Embarrassing clash between Alexis Sanchez and Christian Fuchs

Alexis Sanchez’s (Arsenal midfielder) received a yellow card during the Premier League game on the 26th April 2017 due to his playfulness, this made Christian Fuchs (Leicester defender) agitated with the referee. With a few minutes remaining of the game at the Emirates Stadium, Sanchez blocked Fuchs’s throw by standing a few inches away causing Fuchs to throw the ball at Sanchez’s shoulder. This led the midfielder collapsing on the ground as the game slowly reached full time.

Nigel Winterburn commented on the incident after the game

Nigel Winterburn believed that the incident should be ‘nipped in the bud.’

“The whole thing is a mess. The referee and the assistant got it completely wrong because they could have diffused it first of all.”  I said straight away when the incident happened that both of them will probably get booked.”

(After the game, Winterburn told Sky Sports)

Ex-Manchester City striker Shaun Goater also spoke on this

According to the FA the rules for a throw is that the defendant should be standing at least two metres away from the thrower, some commented that Sanchez was not aware of the rules.

“He probably wasn’t and he was doing what I probably would have done because I wasn’t aware of the rule until recently. So, Sanchez was only doing what the players do in the modern game.”

(After the game, Goater told Sky Sports)

Sanchez tweets after incident


Arsenal wasn’t affected by the card after they had won the game with Arsenal winning 1-0. Yes Sanchez went overboard but was this all an act for Leicester not to score? This incident took matter too far as this could have been avoided. Sanchez posted a photo on twitter with the aftermath of the event.

Arsenals’ next game is on Sunday 30th April 2017 against Tottenham. Will they be able to beat Man United who are 5th on the Premier League table?

The great Manchester Derby is live tonight 27th April 2017. It could be a close game, who will take the points?

Eventmasters will once again be able to offer Arsenal hospitality for the 2017/18 Premier League season. Call us on 0121 2336500 for more details.

Premier League Game Week 32 Review 2017

Another thrilling week of Premier League action saw stunning goals, controversial decisions and shock results. Read our review of all the action in Game Week 32.

All the big boys stamped their authority on the weekend Premier League games as they ramped their performances up for the final run-in.

The Chelsea title charge continues

Chelsea maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League, outclassing plucky Bournemouth 3-1.

They got lucky with the first goal – Diego Costa’s scuffed shot went in off the head of grounded home defender Adam Smith.

But the second was magnificent.

Eden Hazard raced onto a long pass, rounded Bournemouth stopper Artur Boruc and slid the ball into the net.

Joshua King got one back with a long-range deflected effort.

But Chelsea were always in control and secured the points through Marcos Alonso.

His lovely free-kick cleared the wall and nestled into the net without Boruc even moving.

Tottenham keep the pressure on Chelsea with impressive win

Tottenham made hay in the sun, thrashing Waford 4-0.

Dele Alli curled a beauty into the top corner.

And then the floodgates opened as Eric Dier smashed in a deflected cross and Son Heung-min added a third just before the break.

After half-time Son further confirmed Spurs’ dominance by meeting Kieran Trippier’s cross with a lovely half-volley at the far post.

He could have had a hat-trick, while Harry Kane, returning from injury as a second-half substitute, smacked the bar with a late strike.

Manchester City end their winless run

Manchester City ended a four-game winless run in the Premier League with an easy victory over struggling Hull City.

Ahmed Elmohamady’s own goal opened the scoring at the Etihad Stadium as the defender turned in Jesus Navas’ low cross.

Raheem Sterling set up Sergio Aguero and then Fabian Delph picked up a rare score.

Andrea Ranocchia pulled one back late on, as dodgy keeper Claudio Bravo allowed a weak effort to trickle past him.

Brazilian magic saves Liverpool at Stoke

A tale of two halves at Stoke as Liverpool came back to win 2-1.

All Stoke in the first period with Jon Walters heading home Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross.

But Liverpool threw on the Ill Philippe Coutinho and the injured Roberto Firmino and both scored.

The Reds owed the sometimes shaky Simon Mignolet who made a number of fine saves.

It keeps Liverpool well in the race for a Champion League place.

Manchester United keep the pressure on the teams in the top four

Bottom club Sunderland’s got hammered by Manchester United 3-0.

