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Merry Christmas! Eight Premier League games on the way to blow away
those Boxing Day cobwebs. Alan Shearer and Iain Wright couldn't
wait to get out of the house this morning. Chelsea have led the
Premier League at Christmas on four previous occasions and gone on to
win the title every time. Antonio Conte's side were chasing a 12th
straight victory. They faced Bournemouth, who won at Stamford
Bridge earlier this season. What a difference a year makes. Last year,
Chelsea were only three points above the relegation zone, and now they
are exposed clear at the hoping that history repeats itself. On each of
the previous four occasions they have led at this point, they have
lifted the title. A couple of changes today, with two influential
players, suspended. Bournemouth welcome back Andrew
Surman, who returns after missing seven matches with a hamstring
injury. There starts for Brad Smith and Dan Gosling.
David Luiz on him straightaway. He has done well. Some space for Pedro.
Cook coming across. David Luiz continues his run into the penalty
area. Pedro with the shot. Was not too far in front of Eden Hazard, by
the way, running in at the far post. Always going wide of the goal.
Hazard was about two steps behind in the end.
Excellent play from Hazard. Collected by Pedro. The two players
combining well. Hazard looks for the opportunity, finding Fabregas, who
was closed down by Gosling. Chelsea have a corner. Quick thinking by
Fabregas. Willian. Taking an Adam Smith over on that far side.
Tidy play, Doug Cadwell, brilliant put away by Pedro! -- dog out well.
A superb goal! Chelsea ahead, midway through the first half. With a goal
of real quality. They have been patient, and now they have pounced.
It was Hazard in possession outside the penalty area. First-time ball in
by Fabregas, and then the way Pedro dug the ball out. It was right
underneath his feet. A delightful chip, well out of the reach of
Bournemouth's goalkeeper, Artur Boruc. Smashing goal.
Good save by Thibaut Courtois. He was quick to keep that one out.
That's the best we have seen from Bournemouth up to now.
The referee was close enough. It looked as though he was perfectly in
line to see the challenge. He just got a touch of the ball, Fabregas.
Straight onto the head of Nemanja Matic, and it tees up Jack Wilshere!
Good response from Eddie Howe's team.
Pedro slips away from Andrew Surman. He is still going. The job falling
to Willian. Nice idea, aiming to tee up Hazard.
Bournemouth's defensive shield keeping them at bay for the time
being. Chelsea looking for a little opening they can take advantage of.
Down goes Hazard. So tough to deal with. When it spins like that. Simon
Francis penalised. Chelsea with the free kick in clearly what is a very
dangerous position. Round the wall, oh! Just hitting the
bar. Up and over, not quite down. Just slips from Harry Arter's grasp.
Alarm bells are ringing for Bournemouth here, as Hazard goes
down, and Chelsea have a penalty. Three minutes into the second half.
Hazard, so hard to keep tabs on, and a foul by Simon Francis. As Hazard
tried to skip away from him. 2-0! Artur Boruc nowhere near it. And
that was a beautifully taken penalty. Full of confidence and
precision. Bournemouth came back from 3-1 down
in the second half against Liverpool not long ago. Willian, scampering
clear, away from Andrew Surman. At the feet of Hazard. He may fancy
this. He does! And Pedro, had he got on the end of that, he had the goal
at his mercy. Chelsea really getting into their stride at the start of
this second half. He is as intense at two up as he would be if they
were two down. Just trying to force their way into the penalty area.
Plenty of blue shirts back from Chelsea. Excellent play from
Willian. Things could open up for Chelsea. Eden Hazard, Pedro is up
with him. William wants it! Blocked by Artur Boruc. Danger still not
clear. The momentum from that move has gone. Willian certainly posed a
few problems for the Bournemouth defence from here.
The Chelsea fans are full of festive cheer inside Stamford Bridge at the
moment, as their team pile forward once again. Smith gets the better of
Marcos Alonso. It will be a Chelsea ball.
Chelsea quick to take the corner. Hazard looks for any opening. Trying
to connect to Moses! It was nearly three. Moses scored the winner
against Tottenham here a month ago, and it was a decent looking
opportunity here. Excellent saves by Thibaut Courtois.
