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Thread: The Epic Conclusion to the Football Season & Euro 2020

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    Premier League The Epic Conclusion to the Football Season & Euro 2020



    If you're like me, you'll have had a huge void in your life this past weekend (and likely will for the forseeable future) with the cancellation of the Premier League due to the little known Coronovirus that you may have seen mentioned briefly on the news recently.

    As it stands, it's unknown how the league season will conclude, or even IF it will conclude. Will Liverpool be crowned champions? Willd Covid-19 keep Liverpool on 18? Will the season be declared null and void? Will Roy Hodgson be forced to coach Crystal Palace from home or in his very own ColeMine?

    I don't have the answers. But I can make up my own. I won't use Fifa. I wont use Pro Evo, and I won't even use Football Manager to determine the outcomes. I'll do all the work myself. Here, I'll imagine a world where Coronovirus was nothing more than a hoax, created by Andrex to create panic and mass confusion, and most importantly, and surge in the purchase of toilet paper.

    So I'll be booking the conclusion to the Premier League season, and every weekend, I'll provide the results of the weekends fixtures, starting with the past weekend (auspiciously late) tomorrow, culminating in Manchester United being crowned champions in May*.

    But first, the first match that fell foul of the virus to give everyone a taste of what's to come;

    *Literally impossible at this stage, so keep your cool, Liverpool fans.




    Wednesday March 11 2020
    Manchester City 2-2 Arsenal
    B. Silva 9 aaaaaaaaaa Aubameyang 64, 68
    Walker 16

    In an entertaining spectacle at the Etihad, Manchester City's grip on the Premier League was all but lost, having let slip a commanding two goal lead. Arsenal made a horrendous start, shipping two early goals, and it appeared as if the champions would be out of sight before the break. Even in the extended absence of Kevin DeBruyne, City appeared to have far too much for Arsenal to handle, with a cracking effort from Bernardo Silva opening the scoring. That goal unsettled the visitors, and a rare error (teehee) from Shkodran Mustafi - playing in the absence of David Luiz, who was injured in the warm up - gifted Kyle Walker a rare goal to double the lead. However, City were left to rue a number of missed chances, leaving the door open for Arsenal in the second half.

    And after a limp first half showing, Arsenal were much improved in the second half, with a scintillating five minute period in the second half bringing them on level terms with the hosts thanks to a terrific brace from talisman Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, as it became clear just how City were missing their own talismanic figure in De Bruyne. Just as it appeared Arsenal were in the ascendancy though and giving their fans hope that they had finally developed a backbone, City broke from a poorly taken corner, with Sergio Aguero slotting past Leno to seemingly put the hosts back in front.

    Unfortunately for City, VAR would intervene, declaring a handball from Otamendi as the move began ... resulting in a penalty at the other end. Aubameyang - on a hat trick - stepped up ... but slotted WIDE. With that near miss, City went on to dominate the final fifteen minutes, and only for Raheem Sterling missing to gilt edged chances that were harder to miss, City would've taken all three points. Arsenal would cling on for the draw, leaving them seven points from fourth placed Chelsea, whilst City now reduced the deficit to Liverpool to a mere 24 points, with 9 games remaining.


    Current Standings


    Pos Team GP W D L F A GD PTS
    1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 66 21 +45 82
    2 Manchester City 29 18 4 7 70 33 +37 58
    3 Leicester City 29 16 5 8 58 28 +30 53
    4 Chelsea 29 14 6 9 51 39 +12 48
    5 Manchester United 29 12 9 8 44 30 +14 45
    6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 10 13 6 41 34 +7 43
    7 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 30 25 +5 43
    8 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 8 10 47 40 +7 41
    9 Arsenal 29 9 14 6 42 38 +4 41
    10 Burnley 29 11 6 12 34 40 -6 39
    11 Crystal Palace 29 10 9 10 26 32 -6 39
    12 Everton 29 10 7 12 37 46 -9 37
    13 Newcastle United 29 9 8 12 25 41 -16 35
    14 Southampton 29 10 4 15 35 52 -17 34
    15 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 6 11 12 32 40 -8 29
    16 West Ham United 29 7 6 16 35 50 -15 27
    17 Watford 29 6 9 14 27 44 -17 27
    18 AFC Bournemouth 29 7 6 16 29 47 -18 27
    19 Aston Villa 28 7 4 17 34 56 -22 25
    20 Norwich City 29 5 6 18 25 52 -27 21






    Fixtures, March 14-16 2020


    Watford vs. Leicester City {12:30}

    {15:00 kick offs}
    AFC Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace
    Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Arsenal
    Manchester City vs. Burnley
    Newcastle United vs. Sheffield United
    Norwich City vs. Southampton

    Aston Villa vs. Chelsea {17:30}

    ---

    West Ham United vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
    Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United

    ---

    Everton vs. Liverpool




    I'll post the results of this weekends fixtures tomorrow.

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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    I'm sure there's something about VAR handing Liverpool the title in there somewhere haha.
    I have a plan so cunning......

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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Don’t book Newcastle to go down and we won’t have any problems here.


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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Or West Ham. Good luck Wolfy, looking forward to it.

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    Premier League Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Saturday March 14 2020


    12:30pm Kick Off
    Watford 2-1 Leicester City
    Deeney 29 (Pen) aaaaaa Perez 55
    Cathcart 87


    Nigel Pearson had the last laugh against his old club as he continued to steer Watford from trouble at the foot of the table with a stirring victory at Vicarage Road, following on from their famous 3-0 victory over Liverpool a fortnight earlier. After a cagey opening twenty five minutes, the match sparked into life when Ismalia Sarr was brought down in the box by Johnny Evans – no VAR required in assisting the official on that decision. Troy Deeney made no mistake from the spot, putting the Hornets in front, and it was a lead the home side richly deserved by the time the half time whistle was blown.

    Leicester – buoyed by the introduction of Ayoze Perez at half time – ramped up the pressure in the second half, with Vardy striking the bar less than 120 seconds after the break, before Perez soon levelled the scores, rounding Ben Foster before slotting home. From that point on, the game looked like it would only have one winner, but a string of saves from Foster kept the Foxes at bay, frustrating Vardy and Harvey Barnes, before making a point blank save from a Soyuncu header from a Leicester corner. Then, with time ticking down, Sarr – who won the penalty in the first half – earned a corner for the home side, and Craig Cathcart rose above the rest to fire Watford back in front.

    Having to withstand a barrage from the visitors, it wasn’t as comfortable as it had been for Watford when hammering Liverpool, but Pearsons side valiantly hung on (and most certainly didn’t stick their heads in the sand like a bloody Ostrich when the going got tough) to secure the win, and bring themselves three points closer to safety. For Leicester, it’s another three points dropped, and the Foxes will now be anxiously looking over their shoulders at the chasing pack, rather than ahead at City and Liverpool above them. Following the match though, despite the defeat, Brendan Rodgers praised his side’s tremendous character, keeping a positive mental attitude.







    15:00 Kick Offs


    AFC Bournemouth 1-1 Crystal Palace
    H. Wilson 8 aaaaaaaaaa Benteke 40
    Lerma Sent Off 59


    A Harry Wilson free kick special brought a rare highlight to an otherwise dull affair at the Vitality Stadium. Eddie Howes side continue to struggle to stave off relegation, with the defensive vulnerabilities of the Cherries never more underlined by allowing Christian Benteke to notch an actual goal. And that equalizer – from close range – ultimately cost Bournemouth all three points. Despite pushing for that second goal early in the second half (because what else is Eddie Howe going to try and do?) Bournemouths task was made all the trickier when reduced to ten men just before the hour mark when Jefferson Lerma was rightfully issued with a straight red card for a horrific challenge on Wilfried Zaha.

    Zaha attempted to continue following the assault tackle, but was later substituted, reducing the threat of Palace to something akin of bringing a spoon to a knife fight. Jordan Ayew tried to galvanize the Eagles, but ultimately, Uncle Roy would have to settle for a point, as he continued to guide his side to a comfortable and exciting mid table finish. Very little else happened in this match, and ultimately would’ve been the last match shown on Match of The Day, except for a turgid affair elsewhere in the league.







    Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Arsenal
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Pepe 22


    A solitary Pepe goal sealed the three points for Arsenal, and condemned the Seagulls to yet another defeat as they fall dangerously close to the drop zone. Arsenals decision to get dumped out of the Europa League looks to be paying dividends in their quest to return to the Europa League next season via a group stage elimination in the Champions League having battled to a point away to City during the week, and now three on the road again. It almost wasn’t such a happy story for the Gunners though; a mix up between David Luiz and Bernd Leno almost allowed Alireza Jahanbaksh … but luckily for the visitors, the Iranian isn’t due to score another goal for another two years and slid the ball hopelessly wide from the open goal.

