Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Premier League: Newcastle wins late, Origi salvages draw for Liverpool

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal
A pretty obvious penalty that took the referee a while to decide upon led to Olivier Giroud's opening goal in the eighth minute. Alan Hutton brought Theo Walcott to the ground by the shoulders, a clear penalty, but the referee waited several seconds, until Brad Guzan almost booted the ball away, to blow the whistle and point to the spot. It was the correct call, but a little more officiating urgency would have been nice. Aaron Ramsey scored against a very poor display of defense after a midfield turnover in the 38th minute.

Aston Villa began to turn things around in the first quarter hour of the second half. After making things far too easy for the Arsenal attack before the break, they began to push forward and get a couple chances after it. The Arsenal defense was still too stout for the last place Villains to truly penetrate. All of their shots ended up being from distance. Arsenal was still dangerous on the counter attack, which forced Villa to still keep some numbers back and never truly threaten. The victory puts the Gunners in front of Leicester City atop the Premier League table.

Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle
Spurs went ahead in the 39th minute thanks to a little help from Rob Elliot, Newcastle's keeper. Eric Dier got his head to a Christian Eriksen corner, and Elliot got a hand to it to pop it into the top corner and beyond Vurnon Anita, who was in position to clear the shot off the line had Elliot not got in the way. The home team had other chances, but none went through as they took the 1-0 lead into halftime.

Aleksander Mitrovic got Newcastle even in the 74th minute. After Danny Rose handled the ball just outside the penalty area, a free kick led to a scramble in the six yard box. It ended in Mitrovic emphatically banging home the equalizer. They didn't stop there. Ayoze Perez fund a winner for Newcastle in the final minute before stoppage time.

The late winner sends Newcastle out of the relegation zone and into 15th place, above Chelsea. Tottenham misses a chance to climb into the top four and remain in fifth.

Liverpool 2-2 West Bromwich Albion
It was all Liverpool early and they got rewarded in the 21st minute. Jordan henderson banged home an Adam Lallana feed after some defending that was not characteristic of a Tony Pulis coached side. The away team would scratch back into the game against the run of play at the half hour mark. Craig Dawson knocked a corner into the goal after it fell through Simon Mignolet and the entire Liverpool defense. Things looked to get worse for Liverpool as another set piece nearly led to a West Brom goal. In fact, Jonas Olsson had finished on a free kick, and was allowed to celebrate. After some deliberation with his assistant, the referee called it back on offside. Much like the situation with the Arsenal penalty earlier, it was surely the correct call, it just took some time to reach that conclusion. Instead of a shocking 2-1 lead at the break, West Brom would have to settle for a 1-1 tie after 45 minutes.

Olsson would get one to stay on the board and wreck Liverpool in the 73rd minute. It was a corner as the culprit again. Chris Brunt's take fell right through the entirety of Liverpool's set piece defense and came right to Olsson for the easy go ahead goal. To add injury to insult, Liverpool took another hit when Dejan Lovren went down with a scary looking leg injury. He had to be stretchered off and replaced in the 79th minute. About a minute later, Liverpool's quest for an equalizer almost came to fruition when Lallana was sprung free by a Christian Benteke pass, but was robbed by Boaz Myhill in the West Brom goal. Liverpool managed to get that equalizer more than five minutes into the massive amount of stoppage time thanks to the injury. Divock Origi's shot from distance took a deflection on the way into the goal to salvage a point for Liverpool.

Liverpool jump Everton into ninth with the late point while West Brom stay in 13th.

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