Sport Blogmaster, Ben Carter, checks in with this week’s football news…
The first round of fixtures in the month of May was dominated with penalties and red cards; the first game however had neither.
West Brom travelled to Old Trafford to face a Manchester United side who, for the first time this season, are starting to look like the real deal. Unfortunately for Louis Van Gaal’s side, the saying ‘form is temporary’ seems to describe them perfectly. The Red Devils dropped all three points in a 1-0 loss, the Baggies goal coming from Swedish defender Jonas Olsson.
West Ham against Burnley summed up the weekend’s games perfectly. Kouyate’s driving run mid-way through the first half was the turning point, eventually being brought down by Burnley defender Duff in the penalty area. Referee Jon Moss harshly dismissed the Burnley man, and Mark Noble stepped up to score the only goal of the game at Upton Park.
Swansea hosted Mark Hughes’s Stoke in an exciting clash at the Liberty Stadium. Ecuador international Jefferson Montero headed the hosts in-front after great play by Jonjo Shelvey. Stoke were reduced to 10 men late on after Mark Wilson received a second yellow for bringing down Swansea goal-scorer Montero. The game was put to bed when super-sub Ki placed the ball beyond Jack Butland in the 92nd minute.
Sunderland kept their survival hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Southampton. Jordi Gomez put Sunderland in-front from the penalty spot, before Saido Mane levelled the score one minute later. James Ward-Prowse was given his marching orders for committing a foul in the penalty area, to which Jordi Gomez scored his second penalty of the game to secure all three points for the Black Cats.
Liverpool scraped past QPR with a 2-1 victory at Anfield. Coutinho put the hosts in-front before Dutch international Leroy Fer levelled the game with 20 minutes to play. QPR defender Onuoha was sent off with eight minutes to go, and just five minutes later, captain fantastic Steven Gerrard won the game for Champions League chasing Liverpool.
A brace from in-form Benteke saw Aston Villa take a 2-0 lead into half time against Everton. Fellow Belgium Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for the Toffies before a Tom Cleverly strike restored Villa’s two goal lead. Unfortunately for Everton, a late Phil Jagielka goal didn’t spark the come back travelling fans had hoped for.
Nigel Pearson’s Foxes had the best possible start against struggling Newcastle with a Ulloa goal in just one minute. Wes Morgan doubled the hosts advantage just 17 minutes in, before Ulloa got his second goal of the game, shortly after half time, from the penalty spot. Things went from bad to worse for Newcastle when defenders Williamson and Janmaat got sent off, completing a miserable day for the Toon army.
Sundays games provided us with two, 1-0 victories. The fist game was between Spurs and Manchester City, with a solitary Sergio Aguero strike the difference between the two sides in North London.
In the other game, Chelsea would secure the Premier LEague title with a victory over Crystal Palace. The Blues won a penalty and player of the year Hazard stepped up to put Chelsea in-front. Palace keeper saved the initial effort from Hazard, but the Belgium winger was on hand to nod in the rebound and secure Chelsea the Premier League title.
The final game of the week was between Hull and Arsenal. The Gunners dominated the first 45 minutes, with deflected efforts from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey giving the gunners a comfortable lead with half an hour played. Alexis Sanchez notched his second of the game when he rounded Hull keeper Steve Harper just before half time. Hull came out fighting and got one back, but they were unable to spark a comeback and the game finished 3-1 to Arsenal.