    Pepe’s breakthrough gave Arsenal added confidence, having looked shaky in the opening twenty minutes, and luckily for the Gunners backline, Brighton offered little other threat for much of the remainder of the game. Indeed, the best chances fell to the visitors, but Matt Ryan denied Aubameyang a twentieth league goal of the season. Arsenal very nearly let the hosts in again late in the game, but a through ball from Gross was just a little too far for substitute Glenn Murray to get on to. Arsenal fans breathed a sigh of relief as they secured the three points, whilst ArsenalFanTV still found something to complain about, blud.







    Manchester City 4-0 Burnley
    Sterling 61, 78
    DeBruyne 63
    Jesus 66


    The scoreline doesn’t quite tell the story, here. Burnley found themselves unlucky to be on the end of a second half shellacking, having been much the better side against a significantly weakened Manchester City side that had one eye on their crucial Champions League tie coming up against Real Madrid this week. Prior to the game in his pre-match interview, the bald fraud gave the impression he wasn’t interested in this match, making numerous comments about Liverpool already being champions, and looked uninterested during the first half too in the dug-out, looking more animated by the fact Brian Kidd clearly didn’t get the memo of the dress code, wearing skinny jeans as opposed to super-skinny jeans.

    Deciding to give Kevin DeBruyne some minutes after missing the last few games through injury, the genius of Pep Guardiola was lauded in the press box, as the Belgian turned the game on it’s head, with a blistering five minute period yielding three goals for City; DeBruyne scoring one and providing the other two. Raheem Sterling added to his own tally a little over ten minutes later with a mazy run, before cooly slotting home … then when on a hat trick minutes later, missed a simple tap in. After the game, Sean Dyche had no excuses for his sides defeat, rightly discussing his team being the better of the two in the first half, before spending the remaining 95% of his post match interview bemoaning the diving epidemic in the game.







    Newcastle United 0-0 Sheffield United


    This was the last match shown later in the evening on Match of the Day.







    Norwich City 3-5 Southampton
    Pukki 10 aaaaaaaa Ward-Prowse 3
    Aarons 17 aaaaaa. Ings 31, 44
    Cantwell 73 aaaaa Armstrong 68
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Djenepo 80


    If league position was determined on entertainment, Norwich would be in the top three, not the bottom three! And that’s real quiz. Except, it’s not. Woefully exposed defensively, Norwich will be relegated by Easter most probably, but at least they can take solace in the fact that they went down providing entertainment; at both ends of the park. There was nothing Tim Krul could do about Southamptons opening goal, as James Ward Prowse curled a free kick from just outside the box in the top bin after just three minutes. Norwich struck back quickly though through Teemu Pukki, who latched onto a great through ball from Cantwell to tuck past the Southampton keeper and give the hosts a foothold into the game. And indeed, they built on that momentum to take the lead just seven minutes later as full back Max Aarons blasted past Alex McCarthy.

    It was looking good for the Canaries, but unfortunately, once the hosts were required to defend again, their hopes faded quickly. Danny Ings levelled for the visitors, and profited from some horrendous defensive positioning from Grant Hanley to restore the Southampton lead going into the break, and resulting in the home fans asking of their non-existent backline; “Where are you!?”. To their credit, Norwich poured forward after the break, but after pushing their luck (Ings was denied a hat trick after being deemed to handle the ball by VAR), Norwich were caught on the break, with Stuart Armstrong scoring the Saints fourth of the game, and making it look like a bridge too far for the hosts.

    Tom Cantwell gave Norwich hope to reduce the deficit, but just seven minutes later, the two goal lead for Southampton was restored as Norwich hopelessly allowed Djenepo in for the visitors fifth goal of the game. It could’ve been worse for Norwich in the dying moments, but the kindness of Ralph Hassenhuttl to replace Ings with Che Adams resulted in the Southampton attack ending the game more toothless than the Norwich defence. It leaves Norwich still six points off safety, whilst Southampton look to be moving toward a comfortable mid table finish. But at least Norwich have been entertaining to watch this season. That’s what matters.







    17:30 Kick Off

    Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea
    Grealish 48

    Frank Lampards Chelsea succumbed to a battling display from the hosts at Villa Park on Saturday evening, putting a dent in their hopes of cutting the gap to Leicester in third, whilst truly cutting Norwich adrift at the bottom. Fired up after a timid display a week ago away at Leicester, Villa were much improved, even with the comical styling’s of Pepe Reina in the Villa goal doing his best to create panic and confusion. The Spaniard rushed from his goal at the half hour mark to meet Willian for a one on one, and as the Brazilian elected to try and lob the ball over the keeper, Reina got a hand to the ball and was initially adjudged to have handled the ball outside his box. Thanks to VAR, justice prevailed, as the lines showed Reina WAS inside his area.

    Early in the second half, Jack Grealish broke the deadlock, finishing off an excellent Villa move with a one-two with El Ghazi, before lifting the ball over the rushing Kepa to give the home side the lead. Despite Chelsea having much of the ball for the remainder of the second half, the Blues were unable to find an equalizer, and barely had to make Reina work in the Villa goal as the home side rather comfortably saw out the dying minutes to secure a crucial three points in their quest for survival. As the final whistle sounded, John Terry on the Villa bench made a point to not celebrate, and made his way to the visiting fans to show where his loyalties will always lie. There was no suggestion in the post-match analysis that Frank Lampard was at fault for his side’s inability to break Villa down.







    Sunday March 15 2020


    14:00 Kick Off

    West Ham United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
    Haller 17, 40 aaaaaaaa Jimenez 79 (Pen)


    Wolves European adventures appeared to take it’s toll at the London Stadium, as they somehow lost to David Moyes side on Sunday afternoon. Sebastian Haller finally appeared to come good, with the West Ham tactics finally being altered to play to Frenchmans strengths, and saw him notch a brace to put the Hammers two to the good before half time. Indeed, Wolves were impotent for much of the second half too, but were gifted a penalty – courtesy of VAR – after Issa Diop was adjudged to have pulled down Diogo Jota in the box. Jimenez dutifully stepped up, striking the ball straight down the middle to set up an uneasy final ten minutes for the hosts.

    And, the West Ham fans all feared the worst. Indeed, instead of blowing bubbles, the fans were almost blowing a gasket as Jimenez caught the West Ham defence sleeping to nip in in the final minute of normal time to stroke home an equalizer for the visitors. Having been the villain ten minutes earlier, VAR was the hero of West Ham as it came to rescue, adjudging Jimenez to be a fraction offside, as one of his fingernails was deemed to be ahead of the last defender, saving West Ham’s blushes and giving the home side all three points. After the game, David Moyes both criticised and praised V.A.R, whilst wistfully reminding the interviewer that he wouldn’t have even needed V.A.R if he had Jag’s and Lescott at the back. Nothing got by them.







    16:30 Kick Off

    Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Manchester United
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Ighalo 82, 88


    Odion Ighalo’s love affair with Manchester United continued at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as the substitute struck a brace of his own to hand the visitors all three points. With Tottenham shorn of their two most potent striking options – something Jose Mourinho gracefully refuses to use as an excuse – the Portuguese was left with little option but to attempt a risky and untested defensive strategy, and it almost paid off. With Eric Dier employed as a target man, Spurs almost took a ninth minute lead, but a powerful header from the 2018 World Cup hero was touched onto the bar by David De Gea.

    It looked as if the match was heading toward a tame 0-0 draw until the introduction of the livewire Nigerian forward, who burst onto the scene late in the game, firing a rocket of a shot beyond the outstretched arms of Hugo Lloris, and followed that six minutes later, getting onto a defence splitting pass from the elegant and brilliant Bruno Fernandes to secure the three points for United, as they inch ahead of Tottenham and Chelsea in the race for fourth place. After the game, Jose positively talked about the improvement of his side after losing 3-0 in midweek, only losing 2-0 here, and hoping that they can improve another step next week by losing only 1-0. He also made a bold statement that had Ighalo been on the home team sheet, it may have been Tottenham leaving with the three points.







    Monday March 16 2020

    Everton 3-0 Liverpool
    Calvert-Lewin 39
    Richarlison 56
    Sigurdsson 85 (Pen)


    Under the floodlights at Goodison Park, Everton turned in their best performance of the season to flatten Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby. Spurred by their limp display in defeat to the Liverpool Cbeebies team in the F.A Cup in January, the Toffees were fired up from the off in this game, as it was their visitors in red that ultimately came unstuck on the Monday Night Football. Liverpool edged the majority of the first half, and Jordan Pickford had the post to thank when hopelessly exposed from a corner that his little arms tried – but failed – to retrieve, as Virgil Van Dijk almost put the visitors ahead. But once Calvert-Lewin broke to put the hosts in front, Everton began to dominate for the remainder of the game.

    With Liverpool struggling to contain their vibrant rivals, things went from bad to worse for the title chasers, as an Adrian goal kick was horrendously misplaced, with the Spaniard playing the ball directly to Richarlison, who doubled the Everton lead. Five minutes later, Sky Sports News reported a £100million bid from Barcelona for the Brazilian. And, confounding the table toppers to a humiliating defeat, Adrian brought Richarlison down in the box for a penalty, which Gylfi Sigurdsson tucked home, sending the Spaniard the wrong way and inflict Liverpool to consecutive 3-0 defeats away from home in the league. Still, they’re 21 points ahead with just eight games remaining, and it’s a matter of time before they clinch their first league championship in 30 years. But that mattered not to Everton, as they finally beat their city rivals for the first time since the Titanic sunk.






