BPL Recap, Highlights: Liverpool Top Of The League, Chelsea Drop Points To Lowly Palace, More

IMAGE, LIVERPOOL.CO.UK

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Not many would have predicted it at the beginning of the season, but Liverpool are now topping the table in the Barclays Premier League. After Chelsea stumbled, the Reds knew at least a draw would take them to the top. They managed one better with a win — and they did it in style, punishing a faltering Tottenham side 4-0.

It didn’t take long for Liverpool to get their noses in front after a Tottenham error. Glen Johnson‘s low cross was back heeled by Younes Kaboul into his own net, giving the Reds the lead in the 2nd minute.

Spurs shot themselves in the foot again with another error gifting an already potent attack golden opportunities. Michael Dawson‘s errant back pass was stolen by Luis Suarez, who raced into the box and beat Hugo Lloris with a low shot to the far post in the 25th minute.

It was Suarez’s 29th goal of the campaign, pushing him closer to the Premier League single-season record of 34. That record, held by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, was set in a 42 game Premier League season. The current record for 38-games is 31, also set by Shearer — and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The lead grew to three as Philippe Coutinho struck from long distance in the 55th minute. The Reds completed their dismantling of Tottenham adding a fourth goal with 15 minutes remaining. Jordan Henderson‘s free-kick bounced in the box and into the net.

Liverpool now control their own destiny, and with six games remaining, are in touching distance of a league title. They have been the in-form team of late, but how they react to the pressure of being in the front of the pack will decide their title fate.

Other Premier League Results

Terry‘s Error Gives Palace Shock Victory– With all the talk of Jose Mourinho‘s Chelsea side being a “donkey,” the Blues were looking like title favorites. However, after a slip-up against Crystal Palace, the door is wide open for Liverpool and Manchester City.

The Blues now fall to second after John Terry‘s own goal at the weekend.

Crystal Palace needed any type of points for survival and added some distance from the relegation with all three points.

The Blues, who put six past Arsenal, were unable to find a scoring touch against Palace with Julian Speroni on form. However, Chelsea will rue wasting their dominance in the match as they fall 1-0.

Joel Ward sent in a cross from the left and Terry tried to head it out for a corner, but steered the ball into his own net instead. The former English international stayed down on the pitch with his hands over his head, knowing the ramifications of his mistake.

Arsenal Find Their Groove, Draw City– Although Arsenal’s title chance may be in doubt, they needed a better performance to build momentum into their FA Cup semifinal and their realistic chance at silverware. At the Emirates against Manchester City, Arsenal looked a much more confident side.

Lukas Podolski was caught in possession in midfield and the visitors broke quickly. David Silva played the ball to Edin Dzeko, whose shot was tipped onto the post by Wojciech Szczesny. However, the ball came straight into Silva’s path, who tapped the ball into an empty net.

Arsenal continued to plod for an equalizer and eventually found one through an unlikely source. Podolski crossed the ball into the box and Mathieu Flamini half-volleyed the ball past Joe Hart.

Although they found their equalizer, Arsenal could have had even more opportunities, but were very deliberate in their approach. The Gunners really miss Theo Walcott‘s pace to help break defenses down. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added that in spurts after his introduction into the match.

For Arsenal, the point sees them remain in fourth place as City still rest in third. City have two games in the race to win the Premier League crown.

Entertainment At The Bottom– Cardiff and West Brom are two clubs in desperate need of points to aid in their Premier League survival bids. In the end, they split the points in a six goal thriller at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies jumped out to an early lead as Morgan Amalfitano lobbing Cardiff keeper David Marshall in the 2nd minute of play. It was a truly special goal.  The lead was doubled seven minutes later with Graham Dorrans finishing from close-range.

However, Cardiff had a fight in their game. The lead was halved in the 30th minute. Jordon Mutch not to be outdone by Amalfitano lobbed Ben Foster from distance.

Steven Caulker leveled the match with his head, nodding home Gary Medel‘s free-kick.

The Baggies thought they had won the game as they added their third in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Thievy Bifouma put the ball through Marshall’s legs to put West Brom back in front.

However, Mats Daehli snatched points for Cardiff at the game’s death with a lovely turn and shot as the teams settled for a wild draw.

Nipping At Top Four Heels– Everton have now won five straight matches and are four points out of the Champions League places as three second half goals saw them bury Fulham deeper into relegation misery.

