Aston Villa may have just secured their Premier League survival, and it’s only appropriate that Gabriel Agbonlahor was the man to do it. With two goals at Carrow Road, the Villa captain lifted his side to 2-1 win over Norwich City, vaulting his team to 40 points and, perhaps more importantly, temporary hold of 13th place in the Premier League.
That could change in a few minutes, should Southampton get a result at White Hart Lane. And Sunderland could also vault Villa after Monday’s meeting with Stoke, yet the point remains the same. All of a sudden, there are a slew of clubs more likely to go down than Villa. Paul Lambert’s team, just needing to best one of them, looks set to survive another relegation battle.
After a scoreless first half, Agbonlahor opened the scoring when he fired a right-footed shot inside Mark Bunn’s post from 22 yards out. Grant Holt equalized from the spot in the 74th minute, but shortly after Wigan went in front at The Hawthorns, the Villa captain make the Latics an afterthought, again going to Bunn’s right, this time scoring the match-winner from the right of Norwich’s area.
Forty points is the unproven magic number for avoiding relegation, but that’s irrelevant folklore. What Villa fans should really be looking at is the growing list of teams between them and the drop. All of Southampton, Norwich City, Newcastle, Sunderland, and Wigan sit between Villa and a Championship-bound place. All five of those teams would have to out-point Villa over these final two weeks to relegate the Lions.
That’s why Agbonlahor’s goals are so huge. As teams like Norwich and Newcastle trip their way to the 38th pole, Villa’s passed them. And it’s highly unlikely all these stumbling sides can reverse course in time to send Villa down.
Here he comes.
When Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Manchester United in the summer big things were expected.
It’s taken him a while to settle but now the Armenian playmaker has scored his first goal for United with a stunning superb solo effort against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.
Watch the video below to see Mkhitaryan put United 1-0 up.
What a goal.
You truly have to see this a few times to believe it is possible.
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Stunning footage from a game between National Vatera and Makedonikos Kozanis in Greece’s four-tier last weekend has emerged as Kozanis striker Thanasis Takidis goes clean through on goal, gets one yard out but then somehow delays his shot and is blocked on the line by a defender, then the ball gets away from him.
Watch the clip above to see probably the worst miss you will ever see.
I mean, come on man…
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) Japanese champion Kashima Antlers beat Auckland City of New Zealand 2-1 in the opening game of the Club World Cup on Thursday.
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Kim Dae-wook headed Auckland ahead five minutes after half time, but substitute Shuhei Akasaki equalized for the J-League champions in the 67th minute.
Fellow sub Mu Kanazaki then completed the comeback in the 88th, heading home from close range after Shoma Doi nodded a deep Shuto Yamamoto cross from the left back.
Kashima advanced to a quarterfinal against African champion Mamelodi Sundowns in Osaka on Sunday.
The winner of that game will face Copa Libertadores winner Atletico Nacional in the semifinal Wednesday. European powerhouse Real Madrid also enters the tournament from the semifinal stage.
The use of video replays was available during the match but there were no official reviews. The technology is there to be used only for correcting clear errors in game-changing decisions.
Week 15 of the Premier League season has arrived with Manchester United hosting Tottenham, Liverpool welcoming West Ham and Leicester City and Manchester City clashing at the King Power Stadium.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live, here ]
With some intense relegation battles between Swansea City and Sunderland and Hull City and Crystal Palace, there is plenty on the line as the festive season really starts to heat up.
Below are previews, score predictions and everything else you need to know about all 10 games this weekend.
Chelsea vs. West Brom
Leicester City vs. Manchester City
Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool vs. West Ham
Arsenal vs. Stoke City
Southampton vs. Middlesbrough
Swansea City vs. Sunderland
Watford vs. Everton
Hull vs. Crystal Palace
Burnley vs. Bournemouth