Premier League Roundup: Upsets galore as Manchester United, Chelsea lose (video)

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Upsets were the order of the day in the Premier League in Week 15, as Manchester United and Chelsea both lost, while Man City failed to win once again away from home.

Big wins for Tottenham, Liverpool, Norwich and Crystal Palace saw all four move up to the table but the slaying of United and Chelsea, by Newcastle and Stoke respectively, will make the headlines around the PL.

MORE: Premier League Standings

So, in case you missed any of the pulsating action on Saturday, here’s a tidy roundup with recaps, a snippet on each game and video highlights.

Enjoy, it’s been another stellar day in the PL.

Crystal Palace 2-0 Cardiff City

Tony Pulis has got the South London club firing on all cylinders as they win back-to-back PL games for the first time this season. The Eagles new strike-force of Marouane Chamakh and Cameron Jerome both struck in a comfortable 2-0 win over goal shy Cardiff City. Can Palace really get out of trouble?

Liverpool 4-1 West Ham

Another home game, another thumping win for Liverpool as Luis Suarez struck twice and a mishmash of own goals and red cards saw this clash turn into a hugely one-sided affair. A whole host of late goals may have flattered Liverpool with the scoreline but Brendan Rodgers’ side moved into second as other sides near the top faltered.

Manchester United 0-1 Newcastle United

Two home games in four days resulted in two 1-0 defeats for David Moyes and his floundering Manchester United side. The Red Devils are in serious trouble. United put in another hugely inept display as Wayne Rooney was injured and they badly missed him. Newcastle put in a composed performance as Yohan Cabaye struck late to win the game. It was the Magpies first win at Old Trafford since 1972 as United suffered back-to-back PL defeats for the first time since 2002.

Southampton 1-1 Manchester City

Injury-hit and suffering three defeats on the spin, the Saints could’ve been in for a hiding when Sergio Aguero put City 1-0 up early on. But instead the young side, which had three teenagers starting, dug in and a world class strike from Daniel Osvaldo put them level just before the break. The home side pushed on after the break and will feel hard done by that they didn’t grab all three points. City boss Manuel Pellegrini will take the point, after his side were outplayed for large periods. Good game.

Stoke City 3-2 Chelsea

Where do we start with this one? Well, Chelsea’s defense are in shambles after leaking six goals in two games this week and this time it cost Jose Mourinho’ side. Oussama Assaidi scored a screamer in stoppage time at the end of the game to win it for the Potters, as Stoke fought tooth and nail with Chelsea throughout with Andre Schurrle scoring both goals for the West London side. A damaging defeat for Mourinho, as his side slip further behind Arsenal.

Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

The Black Cats took the lead through Adam Johnson but Spurs showed guts and determination to battle back against the basement boys to seal a deserved win. In truth it could’ve been a bigger win for Tottenham but goals either side of half time, from Paulinho and an own-goal from John O’Shea, was enough to get all three points.

West Brom 0-2 Norwich City

A massive win for the Canaries on the road as Gary Hooper put them 1-0 up and Leroy Fer scored late on to seal the win. The Baggies weren’t at the races for long spells of the match and Norwich deserved the win to help them climb into midtable. Chris Hughton will be a happy man.

La Liga: Real Madrid win wild one, now just 17 points behind Barca

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Barcelona ties club-record 31-game unbeaten run ]

Real Betis 3-5 Real Madrid

So long as they manage to hold off Sevilla for fourth place (Champions League qualification), Real Madrid will quickly move on from their disastrous 2017-18 season, spend a half-billion dollars in the summer and pretend like the 12 preceding months never even happened.

For a brief period on Saturday — nearly 30 minutes including the halftime intermission — that plan appeared fatally flawed and at risk. After going 1-0 up away to Real Betis courtesy of Marco Asensio’s 11th-minute opener, Los Blancos found themselves in big trouble after Aissa Mandi leveled things up in the 33rd minute, followed by a Nacho own goal four minutes later.

