EPL

Premier League Review: Liverpool march on as Saints stun Chelsea

By Sports Desk December 26, 2019

Liverpool thrashed second-placed Leicester City 4-0 to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 13 points with a game in hand.

Club World Cup hero Roberto Firmino scored either side of a James Milner penalty and Trent Alexander-Arnold capped a phenomenal display by completing the scoring at the King Power Stadium.

Manchester United were also big winners, coming from behind to beat Newcastle United 4-1 at Old Trafford, while elsewhere in the Premier League two keenly anticipated managerial tenures got under way.

Carlo Ancelotti saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head Everton to a 1-0 win over Burnley in his first game in charge at Goodison Park, while Mikel Arteta had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for salvaging a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at Bournemouth.

Yet the result of the afternoon came at Chelsea, where superb goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond meant Frank Lampard's men were unable to build upon their impressive triumph at Tottenham last time out.

Spurs moved back to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea after coming from behind to beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1, a result repeated in the south of the capital as Crystal Palace stole the points against West Ham courtesy of a fabulous Jordan Ayew solo effort.

Watford's 1-1 draw at Sheffield United lifted them off the bottom of the table, with Norwich City now propping up the rest after going down 1-0 at Aston Villa.

No sign of home comforts for Lampard, but better news for Solskjaer

Leicester's designs on a title push have been checked by defeats to Manchester City and now Liverpool, who have won 17 of their 18 Premier League games this season.

They last lost in the competition on January 3 and Alexander-Arnold, who set up both of Firmino's goals, gave an awesome demonstration of the quality at their disposal.

By contrast, Chelsea have now lost five of their past seven Premier League games and three out of four at Stamford Bridge after Southampton were able to toast an unlikely hero.

Obafemi got his chance up front as top scorer Danny Ings was rested and he drove at a backpedalling Blues backline to finish emphatically after the half hour. Redmond capped a fine team move 17 minutes from time.

Spurs were facing a fresh setback in their game against Brighton when Adam Webster powered in Pascal Gross' free-kick, but Harry Kane continued his habit of finding the net on Boxing Day and Dele Alli maintained his prolific form under Jose Mourinho with a 72nd-minute winner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his Manchester United turn on the style after going behind to an early Matty Longstaff goal against Newcastle.

As memories of a painful 1-0 defeat to the Magpies in October came flooding back, the hosts found an extra gear at Old Trafford to turn the match around, with Martial, Greenwood and Rashford showing a clinical touch.

Encouraging early signs for Ancelotti and Arteta

Burnley created little at Goodison Park but Everton had to be patient before the breakthrough arrived with 10 minutes to play.

Djibril Sidibe's searching cross found a diving Calvert-Lewin, who headed home via the post.

The Clarets are now below 11th-placed Arsenal on goal difference after Arteta got a first-hand look at some of his club's long-standing defensive problems,

Dan Gosling put Bournemouth ahead after the Gunners were carved apart down the right but the Gunners summoned a battling response and Aubameyang turned in his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Ayew sends Eagles soaring

Palace had a day to remember against West Ham despite falling behind to a Robert Snodgrass goal at Selhurst Park.

Cheikhou Kouyate stole in to equalise against his former club before Ayew danced through a succession of challenges and found a delightful chipped finish in the final minute.

West Ham are a point and a place above the relegation zone after third-bottom Villa saw off fellow strugglers Norwich.

Substitute Conor Hourihane swept in Jack Grealish's pass eight minutes after coming on, while Tom Heaton excelled in the home goal.

Watford made it back-to-back draws under Nigel Pearson, leading briefly at Bramall Lane through Gerard Deulofeu before Oliver Norwood levelled from the penalty spot.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Hudson-Odoi feeling 'perfect' after COVID-19 recovery Coronavirus: Hudson-Odoi feeling 'perfect' after COVID-19 recovery

    Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is feeling perfect after recovering from the coronavirus.

    Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus last month, one of the events alongside the diagnosis of Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta that led to the Premier League going into shutdown.

    However, the 19-year-old only experienced minor symptoms.

    "I am feeling perfect," he told Chelsea's official website. "I had the virus, which has cleared now. I fully feel good, I feel fit, so I am feeling back to myself so it is all good.

    "I had it [the illness] three weeks ago now I think, on a Monday when I felt a bit hot and I was thinking this is a bit unusual, why do I feel this hot.