Not helped by playing with 10 men for more than 45 minutes after Sebastian Larsson was red carded for a challenge on Ander Herrera.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic put United ahead with a 20-yard effort, Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it 2-0 before Marcus Rashford notched the third.

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Arsenal Out Of Champions League After Bayern Collapse

Arsenal experienced pride and humiliation in equal measure against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League clash at the Emirates.

Pride in the high tempo first half performance, total humiliation by the end. 5-1 down following an abject performance in Germany the gap was always set to be too big.

The Gunners could surely never have envisaged losing 5-1 at home, but they did, falling at the last 16 stage once again, undone by going down to ten men at the start of the second period.

At least the large crowd had something to cheer about for a while, seemingly able for a night to enjoy a big game to the exclusion of fears that Arsenal may not secure a top four Premier League spot and hence miss out on Champions League qualification for next season, the refusal of Alexis Sanchez to sign a new contract, suggestions Mesut Ozil could quit too, and calls for the head of manager Arsene Wenger.

Yet this defeat and the extent of it put Arsenal’s difficulties into even starker focus. Arsenal showed real fight and verve at the outset before it all fell apart in the second 45 minutes.

Theo Walcott produced first, but a poor touch allowed Manuel Neuer to clear in his sweeper-keeper role. But Walcott was on fire and in the next significant attack played through three opponents helped by lady luck, and then thrashed the ball high into the net.

The sort of world class goal of which Walcott is capable yet produces all too infrequently. And it was the electric Walcott again who was very unlucky not to get a penalty when taken out in the box.

Looked very giveable, but the referee wouldn’t have it. Somewhere in between Olivier Giroud hit a post with a strange effort which came off head and shoulder.

At half time there was still hope even if Arsenal were missing too many chances. But that was cruelly taken away from the re-start.

Bayern were always a threat on the break and their cleverness fashioned an opening for the ever dangerous Robert Lewandowski. Lauren Koschielny fouled him – penalty given. Koschielny shown yellow and then, after consultation between the officials, harshly upgraded to red.

Lewandowski scored from the spot, Arsenal down to ten men, and the tie was over.

Now it was simply a question of whether the home side could keep the score down. They couldn’t. Arjen Robben scored after schoolboy confusion in what remained of the Arsenal defence.

Substitute Douglas Costa was on the score sheet next. Arturo Vidal made it four benefiting from yet another mistake, then added a fifth for good measure. It was agony and embarrassment for Arsenal and may well seal the fate of Wenger despite being one of the greatest managers English football has ever seen.

Wenger disputed the Lewandowski penalty, accused the referee of spoiling the game, hailed the huge effort of the players – he had a point but it was all somewhat akin to clutching at straws.

The end of an era? It is looking likely.

Lincoln City in the FA Cup next for Arsenal, a possible banana skin moment not bare thinking about!

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Premier League Game Week 26 Review 2017

Another thrilling week of Premier League action saw stunning goals, controversial decisions and shock results. Read our review of all the action in Game Week 26.

London 2 Provinces 0. A good weekend for the capital’s Tottenham and Chelsea.

Harry Kane scored his third hat-trick in nine games to steamrollers Stoke and go second in the Premier League.

His first was a well-taken finish into the bottom corner, then a left foot half volley and he would not have cared that the fortuitous third came from a massive deflection.

Dele Alli, sent off for a horror tackle in the midweek Europa League defeat to Gent, partially redeemed himself by adding a fourth.

Chelsea notched another victory after disposing of a battling Swansea City at Stamford Bridge.

Cesc Fabregas, marking his 300th Premier League appearance, could have scored four.

After prodding home the opener, the Spanish midfielder had a goal-bound shot deflected behind, was denied by former Arsenal team-mate Lukasz Fabianski and also hit the bar.

But this was no walkover.

Swansea equalised from their first serious attempt on target on the stroke of half-time – Fernando Llorente heading in Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick.

However, Pedro’s curler went under the poor dive of Fabianski, restoring the lead, and Diego Costa netted the third from close range.

It was a weekend when many of the top sides did not feature because of the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

No Manchester derby and Arsenal’s game at Southampton also cancelled.

But what a thrilling final it proved to be, with United squeezing home 3-2.

Will that spur on the Red Devils in the league? It just might.

