EPL Roundup January 19-21
It was a snowy weekend in England and there were a number of close games and a few table changing results. On Sunday, Tottenham scored a dramatic equalizer against Manchester United to earn a 1-1 tie, while Chelsea held off hard-charging Arsenal 2-1, tightening their hold on the third slot in the Premier League table.
Clint Dempsey hit the equalizer for Spurs two minutes into injury time at White Hart Lane, giving the remaining home fans something to celebrate in the snow. United had jumped out to a lead midway through the first half behind Robin Van Persie’s league leading 18th goal, but they didn’t put the home side away. As time was running out, Dempsey hit the equalizer with a perfect feed from Aaron Lennon. In the other Sunday game, also in London, the Blues jumped out to an early two goal advantage at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal couldn’t quite catch up. Juan Mata scored in the sixth minute for the hosts and Frank Lampard put them up by two with a 16th minute penalty. That was enough for Chelsea, but the second half was far from comfortable. Theo Walcott cut the deficit in half as he struck in the 58th minute and Arsenal tried in vain to equalize.
Manchester United’s Premier League lead dropped to five points over cross-town rival Manchester City, who won on Saturday 2-0 over visiting Fulham. David Silva scored both goals for the hosts. He opened the scoring as he struck home a rebound in just the second minute. The second goal was a thing of beauty, with a move started by Silva and finished off with his perfect lob over Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer. Liverpool continued their recent dominance over Norwich, scoring a 5-0 win at Anfield. The home crowd saw goals from Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez, Jordan Henderson, Ryan Bennett and Steven Gerrard. With the win and Arsenal’s loss, Liverpool is now even with Arsenal on points at 34, just three points away from Everton in 5th position, the last slot for European play.
At the other end of the table, Wigan lost 2-3 to visiting Sunderland and moved into the drop zone with just 19 points on the season. Queens Park Rangers pulled off their second draw in a row, this time against West Ham, 1-1. QPR still sit at the bottom of the table with just 15 points and only two victories for the season. West Ham is now in 12th place with 27 points.
Newcastle is once again threatening the relegation zone after Reading’s Adam Le Fondre scored twice in the final 20 minutes to give his side a 2-1 win. Reading is still in the drop with 19 points, but is now just a point behind Villa two behind Newcastle. Aston Villa also jumped out to a lead at West Bromwich with two goals in the first half before the hosts came back to equalize 2-2 and earn a share of the points. Swansea scored three goals before conceding in injury time, beating Stoke 3-1. The Swans now are looking forward to their Carling Cup semifinal against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Monday’s game had Southampton hosting Everton, with new Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino hoping to win over some of the home fans unhappy with the sacking of Nigel Adams last week. Everton certainly the bulk of chances, but were unable to score, leaving with a 0-0 draw.