    Current Standings

    Pos Team GP W D L F A GD PTS
    1 Liverpool 30 27 1 2 66 24 +42 82
    2 Manchester City 30 19 4 7 74 33 +41 61
    3 Leicester City 30 16 5 9 59 30 +29 53
    4 Manchester United 30 13 9 8 46 30 +16 48
    5 Chelsea 30 14 6 10 51 40 +11 48
    6 Arsenal 30 10 14 6 43 38 +5 44
    7 Sheffield United 29 11 11 7 30 25 +5 44
    8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 10 13 7 42 36 +6 43
    9 Tottenham Hotspur 30 11 8 11 47 42 +5 41
    10 Crystal Palace 30 11 7 12 40 46 -6 40
    11 Everton 30 10 10 10 27 33 -6 40
    12 Burnley 30 11 6 13 34 44 -10 39
    13 Southampton 30 11 4 15 40 55 -15 37
    14 Newcastle United 30 9 9 12 25 41 -16 36
    15 West Ham United 30 8 6 16 37 51 -14 30
    16 Watford 30 7 9 14 29 45 -16 30
    17 Brighton & Hove Albion 30 6 11 13 32 41 -9 29
    18 AFC Bournemouth 30 7 7 16 30 48 -18 28
    19 Aston Villa 29 8 4 17 35 56 -21 28
    20 - Norwich (I selected one row too few, but they don't really count because they're getting relegated)





    Upcoming Fixtures


    Friday March 20 2020
    Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham United


    Saturday March 21 2020 (3pm, unless stated)
    Chelsea vs. Manchester City {12:30 KO}
    Burnley vs. Watford
    Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa
    Norwich vs. Everton
    Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace {5.30 KO}


    Sunday March 22 2020
    Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Bournemouth {2pm}
    Leicester City vs. Brighton {2pm}
    Manchester United vs. Sheffield United {3pm}
    Southampton vs. Arsenal {4.30pm}

    Results coming up at the weekend!!

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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Nigel Pearson had the last laugh against his old club



    ---

    Very cool idea. Something to tide us all over, if you happen to support a premier league team I guess. Will howl if Liverpool are just gonna lose every week.

    No more Villa wins please.

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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    So, the completist in me has to incorporate the Champions League, Europa League and the F.A Cup, meaning the weekend fixtures will be interrupted, as the F.A Cup Quarter Finals were supposed to be this weekend.

    Tuesday March 17 2020

    UEFA Champions League


    Manchester City 3-0 Real Madrid {First Leg 2-1}
    Aguero 26 aaaaaaaaaa Casemiro Sent Off 77
    Mahrez 64
    Gundogan 85

    Manchester City swept aside Real Madrid before a record attendance at the Etihad for a Champions League knock out game of almost 20,000, and those die-hard City fans witnessed a special performance from their heroes. Confident from the outset, City were patient - holding a one goal lead from the first leg - ready to pick off Madrid as the visitors were forced to look for two goals to overturn the deficit. That task was made all the harder as a slick City move saw Aguero slot past Courtois to put the hosts ahead, and it was no more than what they deserved, and went into the break unlucky not to be further ahead with Raheem Sterling striking the post just before half time.

    And in the second half, Madrid - becoming increasingly desperate - left themselves open for the counter, and after dicing with danger and getting away with it, Madrid were finally punished just after the hour mark as Ferland Mendy and Carvajal were left outnumbered to the City break, with players lining up ... and Mahrez eventually going by himself to finish past Courtois. Madrids misery was compounded with thirteen minutes left on the clock as Casemiro picked up a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Manchester City maestro Kevin DeBruyne. Then, with five minutes left, the night went from bad to worse for the visitors, as substitute Ilkay Gundogan fired from just outside the box past a wrong footed Thibaut Courtois.

    Aggregate: 5-1





    Juventus 3-1 Lyon {First Leg: 0-1}
    Ronaldo 5, 19 aa Dembele 29
    Dybala 34

    A frenetic thirty minutes in the first half decided matters, and saw the mighty Juventus overturn the first leg deficit, with Ronaldo right at the heart of the comeback. It took just five minutes for the Portuguese to get Juve on level terms, and he forced Lopes in the Lyon goal into a pair of stunning saves not long before finally beating the Keeper for a second time with a thumping header. Then, just as it appeared Juventus would take control of the game now they'd gone back in front, a woeful error from Szczesny saw the Pole parry an audacious long range effort from Tousart straight into the path of Moussa Dembele to get Lyon back into the game, and vitally, ahead on goal difference.

    That lead only lasted five minutes though. Again, with Ronaldo in inspired form, he forced yet another big save out of Anthony Lopes, but Paulo Dybala was able to get to the loose ball before Marcelo to stab the hosts back into the lead. And after a busy opening half, the game didn't keep that same level of intensity into the second half. The ageing Ronaldo proved to be less effective in the second half after some tactical tweaks from the visitors at half time, and it was the Juventus goalkeeper that redeemed himself, pulling off a stunning save from Ekambi in the dying embers of the game, as Lyon went in search of another away goal which would've proved crucial. Juve clung on to see themselves make the draw for the Quarter Finals.

    Aggregate: 3-2






    Wednesday March 18 2020

    Barcelona 0-1 Napoli
    aaaaaaaaaaaaa Semedo O.G 49

    Barcelona crashed out to Italian opposition for the second time in three years, with Napoli shading the contest, but the talk after the game will be about a VAR decision that sparked mass debate. Right on the stroke of half time, Mario Lui was initially adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box, but after a lengthy consultation with the pitchside monitor, the decision was overturned, much to the chagrin of the Catalans. Then, early in the second half, a wayward defensive header from Nelson Semedo saw the full back turn the ball into his own net, past a helpless Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Frantically chasing the game, Barcelona were simply unable to break the visitors down, with Messi unable to conjure up any magic, with a blunt Barca frontline proving ineffective, as star signing Martin Braithwaite - ineligible for the competition - forced to watch on from the stands, as fans wondered what might have been, if the Danish striking sensation had been available.

    Aggregate: 1-2





    Bayern Munich 2-3 Chelsea {First Leg 3-0}
    Coutinho 37 aaaaaaa Willian 18, 66
    Lewandowski 79 aaa Jorginho Pen 40

    Chelsea crashed out, but left the Allianz Arena with their heads held high, battling to a morale boosting win, salvaging some pride after a thumping in the reverse fixture. Starting brightly, the visitors took an early lead on eighteen minutes through Willian, and were unlucky not to be further ahead before Phillipe Coutinho grabbed an equalizer for the hosts. Despite resting some of their star names, Bayern still proved to be dangerous, but Chelsea deservedly went into the break back in front after Pedro was adjudged to have been impeded by Odriozola in the box. As ever, Jorginho wrong footed Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal. And when Willian grabbed his second to put Chelsea 3-1 up, the visitors began to believe in a miraculous turn around, as Flick elected to bring on the big guns in Lewandowski and Gnabry, with the Polish hitman taking less than ten minutes to find the net, and restore some breathing space for Bayern, who settled themselves for the final minutes, to - eventually - take their place in the Quarter Finals.

    Aggregate: 5-3






    Premier League

    Wednesday March 18 2020

    Aston Villa 1-1 Sheffield United
    Mings 27 aaaaaa Sharp 88
    Grealish Sent Off 90+2

    Despite both sides fortunes differing wildly since promotion last season, it was a game of two well matched sides at Villa Park, with little between the two teams, and indeed, nothing between them at the final whistle. Tyrone Mings nodded past Dean Henderson to put the Carabao Cup beaten finalists in front as they looked to build on their stirring victory over Chelsea at the weekend, but the dogged Blades refused to lay down, and their tenacity finally paid off deep into the second half, as Billy Sharp - a second half substitute - headed past Pepe Reina at the near post to level the scores. A point was no less than either team deserved, and that's exactly what they got. The draw keeps Sheffield United's unlikely Champions League hopes alive, and pulls Villa to within a point of climbing out of the relegation zone. However, the big worry for Aston Villa will be the second yellow card Jack Grealish picked up in added time - for a dive - which will mean Villa's star man will be unavailable for their next game.





