Another week of brilliant European football. Another week of crunch games & controversy. Just before we shift our focus to the UEFA Champions League, let’s see how the boys are doing.
English Premier League
Chelsea moved 10 points clear at the top, despite dropping a couple of points against Burnley. Pedro’s sweet strike saw Conte’s men take the lead at the 7th minute & was looking like business as usual for the blues. But Brady’s superb free-kick restored parity. In the second half, Chelsea upped their tempo but couldn’t penetrate Burnley’s resilience.
Arsenal did just enough to secure a controversial win against Hull after two disappointing league defeats. Alexis Sanchez’s 34th opener raised more than a couple of eyebrows as the Chilean’s arm helped the ball find its way to the back of the net. His second was a penalty which he slotted home neatly after Sam Clucas handled the ball. Arsenal now sit 3rd at the table.
Manchester United extended their unbeaten run to 16 games after they brushed aside Watford. Anthony Martial made full use of the rare opportunity as he assisted Juan Mata for the first & netted the second. United look unrecognisable at times thanks to their free-flowing football. Their brilliance on the field didn’t have much effect on the table as they still sit at the 6th position.
Southampton had way too much in store for Sunderland as they cruised to a solid 0-4 victory. Looks like Saints are getting instant returns on the £14 Million investment they made on the deadline day, as the former Napoli man(Gabbiadini) scored a brilliant brace to take his tally to 3 goals in just 2 matches. No change of fortune for Crystal Palace as Joe Allen’s 6th goal of the season for Stoke saw his side brush aside the Eagles. West Brom secured a 2-2 draw against West Ham with a much-needed stoppage time equaliser.
Game Of The Week:
Pochettino’s men were looking to put pressure on the leaders by beating the Reds at Anfield. But in the end, it was Klopp’s Gegenpressing which came out on top thanks to Sadio Mane’s brilliance. He opened the scoring 16 minutes into the first half & doubled his tally 2 minutes later. Finally a much needed win for Liverpool this year.
Manchester city still has a game in hand as they face Bournemouth tonight.
Alaves welcomed Barcelona as we kicked off game week 22, and the tie gave us a little preview of what could be a humiliating Copa final. Barcelona went on to score 6 goals against the side & could’ve had more. Denis Suarez suffered a horrible injury & will be on the sidelines for the rest of the season. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Real Madrid went to El Sadar 2 points behind Barcelona with 3 games in hand. Ronaldo opened the scoring for Real(24th min) but Sergio Leon equalised 9 mins later. Real came out of the tunnels all-guns-blazing in the second half and secured all three points as Isco scored the second & Vazquez added another in the injury time. Osasuna’s Tano Bonnin suffered a terrible injury as he clashed with Isco. Hope he recovers quickly.
Real Sociedad continued their impressive run of form as they beat Espanyol in their own den. Carlos Vela opened the scoring for Sociedad & 10 mins later Espanyol restored parity. Illaramendi settled the tie for Sociedad. Real Betis & Valencia shared honours as they played out a goalless draw. Athletic club beat Deportivo 2 goals to 1 as Aduriz & Muniain neutralised Colak’s 43rd minute opener.
Villareal & Malaga played off a 1-1 as Soriano(Villareal) & Charles(Malaga) scored. Las Palmas nearly scrapped a draw against Sevilla, but Correa’s strike at the 80th min helped Sevilla snatch all 3 points. Gijon brushed aside Leganes quite comfortably as Canella & Burgui scored one goal each for the side.
Game Of The Week:
Atletico Madrid hosted Celta Vigo as they looked to cut back the deficit. It was tense tie as Celta took the lead in the 6th minute. But a wonder-strike from Torres restored parity. Atletico had a golden opportunity to go in front as they won a penalty, but Torres failed to convert. Now it was Vigo’s turn to take the lead, thanks to Guidetti’s strike in the 78th minute. Then two late goals from Carrasco & Griezmann won it for the home team.
Eibar & Granada will face off tonight & hopefully, it will be another juicy encounter.
Now we shift our focus to some juicy Champions League ties. Valentine’s night sorted.