Saturday, October 24, 2015

It Happened in England: Arsenal go top, Chelsea drop to West Ham

West Ham 2-1 Chelsea
Mauro Zarate hammered home a low shot off a corner from the edge of the penalty area to give the upstart Hammers the lead in the 17th minute. Chelsea proceeded to experience a series of close calls and rotten luck. They had a goal barely denied by goal line technology in the 35th. Cesc Fabregas thought he had leveled the score in the 42nd, but he was millimeters offside. In the final minute of the half, Nemanja Matic, who already had a yellow to his name, hauled down Diafra Sakho along the touchline and was sent off. To make it worse, John Terry and Fabregas were booked for running their mouths. Jose Mourinho even got in on the act and was banished to the stands for his protests. Halftime had arrived and Chelsea were down a goal, a man, and their manager for the second half in one of their more comical failures to date.

The second half started off better for the Blues. Gary Cahill pounced on a loose ball after a corner to tie the score at one in the 56th, but it would not hold up. It took West ham until the 79th minute to retake the lead. It was Andy Carroll's head connecting on a, Aaron Cresswell cross.

West Ham have now beaten four of last season's top six finishers and have earned 20 points so far, which has them sitting two points back of Arsenal in third place. Meanwhile, Chelsea provide us with another entertaining experience as they flounder their way through another match in which they lose both one of their top midfielders and their manager. Likely for multiple games each.

Aston Villa 1-2 Swansea
Jordan Ayew was Aston Villa's goal scorer in the 62nd minute, but that wouldn't be enough for Tim Sherwood's troops. It took Gylfi Sigurdsson all of six minutes to find Swansea's equalizer and Andre Ayew notched the winner in the 86th.

Leicester City 1-0 Crystal Palace
The league's leading goal scorer, Jamie Vardy, was at it again for the Foxes. He nailed his tenth goal of the year by taking advantage of a Palace turnover in the 59th minute, which was enough to provide the narrow victory. Leicester now sit with 19 points through ten matches, good for fifth.

Norwich City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion
There were no goals in the first half, but it took West Brom's Jose Rondon less than a minute into the second half to give the visiting Baggies the lead. That was it for the scoring as West Brom downs the newly promoted Norwich to take another step towards mid table respectability.

Stoke City 0-2 Watford
Stoke was better early on, but Watford had the better chance to go ahead in the 38th minute, but they found the crossbar twice in a matter of seconds. The Hornets did get their goal from Troy Deeney in the 42nd minute to take the advantage at halftime. They doubled the lead in the 69th with a goal from Almen Abdi. Watford scores a big road win over superior opposition to move to 13th place with 13 points.

Arsenal 2-1 Everton
Arsenal bagged the lead in the 36th minute when Olivier Giroud, fresh off a goal against Bayern Munich, headed home a Mesut Ozil cross. Laurent Koscielny got his head to a Santi Cazorla free kick less than two minutes later to double the lead. Everton were not to completely out, however. In the 43rd minute, Ross Barkley led a charge that resulted in him taking a shot that took an opportune bounce off Gabriel and into Petr Cech's goal to half the lead heading into halftime.

The second half was a back and forth affair that nearly saw both sides add to their goal totals, but nothing was finished. Everton's best chance came as the clock was nearing it's end as Romelu Lukaku was gifted an open header, but his effort harmlessly grazed the top of the crossbar.

Arsenal go to the top of the table, at least until the completion of tomorrow's Manchester Derby. They are now a point clear of City with 21.

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