With Chelsea looking like taking the crown, the three other Champions League places will be fought out by Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

It is going to be a fight to the finish.

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Premier League Game Week 25 Review 2017

Another thrilling week of Premier League action saw stunning goals, controversial decisions and shock results. Read our review of all the action in Game Week 25.

Brady stunner gets a point for Burnley as Chelsea remain top

Chelsea remain in pole position at the top of the Premier League despite being held by a vibrant Burnley at Turf Moor. It ended 1-1 with goals from Pedro and new home signing Robbie Brady.

For periods it looked as if Chelsea must come through as victors but by the end they would have been glad to get just the point from the game.

Chelsea did not have a single shot on target in the second half. Not that it mattered too much as the chasers keep turning over each other.

Can someone come through and challenge the leaders?

If Chelsea have a wobble, then yes. But no-one caught Leicester last year and it is beginning to look much the same this time round.

Liverpool bounceback thanks to Mane double at Anfield

Liverpool got their first decent result of 2017 by beating Spurs 2-0 at Anfield. Sadio Mane, much missed when at the Africa Cup of Nations, scored twice.

Liverpool, who had not won in their previous five matches, will also be pleased at their heavily criticised defence keeping a clean sheet. Spurs had little to offer, extremely disappointing from their point of view.

Their starting XI is a match for anyone but shorn of two of their first choice defenders they seemed terribly vulnerable and Liverpool could have won by more.

2-0 seemed to be the dominant score of the weekend, with both Manchester United and Arsenal claiming victories by the same margin as Liverpool.

Manchester United maintain excellent form with another Old Trafford win – Arsenal breeze past Hull with Sanchez double

Manchester United, unbeaten in their past 16 Premier League games, took the lead against Watford when Anthony Martial set up Juan Mata to finish from close range.

Martial secured the victory when he fired home after a driving run. Not a vintage display from Arsenal but a much-needed win over Hull at the Emirates.

Alexis Sanchez scored twice, the first highly controversial after it came off his hand and ended up in the net – unsighted referee Mark Clattenburg later apologised to the visitors for missing it.

The second was a penalty in injury-time which was awarded after Sam Clucas was sent off for handball from Lucas Perez’s header.

Hull deserved better, causing Arsenal problems throughout. Will Arsene Wenger step down at the end of the season?

It is beginning to seem likely that he will cave in to the minority who claim recent seasons haven’t been good enough. But succeeding Wenger will be tough and those angry Arsenal supporters my find their side goes backwards before it can go forward.

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Premier League Game Week 23 Review 2017

After a mixed weekend for the top-flight sides in the Emirates FA Cup, sides returned to domestic matters with midweek action in the Premier League.

Liverpool battle back against leaders Chelsea and take a point after Costa’s late penalty miss

Some Premier League upsets but the big game saw the points shared 1-1 between Liverpool and Chelsea.

With the visitors seemingly on course for the title, all the neutrals had wanted the Anfield side to turn over their opponents like they did at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. But a draw was a fair result.

For all Liverpool’s pressure in the first half they had just a Georginio Winjaldum shot, comfortably beaten away by Thibaut Courtois, to show for it. The Chelsea defence was just so solid.

And, as so often happens, a dubious free kick is awarded against the Reds and before the defence has got organised David Luiz has stepped up and whacked it past Simon Mignolet.

Same old pattern of Liverpool pressure and Chelsea defiance in the second period until a cunning Jordan Henderson looping pass is nodded back into the middle via a deflection and Winjaldum heads in.

Game on. The Anfield crowd are going mad and the noise goes up a decibel or three as Mignolet saves brilliantly from a Diego Costa penalty.

Pedro could have won it. Firmino could have won it. But nobody won it.

Watford take all three points at the Emirates as Arsenal falter

Disaster for Arsenal beaten 1-2 by Watford at the Emirates. The usual story … pouring with rain, mid-winter and the Gunners’ pretty boys didn’t fancy it.

Former Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul grabbed the opener with a deflected hit and then Troy Deeney tapped in after Etienne Capoue had his shot saved by Petr Cech. Alex Iwobi pulled one back but it was not to be.

Tottenham unable to break stubborn Sunderland resistance

Tottenham had to settle for a point at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland fought for their lives.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side dominated possession against the Black Cats, but a much improved defensive performance by the home side thwarted the Londoners. So Chelsea march on.

