Premier League Football 2013/2014 Week 22

In this week’s Premier League, Chelsea inflicted Manchester City’s first home defeat of the season, blowing the title race wide open. Arsenal remain top with both Manchester United and Liverpool slipping.

Premier League

"We played well but for their first goal it was an incredible deflection and the second was a worldy."

Manchester City lost for the first time at the Etihad stadium this season at the hands of Chelsea, who buoyantly enhanced their title credentials.

As a result, Arsenal retained the top spot as they have done so for most of the season after their weekend win.

Champions Manchester United’s season goes from bad to worse, despite starting with an array of their best players.

Liverpool also slipped up against a well-organised West Bromwich Albion side.

Stoke City 2 Manchester United 1 – 3pm KO, Saturday

Premier League Stoke V Manchester United

Former Liverpool man ‘Champagne’ Charlie Adam was the toast of the town with an excellent double that left Manchester United stunned.

The Champions started the match with their stars Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and the newly acquired Juan Mata, but they still lost to a solid Stoke City performance who deserved the victory. Charlie Adam had a long range free kick that had a bit of luck deflecting in, but they all count.

Having taken the lead into the half time break, Manchester United equalised 2 minutes into the second half through Van Persie. Adam struck again 5 minutes later however with a wonder strike that left United Goalkeeper De Gea helpless.

Despite pressure from the away side near the end, Stoke held on for a famous and deserved home win.

Manchester United Manager David Moyes has now lost 8 of the 24 Premier League matches under his stewardship. He said after the match: “I don’t know what we have to do to win. I thought we were extremely unlucky. We played well but for their first goal it was an incredible deflection and the second was a worldy.”

West Bromwich Albion 1 Liverpool 1 – 1.30pm KO, Sunday

Premier League West Brom V Liverpool

Off the back of a Merseyside derby mauling of Everton, much was expected of Liverpool. Unfortunately, the Reds failed to deliver, despite taking the lead.

Despite a slow start, the visitors took the lead thanks to the SAS, with Daniel Sturridge scoring from a Luis Suárez assist. West Bromwich Albion didn’t stop their momentum however and finished the half formidably.

A more positive home performance saw the introduction of former Everton man Victor Anichebe. An almost instant impact Saw Anichebe score 3 minutes after coming on, thanks to a howler by Liverpool defender Kolo Toure who gifted the Striker the ball to score.

Both sides went in search for a winner that never came, but the Baggies will be pleased with taking a point off Champions League chasing Liverpool. Liverpool have now only kept one clean sheet in 11 away games.

Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 0 – 4pm KO, Saturday

Premier League Arsenal V Crystal Palace

Arsenal’s well piled machine kept it business as usual as they swept aside a plucky Crystal Palace.

The away side held their own until half time, but saw England’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put the league leaders 1-0 only 2 minutes into the 2nd half with his first goal of the season. Oxlade-Chamberlain had only just returned to the fold after 4 months out with a knee injury.

Crystal Palace didn’t create many chances to level and the one or two they had were wasted. They were made to pay, however, as Oxlade-Chamberlain struck again for his and Arsenal’s second goal of the game 17 minutes from the end that sealed the points. A delighted Oxlade-Chamberlain said post-match:

“Being out for a long time is mentally tough, but you have to stay positive and you think that when you come back you will be stronger – that’s what keeps you motivated.”

Crystal Palace have scored the fewest goals in the Premier League this season with a paltry 15 goals in 24 matches.

Manchester City 0 Chelsea 1 – 8pm KO, Monday

Premier League Manchester City V Chelsea

Manchester City’s incredibly impressive home record came to a crashing end thanks to a Chelsea side that turned in a perfect performance. Eleven home wins out of eleven for the home side didn’t affect Chelsea entering the contest in a confident mood.

The home side started the brighter, dominating proceedings and creating the early chances. Chelsea’s counter attacking tactics however, worked well as they carved out opportunities from almost nothing.

Their attacking flow soon got them their just rewards as Chelsea’s Serbian Defender, Branislav Ivanovi?, thundered in a left foot strike to put the visitors ahead.

Going in ahead at the break, the visitors were expecting a City side with all guns blazing in the second half. As much as they tried however, the hosts couldn’t get the break they were looking for. If anything, Chelsea could have extended their lead as they managed to hit the woodwork thrice.

Chelsea managed to hang on to victory and turn an interesting twist in the title race, whilst reaffirming their strong presence in the Premier League.

This was the first time Manchester City had failed to score in a home league match since November 2010.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, the North East derby saw Newcastle United lose heavily with a 3-0 home defeat to arch rivals Sunderland. Everton kept in touch with the Champions League chasers with a 2-1 home win against Aston Villa.

Tottenham Hotspur were held to a 1-1 draw at Hull as Southampton recorded a 3-0 away win to Shahid Khan’s Fulham. West Ham saw off the challenge of Swansea with a 2-0 home win as Cardiff beat Norwich 2-1 at home.

Next week sees a stern test of Arsenal’s title credentials with a visit to Liverpool as the Premier League sees Welsh sides Swansea at home to Cardiff.

Rupen has been passionate about writing since childhood. Tanzanian born, Rupen grew up in London and also lived and studied in exotic India and vibrant Liverpool. His motto is: “Think positive and the rest will follow.”