Alright so firstly my apologies for the lack of a review last week! We’ve been a little distracted over at the Addicts. Anyway, we’re back as the business end of the season rapidly approaches.. unfortunately this will be a little bit shorter than usual but let’s just get into it.
Everton 2 – 0 Man City
Well, when things go bad they sometimes turn a bit sour. City are definitely turning sour. A somewhat surprise win here for the Toffees, who really outplayed City for most of the game. The highlights included a stunning opener from Osman from very long range following a repelled corner and an injury time sealer from Jelavic after an assist from Fellaini. That second goal wasn’t before Fellaini got himself yellow carded for what was a fair challenge in my eyes, resulting in a two week ban due to accumulated yellow cards. To rub further salt into the wound, Pienaar got himself sent off for a second yellow card for a sloppy challenge in the second half. Regardless, even with ten men the Toffees were able to hold out a lackluster City who were without both Yaya Toure and Aguero.
Bonus Points: Osman (3), Fellaini (2), Mucha (1).
Swansea 0 – 2 Arsenal
A surprise result here with Arsenal actually taking all three points home from the Liberty. A tight game was finally broke up 16 minutes from time when Monreal scored his first goal since signing for Arsenal in January, with Gervinho sealing the result in injury time. Unfortunately for Michu owners, he was somewhat of an outsider this game as the Arsenal defense held a very high line – he just isn’t suited to this lone striker role in my opinion. The gunners were driven quite heavily by Cazorla who could be a good option for those of you looking for a Fellaini replacement (if you can afford it). Arsenal’s upcoming fixtures look friendly (especially if this was anything to go by) and they have the double in GW33 coming up.
Bonus Points: Monreal (3), Jenkinson (2), Gervinho (1).
Aston Villa 3 – 2 QPR
Ah a relegation battle – generally charged with energy and emotion.. and goals. It didn’t fail to deliver on that either, being the highest scoring game of the round as both sides chased an invaluable three points. The goals here opened with Jenas deservedly putting the R’s in front after dominating the first half. However Agbonlahor soon leveled against the run of play and Weimann then put the home side in front. Ranger’s weren’t dead though and leveled through January signing Townsend who is just in fantastic form at the moment (another option to replace Fellaini – on the cheap too!). The home fans were the ones celebrating though as Benteke stole the three points for the Villains, his seventh goal in his last eight games.
Bonus Points: Weimann (3), Agbonlahor (2), Jenas (1).
Southampton 3 – 1 Liverpool
This is what you get with Liverpool these days, you either get the brilliant or the ordinary.. and it’s impossible to know which one you’re likely to get on any given week. Anyway, the saints dominated this game from the outset. It only took six minutes for Schneiderlin to put the saints in front and they never looked like relishing that lead. Lambert put them further in front before Coutinho drew one back pouncing on a loose ball just before the half after Boruc blocked a Sturridge shot from close range. The result was only solidified in the second half, as Rodriguez put another one past Jones.. who sadly just isn’t of EPL quality I’m afraid.
Bonus Points: Lambert (3), Schneiderlin (2), Coutinho (1).
Stoke 0 – 0 West Brom
The scoreline might say it was dour, but the first half was even more dour than nil all. Anyway, early in the second half both Crouch and Lukaku had chances they both didn’t convert.. and that’s about as good as it got really. Wilson continued filling in for Huth at CB who should be back next fixture after his three match ban. Otherwise it’s all really much of a muchness here.. clean sheets and bonus points for all! Almost literally….
Bonus Points: Ridgewell (3), Odemwingie (2), Foster (2), Begovic (2), Shawcross (2) and Etherington (2). Phew!
Man United 1 – 0 Reading
Unfortunately, United played following the earlier City result which I think really put a downer on this game. They knew all they had to do was win and they virtually sealed the title. There were restings everywhere, which unfortunately included Evra and Rafael, whilst Rooney, RVP and Welbeck all started. The game was really quite placid and United didn’t trouble the Reading defense anywhere near as much as you’d expect, whilst the royals kept occasionally catching the future champions off guard at the back – to no avail though. The winner came in the first half when Ferdinand of all people ran at the defense before offloading to Rooney whose deflected effort from range sailed over backup keeper Taylor.
