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Premier League CatchUp Games ~ Review

last updated Thursday 27th March 2014, 10:47 AM

The Premier League mid-week catch up games ended on Wednesday with Liverpool one point behind table topper Chelsea and Man City three points behind Chelsea with two games in hand.

On Wednesday evening at Upton Park Sam Allardyce cupped his ear in disbelief as West Ham were booed off the pitch at Upton Park, despite ending a three-match losing streak at home to Hull City.

Premier League - Catch-Up Games
Tuesday 25th March 2014
DateK.O.HomeTeamRes.HomeTeamRefereeVenue Att. TV
25:03 19:45Arsenal(0) 2-2 (1)SwanseaLee ProbertOld Trafford 59,937 
25:03 19:45Man Utd(0) 0-3 (1)Man CityMichael OliverEmirates Stadium 75,203Sky1
25:03 19:45Newcastle(0) 0-3 (1)EvertonMike JonesSt James' Park 47,622
Premier League
Wednesday 26th March 2014
DateK.O.HomeTeam HomeTeamRefereeVenue   TV
26:03 19:45West Ham(1) 2-1 (0)Hull CityMike DeanUpton Park 31,033
26:03 20:03Liverpool(1) 2-1 (0)SunderlandKevin FriendAnfield 44,524Sky1
The home fans were audibly frustrated by the Hammers' ineffective display in east London, where the controversial sending off of Allan McGregor arguably proved the difference. The officials missed Mohamed Diame's handball before being taken down by the Hull goalkeeper, allowing Mark Noble to send home the resulting penalty.

The visitors managed to pull level early in the second half when Nikica Jelavic deflected home a Tom Huddlestone free-kick, only for a James Chester own goal to put West Ham back in front soon after. City continued to press but were unable to stop West Ham running out unconvincing 2-1 victors - a performance that led to boos at the final whistle and Allardyce to react by cupping his ear.

Premiership table - after 26th March
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 31 14 2 0 39 9 7 4 4 23 14 39 69
2 Liverpool 31 13 1 1 44 13 8 4 4 40 26 45 68
3 Man City 29 13 0 1 48 9 8 3 4 31 18 52 66
4 Arsenal 31 10 4 1 28 9 9 2 5 27 27 19 63
5 Everton 30 11 3 1 29 13 5 6 4 17 17 16 57
6 Tottenham 31 8 3 5 19 21 9 2 4 21 19 0 56
7 Man Utd 31 6 3 6 18 18 9 3 4 30 19 11 51
8 Newcastle 31 7 3 6 19 22 7 1 7 19 21 -5 46
9 Southampton 31 6 5 4 25 21 6 4 6 20 19 5 45
10 Stoke 31 7 6 2 21 15 2 4 10 15 30 -9 37
11 West Ham 31 6 3 7 22 23 3 4 8 12 18 -7 34
12 Aston Villa 30 5 2 9 18 26 4 5 5 15 16 -9 34
13 Hull 31 6 4 6 19 16 3 2 10 14 23 -6 33
14 Norwich 31 6 6 4 15 12 2 2 11 11 36 -22 32
15 Swansea 31 4 5 6 26 23 3 4 9 16 25 -6 30
16 West Brom 30 3 7 5 16 19 2 6 7 17 26 -12 28
17 C. Palace 30 6 2 7 13 18 2 2 11 6 21 -20 28
18 Sunderland 29 3 3 8 13 21 3 4 8 14 25 -19 25
19 Cardiff 31 5 4 7 18 29 1 3 11 8 29 -32 25
20 Fulham 31 4 1 10 18 31 3 2 11 12 39 -40 24
Brendan Rodgers has warned Liverpool's title rivals that his side are getting stronger and will embrace the pressure of fighting to be champions after they held on to beat Sunderland 2-1 at Anfield on Wednesday.

The hosts took the lead on Merseyside just before half-time when Steven Gerrard turned home a free-kick, before Daniel Sturridge doubled the advantage shortly after the interval. Sunderland fought back in the latter stages of the match and brought an air of tension to Anfield when Ki Sung-yueng headed home Adam Johnson's corner.

Gus Poyet's side battled for an equaliser but Liverpool remained stoic in defence and Rodgers was pleased with the way his side responded to the challenge as they closed to within a point of leaders Chelsea. Manchester City are two points further back in third but have two games in hand and Rodgers believes Liverpool remain third favourites, but he is happy to have proved their doubters wrong.

