Adam’s Premier League Column: City Close the Gap to Twelve Points

The Barclays Premier League returned this weekend after some exciting F.A. Cup ties last week. Liverpool secured a 5-0 win over Swansea in what was the only league game last week. Congratulations to the Swans for securing a 5-0 win themselves in the Capital One Cup Final, too.

 

Top Three Games

 

Manchester City 2 Chelsea 0

Manchester United’s win against bottom club Queens Park Rangers meant that the pressure was well and truly on City. Prior to the match, United were fifteen points clear and a loss for City would have meant that the title race would be all but over.

Roberto Mancini criticised some of his playersin a mid-week press conference and it looked to have spurred his side on. Chelsea, in truth, were poor all over the park in this game. However, take nothing away from City as they did a very professional job. I thought that JackRodwell, who earned his first start since  1st of September, was superb in the midfield along with Javi Garcia. Mancini, knowing the importance of the game, opted to play a more compact midfield and that certainly worked wonders as Lampard, Ramiresand Mikelwere outnumbered and largely ineffective.

The turning point of the game came on 51 minutes as Joe Hart saved his second penalty in three weeks, denying Frank Lampard his 200th goal for Chelsea. City took full advantage of that uncharacteristic moment from Lampard and YayaToure opened the scoring eleven minutes later, his curling shot, which took a slight deflection of Gary Cahill, sailed pass ‘keeper Cech.

Chelsea then brought on Oscar, Moses and Torres in a desperate attempt to score, but Carlos Tevez ensured that they grabbed the three points on offer with a wonderful effort from 20 yards. It was a great result for City and I wouldn’t rule out the Sky Blues just yet.

 

Reading 0 Wigan 3

It was a vial game for both sides as they are dangerously lingering in and around the relegation zone. They seemed to have carried on that end-of-season rush of good form, which they’ve proved to do in countless seasons, with an impressive victory over Brian McDermott’s Royals, whose home form has been impressive of late. Reading did well to contain the dominant away side right until the 44th minute as they were dealt with two almighty blows in their quest for survival. Kone scored his first goal of the afternoon from close range and further doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time from the edge of the area.

It was time for McDermott to regroup and change some things around but, two minutes after the restart, they conceded yet again. Maynor Figueroa this time found space from the deep inside the box to score Wigan’s third and final goal of the game.

After the defeat Brian McDermott said: “I’m going to move on quickly from that game. It’s the only thing you can do in a situation like that.

“The first 43 minutes there wasn’t too much in the game. They got a real spring in their step once they scored.”

 

West Brom 2 Sunderland 1

I chose this game as the final one of my top three, simply because of Lukaku’s scintillating performance. The 19 year old powerhouse demonstrated again what Chelsea are missing out on. He seems to have the knack of knowing where the goal is, as well as his terrific willpower to get forward and support his team mates and he was rewarded with his efforts with two goals.

His first was from the penalty spot after referee, Roger East, said that Gary Gardner alleged to have handled the ball. Still, the Belgium stepped up and coolly slotted past his compatriot Mignolet.

His second came after a stray ball from Black Cats defender Titus Bramble enabled the on-running Lukaku to pounce on the mistake, and his initial shot hit the ‘keeper which ultimately rebounded back off the forward and into the empty net.

Sunderland’s consolation goal came from Sessegnon as his shot found the top right-hand corner of the goal.

 

My Team of the Week

 

Written by Adam May

Follow Adam on Twitter @Amay132

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