Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Premier League

Premier League Roundup: Chelsea slip up, Man United respond, relegation drama

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Many would argue we’re witnessing the best season in Premier League history and after another spectacular Saturday played out, it’s hard to disagree.

Chelsea slipped up away at Crystal Palace to leave their title hopes in tatters, Manchester City and Arsenal tied in a pulsating clash, Manchester United saw off Aston Villa 4-1, while Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion played out arguably the game of the season in a enthralling 3-3 draw.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

There were 22 goals in Saturday’s seven games, as action packed matches were the order of the day. In case you missed any of it, don’t fret, we’ve got you covered at PST.

Here are all the recaps, analysis and highlights from all of Saturday’s games.

Arsenal 1-1 Manchester City

Man City started superbly against Arsenal, and David Silva put the Citizens ahead after just 18 minutes as he reacted first to Edin Dzeko’s shot that crashed off the post. City were the better team for most of the first half, as the Gunners’ faint title hopes looked to be fading out with a whimper. However a totally different side appeared after the break, with Mathieu Flamini finishing superbly to level things up and then Lukas Podolski’s shot was well saved by Joe Hart as City held on. City are still title favorites, but Arsenal keep themselves in the hunt. Just.

Crystal Palace 1-0 Chelsea

Palace dealt Chelsea’s title hopes a massive blow as a John Terry own goal in the second half means Chelsea’s title hopes are over, in the words of their own manager Jose Mourinho. Chelsea just couldn’t handled Palace’s physical approach, as the Eagles took the game to the Blues and gave their chances of Premier League survival a huge boost.

Manchester United 4-1 Aston Villa

Aston Villa went 1-0 up through Ashley Westwood’s free kick, but that only acted to fire up United. You won’t like them when they’re angry. Wayne Rooney scored twice, plus goals from Juan Mata (his for in the PL for United) and Javier Hernandez sealed a comfortable win. Villa boss Paul Lambert didn’t think his side deserved a hiding, but United were clinical.

Southampton 4-0 Newcastle United

The Saints were sensational against the Magpies, and three England hopefuls kept their charge towards Brazil going. Jay Rodriguez scored twice, Rickie Lambert bagged another and Adam Lallana scored a screamer as Saints jumped into eighth ahead of Newcastle, who were truly shocking. Mauricio Pochettino’s men continue to impress.

Stoke City 1-0 Hull City

Peter Odemwingie was the hero for the Potters, as Stoke sealed their third-straight win. A determined Hull kept plugging away, but the Tigers weren’t quite good enough and Stoke did a job on them. How high can Mark Hughes’ men finish now? They have already reached the magic 40 point marker.

Swansea City 3-0 Norwich City

Swansea had been threatening to give someone a hiding for a while, and that team was Norwich. Two Jonathan De Guzman goals set Swansea on their way and another from Wayne Routledge sealed the win to ease Swansea’s relegation worries. As for Norwich, they are embroiled in the battle to stay up. Big time.

West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Cardiff City

This season we’ve been blessed with so many stunning games in the PL, but this could take the biscuit. West Brom raced into an early 2-0 lead with Morgan Almafitano and Graham Dorrans on the score sheet, but Cardiff’s Jordon Mutch scored before the half and then Steven Caulker leveled the scores in the 73rd minute. More drama arrived in stoppage time, as Thievy put West Brom ahead in the 92nd minute and the Baggies looked to have snatched a massive three points. But with the last kick of the game, Mats Moller Daehli popped up to send Cardiff’s fans wild and reignite their survival bid with a stunning late goal. You can’t write this stuff.

How can Chelsea qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

HAIFA, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 24: Willian of Chelsea celebrates scoring his teams second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC and Chelsea FC at Sammy Ofer Stadium on November 24, 2015 in Haifa, Israel.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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With one match left in UEFA Champions League group play, Chelsea control their own destiny.

After beating Maccabi Tel-Aviv 4-0, the Blues sit tied with FC Porto on ten points at the top of Group G.

[ MORE: Champions League standings

However, with Dynamo Kyiv earning a big win over Porto on Tuesday, Chelsea must wait until the final matchday to qualify for the knockout round, as there is a possibility of a three-way tie for the top spot in Group G.

With Chelsea hosting Porto on December 9, here are the scenarios for Jose Mourinho’s men to assure advancement.

  • A win over Porto will clinch Chelsea the top spot and a place in the last 16.
  • A draw against Porto will see Chelsea advance.
    • Chelsea draw/Dynamo win: Chelsea win group, Dynamo finish second
    • Chelsea draw/Dynamo draw or loss: Porto win group, Chelsea finish second
  • A loss to Porto and a Dynamo Kyiv draw/loss to Maccabi Tel-Aviv will see Chelsea finish second in the group and advance to the last 16.
  • The Blues have secured at least a berth in the Europa League, regardless of the result in their final match.

Simply put, get a point at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea advance.

Mourinho says bad pitch in Tel-Aviv injured Ramires, John Terry

during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC and Chelsea FC at Sammy Ofer Stadium on November 24, 2015 in Haifa, Israel.
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Chelsea left Israel with a 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, but also left with some injuries.

Ramires was hurt in training the day before the match, and John Terry was forced off in the second half.