    Europa League

    Thursday March 19 2020

    Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 Glasgow Rangers
    {Agg. 8-1}

    Getafe 1-2 Inter Milan
    {Agg. 1-2}

    Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 Wolfsburg
    {Agg. 3-1}

    FC Basel 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
    {Agg. 5-0}

    FC Copenhagen 4-2 Istanbul Basaksehir
    {Agg. 4-3}

    Roma 0-0 Sevilla
    {Agg. 0-0}
    *Roma win Penalty shoot out 5-3*


    Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Olympiakos {Agg. 3-1}
    Jota 6
    Neves Pen 75

    Wolves European dream continued in earnest, as Diego Jota got the hosts off to a dream start on a balmy Wolverhampton night. Good value for their lead, Wolves could - and should - have been two to the good by halftime, but Raul Jimenez was uncharacteristically wasteful in front of goal, wasting a perfect opportunity to give the English side breathing room. Indeed, as the second half wore on, it was Olympiakos that threatened to spoil the party, with Wolves dropping deeper and deeper. Just as it seemed the Greek side would grab that equalizer to send the game into Extra time though, Ruben Neves was able to calm the nerves and ease the tension, as he slotted home - with consumate ease - a penalty, awarded after a bizarre challenge from Tsimikas on Adama Traore, just as it seemed the winger was running the ball out of play. Wolves march on to the final eight, with two realistic avenues now available to them for Champions League football next season...


    Manchester United 0-1 LASK Linz {Agg. 5-1}
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Renner 63

    With the game as good as settled after a commanding 5-0 victory the prior week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer elected to rest star man Bruno Fernandes Odion Ighalo with bigger games in mind for the on fire Nigerian. Unfortunately, United, against even a weakened LASK side, turned in a frankly dire performance, failing to break down the visitors, and seeming to be out of ideas early on, as Bruno Fernandes watched from the stands, wondering if he had to do it all himself even against the minnows. Jesse Lingard carried less threat than a new born puppy in the place of the Portuguese number 18, and with Gareth Southgate watching in the stands, Lingard will be worried that he may find himself out of the England starting eleven given his recent form. The turgid display from the hosts was punished in the second half as the Austrian side squeezed in an effort past Sergio Romero in the United goal to send the Red Devils to a humiliating home defeat. Despite qualifying for the last eight, it was blatatly obvious that Solskjaer will require 2/3 more windows to get this United squad up to snuff.





    Champions League Quarter Final Draw
    Atletico Madrid vs. RB Leipzig
    Napoli vs. Atalanta
    P.S.G vs. Bayern Munich
    Manchester City vs. Juventus



    Europa League Quarter Final Draw
    Bayer Leverkusen vs. FC Copehagen
    Inter Milan vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
    Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. AS Roma
    FC Basel vs. Manchester United




    I'll do the weekend fixtures on Sunday.

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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    How dare you have Romero conceed a goal though if he had a team that included Lingard and Andreas I can imagine how it all went down.....
    I have a plan so cunning......

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    Premier League Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Friday March 20 2020

    Premier League

    Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham United
    Dier 38

    Jose Mourinho’s experiment appeared to pay off, having stuck to his guns in persevering with Eric Dier as his lone striker, with the England international proving to be the difference between the two sides at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday night. In an otherwise uneventful game, Dier’s finish – a miss-hit that wrong footed Lukas Fabianski – was the main talking point, with little in the way of chances at either end. The two tactical geniuses in the dugout played out a game of human chess, but it was the Portuguese that was able to say “check mate” as the final whistle was blown, getting Tottenham back within touching distance of the top four, but seeing West Ham in peril at the other end of the table, despite a stirring win last weekend.

    Mourinho was uncharacteristically smug in the post match interview, asking Geoff Shreeves what Gary Neville thought of the decision to persist with Eric Dier up top, having come under criticism for his deployed of Dier last weekend. The defeat sees West Ham sit just one point above the relegation zone, but David Moyes was bullish about his side’s chances of survival, stating; “Listen, the boys have really put a shift in tonight and done themselves proud. We wont have come up against the quality of Eric Dier every week and we won’t have to play teams that are better than us every week either. My message to the fans would be; trust me. Trust the players.” #MoyesOut quickly began trending on Twitter, as the message from the boss appeared to fall on deaf ears.







    Saturday March 21 2020

    F.A Cup Quarter Finals


    Leicester City 3-2 Chelsea
    Vardy 16, 30
    aaaaa Abraham 74, 82
    Barnes 86


    The early kick off saw a genuine F.A Cup classic play out at the King Power Stadium. While both sides are still in the mix for a top four finish in the league, the F.A Cup provides both their only remaining hope for silverware this season, and that desire was certainly on show. With Jamie Vardy restored back into the starting line up, the Leicester City hot shot fired the hosts ahead against the run of play just past the fifteen minute mark. A tremendous cross field ball from Chilwell set Vardy off, with the evergreen 32 year old beating Cesar Azpilicueta to the ball, and drilling past Kepa. Despite the goal, Frank Lampards Chelsea continued to shade the play in search of an equalizer, but it was Leicester doubling their advantage – again, against the run of play – with Vardy clearly well stocked up on Red Bull, reacting fastest to a loose ball to fire beyond the keeper, sending the Foxes into half time with a two goal cushion.

    Despite finding themselves two down, Frank Lampards Chelsea continued to remain calm into the second half, and the introduction of Billy Gilmour just after the hour mark – after turning in another eye catching display in mid week in Munich – was the difference for the visitors in turning their chances into goals, knitting together the play and eventually finding space for Ross Barkley who played in Tammy Abraham, with the England striker giving Frank Lampards Chelsea hope of salvaging the tie. And Mason Mount acted quickly from a free kick to put Abraham in again, allowing the striker to grab his second of the game, despite protests from the hosts – claiming not to be ready for the free kick routine – but the protests were waved away by Mike Dean, who gleefully booked Schmeichel and Evans for their reactions.

    At that point, with less than ten minutes remaining, and Frank Lampards Chelsea having been the better side throughout the game, there appeared to be only one winner – whether in extra time or in the remaining time of the 90 – but it was Leicester City that grabbed the decisive goal, stunning the visitors just minutes after Frank Lampards Chelsea had grabbed their equaliser. Kurt Zouma dallied on the ball, and found himself dispossessed by the dogged Jamie Vardy, with the former England striker selflessly squaring the ball to Harvey Barnes, rather than attempting to finish himself and grab a hat trick, with Barnes tapping into am empty net to send the home fans into raptures. Despite a relentless push deep into added time from Frank Lampards Chelsea, Leicester held on, booking their place in the last four of the F.A Cup under dramatic circumstances.







    Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester City
    S. Longstaff 90+2

    Hayden Sent Off 40


    Sean Longstaff will be a name forever remembered on Tyneside, as his solitary goal in added time stunned St. James’ Park and dumped out the holders, sending the ten man Magpies into the F.A Cup Semi Finals and a trip to Wembley. Steve Bruce’s side turned in a dogged and resolute display to frustrate the visitors, who fielded a full strength line up, but saw Kevin DeBruyne forced off after just twelve minutes with a thigh strain. With their main creative threat off, City took a period of time to regather, with David Silva beginning to pull the strings until he too was forced off just before half time after receiving what appeared to be a broken nose due to an errant elbow from Isaac Hayden. That elbow was deemed to be an act of dangerous play, and saw Hayden receive a straight red card, making the task of the home side even greater.

    Despite the numbers advantage, City were still unable to break down the hosts, with Newcastle withdrawing Joelinton at half time to shore up their midfield, resorting to a 5-4-0 formation. Raheem Sterling was presented with the best chance of the second half, wrong footing Jetro Willems to give himself a one on one against Martin Dubravka, but instead of slotting past the onrushing goalkeeper, Sterling elected to complicate matters by trying to round the stopper, leaving himself with little room to finish, striking the ball off the post and out of play. The Longstaff brothers were introduced late on in order to offer Newcastle fresh legs in midfield with the hosts run ragged by City, and that added energy looked like something the Magpies would need as the game inched closer to extra time. But, with their only shot on target, Newcastle snatched the game in time added on.

    Wanting to make it about himself, Pep Guardiola made sure to congratulate Sean Longstaff on the field after the game, speaking in depth to the youngster who just wanted to celebrate. Guardiola also remonstrated with the official after the game, and spoke furiously about the tactics employed by Newcastle, quipping that he “is not a Rugby coach”, before it was pointed out to the Spaniard that in fact, his side registered more fouls than the hosts. Meanwhile, Steve Bruce looked to be on the verge of tears as he spoke of how proud he’d be to lead Newcastle to Wembley in an F.A Cup Semi-Final, whilst Bruce’s friends in the media took this opportunity to sing his praises once more, and criticise the Newcastle fan base for their lacklustre reaction in the summer when this deity was appointed manager.









    Premier League


    Burnley 1-0 Watford
    Vydra 29

    This was the last game shown on Match of the Day. Even the goal was boring.







    Liverpool 3-3 Crystal Palace
    Salah 8
    aaaaa. Benteke 69, 75, 89
    Mane 19
    Firmino 31

    Van Dijk Sent Off 61


    If they weren’t so close to winning the league, it would begin to start feeling like history repeating for Liverpool. Still scarred from a capitulation at Selhurst Park in the 13/14 season when the wheels had fallen off their title charge, the hosts saw a three goal lead evaporate on Saturday evening when they could’ve clinched the title. Racing into a three goal lead in the first half hour, chants of “We’re gonna win the league” reverberated around Anfield, with their three pronged attack all chipping in with goals, as Firmino broke his league duck at home for the season with a neat curling shot from just outside the box leaving Guaita helpless in his goal, with Palace sinking without a trace.

