English Premier League soccer is hailed as the most exciting and unpredictable soccer league in the world. During the current season, the Premier League shocks keep on coming. Last season saw big-spending Chelsea capture the Premier League title at something of a canter. At this time last year Leicester City sat at the bottom of the Premier League and few predicted that they could survive relegation to the second tier of the English league.
How things change in the Premier League. After yesterday’s round of matches, Leicester City sits proudly at the top of the league whilst Chelsea continues to struggle just above the relegation zone.
Leicester City began the day sitting in second place in the league, equal on points with leaders Arsenal. One would have thought that a trip to the leagues bottom side Aston Villa would be a formality for the league leaders but this was not to be the case. The BBC reports that Leicester took the lead just before the half-hour mark, when Shinji Okazaki poked home from close range after the Villa goalkeeper saved from Jamie Vardy. Leicester failed to capitalize on their possession and were made to pay the price for a missed penalty kick when the league’s bottom side pegged the score back to 1 – 1 in the 75th minute through Rudy Gestede. The game finished a draw and Leicester moved back to the top of the Premier League by a single point.
Arsenal can overtake Leicester with a draw at Stoke City in a game that just kicked off.
At the summit of the Premier League both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur scored big wins. The Guardian reports that Tottenham fell behind to league strugglers Sunderland but they were only behind for two-minutes. After half-time, Tottenham asserted their superiority and ran out 4 – 1 winners.
Manchester City is favored by many people to win the Premier League this season, and they showed spectators why with an impressive performance against a Crystal Palace side who have hit a dip in form in recent weeks. The Telegraph reports that Sergio Aguero netted twice for City, as the Manchester side ran out 4 – 0 winners.
Perhaps the most impressive performances of the day came on the south coast, as Bournemouth and Southampton both scored 3 – 0 victories. Bournemouth’s win over fellow strugglers Norwich saw the climb above their rivals and put a little air between themselves and the league’s relegation zone. According to the Independent, Bournemouth turned in an excellent performance and were delighted to see £10 million signing Benik Afobe open his scoring account in just his second game.
Just along the coast, Southampton also turned in a superb performance with James Ward-Prowse netting twice for the Saints. This could prove a turning point for Southampton, who have been struggling in the Premier League in recent weeks.
Benik Afobe scores his first Premier League goal with his first shot on target since joining Bournemouth. pic.twitter.com/Q2xNFY1tVI— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 16, 2016
Hapless Chelsea continues to struggle just above the foot of the league table. Whilst their form has improved in recent weeks, they were more than fortunate to secure a 3 – 3 draw in their home game with Everton. After 90 minutes, Chelsea was trailing by 3 – 2, but John Terry stepped up to secure a draw after eight minutes of injury time. Terry was clearly offside when he netted but the goal was allowed to stand. Even Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink admitted that Terry’s goal should not have stood.
In the first of today’s Premier League fixtures, Manchester United overcame Liverpool by one goal to zero. Wayne Rooney slotted home on 78 minutes to give United the win in a game that Liverpool dominated. That win means United has won both Premier League fixtures against their great rivals this season.
That win sees United move up to fifth place in the Premier League.
This weekend’s fixtures are rounded out tomorrow evening when Swansea City, who sit third from bottom in the league, entertain Watford.
[Photo via Jon Super/AP]