Review of all of the action from Gameweek 30 of Barclay’s Premier League. All of the goals, misses and incidents can be found here in our Gameweek Round Up.
Man City 3-0 West Brom
Sadly, this fixture was over as a contest as soon as referee Neil Swarbrick controversially sent off West Brom’s Gareth McCauley in the second minute; for a foul committed by McCauley’s teammate Craig Dawson. While the red card was probably justified for the foul, Swarbrick’s error heaped more embarrassment on the Premier League’s increasingly embattled officials.
The sending off also killed any chance of a contest. From that moment on, City dominated the match without ever needing to over exert themselves. Only the inspired work of Boaz Myhill in the West Brom goal kept the scoreline at any semblance of respectability.
It took City 27 minutes to open the scoring through Wilfried Bony – his first for his new club. Thereafter, they added goals from Fernando and David Silva to cruise to victory.
PlayON MoM: Fernando – 2675 pts
Key Stat: Boaz Myhill’s 13 saves were more than double the amount made by any goalkeeper in Gameweek 30.
Aston Villa 0-1 Swansea
A late goal from Bafetimbi Gomis snatched all three points for Swansea and brought the Tim Sherwood era crashing back to earth at Villa Park. Sherwood’s arrival as manager had coincided with an upturn in both goals and results, but this performance was more reminiscent of former manager Paul Lambert’s time at the club.
In truth, Swansea deserved their victory. Gomis should have put them ahead sooner then he did, with only a couple of quality saves from Brad Guzan denying him. At the other end, Villa struggled to create much – managing just three attempts on target in the ninety minutes.
PlayON MoM: Bafetimbi Gomis – 2145 pts
Key Stat: Villa did not create a single big chance in the 90 minutes
Arsenal held off a spirited second-half fightback from Newcastle to clinch a crucial victory at St.James Park. The Gunners looked to be cruising to victory thanks to a brace from Olivier Giroud before half-time. However, Newcastle rallied in the second half and grew in confidence after Moussa Sissokho’s 48th minute goal.
After that, the Magpies laid seige on David Ospina in the Arsenal goal but couldn’t find a way past the Columbian, who made a couple of tidy stops to secure three points for his side.
Arsene Wenger’s men will be relieved with the victory, while Newcastle’s players can take pride in the heart they displayed in a valiant effort. Having been booed off by their own fans at half time, they responded well and will go into their next match – the Tyne-Wear derby – with some confidence.
PlayON MoM: Olivier Giroud – 2975 pts
Key Stat: Olivier Giroud has now scored nine goals in his last nine league games.
Southampton 2-0 Burnley
Despite losing goalkeeper Fraser Forster to injury, Southampton secured an important victory over relegation strugglers Burnley. Irish international Shane Long and an own goal from Burnley’s Jason Shackell did the damage for the Saints, but substitute keeper Kelvin Davies also deserves a huge amount of credit for his performance.
After coming on in the 14th minute with Southampton leading 1-0, the 38 year old Davies made crucial saves from both Sam Vokes and Danny Ings to keep his side ahead. Shackell’s own goal then sealed it for Saints, who remain within touching distance of Champions League qualification and have a relatively kind set of fixture to end the season.
PlayON MoM: Shane Long – 1750 points
Key Stat: Southampton have kept 14 clean sheets this season; the highest number in the league.
Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace
Goals from Glen Murray and Wilfried Zaha helped Crystal Palace to a come from behind victory in an entertaining fixture at the Brittania Stadium.
Stoke striker Mame Biram Diouf had given his side an early lead, but Murray equalised from the spot after Yannick Bolasie was brought down in the penalty area. Murray turned provider four minutes later, flicking on a long ball through for Zaha to chase. The young winger, who had struggled to that point, cooly finished past Asmir Begavic.
Stoke surge forward in the second half in search of an equaliser, but couldn’t find a way past an inspired Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.
PlayON MoM: Mame Biram Diouf – 2000 pts
Key Stat: Glen Murray has now scored four goals in his last six Premier League appearances
Tottenham 4-3 Leicester
A Harry Kane hat-trick secured victory for Spurs in this seven goal thriller at White Hart Lane. On a day when defending was very much optional, Kane responded to his quiet showing against Manchester United with a scintillating performance.
His first two goals gave Spurs a comfortable 2-0 lead inside of fifteen minutes. It didn’t last long. A Jamie Vardy strike halved the deficit before half-time and some abysmal marking at a corner allowed Leicester captain Wes Morgan to level with a free header five minutes after the break.
Kane put Spurs back in front from the penalty spot after David Nugent was harshly adjudged to have fouled Spurs defender Danny Rose. A Jeffrey Schlupp own goal put Spurs 4-2 ahead, before Nugent completed the scoring in injury time.
PlayON MoM: Harry Kane – 4300 pts
Key Stat: Kane has scored 14 Premier League goals in 2015, six more then any other striker.
Liverpool 1-2 Man Utd
Juan Mata was the hero and Steven Gerrard the villan as Man Utd recorded only their second victory at Anfield since 2007. Mata – who has rarely featured for United in recent weeks – scored twice, including an incredible scissors kick volley, while Gerrard was sent off just 38 seconds after his introduction – for a stamp on Ander Herrera.
Frustration and a desire to make an impact obviously played a part in Gerrard’s rash behaviour. He will have watched United dominate the opening exchanges wondering why he wasn’t involved. However, his actions made life extremely tough for his teammates; all of whom deserve credit for fighting till the end.
Daniel Sturridge game them a lifeline with 20 minutes left, but United looked relatively comfortable with the extra man and could have had a third in injury time but for Wayne Rooney’s missed penalty.
PlayON MoM: Juan Mata – 3300 pts
Key Stat: Angel Di Maria had his 9th assist of the season; 2nd most in the Premier League.
Hull 2-3 Chelsea
Chelsea recovered from throwing away a 2-0 deficit to secure a vital three points over Hull, courtesy of a goal from Super Sub, Loic Remy. Jose Mourniho’s men had seemed to have sewn the game up thanks to early goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
However, they were pegged back by an inspired performance from Hull, who equalised through Ahmed Elmohamady and Abel Hernandez. The home side managed an impressive 14 attempts on goal – in the first-half – as they exposed a fragility rarely seen in the Chelsea defence.
In the end, though, their failure to take advantage of those opportunities was punished when Remy scored with his first touch to give Chelsea the lead once more. Unlike the first half, Hull were unable to muster another fight back and Chelsea survived.
PlayON MoM: Diego Costa – 2150 pts
Key Stat: Chelsea scored from all three of their shots on target.
QPR 1-2 Everton
A 77th minute winner from Everton’s Aaron Lennon heaped yet more relegation pressure on QPR. The result sees them remain four points from safety with time running out to close the gap.
Seamus Coleman had given Roberto Martinez’side an early lead, finishing off a swift counter-attack move. However, the visitor’s lax defending appeared to have cost them three points when Eduardo Vargas equalised from a corner with 25 minutes left.
QPR had several other chances to add to their goal tally in the second half. Junior Hoillet hit the crossbar from distance, while Charlie Austin had a couple of decent chances.
PlayON MoM: Aaron Lennon – 2175 pts
Key Stat: QPR managed just one shot on target from 14 attempts.