He has been outstanding this season, only conceding 11 goals all season,
and he had to be on his toes to keep out that effort from the Bournemouth
substitute, then a cathode-ray. Interception by Pedro. -- the
Bournemouth substitute, Benik Afobe. It still Pedro. A little deflection,
past Artur Boruc, into the back of the net. Three goals, three points
for Chelsea. Pedro, just as he has done through the afternoon, kept
going, and finally it flicks in their and it fell his way. As the
ball wrong-footed the Bournemouth goalkeeper. And Chelsea strengthen
their hold on the summit of the Premier League. We gave them many
chances to score more goals, but the attitude for the period of the
players, today we played a game without two important players, but I
think we played very well. All the team today played well with good
intensity and mentality. Getting a very good important win today, on
Boxing Day, for the supporters and everybody and the team. Very happy.
I thought we were well in the game today. Frustrating, because many
elements of the game plan worked. Of course, when you get beaten 3-0, we
can't be too upbeat. But it was fine margins. The second goal, just after
half-time, was the decisive moment. To win 12, nine in a row, it's not
easy in this league, and it's fantastic, this run. It's important
now to continue this run between four days, that game against Stoke
City. Another exhilarating display from Chelsea. I think it's the speed
on the break that was breathtaking. They looked strong and confident in
every department. 12 wins on the spin, a club record. That's without
two of their big hitters, but you are right, the way they win the ball
back, they are straight into you. They've got guys that they can run
with the ball at pace, and that causes problems, as it did with
Bournemouth. Once they got the first goal, it was just a matter of how
many. Their one touch and to touch play were brilliant at times, and
here, you would think Hazard would take the easy option, to push it out
to the right to Moses, but no. The way he turns... Actually, you can't
see any space through that Bournemouth back three as it was
today, but Pedro just drags it out. The touch and turn, they are 1-0 up,
and this is brilliant. They have got guys who have got pace and they drag
the team forward. You see David Luiz in there. Pedro, who was brilliant
also today, and Hazard, who is in scintillating form. When you have a
guy who can do this as well, touch, turn, ability to run and dribble
with the ball and run straight into that defence. He caused them so many
problems. Willey, who also had a fantastic game, he is another one
that can do it. -- Willian. They caused them huge problems. A
brilliant save from Artur Boruc. This is the final go. Pedro,
unfortunate that it is taken away from him, because it would be given
as an own goal, because look at the pace he has got. They are literally
red hot at the moment. A question on Eden Hazard, how can a player that
is so unbelievably good about such an off-season? Yeah, a bad patch,
but a whole season? Hard to fathom. Absolutely. The manager made him
unhappy. Ten clean sheets in 12 games, and the goalkeeper playing
his part. It was fine margins, and Chelsea played computer., but like
against Sunderland, he made two saves against Sunderland and he did
it again today. You know that the goalkeeper's concentration would
have to be high, especially playing a team playing as well as Chelsea.
This is great from Jack, running through the bodies, great save. That
was at 1-0, a great save. Jack Wilshere played very well, that pass
Benik Afobe. You think that Annika Beck, with some start, might get a
better contact, but Thibaut Courtois has come out well. When you're
goalkeeper is concentrating like that, it will be very hard.
Three straight wins have helped Manchester United close the gap on
the top four. David Moyes was back at Old Trafford for the first time
since being sacked by United, with Sunderland.
Guy Mowbray watched. Not a given time and a near enough impossible
job, that's what David Moyes thought of his time at Old Trafford. They
win on his return is possible. His Sunderland team are listed at the
longest odds in the Premier League to get a win. 49 goals for clubs and
country in 2016 so far for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His Sweden colleague,
Sebastian Larsson, will be hoping to make the most of any Sunderland set
pieces. It was said Larsson is scored the only goal the only time
the Black Cats of won at Old Trafford since 1968. Over the many
years and many meetings between these clubs, the highest scoring
every game came on a Boxing Day 1950, when Sunderland won 5-3 here
after a 2-1 win the previous day at Roker Park. Pickford could not hold
that. He had cover. Djilobodji tears. There is a menacing air about
Manchester United in these opening minutes. They look like a team that
has won their last four games and have gone ten unbeaten. The
Sunderland fans making a lot of noise. They are buoyed by what they
have seen. Their team has got a free kick. Daley Blind had a hold of
Victor Anichebe. He can't really argue about that one. Saved by David
De Gea. Djilobodji back in but only into the arms of the goalkeeper.
Victor Anichebe used his power to get a couple out of the way at the
end of the wall. Over the top by Valencia. The United fans shouting
because of a collision. The referee signals there is nothing in it. Juan
Mata is only looking at the boar. You can't say the same about carne.
