The Premier League relegation battle looks likely to go down to the wire. Huddersfield Town (14 points) and Fulham (17) look done and dusted, bar some sort of miracle escape act that sees them embark on a Manchester City-esque winning streak which is not going to happen. That means just one spot remains, but there are five teams fighting to avoid it and only five points separating them: So who will be playing their football in the second tier next season and who will survive? 14. Crystal Palace - 33 points (30 games) Hopes they can survive That old cliche of points on the board exists for a reason. Those five points Palace have already gained over Cardiff could make all the difference come the end of the season. And broadly speaking, things are not looking too gloomy at Selhurst Park. Their position on the fringes of the drop zone has not changed much over the course of the campaign, but results have taken something of an upward swing in recent months with … [Read more...] about Battle to avoid the drop: Who will lose out in the quest to avoid Premier League relegation?
Benteke hat trick
PUBLISHED: 17:08 09 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 09 February 2019 Steve Blowers at Selhurst Park West Ham United's Mark Noble (left) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mate Felipe Anderson during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. PA Wire/PA Images The Hammers were in front through Mark Noble’s penalty at Selhurst Park but couldn’t cling on West Ham United's Michail Antonio reacts after a decision goes against him during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.Crystal Palace 1 West Ham United 1It was honours even down at the Palace, where the Hammers battled their way to their second determined, dogged draw inside the space of six days. West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.Manuel Pellegrini’s men dominated the opening period to go in at the break with their noses in front after Mark Noble had netted his first goal of the … [Read more...] about West Ham pegged back by Zaha strike after half-time lead
As assassinations go, it was perhaps more Jack Ruby than Lee Harvey Oswald. Sergio Aguero, from his grassy knoll, fired three shots from an aggregate range of no more than 15 yards on Monday night and Arsenal were killed off. Tap-ins - if that isn’t too disrespectful a term for such close-quarter goalscoring - have a long and illustrious history at the top level. Miroslav Klose’s record of 16 World Cup goals came from a total of 98 yards - just over six yards each - while the great Gerd Muller’s haul of 14 were plundered, on average, from just inside the six-yard box. Gary Lineker, the smiling face of the Goalhanger’s Union, scored just one of his 329 from outside the penalty area, a curling effort from all of 18-and-a-half yards. It’s not, of course, that Aguero can’t wreak destruction from further out - his career’s near-400-goal repertoire includes plenty of minimal-backlift, maximum-devastation efforts from impressive ranges and angles - … [Read more...] about Pot shots and point-blank range: where are the Premier League teams scoring their goals from?
Sport by Press Association 04/02/2019, 4:32 am Send us a story Sign up to our Daily newsletter Pep Guardiola claimed the pressure remained on Manchester City despite overpowering Arsenal to turn the heat up on Liverpool on Sunday. Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as the champions moved back to second and cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to two points with a 3-1 success at the Etihad Stadium. The onus is now on the Reds to respond as they play their game in hand at West Ham on Monday night. But Guardiola said: “I prefer to be in the position of Liverpool. The pressure is when you are behind and you lose points. That’s tougher.” City proved too strong for the Gunners, even though there was an element of controversy over Aguero’s third goal. The ball struck the Argentinian’s arm as he bundled in from close range just after the hour – something he admitted later – but it was deemed unintentional. … [Read more...] about Guardiola: City still the team under pressure
Roy Hodgson, the Crystal Palace manager, has experience of leading teams away from relegation danger but the 71-year-old believes each battle gets harder with age. Palace go into Saturday’s game against Leicester City on the back of one Premier League victory in their past 11 matches and are missing the suspended Wilfried Zaha, without whom they have not won since September 2016. Hodgson’s team are two points above the drop zone – just one better off than this time last season, after the former England manager had taken over a team who had lost their first seven games without scoring a goal. “I think any manager who tells you ‘I am very good at keeping my equilibrium, I’m always calm and reasoned, and I can take the good with the bad and I can put the wins and the losses in perspective’, you will find a special person,” Hodgson said. “I’ve never met one. “All of the top managers I have come across during my career, they … [Read more...] about Beating the drop from the Premier League gets harder each year, says Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson