Week 16 in the English Premier League brought us 30 goals, two sackings, a show in finishing at the Etihad Stadium, a return to winning ways for the Red Devils and a virtuoso performance from a controversial South American striker.
The only scoreless draws came Saturday at Upton Park where West Ham failed to score or concede against Sunderland and at the KC Stadium where Hull City and Stoke ended at a stalemate, too.
Though the adidas Predator LZ TRX Samba Pack bound for Brazil bagged the most goals (six), narrowly beating out the Nike Merurical Vapor (five) and adidas F50 adizero Samba Pack in Solar Blue (five), it was a big week for retro shoes.
Two players sporting last year’s version of the Predator bagged goals and PUMAs of the past, PowerCat and King Finale SL, also were on target. Who bagged the goals? Read on:
- Saturday, Dec. 14
Manchester City 6 Arsenal 3, Etihad Stadium
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City, 14th minute, PUMA evoSPEED 1.2, Blackberry Cordial/Fluo Orange/Fluo Pink
Theo Walcott, Arsenal, 31st and 63rd minutes, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, Electro Purple/Volt Black
Alvaro Negredo, Manchester City, 39th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Zest/Black/Blast Purple
Fernandinho, Manchester City, 50th and 88th minutes, adidas Predator LZ TRX, Samba Pack, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Zest
David Silva, Manchester City, 66th minute, adidas Predator LZ TRX, Samba Pack, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Zest
Per Mertesacker, Arsenal, 94th minute, adidas Predator LZ TRX, Samba Pack, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Zest
Yaya Toure, Manchester City, 96th minute penalty, PUMA King SL, Peacoat/White/Blue Atoll custom
Negredo on hand to score a goal worthy of total team performance
The league’s stingiest defense met the league’s most potent offense, and though defense might win championships, if the saying holds true, offense was simply too much and too good on Saturday. In a wide-open affair, the Sky Blues continued their home dominance, dusting the Gunners.
Of their six superlative goals, we favor Alvaro Negredo’s as best of the day because it came with the score tied and embodied the true team performance put on by Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Yaya Toure sprayed the play out wide, finding Pablo Zabaleta booming forward unmarked, and the Argentinian right back glided the ball across the six yard box to Negredo, who slid in to give Manchester City a lead they would never relinquish.
The Citizens are now just three points back of Arsenal and sit in fourth, a point behind Liverpool and Chelsea.
Cardiff City 1 West Bromwich Albion 0, Cardiff City Stadium
Peter Whittingham, Cardiff City, 65th minute, PUMA PowerCat 1.2, White/Orange/Hawaiian Ocean
Whittingham provides quality to give Cardiff a needed win
With both teams desperate for a win after failing to nab three points in any of their previous five contests, Bluebirds midfielder Peter Whittingham, in his sixth year with the Welsh club, came up with a glorious glancing header that achieved the aim. Craig Noone found Whittingham in the middle of the penalty area with a perfect cross and the ball flew into the bottom corner.
The result propelled Cardiff, EPL newboys, into 15th, but left West Brom, last year’s eight place finishers (a club best), in 16th. Just three months after the their historic with at Old Trafford, four straight losses and no wins in their last six caused the Baggies brass to sack manager Steve Clarke. They face an uncertain future, to be sure.
Chelsea 2 Crystal Palace 1, Stamford Bridge
Fernando Torres, Chelsea, 16th minute, adidas Predator LZ TRX, Samba Pack, Vivid Berry/Running White/Solar Zest
Marouane Chamakh, Crystal Palace, 29th minute, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, Electro Purple/Volt Black
Ramires, Chelsea, 35th minute, Nike Tiempo Legend IV, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Ramires’ unstoppable screamer gets the job done for Blues
Just moments after a spirited Crystal Palace side struck back to get on even terms with Chelsea, Eden Hazard found Ramires on the edge of the area and the Brazilian bulleted the ball into the back of the net.
Ramires controlled the ball with his right and then uncorked a laser that flew into the net leaving Julian Speroni, impressive all day, with no chance.
Chelsea now face a trip across the city to face table-toppers Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Monday, with a win enough to see the Blues surpass the Gunners.
Everton 4 Fulham 1, Goodison Park
Leon Osman, Everton, 18th minute, PUMA King Finale SL, White/Navy/Orange
Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham, 67th minute penalty, adidas Preadtor LZ TRX, Infrared/White/Black
Seamus Coleman, Everton, 73rd minute, Nike Tiempo Legend V, Desert Sand/Atomic Orange/Black
Gareth Barry, Everton, 84th minute, adidas adiPure 11Pro TRX, Black/White/Red
Kevin Mirallas, Everton, 91st minute, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, Electro Purple/Volt Black
Osman hammers home a goal to mark historic day for Toffees
Kevin Mirallas hit a long-distance drive in stoppage time that might have been the day’s most eye-catching goal, but we’ll use this space to sing the praises of Leon Osman, whose goal was both a fine display of skill and timeliness.