    With Liverpool strolling to victory and the home fans in a party mood, the game turned on its head at the hour mark when a seemingly innocuous tackle – initially missed by the official – by Virgil Van Dijk was reviewed by VAR, and Christopher Kavanagh elected to trust the view of the VAR, stopping the play to send off the Liverpool defender. With Liverpools colossal defensive leader gone, Jurgen Klopp elected to send on Dejan Lovren to devastating effect, with Christian Benteke haunting his former club and grabbing a miraculous hat trick in a twenty minute window, which fans – from both sides – could barely believe.

    The Belgian bullied Lovren off the ball for his first, proved too strong for the Croatian as he held Lovren off to grab his second, and rose high above him for a towering header to hit his third and snatch an incredible comeback for the visitors, and halt the Liverpool title celebrations for at least two more weeks, as the International break would provide further delay for next week. After the game, Jurgen Klopp laughed off any hints that his side were buckling under the expectation of victory, reminding everyone that they don’t even need to win another game; 1 point will do, but bemoaned the dismissal of Van Dijk, with many agreeing the Dutchman was unlucky to see red, as more questions continue to be asked about the use of VAR in the Premier League.



    I’ll post the Sunday results tomorrow…

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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    There’s one one Sean Longstaff! Don’t you dare make him go to City in the summer.


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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    This thread is amazing

    That match synopsis for City vs Newcastle was beautiful







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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Sunday March 22 2020

    F.A Cup Quarter Finals

    Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal
    Lundstram 21 aaaaaaa Martinelli 71, 88


    Chris Wilders side succumbed to a second half fightback from Arsenal at Brammall Lane, to see their F.A Cup dreams dashed, whilst Arsenal move on to the semi finals, hunting for their fourteenth triumph in the oldest cup competition in the world. The action started brightly, with both sides displaying a positive approach in looking for the win, as Dean Henderson and Bernd Leno were kept busy in their respective goals. The breakthrough came from every Fantasy Premier League’s favourite bargain buy, with John Lundstram notching the opening goal – though many of these FPL bosses silently cursed under the breath, knowing F.A Cup games don’t count – and Sheffield United looked to build on that lead, but were held by a surprisingly resolute Arsenal back line for the remainder of the half.

    With Arsenal forced onto the front foot, the visitors struggled to break the Blades down, but the introduction of Martinelli in place of Sokratis was a gamble that ultimately paid off. Despite leaving themselves vulnerable with fewer numbers at the back, Mikel Artetas bravery was paid off, with the triumvirate of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Martinelli caused havoc as the hosts began to tire, with the youngster getting on the end of Aubameyangs cross to poke home and level the game. And as the game inched toward extra time, Martinelli pounced again on the weary Sheffield United backline, dispossessing Chris Basham and sending the ball beyond the outreached arms of Henderson to fire the Gunners into the last four.







    Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United
    Jones O.G 33 aaaaaaaaaaaaaa Bruno Fernandes Pen 67
    Cantwell Missed Pen 55 aaaaa. Ighalo 75


    It was a tale of two penalties at Carrow Road that turned the game on Sunday afternoon, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to rest his star men in midweek proved to be the right decision in the end, as the January signings were the difference between the two sides. Norwich were unlucky not to be ahead in the opening seconds as a back pass from Harry Maguire slipped under the foot of David De Gea, but the Spaniard was spared his blushes at the ball trickled beyond the post. In what was a disjointed display from United, Norwich will perhaps bemoan their inability to significantly punish the visitors, but did head into the break a goal to the good when Phil Jones wayward clearance went beyond his stranded goalkeeper.

    And things should’ve got worse for the Red Devils when Phil Jones pulled Teemu Pukki down in the box to concede a stonewall penalty; no VAR required on this one. Todd Cantwell stepped up, but saw De Gea get a strong hand to keep the scoreline at 1-0 and keep his side in the game. Then, just ten minutes later, United DID need the assistance of VAR when Grant Hanley was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Bruno Fernandes made no mistake from the spot, and despite United still struggling to take control of the game, Odion Ighalo put the visitors in front with a thumping volley. Norwich piled on the pressure, and could’ve sent the game to extra time if it wasn’t for a last ditch clearance from Wan-Bissaka, as United progressed to the semi-finals to paper over the cracks for another week.






    FA Cup Semi-Final Draw
    Manchester United vs. Newcastle United
    Arsenal vs. Leicester City
    {Ties to be played April 18th/19th 2020 at Wembley}







    Premier League

    Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 AFC Bournemouth
    Jota 44


    Despite not being at their best, Wolves rose to see off a limp Bournemouth display and keep their hopes of Champions League qualification alive. Diogo Jota’s goal just before the break was the difference between the two sides, and was truly the only piece of quality throughout the game. Tempers flared early in the second half though, as despite missing their chief shithouse – Jefferson Lerma serving a suspension following his dismissal last week – Bournemouth’s Phillip Billing stepped into the breach with a scything challenge on Ruben Neves which many believed should’ve been a red card. After a consultation with VAR, Michael Oliver elected to only brandish a yellow, which sparked uproar from the Wolves bench, with Nuno accusing the official of ‘forgetting’ his red card.

    Despite the precarious lead, Wolves were barely troubled in the second period, running out comfortable winners once the tempers settled down, even if the score suggested otherwise. Eddie Howe appeared out of ideas and out of options with his side unable to force the hosts onto the backfoot, with rumours running rampart after the game that Bournemouth were set to turn to Harry Redknapp and draft in their former boss in an ‘advisory’ role for the remainder of the season. And on the display given by their side many Bournemouth fans may be thinking it’s a t’riffic idea, with Peter Crouch tweeting a picture of his old boots, whilst Niko Kranjcar is said to be waiting by his living room window, waiting for the signal.






    Even though it's an international break next week, I'll use that to do the fixtures that weren't played this weekend due to the F.A Cup, and I'll update the league table after that.

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    Premier League Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    As previously mentioned, even though this was scheduled to be an International week, I'm using it to get the fixtures played that didn't happen last week because of the F.A Cup. Three matches today, three tomorrow...




    Saturday March 28 2020

    12:30 kick off

    Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City
    Pedro 48 aaaa Sterling 81, 90+3

    It looked as if Liverpool would win the Premier League without kicking a ball this weekend, until Raheem Sterling's injury time winner kept the champagne on ice in Merseyside. Indeed, the Citizens had Raheem Sterling to thank for the late turnaround at Stamford Bridge, with Frank Lampards Chelsea falling foul to a late winner for the second consecutive week, with their hold over their Champions League qualification spot loosening after exits from both the Champions League and the F.A Cup last week. Again, Frank Lampards Chelsea were unlucky to lose, having dealt with the champions for much of the ninety minutes, and looked good value to take all three points. Pedro cut inside early in the second half to curl the ball beyond Ederson in the City goal to fire the home side in front, whilst Tammy Abraham struck the post less than ten minutes later for what would've surely put the hosts out of sight.

    Despite Pep Guardiola's side's comeback, the Spaniard still flippantly dismissed the league challenge after the game, accepting that Liverpool ARE the champions already and deriding the fact his team still have to complete their fixtures this season. Still, Pep was full of praise for Sterlings virtuoso display in the closing stages, with the England international slaloming his way past Reece James and Kurt Zouma before poking the ball through the legs of Kepa to level the scores, and was first to react to Kevin De Bruyne's chipped pass to get by Kepa and tuck home into the empty net, with Azpilicueta chasing a lost cause in an attempt to clear the ball before it crossed the line. The bald fraud discussed the improvements Sterling has made under his stewardship, likening it to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and calling it good preparation for the Champions League, which remains Guardiola's one and only focus.





    Newcastle United 0-1 Aston Villa
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Rose O.G 30

    What a difference a week makes for Steve Bruce. Having lead his side to an unlikely and memorable F.A Cup victory over Manchester City, it finally seemed as if the St. James Park faithful were beginning to turn around and accept the novelist ... and then this game happened. Villa, shorn of their one bright spark in the form of Jack Grealish, offered little, yet came away with all three points as Danny Rose slapstick own goal was the difference between the sides. Engels header cannoned back off the bar from a Villa corner, with Danny Rose - having moved from his position on the far post - saw the ball bounce off his knee and beyond the stranded Dubravka.

    Even chasing the game, the Magpies rarely threatened the limp visitors, and many fans voiced their displeasure toward the end of the 90 minutes as Newcastle failed to turn the screw, despite Villa retreating further and further into their own half. Newcastles best chance did come late on, with Allan Saint-Maximin bursting beyond Guilbert and Elmohamady to find himself in a one on one situation with the hapless Pepe Reina, but rather than go for the finish, Saint-Maximin looked to square the ball to the equally hapless Joelinton, but overcooked the pass, playing it behind Joelinton instead, and directly to Douglas Luiz, who gratefully cleared the ball to safety. Boos rang out at the final whistle, with Villa climbing out of the relegation zone, whilst Newcastle remain in relative safety ... but not safe enough that they can afford to throw away three points to an understrength Aston Villa.





