Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Premier League: Manchester stalemate, Sunderland takes Tyne

Sunderland 3-0 Newcastle
The Tyne-Wear Derby proved to be a worthy appetizer to the main course in Manchester as Sunderland once again showed up big for this most under appreciated of Premier League rivalries.

Newcastle were looking pretty strong in the first half until the tail end if the frame. In stoppage time, Fabricio Coloccini clattered into Steven Fletcher in the box, earning himself a straight red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity and gifting the Black Cats a penalty. Adam Johnson confidently buried his attempt from the spot to give the home side a halftime lead.

The second half started with Newcastle on a passive attack and Sunderland just kind of letting them do what they wanted. Nothing showed up for the visitors, but a corner in the 65th minute resulted in Billy Jones banging in Sunderland's second goal from extremely close range. Fletcher provided the  l third goal and the finishing touch on a truly dominating performance from Sunderland on derby day.

Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City
This much anticipated version of the Manchester Derby turned out to be somewhat of a dud. The sparse attacking efforts, mostly from United, ended consistently in failure.

The first half was a back and forth affair that featured few, if any, real scoring chances. United would attack for five or so minutes, then City would do the same. So it went for 45 minutes without any goals. The intensity of derby day was still present, however. Hard challenges led to each side seeing some bookings. City's Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho were cautioned while United had Juan Mata down a yellow.

United took the initiative in the second half. They had a strong chance to go in from at the 50 minute mark after Raheem Sterling took down Mata in the box, but no call was made. The ensuing corner resulted in a Chris Smalling header only barely floating of target.

As the half wore on, City's game plan became increasingly defensive. They seemed quite content with a scoreless draw. I suppose not having Sergio Aguero out David Silva in the side will cause you to play that way at Old Trafford. The plan almost backfired. At the stroke of 84 minutes when Anthony Martial got a foot to a long ball in and sent it right into the crossbar. In the 88th, Mateo Darmian forced Joe Hart to use every inch of his arm to save his near post effort. In the end, their fortress in the penalty area held strong and Manchester week have to wait for the reverse fixture to settle their differences.

AFC Bournemouth 1-5 Tottenham
While everyone was watching the Manchester Derby, they were missing all the action on the southern coast of England.

The Cherries didn't waste any time getting the jump on their visitors from North London. Matthew Ritchie slammed home the opening goal for them less than a minute from the opening kickoff. Not that it took long for Spurs to draw level and take the lead with a barrage of first half goals. Bournemouth's goalkeeper Artur Boruc brought down Harry Kane on the penalty area and allowed the Tottenham native to score from the spot in the ninth minute. Mousa Dembele got in the way of a Danny Rose shot, but he latched onto it and fired into the goal in the 17th. Finally, Erik Lamela made it three goals by latching onto a goalkeeping error to the visitors just before the half hour mark.

Tottenham cane out with guns blazing in the second half. Harry Kane netted his club's fourth goal, and his second, in the 56th minute. The hat trick came just as the clock struck 63 minutes. That was plenty for Spurs to earn their the points on the road

Liverpool 1-1 Southampton
The Reds were denied a win late in an exciting dessert offering for this busy Premier League Sunday. Christian Benteke thought he had earned Liverpool their first win under Jurgen Klopp with his 77th minute goal. Sadio Mane had other plans, however. The Southampton striker leveled for the visitors with less than five minutes remaining to ensure the points remained shared at Anfield.

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