I can fully understand why United were looking for it. We have seen
the reaction from the manager many times before.
Pogba! Another super Jordan Pickford said. There have been plenty of
those this season. There is an angle that tells differently. No torch
from Pickford, who might have saved the shot word not for the deflection
that sent the ball spinning against the post. -- word not four.
Borini! United have numbers back. Sunderland will reflect on that and
think they should have had a goal. Real confusion between Marcus Rojo
and Daley Blind. A good block by David De Gea. Then they were crowded
out. Daley Blind! He finds a way through
to score. It's and assist her Ibrahimovic. The first goal of the
season for Daley Blind. All that attacking talent on the field and it
is Daley Blind who runs through to fire on airing the into the corner.
-- unerringly. He hit it very smartly indeed. Rough look on
Sunderland given how the game has been going. Manchester United
striker first. -- luck. Pickford saves. A lovely pass from
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. That would have been a really special goal. That was
awful from Djilobodji. He was far too casual. Mkhitaryan. Ibrahimovic.
Great save from Pickford. Really, really good stop. Ibrahimovic down.
No penalty. The shot from Pogba. It won't spin Daley Blind's way.
Cleared by Borini. Jordan Pickford is brilliant with his hands but that
might be his best save of the day with his boot. Ibrahimovic was
onside. Then down under the challenge of carne. The referee's
view was obscured. If anything, he put himself against the Sunderland
player rather than the other way around. Clearly not a penalty.
It is Pogba. Ibrahimovic. It is 2-0 Manchester United. A celebration
that says, job done, game won. Sunderland the masters of their own
downfall. Lost possession. Pogba kept his cool. Ibrahimovic was never
going to do anything else with that. He has got 17 goals this season. And
Manchester United should be on their way to another three points.
The last son Sunderland gave the ball away cheaply it cost them. What
a finish from Mkhitaryan! It has cost them big-time. That is a
brilliant, beautiful finish from Henrikh Mkhitaryan. You will do well
to see a better goal than that this Boxing Day, even though he offside.
As that comes in from Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan was offside. Not that it
matters because it has counted. And as it has counted, we have to put it
down as a wonderful goal. When facing away, when you can't do
anything else, try something special. He is special. The board is
about to go up to tell us how many minutes left. Borini! That is
brilliant. We are getting a show at the end at Old Trafford. That is a
cracker from Fabio Borini by way of consolation for his Sunderland side.
Nothing David De Gea could do. He caught it perfectly. Fabio Borini
has had an injury hit first half of the season. That is his first goal
of the season. I don't think it will get Sunderland any will reward. --
any reward. Did you have words at half-time to
get the players going? All, yes. I walked to the dressing room before
the end of the first of because I was in the need of a good meeting.
And I know that in eight, nine minutes, you have to be organised to
give the information that you want to give. That is why I came before.
The game was going in a direction that, despite the 1-0, Sunderland
were in the game. We were making some mistakes, not just tactically,
but certainly individual ones. It related to concentration. The second
half was completely different. I was incredibly disappointed with the
second and third goals. The third goal was offside. Incredibly
disappointed with the goal was offside. Incredibly
could tell Manchester United were getting a bit nervous. We are always
in with a chance. Poor by us because we had gotten ourselves into a
period of the game where we could take more risks. What do you do now
between here and Burnley? It is a huge game. I am sure we will
between here and Burnley? It is a huge game. I am
between here and Burnley? It is a players ready, get them recovered,
back for the next game. It is a tough period for us, two away games.
We will get ourselves ready. And you had a chance to see Henrikh
Mkhitaryan's goal again? Yes, it was a great goal, great finish. You can
see how clever a player he is. So clever that he thinks first to do
such a thing. It is something to enjoy. We will,
but that shortly. Zlatan Ibrahimovic as come to the Premier League lead
in his footballing life, but he has adapted as quickly as anyone I can
remember coming from abroad. I think only Messi has scored more goals in
2016 and he has? People did doubt him at the start. There were things
you saw him where he gave up possession, a bit easy on the ball.
Falling over too easily. Getting used to it. But the quality that he
has got, once you get people running off of him. He got themselves in
position today. Sunderland could not get near him. If you give him that
kind of time, and he has got runners, he will lay them in. He has
got that ability. He has two hit the target from here, especially given
his form at the moment. He is in a position where he is not picked up.
