Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Midweek Premier League Madness: Foxes fail to beat West Brom, lead only three at the top

Leicester City 2-2 West Bromwich Albion
Leicester and their aim to get back to five points clear took a hit early on thanks to Salomon Rondon. The striker muscled his way past Robert Huth to loft a shot beyond Kasper Schmeichel in the 11th minute to give the Baggies a surprising lead. The Foxes would consistently pressure afterwards and it led to Danny Drinkwater tying the score at the half hour mark thanks to Jonas Olsson getting an unwanted touch that floated the ball into the net without giving Ben Foster a real shot at making the save, The Foxes would be on top by halftime. Andy King finished off a perfect feed from Riyad Mahrez just after the 45 minute mark to make it 2-1 at the break.

West Brom got the jump in the second half with a free kick goal in the 50th minute thanks to a Mahrez handball. Craig Gardner looped the well placed attempt on a spot where Schmeichel was helpless to reach it. Leicester would be the side asking questions for the remainder, but they received no answers. This despite a golden opportunity seconds before the final whistle.  

The Leicester lead only grows to three points at the top with Spurs playing West Ham tomorrow evening. Arsenal can also get right back into the thick of the hunt with a win at home against Swansea.

AFC Bournemouth 2-0 Southampton
Without title implications, a relegation battle, or just plain interesting teams, this match carried the least intrigue of today's slate. Steve Cook's acrobatic finish gave the Cherries the lead in the 31st minute. Benik Afobe sealed the points for Bournemouth in the 79th.

Aston Villa 1-3 Everton
Everton jumped all over the last place club inside five minutes. Romero Funes Mori knocked home a corner to get Brad Guzan's first start in a month going horribly. Aaron Lennon continued the carnage by finishing off an Everton counterattack int he 30th minute. Halftime would bring no reprieve for the home team. Romelu Lukaku would make it three for Everton in the 60th. Rudy Gestede would provide a consolation goal for Villa in the 79th minute, but this one was all about their continued slog towards relegation. 

Norwich City 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea wasted no time getting started against the relegation candidates. Kenedy, making only his second Premier League start, scored his first league goal withing the first minute of play. Chelsea would roll through the first half and score again at the tail end of the opening frame. This time it was one of the usual suspects. Diego Costa casually chipped over John Rudy to double the lead in first half stoppage time. Nathan Redmond got Norwich on the board in the 68th. This led to the Canaries throwing numbers forward o earn a draw, but there was nothing doing in the end.

Sunderland 2-2 Crystal Palace
One would think that a trip to lowly Sunderland would be beneficial for struggling Crystal Palace. However, Dame N'Doye's long shot taking a deflection in the 36th minute put the Black cats in front. Palace would be able to get back on terms at the hour mark. Connor Wickham smashed home a goal off the post in the 61st minute. Wickham would double his money to flip the game over just six minutes later. He pounced on a bouncing corner and cleaned it up into the goal. The lead would not last, though. Fabio Borini was able to level in the final minute before stoppage time to earn a single point for Sunderland.

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