    "The next day I was feeling back to normal. I thought it was just a minor temperature thing, but obviously it wasn't. I said to myself this wasn't actually that bad, the symptoms, and I said to myself I feel good, I feel better.

    "Everything is happening so fast and I did not know this virus would be such a major thing and so big in the world and affect so many people.

    "Everyone has to be careful and judge things how they go and hopefully the virus will go soon and everyone will be back to normal."

    As part of football's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Euro 2020 has been pushed back 12 months – something of a motivating factor for England international Hudson-Odoi, who has struggled for form and fitness at times this season.

    "For me it is an opportunity to show again and keep pushing myself to the max to hopefully have an opportunity to go to the Euros," he added

    "The Euros is a massive thing and I have big belief in myself and hopefully I will be able to get into the team.

    "I just want to make sure that I keep pushing myself every game and every minute, making sure that I keep trying to score goals and make assists and keep trying to help the team as much as possible to get what we want, which is a trophy at the end of the day."

  • Coronavirus: PFA and Premier League discuss player wages Coronavirus: PFA and Premier League discuss player wages

    The Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) are discussing player wages as part of talks over how football in England should respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Representatives from the English Football League (EFL) and League Managers Association (LMA) were also involved at the summit, which will continue for the next two days.

    Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Tottenham, Norwich City and Bournemouth have placed members of non-playing staff on furlough, taking advantage of the UK government scheme in response to COVID-19 that will pay employees 80 per cent of their wages up to £2,500 per month.

    Bournemouth and Norwich said they would top up those salaries to ensure furloughed staff receive full pay, although Tottenham's decision to cut staff pay by 20 per cent across the board came in for criticism given the wage packets of head coach Jose Mourinho and his playing squad are set to go untouched at this stage.

    The resumption of the 2019-20 season and player safety was also on the agenda at Wednesday's meeting.

    A statement issued by the PFA read: "Senior representatives from the PFA, Premier League, EFL and LMA met today and shared a constructive meeting regarding the challenges facing the game as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    "The meeting reiterated that the overriding priority is the health and well-being of the nation - including that of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters – and everyone agreed football must only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

    "No decisions were taken today with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019-20 season."

    Professional football in England is currently suspended until at least April 30, with the Football Association extending its June 1 deadline to complete the season indefinitely.

  • Beckham's fantastic 50: When Manchester United hero set Premier League record but Scholes upstaged him Beckham's fantastic 50: When Manchester United hero set Premier League record but Scholes upstaged him

    David Beckham scooped a Premier League record when Manchester United made April fools of West Ham 20 years ago this week - but he was still overshadowed by 'Class of 92' colleague Paul Scholes.

    Beckham set up two goals in a 7-1 savaging to become the youngest player to achieve 50 Premier League assists, and he scored a stunning free-kick too, but Scholes' hat-trick grabbed the headlines.

    Substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got in on the act by finishing off the scoring in a resounding win for Alex Ferguson's champions-elect over Harry Redknapp's hangdog Hammers.

    United's match on April 1, 2000, stood out on a number of counts, not least for the fact Paulo Wanchope gave West Ham an early lead. The Costa Rican's strike was not quite in the same league as his solo effort for Derby at Old Trafford three years earlier, with United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich caught out this time.

    A super Scholes strike and a Denis Irwin tap-in, after the defender's penalty was saved, nudged United in front, before Beckham brought up his 49th assist with an on-brand cross from the right that was perfect for Andy Cole to head home.

    Beckham played a thrilling role in the United onslaught, and his 50th career helping hand in the top flight was a fine low pass that was trumped by Scholes' delicious backheel.

    The 50-assist landmark, confirmed by Opta statisics, was achieved by Beckham at the age of 24 years and 335 days, and it earned him the record until Cesc Fabregas got to 50 for Arsenal in September 2009 when just 22 years old.

    Scholes lashed home a penalty to complete his hat-trick, before Beckham produced a personal speciality when he curled in a 25-yard free-kick.

    Solskjaer, the man who now manages the Red Devils, came on to drill the seventh past Craig Forrest, on a rough day for West Ham.

    Beckham went on to reach 80 assists in the English top flight before leaving for Real Madrid in 2003, and he sits ninth on the Premier League all-time list.

     

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.