Good save from Pickford. How he does not get a penalty for that, I don't
know. What more do you need? Pogba has three assists this season and
all of them have been to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They have a lovely
relationship. This Manchester United team looking very dangerous. This is
just exemplary. This is unbelievable. I can't believe what I
am seeing. I think he is a great addition to the Premier League, to
have someone of his stature with his hunger and desire. A lot of kids can
look up to him. I think we need another look at the
Mkhitaryan goal. Admittedly it should have been given offside. But
under these circumstances, perhaps they should introduce a law that
says you can't give it offside if the goal is that good. This is
outrageous. It was brilliant. To even try that. We should be looking
at that for the next six months. It was just brilliant ability. To even
try that, never mind put it in the net. Incredible. The signs are much
better for Manchester United. You're looking at Mkhitaryan, it looks like
he's getting himself going. You mentioned Marcus Rojo and Jones at
the back. Quality players in good form. They
need more players to score goals, Sunderland? That's right. A big game
for the next against Burnley. Six games still to come.
Still much to enjoy. Swansea have the worst defensive record in the
league going into their game against West Ham, who have moved clear of
the bottom three after back-to-back wins. John Ruddy was at the Liberty
Stadium. Swansea's form here will be crucial
to their chances of staying up. Two vital home matches here next.
Spanish striker Borja Baston has been used more as a substitute this
season, but he starts today as Fernando Llorente is on the bench.
Mike van der Hoorn comes into a Swansea defence that have conceded
16 goals in five matches. Andre Ayew was Swansea's top scorer last
season, leading to a big-money move to West Ham. He hasn't yet scored
for the Hammers. Andy Carroll has an excellent record against Swansea,
for goals -- four goals in five appearances.
Plenty of energy in the Swansea midfield in the early exchanges. Can
he get this shot away, Borja Baston? It all looked so promising for
Swansea. Borja trying to create a bit of room. There were two
defenders in front of him, and he slices it horribly wide. Bradley
says his future could depend on what happens here today and against
Bournemouth on New Year's Eve. Carroll fouled by Mike van der
Hoorn. Searching ball, looking for Carroll.
Scrambled in by Andre Ayew! Fabianski couldn't cover. And Andre
Ayew, Swansea's top scorer last season, gets his first goal for West
Ham against his former club. Fabianski got his hands to it, but
only succeeds in pushing the ball directly into the path of his former
team-mate. And it was simple for Andre Ayew.
Carroll with the header. Reed able to get it away. Not too far, though.
Bodies tumbling all over the place. Play continues, and eventually
Swansea get a free kick. It was Jacob Cornetto's challenge
eventually that was ruled to have overstepped -- opus stepped the
mark. Cheikhou Kouyate's challenge eventually overstepped the mark.
Sigurdsson, cold it, just pushed away by Randolph. That was heading
into the bottom corner. Superbly driven in towards goal by
Sigurdsson. What Swansea want is a win. What they need is a goal.
Momentum couldn't quite continue. Carroll takes a touch of a Swansea
man, Mike van der Hoorn, and out for the corner. Andy Carroll in loads of
room, and they were quick to close him down.
First corner of the second half. Turned in! Winston Reid! The
defender doubles West Ham's lead with a goal early in the second
half. Reed making the run, and able to get his head to it, despite there
being two Swansea defenders in close attendance. And it's another hammer
blow for Swansea City. West Ham are the target of a major soft drinks
manufacturer also owns several other sporting clubs around the world, but
the West Ham high rocky have pointed out they don't need to sell a
majority stake in the club. Denied by Randolph. Another hugely
important save from Darren Randolph. Fernandez thought about the cross,
left it for Dimitri Payet. In towards Edimilson Fernandes. Turned
away, pushed away by Fabianski. Turned in by Antonio! And it stands!
Well, Michail Antonio seemed to pause for a moment, as if expecting
a flag. I think everybody else did as well. Goal number eight of the
season for Michail Antonio. Edimilson Fernandes, the substitute,
playing a key part, but he is clearly on-site here, Antonio, as
the ball is turned infield. A third goal for West Ham and surely three
points for them. -- he is clearly onside.
Nathan Dyer, faced by two West Ham defenders. Fernando Llorente! 3-1.
It can only be a consolation goal for Swansea at this late stage.
