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EPL – Week 23 Review
Leicester City are out on their own as leaders of the Barclays Premier League as we take a look back at that and the rest of the headline makers from last weekend.
VARDY BACK IN THE GOALS, LEICESTER BACK ON TOP
The drought is over for Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, after he picked up his first league goal since the 14th of December in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Stoke City. With Claudio Ranieri’s team only having won one of their last five league games, the pressure was on to get to back to winning ways in front of their own fans on Saturday and to prove to everyone that they intend to stick around for the long haul. They did just that, by blowing their opponents from the potteries away in a second-half display that was as good as anything they’ve served up already this season. The best football betting sites currently quote them at *9.00 to achieve the impossible and win the Premier League.
NINE GOAL THRILLER LEAVES KLOPP FURIOUS WITH HIS LIVERPOOL TEAM
Liverpool beat Norwich City 5-4 at Carrow Road on Saturday lunchtime in one of the most entertaining games the Premier League has produced for a very long time. The defensive manual was torn up by both sides, as the home side raced into a 3-1 lead only to be pegged back by the visitors who led 4-3 as the match headed into injury time. When Sebastien Bassong grabbed what looked to be a magnificent equaliser for Norwich in the 92nd minute, it seemed a fitting result for such a breathless encounter. However, step forward substitute Adam Lallana, who rifled home a 95th minute winner for Liverpool with the last kick of the game. Norwich players and manager Alex Neil were crestfallen; the coach described his team’s defending as a “shambles”. His opposite number Jurgen Klopp, angrily stated that it was “crazy what this team is doing”. He continued his analysis on his teams defending by declaring that; “we have to solve this problem because it is not always possible to score five goals.”
DELE ALLI WONDER GOAL HELPS SPURS STAY IN THE TITLE HUNT
If events at Norwich gave us the game of the Premier League season, then England midfielder Dele Alli’s incredible strike for Spurs at Crystal Palace on Saturday was the goal of the season so far. A wonderful swivel followed by a perfectly executed volley, brought applause from all around Selhurst Park and put the broadest smile on the face of England coach Roy Hodgson. The North London side are just five points off the summit of the current Premier League standings and only two behind bitter rivals Arsenal. The best football betting guides will offer you *9.00 for them to clinch their first league championship since 1961.
COSTA MAKES IT A BLUE SUNDAY FOR WENGER
The sending off of big German defender Per Mertesacker for a clumsy lunge on Chelsea striker Diego Costa after only 18 minutes was the key moment in Sunday’s derby at the Emirates, as Arsenal lost ground on the leaders. That the same player scored the game’s only goal just five minutes later compounded Arsenal’s misery on an afternoon to forget for manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners haven’t beaten their capital rivals in the league since October 2011 and haven’t scored against them in six games as the Chelsea hoodoo continues. Whilst defeat does not put them out of the race, it deals a psychological blow to a team that realises this season is their best chance since 2004, to win back the Premier League crown.
DISMAL HOME DEFEAT COULD FINALLY SPELL THE END FOR VAN GAAL
Enough is enough in the eyes of Manchester United supporters as their team hit an all-time low on Saturday losing 1-0 at Old Trafford to Southampton. Seven days earlier, a win (albeit undeserved) at Anfield against Liverpool, looked like it could be the catalyst to take the team forward. On Saturday, it took a major step backwards to leave manager Louis van Gaal unable to defend his team’s inept display and unable to justify why he shouldn’t be sacked in the very near future. Reports on Sunday suggest Jose Mourinho is not far away from replacing him in the Old Trafford hot-seat, for the vast majority of fans, it cannot come soon enough.
*odds courtesy of Bet365
Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)