Week 16 of the Premier League sees Garry Monk get the boot; Arsenal on top and Bournemouth follow up with their win against Chelsea with three points against Man United.
With Leicester facing Chelsea on Monday night, Arsenal moved to the top of the league with a comfortable win against bottom of the table Aston Villa. Remi Garde was one of the first players that Arsene Wenger bought when he started his Arsenal reign; Aston Villa has had 10 managers in that timespan.
Olivier Giroud came into this match on the back of a scintillating Champions League hat-trick. His third goal in Greece was from the penalty spot, and he extended his haul for the season to 14 with another penalty, after Allan Hutton was deemed to have brought Theo Walcott down in the early in the first half.Arsenal‘s killer goal epitomised why Arsenal are top and why Villa are bottom. Aaron Ramsey winning the ball on the edge of his penalty area before sprinting the entire length of the field to tap the ball into the back of the net after an assist by Mesut Ozil. If Ramsey can find the desire to sprint that length, why can’t the Villa players?
Last week Eddie Howe said victory over Chelsea was the finest moment in the club’s history. Then they went and beat Man Utd. It was another thrilling display by Bournemouth. It was another inept display from United. Alan Shearer captured the moment perfectly when he reeled off a series of Bournemouth stars out through injury to match the injured members of United. Sure the Reds were depleted but so were their opponents.
Junior Stanislas scored directly from a corner in the 2nd minute of the game. A rare David De Gea mistake. Marouane Fellaini pulled one back for United after a six-yard box scramble, but it was Bournemouth who took all three points after a beautifully worked corner kick was hammered home by former United player Josh King.
“You should have seen the look on Giggsy’s face,” said my Mum after United’s humiliation, “He would be better off at Swansea.”
Giggs name has come up as a potential successor to the recently sacked Garry Monk. I don’t think he’ll leave Old Trafford although if he did, he would be leading a decent team. Former Swansea City legend Alan Curtis stepped into the vacancy, and his team showed enough grit and determination to make me believe they will find the reserves needed to avoid a relegation dogfight.
Former Swansea player Wilfried Bony scored from a corner in the 26th minute, but it was against the run of play as Joe Hart made four outstanding saves to keep the Welsh club out. Swansea looked like they had salvaged a point when Bafetimbi Gomis came off the bench to score for the first time in 10 Premier League goals. That goal came in the 90th minute, but Yaya Toure grabbed a winner two minutes later after his deflected shot found it’s way into the Swansea net.
“It’s a big win considering we were awful.” Said Hart after the game.
Spurs had the opportunity to make up some ground on Man Utd with a home game against the usually hapless Newcastle. Only, this time, Newcastle came into the match having won on their two previous visits to White Hart Lane and the back of a victory against Liverpool.
Spurs opened the scoring when Eric Dier connected sharply with a near post header in the 39th minute, and if it weren’t for the heroics of the Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot, it would have been all over before half time. Steve McClaren took off his two front men, replaced them with Aleksandr Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez, and he was rewarded instantly. The Serbian stabbing home the equaliser after less than two minutes on the pitch, and Perez scoring the winner in injury time after sneaking a far post shot underneath the body of Hugo Lloris.
Watford rises to seventh spot after beating Sunderland by a goal to nil at the Stadium of Light. Watford’s top scorer Odion Ighalo scoring the only goal of the game, although Sunderland can take some positives out of it after playing well enough to at least have grabbed a point. It’s Watford’s third win on the spin.
Liverpool and WBA played out a bitter tie in front of the Anfield faithful. It had everything you would expect in a Premier League game: guts, glory and a little gore. Dejan Lovren was stretchered off with blood pouring from his knee after a clash with Craig Gardner, in a game of heavy tackles.
Jordan Henderson was back in the side after injury and scored the opening goal in the 21st minute after some fine football from Liverpool. Craig Dawson poked in the WBA equaliser after a mistake from Simon Mignolet, although his coach Jurgen Klopp took the blame as he told the press he wants his keeper to come off his line.
Then we had the Jonas Olsson show: the Swede volleyed the ball into the net in a move that was clearly offside. The linesman failed to raise his flag, but after consulting his referee, the pair decided that the goal should be chalked off, and we were once again all square. Olsson reacted in the best way possible when he headed West Brom in front in the 73rd minute, and it looked like the Baggies were going to leave Anfield with all three points until a shot from Divock Origi deflected off a West Brom defender to end up in the back of the net with 96 minutes played.
After the game, Klopp refused to shake hands with the West Brom management team instead preferring to hold the hands of his players as they celebrated in front of the Kopp as if they had just won the league.
“Long balls and set plays. They are not allowed to win against us playing like that,” said Klopp.
You got to love this guy.
Week 16 Results
Norwich 1 v Everton 1
West Ham 0 v Stoke 0
Sunderland 0 v 1 Watford
Man City 2 v 1 Swansea
Crystal Palace 1 v 0 Southampton
Bournemouth 2 v 1 Man Utd
Aston Villa 0 v 2 Arsenal
Tottenham 1 v 2 Newcastle
Liverpool 2 v 2 West Brom
Games to be Played
Leicester v Chelsea (Mon 14 Dec)
Premier League Standings (After 15 Games)
1st. Arsenal – 33 pts.
2nd. Man Cuty – 32 pts.
3rd. Leicester – 32 pts.
4th. Man Utd – 29 pts.
5th. Spurs – 26 pts.
6th. Crystal Palace – 26 pts.
7th. Watford – 25 pts.
8th. West Ham – 24 pts.
9th. Liverpool – 14 pts.
10th. Everton – 23 pts.
11th. Stoke – 23 pts.
12th. Southampton – 21 pts.
13th. West Brom- 20 pts.
14th. Bournemouth – 16 pts.
15th. Newcastle – 16 pts.
16th. Chelsea – 15 pts.
17th. Swansea – 14 pts.
18th. Norwich – 14 pts.
19th. Sunderland – 12 pts.
20th. Aston Villa – 6 pts.