The Premier League once again produced some of the most exciting football in game week 32; with stunning goals and thrilling games up and down the country; the impossible dream moved a step closer for Leicester City as they beat Southampton 1-0 to go seven points clear at the top of the table.
Manchester United keep in touch of Champions League places
Anthony Martial’s winning goal kept Manchester United in the hunt for a Champions League place on the day they named a stand after Sir Bobby Charlton.
The 1-0 defeat of Everton at Old Trafford leaves United one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City.
A backheel by Marcus Rashford, a revelation since breaking into the team in February, freed fellow academy graduate Tim Fosu-Mensah to play a low ball across goal, which 20-year-old Martial – signed from Monaco for an initial fee of £36 million in September – converted at the far post.
It was a fitting moment to honour Busby Babe and World Cup winner Charlton, who remains United’s record goalscorer.
Accompanied by his wife Norma, a visibly emotional Sir Bobby watched from the pitch before kick-off as fans held up sheets to spell out his name.
4 – Manchester United have recorded four successive home wins in the Premier League for the first time since April 2015 (6 in a row). Dream.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 3, 2016
At the top of the Premier League Leicester march on. The Foxes moved seven points clear with six games remaining after Wes Morgan’s header saw off Southampton.
The skipper and centre half connected with Christian Fuchs’ first-half cross to score his first goal of the season. Claudio Ranieri’s side have now won five of their last six matches by a 1-0 scoreline.
Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur share the spoils at Anfield
Second placed Tottenham Hotspur could only manage a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield. It was a pretty even game albeit the Reds had some golden periods and must somehow get out of this tendency to drop points after going ahead.
Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring. Harry Kane, who seemingly couldn’t hit a barn door at the start of the season, struck for the 22nd time and has now scored more goals in a Premier League campaign than any other Spurs player. A brilliant split second piece of genius.
22 – Harry Kane has now scored more goals in a Premier League campaign than any other Spurs player (22). Own.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 2, 2016
Chelsea remain undefeated in Premier League under Hiddink
It was a Chelsea FC stroll in the sunshine at Villa Park. But a bizarre game – Aston Villa as good as relegated and fans in ugly mood, Chelsea with little to play for after an under-achieving season.
Goal scorers were Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Alexandre Pato from the spot on his Chelsea debut, and two from Pedro. Alan Hutton was sent off to compound Villa’s misery.
A professional performance from the visitors, who never needed to pull out the stops such was the ease of the victory, but Villa were abject.
Two managers, Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde, have complained that they have been asked to work with players who simply lack the quality … and both have gone.
All sorts of changes in the boardroom.
Villa are a mess – dreadful recruitment has produced a team who can’t defend and can’t score goals. Owner Randy Lerner seems to have lost interest. Perhaps not surprising given his investment in five of the last 10 years has topped that of any top six club. Little good has it done him or Villa.
A big challenge for new chairman Steve Hollis, the ex-KPMG man, and surely an opportunity to put together a consortium of Birmingham businessmen and loyal fans to buy the club off Lerner, and start again from the ground up.
Making up a foursome were Manchester City and Arsenal. Kevin De Bruyne starred on his return after two months out as City reinvigorated their hopes with a win at Bournemouth.
Three of City’s goals came in the first 18 minutes, with Fernando opening the scoring from a Jesus Navas corner. De Bruyne made it 2-0 when he volleyed home David Silva’s flick and Sergio Aguero headed a third soon after. Bournemouth had no response and Aleksandar Kolarov blasted in City’s fourth with the last kick of the game.
Arsenal hammered Watford at the Emirates, 4-0, equalling City’s result. Alexis Sanchez slotted home from close range. Alex Iwobi finished from 12 yards after off a superb team move. Hector Bellerin’s shot deflected in for Arsenal’s third, while substitute Theo Walcott completed the rout late on.
Iwobi, Sanchez and Mesut Ozil all had quality games but the side have surely too much to do to become champions given tricky trips to West Ham and Manchester City in their remaining games.
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