Five minutes into the second half, Sergio Ramos drew the visitors level, followed by another from Asensio in the 59th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo made it 4-2 six minutes later, at which point Madrid appeared home free.

Sergio Leon pulled Betis to within one in the 85th minute, but Karim Benzema restored the two-goal lead in the 91st, less than two minutes after replacing Ronaldo.

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao

With Barcelona still unbeaten on the La Liga season, the title is all but decided with more than three months still to play. That hasn’t stopped Atleti, though, as Diego Simeone’s side, which has lost just once in the league, continues to pursue Lionel Messi and Co. Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao moved Los Rojiblancos back to within seven points of Barca with a dozen games, and one head-to-head matchup, still to play.

Kevin Gameiro scored what turned out to be the winner in the 67th minute, followed not long after by Diego Costa‘s second league goal of the season (fourth in all competitions) to make it 2-0.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Sociedad 3-0 Levante
Espanyol 1-1 Villarreal

VAR provider apologizes for wrong image of offside Man Utd goal

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Whether or not you’re in favor of the use of video-assistant refereeing the world over — and, more specifically, English soccer — one thing on which we can all agree has become abundantly clear: VAR’s maiden voyage has been a chaotic, poorly conducted mess.

[ MORE: Jose Mourinho demands VAR calls be “perfect” ]

Any change to the game’s century-old rules and practices — especially of VAR’s monumental proportions — must be implemented and executed without a hitch. Any issues that had arisen prior to this weekend were minor in significance and import, but that all changed on Saturday, when Manchester United’s Juan Mata had a goal wiped away by VAR (WATCH HERE).

Mata appeared to have timed his run perfectly and been onside before slotting home to put Man United 2-0 ahead of Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup fifth round. After consulting the off-site video assistant, the goal was taken off the board. While the slightest bit of Mata’s knee appeared to have been in an offside position, the issue lies in the fact that the images provided to television broadcasters, by VAR provider Hawkeye, displayed a clearly crooked line of demarcation.

[ MORE: Man Utd draw Brighton in FA Cup QF; Chelsea get Leicester ]

Hawkeye issued a statement on Sunday, acknowledging and apologizing for the faulty image provided to broadcasters, but insisted that a correct version of the image was seen by the refereed:

“A technical error led to an incorrect graphic being provided by Hawkeye to BT Sport on Saturday. To confirm, the VAR saw the correct image with the correct lines to make the decision. This was a case of the wrong image being provided to the broadcaster and we apologize.”

In the end, by the most stringent interpretation of the law, VAR got the call correct. But that won’t matter one iota in the court of public opinion, as one mistake as simple as a crooked line gives the impression that the entire operation is haphazard and not fit for practice.

Juventus suffers blow with apparent Higuain injury

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The back-and-forth battle at the top of Serie A continued on Sunday as Juventus topped Torino at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, however, the visitors suffered a big injury scare in the process.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup ]

Alex Sandro‘s winner came in the 33rd minute, but the focus of the match will leave all eyes on Gonzalo Higuain — who exited after just a quarter of an hour.

The Argentine international was looking to latch onto a through ball from Miralem Pjanic in the fifth minute, before jumping over an oncoming Salvatore Sirigu — goalkeeper for Torino.

Higuain appeared to land awkwardly on his ankle, though, and while he attempted to continue on in the match he was substituted off for Federico Bernardeschi 10 minutes later.

The extent of Higuain’s injury is unknown to this point, however, it comes at a very bad time for Juventus.

The Italian giants are heavily involved in the Serie A title race, holding a two-point lead over Napoli at the top of the table.

Additionally, Juve has important fixtures coming up in both the Coppa Italia and Champions League against Atalanta and Tottenham, respectively. Higuain and Co. are level at 2-2 with Spurs heading into their UCL second leg in early March, and Juve will surely need the striker’s presence to have a shot at advancing to the quarterfinals.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.