Saturday's EPL Roundup
Saturday saw the 2016/17 English Premier League enter round 26, with twelve of the league's twenty teams in action. With only one of the top six teams in action, it was matters further down the standings that were the main focus, however it didn't disappoint, with goals in every game.
The top six team that was in action was current leaders Chelsea, who welcomed relegation threatened Swansea City to Stamford Bridge. The scoring was opened by Cesc Fabregas, who was celebrating his 300th Premier League appearance. On the stroke of half time, a Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick floated over the Chelsea defence, to be headed in by Fernando Llorente, levelling the score at the break. The second half saw Pedro and Diego Costa score for Chelsea, giving them a comfortable 3-1 victory and an eleven point lead at the top of the league. Swansea felt hard done by however, as with the score tied at 1-1, Cesar Azpilicueta appeared to handle to ball inside his own area, although nothing was given by the referee.
The game at Selhurst Park saw a relegation battle between Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough, with both desperate for points to secure their Premier League status. Palace edged a relatively even match, with January signing Patrick van Aanholt scoring the only goal from the edge of the box. Palace move out of the relegation zone and level on points with Middlesbrough, who now have no win in nine league games.
Everton are now unbeaten in nine, after a 2-0 victory over Sunderland. The team at the bottom of the league continue to struggle, but despite another defeat are still just three points from safety. Idrissa Gueye scored first to give Everton the lead, before a Jermaine Defoe solo effort came close to an equaliser, as his shot cannoned off the crossbar. Immediately after that, Romelu Lukaku sealed the win for the Toffees, with his 60th Premier League goal for the club.
Hull City have looked more likely of survival since manager Marco Silva took charge, and they earned a point against Burnley yesterday. Hull took the lead when Tom Huddlestone scored from the penalty spot with eighteen minutes remaining, however it only lasted four minutes, before Michael Keane controlled nicely on his chest before volleying home the equaliser. Burnley striker Ashley Barnes was dismissed in stoppage time for a second yellow card.
West Brom continued their impressive season with a 2-1 win against Bournemouth. The game didnt start well for Albion, as Bournemouth were awarded a penalty after just five minutes, which Josh King converted. The scores were level after ten minutes, after a Craig Dawson effort took a large deflection to beat Bournemouth 'keeper Boruc. The scoring was completed after twenty one minutes, as poor defending from the visitors allowed Gareth McAuley to score the winner. Albion stay eighth, whilst Bournemouth may get dragged into a relegation scrap after four straight defeats.
The day's late kick off saw two teams hovering around mid table meet at Vicarage Road, with Watford hosting West Ham. The first goal came after just three minutes, as Troy Deeney scored from the penalty spot. The Hammers felt they should have had a penalty of their own when Kouyate went down, but the referee decided to book him for diving instead. West Ham had to wait until the 73rd minute for their equaliser, when Andre Ayew had a tap in after Michail Antonio saw his effort bounce off both posts. Shortly after, Antonio was sent off for his second yellow card.
Tottenham Hotspur host Stoke City on Sunday, with managerless Leicester City taking on Liverpool on Monday.