The round of Premier League fixtures on Easter Weekend had a number of strikes which will be candidates for Goal of the Season award. The weekend’s results cemented the position of Manchester United and Arsenal in the top four while casting Liverpool and Spurs away from the premier European club football competition.

 

Chelsea 2-1 Stoke City

Chelsea went 7 points clear at the top thanks to a coolly taken penalty by Hazard and a simple tap-in by Remy. Hazard scored his ninth consecutive Premier League penalty keeping his 100% record intact after Fabregas was brought down by defender Wollscheid. Stoke were out-matched by a well-drilled Chelsea side and Begovic was kept busy as Chelsea took 19 shots on goal. Charlie Adam saw Chelsea keeper Courtois off his line and attempted a lob from his own half which successfully flew over the Belgian keeper’s head and into the net. The wonder strike leveled the match against run of play but Remy was on hand to score the winning goal and taking Chelsea closer to the title.

 

Manchester United 3-1 Aston Villa

Manchester United had an opportunity to leap frog fierce rivals City by beating Villa. Aston Villa have been improving steadily under the stewardship of Tim Sherwood but the sheer class of United was enough to blow them away and enabled United to move to third place. Manchester United’s 76% possession underlined their superiority and Old Trafford once again looked like a fortress of the old as United 20 shots compared to Villa’s 5. Marcos Rojo’s 25-yard drive was tipped away by American goalkeeper Guzan but he was unable to stop a low, well placed shot by Herrera after a pull-back from Blind on the left flank. England and United captain Wayne Rooney attempted an over-head kick reminiscent of the one he scored against City but was unable to connect correctly. Angel Di Maria’s ordinary cross was brought down thanks to a great first touch by Rooney and the tireless forward scored a stunner as he spun and hammered the ball into the net. Benteke scored a goal for Aston Villa within minutes after Rooney’s spectacular goal but De Gea should have saved it and kept a clean sheet for United. Herrera was kissed at half time by Van Gaal for following his instruction of controlling the ball before shooting and he showed the coach he could score without controlling the ball as his second goal of the game wrapped up a fine day for United.

 

Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool

Arsenal ended Liverpool’s top-4 ambitions by thrashing them at the Emirates. Arsenal set the platform for a vital victory as they scored 3 goals during 8 minutes in the first half against fellow Champions League aspirants. Young defender Bellerin, World Cup winner Ozil and former Barcelona winger Sanchez scored three goals in the space of eight minutes during the first half to cement their place in the top-4. Henderson scored a penalty for Liverpool who had Emre Can sent off for a second yellow card. In form striker Olivier Giroud compounded the misery in 90th minute as he scored Arsenal’s fourth goal. Fans of both Arsenal and Liverpool protested at the game against rising cost of watching football matches.

 

West Bromwich Albion 1-4 Queens Park Rangers

QPR needed a win to keep their hopes of another season in the Premier League alive. It was only the second away win for QPR in the entire season and underlined the optimism Chris Ramsey has brought to the team.  QPR captain Joey Barton was involved in another Red Card situation as he was elbowed by Mulumbu who was sent off for the offence. The captain kept his cool and scored QPR’s 4th goal to seal an emphatic win over Tony Pulis’ West Brom. Eduardo Vargas continued his good form and scored the first goal of the game, which was followed by Charlie Austin’s header and a superb chip from Zamora all of which came in the first half. Victor Anichebe pulled one back for WBA but Barton rounded off a fine counter attack with 5th goal of the game. Charlie Austin proved to be a constant nuisance for the shaky West Brom defence and provided two assists in addition to his goal.

 

Other Fixtures

A brace by Gomis gave Swansea 3-1 victory over Hull. The French striker is relishing his additional responsibility after transfer of Bony to Manchester City and the win opened a 4 point gap between Swansea and 9th placed West Ham who lost at Leicester.  Seasoned midfielder Cambiasso’s goal put Leicester City in the driving seat in the twelfth minute but the lead lasted only twenty minutes as David Nugent had a penalty saved and then Kouyate scored the equalizer. King scored his first goal of the season to put Leicester 2-1 up with only four minutes to play.

Tottenham could have won away at Burnley to leapfrog Liverpool to 5th position, but Harry Kane’s first game as captain of Spurs ended in a goal-less draw. Defoe’s 45th minute spectacular strike gave Sunderland a sixth consecutive derby victory over their fierce rivals Newcastle. Goalkeeper of the losing side was caught in controversy as he was seen patting and congratulating Defoe in the tunnel during the half-time break.

Everton finally kept a clean sheet as they defeated Southampton thanks to solitary goal by captain Jagielka. Everton’s change in fortunes has coincided by their three key players, Jagielka, Howard and Baines returning to form.

 

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS

 

SUN 5 APR 2015

Burnley 0 - 0 Tottenham

Sunderland 1 - 0 Newcastle

 

SAT 4 APR 2015

Arsenal 4 - 1 Liverpool

Everton 1 - 0 Southampton

Leicester 2 - 1 West Ham

Man Utd 3 - 1 Aston Villa

Swansea 3 - 1 Hull

West Brom 1 - 4 QPR

Chelsea 2 - 1 Stoke

 

SUN 22 MAR 2015

Liverpool 1 - 2 Man Utd

Hull 2 - 3 Chelsea

QPR 1 - 2 Everton