This most bizarre Premier League season continued to astound with seemingly only Leicester and Tottenham interested in claiming the title. Here is our review of the big game action from the weekend.
Chelsea fall to Ageuro hat-trick at Stamford Bridge
Manchester City are gradually getting it back together but too late in the day. They comfortably despatched Chelsea who are just a shadow of their former selves. A Sergio Aguero hat-trick saw to that. Chelsea had no reply.
Albeit, though the scoreline seemed emphatic, actually there wasn’t that much between the sides.
City profited from breakaways, the first goal arriving when Kevin De Bruyne fed Aguero, who fired in. Again De Bruyne – how was he allowed to leave Chelsea – set up Samir Nasri, who put Aguero clear.
Thibaut Courtois, kept on instead of Petr Cech, but now seemingly with his future in question, was sent off for fouling Fernandinho. Aguero scored from the spot.
20 – This is the third time in his five seasons at Man City that Sergio Aguero has scored 20+ Premier League goals. Awesome.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 16 April 2016
The Argentinian has now notched at least 20 goals in three Premier League seasons, a feat only achieved by Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Les Ferdinand.
It bodes well for their Champions League semi-final clash with Real Madrid.
Manchester United relegate Aston Villa and close the gap on Champions League places
Manchester United made heavy weather of relegating Aston Villa. One of the founders of the Football League, Villa have been a shambles all season but at least showed some fight at the death.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal, taking it early and sweeping Antonio Valencia’s cut-back through goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s legs.
Villa were second best for much of the game, though they did hit a post late on through Rudy Gestede’s volley. Rashford now has seven goals in 12 appearances.
Nevertheless a Champions League spot looks beyond them, a total disaster for a club the size of United.
Arsenal threw away yet more points in a contest they completely dominated. They could only manage a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates.
Alexis Sanchez headed in Danny Welbeck’s chip to give the Gunners the lead. Yannick Bolasie struck late for Crystal Palace. It was a performance which summed up Arsenal’s inability to grab the Premier League by the scruff of the neck in a season tailor-made for glory.
Incredible how the Big Four have imploded – City in limbo-land awaiting Pep Guardiola yet totally transformed in Europe, United hopelessly inconsistent and completely lost as the attacking force of old, Chelsea chaotic and Arsenal, beautiful to the eye but seemingly incapable of understanding their deficiencies.
Liverpool keep the Klopp bus rolling with win over Bournemouth
Following their exertions in the barely believable win over Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool played the second team against Bournemouth … and still won.
Roberto Firmino’s rebound and Daniel Sturridge’s header gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Bournemouth rallied after the break but Joshua King’s stoppage-time strike came too late.
50 – Liverpool have become the first team to win away in the Premier League at 50 different grounds. Travellers.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 17 April 2016
Liverpool made 10 changes from Thursday’s momentous Europa League victory, no wonder after the utter commitment on a quite remarkable night.
Yet the fringe players repaid Jurgen Klopp’s faith with an excellent performance. Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward made his club debut and young defender Connor Randall was given a first Premier League start. Jordon Ibe and Sheyi Ojo were excellent on the wing.
Klopp was proud of them.
He said: “They’ve never played together. They could have defended better, played a bit more football in the first half, but it was really, really good. Danny Ward was brilliant.”
The Klopp revolution is getting Liverpool back on track.
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