This is Pure M’s new Sports section. I’m Leon Pollard and I will be editor of Sport here at Pure M Magazine. Every week there will be news and views on Football, Snooker, F1, Tennis and all the different sports from around the world which will be covered from our team of journalists.
We will start off with our weekly round up of the Premier League. It all kicked off on Saturday lunch time when Manchester City played West Brom. City needed a win to keep in touch with league leaders Chelsea. City delivered with goals from January signing Wilfried Bony who opened his Premier League goalscoring account for the champions, Fernando and David Silva. There was controversy as referee Neil Swarbrick sent off Northern Irish international Gareth McAuley in a case of mistaken identity when Craig Dawson had clearly been the one to make the foul on City striker Sergio Aguero. Citys 3-0 win put them 3 points behind Chelsea.
Arsenal needed to beat Newcastle to stay in touch with City in the chase for second place. Wenger’s men succeeded as they beat the Toon Army 2-1. Oliver Giroud opened the scoring and then doubled Arsenal’s lead with a second goal just before half time. The Gunners first half dominance was not replicated in the first half and Moussa Sissoko pulled a goal back. Despite serious pressure on the Arsenal goal, Newcastle could not find the net again and Arsenal hung on to secure a 2-1 win.
There was a mid table clash at the Brittannia stadium as Mark Hughes’ Stoke side faced a rejuvenated Crystal Palace side under the tutelage of fan favourite Alan Pardew. Stoke took the lead when the ball found former Man United man Mame Diouf rather fortuitously after a Charlie Adam free kick deflected into the path of the Senegelese striker who finished calmly when through one on one with Julian Speroni. Yannick Bolasie won the penalty for the Crystal Palace equalizer and Glenn Murray hammered the resulting penalty home. The winner came after terrible defending from Stoke saw another former Man United man Wilfried Zaha through on goal and he finished to give Crystal Palace the win.
Bottom side Leicester faced Tottenham at White Hart Lane and Harry Kane was the star man in a 4-3 win for Spurs. Tottenham took the lead when Kane tapped home from a corner. Kane who was recently called up to Roy Hodgsen’ s Euro 2016 qualifiers got his and Spur’s second of the game when his shot deflected past Kasper Schmeichal in the Leicester goal. Leicester hit back with goals from Jamie Vardy and captain Wes Morgan. Spurs regained the lead with a cracking penalty from Kane which completed the hat-trick for the 21 year old who now has 29 goals in all competitions this season. It went from bad to worse for Leicester when Jeffrey Schlupp scored an own goal to give Spurs a 4-2 lead. However a late goal from David Nugent made it 4-3 ensured an edgy finish. Spurs hung on to stay in the hunt for Champions League football. Kane’s hat-trick makes him the top goalscorer in the Premier League with 19 goals.
Ronald Koeman’s Southampton are still in the race for the top four and only a point behind Liverpool who are in fifth as they beat Sean Dyche’s Burnley 2-0. The goals came from Irish international Shane Long and an own goal from Burnley captain Jason Shackell. In worrying news for Southampton, their England international goalkeeper Fraser Forster was brought to hospital with a knee injury.
Swansea halted Aston Villa’s new managers Tim Sherwood’s run of success as the Swans ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from French international Bafetimbi Gomis. The former Lyon poacher, had chance after chance throughout the game and finally scored in the 87th minute after a cross from Ecuadorian international Jefferson Montero, Gomis slid in to leave Swansea in eighth position.
It wasn’t a happy start to Dick Advocaats temporary reign as Sunderland manager following the sacking of Gus Poyet. The Dutchman saw his new side fall to a 1-0 loss to Sam Allerdyce’s West Ham. The goal came from Diafra Sakho with his 11th goal of the season. The Hammers boss has been linked with a permanent move to Tyneside in the summer. The win from West Ham stops a run of only 1 win in there last 12 games.
On Sunday the biggest match of the weekend took place in Anfield as Liverpool faced Manchester United. 2 points separated the two sides with Manchester United needing 3 points to stay just one point behind Arsenal who lay in third. Liverpool needed the three points to take the Mersey side club above the Red Devils into fourth. Manchester United took the lead as Spaniard Juan Mata sweeped home after a magnificent defence splitting pass from Ander Herrera to give United the lead in the first half. At half time Liverpool club captain Steven Gerrard came on for his last appearance against United before he heads off to the States. The former England captain was not going to finish his last match against the Red Devils after he was sent off nearly immediately after coming on after a stamp on Ander Herrera. United doubled their lead when Juan Mata got his second goal of the day with a stunning scissor kick after the ball was chipped through by Angel Di Maria. 10 man Liverpool got a goal back to make sure of a nervy finish for United when Daniel Sturridge scored to make it 2-1. United had the chance to put the game beyond any doubt when Daley Blind was taken down by Emre Can inside the box. Rooney stepped up to the penalty but Simon Mignolet pulled off a brilliant save, however United held out and triumphed and went 5 points clear of Liverpool and are only a point behind Arsenal in third and 2 points behind Man City in second while Liverpool still lie in fifth place.
Chelsea faced Hull in a huge clash both at the top and bottom of the table. Hull needed points to stay clear of the bottom three while Chelsea needed the 3 points to stay clear at the top of the table. Chelsea were cruising early on as Eden Hazard and Diego Costa gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead with only 10 minutes gone. However Hull hit back in an incredible 60 second period that saw them get back in it with a goal from Ahmed Elmohamady and then Abel Hernandez equalized. Hull held out until the second minute of added time when substitute Loic Remy scored just moments after coming on. Chelsea now go 5 points clear of second placed Man City with a a match in hand.
Finally Everton faced second from bottom side QPR. Everton have underperformed greatly since the considerable success they had last season but the Toffees got a vital win in a game which may seal the faith of QPR’s relegation this season. Everton took the lead when Donegal man Seamus Coleman gave Everton the lead. In the second half QPR equalized when Chilean Eduardo Vargas scored to give QPR hope. However Everton won it when late in the second half on loan Spurs man Aaron Lennon scored after a cross from Seamus Coleman. The win lifts Everton up to 13th still like in 19th.
It was a significant weekend for sides like Man United and Chelsea who both solidified their positions in the league. It was also an important weekend for sides like Crystal Palace and Everton who pulled further away from the relegation zone. It was a bleak weekend for the Premier Leagues bottom three as all three failed to even secure a point.