Saturday, October 31, 2015

It Happened in England: Liverpool continue Chelsea's skid, Leicester enters the top four

Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool
Chelsea was looking to turn around their putrid start to the season and Ramires gave them just the start they needed. The Brazilian latched his noggin onto a laser cross from Cesar Azpuilacueta in the fourth minute that easily beat Simon Mignolet. The early goal gave Chelsea some momentum and helped them look competent in their game for the first time in a while. Liverpool gradually got themselves back into the swing of things and were rewarded at the death of the first half. Philippe Coutinho equalized in first half stoppage time by evading what felt like the entire Chelsea back line by himself.

The second half was a sort of bland affair for the first 20 minutes or so. Chelsea did have a unique chance when Diego Costa tried looping a shot from just inside the Liverpool half over an out of position Mignolet, but the Belgian goalkeeper got a fingertip to the effort. More evasion of Chelsea's back line led to Liverpool thrusting themselves ahead. Another fancy Coutinho goal in the 75th minute did the trick. Christian Benteke secured the points for the visitors in the 83rd minute with a low shot that was one again through some questionable Chelsea defending.

That was all she wrote. Chelsea continues their woeful opening to the season and the countdown towards Jose Mourinho's firing is getting shorter and shorter. His squad has 11 points in as many matches and continues to hover around the relegation zone. Liverpool earns their first win under Jurgen Klopp with that added bonus of contributing to Chelsea's demise.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United
Palace just kind of did what Palace does here. They gritted out a draw against far superior competition. No goals were scored, which suits them just fine. Manchester Untied, however will consider this a missed opportunity and see the dropped points as a hit to their championship efforts, although they stay in the top four thanks to the West Ham loss.

Manchester City 2-1 Norwich City
It took until the 67th minute, but Nicolas Otamendi gave Manchester City they're deserved lead by heading home a Kevin de Bruyne corner. Fiesty Norwich would not go away quietly. They leveled through Jerome on the 83rd minute. Their effort to hold onto the draw was ruined in the 88th when Russell Martin handballed on the goal line and was justifiably sent off. That lead to a Yaya Toure goal from the spot. Surviving the scare means City means stay in first place.

Newcastle 0-0 Stoke City 
This was a goalless draw well with your ignorance. Two lower table sides failing to score can hardly hold anyone's attention for long.

Swansea City 0-3 Arsenal
Neither team found a breakthrough in the first half, but it was Swansea with the better opportunities. Bafetimbi Gomis, in particular, will feel like he should have scored when he was alone on Petr Cech in the 22nd minute. Arsenal, in general, were pretty bad in the first half. Their inability to plan on offside trap led to the Gomis chance and plenty of other defensive miscues bit them as well.

The second half was much better from the Gunners. Olivier Giroud continues his high scoring firm after a scoreless opening to his season. The Frenchmen headed home a rebound off the crossbar for Arsenal's first goal in the 49th minute. Defender Laurent Koscielny doubled the lead in the 68th with a hard working, bordering on fouling, effort in the penaltty area. The goal was met with protests from Swansea that the Frenchman backed into the goalkeeper as he was playing the ball. Joel Campbell made it three with his first Premier League goal in the 73rd to turn this into a rout.

The Gunners remain in second place thanks to the Manchester City win, but only on goal differential.

Watford 2-0 West Ham
Watford got the first half jump in this match of underappreciated London cubs. Odion Ighalo fired home the first goal in the 39th minute. Ighalo doubled the kiss in the 48th. West Ham had been off to a strong start this year. They take the blow and fall out of the top four, for now.

West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Leicester City
Jose Rondon's header off a corner at the half hour mark put West Brom ahead against the Foxes. Leicester woke up at halftime and poured it on after the break. Rihyad Mahrez had the equalizer in the 57th minute. He added his second in the 64th. Then Jamie Vardy contributed to his league leading goal tally to make it 3-1 in the 77th. Rickie Lambert pulled one back from the penalty spot on the 84th, but it wasn't enough for them. Leicester, thanks to the West Ham failure, leaps into third place.

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