A Quick Weekend Round-up…
It was yet another astonishing weekend in the Barclays Premier League. Saturday hosted one of the most highly-anticipated north-London derby’s in living memory, with both Arsenal and Tottenham looking to regain ground on Leicester at the summit.
Derby Day didn’t disappoint, but neither did Leicester; holding strong at Watford to increase their lead at the top to a staggering 5 points. Elsewhere, Goodison Park witnessed a complete capitulation from the side as the Hammers continued their strong run, overturning a two goal lead to claim victory.
Sunday was a day full of contention and controversy, with red cards and refereeing decisions being the major talking points, as Manchester United slumped at West Brom and Liverpool stole a precious point from Crystal Palace.
Top 6 Renegade Moments Of The Weekend
6. Benteke’s Last Minute Penalty
2-1 BENTEKE! pic.twitter.com/PA2hcI2apE
— Liverpool Gifs (@LiverpoolGifs) March 6, 2016
#Slotted! We’ve seen some very classy penalties this season as it seems players aren’t content with just smashing the ball home anymore, everyone is trying to stamp their own style on spot kicks.
Benteke’s casual approach, sauntering towards the ball did little to fill the travelling Liverpool with confidence in the 94th minute, but as he faked and the keeper went down, Christian Benteke stroked the ball into the gaping net – ballsy.
5. Manchester City Fans Mock Aston Villa With Pigeon
“Villa sign him up”. pic.twitter.com/vEKpLKPEE9
— City Watch (@City_Watch) March 6, 2016
It’s not been a good year for Aston Villa. Now 9 points adrift of safety, Villa need to double their current win tally to stand a chance any chance of survival. A trip to the Etihad was never going to be an easy place to pick up points, but the lacklustre display that saw them fall 4-0 down was barely a spectacle – not even for the home fans.
As City coasted to a comfortable 3 points, the home fans turned their attention to a rather plump pigeon that had made its way onto the field. To add insult to injury for Villa, the City fans delightfully suggested that Remi Garde put the bird in his starting line up. Solid banter.
4. Pardew Vs Pundits Post-Match Meltdown
The diving debate rumbles on and this week on the wheel of fortune for ‘managers upset by diving’, it was Alan Pardew’s turn. Pardew was furious when the decision was given against his side in the dying moments of the game, accusing Benteke of taking a tumble to win the match.
In response to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, Pardew said: “I think it’s an issue that it is worrying in the game. I hear Jamie Carragher saying if someone is going to touch you (then) you are going to make the most of it. Jamie Carragher saying that and he’s an ex-pro, come on. It is tough to take.”
Pardew had vented his earlier frustrations towards self-proclaimed ‘devils-advocate’ Geoff Shreeves, almost storming out of the post-match interview in frustration. Alan Pardew certainly wears his heart on his sleeve – love him or hate, he’s great entertainment quality!
3. David Ospina Heroic’s In The North-London Derby
In the absence of Petr Cech, all eyes were on Arsenal’s second choice keeper for Saturday’s game with rivals Tottenham. Despite a lack of Premier League appearances this season, the Colombian keeper reminded everyone that he was still worthy of his Arsenal jersey.
Producing some astonishing saves to keep Arsenal in the game, Ospina made a record breaking save – narrowly preventing Harry Kane’s effort from crossing the line, in what was later confirmed as the closest goal line technology save to date!
His heroics earned the Gunners a valuable point at White Hart Lane and was one of the stand-out performances of the weekend.
2. Payet and West Ham Pull Off An Unlikely Comeback
Everton were 2-0 up and cruising in front of their home fans but when Kevin Mirallas picked up his second yellow of the match, the game completely turned on it’s head.
It looked like Roberto Martinez was going to finally hold onto a hard earned lead, with the Hammer’s still trailing with 15 minutes to go – the bookies were already thumbing through the takings for the game. The man advantage finally showed with 12 minutes to go as holes began to appear in the Everton backline.
Two quick goals from Antonio and Sakho and suddenly the Hammers were level – Everton shellshocked. In the dying moments of the game, that man again Dimitri Payet, undoubtedly West Ham’s player of the season, clinched victory with almost the last kick of the game – such a dramatic conclusion to the match. Complete sucker punch for Everton.
1. Riyad Mahrez Keeps The Leicester Dream Alive
Pundits will always tell you that: ‘to win the league, you need to be able to win ugly’ …I’m not so sure Riyad Mahrez does ugly.
With their backs to the wall and the increasing pressure to grind out a result, Mahrez composed as ever, brought the ball under control before unleashing a sweet left footed drive into the top corner of the net. Leicester’s 1-0 win over Watford maintains their healthy position at the top of the league, keeping Tottenham and Arsenal from snapping at their heels.
Leicester are showing such character in the back end of the season, with every passing game the confidence surrounding the King Power Stadium only increases.
Who Was/Were Your Premier League Renegade(s) Of The Week?
Manchester City Fans And Their Beloved Pigeon
Dimitri Payet And West Ham