Sunday, 23 October 2016

Premier League Round Up Week 9 Saturday : Liverpool & Arsenal joint top

Premier League Round 9: Liverpool, Arsenal joint top, Tottenham draw with Bournemouth

ARSENAL climbed to the top of the English Premier League on its manager’s 67th birthday.

Arsene Wenger was in no mood to celebrate, though.

A 0-0 home draw against struggling Middlesbrough brought an end to Arsenal’s six-game winning run in the league, just when Wenger’s team was being talked up as the real deal in the title race.

Many will describe a slip-up of this kind as being typical of Arsenal, which has stumbled when expectations are at their highest in recent years. Its last league title came in 2004.

It could have been worse, too, with Middlesbrough creating the better chances at Emirates Stadium and drawing three excellent saves out of Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech in the first half. Wenger said his team was flat because the game came just three days after an “intense” Champions League match against Ludogorets, which Arsenal won 6-0.

Gunners, Brough share spoils1:27

“At least you can have a drink on your birthday,” a glum Wenger said. “When you win, you deserve it. When you don’t, you need it.”

Arsenal is in first place on goal difference from Liverpool, which beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Anfield for a sixth win in nine league matches.

Manchester City needs only a point against Southampton on Sunday to reclaim the lead.

Here’s a look at the rest of the action on a low-scoring day in the Premier League:


Neutralized by Manchester United in a goalless draw on Monday, Liverpool found things much easier five days later against another opponent that came to Anfield to defend.

Liverpool had 21 shots and 68 percent possession, scoring goals through Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho from sweeping attacks in a one-sided first half.

Gareth McAuley’s close-range goal for West Brom, predictably following a corner kick, ensured a tense finish and denied Liverpool top spot on goal difference.

Reds cruise past West Brom1:25


MATCH REPORT: Spurs waste big chance in physical draw

Harry Kane can’t return quick enough for Tottenham.

This stalemate came at the end of a week when Spurs squandered many chances in a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion last weekend in the Premier League, and then drew 0-0 at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Kane, the Premier League’s top scorer last season, has just returned to training after five weeks out with an ankle injury. Spurs remain the only unbeaten team in the league but missed the chance to go top overnight.

Spurs fail to convert1:30


Leicester finally managed to transfer its Champions League form to the Premier League.

Ahmed Musa, Shinji Okazaki, and Christian Fuchs scored for Leicester in only a third win of its disappointing title defense. It’s been a different story in the team’s first-ever Champions League campaign: With three straight group-stage victories, Leicester is on the brink of qualifying for the last 16.

Leicester’s unbeaten run at its King Power stadium stretched to 20 league games. It’s away from home where the champions have struggled this season.

Leicester fire against Palace1:27


Xherdan Shaqiri’s marvellous brace moved Stoke City out of the Premier League relegation zone on Saturday after a 2-0 victory away to struggling Hull City.

Switzerland international Shaqiri rifled in a long-range strike on 26 minutes at the KCOM Stadium before converting a second-half free-kick as Stoke registered successive wins for the first time since March.

Mark Hughes’s side extended their unbeaten run to four matches but a fifth consecutive defeat for Hull left the slumping Tigers languishing in the bottom three.

Shaqiri stars for Stoke1:25


Winston Reid scored in the fourth minute of injury time to earn West Ham a 1-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday, earning the club a second English Premier League victory at its new London Stadium ground this season.

Reid received the ball from Dimitri Payet after a short corner and drove a shot through a crowded penalty area and into the net. West Ham has won two straight games for the first time this season, having beaten Crystal Palace away last weekend. This one might mean more to the Hammers, given the dramatic end of the game and the fact it came at its own stadium where they have had so many problems this season.

The team has struggled to adjust to life away from its old, atmospheric Upton Park ground, while off the field, the club has had crowd trouble at certain home games.

“Obviously, after the period we have been in, it was so important to get the three points,” Reid said. “We kept going until the end and believed we could get something out of it.” Sunderland hasn’t won any of its opening nine games under manager David Moyes and remained in last place, on two points.

West Ham top Sunderland1:28


American coach Bob Bradley awaits his first win in charge of Swansea following its 0-0 draw against Watford in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Like in the 3-2 loss at Arsenal last week, Swansea produced an encouraging display under Bradley and kept a first clean sheet since the opening day of the season.

There was also plenty of attacking intent at the Liberty Stadium, with playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson curling a shot against the post in the 83rd minute as Swansea dominated the closing stages. Watford held firm, with center back Younes Kaboul a standout, and has lost just once in the last six games.

Swansea stayed next to last in the standings, on five points from nine games.

Swans, Watford split points1:26


Canada international Scott Arfield’s 90th-minute winner earned Burnley an improbable 2-1 victory over a dominant Everton at Turf Moor on Saturday.

After Yannick Bolasie had cancelled out Sam Vokes’s opener for Burnley, Arfield slid home at the death to lift Burnley three points clear of the relegation zone and prevent Everton breaking into the top four.

It was only a second win in seven league games for Sean Dyche’s Burnley as Ronald Koeman’s Everton registered a fourth successive match without victory.

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