Premier League catch up games on Tuesday provided plenty of thrills and spills.

Edin Dzeko's double fired Manchester City closer to the Barclays Premier League summit and poured yet more misery on cross-town rivals Manchester United following a 3-0 win. City were in control from the very first minute when Dzeko tapped into an unguarded net after Samir Nasri's shot deflected off the post and into his path.

Premier League MatchDay 32
Saturday 29th March 2014
DateK.O.HomeTeamAwayTeamRefereeVenue TV
29-0312:45Man UtdAston VillaMartin Atkinson Old TraffordBT1
29-0315:00C. PalaceChelseaLee MasonSelhurst Park
29-0315:00SouthamptonNewcastleAndre Marriner St Mary's Stadium
29-0315:00StokeHullNeil SwarbrickBritannia Stadium
29-0315:00West BromCardiffMichael Oliver The Hawthorns
29-0317:30ArsenalMan CityMike DeanEmirates StadiumSky1
Sunday 30th March 2014
DateK.O.HomeTeamAwayTeamRefereeVenue TV
30-0313:30FulhamEvertonPhil DowdCraven CottageSky1
30-0316:00LiverpoolTottenhamAnthony TaylorAnfieldSky1
Monday 31st March 2014
DateK.O.HomeTeamAwayTeamRefereeVenue TV
31-320:00SunderlandWest HamHoward Webb Stadium of LightSky1
A limp United never looked like recovering from the early setback - it was the first time they had conceded a first-minute goal at Old Trafford in the Premier League era - and Dzeko killed off the game on 56 minutes. Again the striker was allowed too much space as he ran on to a corner and side-footed home a volley at the near post. Yaya Toure completed the rout with a placed finish across David de Gea in injury-time.

City's win, their third on the spin since being knocked out of the Champions League, moves them three points behind leaders Chelsea with two games in hand on the leaders.

Arsenal's forgettable week continued as an injury-time Mathieu Flamini own goal meant they shared a 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Swansea at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners had appeared still afflicted by their 6-0 weekend mauling against Chelsea after falling behind to Wilfried Bony's 11th-minute header heading into the last quarter of the game.

Quickfire goals from Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud appeared to dramatically turn the game their way. Podolski turned in the equaliser on 73 minutes before he supplied the ball for Giroud to send the Gunners ahead a minutes later. But Arsene Wenger's side failed to hold on as Flamini put the ball into his own net with no time for the hosts to respond.

Arsenal's draw allowed fifth-placed Everton to close the gap behind them to six points after Roberto Martinez's won 3-0 at Newcastle United. The Toffees' success was highlighted by Ross Barkley's first-half opener, when the young England midfielder ran from inside his own half and into the home penalty area before coolly converting.

Romelu Lukaku and Leon Osman netted after half-time to keep Everton, who have a game in hand over Arsenal, in the hunt for a Champions League place.

Wednesday 26th March 2014

Premier League ~ 19:45 West Ham (1) 2-1 (0) Hull City

West Ham ended a three-game losing streak against 10-man Hull - but they made hard work of seeing off the spirited Tigers at Upton Park.

Visiting goalkeeper Allan McGregor was shown a straight red card after charging into Mo Diame, with Mark Noble dispatching the resulting penalty to set Sam Allardyce's side on course for their first Premier League win since Feb 22.

But Steve Bruce's Hull did not lie down without a fight and made a good first of getting something out of the game, with Nikica Jelavic scoring his fourth goal for the club before a James Chester own goal to gift the Hammers a much-needed three points.

The majority of home fans inside of Upton Park were restless throughout the night as their side toiled against a side reduced in numbers for over an hour, with a small number jeering the players as they left the pitch at both half time and at the end of the game.

West Ham: Adrian 6; Demel 6, Tomkins 6, Collins 5 (Johnson 9, 6), McCartney 5.5; Noble 7, Taylor 6.5; Downing 6.5, Nolan 6, Diame 6 (J Cole 69); Carroll 5.5.
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Vaz Te, C Cole, Nocerino.

Scorers:Noble pen 26, Chester og 54

Hull City: McGregor 5.5; Chester 5.5, Bruce 6 (Harper 25, 6), Davies 6; Elmohamady 6, Livermore 6, Huddlestone 6.5, Meyler 6, Figueroa 6.5 (Rosenior 59, 6); Jelavic 6 (Sagbo 82), Long 6.
Subs not used: Koren, Fryatt, Aluko, Quinn.

