Mane returns to down Spurs, Handball goals dominant the weekend and Sergio comes off the bench to help Manchester City beat Bournemouth – we discuss these Talking Points and a whole lot more this EPL Match Week 25.
Mane returns to shoot down Spurs
Saido Mane returned from the AFCON to fire a brace in quick succession for Liverpool, as they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at Anfield.
This was their first win in 10 matches and with Mane returning to the starting line-up, Liverpool rediscovered their offensive pressing game that saw them start the season so impressively. Tottenhams defending for the goal however, were suspect yet again, against a top six rival.
Tottenham had no answer to Klopp’s men as the Reds went on to record their fourth victory to add to two draws- against the top six sides.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was scathing as he told reporters after the match:
“To be honest I think we didn’t deserve too much. It was difficult to fight for the Premier League title if you turn in that performance. There was a lack of aggression and desire to play for the win. If you start the way that we started … they were better and very aggressive, more than us. We never kept with the tempo. They pushed us to play poor, and they deserve the credit.”
Klopp has stated his team need (and are aiming for) 14 victories! Just the 13 to go!
Talking Points: What impact will the return of Mane have on Liverpool’s top four aspirations?
Gabbiadini strikes again to hand Saints victory!
New signing Manolo Gabbiadini scored his third goal in only his second game for Southampton, as they convincingly beat Sunderland 4-0 at The Stadium of Light.
After beating rivals Crystal Palace last week by the same score line, Sunderland found themselves on the receiving end- as Southampton dominated from the off and goals from Gabbiadini X2, Denayer (OG) and substitute Shane Long; kept Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the table.
Hand ball goals were a highlight this weekend and David Moyes had reason to feel aggrieved by such scandal, as Gabbiadini’s first goal was bundled in by the Italians hand.
Moyes told Sky Sports
“Sometimes things change a game, it wasn’t an easy decision for the referee to see but it was definitely taken in by his arm which makes a big difference in the game….It was going to be vital to whoever got the first goal. It was disappointing the referee didn’t see it but nevertheless we have to hold our hands up and make sure we do things a lot better.”
Talking Points: Is there any hope for David Moyes and Sunderland? How good can Gabbiadini be?
Aguero gives Pep food for thought as he helps sink The Cherries.
Sergio Aguero took full advantage of an early injury to Brazilian hotshot Gabriel Jesus, as he came off the bench to help seal victory for Manchester City in tonight’s match away to Bournemouth.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring on the half hour and Bournemouth defended resiliently to keep the score 1-0 at HT. They also had a goal rightfully disallowed as Josh King thought he’d found the net.
Sterling was involved again in the match winning goal, as after good work out wide he centered the ball for Sergio Aguero to smash home. It was debatable however, as the ball seemed to take a final touch off Cherries Tyron Mings and although Aguero claimed it, the goal was awarded to the unfortunate defender.
It seems Pep is finding his feet in the Premier League and this win fires his Manchester City side into second in the table – 8 points off the leaders.
Bournemouth on the other hand are struggling as they have now failed to win this calendar year. They must change it around quickly, to avoid getting sucked into the relegation scrap.
Talking Points: Should Aguero be starting? Will Man City finish 2nd or above? Are Bournemouth in trouble?
Additional Talking Points (EPL Match Week 25, February 11th-13th 2017)
Burnley fought out a 1-1 draw against leaders Chelsea to continue their impressive form at home this season. Pedro put the Blues ahead before new signing Robbie Brady scored a sublime free kick from just outside the area. Are Burnley as good as safe? What’s the secret to their home form? Has Sean Dyche aided the rest of the league in figuring how to stop Chelsea from winning?
Arsenal defeated Hull City 2-0 thanks to two goals from Alexis Sanchez. The first one being another controversial hand ball goal to open the deadlock. Should the goal have stood? Can Hull City drive to Premiership survival now they have the ‘big teams’ out of the way for final season run in?
Swansea piled more pressure on Leicester whilst easing their own relegation worries by beating the Champions 2-0 at The Liberty Stadium. Alfie Mawson with pick of the goals. Can both teams avoid the dreaded drop? Can Mawson make the England squad? Will Ranieri toughen up and wield the axe?
Manchester United recorded their 2000th EPL point since the league began, to continue their good run with a resounding 2-0 victory over Watford. Mata and Martial with the goals – the later making a big impact throughout the game. Manchester United are now only two points off Liverpool – will they make Champions League? Are Watford safe from trouble?
Stoke City continued to pile on the pressure on Sam Allardyce and Crystal Palace as a Joe Allen goal separated the two sides at The Bet365 Stadium, with his sixth goal of the season. How good is Joe Allen? Is there any hope for Crystal Palace?
West Ham and West Brom shared the points at Upton Park. Chadli opened the scoring for the vistors before Feghouli and then Lanzini fired an impressive goal late on to put the Irons in the driving seat. Gareth McAuley scored in added time to steal a point for WBA, much to Slaven Bilic’s dismay. Has Bilic done enough to please West Ham fans this year? How can West Brom build on their season so far?
Middlesbrough held Everton at home in a scoreless draw. Boro have now failed to win in their last 8 games. Only two points off the relegation zone – can they survive? Is 7th the best Everton can achieve and if so, will they do it?