After Fulham were on top in the first 45 minutes, the Cottagers soon lost the grip of the game five minutes into the second half. After an Everton corner was cleared, it fell to the feet of Steven Naismith, who fired the ball towards the goal. David Stockdale was trying to recover after challenging for the initial corner, but could only kick the ball into his own net for an own goal.

Fulham fought back to level the match with a well-struck ball from Ashkan Dejagah in the 71st minute. However, Everton were back on top in quick fashion. Kevin Mirallas gave the Toffees the lead eight minutes later. Aidan McGeady played a lovely through ball and Mirallas did the rest to push Everton in front. Naismith capped off the victory from close-range from a Leighton Baines cross.

Banner Looks Foolish As United Romp Villa– While some Manchester United supporters commissioned a plane to fly over Old Trafford with a banner reading “Wrong One-Moyes Out,” United let on a strong display as they put Aston Villa to the sword.

Ashley Westwood opened up the scoring, giving the banner some credence. Westwood’s free-kick went over the United wall and was deflected into the net by the hand of keeper David De Gea, giving Villa the lead in the 13th minute.

However, United came back with a roar.  Wayne Rooney equalized eight minutes later after being left open as he headed home Shinji Kagawa‘s cross. Near the end of the first half, Juan Mata was taken down in the box and Rooney stepped up to convert from the spot to give United the lead.

Mata then scored his first in a United shirt in the 57th minute. Javier Hernandez added the fourth goal for the Red Devils stoppage time. Adnan Januzaj‘s cross picked out Hernandez at the back post to complete a strong performance from the Red Devils.

Saints Fire Four Past The Magpies– Southampton completely dominated a traveling Newcastle, punishing them to the tune of 4-0.

The Saints took the lead as the first half was coming to a close as Rickie Lambert played a square ball for Jay Rodriguez to tap in easily.

Southampton ramped their game up even more in the second half, adding three goals. Lambert took down a cross from Adam Lallana and fired the ball home into the roof of the net four minutes into the second half.  Lallana then turned goal scorer in the 70th minute. The English international fired from distance beating Artur Boruc for the Saints third.

Rodriguez had his brace in the 89th minute.  Gaston Ramirez played a long ball that was tracked down by Rodriguez, who cut the ball back in the Newcastle box and fired between keeper Rob Elliot‘s legs.

De Guzman Does The Double– Swansea were looking to move away from the relegation pack and made some distance with a 3-0 win over Norwich. The Canaries are still looking to secure their Premier League survival.

Jonathan De Guzman gave the Swans the lead in the 30th minute. His low strike from the top of the box beat Canaries’ keeper John Ruddy. Eight minutes later, Wilfried Bony played a lovely back heel into De Guzman’s path for his second of the match.

With 15 minutes remaining in the match, Jonjo Shelvey picked out Wayne Routledge who beat Ruddy with a low shot to the far post.

Three In A Row For Stoke– In a game that both Hull and Stoke failed to create many chances, the Potters were able to eek out a 1-0 victory.

For Stoke, they are surely safe for another year in the Premier League, while Hull will need a few more points to stamp their survival.

The lone goal of the game came from a Hull mistake. Ahmed Elmohamedy played an errant back pass that was picked off by Peter Odemwingie. The striker drove towards the Hull box and fired a shot from the just outside the 18. His strike beat Steve Harper to give  Stoke the three points.

Sunderland Delve Deeper Towards Relegation– They say Black Cats are unlucky right? It continues to be that way for Sunderland as they near closer towards relegation.

West Ham took the lead through Andy Carroll in the 9th minute and it was a former Newcastle player, adding salt to Sunderland’s wounds. Carroll rose to nod home Mark Noble‘s corner.

The lead was doubled in the 50th minute. James Tomkins took a free-kick from about midfield that Carroll knocked into the path of Mohamed Diame. The midfielder then fired towards the net giving West Ham their second with help from a Santiago Vergini deflection.

Adam Johnson brought life to the Black Cats in the 65th minute after collecting a Craig Gardener pass. Although Sunderland’s play picked up after the goal, they couldn’t find an equalizer.

Note for US Men’s National Team fans; even with Sunderland chasing another goal, Jozy Altidore never made it off the bench.

The Black Cats stay second from the bottom of the table and looking like locks for relegation. With the win, West Ham have just about sewn up their Premier League survival.

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