GLOBAL SOCCER Outside Raleigh

EPL Week 17

Saturday, December 17

Crystal Palace v Chelsea (0-1):

The weekend kicked off at a foggy Selhurst Park as Diego Costa scored the only goal to keep the Blues at the top of the Premiere League. Costa is now the top scorer in the EPL with 13, but we all know he will always be number one in our hearts. However, Diego giveth and Diego taketh away: he will miss the next match due to yellow card accumulation.

West Ham v Hull City (1-0):

Mark Noble scored a penalty kick to punish Hull City after Dieumerci Mbokani (amazing name) wasted a glorious chance by shooting at the goal post instead of the goal. This scoreline flatters West Ham because Hull actually hit the post a couple more times throughout the game and also had a ball headed off the line.

Stoke City v Leicester City (2-2):

This weekend was really bad for officiating (more on this below). Jamie Vardy was given a straight red card in the 28th minute for a two foot tackle on Mame Diouf. It looked really bad in real time, but in replays you can clearly see that he was pushed in the back by Glen Johnson and that is why he was out of control.

Either way the Jamie Vardy had his party in the dressing room. Diouf gave his best Arsene Wenger impression later : “He touched me but I don’t know (if it was a red card), I didn’t see (a replay)”. Leicester then hilariously picked up five yellow cards to end the half. The Foxes were down 2-0 through a Bojan penalty and a Joe “Welsh Messi” Allan tap-in. However, they ended up scoring twice in the last 15 minutes to end with a draw.

Middlesbrough v Swansea (3-0):

Well it looks like Middlesbrough heeded my advice last week and scored three goals to beat Swansea. Alvaro Negredo had two goals while Marten de Roon added the third. Bob Bradley is now one of the favorites to be sacked now, which would be a total embarrassment. You can’t really blame him though since he inherited that terrible defense.

Sunderland v Watford (1-0):

This game was really boring. The ad that plays before the highlight package lasts longer than the highlights themselves. Patrick Van Aanholt had a really great goal though. Sunderland are doing their best to somehow avoid relegation for what feels like the fifth consecutive year, while Watford is pretty content to stay in the middle of the table.

West Brom v Manchester United (0-2):

Zlatan scored twice to keep United within four points of the top four. You really have to give credit to a guy who is 35 years old and still playing at a top level. Wayne Rooney, on the other hand, smashed a shot against the cross bar then turned away in disgust as the ball dropped near him on the rebound to allow West Brom to counter.

Sunday, December 18

Bournemouth v Southampton (1-3):

Bournemouth opened the scoring early on as their London-based loanees Jack Wilshere and Nathan Ake connected in the sixth minute. The Saints then scored three in a row to win, with Jay Rodriguez scoring an amazing swinging volley to seal the victory. Southampton is like a hydra: they lose their top players every year to transfers or injury but are always able to finish in European qualifying spots with a new players stepping in.

Manchester City v Arsenal (2-1):

What a terrible week for Arsenal. They lost to Everton after leading 1-0 on Tuesday, then did the exact same thing on Sunday in Manchester. However, both Manchester City goals should have been ruled offsides but the officials missed them. Things were looking up for the Gunners as Alexis Sanchez split the City defense to allow Theo Walcott to score early on. In the second half City looked like a different team and came out firing on all cylinders.

Tottenham v Burnley (2-1):

BURNLEY SCORED AN AWAY GOAL! Then Danny Rose ruined all the fun and won the game for Spurs. Thanks for nothing, Danny.

Monday, December 19
Everton v Liverpool (0-1):

Sadio Mane scored in the fourth minute of injury time to give Liverpool’s title hopes alive in a hotly contested Merseyside Derby. Everton decided they did not want to play soccer in the second half and instead wanted to foul every player wearing a red shirt. The below tackle was not a red card, but Vardy’s was?

WEEK 18 MATCHUPS

Monday, December 26
Watford v Crystal Palace
Arsenal v West Brom
Chelsea v Bournemouth
Leicester City v Everton
Burnley v Middlesbrough
Manchester United v Sunderland
Swansea City v West Ham
Hull City v Manchester City
Tuesday, December 27
Liverpool v Stoke City
Wednesday, December 28
Southampton v Tottenham