Andre Schurrle

Premier League Roundup: Chelsea stay top, Arsenal slip up, Liverpool go second

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An incredible Saturday of action played out, as goals and controversy were present in every single game.

Chelsea raced four points clear at the top with a win over Fulham, Arsenal lost away at Stoke as their title hopes took a huge hit and Liverpool dispatched a spirited Southampton team 3-0 at St. Mary’s.

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Elsewhere Newcastle beat Hull handsomely, although manager Alan Pardew is in serious trouble after appearing to headbutt Hull midfielder David Meyler. And Everton scored late to beat West Ham.

In case you missed any of the action on Saturday, here’s a neatly wrapped package of all the recaps, analysis and video highlights of every game. Let’s get to it.

Everton 1-0 West Ham United

For large swathes of this match West Ham looked to be extending their unbeaten run to six Premier League, but then Romelu Lukaku came off the bench after being out injured and bagged the winner in the final 10 minutes. Everton are steady in sixth and still have outside hopes of making the top four, while the Hammers are looking a lot better.

Fulham 1-3 Chelsea

Chelsea’s hero was Andre Schurrle on Saturday, as the German international bagged a second half hat trick to make send Chelsea four points clear at the top of the standings. A poor first half from Chelsea saw Fulham have plenty of chances, one of which came from U.S. international Clint Dempsey who headed wide. In the second half Eden Hazard tore Fulham apart as he set up Schurrle’s first two goals. Are Chelsea title favorites? Jose Mourinho still doesn’t think so, as he believes his sides lead have a “fake advantage” over Manchester City.

Hull City 1-4 Newcastle United

Newcastle surged to a massive win away at Hull City, but the huge three points was overshadowed after Magpies boss Alan Pardew was sent off for an apparent headbutt on Hull midfielder David Meyler. Apart from that unsavory incident, two goals from Moussa Sissoko and a goal each from Vernon Anita and Loic Remy cancelled out Curtis Davies header.

Southampton 0-3 Liverpool

Saints started well and looked to be pinning Liverpool back but Luis Suarez finished superbly after a fortunate break found the ball at his feet in the first half. Adam Lallana hit the post for Saints as the home side battled well and dominated large spells but in the second half a goal from Raheem Sterling sealed Liverpool’s win. A last-minute penalty, converted by Steven Gerrard, padded the Reds’ goal difference even more, as they lifted themselves past Arsenal and into second place.

Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal

Arsenal slipped up away at Stoke City, as the Potters added another big scalp at the Britannia Stadium. Jonathan Walters scored the game-winner from the penalty spot after 70 minutes as the Gunners looked lackluster throughout. Late on Yaya Sanogo missed a sitter as Arsene Wenger’s side are slipping out of the title race.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)