BPL Recap, Highlights: Liverpool control title destiny, Sunderland fall deeper into relegation woe, more

IMAGE, LIVERPOOLFC.COM

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

With a win, Liverpool would control their Premiership destiny. In a back and forth affair at Anfield, the Reds found their victory, thanks in part to Vincent Kompany, on a day the Hillsborough 96 were remembered.

It was the Belgian’s error that set-up Liverpool for the winner. Make no mistake though; it was a sublime finish from Philippe Coutinho. Kompany mis-hit his clearance and Coutinho tracked the ball to the top of the boz. His first time shot found the far corner in the 78th minute to give Liverpool a 3-2 win.

The Reds jumped out to an early lead through Raheem SterlingLuis Suarez played an incisive pass into the box to the young winger, who did well to cut the ball once left then right to create space and fire home at the near post in the 6th minute. Martin Skrtel doubled the advantage in the 26th minute. Skrtel connected with Steven Gerrard‘s corner kick, directing the ball to the far post.

The visitors were able to get back in the game in the second half. David Silva pulled one back in the 57th minute. James Milner drove towards the goal-line and cut the ball back towards the top of the six yard box as Silva found the back of the net. Silva then created the second. The Spanish midfielder found space in the box on the left and his low cross was deflected into the net by Glen Johnson in the 62nd minute.

Jordon Henderson picked up a late red card, but it wasn’t enough time for City to capitalize on.

Liverpool have a two point lead at the top, while City fall seven points off the pace. They do still have two games in hand.

Other Premier League Results

1. Sunderland’s Relegation Hole Gets Deeper– Sunderland and Everton both needed points. Everton was looking to ascend into the Champions League places, while Sunderland were looking to claim points in a fight for survival.

However, it was a Black Cats mistake that will see them end with nothing. Gerard Deulofeu drove towards the goal-line and cut the ball back. Wes Brown lunged to try to deflect the ball out for a corner, but instead it went towards the net and past goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

It was another bad luck moment for Sunderland, who have a season full of them. They continue to rest in the bottom of the league, seven points from safety.

The Toffees leap frog Arsenal in the table to fourth, holding a two point advantage in the race for a Champions League place.

2. Fulham Nearing Safety– With back-to-back wins, Fulham inches closer to relegation survival. More importantly, beating Norwich pulls the Canaries closer to the relegation scrum aiding, Fulham in their survival.

Norwich looked the better of the sides in the opening 45 minutes, forcing David Stockdale into several good saves. Robert Snodgrass came close with a free-kick, but it rattled the cross bar. However, the Canaries would rue their missed chances. Hugo Rodallega smashed home from close-range for the only goal of the match. Lewis Holtby‘s free-kick was flicked on by Steve Sidwell as Rodallega’s one time shot from six yards out found the back of the net.

Fulham now sit just two points behind Fulham in their race for safety. The Cottagers have looked a much better side of late and may start to look like favorites to avoid the drop. Norwich, on the other hand, continue to slide. With three losses in a row, they very well could be headed into the bottom three.

3. Fortunate Chelsea Keeps Pace– Chelsea were looking to keep pace at the top and did so — with a little bit of luck.

Chico Flores was sent off with two yellow cards in the first 15 minutes. However, the Swans were resilient and looked set to scrape out a draw as they looked to distance themselves from the relegation heap.

Similar to midweek against Paris St. Germain, Demba Ba was the hero once more.Nemanja Vidic found Ba with a long ball in the build up. Ba’s shot appeared to take a deflection off of defender Ashley Williams, but Michael Vorm should have done better. The shot snuck under Vorm’s dive on the way to the back of the net.

4. Cardiff Keep Survival Hopes Alive–  Cardiff was also looking to find their way out of the bottom three and moved closer to that goal with a win over Southampton.

The Saints were dominant in possession and chance creation, but were unable to turn all their good play into a goal. It was the Premier League strugglers that found the all important goal. Juan Cala‘s strike from distance proved to be the difference. Cala chested the ball down after a Southampton clearance, side-stepped the defender and fired to the far post.

Cardiff still sit second from bottom, sitting just three points away from safety. Southampton remain comfortably in mid-table.

5. Tottenham Rescues Point Late Against Struggling West Brom– Both Tottenham and West Brom have had mixed results of late. Spurs have fallen further from a Top Four challenge, while the Baggies are still in danger of relegation.

However, it was the Baggies that came out firing on all cylinders. It took just 25 seconds for the Baggies to go ahead. Morgan Amalfitano‘s cross was pushed away by Hugo Lloris, but only into the path of Vydra who half-volleyed for the lead. 

The lead was doubled three minutes later. Steven Reid‘s cross was flicked on to Chris Brunt, who fired home at the back post.

Spurs had a chance to come back into the game, but Emmanuel Adebayor‘s tame penalty kick was saved by Ben Foster.

The Baggies then added a third goal in the 31st minute through Stephane Sessegnon. He beat Vlad Chiriches in a foot race and then beat Lloris to make it 3-0.

However, Spurs fought back to share the points. It was an own goal by Jonas Olsson three minutes later that started it. Aaron Lennon‘s cross came off of the Baggies defender and into the net. It took until the 70th minute for Spurs to find their second. Lennon was involved again crossing from the right. Harry Kane headed in at the back post, scoring for the second time this week after his effort against Sunderland.

Christian Eriksen then leveled in dramatic circumstances. For the third time, Lennon sent in a cross that ended up at the feet of Eriksen. After taking a touch, he fired to the far corner to equalize in the fourth minute of second half stoppage-time.

West Brom are three points adrift of the relegation zone, while Tottenham remain in sixth.

6. Newcastle Lose Again– Newcastle has been in relegation form, losing five of their last six matches. Luckily enough for the Magpies, there is enough distance between them and the bottom.

The difference came just before halftime. Erik Pieters sent in what looked like a cross, but it floated towards the back post, came off of it and into the net. Tim Krul was left back-pedaling, but couldn’t reach the ball in time to keep it out.

Newcastle sit just above Stoke in the table in 8th place.

7. Palace Win Three In A Row– Crystal Palace were once thought to be meeting the drop, but have roared back. With three wins in a row, they have all but achieved safety.

Yannick Bolasie picked out Jason Puncheon, who did brilliantly to turn in the box and fire to the far post in the 76th minute against Aston Villa.

For Palace they climb to to 12th. Aston Villa drop to 14th, moving closer to the relegation scrap heap, now just four points adrift of the bottom three.

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