Getting a result with ten men proved quite the art of the possible for Liverpool and Arsenal; not so though for Manchester United – yet another setback in a desperately disappointing season. Here is our review of a thrilling game week 29 in the Barclays Premier League.
Liverpool claim third straight Premier League win
A stoppage-time penalty by Christian Benteke, Liverpool FC’s ‘forgotten man’, gave the Anfield side a dramatic 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
Benteke went down following a challenge by Damien Delaney and got up to put away the spot-kick. Palace had led through Joe Ledley’s 48th-minute strike. Things looked bleak for the scousers when James Milner was sent off for a second yellow card on 62 minutes.
But a mistake by Palace keeper Alex McCarthy, in for the injured Wayne Hennessey, gifted Liverpool their equaliser, scored by Roberto Firmino, allowing Benteke to claim the glory by snatching victory against the odds.
It was only what the Reds deserved after dominating the later stages.
Spurs and Arsenal play out thriller in race for the Premier League title
Meanwhile it should have been Tottenham Hotspurs day but somehow Arsenal got a point.
It finished 2-2 and the Gunners were fortunate despite all the Ian Wright TV promotional bling beforehand. Alexis Sanchez’s equaliser saw the 10 men deny Spurs in a much hyped north London derby at White Hart Lane.
Aaron Ramsey’s instinctive flick gave the visitors the lead just before the interval. Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin was sent off on 55 minutes after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Harry Kane.
Toby Alderweireld then scored at the far post before Kane curled in a magnificent angled right-foot finish after 62 minutes to put Spurs in command.
But Arsenal refused to back down and equalised 14 minutes from time when Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris let Sanchez’s shot squirm through his grasp.
In contrast Arsenal’s David Ospina, in for the injured Petr Cech, was heroic with outstanding saves from Erik Lamela, Kane and Christian Eriksen.
What a good game.
Chelsea and Manchester United unable to claim three points
Nothing though for Manchester United as Juan Mata saw red midway through the first half at West Brom. The Spaniard stupidly picked up two yellow cards in just three minutes.
First, he rashly blocked Darren Fletcher’s quick free-kick, then he was given a second when he needlessly clipped the heels of the former United midfielder. Salomon Rondon was the hero for the Baggies striking a left foot shot into the right hand corner of David de Gea’s net.
It leaves United in sixth while, with 39 points, West Brom are pretty much guaranteed another year of top flight football, always their priority. Salomón Rondón’s left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner secured another impressive win.
Like United, Chelsea continue to stutter.
Mame Biram Diouf scored a late equaliser as Stoke prevented the Stamford Bridge side from overtaking them in the Premier League. Bertrand Traore gave the Blues the lead when he took Nemanja Matic’s pass, turned and fired home from 20 yards out.
The Potters deservedly levelled when Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross was punched by Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois to Diouf, who headed into an empty net. Courtois is on a wobble.
Indeed, Bojan almost won it for the Potters in injury time. Stoke manager Mark Hughes felt a point was the least they merited. He had a point!
Elsewhere Manchester City barely broke sweat in thrashing Aston Villa 4-0 while Leicester went five clear at the top after sneaking a 1-0 win over Watford. This unpredictable season continues to thrill the crowds and Leicester continue to edge closer to one of the biggest shocks in the history of football.
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