Sunday, 31 January 2016 00:00

Premier League Week 23 review

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What a week of action we had! As expected, the twenty teams in the top flight of English Premier League (EPL) continued their quest for supremacy in the right earnest. There were notable events at both ends of the table and we look back at the action in our review.

Arsenal halted by Chelsea, again!


It must be a sense of déjà vu for Arsene Wenger! Continuing his tradition of losing to his London neighbours, Wenger lost again to Chelsea at home to a lone Diego Costa goal. The Gunners were chasing the game right from the start and the red card to Per Mertesacker pushed them further back.

Costa loves playing the pantomime villain against Arsenal and he was at the act again. The referee may have been right in flashing the card but there is no doubt that Costa made the most of the occasion. And he added insult to injury by scoring soon afterwards. Cesc Fabregas was the master of the show and he didn’t miss reminding the local fans where his loyalties remain.

For the Gunners, it’s another big chance lost at asserting their title credentials.

Leicester are back at the top

The Foxes have lost their initial steam in the last five fixtures but against a tricky Stoke, they were back to full form. Running the show was James Vardy whose scoring boots were conspicuous by their absence in the recent weeks. The Algerian playmaker Riyad Mahrez also looked his old self running the show from midfield and Claudio Ranieri must be happy with this performance. Can they continue to confound critics and stay in the title race?

Aguero saves the blushes for Man City

Manuel Pellegrini, if reports are to be believed, is in his final few months at City. And he may have to thank Sergio Aguero for staying close to the top – especially his brace this weekend. They looked sluggish in attack and sloppy everywhere else, except for the Argentine striker.

The draw leapfrogs them over Arsenal, on goal difference, and crucially they are just three points behind leaders Leicester. With the Premier League race showing so much similarity to the volatilities of economic market, Pellegrini may end up thanking Aguero.

United flounder again

It’s been a case of one step forward and two steps backward for Manchester United and Louis van Gaal. The loss at home to Southampton not just increased the supporters’ frustration but also put Van Gaal’s tenure into perspective. The rumour mill is back into action about his stay. Has Van Gaal managed his final game at United? Sadly for the club, there don’t seem to be a way out of this mess.

And the others….

Liverpool and Norwich played a nine goal thriller settled by Adam Lallana’s last gasp effort. Jurgen Klopp will hope that this is not another false dawn for his floundering side in his quest for Champions League qualification

Swansea City won their second match in succession as they welcome new coach Franceso Guidolin. They are not yet out of the dumps but the signs look promising for the Swans. Not so much solace for Newcastle who missed the chance to move out of the relegation zone with a loss at Watford.

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