A dramatic night it was with shockers and shivers sent down the spines of players, managers and fans alike. The PL Match Day 31 fixtures should be renamed Drama Day 31, as there were many unforeseen circumstances that came up over the course of the 90 minutes across some match centers. The first night of the Match Day had its own drama albeit less than the second night.
LEICESTER COMPLETES QUINTUPLE RUN OF WINS
Leicester City completed a quintuple of wins, since the departure of Ranieri. Some would say they smell a conspiracy, well, I reserve my comment. Leicester City were impressive on the night as they dispatched Moyes’ Sunderland, relegating them closer to the confines and cold hands of the championship with goals from Slimani and Jamie Vardy. In this context, with relation to the EPL, the scenario of any team dropping down to the Championship could be akin to death. Sunderland now have 4 losses and 1 draw in their last 5 games, which effectively restricts them to the bottom spot with 20 losses, 5 draws, 5 wins and a meagre 20 points to show for their efforts this season.
MAN UNITED AND EVERTON SHARE THE SPOILS
We fly to Manchester, Old Trafford the venue of draws. Manchester United players at home could pass for artists as they were again held to a draw, or should I correctly say, rallied for a draw against a determined Everton side. Drama was aplenty in this one. Everton took the lead through Jagielka with an improvised move to slot the ball through the legs of Da Gea, as he outmanned a disappointing Rojo in the process. Man United pressed on, but their cluelessness in the final third still persisted. A Zlatan goal was disallowed, which has prompted Mourinho to call for the introduction of video assistant referees, saying his side would have won, had the system been in place. Man United left the best for last, as Ashley Williams rush of blood to the head got the better of him when he dived and handled the ball in the process to thwart a goal bound shot. He was subsequently sent off as Zlatan stepped up to convert the penalty in injury time.
THE CLARETS RESTORE THEIR HOME TURF PRIDE
Burnley restored their pride at home after being ransacked by Spurs a few days earlier and beat Stoke by a goal to nil with George Boyd the scorer, effectively placing them some decent points above the relegation places with a few games to go.
WATFORD’S ATTACKERS ON SONG
Watford scored twice through Mamadou Niang and Troy Deeney to beat West Brom and ensure their place above Leicester for now.
GUNNERS HAMMER THE HAMMERS
West Ham played hard for the entire duration of the first half, making rivals hope a slip was on the cards for the Gunners on the night, but eventually succumbed to a 3 nil thrashing by Arsenal, all goals coming in the second half from Ozil, Walcott and Giroud. This result meant they returned to fifth position on the log and relegated Man United to sixth.
HULL CITY OUTWIT BORO IN RELEGATION FIGHT
Hull City and Middlesbrough provided entertainment for the neutrals as 5 goals were scored in the first half of the encounter. Negredo opened the scoring for Boro five minutes into the game but Hull responded with goals from Markovic, Niasse and Abel Hernandez in the 14th, 27th and 33rd minutes respectively. The efficient Maguire sealed the win in the 70th minute to keep Hull believing they would play a part in the PL next season. Boro, however, are in doubt. Fortunes have not improved even after the departure of Aitor Karanka
THE SAINTS REFUSE TO GIVE IN TO PALACE’S RECENT CREDENTIALS
Crystal Palace flattered at the St Mary’s stadium with an opener from Benteke, but the likes of Redmond, Ward Prowse, and Yoshida had other ideas and were determined to halt Palace’s winning run.
LIVERPOOL STAY TRUE TO THE ROBIN HOOD CODE
Liverpool, the Robin Hood concept pioneers of the EPL (They beat the big sides and donate points to the small sides) were on hand to gift Bournemouth a point in the dying minutes of the game. Bournemouth had initially taken the lead but Liverpool clawed back into the game in the second half, only to allow Bournemouth who have established themselves as a major attacking threat to any opposition under Eddie Howe steal a point to the chagrin of the Anfield faithfuls.
ANTONIO CONTE’S BLUES FIGHT ON
The match of the day saw Chelsea square off against Man City in a potential make or mar encounter in their pursuit of the league title. They took the lead through Eden Hazard from an Azpilicueta pass. The shot deflected off the head of Kompany before hitting the net. Silly play from Courtois in goal gifted Aguero the equalizer before Hazard restored the lead through a penalty rebound after a save from Caballero. Fernandinho conceded the penalty as he brought down Pedro in the box. The win ensured Chelsea maintained their 7 points gap over a red hot chasing Spurs side after faltering against Palace over the weekend.
SPURS ENSURE THEY ARE STILL IN IT
Tottenham saved the best for last to show fans and rivals alike that they mean business in the chase for the title. Swansea grabbed the lead through Wayne Routledge, but Spurs rallied late into the game and equalized through the ever reliable Dele Alli in the 88th minute. Son and Eriksen secured the win in added time. This means the title race is relatively open as 7 points still separate them from Chelsea.
We look forward to the next Match Day and hope for more exciting and enthralling encounters with similar outcomes. Maybe an upset could spring up this weekend.