    Norwich City 0-2 Everton
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Calvert-Lewin 9
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Davies 41, Sent Off 76

    Norwich slipped closer to their inevitable relegation with an inevitable 0-2 defeat at home to Everton. Indeed, it only took nine minutes for the Mustard boys to come unstuck against the Toffees, as Calvert-Lewin powered a header beyond Tim Krul, with little resistance from the Norwich backline making it an easy finish for the in-form Everton striker. Norwich continued to look bright on the ball, but equally fragile at the back, with Calvert-Lewin unlucky not to double his tally mid way through the first half, with a strong save from the Dutch keeper keeping his side in the game. However, Everton eventually did double their lead with Tom Davies striking a hopeful shot from outside the box, and even Tim Kruls long limbs failed to keep the ball out.

    It could've been more in the second half, only for a combination of wasteful finishing from the visitors and an inspired display from Krul, as Norwich failed to shut up shop as they went in search for a breakthrough. Richarlison, Bernard and Walcott all had shots saved by Krul, whilst Calvert-Lewin fired wide with only the keeper to beat late in the game. Despite the positive approach from the relegation threatened hosts, Jordan Pickfords little arms were rarely tested, as even the England stopper couldn't find a way to help Norwich back into the game. Even after Tom Davies picked up a red card for a second bookable offence, Everton ran out comfortable winners as the game petered out, leaving Norwich an almost insurmountable task in their bid to prevent a relegation straight back down to the Championship.

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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Newcastle losing 1-0 to Villa thanks to an own goal?

    Thank you for setting off my PTSD.







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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Newcastle losing 1-0 to Villa thanks to an own goal?

    Thank you for setting off my PTSD.
    We can’t accuse him of not being realistic, I suppose


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    Premier League Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Sunday March 29 2020

    Leicester City 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
    Evans 20
    Maddison 61

    Leicester recorded a perfunctory victory at the King Power Stadium to strengthen their hold on a Champions League place, whilst still keeping hope of finishing as high as second. Brendan Rodgers side turned in an outstanding display, full of character ... according to the managers post game comments, although observers were somewhat more faint with praise, as Leicester didn't really have to break into fourth gear to best their visitors on Sunday. Brighton offered little in the way of threat, display shading possession, with Jonny Evans header from a James Maddison corner providing the breakthrough at the twenty minute mark. Jamie Vardy should've doubled the lead shortly after, but an outstanding save from Matt Ryan in the Brighton goal kept the relegation threatened Seagulls in the game. However, James Maddisons outstanding (TM Brendan Rodgers) volley was the one piece of absolute quality in the second half, with Ryan standing no chance of keeping out the magnificent 25 yard curling effort from the main creative spark of this Leicester City side.





    Manchester United 1-2 Sheffield United
    Ighalo 11 aaaaaaaaaaa. Norwood Pen 4
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Sharp 74

    An impassioned post match plea from Gary Neville in the Sky studio after the game saw the pundit call for patience from the United faithful, reminding them that Ole really still needs another 2-3 windows to get the side right, after United succumbed to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, when they had the chance to move clear in the race for top four. David De Gea gave the home side the worst possible start, as his limp throw of the ball to Luke Shaw saw Mousset nip in ahead of the left back, and facing the keeper in a one on one scenario, found himself brought down by the Spaniard. While clear for all to see, Martin Atkinson initially didn't call for the penalty, and it required a VAR intervention to see justice served. Oliver Norwood made no mistake from the spot, but the early goal appeared to sharpen the home side, as Bruno Fernandes pulled the strings, creating chances for Martial and Dan James, keeping Simon James - replacing the ineligble Dean Henderson - busy, before Odion Ighalo levelled the scores to cap off a blistering five minute period for the hosts.

    But despite a high octane opening ten minutes with United in the ascendancy, the home side appeared to take their foot off the pedal, with the game settling down, providing much frustration among the home fans, as the Blades regained their own composure. Despite the best efforts of Bruno Fernandes and the industrious Fred, United struggled to carve many more chances throughout the remainder of the first half, and that carried over into the second half too, with the visitors proving hard for the Red Devils to break down, as the hosts continuously looked to Bruno for all their creativity. Sheffield United, growing in confidence, caught United on the break on two occasions just after the hour mark, only for each move to break down, but United didn't learn their lesson, as a third breakaway saw Billy Sharp beat Nemanja Static Matic to poke past the onrushing De Gea and send the vistors back in front. Despite a surge forward in seach of an equalizer from United, it was the visitors that had the best chances late in the game, as De Gea kept his side in with a shout, but it was Chris Wilders side leaving Old Trafford with the three point, as they moved alongside Solskjaers side in the race for the top four.





    Southampton 2-3 Arsenal
    Ings 8 aaaaaaaaa Ozil 39
    Redmond 70 aaaa Aubameyang 44
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Luiz 86

    Sunday brought us the best and worst of Mikel Arteta's side, as Arsenal showed flashes of their brittle underbelly, but ultimately showed enough quality to secure all three points as they closed the gap to the top four. Danny Ings reacted quickest to David Luiz loose ball across the back to fire past Leno in the Arsenal goal to give the hosts an early lead, and the Saints were unlucky not to be two ahead shortly after as Leno weakly came for a cross from a corner, missing the ball entirely to allow Ings to tap into an empty net. However, Michael Oliver ruled the goal out for an apparent push on the German stopper. Arsenal showed plenty of quality and threat on the ball, and eventually that quality saw the visitors level the scores, as Ozil neatly curled the ball beyond McCarthy from the edge of the box. And while Arsenal would've been happy to take 1-1 at half time, Aubameyang rifled home just before the break to send Arsenal in front.

    Southampton returned for the second half with renewed vigour, and had the Gunners rattled for long portions of the second period, with the Arsenal backline looking vulnerable throughout. Eventually, the pressure from the hosts paid off, as Ings was played in again, lifting the ball over Leno ... but saw his shot cleared off the line by Sokratis ... only for the clearance to find the waiting Nathan Redmond to make it Desmond and set up a thrilling last twenty minutes. The equalizer galvanized the visitors back into action, and the introduction of Pepe added more spark and vibrance to the Arsenal attack, as McCarthy was forced into an incredible double save from Lacazette, before the resulting corner saw Sokratis header cannon back off the crossbar. Danny Ings had another attempt himself, but failed to beat Leno, letting Arsenal off the hook. Then, a rash Hojberg challenge on the maurauding Pepe gave Arsenal a free kick from a seemingly safe distance ... but David Luiz rocket blasted past McCarthy in the Southampton net - the keeper rooted to the spot - putting Arsenal back in front, and despite nervy moments in injury time, Arsenal clung on to secure the three points.





    Current Table


    Pos Team Games Won Drawn Lost F A GD Pts
    1 Liverpool 31 27 2 2 69 27 +42 83
    2 Manchester City 31 20 4 7 76 34 +42 64
    3 Leicester City 31 17 5 9 61 30 +31 56
    4 Manchester United 31 13 9 9 47 32 +15 48
    5 Chelsea 31 14 6 11 52 42 +10 48
    6 Sheffield United 31 12 12 7 33 27 +6 48
    7 Arsenal 31 11 14 6 46 40 +6 47
    8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 31 11 13 7 43 36 +7 46
    9 Tottenham Hotspur 31 12 8 7 48 42 +6 44
    10 Everton 31 11 10 10 29 33 -4 43
    11 Burnley 31 12 6 13 35 44 -9 42
    12 Crystal Palace 31 11 8 12 43 49 -6 41
    13 Southampton 31 11 4 16 42 58 -16 37
    14 Newcastle United 31 9 9 13 25 42 -17 36
    15 Aston Villa 31 9 5 17 37 57 -20 32
    16 West Ham United 31 8 6 17 37 52 -15 30
    17 Watford 31 7 9 15 29 46 -17 30
    18 Brighton & Hove Albion 31 6 11 14 32 43 -11 29
    19 AFC Bournemouth 31 7 7 17 30 49 -19 28
    20 Norwich City 31 5 6 20 28 59 -31 21





    Upcoming Fixtures

    Saturday 4th April

    Aston Villa 12:30 Wolverhampton Wanderers

    Arsenal 15:00 Norwich City

    Bournemouth 15:00 Newcastle United
    Brighton and Hove Albion 15:00 Manchester United
    Crystal Palace 15:00 Burnley
    Watford 15:00 Southampton

    Sheffield United 17:30 Tottenham Hotspur




    Sunday 5th April

    West Ham United 14:00 Chelsea

    Manchester City 16:30 Liverpool




    Monday 6th April

    Everton 20:00 Leicester City

  17. #17
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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Typical Man Utd....chance to extend in 4th place but get beat at home

    Sent from my SM-A202F using Tapatalk
    I have a plan so cunning......

