January 25, 2012
Around the English Premier League – Round 22
The Manchester clubs continue succeeding, leaving everybody behind in the fight for the next best thing.
By Camilla Mancini
On Sunday the Manchester clubs had their 22nd fixture, both with quite challenging teams. First, early in the afternoon the Blues hosted the Tottenham and around a couple of hours later the Red Devils went down to Emirates Stadium for its 2nd leg match with Arsenal. The neighbors finished successfully, earning 3 more points each and leaving their rivals in the same position: third and fifth, with 10 points in between, 46pts for the Spurs and 36pts for Arsenal. Fortunately for the Gunners, Newcastle that is in the 6th position with 36pts as well, were crushed by Fulham with a 5-2 final score on Saturday; this clearly gives a second chance to Arsene Wenger’s side to keep their spot and maybe to even distance themselves from the Toons. On the other hand, the Spurs were tied in points with Manchester United a couple of weeks ago, but last week’s draw with the Wolves and the defeat against City left them 5 points behind the second-placed. At least their third position is safe for now, for they are also 5 points ahead of Chelsea.
Next round the Red Devils and the Blues will be hosting Stoke City and Everton respectively and if these 2nd leg fixtures go similarly to the 1st leg ones, City would distance more in points from its neighbor.
The defeat was quite frustrating for Redknapp’s side, since they did a great job holding back the Citizens and fighting back to hit Joe Hart’s box, and then all of a sudden Balotelli scored during the injury-time that was given for his own fault. During the first half of the encounter both clubs were left goalless and once the second half started there were pouring goals.
At minute 55 the first goal came along with Silva making a pass to Samir Nasri, who placed it on the top left corner of the goal. In less than 3 minutes it was Joleon Lescott the one scoring to give City the 2-0 lead. Nonetheless the Spurs reply back immediately and at the 60’ Stefan Savic made a mistake while trying to make a clearance and gave the ball to Jermain Defoe who without a hesitation sent it to the bottom of the net. That shook up the stadium and certainly animated the visitors to continue searching for goals.
The hunt didn’t last long, because at 65’ Gareth Bale even-up the score with a beautiful strike. They continue tied until the very end, when it started to look like the Spurs were about to convert a third goal. Instead, due to a penalty charged by Mario Balotelli for an unfair challenge by Ledley King, the 3-2 was placed by the Italian –who shouldn’t even have been on the field for the foul committed over Assou-Ekotto like 15 minutes before.
So, while City reigns on top of the standings with its 54pts, United follows closely with 51pts thanks to its triumph against Arsenal, on which it won 2-1. The Red Devils scored once on each half, first Antonio Valencia achieved his second goal of the season during the injury-time before the break and within the last 10 minutes of the encounter Danny Welbeck scored the second with assistance from Valencia. The Gunner goal was conquered by the top scorer of this Premier season, Robin Van Persie. Meanwhile on the other side of the board, Bolton managed to sneak out of the relegation zone after its smashing 3-1 victory over the Reds, which haven’t been able to climb back on the table since last year, in fact this is their first goal of the year in the Premier League.
The other matches from round 22: Norwich 0-0 Chelsea; Wolves 2-3 Aston Villa; QPR 3-1 Wigan; Sunderland 2-0 Swansea; Stoke 1-2 West Brom; Fulham 5-2 Newcastle; Everton 1-1 Blackburn.
Camilla Mancini is one of the most qualified copy writers on Sports Betting and currently writes for Instant Action Sports. Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety on your site, make sure to leave all links in place and do not modify any of the content.