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  • Chris Sobey

Football


It was an emotional and poignant weekend for domestic football after the tragic death of Leicester’s City owner the previous weekend. The Premier League winning club and team he built did him proud by going ahead and playing their game against Cardiff in Wales on Saturday, which they won 0-1, even though the Premier League did give Leicester City the option of postponing the game for compassionate reasons.

The early Premier League kick-off between Bournemouth and Manchester Utd at the Vitality Stadium was as expected a close affair. United started another game poorly conceding the opener but they knuckled down, equalised before half-time and just about did enough to win the second half. Bournemouth were very unfortunate to lose after conceding United’s winner in injury time and the defeat allowed United to go level with Bournemouth on twenty points and they are both now three points off the top-five.

Everton proved to good for the Seagulls at Goodison Park and summer signing Brazilian forward Richarlison proved to be the difference between the two teams. He ran Brighton’s centre backs ragged and more importantly netted two of his teams three goals. Newcastle United moved out of the relegation zone after a hard fought and fortunate 1-0 win against Watford at St James Park. The Hornets dominated the game in terms of attacking play and goal scoring chances but their forwards weren’t on the same page and were poor in front of goal on this occasion.

West Ham won an important bottom half of the table clash against Burnley at the London Stadium and it was an entertaining game for the fans with six goals. The Hammers deserved their 4-2 win as their attacking players were far more creative and effective on this occasion and they proved to be the difference between the two teams. There was also two late Premier League kick-offs and the traditional tea-time one between Arsenal and Liverpool was another entertaining affair that ended 1-1.

The match failed to deliver the high number of goals the previous two corresponding encounters produced, but the game could easily have gone that way with the number of great goal scoring opportunities missed by both teams, especially Liverpool who on any other day would have scored three or four goals. Liverpool manager Klopp was frustrated by his team’s lack of ruthlessness in front of goal and the result could prove pivotal in the title race as three points would have ensured they stayed level on points with Man City, who went two points clear at the top after thrashing Southampton at the Etihad yesterday.

The final Premier League game on Saturday was the evening kick-off between Wolves and Spurs at Molineux and it proved to be a pulsating, fast paced five goal thrillers. Spurs blitzed Wolves in the first half and raced to a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to strikes from Lamela and Lucas. When Kane made it 3-0 early in to the second half many would have expected the Wolves players heads and hopes to drop and Spurs to run out comfortable winners. However, that was far from the case as after two offensive second half substitutions by Wolves they started to trouble Spurs more and more at the back. Spurs young centre back Foyth ended up having a nightmare second half, conceding both penalties that Wolves top scorer Neves converted, but the visitors just did enough to to hold on for a deserved 3-2 win which meant they held on to fourth place a point ahead of bitter rivals Arsenal in fifth.

Down in the EFL Championship Leeds are the new leaders on goal difference from Norwich after they beat Wigan away 2-1 on Sunday. Norwich went top on Saturday after they thrashed Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough 4-0 and leaders Sheffield Utd lost 1-0 at Forest. The Championship is as competitive as ever and with only seven points separating first place and mid-table no top half or mid-table team can be written off in terms of automatic promotion and the play-off places at this stage of the season.

Selections:

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