Marking his 300th EPL appearance for the Toffees, his only club, Osman grabbed the opener through individual brilliance. Steven Pienaar found the Englishman at the top of the box, and Osman let the ball roll onto his right, then switched back onto his left and boomed a pinpoint shot that sailed knee-high and beyond the reach of Maarten Stekelenburg, just inside the post.
He went on to win the corner that led to Gareth Barry’s header to kill off the game and ensure that Everton has now gone almost a full year unbeaten in the league at Goodison Park.
Newcastle United 1 Southampton 1, St. James’ Park
Yoan Gouffran, Newcastle United, 27th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest
Jay Rodriguez, Southampton, 65th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Zest/Black/Blast Purple
Rodriguez hits a classic, classy counterattacking goal to snare a draw
The Saints were on snooze when they allowed the Magpies to score from confusion that followed a free kick from the hallway line, but they struck back in fine fashion. Adam Lallana won the ball with Newcastle piling forward seeking a second goal and played it on to Rodriguez. The recent England call-up charged forward and played a slick one-two with Steven Davis, outwitting the last man, Mathieu Debuchy, and slotting the ball inside the far post with elegance and ease.
The goal denied Newcastle their sixth win in the past seven outings and stopped a run of three home triumphs on the trot.
- Sunday, Dec. 15
Manchester United 3 Aston Villa 0, Villa Park
Danny Welbeck, Manchester United, 15th and 18th minutes, Nike Hypervenom Phantom, Electro Purple/Volt/Black
Tom Cleverley, Manchester United, 52nd minute, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Volt/Black/Green Glow
Welbeck back on the scoresheet, gets Red Devils winning again
Having lost back-to-back matches at Old Trafford for the first time in as long as anyone can remember (well, 11 years), a trip to face Aston Villa proved the needed antidote for David Moyes and his men. The Red Devils were rampart early and took advantage of the Villains poor passing in their own half.
Danny Welbeck’s second of a barnstorming double was the moment of the match as Tom Cleverley intercepted a wayward pass at the halfway line and played it forward to Welbeck who helped on to Antonio Valencia at the wing. The Ecuadorian winger returned the ball the Three Lions striker and he slid in to boom the ball home.
Welbeck hadn’t scored since his opening day brace in a 4-1 win at Swansea, but he picked a great time to relieve the pressure on his manager and curtail the criticism from supporters.
Norwich City 1 Swansea City 1, Carrow Road
Nathan Dyer, Swansea City, 12th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest
Gary Hooper, Norwich City, 45th minute, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest
Hooper booms a breathtaking volley as Canaries, Swans share points
Gary Hooper’s equalizer marked his third EPL goal in his past four games, and this one was the pick of the lot. The former Celtic man, in his debut season with the Canaries, leveled the score with a voluptuous volley from 30 yards out.
Strike partner Johan Elmander chested down a ball to Hooper, who controlled it with his chest, and hit the Nike Incyte before it hit the ground. The ball sailed up and then dipped down to beat Michel Vorm, give Norwich a good point and Hooper a Goal of the Season contender.
Liverpool 5 Tottenham Hotspur 0, White Hart Lane
Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 18th and 84th minutes, adidas F50 adizero TRX, Samba Pack, Solar Blue/Running White/Solar Zest
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool, 40th minute, Nike CTR360 Maestri III, Volt/Black/Green Glow
John Flanagan, Liverpool, 75th minute, adidas Predator LZ TRX, Black/Pop/White
Raheem Sterling, Liverpool, 89th minute, Nike Mercurial Vapor IX, Electro Purple/Volt Black
Suarez steals the show, headlines again in supreme Reds display
By now you likely know that Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Spurs, the club’s worst home defeat in 16 years, was the fatal blow that brought about the demise of Andre Villas-Boas’ tenure in charge of Tottenham. As big of a story as his sacking is in the EPL, the tale of Luis Suarez looms even larger.
The Uruguayan is simply on fire causing some to question if he has surpassed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best in the world. He had two goals and set up three on the day, and picking the finest isn’t easy. Forced to select just one, we’ll go with the game’s opener, which was a sign of slack defending and deadly finishing to come.
Suarez, who now leads the league with 17 goals in just 11 appearances, attempted to play in Jordan Henderson, but Michael Dawson cut out the pass. Dawson’s deflection didn’t go far enough, though, and Henderson ran around to beat him to the ball and kick on to Suarez, who continued his run, his tail always up in search of a strike. He jetted past Dawson easily, then cut inside of Kyle Walker before passing the ball into the net with his left. Stunning stuff.
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