It’s fair to say the Premier League well and truly returned last weekend! From Christian Eriksen to Cristiano Ronaldo, this week has propped up a haul of beautiful goals for you to take your pick from.
Alan Pardew’s latest managerial stint has come to a close. In his final game in charge, Burnley were the visitors at the Hawthorns and took the lead through Ashley Barnes. And what a goal it was too. After a neat cross from Aaron Lennon, the ball found it’s way to an unmarked Ashley Barnes who then struck home a magnificent overhead kick. Such was the quality of the goal, it prompted Burnley’s social media team upload an hour long video of it being repeated on loop. Cristiano Ronaldo eat your heart out.
On Wednesday morning, Sky Sports presenter Jim White asked his Twitter followers whether they had seen a more exciting Battle of Britain European match-up than Liverpool versus Man City in the Quarter Final? I’d say Chelsea and Manchester United challenging for the actual trophy back in 2008 trumped that, Jim.
Nevertheless, the old saying that supporters can be ‘the 12th man’ rang true in a game nobody could have predicted panning out the way it did. Liverpool were fired up, and there is scarcely a more fearful sight in world football at the moment than Mohamed Salah. Add Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to the mix and that is a scary triumvirate. On the counter, Man City could not deal with the Reds. Kyle Walker’s defensive liability showed when he let Salah cut onto his favourite left foot, and 10 seconds later put the home team one up. A fantastic strike from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain extended their lead before Mane’s header wrapped up the win by half time. Basically, my choice for player of the year Kevin De Bruyne was outclassed by Salah and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it.
In the Europa League, Aaron Ramsey made relations between the UK and Russia much worse. The Welshman’s second goal was truly magical. A sumptuous chip by Mesut Ozil over the CSKA Moscow defence was met by the outside boot of Ramsey’s right foot to deftly divert it over Igor Akinfeev into the net. Mesut Ozil assisted the three of Arsenal’s four goals, proving once again why he’s world class, as is now the undervalued Ramsey.
Cup-tied Aubameyang resisted the urge to get a hat-trick in their 3-0 over Stoke on Sunday, when he insisted on letting Alexandre Lacazette take a penalty to build up his confidence. And the Frenchman’s confidence was again increased against CSKA, after bagging a brace. It finished 4-1, but the Gunners were not clinical enough. Not that it should matter now, but this is Arsenal you know.
In another of the 5864 London derbies, Chelsea and Spurs battled it out for the race to stay in the top four. And the spoils went to Spurs, when Christian Eriksen’s unbelievable strike just before the break proved the catalyst for a dominant second half performance from the away team. Alvaro Morata rewarded Antonio Conte for starting him by heading in the opener.
The Danish Ozil, Christian Eriksen, tested Willy Caballero with one or two decent efforts from distance before it was too many for the keeper, when Eriksen hit one from 30 odd yards. What a hit son, indeed. And their second goal wasn’t too bad either. A sensational pass from Eric Dier found the on running Dele Alli who beautifully controlled the long ball and struck home. Not done there, he buried home a slightly easier goal. This time from about 3 yards.
Manchester City’s David Silva ensured Everton supporters still received value for money when he dazzled at Goodison Park. In a non-contest, it was a walk in the park for Pep’s title winners as they strolled to a 3-1 win. It set up the prospect of winning the Premier League at home to Manchester United today and I for one cannot bloody wait for it. The Reds prepared for the game with a 2-0 win at home to Swansea, and Alexis Sanchez was productive as he got a goal. Elsewhere, a stoppage time equaliser from Jermaine Defoe earned a 2-2 draw away to Watford. Newcastle defeated Huddersfield thanks to an unfamiliar goal at home by Ayoze Perez, and West Ham swept Southampton aside 3-0. Finally, Jamie Vardy’s party was in full swing on the Saturday night when he scored the second of Leicester City’s 2-0 win at Brighton, despite Wilfred Ndidi’s sending off.
And that’s it. Enjoy your weekend everyone.