[ RECAP: Tel-Aviv 0-4 Chelsea ]

Jose Mourinho talked about the condition of the pitch before the match, and was even more upset after it as two of his players are now hurt, although the extent of those injuries is not yet known.

Terry was stretchered off and looked to be in quite a bit of pain after going up for a challenge, as his ankle twisted awkwardly when he landed.

The pitch in Tel-Aviv was in poor condition, as large chunks of turf could be seen flying up when players planted or went in for tackles. Mourinho himself was seen on the field trying to fill in divots before the match.

While Mourinho said he didn’t want to jump to conclusions before getting test results, he believes John Terry will be unable to play this weekend, a huge Premier League match away at Tottenham.

[ MORE: Arsenal ready to “play for our lives” in match vs. Olympiacos ]

Other than his issues with the conditions, Mourinho was relatively happy with the team’s play and believes they are getting some confidence back, now with consecutive wins after beating Norwich City over the weekend.

UCL roundup: Barcelona, Bayern clinch spots in the knockout round

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24:  Gerard Pique (C) of Barcelona celebrates scoring his teams fourth goal with Luis Suarez (L) and Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Barcelona and AS Roma at Camp Nou on November 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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Two more teams booked spots in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, as perennial powerhouses Barcelona and Bayern Munich earned big wins to advance out of their groups.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Barcelona 6-1 Roma

Barcelona fared well without Lionel Messi, and now with him back in the lineup, they look unbeatable. The Catalans advance to the last 16 with an absolutely dominating performance, thrashing Roma 6-1. Messi and Luis Suarez scored two goals each, with Gerard Pique and Adriano adding the others. Edin Dzeko would ruin the clean sheet with a goal for Roma in stoppage time, but it was another Barcelona masterclass at Camp Nou.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Olympiacos

Continuing with the trend of dominating performances, Bayern Munich eased past Olympiacos 4-0 to clinch a spot in the knockout round. Bayern scored early and often, going three goals ahead in the opening 20 minutes through Douglas Costa, Robert Lewanowski and Thomas Muller. Despite going down to ten-men in the second half after Holger Badstuber was sent off, Bayern continued to dominate as the young Kingsley Coman scored the fourth and final goal.

Arsenal 3-0 Dinamo Zagreb

Arsenal is clinging on to hope of advancing out of Group F with a 3-0 win at home over Dinamo Zagreb. Mesut Ozil opened the scoring and Alexis Sanchez added two more as the Gunners now head into the final matchday in need of a win over Olympiacos.

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 0-4 Chelsea

Chelsea got a big win away from home in Group G, beating a ten-man Maccabi side 4-0. Willian scored another free kick for the Blues, as the Brazilian has now scored from a set piece in four of Chelsea’s five Champions League matches. Tied with Porto atop the group, Chelsea needs just one point from their final match to advance.

Elsewhere in the Champions League

Group E

BATE Borisov 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Group G

Porto 0-2 Dynamo Kyiv

Group H

Zenit St. Petersburg 2-0 Valencia (Zenit clinch top spot)
Lyon 1-2 Gent (Lyon eliminated)

Arsenal ready to “play for our lives” vs. Olympiakos to remain in UCL

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Following their 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday, Arsenal know what they must do in two weeks time at Olympiakos.

Win by two goals or more — or by a margin of one if they score three goals — and they’re in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League for the 16th straight.

[ MORE: How can Arsenal make last 16? ]

Anything less means Arsene Wenger‘s side will crash out of the UCL at the group stage and will be competing in the last 32 of the Europa League when European play restarts in 2016.

Hope remains. Just.

It’s a simple equation but don’t underestimate how hard the Gunners have battled to put themselves in this situation. After losing both of their opening Group F games at Zagreb and then at home against Olympiakos, they looked dead and buried.

Now, they have a chance to advance.

“The team knew it was a very important day today – everyone had to turn up and they did. Now we’re going to play for our lives [against Olympiakos],” Arsenal right back Hector Bellerin said. “This was an important test for us, to be alive in the Champions League. The team responded very well. The team is showing we have got a lot of quality, a lot of creativity. When we have all our players back, we’re going to be up there.”

Wenger’s men have been in these kind of situations in the UCL before, but usually in the knockout rounds.

[ MORE: Chelsea hammer Tel Aviv, face tricky final day ]

In each of the past five seasons they’ve fallen at the last 16 hurdle but often that exit has come after after putting themselves in perilous situations from dreadful displays in the first legs and then nearly clawing things back in the second legs. Last season they lost to AS Monaco 3-1 at home in the first leg and won 2-0 away, going out on away goals. The season before that they lost 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich in the first leg but drew 1-1 away from home in the second leg and battled hard in Bavaria.

Simply put, Wenger’s men have been in this kind of “do or die” situation many times in the UCL over the past few seasons. It’s all about one game in Greece in two weeks. Wenger knows it as he spoke following their win over Zagreb which set up the tantalizing encounter in Athens on Dec. 9.

“It promises to be a very interesting game [against Olympiakos], but at least we have a chance,” Wenger said. “I think Mesut Ozil had an outstanding first half, he has got the taste for scoring now. I have never seen Ozil in the box so many times as in the last five or six games. The Europa League is not the target – let us give everything to remain in the Champions League.”