A really good side, players who complement each other, a tight system, mercurial vision and goalscorers.

Hard to see how they can be stopped.

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Premier League Game Week 12 Review

After the final international break of 2016, the Premier League returned to our screens for Game Week 12 of action.

Toure Returns With A Brace For Manchester City

Forgotten man Yaya Toure returned for Manchester City and showed his class. Dumped by Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, and at odds with him at City, he marked his shock return with two goals as his side beat Crystal Palace 2-1 away.

Connor Wickham got one back for the home side. Toure, now 33, was always the man who made City tick. But he and his stroppy agent Dimitri Seluk made it difficult for Guardiola to pick him. Toure recently apologised, ordered Seluk to sue for peace, and appears to have secured a second chance.

The fans chanted his name throughout the game, and his team-mates clapped him back into the dressing room at the final whistle. City can only benefit – the Ivorian remains a great talent.

Manchester United and Arsenal Share The Spoils At Old Trafford

Will the new karma extend to Manchester United outcast Bastian Schweinsteiger? Looks unlikely, no sign of Mourinho relenting, but who knows in football.

United could perhaps do with him as they continue to misfire. Another draw at Old Trafford where Arsenal came back late on to share the spoils 1-1. The Gunners looked jaded with so many players away on international duty last week while the Red Devils are still showing far too little devil.

Olivier Giroud’s 89th-minute equaliser, heading in an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain cross, earned Arsenal a point after Juan Mata looked to have put United on course with a sweeping left-foot finish from Ander Herrera’s cut-back.

Harry Kane Late Double Gives Tottenham Hotspur All Three Points

Tottenham Hotspur maintained their unbeaten start to the Premier League season as West Ham, 2-1 up at White Hart Lane, imploded in the last ten minutes.

Michail Antonio’s first-half header was equalised by 20-year-old midfielder Harry Winks on his full Premier League debut. A Manuel Lanzini’s penalty – awarded after Vincent Janssen pulled back Winston Reid in the area – put West Ham ahead once more.

But then came the Harry Kane late, late, show. First the England striker turned home from close range after good work down the left by substitute Son Heung-Min, then scored from the spot when the South Korean was brought down in the area by Havard Nordtveit.

And when with seconds to go Reid stupidly contrived to get a second yellow card West Ham’s misfortune was complete. Spurs are now 12 games unbeaten at the start of the season.

The last time that happened was in the 1960-61 season – White, Blanchflower, Mackay, Smith et al – which ended with the north Londoners claiming a league and cup double. However this time it is six wins and six draws, which leaves them chasing the big boys … like Liverpool and Chelsea.

Liverpool draw blank at Southampton – while Chelsea go top thanks to Costa

The Liverpool missed a hatful of chances as they managed a point at Southampton. Few would have called this a 0-0 draw beforehand.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane twice went close to opening the scoring on his return to St Mary’s and Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino missed good chances when clear on goal. Home keeper Fraser Foster proved the hero.

But Southampton showed great commitment and probably deserved something out of the game. With Liverpool drawing a blank it was left to Chelsea to overtake them as Premier League leaders.

Diego Costa scored his 10th goal of the season, turning over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. The quickest to react to a loose ball in the box, he drilled it home. And it ended 0-1.

But matches against Tottenham and Manchester City now loom and we shall find out just how resilient is Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation which has made them so much more resilient.

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Premier League Game Week 11 Review

The Premier League once again provided plenty of goals and drama, as Game Week 11 saw Liverpool moved to the top of the league, but Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City are hot on their heels, read our review of all the action.

Liverpool thrash Watford to go top of the Premier League

You’ll Never Walk Alone sang the Anfield army … but Watford must have felt very alone as they were battered 6-1. It meant Liverpool went top of the Premier League for the first time under manager Jurgen Klopp.

It has been coming, with the home side’s attacking prowess thrilling supporters – the fifth time Liverpool have scored four goals or more in the league this season.

They are now highest scorers with 30 goals from their 11 matches.

Yet they can’t seem to complete a clean sheet and others, like Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have far greater financial clout. Not something which deterred Leicester last season of course.

But a long way to go.