Fernando Llorente, finally finding a way past Darren Randolph. But it's
all too little, too late. Sofiane Feghouli's ball in. It sits
up nicely for Carroll! West Ham's 3-goal advantage is restored within
a matter of moments. Swansea get a goal back. 3-1. But, almost
immediately, Andy Carroll continues his good run against Swansea. West
Ham 4, Swansea 1. Really good performance from us, and the goals
helped, because there is no bad time for a goal, but we scored first at
crucial times. We believed in three weeks everything can change. And now
it's changed, to be fair, but it's still very tight. We fail to
continue like this, continue to improve, get more results. We are
our own worst enemy right now. We are in such a rut. No matter how we
start, we seem to find a way to go down immediately. You feel like it
takes some confident away. You try and hang in there a bit, we spoke
about that at half-time and started the second half with a repeat. We
didn't deal with Dimitri Payet's delivery well enough. These are
small mistakes. When you do this in the Premier League, you pay the
price. It's what made me turn the corner against Sunderland a couple
of weeks ago, but now we have lost three on the bounce. We have to try
and work on the training ground this week. We've got a game on New Year's
Eve against Bournemouth and we need to turn things around. If we perform
like that for the rest of the season, we will struggle. I knew
what I was getting into, and I knew what I control. I show up every day,
my message to the players, no, I wouldn't be where I am if I wasn't
resilient and have an ability to be strong and carry on, so that's what
I'm going to do. Definitely a terrific win for West Ham, but it's
looking grim for Swansea. 29 goals conceded in 11 games in charge. It's
obvious where the problems lie they have conceded three or more goals as
well. When you look at the goals they conceded today, West Ham were
brilliant but they didn't have to work too hard for the goals they
scored. They are not working hard enough, Swansea. They got giving
Mark Noble far too much time on the ball. Somebody has to close him
down. Andy Carroll does brilliantly at the far post. A terrible mistake
from the goalkeeper. They were gifted a goal straightaway. No
excuse for it, a good ball in, but Winston Reid gets above the
defenders, Jack Cork and Alfie Mawson. There is no way should win
that ball. He gets above them because he wants to. He wants it
more than the defenders. It more than him -- to him in that
situation. Swansea have to work harder. Look at the lack of closing
down, lack of effort. Any of those three players could close Dimitri
Payet down. Fernandes runs in behind, eating too easily, and it's
not offside. A good finish from Antonio. All of the defenders with
their arms up. Probably saved the worst till last. Again, they've got
to stop the cross coming into the box for Andy Carroll. That's the
first part. But Angel Rangel, what on earth were you doing, turning
your back in the six yard box as a defender? Sometimes you got to be
prepared to take one in the face. He is not. That's embarrassing. In many
ways, I suppose it always looked a gamble, bringing in Bob Bradley,
primarily because he hasn't really managed in a top league in world
football. It was a big point, bringing him with his lack of
experience of the players in the Premier League, and of our league,
and it was always going to be a big ask for him to keep Swansea up. For
West Ham, things looking a lot brighter, three wins on the bounce.
Pleased for Andre Ayew, getting his first league goal this season,
especially after his injury. Michail Antonio, since the start of the
season, 16 goals now, five more than anyone else. I'm pleased, because it
was starting to get a bit tight for them. They had to dig out after the
Arsenal game. Bottom of the table Hull were the only team in the
league yet to win a game in December. Man City began the day in
third place after the last weekvictory against Arsenal.
Christmas can be full of surprises and Hull will be desperately hoping
this can be one of them. Dieumerci Mbokani once again leads
the line, searching for his first goal for the club in a team that has
scored only 14 goals so far, the lowest in the league. Kevin De
Bruyne's influence important again, as Sergio Aguero serves the final
match of his suspension. They had taken five points from the
last nine home, but ultimately it will be the result here that will
decide their top-flight future. Kevin De Bruyne. Fought by Dawson.
The Hull skipper was always committed.
Yaya Toure and David Silva deep in conversation over this free kick.
It is to be Yaya Toure. David Marshall not prepared to take a
chance in that situation. Safety first from Marshall. 21 of the last
24 teams to be bottom at Christmas have been relegated. They are hoping
to defy that statistic with Hull, just as West Brom, Sunderland and
Leicester did. Crossing opportunity for Ahmed
Elmohamady. Livermore! He did well there. The cross was slightly behind
him. That is the kind of quality that Hull need into the penalty area
if they are to ask Man City a question.