Bonus Points: Rooney (3), Ferdinand (2), Giggs (1).
Sunderland 1 – 1 Norwich
This game started with the home side attacking as you’d expect, Bunn denied Graham from close range when the January signing should really have converted. They paid full price when the canaries took the lead following a succession of corners, where the last of the lot forced some scrambling and was turned in by Hoolahan on the line. Then the game was thrown into disarray as Turner’s backpass to Bunn was poor with the keeper coming out of his box and the bouncing ball catching his arm off his chest. A red card ensued and he was replaced by Lee Camp. Before the half it got worse for the canaries as Bassong was deemed to handle the ball in the box, Gardner then smashed home his eighth goal of the campaign from the spot. The canaries held out though, not without its hairy moments though which included Sessegnon dragging a golden opportunity wide just three minutes before time.
Bonus Points: Gardner (3), Hoolahan (2), Johnson (1).
Tottenham 0 – 1 Fulham
This was probably the surprise for me – Fulham have improved lately but to take all three points against an in form Spurs (well, Bale) was definitely not expected. Anyway, Spurs started strongly with Bale returning to their lineup after missing the midweek fixture in UCL due to yellow card accumulation. He had a shot cleared off the line by Reither following a corner early in the piece, however that was about as good as it got for him. In the second half Dempsey was introduced but it was the cottagers who rattled the net – Berbatov scoring his third goal in four games, haunting his former club. Fulham controlled the remainder of the game and even should have consolidated that when Ruiz found Dejegah late on, but the winger unable to find the netting.
Bonus Points: Berbatov (3), Reither (2), Ruiz (1).
Wigan 2 – 1 Newcastle
Wigan just being Wigan at this time of the year really. They’re going to find a way to escape relegation aren’t they.. gees. Anyhow, it was Wigan who hit the lead when Beausejour found the target after 18 minutes, capitalising when Santon couldn’t clear following a loose ball after Kone missed a header. After dominating the early exchanges of the game before falling behind, the magpies didn’t level until 18 minutes from time when Cisse and Santon combined after capitalising on a rare error in holding possession by the latics. They recovered however, with a 90 minute winner from Kone after a goal line scramble. Cisse himself had a chance to get the three points for the toon just prior but his shot was deflected wide, the latics escape again.
Bonus Points: Santon (3), Beausejour (2), Maloney (1).
Chelsea 2 – 0 West Ham
A result probably most expected, topped off with Lampard’s 200th goal for the blues as well. All is rosy right? Wrong. If you have Ba still for some reason, get rid of him. He’s turned into a cheaper version of Torres.. somehow. The former hammers striker had several chances to score against his old side but found ways to miss every time. Anyway, as I mentioned Lampard scored and Hazard and Mata ran amok. Mata showed signs of returning to form and his assist will be welcomed by patient owners who held him through his lean run. The clean sheet was just the bonus that some of us hoped for, mostly Luiz and Azpilicueta owners – who weren’t at any real threat of losing those points at any stage throughout.
Bonus Points: Hazard (3), Azpilicueta (2), Ramires (1).
Summary for the GW30:
Lord: de Gea, Wilson, Mata
Loser: Everyone. SAF included for resting Evra.
Trades: I tried preparing for the upcoming doubles last week, which cost me (see below). So it’ll be a quiet week this one, especially as my Michu replacement (Fellaini) went and got himself suspended.
Vent: The net result of using my two free transfers this week cost me a few points, dropping Sturridge and Lambert who both provided attacking returns, to bring back RVP and Anichebe (bench).. was not a winning move this week.
Onto our little tipping competition again (in Seag’s preview article):
Seag’s: 5 (2 correct results, 1 correct score)
Matty: 4 (4 correct results)
Myself: 7 (4 correct results, 1 correct score)
Overall I think Seag’s is still in front, but it’ll be very close between the three of us with Matty and I just about level pegging now I reckon. Seag’s will hopefully update us with the totals…
That’s it from me for now. I hope to be back at some point this week with some more content, exactly what we’re not sure but you can be assured it will be worthy of late night reading if you’re struggling to get to sleep.. Until then!