Sadio Mane’s flicked header put the Reds ahead before Philippe Coutinho threaded a shot through a host of defenders for number two. Adam Lallana crossed for Emre Can to head home, Roberto Firmino tapped in a Lallana cut-back before the Brazilian turned provider and Mane secured a fifth.

Georginio Wijnaldum completed the scoring in the 91st minute with his first goal for the club, after substitute Daniel Sturridge had struck the bar twice.

Watford got a late consolation through Daryl Janmaat.

Hazard sparkles again as Chelsea trounce Everton at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea are getting their act together and trashed the other half of Merseyside 5-0. Eden Hazard scored twice, Marcos Alonso put through Maarten Stekelenburg’s legs, Diego Costa got his customary goal, and then Pedro tapped into an empty net.

As conclusive as it gets. Put Everton, on something of a revival, firmly back in their box. Chelsea were just brilliant and must on this form be real contenders to be champions.

Hazard and Costa had blinders.

Manchester City drop points against Middlesbrough and lose Premier League top spot

A totally different story at Manchester City – another hiccup for Pep Guardiola. Marten de Roon’s injury-time headed equaliser secured a draw for Middlesbrough.

Sergio Aguero put City ahead, stabbing in Kevin de Bruyne’s cross for his 150th City goal, but it wasn’t enough. City were utterly dominant, Aguero and de Bruyne missed big opportunities.

One wonders whether Guardiola and co would know where Middlesbrough was … or is that harsh. “A pity,” he commented through clenched teeth. So, 1-1 the final score.

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur share the spoils in North London Derby

It was pumped up as the big one but the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur never quite reached the heights.

Kevin Wimmer’s own goal three minutes before the interval gave Arsenal the advantage but Harry Kane, back from injury, scored from the penalty spot

Both sides crashed balls against the post, but neither could make it count in the Premier League race. Honours even.

Pogba and Ibrahimovic shine as Manchester United return to winning ways

Manchester United beat second bottom Swansea 3-1, as some of their goal-shy forwards finally found the net.

Paul Pogna smacked a beauty while Zlatan Ibrahimovic squeezing one in at the near post, the 25,000th scored in the Premier League.

The Swede struck again in the 33rd minute for his 400th career goal. Mike van der Hoorn pulled a goal back for Swansea – new manager Bob Bradley is still waiting for his first win. Swansea were abject.

Jose Mourinho almost featured a second team against the Welsh strugglers, inclusive of Darmian, Jones, Carrick, Rojo and Fellaini, the sort of names pundits have cited when speculating who might get shown the door by the Portuguese coach.

None of them his own signings. Rooney was back starting and played with a smile on his face – perhaps there is life in the old dog yet. But United remain a very long journey away from scaling the heights of the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

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Premier League Game Week 11 Preview

After the midweek European fixtures in the Champions League and Europa League, Premier League football returns this weekend with some mouth-watering fixtures in game week 11. The North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur takes centre stage on Sunday, while Chelsea v Everton and Liverpool v Watford will also be pivotal matches.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur – 12:00pm (Sunday)

The biggest game of the weekend is without doubt Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, one of the biggest rivalry games in football.

The Gunners enter the game at The Emirates in fine form with four wins in the previous five Premier League games – and just one defeat all season. The form of Alexis Sanchez (6 goals) and Mesut Ozil (5 goals) has been key to this spell. After a midweek win in Ludogorets, they will be full of confidence.

Spurs on the other hand are struggling for form, without a win in the league since the beginning of October. Mauricio Pochettino’s side sit just three points behind their rivals, but this bad spell is very worrying. One big plus will be the return of star striker Harry Kane, who play for the first time since September 18th.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool v Watford – 14:15pm (Sunday)

Jurgen Klopp will be looking for his side to continue their superb form as they welcome Watford to Anfield.

Liverpool have been on fire all season, barring a blip against Burnley, the electric front-three of Phillipe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will be key once again. Their movement and technical ability have been magnificent to watch. Klopp will be boosted by the return James Milner who should return at left-back. 4

Watford arrive in fine form themselves and have adapted well to life under Walter Mazzarri and should not be underestimated.

Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Watford

Chelsea v Everton – 17:30pm (Saturday)

One of the most entertaining games of the week could be Chelsea v Everton with two teams arriving in fine form.