Driven away by Dawson. Here is Kevin De Bruyne. Three options for him. It
was Michael Dawson who atoned for his own error early in that movie
and made the block. It is still potentially live here for Manchester
City. -- his own error early in that move. Deploying went for goal on the
near post, and hit the post! He beat Marshall at the near post, who was
mightily relieved to see that haven't got past him and into the
back of the net. Clever effort. We set half-time -- whatever was said
at half-time certainly resulted in a rise of tempo.
Was Ahmed Elmohamady pulled back by Kolarov? He was. City furious. A
Hull free kick. Snodgrass behind it for Hull. It comes Snodgrass,
looking for any kind of touch! Whipped in by the Scottish
international. Livermore trying to make something of a second ball.
Snodgrass again. Still not clear. There is the header! Off the line
from Bacary Sagna. Well read by him. Snodgrass has lost out. It come
Manchester City. Raheem Sterling. Trying to keep up with him. It was
the substitute. His appointing cross. Bacary Sagna very much in the
right place at the right time here. Who would have predicted Hull, with
just one clean sheet all season and Manchester City with 36 goal --
goals, would be scoreless at this stage?
Robertson came in. He made the challenge. He didn't time it. No
protest from the Scotsman. Direct run from Raheem Sterling. No need
for any debate. It is the ninth penalty that Hull have conceded this
season. It is Yaya Toure, who assumes responsibility. 18 minutes
remaining. He takes it very calmly. He dispatches his third Premier
League goal of the season. They have not been at their best. They have
been frustrated for large periods of this game. But the most important
statistic is that Manchester City are in front as far as they are
concerned. Torre kept his cool. -- Toure.
Keven De Bruyne. Ian Nacho! -- Ian Nacho! The substitute doubles
Manchester City bus advantage. Not surprisingly De Bruyne involved in
the build-up. He knew exactly where David Silva was available. First
time delivery. Highly intelligent. Iheanacho had the simple task in the
end of scoring his six goal of the season. -- sixth. It may be time for
Manchester City to fashion one more opportunity. Raheem Sterling. It is
a known goal. Hull don't deserve that. Curtis Davies can do nothing
about it. It is three points and three goals for Manchester City.
Three wins in a row. It doesn't necessarily reflect the game, the
scoreline. This was unfortunate for the bottom club. It is the last
action of the game. When the manager told me I was going on, I was very
excited. The only thing in my mind is to help my team work hard and get
a goal. That is what I did. The penalty was the major turning point.
The player has suffered a harsh lesson. He has to stay on his feet.
He has to shuffle the player across into an area where maybe his
team-mate can do a little better at making the tackle. But he has
learned from that. And he will learn a lot more at this level. It is a
special day, the day after Christmas day, when the people go to see their
teams play. It is a huge tradition, a marvellous tradition. I'm glad to
be part of it for the first time in my life. Victory is not enough
because the other teams are strong as well. Now we go on to Anfield. A
workmanlike performance from Manchester City. They wore her --
Hull down in the end. Good to see Yaya Toure back on form.
It is brilliant to see. What is good to see easy has got his down and he
has started five of the last seven games. He looks fantastic. His touch
is everywhere. You can see him everywhere. Totally ran the game. He
has got himself in positions like this. Too strong for the players
around him. Always looking forward with his passes. Getting things
going for City. Easy save for the goalkeeper. He was giving it,
lending it, dropping off. Pushing at forward. He kept City going. He kept
them moving. Brilliant. Sometimes you get people to constantly passing
sideways. With Yaya, he wants to go forward. He still has the strength
and energy and fitness to and win a for his team. Again, he gets the
ball, he is trying to see what is happening. Can he played forward?
Yes, he can. He goes and gets it. Plays a little 1-2. That is the kind
of luck E is having. This is is 12 Premier League penalty on the spin E
hasn't missed. Gets the ball here and gives it back early doors. I
thought Hull were a bit unlucky. But when you have quality players
against you, that is the way it goes. Brilliant he was today.
Superb. 72 minutes before Manchester City scored. The scoreline was
harsh. Hull award definitely in it. They had chances. Hull have only
scored 14 goals in 17 games. That is where you think, you are creating
chances, you have to take one somewhere along the line. If not for
a silly tackle in the box, they were well in that game.
Back-to-back defeats had left Arsenal nine points behind Chelsea
before the game today against West Brom. Steve Wilson was watching at
the Emirates. More than a thousand games each
under the microscope and you don't last that long without developing a
thick skin. Arsene Wenger has needed his since those defeats. Ready for
the fight, he says, in today's programme notes. Olivier Giroud
makes his first Premier League start of the season. Giroud got a
hat-trick on his last league start against Aston Villa last May.
