Week 13 of the Premier League was an eventful one as league leaders dropped two points, however they are still 6 points ahead of their closest rivals. How much longer can Chelsea fc maintain the lead? Here’s a look at the week’s action.
Turbulence at the Top
A visit to the Stadium of Light for league leaders Chelsea should have been three points in the bag. However, such is the Premier League that even a team facing relegation may give the league leaders a run for their money. A lowly placed Sunderland sitting in thirteenth put up an extremely good fight against the Blues and earned a point off a game that they could have won. With both teams defending very well, Sunderland were the team that created better chances. However, poor finishing ensured that Chelsea salvaged a point from the game and maintained their unbeaten run this season.
Manchester City and Southampton faced each other in a clash that could decide who kept second place at the end of the week. With Aguero booked for simulation in a decision what must have been a penalty, either team struggled to find the back of the net until the second half. Toure opened the account for City as Frank Lampard and Gayle Clichy scored City’s second and third to enable a ten man City to defeat Southampton.
Manchester United have turned to winning ways, with Hull City facing much of the damage losing 3 goals to nil. In a game that saw United with almost 70% of the possession, Smalling, Rooney and Van Persie netted for the home team ahead and ensured they secured all three points. Falcao also had a chance to score when brought on in the second half, however some heroic defending from Dawson saw the ball swept away. United now sit 11 points adrift of the league leaders at 4th.
Mid Table Madness
Roberto Soldado scored his first goal in the Premier League since March as he helped Tottenham leapfrog Everton, their rivals for the day. Combining well with Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, Tottenham came back from a deficit after a wonderful strike by Kevin Mirralas. The two teams with equal points had an opportunity to come within touching distance of the top half of the table. Nevertheless, Tottenham now sit at 7th at par with Arsenal.
Liverpool beat Stoke City in a one nil game that saw veteran right-back Glen Johnson score the only goal. Both teams struggling to find the back of the net for nearly 85 minutes, saw the dead lock break as Glen Johnson headed in Liverpool’s sole goal to ensure they do not sink into the bottom third of the table.
Swansea and New Castle too got within striking distance of their favourite rivals, Arsenal. Swansea earned a hard fought point in a clash against London rivals Crystal Palace. This ensured they moved ahead of Newcastle to 8th place. The Bony-Sigurdsson duo has been working well for them, with the former scoring his sixth goal in seven games, in the 15th minute of the game. However, a spirited display from Crystal palace and a 25th minute penalty from Jedinak saw the London side return home with a point.
Arsenal beat a poorly performing West Brom as Arsene Wenger played both Giroud and Welbeck to the back drop of Wenger out protests. Welbeck scored in the 6oth minute from a Santi Cazorla cross to fire the Gunners to victory and ensured they stayed within touching distance of the top four.
News from Down South
QPR and Leicester City had a clash of epic proportions. In a 3-2 victory that saw 4 wonderful goals and one disappointing own goal, QPR were lifted off the bottom of the table to 18th while their rivals Leicester dropped to last place. Burnley on the other hand drew against Aston villa in a one goal each game that saw them drop to 18th. However a promising performance from their goal keeper Tom Heaton is something positive to look at.
Scores of the Week
|West Bromwich Albion||
|West Ham United||
Premier League Team of the Week
Goal Keeper – Burnley’s Tom Heaton, even though he conceded a goal, made some crucial saves to deny Aston Villa a victory also ensuring his team didn’t fall to the bottom. Other notable mentions were that of Simon Mignolet with a great clean sheet and Courtois, who with some amazing saves, also ensured the Blues did not succumb to their first loss of the season.
Right Back – Glen Johnson up until this week was criticised for his poor performances by Liverpool fans. However, having stepped up this game and scoring the winning goal for the Reds, Johnson occupies the right back spot. Other notable mentions are Santiago Vergini for Sunderland against Chelsea and Zabaleta for Manchester City.
Center Backs – John O’Shea and Sylvain Distin are the chosen central defenders for this week as the duo were in great form against their respective opponents. O’Shea kept a check on the most dangerous striker in the Premier League, Diego Costa and ensured he had no room to score. Distin on the other hand, although part of the losing side was on his toes and kept a check on the likes of Ericsson, Kane and Soldado to ensure his team didn’t slump to a loss beyond a goal margin. Other defenders who were good performers include United’s Chris Smalling, O’Shea’s defensive partner Wes Brown and Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen.
Left Back – The undisputed left back of the week is Aaron Cresswell of West Ham, looking steady in defense and more than comfortable going ahead. He provided a number of quality crosses for his team and he found the back of the net to ensure his team won all three points.
Right Midfielder – Liverpool have found in Raheem Sterling what they lost in Suarez. Although not a prolific goal scorer like the Uruguayan, Sterling’s tireless performance on both ends of the pitch is what Liverpool need to keep their morale up and continue on their path to more victories.
Defensive Midfielder – Lee Cattermole of Sunderland, accompanied by shouts of “Cattermole for England”, guarded the back four with his life. Closing down spaces and intercepting passes, he ensured Chelsea lost all fluidity in their build ups to an attack. Michael Carrick’s calm and composed performance for United in the central midfield is also one to be noted.
Attacking Midfielder – Santi Cazorla was in top form for Arsenal at the middle of the park. His performance ensured Arsenal did not miss their German wizard Ozil. Apart from creating many chances, it was his cross that led to Danny Welbeck scoring a beautiful goal for the Gunners. Other notable mentions are Harry Kane, Kevin Mirallas for Tottenham and Everton respectively and Yaya Toure playing in a deeper role for Manchester City.
Left Midfielder – Joe Cole, a surprise inclusion in the Aston Villa side, ran at the defense and caused problems for Burnley throughout the evening, creating numerous chances. The former Chelsea man also took it upon himself to score for his side to earn a point. Stoke City’s Bojan was the other contender for the spot as he looked brilliant against Liverpool. However, the goal was what allowed Cole to pip Bojan to the spot.
Strikers – With Numerous contenders for this position it would be a sin to omit any one of them. However a striker’s role is
to score goals and hence even though Sergio Aguero churned up a performance and an assist he has not been picked for the spot for the sheer reason he hasn’t scored. QPR striker Charlie Austin has been in great form for the Hoops. His tireless attempts at goal and his final header which got QPR all three points, earns him one of the two striker sports. Rooney and Van-Persie have both scored and have played extremely well for United, however Roberto Soldado is the pick of the week for the other striker spot as his goal was crucial to earn Tottenham a much needed victory and also end his long standing goal drought.