Saturday, April 23, 2016

It Happened in England: Newcastle comes back to earn important point at Anfield

Manchester City 4-0 Stoke City
Manchester City rolled into Stoke where they controlled every portion of the match with relative ease. A 35th minute goal from Fernando started things off in the 35th minute. Ryan Shawcross brought down Kelechi Iheanacho in the area in the 34th, which allowed Sergio Aguero to double the City lead. Iheanacho would grab the third goal himself in the second half. by tapping into a wide pen goal from the edge of the six yard box on the end of a transition attack. The Nigerian teenager earned a second by evading the Stoke back line and duping Shay Given into coming off his line early on a breakaway. City are now temporarily ahead of Arsenal in third place. The Gunners travel to relegation fighting Sunderland tomorrow.

AFC Bournemouth 1-4 Chelsea
Chelsea received a goal from Pedro in the fifth minute to get them started off right, He received a long ball in plenty of space along the right flank before sliding a shot past Artur Boruc. After Bournemouth looked like equalizing on a 19th minute corner, Chelsea would double their lead. Eden Hazard, who we haven't heard much from this season, scored in the 34th minute. The Cherries would pull one back right away, though.Tommy Elphick scored his first of the year in the 36th. It was an awkward looking goal. His diving header took a couple of slow bounces on its way past Asmir Begovic. Any hope of a Bournemouth comeback was stuffed out in the second half. Willian's 71st minute tally put the game out of reach. Hazard's second of the day in stoppage time added some insurance.

Aston Villa 2-4 Southampton
Shane Long was dangerous early on. After hitting the post in the second minute, he put one in the net in the 15th with a wide open header. In a moment of calamity for Brad Guzan, Dusan Tadic doubled the Saints lead. The American came off his line to deal with a charging Long. He dealt with him, but there was nobody around to cover Tadic, who collected an easy Long pass for the easy open net goal. Villa would cut into the deficit during first half stoppage time. Ashley Westwood was the provider. tadic would find his double in the 71st minute. It was another pacy counter attack that foiled the confused Villa defense and a diving Guzan. Westwood would get a second goal in the 85th minute with a snipe from the corner of the penalty area. Not that it mattered. Sadio Mane brought the lead back to a pair of goals just before the final whistle to give Southampton the points.

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle
Newcastle have begun to gel under Rafa Benitez, but still need plenty of points and help in order to save their Premier League lives at season's end. It didn't go well for them early on during their trip to Anfield. Daniel Sturridge had Liverpool in front in the second minute of play thanks to a Newcastle defensive failure. Liverpool were pretty passive after going in front. They did well to keep Newcastle from pushing forward and even earned a second goal of their own. Adam Lallana curled one into the upper 90 at the half hour mark to bring the Red lead to two.

Needing a spectacular first half, Newcastle came out with guns blazing. Pappis Cisse rose to a cross at the stroke of 48 minutes to get his side on the board. The should have had a second goal on a counter a few minutes later, but a messed up touch or three from Cisse ruined the move. Amid some Liverpool possession, they would find their equalizer. A counter attack spearheaded by Andros townsend was finished off by Jack Colback's deflected shot in the 66th minute to complete the comeback.

Liverpool controlled the run of play for the remaining time, but never exactly threatened other than what could have been a winner, but the offside flag got in the way. The comeback from Newcastle earns them a big point in the relegation battle. They are level on points with Sunderland for 18th, but the Black Cats still have an extra two matches to play.

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