Solomon Rondon's hat-trick against Swansea 12 days ago, was only the
fifth scored by a West Bromwich Albion player in the Premier League
history. They have lost their last five matches here.
A very low-key atmosphere inside the Emirates at the start of this game.
Alexis Sanchez. A Gipper that was well off target in the end.
Generated some power with precious little backlift but not direction.
Tony Pulis's West Bromwich Albion play -- West Bromwich were a therapy
start of play. The last time they finished higher than eight was 1981.
Sanchez stayed on his feet superbly. Lovely stuff from Alexis Sanchez
again. So many Arsenal players are good to watch. But none of them
carry the threat of Alexis Sanchez. I don't think anything West Brom
have done in this first part is unpredictable. They have defended
well, been really resolute. A shooting chance. Blocked by Yacob.
Several people thought Giroud might have been felled. It did not look
like it to me. Santa has had enough. Kieran Gibbs. Yacob got a little
touch on it. Sanchez could not put it away. Terrific double saved by
Ben Foster. In from Gibbs. Teach up nicely from Iwobi. Good save. Great
reactions. Arsenal's corner. Sanchez Torrens, find space and hits the
post! -- turns. Strong challenge on Sanchez by Evans. Brilliant
awareness from Alexis Sanchez. But couldn't find the finish. Still a
long way to go in this game. Sanchez got the shot away.
Tremendous save from Foster. It was rising with real venom. Foster's
touch took it on its way. Yacob lost it. Giroud... Good feed by Olivier
Giroud. And by Ben Foster, who stuck out his left foot and saved it. A
new contract signed just the other day and he is earning his corn. As
the seconds go by, Tony Pulis will be feeling they might get something
today. Rondon used his body well. Taking on fish only. He has got a
corner. -- Koscielny. Just past the midway point of the second half.
Goalless at Arsenal. Albion corner. Right through the whole crowd of
players lined up. It wasn't too far away from Gareth McAuley, I think.
Now it's a corner from the other side. And Chris Brunt. Lofted in.
Petr Cech came and dropped it. Yacob has put it over. Petr Cech fluffed
it. Drafted straight to the Argentine, who lifted it straight
over the bar from very close range. A real let off for Arsenal.
Lucas... Great ball right across the goal. Neither Ozil Norah Giroud
could get anything on it. A great ball in by Lucas. Try though he
might, Olivier Giroud just couldn't get onto it. Nine minutes remaining.
An important nine minutes for the Arsenal manager. Here is Lucas. A
decent ball. Off target by Hector Bellerin. Maybe the wrong man in the
middle on the end of it. It should've been Bellerin to Lucas.
Might have been a different outcome. It is now looking increasingly
likely that Tony Pulis and West Bromwich Albion will leave here with
a point. Mesut Ozil. Scooped into words Giroud. He scores! Olivier
Giroud break the deadlock with only four minutes to play. Olivier Giroud
has done it. And all West Bromwich Albion's stubborn resistance
disappears. He uses strength to get in front of Gareth McAuley and
looped a header over Ben Foster and into the net. I don't know if he
played that make you played monopoly on Christmas night but that feels
like a get out of jail. Bellerin scampers down the touchline. Aaron
Ramsey making the run. Knocked into words Sanchez. The chance. Saved by
Foster. An important victory for Arsenal. Anything but spectacular
but three points are three points. We really needed these three points.
Job done today. It was very hard. West Brom played really well. Six at
the back, three midfield. They never gave up. But where, it is a big win.
The goal is a bit of a killer, isn't it, especially coming in the 86th
87th minute. Yeah, Cheers! Nobody likes losing so late. But you know
you are going to be under the pass at a place like the Emirates. They
threw everything at us. Fair play to Olivier. It was a great header and a
great goal. Then Foster has made some fantastic saves but we are
disappointed not to have seen the game at are. We had a couple of bad
results and we had to take some bad luck on the chin. It is an
important, interesting period when you go through a period like that.
An interesting test for the players to see how they can live with it.
How can they respond to that? That is why it was important to win.
Just stole my question. The fact it was such hard work after a couple of
defeats. A crucial victory? Was. They had six at the back, Matt
Phillips dropping back, Chris Brunt dropping back, making it difficult.
