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EPL Update [Round 27]

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Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal

It was indeed surprising to find Alexis Sanchez on the Gunner’s bench before the start of this encounter.

Liverpool didn’t leave it late as they capitalized on a sluggish Arsenal team through Roberto Firmino, who lashed the ball from six yards out after perfectly handling Sadio Mane’s cross.

The Senegalese forward again was on hand again, but this time it happened in the reverse order — Firmino assisting. Mane controlled the Brazilian’s pass and drilled the ball into the far corner beyond Petr Cech to score his 12th Premier League goal of the season.

Arsenal seemed to score the consolation goal when Alexis Sanchez – brought on a half-time – set up Danny Welbeck with a defence-splitting pass, who then lifted the ball delicately beyond Simon Mignolet.

But Liverpool sealed victory with a quick break. Adam Lallana settting Divock Origi down the flank, who then crossed for Gini Wijnaldum to smash the ball first time.

Arsenal’s slide down the EPL log would ask more questions about Wenger’s future.

Goals: Firmino ‘9, Mane ’40, Wijnaldum ’90+1 – Welbeck ’57

Kevin Friend

Manchester Utd 1-1 Bournemouth

Manchester Utd hosted Bournemouth in what turned out chaotic and controversial in terms of the numerous chances wasted and defensive errors from both sides. It appeared Manchester would finally break the chains of their long held 6th place position, but the surprise came when the game ended in a draw.

Marcos Rojo intentionally deflected inwards a goal bound shot by Antonio Valencia to give the Red Devils a well-deserved lead. But the visitors scored a well taken spot kick through Josh King to restore parity — thanks to Marc Pugh who drew a foul from Phil Jones.

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However, the drama continued just before the close of the first half.  A huge controversy saw Andy Surman being sent off for two harsh yellow cards when Kevin Friend should rather have sent off Tyrone Mings and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for nasty challenges on each other.

The referee did not stop turning heads with his controversial decisions. This time, he awarded the Red Devils a penalty. Zlatan of all players’s great effort met a great save from Artur Boruc. The Bournemouth goalie deserved his MOTM accolade especially for his fine save that will ensured Manchester remain 6th.

Goals: Rojo ’23, – King, Pen ’39

Riyad Mahrez

Leicester City 3-1 Hull City

Craig Shakespeare gave Leicester more hope by charging his boys once again to another win since the sack of his former boss, Claudio Raneiri, with a 3-1 victory over Hull.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on the road when they caught Leicester on the break with Kamil Grosicki racing to the byline and pulling the ball back to Sam Clucas, who turned the ball home from close range.

However, the Christian Fuchs responded beautifully with a bang after a fantastic move involving Jamie Vardy

Riyad Mahrez showed the form that won him the player of the year last season with a trademark goal, twisting and turning before shooting past Eldin Jakupovic.

But the home side were not done. Wilfried ‘Indeedi’ Ndidi forced Tom Huddelstone to an own goal for Leicester’s third.

Goals: Fuchs ’28, Mahrez ’59, Huddelstone og ’90 – Clucas ’15

Paul Clement

Swansea City 3-2 Burnley City

Swansea took a deserved lead through Fernando Llorente, who continued to reward the Swans for their foresight on his purchase, by scoring his 10th goal of the season.

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However,  Andre Gray’s converted controversial penalty, halted the home side’s celebration.

Gray went on to put Burnley into the lead after chesting down, turning and shooting the ball with his left foot. However, the home side got back into the game nine minutes later, with Martin Olsson smashing the ball into a net after a brilliant backheel by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The victory was secured for Swansea after Llorente scored again following a great cross by Tom Carroll. Cue jubilation at the Liberty, led by Swansea manager Paul Clement.

Goals: Llorente ’12, 90+1 Olsson ’69,  – Gray, pen ’20, 60

Marko Arnautovic

Stoke City 2-0 Middlesbrough

Stoke got the better of Middlesbrough with a 2-0 victory, thanks to a Marko Arnautovic brace.

The Potters deservedly took the lead via a moment of brilliance from the Austrian. The Stoke wideman timed his run to perfection and controlled Glenn Whelan’s long ball to evade George Friend and Bernado Espinosa, then skipped past the incoming Victor Valdes and dispatched the ball into the net.

Arnautovic’s second came after converting a Peter Crouch knock-down from a corner.

Goals: Arnautovic ’29, ’42

Nathan Redmond

Watford 3-4 Southampton

Watford took the lead through captain Troy Deeney, who continued his fine form with an exquisite volley into the far corner after a long throw into the Southampton box.

However, the Saints equalized after a scrappy goal by Dusan Tadic. The Serbian slot home from 15 yards out after Watford failed to clear the ball from a goal mouth scramble.

Nathan Redmond gave Southampton the lead at half-time after a beautiful team move; Tadic was involved again, assisting Redmond to slot the ball home into the far corner.

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But the best was yet to come: Stefano Okaka equalised for Watford from an Issac Success assist, after slotting home from six yards out. Southampton then took the lead after a poor mistake from Heurelho Gomes, who spilt the ball into the path of Manolo Gabbiadini to make it 3-2 to the Saints.

Nathan Redmond scored his second of the game, edging into the area and scoring past Gomes, who couldn’t palm Redmond’s effort away to give Southampton a two-goal cushion before Abdoulaye Doucoure scored late in injury time to add to the drama and make it 3-4.

Goals: Deeney ‘4, Okaka ’79, Doucoure ’90+4 – Tadic ’28, Redmond ’45+2, 86, Gabbiadini ’83

Wilfried Zaha

West Brom 0-2 Crystal Palace

The first half was uneventful at The Hawthorns; this was a period when both defences were on top and not adventurous in terms of chances. However, the game broke into life in the second half.

Palace winger Wilfried Zaha broke the deadlock with his fifth goal of the season after brilliantly controlling Yohan Cabaye’s lofted pass onto his chest, before rifling a shot beyond Ben Foster.

To double the advantage, Andros Townsend outdid his fellow winger, receiving the ball on the halfway line, evading Jake Livermore and bursting into the area. He engineered a yard of space and found the bottom corner from 12 yards to give Palace a vital away victory.

Goals: Zaha ’55, Townsend ’84

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