Close race remains at top after matchweek 26 of Barclay’s Premiere League | The Triangle

Close race remains at top after matchweek 26 of Barclay’s Premiere League

Matchweek 26 of the Barclays Premier League started out the morning of Feb. 13 with a fixture between Sunderland and Manchester United.
United had been finding form recently and were starting to look like the team everyone so famously knows. However, that all changed when they arrived at the Stadium of Light.
Within the first three minutes, Sunderland were up 1-0 thanks to a free kick by January signing Wahbi Khazri. From that point on, United looked the better side of the first half, and in the 39th minute they got their goal through young Frenchman Anthony Martial. Juan Mata hit a low powerful drive towards the bottom left corner of the goal which Vito Mannone saved beautifully. Unfortunately for him, he could only parry the ball away and Martial was the first to get there, floating a chipped shot over the sprawled out goalkeeper knotting the game at one.
The game stayed at 1-1 until the 82nd minute when January signing Lamine Kone leapt high above the United defense, heading the ball on goal, which David de Gea fumbled and eventually knocked into his own net. The game finished like this, with Sunderland taking all three points and the possibility of Champions League football looking even slimmer for Manchester United.
The other score lines on Saturday were a 1-0 win for Southampton over Swansea, a 2-2 draw between Norwich and West Ham, a 2-1 win for Watford over slumping Crystal Palace, a 3-1 victory for Stoke City over Bournemouth to get them back on track after a rough patch of games, a 1-0 hard fought win for West Brom over Everton, and a 5-1 thumping of Newcastle by Chelsea. The West Brom win was quite incredible, as they scored in the 15th minute and basically went into a shell, taking wave after wave of pressure from Everton, somehow managing to maintain their clean sheet. Chelsea came out brightly in their win, scoring three goals in the first 17 minutes and never looking back.
Sunday morning saw arguably the matchup of the season when first place Leicester took on third place Arsenal.
The game started with Arsenal dominating possession, and in the 16th minute, some of the best action of the game occurred. Aaron Ramsey was set free, with just him versus the goalkeeper, but Kasper Schmeichel came flying off his line, and beat Ramsey to the ball with a sliding effort, springing a counter attack for Leicester.
Marc Albrighton got on the ball for Leicester and swung in a beautiful cross to the back post, which found the head of Vardy, but veteran Petr Cech got down in time to block the shot and keep Arsenal tied.
The drama started in the 45th minute when Jamie Vardy got on the ball after the referee smartly played an advantage for a foul on N’Golo Kante. Vardy got into the box and controversially went down after a foul by Nacho Monreal, and the ref gave the penalty. Vardy stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom corner giving Leicester the lead at the half.
Shortly after the second half began, Leicester defender Danny Simpson picked up a yellow card. Just five minutes later he picked up another yellow, and was sent off leaving Leicester with 10 men for the final forty minutes or so. Leicester packed in tightly, but it wasn’t enough as substitute Theo Walcott found the back of the net in the 71st minute after a headed pass from Olivier Giroud. That wasn’t all, though: Monreal won a free kick in a dangerous position in the 94th minute. Ozil took the free kick, finding Danny Welbeck, playing in his first game since April, who headed the ball in to give Arsenal the 2-1 win and cut the gap between them and Leicester at the top of the table to just two points.
The second game of Sunday saw Liverpool absolutely demolish bottom of the table Aston Villa. The final score was 6-0 with goals for Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Yaya Toure. The chances of Villa surviving relegation are looking nearly impossible by now as they are eight points away from safety.
The final game Feb. 14 saw Tottenham take on Manchester City in another clash of the top four, with Tottenham starting the matchweek in second and Manchester City in fourth. City’s captain Vincent Kompany was back in the starting lineup for the first time since November due to injury.
The first half was solid defensively for both teams as they felt each other out.
The fireworks started nine minutes into the second half when Tottenham’s Danny Rose collected the ball on the wing and swung in a cross that caught the arm of City’s Sterling according to referee Mark Clattenburg. A penalty was given and Harry Kane stepped up and sent it right down the middle giving the Spurs the 1-0 lead. Now the game had opened up, and City were pressing. They brought on youngster Iheanacho in the 66th minute, who in turn finished off a nice sequence with a shot into the upper corner just eight minutes after coming on.
Back at a level score, it was anyone’s game. Lamela was substituted in for Tottenham in the 81st minute and just two minutes later he sent a brilliant through ball towards Eriksen who gathered it and slotted it home past the onrushing Joe Hart. This was Eriksen’s fifth goal of the season and also a nice birthday present as he turned 24 that day. It ended up being the winning goal despite a strong push by the home side to try and claw back a draw before the final whistle blew.