Gbamm! EPL Weekly Match Review (Game-Week 11)
We review this Saturday's EPL matches. It was a day ablaze with goals - with 17 scored in all 5 games. It will also be memorable for Sunderland, who claimed their first victory this term. Oh, and Chelsea were on fire, with a Goal of the Season contender from Eden Hazard...
Bournemouth 1 VS Sunderland 2
Venue: Vitality Stadium
The wait for a first league win of the season is finally over for Sunderland following a 2-1 away victory over Bournemouth. Ten-man Black Cats had to come from a goal down to earn a hard fought victory and as you can guess, old fox Jermain Defoe was at the heart of it scoring the winning goal from the spot.
It was a remarkable afternoon for the Visitors who continually had to soak up pressure and it seemed the task of getting a win or perhaps anything from the encounter was a lost cause following the dismissal of Steven Pienaar for a second bookable offence for a late foul on Stanislas.
Everything was going according to script for the home side when Dan Gosling converted Adam Smith’s cross from close range to net his third league goal of the season. After the goal Sunderland changed formation from a 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 with Defoe playing deeper and it paid off with the veteran feeding Victor Anichebe who used his physique to hold off his marker, turn and then shot past Boruc.
Bournemouth had numerous chances to take the lead, but they found Pickford in goal for Sunderland in inspired form, denying Jack Wilshere and Joshua King. Those missed opportunities came back to hunt the Cherries as the referee pointed to the spot following a challenge on Anichebe in the box. Up stepped Defoe who made no mistake sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, to send the traveling supporters into wild jubilations.
Manchester City 1 VS Middlesbrough 1
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Marten de Roon’s injury-time goal snatched a point for Middlesbrough at the death in a game that seemed truly way beyond salvation, following sustained Manchester City pressure.
Sergio Aguero put City ahead just before half-time, following a superb Kevin De Bruyne assist to net his career 150th Manchester City goal. That was City’s 18th shot of the afternoon and it was no surprise the sustained pressure paid off, though Boro would feel hard done following Jesus Navas accidental challenge on Victor Valdes which left a deep gash on the Spaniard keeper’s upper thigh.
The second half witnessed several sloppy moments from City, silly fouls which gave their visitors the confidence to come back into the game. Aguero missed a big chance to seal the win, firing wide when found by Navas in the box and De Bruyne followed up missing an empty net following a mistake by Valdes.
De Roon had the final say in the encounter, planting a firm header beyond Claudio Bravo to leave Manchester City without a home league win since September.
Burnley 3 VS Crystal Palace 2
Venue: Turf Moor
Ashley Barnes scored a stunning last-minute winner as Burnley’s fairy tale run at home continued with an impressive 3-2 win over Crystal Palace to pile more misery on Alan Pardew’s team, sinking further into relegation waters.
The Clarets went ahead inside 90 seconds through Sam Vokes and doubled their advantage when Johan Berg Gudmundsson drilled a shot through the body of Steve Mandanda who must have thought he had saved the effort. For the second weekend in a row, a substitute scored with his first touch, Connor Wickham pulled a goal back before Christian Benteke levelled from the spot on 81 minutes.
The momentum had swung the way of Palace as they seemed to be the likely team to get the win, but Barnes had other ideas, only making his second appearance of the season following a long-term knee injury.
West Ham United 1 VS Stoke City 1
Venue: London Olympic Stadium
Bojan Krkic earned Stoke City a point on the road as the Potters extended their new found form to six games unbeaten. In a game where chances were far-and-few, Michail Antonio’s header from a Dimitri Payet’s cross came off Stoke midfielder Gleen Whelan to give the Hammers the lead.
The encounter was somewhat drab, with chances at a premium. It took an inspired double change from both coaches to change the context of the game. Ashley Fletcher and Edimilson Fernandes were brought on by Bilic and it resulted in a goal moments later. Mark Hughes responded with a double substitution of his, throwing Peter Crouch and Bojan into the fray.
Adrian came a long way from goal in a failed attempt to stop Walters cross, a mistake from which Bojan profited from. Stoke could have snatched a late winner but Adrian did well to palm Charlie Adam’s free-kick away from goal. The result leaves Stoke City in 11th position while West Ham is just two places above the dreaded drop zone.
Chelsea 5 VS Everton 0
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Eden Hazard starred netting twice as Chelsea once again put up a commanding display, hitting Everton for five goals in a truly 5-star display. The Blues were quickly out of the blocks, taking the lead through Hazard’s brilliant effort inside 20 minutes after a blistering counter-attack which saw Diego Costa locating his wing man.
The lead was doubled after 1 minute 20 seconds as Marcos Alonso drilled home through the legs of Marten Stekelenburg to send the home crowd into jubilant noise. Everton truly had no response to Chelsea’s eye catching performance and not even a change in formation and personnel, following the first-half withdrawal of Bryan Oviedo for Kevin Mirallas could swing the tie in the Toffees favour. The third goal arrived before half-time, Diego Costa connecting from a corner-kick to slam home into the net, despite receiving some attention from Lukaku.
The second half was pretty much the same with Victor Moses forcing brilliant saves from the goalkeeper. Pedro added a 4th after Hazard’s rebound fell to him before a brilliant interchange between Pedro and Hazard saw the Belgian race goal ward, before cutting in on his left foot to unleash a strike into the bottom corner, leaving Stekelenburg rotted to the spot.
The score line could have well been truly embarrassing but for some big saves from Stekelenburg notably from Diego Costa’s acrobatic effort and David Luiz half volley. The win leaves Chelsea temporarily in first place on the table pending the results tomorrow, scoring 16 goals in 5 games, keeping clean sheets and earning maximum points the period in review.
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