  18. #18
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    Premier League Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    Saturday 4th April


    12:30 Kick Off


    Aston Villa 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
    Grealish 90+4
    aaaaaaaaaa Jimenez Pen 22
    Targett Sent Off 51 aaaaaSaiss Sent Off 69
    Nakamba Sent Off 83

    An incident filled, ill-tempered Midlands derby set the tone for the most dramatic weekend of the Premier League season so far! Despite starting at a pedestrian pace, the game at Villa Park sparked into life after Tyrone Mings was adjudged – following a VAR review – to have brought down Diogo Jota in the box, with Raul Jimenez making no mistake from the spot to fire the Champions League chasing visitors in front. Villa though – fighting at the opposite end of the table – clearly frustrated at the controversial VAR decision began to clock up bookings as the half wore on, with El Ghazi lucky not to see a straight red just before the end of the first half.

    Wolves themselves naturally reacted as the game turned ugly, with Michael Oliver seemingly losing control of the game as the half time whistle was blown with players on both sides at one anothers throats. Despite the ill tempered nature of the game, the inevitable red card came from an otherwise innocuous incident as Matt Targett blocked a cross with his hand just outside the box, earning him a second yellow card, making the task at hand for the hosts all the tougher with forty minutes still to play. However, a scything challenge from Saiss on Grealish levelled the sides down to ten men heading into the closing stages. Buoyed by the sides being levelled up, the hosts raised their game, with almost everything come through Jack Grealish, but Villa continued to be unable to find an equaliser.

    Then, a challenge from Marvelous Nakamba – a challenge which belied his forename – on Adama Traore (which would’ve been a leg breaker for mere mortals) saw the Zimbabwe international handed a straight red card, seemingly ending the hopes of an equaliser for the Villains. However, despite the numbers disadvantage, a flash of brilliance from Jack Grealish – who hit the headlines during the week after being pictured with a bag of kittens by a river, but claimed the photo was taken “out of context” and vociferously defended by the Villa fan base – put recent controversies behind him by striking a wicked 25 yard strike beyond Rui Patricio to snatch a point at the death. A dent in the hopes of Wolves Champions League aspirations, but another vital point toward safety for the hosts.







    15:00 Kick Offs


    Arsenal 2-3 Norwich City
    Saka 6
    aaaaaa. Saka O.G 20
    Sokratis 36 aaa. Buendia 51
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaa Hanley 85


    In typical Arsenal fashion, their recent impressive unbeaten run in domestic competitions – which had fired them right back into Champions League contention – came to an abrupt halt at home to the all but relegated basement club. Arsenal started brightly, with auxiliary full back Buyako Saka scoring his first league goal for the club just after the five minute mark to complete a tremendous move in which he started and ultimately finished. Arsenal continued to dominate, overwhelming the fragile back line of the visitors, but a mis-judged back pass from Sako to Leno saw the ball trickle beyond the German stopper and hand Norwich an undeserved and unlikely lifeline. Sokratis restored the lead though before half time with a powerful header.

    Then, in the second half, with everything seemingly under control, Arsenal were shell shocked as a low, well struck shot by Buendia from the edge of the box found its way beyond Leno to once again level the scores. Still, Arteta remained composed on the touchline with his side still much the better of the two teams, and simply needed to remain calm and patiently work for their inevitable third goal. But, as time ticked down with the score locked at 2-2, Arsenal poured forward in search of a winning goal, which allowed a long ball clearance from Aarons to play Pukki in, forcing Leno into a tremendous save to spare the Gunners blushes. However, from the corner, Hanley found himself in space, but had his header was saved by Leno … only for the inability of the Arsenal defence to clear the danger allowing Hanley another crack with the Norwich captain blasting into the net from three yards to hand his side the most unlikely of victories.







    Bournemouth 3-1 Newcastle United
    C. Wilson 14, 27
    aaaa.. Almiron 62
    King 78 aaaaaaaaaaaa.Shelvey Sent Off 73


    The hangover from their F.A Cup heroics continued into another week for Newcastle, with Steve Bruce’s side outclassed by fellow strugglers Bournemouth – buoyed by the arrival of Harry Redknapp this week as an “advisor” to Eddie Howe’s side – as the hosts played some ‘triffic ‘ football this week to pull the Magpies closer to the relegation dogfight. Despite struggling for long periods this season, Callum Wilson turned in a Man of The Match display, leading the line, causing Newcastle all sorts of problems throughout the ninety minutes. Wilson fired Bournemouth into the lead early on, leaving Dubravka helpless in his goal, and doubled the lead not long after as Newcastle failed to clear Harry Wilsons cross, allowing the England hitman to tap home again.

    Bereft of ideas, Steve Bruce turned to the Longstaff brothers at half time, introducing both at the break to create a rather intriguing midfield trio with Shelvey. And there was a glimmer of hope for the visitors, as Almiron – playing as an out and out striker in the second half – struck a loose ball beyond Ramsdale just after the hour mark, and to seemingly set up a rip roaring final thirty minutes. And a nasty looking challenge from Phillip Billings on Almiron had the visitors calling for a red card, but after a VAR review, Mike Dean elected not to send the Bournemouth man off. Unfortunately, Jonjo Shelveys reaction to that decision saw him booked for a second time in the game by the gleeful official, reducing Newcastle to ten instead.

    And, to add insult to injury, Phillip Billings long ball over the top of the Newcastle backline minutes later saw Joshua King one on one with Dubravka, and lofted the ball over the oncoming keeper to extend Bournemouth’s lead, and the hosts never looked back as the game drew to a close. After the game, Steve Bruce refused to lay the blame on Shelvey for his overreaction, and in fact used it to point out that if all his players played with that kind of passion, they may have gotten something out of the game. Bruce also used the post-match press conference to send a pointed message to his side that despite being in the F.A Cup Semi-Final, they can’t afford to let all their good work in the league slip at this crucial stage.







    Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 Manchester United
    Dunk 43
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Martial 76
    Mooy 87


    It was suggested that Manchester Uniteds run in would make them favourites to snatch fourth place. Having picked up wins against Manchester City and Tottenham, they led the race for fourth. Since then, they’ve lost back to back games – home to Sheffield United, away to relegation threatened Brighton – as their season long deficiencies reared their heads again at the Amex Stadium, as Brighton recorded their first league victory of 2020. Both sides had chances to open the scoring, with Matt Ryan making a smart stop from a McTominay effort from inside the box, and David De Gea was alert to snuff out a Maupay chance too. However, it was a Lewis Dunk thumping header that powered the hosts in front just before half time.

    United opened the second half with some renewed vigour, as Bruno Fernandes went close with two long range strikes; one coming back off the post, and the other just a little too high. The Portuguese winter signing continued to look the brightest spark for the visitors, and it was his pass that played in Martial for the equaliser with fifteen minutes left to play. However, it was Brighton that got the last laugh, stunning the visitors as Aaron Mooy picked up a loose ball outside the area and chipped over De Gea who frantically tried – and failed – to scoop the ball off the line, but the goal line technology ruled in favour of the Seagulls, and sent the home fans into raptures as they – again – recorded a famous three points over United. More questions will be asked of Solskjaer’s suitability for the United hotseat in the wake of the defeat, while those in favour suggested another 4–5 transfer windows may be required to rebuild the squad.







    Crystal Palace 0-0 Burnley

    This was the last game featured on Match of the Day.







    Watford 1-0 Southampton
    Deeney Pen 80


    A stark reminder for Southampton down at Vicarage Road that they are still in danger of slipping back into the relegation dogfight, as they went down to a Troy Deeney penalty late in the day. A game of few chances and rigid defensive stubbornness probably deserved to see both sides take a point, but Danny Ings – so often the hero for the Saints this season – found himself defending in his own box after a corner was cleared, and made a strikers challenge on Sarr that Martin Atkinson didn’t need VAR to make a ruling on. Deeney blasted past McCarthy in the Southampton goal to continue Nigel Pearsons sides impressive recent home form, following wins over Liverpool and Leicester over the last month.

    Danny Ings had a chance to equalize deep into stoppage time, but Ben Foster tipped the strike over the bar to secure the three points and strengthen the Hornets bid for survival. A vital three points, as all three sides directly below them all picked up wins today too. Despite the celebrations at full time, the big story coming out of the game was an altercation between Nigel Pearson and the officials, with Pearson said to be irate with the decisions made during the game, despite his side still picking up the three points. As ever, Nigel Pearson; he’s only happy when he’s angry.







    Sheffield United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
    O’Connell 90+1
    aaaaa Dier 10


    Eric Dier – starting his third consecutive game as a striker – scored his second goal in as many games with an early neat finish, but Jose Mourinho’s side were forced to accept a share of the spoils at Bramall Lane as Jack O’Connell’s injury time header snatched a draw, with Sheffield United heading into pole position for the fourth Champions League spot. Despite receiving plenty of criticism for his decision to deploy Dier as a target man in recent weeks, Mourinho crowed after the game about the performance of the England Defender in his new role, filling the void left by Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son in recent weeks, and called for the Tottenham fans to trust the process, reminding them of the injury crisis at present leaving him with no strikers.