Scorers: Jelavic 48.

Booked: Livermore.

Sent off: McGregor 23

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral) 6.

Attendance: 31,033.

Premier League ~ 20:00 Liverpool (1) 2-1 (0)Sunderland ~ SkySports1

Liverpool may be third favourites in a three-horse race to lift the Premier League title but they continue to get results like they neither know nor care.

Struggling Sunderland were a hurdle they were expected to clear comfortably but the 2-1 scoreline showed it was not a trademark performance of fluidity and control. Steven Gerrard's free-kick broke their opponents' resistance late in the first half but it was Daniel Sturridge's strike just after the break which had statisticians reaching for the history books before substitute Ki Sung-Yeung's header made for a tense finish.

In scoring his 20th league goal of the campaign, moving to within eight of team-mate Luis Suarez, England international Sturridge ensured he and his strike partner achieved a feat not seen in these parts for 50 years since Ian St John and Roger Hunt achieved it. Only six times previously have two Liverpool players scored 20 league goals apiece and in four of those campaigns they went on to win a league title - twice Division One and twice Division Two.

Liverpool: Mignolet 6, Johnson 6, Skrtel 7, Agger 7, Flanagan 7, Gerrard 8.5, Henderson 7, Allen 7.5, Coutinho 6.5, Sturridge 8 (Sterling 77), Suarez 7.5.
Subs not used: Brad Jones, Aspas, Moses, Sakho, Cissokho, Lucas.

Scorers: Gerrard 39, Sturridge 48.

Sunderland: Mannone 6, Brown 6, O'Shea 6, Vergini 4, Bardsley 5.5, Cattermole 6, Bridcutt 6, Dossena 5 (Colback 83), Giaccherini 4 (Johnson 61, 6), Altidore 5, Wickham 4 (Ki 61, 6).
Subs not used: Larsson, Roberge, Scocco, Ustari.

Scorers: Ki 76.

Booked: Vergini, Bardsley.

Referee: Kevin Friend

Attendance: 44, 524

Tuesday 25th March 2014

Premier League ~ 19:45 Arsenal (0) 2-2 (1) Swansea

Arsenal's nightmare continued as a bizarre own goal from Mathieu Flamini in the last minute handed Swansea a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had called for a response to the "accident" of his side's 6-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge which ruined his 1,000th match in charge on Saturday.

Having trailed to an 11th-minute header from Wilfried Bony, it was not until the introduction of substitute Lukas Podolski just before the hour that Arsenal finally sparked into life with two goals in the space of 60 seconds which looked to have won the match. First, Kieran Gibbs - whose red card at Chelsea in a case of mistaken identity was overturned on Monday night - darted down the left and supplied a low cross which was bundled home by Podolski in the 73rd minute.

The German then turned provider as he charged clear of the Swansea defence to send in a low cross which Olivier Giroud smashed past Michel Vorm at the near post. However, Garry Monk's side - fighting against being dragged into the relegation battle - had defended resolutely and were themselves dangerous on the counter-attack, eventually forcing a late equaliser.

Following a disputed free-kick, the ball broke to Leon Britton at the edge of the Arsenal penalty area. As the midfielder pressed forwards, riding a couple of challenges, he stabbed the ball goalwards. It was partially blocked by Per Mertesacker, then ricocheted off goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and back onto Flamini before rolling into the net.

Wenger was left less than impressed, and will be in no doubt of the challenges which now lie ahead in a campaign which has promised so much - and continues with the visit of Manchester City on Saturday.

Arsenal: Szczesny 6.5, Sagna 6, Mertesacker 6, Vermaelen 5.5, Gibbs 6.5, Flamini 6, Arteta 5.5, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, (Podolski 57, 7.5), Rosicky 5 (Kallstrom 79), Cazorla 6 , Giroud 6 (Sanogo 89).
Subs not used: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Gnabry.

Scorers: Podolski 73, Giroud 74.

Swansea: Vorm 6.5, Rangel 6, Chico 6.5, Williams 8, Taylor 6.5 (Ben Davies 73), de Guzman 6.5, Britton 6.5, Shelvey 7 (Hernandez 79), Routledge 7, Michu 6.5 (Dyer 63, 5), Bony 7.
Subs not used: Amat, Canas, Tremmel, Vazquez.

Booked: Bony.

Scorers: Bony 11, Flamini og 90 .

