Saturday, March 12, 2016

It Happened in England: City fails to cash in at Norwich

Norwich City 0-0 Manchester City
City are struggling at the top of the table and Norwich are struggling at the bottom. That's about all these two have in common. Norwich did week to play with their upper table brethren though. Despite their passive play, they held the Citizens off the scoreboard in the first half ave earned a couple if minor chances for themselves. Patrick Bamford's 40th minute whistler off the post.

The second half featured City on the attack quite a bit. However, the attacks lacked the potency needed to defeat the well organized Norwich defense. Even as time ticked by and signs increasingly pointed towards a late winner, the defenders in green and yellow held down the fort. The even mounted a couple if half hearted and ill fated counter attacks off their own.

In the end, this one was about Manchester City squandering their game in hand over Arsenal. They miss the chance to go a point clear into third place and are instead a point back on fourth. Norwich's point puts them level on points with Sunderland for 17th, but they remain down on goal difference.

Stoke City 1-2 Southampton
Here we find two mid-table sides that aren't fighting for much of anything more than a remote chance of grabbing a Europa league spot. The opening goal cage from Graziano Pelle in the 11th minute. Pelle would also grab the second one at the half hour mark. Saints were able you carry this lead into the break, but Stoke broke through early in the second frame. Marko Arnautovic cut the lead in half in the 52nd minute. Things looked rocky for Saints in stoppage time. Sadio Mane was sent off for an envoy to Erik Pieters just after the 90 minutes expired. But Stoke were unable to press the advantage after the red card.

Southampton jumps over Stoke and Liverpool into seventh place.

AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Swansea City
Bournemouth and Swansea are probably both safe bets too stay up in the Premier League at this point, which is no small feat for either club. Bournemouth had subtle control throughout much of the fairly stale first half. They went in front in the 37th minute at the beginning of a lovely few minutes. Max Gradel knocked home a rebound of a diving Luascz Fabianski save to start it of. Swansea would get the goal right back two minutes later. Modou Barrow's low shot through traffic evaded Artur Boruc in the Cherries goal to even things up. Then the blandness came back to usher us into a 1-1 half time score.

The second half had a bit more life to it and it was Bournemouth getting off to a quick start. Joshua King fired home a low shot in the 50th minute, allowing his club to regain the lead, which they managed to hold for more than two minutes this time. They held it for about 12. An incisive pass from Barrow found Gylfi Sigurdsson near the penalty slot, who blasted it into the top corner to get back to level pegging. It remained that way until a 78th minute Bournemouth corner that, after being taken short and crossed in, found the head of Steve Cook for what would become the winner. Inn fact, the Cherries looked more likely to find an insurance goal than Swansea was to scoring yet another tying goal.

Bournemouth leaps over Watford into 13th place with the win. Swansea is still stuck down in 16th, but they're eight points clear of the drop.

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