
Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham => 2-2