Liverpool v Everton - Premier League

Reds win, City at summit and other EPL Week 23 tidbits

Week 23 in the English Premier Leauge was a curious one when it came to the cleats worn by goalscorers who notched 27 tallies in total.

Swansea players did all their scoring in custom cleats. Three of the four goals scored in the PUMA evoSPEED and five scored by players wearing PUMA cleats came in Arsenal’s match with Southampton. Both players to net wearing the Solar Zest-based adidas F50 adizero represent Manchester United, and Manchester City players scored against Tottenham Hotspur in all four brands—Nike, adidas, PUMA and Warrior—to get on the the scoresheet this week.

There were two scoreless draws that don’t make our goals round-up below: Norwich City and Newcastle United’s Tuesday contest that brought two red cards but zero nets rippled and Chelsea and West Ham’s tepid affair Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.

Everything else that foiled goalkeepers and drew cheers this weekend, from Liverpool’s dominant Merseyside Derby win to West Brom and Aston Villa’s video game of a contest, can be found below. Enjoy.

  •  Tuesday, Jan. 28

Manchester United 2 Cardiff City 0, Old Trafford

Robin van Persie, Manchester United, 6th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Zest/Black/Blast Purple

Ashley Young, Manchester United, 59th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Zest/Black/Blast Purple

Mata gets an assist, connects with Young in Red Devils debut

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Juan Mata made an instant impact with Manchester United, setting up Ashley Young for the game’s second goal.

Club-record signing Juan Mata slotted straight into David Moyes’ Starting XI on Tuesday and looked comfortable playing alongside his new talented teammates. The former Chelsea man found Ashley Young on the left wing, and the Englishman did all the rest to sink Cardiff City, cutting inside and unleashing a right-footed low-lining laser from 25 yards.

Coupled with the return of Robin van Persie, out for ages with injury, and his early headed goal, Young’s strike was enough to get Manchester United back to winning ways and gain points on rivals Everton and Tottenham Hotspur on the week. 

Southampton 2 Arsenal 2, St. Mary’s Stadium

Jose Fonte, Southampton, 21st minute, Nike Tiempo Legend V, Desert Sand/Atomic Orange/Black

Olivier Giroud, Arsenal, 48th minute, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2, Sharks Blue/Fluo Peach/Fluo Yellow 

Santi Cazorla, Arsenal 52nd minute, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2, Sharks Blue/Fluo Peach/Fluo Yellow

Adam Lallana, Southampton, 54th minute, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2, Sharks Blue/Fluo Peach/Fluo Yellow

Lallana has the final word in PUMA-filled show as Saints, Gunners draw

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League

Adam Lallana celebrates his goal against Arsenal capping a wild 10 minute stretch.

In the week that Arsenal and PUMA formally announced their five-year deal, three goals were scored in the evoSPEED in the Gunners, Saints match. The final of the trio meant the match ended in a draw with Adam Lallana showing plenty of fightback after Southampton conceded twice in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

The Saints were dominant in the first half and went into the break with a deserved lead. Arsenal turned the game on its head when Olivier Giroud turned in a low cross from fellow PUMA player Bacary Sagna and Santi Cazorla guided a curling left-footed shot into the net from just outside the 18-yard box.

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League

PUMA players Olivier Giroud (left) and Santi Cazorla hit two goals just after halftime.

Just two minutes later, Lallana, continuing to make  a case each week for a place in Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions side, was found arriving late in the area by Jay Rodriguez, who dragged the ball back for Lallana to put in between Wojciech Szczesny’s legs and into the net. Stunning stuff.

Swansea City 2 Fulham 0, Liberty Stadium

Jonjo Shelvey, Swansea City, 61st minute, adidas Predator LZ, custom black

Chico Flores, Swansea City, 75th minute, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, custom black, volt 

Shelvey has shot and celebration that an expectant mother could love

Swansea City v Fulham - Premier League

Jonjo Shelvey marks his goal with a celebration honoring Jonjo Jr.

In the Englsih Premier League, when it goes wrong, it really goes wrong for you. Just ask Fulham, rooted in the relegation zone after Jonjo’s Shelvey’s strike took a dastardly double-deflection to give Swans the three points.

Full credit to the former Liverpool man, you have to shoot to score, and his strike from 25-yards hit Steve Sidwell and Brede Hangeland before sailing into the net as helpless goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg looked on in dismay, wrongfooted.

Shelvey put his thumb in his mouth as a tribute to Jonjo Jr., the child he and his wife are expecting in March.

Crystal Palace 1 Hull City 0, Selhurst Park 

Jason Puncheon, Crystal Palace, 16th minute, adidas Predator LZ TRX, Samba Pack, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Slime

Puncheon sticks with it to haunt Hull 

Crystal Palace v Hull City - Premier League

Jason Puncheon has won two straight games for Crystal Palace.

Jason Puncheon knows; If at first your header doesn’t succeed, fire the rebound with your left foot into the back of the net. The Crystal Palace man got his second winner in as many appearances Tuesday when Yannick Bolasie played a cross from the byline that Puncheon headed into teammate Marouane Chamakh. The ball bounced back and sat up perfectly for Puncheon to pummel home.

The result means the Tigers and Eagles are now tied on 23 points, in 13th and 14th place, respectively. 