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

Referee: 59,937

Premier League ~ 19:45 Manchester United (0) 0-3 (1) Manchester City ~ SkySport 1

Manuel Pellegrini's City underlined their status as kings of Manchester after they brushed aside David Moyes' United 3-0 with alarming ease at Old Trafford. Edin Dzeko scored after just 42 seconds to put City ahead and the big striker struck again after the break before Yaya Toure rounded off yet another miserable night for Moyes.

Further questions will surely now be asked about Moyes' ability to bring the glory days back to United. There was no fortune about this victory from Pellegrini's team, who are now three points off the top of the Barclays Premier League with two games in hand on Chelsea.

If anything, it was a minor miracle that City did not win by four or five. David Silva, Toure, Fernandinho and Samir Nasri overran and outclassed a weak United midfield and Dzeko - a surprise starter ahead of Alvaro Negredo - did the rest up front.

It seems, after all, that Pellegrini had a point when he said there has been only one club in Manchester this year. United lacked confidence, tempo and cohesion. There was no cutting edge up front while the back line was exposed for its lack of pace, just as was the case against Liverpool.

Moyes made life easy for the visitors too. Antonio Valencia was left on the bench and Adnan Januzaj did not even make the squad, leaving United with no width at all. Moyes placed his faith in Tom Cleverley as has been common in the big games this year, and once again the England midfielder failed to deliver.

Things could have been worse had Marouane Fellaini received the red card he deserved for an elbow on Pablo Zabaleta or had David de Gea not prevented Dzeko scoring his third with a superb save. There were plenty of glum faces by the final whistle, and one of them was Moyes'. The statistics do not make for good reading for the Scot.

Man Utd: De Gea 6, Da Silva 5, Jones 5.5, Ferdinand 5, Evra 6, Fellaini 4.5 (Valencia 66, 6), Carrick 5.5, Cleverley 6 (Kagawa 46, 5.5), Mata 6, Rooney 7, Welbeck 6.5 (Hernandez 77, 6).
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Young, Fletcher, Buttner.

Booked: Welbeck, Fellaini.

Man City: Hart 7, Zabaleta 6, Kompany 7, Demichelis 6.5, Clichy 6, Toure 7, Fernandinho 7.5, Jesus Navas 6.5 (Garcia 68, 6), Silva 8, Nasri 6.5 (Milner 74, 6), Dzeko 7, (Negredo 79, 5.5).
Subs not used: Lescott, Kolarov, Pantilimon, Jovetic. ic.

Booked: Kompany, Fernandinho.

Scorers: Dzeko 1, 56, Toure 90+2.

Referee: Michael Oliver 6

Attendance: 75203

Premier League ~ 19:45 Newcastle (0) 0-3 (1) Everton

World Cup hopeful Ross Barkley scored one of the goals of the season as Everton continued their pursuit of the Barclays Premier League's top four.

Newcastle United left the field to a near deserted St James' Park against Everton after a toothless display against the Toffees. Roberto Martinez's side hadn't won on the road since December but turned on the style on Tyneside thanks to goals from Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Leon Osman.

And despite a handful of half chances in the first period before Barkley's wonder goal, United simply weren't at the races. Everton bossed the game after a lively opening for both sides but Barkley's brilliance and an outstanding display from Barcelona's on loan ace Gerard Deulofeu.

Newcastle now go to Southampton on Saturday hoping to stay ahead of the Saints. However, their season is all but over in terms of Europa League hopes. United needed to win to keep the pressure on Everton who are now 11 points ahead of them and looking up at the Champions League places.

Newcastle (4-1-3-2): Krul 6.5; Yanga-Mbiwa 5 (Marveaux 75, 6), Coloccini 6, Williamson 6, Dummett 6; Tiote 6.5; Sissoko 5, Anita 5.5, Gouffran 5.5 (Shola Ameobi 90+2); de Jong 4.5 (Ben Arfa 58, 6), Cisse 5.
Subs not used: Gosling, Haidara, S.Taylor, Elliot.

Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard 6; Coleman 7, Distin 6.5, Stones 7, Baines 6.5; Barry 7, Osman 8; Deulofeu 7.5, McCarthy 7.5, Barkley 7.5 (Naismith 81); Lukaku 7.5.
Subs not used: McGeady, Mirallas, Garbutt, Alcaraz, Browning, Robles.

Booked: Barry

Scorers: Barkley 22, Lukaku 52, Osman 87

Referee: Lee Mason 6

Attendance: 47622

Source Sky/ Sporting Life
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