Saturday, April 11, 2015

It Happened in England: Saturday's Premier League

Swansea City 1-1 Everton
Aaron Lennon scored for the second time since joining Everton from Spurs in the January window, but it was foiled when Seamus Coleman handled the ball in the box. Jonjo Shelvey converted the ensuing penalty after a significant protest from Tim Howard and the rest of the Everton squad. They didn't really have much of a case as Coleman clearly swiped at the ball with his hand. The single point ties Swansea City for their highest ever point total in the Premier League with 47 points. Everton climbs to 38 points and remains well above the drop.

Southampton 2-0 Hull City
James Ward Krause scored his first ever Premier League goal after Alex Bruce committed a horrible penalty just before the hour mark. Normally, there's some kind of protest after the ref points to the spot, but this one was quite obvious. Bruce was pursuing Graziano Pelle on a long ball in and gave the Saints forward a good swift kick in the thigh. Not a good moment for the manager's son, I'd say. Hull did almost pull back a couple minutes later when James Chester's header was cleared off the line by Ryan Bertrand. Pelle confirmed the points for Southamption by scoring in the 81st amid Hull's inability to get out of their own half, even while trailing. The win puts Southampton into sixth place, which would qualify them for the Europa League.

Sunderland 1-4 Crystal Palace
It was quite the opening to the second half for the Eagles as they score three times within ten minutes of the restart. First, it was Glen Murray. then Yannick Bolasie score twice in as many minutes.  It took less than another ten minutes for Bolasie to finish his hat trick. Connor Wickham added the consolation goal for the Black Cats right at the death of the match.

Tottenham 0-1 Aston Villa
Villa keeps getting results against surprising opponents ever since Tim Sherwood took over. Christian Benteke put Villa in front in the 35 minute and then they just held on. Spurs held the possession, but rarely threatened. In fact, they are probably lucky the score wasn't worse. Villa's counterattacks were more potent than the Tottenham offense. The disappointing spring for Spurs continues, as they are now knocked out of even a Europe League spot.

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Leicester City
It was Darren Fletcher starting the party early for WBA, he scored in the 8th with the aid of goal line technology. David Nugent levelled for Leicester in the 20th, but the lead lasted all of six minutes. Craig Gardner capped off the manic first half hour by putting WBA up 2-1 after 26 minutes. Leicester controlled possession and it paid off with an equalizer from Robert Huth just ten minutes from the final whistle. The Foxes wouldn't be done, however. Jamie Vardy completed the Leicester comeback in stoppage time with a nice finish with his left foot after a great solo run down field. Even with the win, Leicester are still in the basement, but they at least have a prayer of staying up in the Premier League.

West Ham 1-0 Stoke City
Aaron Creswell got the Hammers into the action with a perfectly bent free kick less than 7 minutes from kickoff. That lead would hold despite Stoke controlling 65% of possession. I suppose getting only 1 of 16 shot attempts on the target would be to blame for that. However, the final act of the game also saw Hull's second shot on goal courtesy of Marko Arnautovic, and this one went in to secure the shared points.

Burnley 0-0 Arsenal
The was a tried and true Arsenal style match. They got an early goal from Aaron Ramsey after a mad scramble in Burnley's box that probably should have gone in three separate times. Then they sat back, controlled possession, and didn't allow Burnleyto do anything whatsoever. Arsenal got the one goal they needed and then barely looked like scoring. They had 68% of possession, but only put 5 of 17 shots on target. It's three points for the Gunners, but they would have liked it to be a little more emphatic, I imagine.

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