Liverpool 4 Everton 0, Anfield

Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, 21st minute, adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Slime/Black/Solar Zest 

Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool, 33rd and 35th minutes, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Flash Lime/White/Black

Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 50th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest

Sturridge stuns, downs Toffees with two terrific finishes in derby

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League

Daniel Sturridge was quality personified against Everton.

After captain Steven Gerrard lifted the lid on the Merseyside Derby with a near post headed goal from a Luis Suarez corner kick, Daniel Sturridge put the result to bed with a dazzling double. First the England striker made a smart, incisive run spotted by Philippe Coutinho and used his left foot to smash past goalkeeper Tim Howard. Just two minutes later, he scored a goal that will be played on his career highlight tape.

Kolo Toure spotted Sturridge making a break and boomed a long ball forward. Howard was alert to the danger and rushed out, only for Sturridge to hit the ball first time, lofting it majestically over the U.S. goalkeeper’s head and landing softly in the bottom corner of the net in sensational, sublime style. Sturridge stood still and stretched his arms outward, a la Eric Cantona, in celebration. He deserved it. 

  • Wednesday, Jan. 29

Aston Villa 4 West Bromwich Albion 3, Villa Park

Chris Brunt, West Bromwich Albion, 4th minute, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Neo Lime/Total Crimson/Black

Fabian Delph, Aston Villa, 9th minute own goal and 36th minute goal, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Atomic Orange/Total Orange/Black

Andreas Weimann, Aston Villa, 12th minute, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Atomic Orange/Total Orange/Black

Leandro Bacuna, Aston Villa, 24th minute, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Neo Lime/Total Crimson/Black 

Youssuf Mulumbu, West Bromwich Albion, 42nd minute, adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Slime/Black/Solar Zest

Christian Benteke, Aston Villa, 63rd minute penalty, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Neo Lime/Total Crimson/Black

Benteke has the final say is goal- fun-filled contest with the Baggies

FBL-ENG-PR-ASTON VILLA-WEST BROM

Christian Benteke’s penalty won a wild one for Aston Villa.

This match didn’t have the history of the Merseyside Derby or the list of stars who competed in the Manchester City-Tottenham Hotspur affair, but it proved to be the game of the week when it came to drama. West Brom was up two goals inside of 10 minutes, only to fall behind 3-2 and then equalize before half time.

Chris Brunt’s left-footed laser from 30 yards got the contest off to a cracking start, and Andreas Weimann’s scooped shot and Fabian Delph’s control, flick and blast off the underside of the crossbar were equal to it.

In the end, Christian Benteke decided the match with a professional penalty after defender Diego Lugano brought him to the ground. The big Belgian stutter stepped on his approach, sending Ben Foster the wrong way, which was enough to claim a spirited victory.

Sunderland 1 Stoke City 0, Stadium of Light

Adam Johnson, Sunderland, 17th minute, Nike Merucrial Vapor IX, Neo Lime/Metallic Silver/Polarized Blue

Johnson continues to be a juggernaut, stymies Stoke

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Adam Johnson took advantage of Asmir Begovic’s error to bag three points for the Black Cats.

Adam Johnson just keeps on scoring for Sunderland. After netting a hat trick and amazing six goals in his last six games, the Black Cats winger was alert to the rebound spilled by Asmir Begovic following a stinging strike from Fabio Borini.

He raced in, pushed the ball away from a scrambling Begovic and then rolled it into the net from an acute angle. The result helped Sunderland, finalists in the Capital One Cup, move out of the relegation zone and into 17th place, two clear of West Ham and Fulham.

Manchester City 5 Tottenham Hotspur 1, White Hart Lane

Sergio Aguero, Manchester City, 15th minute, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2, Sharks Blue/Fluo Peach/Fluo Yellow

Yaya Toure, Manchester City, 51st minute penalty, PUMA evoPOWER 1, Fluro Peach/Ombre Blue/Fluro Yellow

Edin Dzeko, Manchester City, 52nd minute, adidas Predator LZ TRX, Samba Pack, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Slime 

Etienne Capoue, Tottenham Hotspur, 58th minute, Nike Merucrial Vapor IX, Neo Lime/Metallic Silver/Polarized Blue

Stevan Jovetić, Manchester City, 78th minute, Nike Tiempo Legend V, Desert Sand/Atomic Orange/Black 

Vincent Kompany, Manchester City, 89th minute, Warrior Skreamer S-Lite, White 

Jovetic gets his first goal as Sky Blues run riot against Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

Summer signing Stevan Jovetic (center) is overjoyed at ending his long wait for an EPL goal.

Of Manchester City’s fabulous five goals on the day, Sergio Aguero’s first half finish was the most impressive, a cheeky first-time finish just inside the far post from David Silva’s through ball, his 50th EPL goal. Still, we want to use this space to sing the praises of the man who came on to replace Aguero when he went off with a hamstring worry: Stevan Jovetic.

Just as the men from North London pulled one back to give themselves hope of a draw, Jovetic was there to pounce, going alone on the left, driving in to the right and hitting a deflected shot that found the side netting.

The goal was his first in the EPL since signing from Fiorentina in the summer and the sign of many more to come should he stay fit. Manchester City ended the week atop the league standings thanks to Arsenal’s draw and continue to make life look easy, even at this level.

What was your favorite moment from EPL Week 23? We want to talk about it.