Antonio Conte’s side have four consecutive Premier League victories, including a spectacular 4-0 demolition of Manchester United. PFA Fans Player of the Month, Eden Hazard (3 goals in October) has been mesmeric at times. The Belgian has rediscovered his best form after a poor season in 2015/16.

Everton have looked a rejuvenated under Ronald Koeman, with the form of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley proving valuable in recent weeks. The pair scored in the 2-0 victory over West Ham last week and will be key once again.

Prediction: Chelsea 3-2 Everton

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Barclays Premier League Game Week 26 Review

This topsy-turvy Premier League race is surely set to go down to the wire after both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur cut Leicester’s lead at the top to two points.

It leaves both big London clubs breathing down the necks of the surprise leaders. Indeed it is leaning towards a three horse race with big spending Manchester City, though not out of it by any means, in danger of being cut adrift in fourth.

For Arsenal the hero was Danny Welbeck, out injured since April last year, who sent the Emirates Stadium hordes home happy with a dramatic late winner after Leicester’s Marcin Wasilewski gave away a stupid foul just as the referee prepared to blow the final whistle.

Leicester’s Danny Simpson was the villain after getting sent off for two yellow cards. Arsenal snatched it 2-1, with Manchester United fans no doubt bemoaning ever letting Welbeck leave Old Trafford especially given the dismal form of the unrecognisable ‘Red Devils’.

The question now is – will Leicester get back into their stride or is this the start of the collapse that pundits have been predicting for months?

Have they got the bottle or will they crack?

Jamie Vardy gave the Foxes the lead with a hotly-disputed penalty on the stroke of half-time after he tumbled over Nacho Monreal’s outstretched leg.

However substitute Theo Walcott set up a frantic finale with a side-foot finish from Olivier Giroud’s knockdown. Then, to wild celebrations in the stands, Welbeck glanced Mesut Ozil’s free-kick past magnificent Kasper Schmeichel to pinch victory.

Tottenham Hotspur picked up a huge away triumph over Manchester City at the Etihad. Again a late winner featured, this time from playmaker Christian Eriksen.

Visiting striker Harry Kane fired home from the spot in the second half after Raheem Sterling was harshly penalised for handball. Yaya Toure struck a 20-yard free-kick against the bar before substitute Kelechi Iheanacho levelled.

But Spurs earned a fifth league win in a row as Eriksen slotted home. The White Hart Lane side, once so fragile mentally, are showing no signs of blowing up. City showed bags of fight and loads of skill, yet somehow it isn’t quite happening.

Liverpool smash Villa for six for Klopp’s biggest Premier League win

Liverpool thrashed a hapless Aston Villa 6-0.


Injury-prone Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring, James Milner saw a free-kick creep in after being missed by keeper Mark Bunn, and Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure all got in on the act.

The home side’s disgruntled supporters started streaming out of Villa Park following Liverpool’s fifth after 65 minutes – eight points off safety with just 12 games left they know their side is as good as relegated.

For the inconsistent Anfield side it still allows for opportunities despite all their problems this season.

A Champions League spot looks impossible but they are just three points off fifth, respectability at least.

Sunderland got the luck; Manchester United deserved nothing. Another really poor result for manager Louis Van Gaal, a man on borrowed time if the leaks are to be believed, with Jose Mourinho supposedly taking over next season.

Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson are pals who respect each other. It looks like a shoe-in. Sunderland’s Wahbi Khazri put the strugglers ahead after three minutes with a fluke free-kick from the left that went through a forest of bodies and eluded everyone.

Anthony Martial levelled after he clipped the ball over Vito Mannone, who had parried Juan Mata’s shot. But the Black Cats won it when Lamine Kone’s header from Khazri’s corner went in via a deflection off David de Gea to dent United’s top-four bid. And maybe for good.

Chelsea FC, who have surely left it too late to get involved in the race for the top four after the bizarre Mourinho suicide note, tore Newcastle apart. Do the Geordies ever travel well to London? No Dick Whittingtons are the Magpies. In the end they were embarrassed 5-1 and deservedly so.

Diego Costa opened the scoring when he slid home Willian’s pass. Pedro make it 2-0 and Costa played in Willian to score from close range. Cesc Fabregas set up Pedro for his second and Bertrand Traore turned in Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross, before Andros Townsend’s late consolation.

Football is everything to the people of the North-east; they deserve better.

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