    When asked about potentially giving Troy Parrott a chance to impress, Jose laughed off the suggestion, and reiterated that he’s delighted with Eric Dier at the moment (giving himself credit for ‘discovering’ Dier now as a forward), and he’s playing up front on merit, preferring his experience over Parrott’s natural position of being a striker. Despite moving into fourth place, Chris Wilder still wasn’t happy with his own side, calling the result ‘fortunate’ and demanding more of his players if they want to hold on to the position they currently find themselves in.







    Sunday and Monday results to be posted tomorrow, including Manchester City hosting Liverpool. Will Liverpool be crowned Champions at the Etihad?


  19. #19
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    Premier League Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...


    Sunday 5th April

    West Ham United 0-2 Chelsea
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Giroud 72, 76


    Frank Lampards Chelsea had to endure a stodgy defensive display from the Hammers before finally breaking down the hosts late in the day at the London Stadium. Tammy Abraham was left frustrated throughout the first half, presented with nothing more than a pair of half chances that he could merely snatch at, as David Moyes set up his side to be resolute and hard to break down. Frank Lampards side continued to press into the second half, and with West Ham offering little in the way of attacking threat, the visitors were able to commit more men forward, but still found themselves unable to pull ahead.

    That was, until the introduction of Olivier Giroud. Despite almost being packed off in the January transfer window, the French Grant Holt proved to be the difference between the two sides, with a five minute brace shortly after arriving into the game to replace the ineffective Pedro, as Chelsea went with a more traditional 4-4-2 that reaped immediate rewards. Giroud rose highest for Willian’s cross to head home for the visitors, and with West Ham then forced onto the front foot, gaps emerged, allowing Giroud extra space in which he scored a superb volley from just inside the box to seal the three points for Chelsea.

    The win fires Frank Lampards Chelsea back into pole position in the top four race, whilst sinking Moyes side into the relegation zone to cap a miserable weekend for West Ham, who saw all four clubs below them pick up wins. There were ugly scenes as the final whistle blew, with Hammers fans blowing gaskets rather than bubbles, calling for the immediate sacking of Moyes, whilst also calling for the board to resign as a result of re-appointing the Scotsman in the first place. Moyes played down the protests in his post match interview, understanding the frustrations, but noted he was delighted with his sides performance for the first seventy minutes, before being outdone by a “piece of tactical genius” from his counterpart, “which you just have to applaud, really”.







    Manchester City 3-2 Liverpool
    Aguero 3, 28
    aaa.aaaa Salah 44
    De Bruyne 90+6 aaaaa Alexander-Arnold 49


    The drama of the day all came at the Etihad Stadium, as champions in waiting Liverpool visited the current champions, with the opportunity to clinch their first league title in thirty years. However, having to visit City without talisman Virgil Van Dijk was always going to prove to be difficult, and with the league leaders shorn of their defensive rock, coupled with City’s well known deficiencies at this back this season, it opened the floodgates for a goalfest. And, it only took Sergio Aguero three minutes to make a fool of Dejan Lovren, leaving the World Cup Finalist lost at sea, wrong footing him to proceed into a one on one situation with Allison from which Aguero made no mistake.

    Both sides had chances to score throughout a frantic first twenty minutes, with both defences crumbling under the strain of keeping out such talented front lines, and Liverpool should’ve equalized through Sadio Mane, but his well struck effort rebounded off the cross bar to keep City in front. And it was Aguero at the double not long after, as he latched onto a perfect ball from De Bruyne to blast beyond the Liverpool keeper. Still, Liverpool never looked out of the game, with the visitors still giving City plenty of problems, and eventually Salah curled by Ederson just before half time to reduce the deficit.

    And less than five minutes into the second half, the league leaders levelled the scores, as Alexander-Arnold’s exquisite free kick gave the outstretched Ederson no chance, as Liverpool looked to be heading toward being crowned champions. Both Goalkeepers were forced into dramatic saves with both sides searching for a winning goal – City because they had to, Liverpool because they couldn’t afford to rely on their defence – and it appeared as if Liverpool had completed an amazing comeback when Firmino poked home on the 85th minute … only for VAR to rule the Brazilians veneers marginally offside, ruling the goal out.

    Then, with the visiting fans believing the job to be done, there was one final twist to the tail. Despite only four minutes being declared by the fourth official for added time, the game continued into a sixth minute of added time … and a hopeful – desperate – long ball from Fernandinho was pumped from the City half right to the edge of the Liverpool box. It only required a headed clearance from Lovren, but the Croatian managed to head the ball down, directly to the feet of De Bruyne, who curled the ball beyond the reach of Allison to force Liverpool into ANOTHER week of waiting to be crowned champions.

    There were unsavoury scenes at the final whistle with Jurgen Klopp aggressively confronting Anthony Taylor. Klopp appeared to calm down in time for his post match interview, in which he portrayed his happy friendly demeanour, and laughed off suggestions that his side are cracking under the strain of expectation before making a joke about the clocks seemingly going back an hour during injury time of this game. Pep Guardiola meanwhile also shrugged off claims that his side had picked up a big three points, instead declaring that his focus is only on the Champions League, and that it was still only a matter of time before Liverpool would be crowned champions. With Liverpool hosting Aston Villa next week, surely the title will be sealed.







    Monday 6th April

    Everton 2-0 Leicester City

    Richarlison 26
    Kean 76


    Leicester slipped at Goodison on the Monday Night Football, with Carlo Ancelloti’s side running out comfortable 2-0 winners to fire themselves directly into contention for Champions League football, taking full advantage of the dropped points by United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Sheffield United over the weekend. Richarlison opened the scoring to underline a positive first thirty minutes from the hosts, as representatives from Barcelona watched in the stands, probably adding another 0 to the end of their next bid for the Brazilian. The goal didn’t waken Leicester from their slumber, as Everton continued to press ahead in search of a second, as Kasper Schmeichel kept the former champions in the game with a strong save late in the first half.

    But it was Moise Keans goal that was the talk of Goodison Park, as the Italian – who has flopped until now – took the ball down on his chest, and powered past Jonny Evans before lifting the ball over Schmeichel and nudging the ball into an empty net, to send the home fans into ecstasy, with many believing they’d just witnessed the goal of the season. Despite Brenan Rodgers men turning in a rather wretched performance, the Northern Irishman was still full of praise, acknowledging the result wasn’t ideal, but couldn’t fault the effort, describing it as “outstanding”, and noting they’ve been “outstanding” all season, and that if it wasn’t for Everton scoring their two goals, it would’ve been a terrific point gained.







    Current Standings

    Pos Team Pl W D L F A GD PTS
    1
    Liverpool
    32
    27
    2
    3
    71
    30
    +41
    83
    2
    Manchester City
    32
    21
    4
    7
    79
    36
    +43
    67
    3
    Leicester City
    32
    17
    5
    10
    61
    32
    +29
    56
    4
    Chelsea
    32
    15
    6
    11
    54
    42
    +12
    51
    5 Sheffield United 32 12 13 7 34 28 +6 49
    6 Manchester United 32 13 9 10 48 34 +14 48
    7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 32 11 14 7 44 37 +7 47
    8 Arsenal 32 11 14 7 48 43 +5 47
    9 Everton 32 12 10 10 31 33 -2 46
    10 Tottenham Hotspur 32 12 9 7 49 43 +6 45
    11 Burnley 32 12 7 13 35 44 -9 43
    12 Crystal Palace 32 11 9 12 43 49 -6 42
    13 Southampton 32 11 4 17 42 59 -17 37
    14 Newcastle United 32 9 9 14 26 45 -19 36
    15 Watford 32 8 9 15 30 46 -16 33
    16 Aston Villa 32 9 6 17 38 58 -20 33
    17 Brighton & Hove Albion 32 7 11 14 34 44 -10 32
    18
    AFC Bournemouth
    32
    8
    7
    17
    33
    50
    -17
    31
    19
    West Ham United
    32
    8
    6
    18
    37
    54
    -17
    30
    20
    Norwich City
    32
    6
    6
    20
    31
    61
    -30
    24







    Next Weekends Fixtures

    Friday 10th April
    Newcastle United 20:00 West Ham United


    Saturday 11th April
    Manchester United 12:30 Bournemouth

    Burnley 15:00 Sheffield United
    Leicester City 15:00 Crystal Palace
    Norwich City 15:00 Brighton and Hove Albion
    Southampton 15:00 Manchester City

    Tottenham Hotspur 17:30 Everton


    Sunday 12th April
    Chelsea 14:00 Watford
    Liverpool 16:30 Aston Villa


    Monday 13th April
    Wolverhampton Wanderers 20:00 Arsenal

  20. #20
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    Re: I've Started, So I'll Finish: The Epic Conclusion to the Premier League Season...

    I swear if Liverpool don't beat Villa loving this mate

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