Arsenal tried to get round the side. Maybe you could whip that in with a
bit more vengeance, a bit more anger in it, but you see the body in
there. When they did get past them, they've got all of the bodies in
there, clearing, getting the ball away. Kieran Gibbs comes round. Good
link up play with Sanchez. Again, look at the bodies. He plays it
there, Jacob. Second half, Sanchez comes out, get the ball, and he is
trying to take them all on. Then he turns back, look at all the bodies,
so many to get past. He can't get past them and Chris Brunt clears it.
This is the warning for them, the bit of time, get the ball into
Olivier Giroud. I didn't think this happened enough today. He got a good
head on it. This was the ball. -- the goal. Gareth McAuley gets
pinned. Once this comes in, you just want a good ball. Too strong for
him, he is on the way down, and that is a fantastic header. Brilliant.
Not for the first time this season, you have seen Arsenal scoring late,
three point oh a point at Old Trafford. They are prepared to put
it in the box and it has worked today. While it is important to have
a goal 's keeper -- goalkeeper -- goal-scoring form, and Olivier
Giraud was a classic. A bit like Diego Costa. A superb header. Lots
more football coming up this week, Radio 5 Live has commentary of
Liverpool against Stoke City tomorrow and Southampton against
Spurs on Wednesday. Three months after losing the
England job, Sam Allardyce was back in the Premier League, taking charge
of Crystal Palace, who sacked Alan Pardew on Thursday. Watford provided
the opposition. They had lost four of their last five. In Premier
League terms, Crystal Palace have had a year to forget. It has been
one Sam Allardyce will fight hard to ever forget and, after admitting is
invent exit after just 67 days was one of the darkest moments of his
career, he says he hopes to put all of that debate by succeeding with
Palace. Walter Mazzarri makes two changes, the captain Troy Deeney
beginning on the bench. Two changes for Palace, Ledley and MacArthur are
injured. Wilfried Zaha. Fancying his chances on the run. He looks to be
in a spot of bother after this challenge and Wilfried Zaha. Landed
awkwardly. I think that is his lot, inside two minutes. Walter Mazzarri
looks like he is going to be forced into a change.
So, this player, who was left out of the team in favour of Janmaat at
right back. This is Nordin Amrabat. Given away. Townsend for Palace.
Into Yohan Cabaye. Townsend again. Wilfried Zaha looks in the mood to
have a run at the back line. Off-loaded to Townsend. He is going
to a go. First real shock in anger for Palace, but more injury worries
for Watford. Valon Behrami is down. Having already lost Daryl Janmaat
early on, there might be a second change for Watford inside 12
minutes. The message is Walter Mazzarri is going to have to bring
on another substitute. Captain Troy Deeney, who was dropped to the
bench, will get an early opportunity to try and get up to goal number 100
for Watford, as he steps on for the Swiss. Sam Allardyce's side probably
having the better of the opening 25 minutes or so.
Andros Townsend on the charge. Into Yohan Cabaye! Lovely goal from
Crystal Palace. Yohan Cabaye with a clinical finish. And the man who
scored from the start to give Palace a 1-0 win here last season gets the
first goal Sam Allardyce's Palace rate. Good work from Andros Townsend
to win the ball and spin away from a trio of Watford players. Yohan
Cabaye timed his run perfectly, and how about that for a finish?
Won by Ward. Punshon, asking a lot of Wilfried Zaha. Christian Benteke!
Was he clipped by Heurelho Gomes? He was. Watford have gifted Palace a
penalty. Doesn't look like there is going to be a card forthcoming from
Mark Clattenburg. A horrible moment from Heurelho Gomes and Sebastian
Prodl. Christian Benteke won the penalty and will take it as well.
Saved by Heurelho Gomes! Heurelho Gomes makes amends immediately. He
does have a pretty good record when it comes to keeping penalties out,
although that was a poor effort from Christian Benteke.
Troy Deeney couldn't get there. Odion Ighalo might though. Hennessey
hesitated, and Odion Ighalo sends it wide. First genuine sight of goal at
Watford have had. Odion Ighalo with it. Troy Deeney got nowhere near the
header, but Palace switched off somewhat and Odion Ighalo had the
opportunity to punish them. It is off Townsend for a Watford
corner. Penalty! And a yellow card as well.
Well, Damien Delaney is the man booked by Mark Clattenburg. Pulling
back Sebastian Prodl as he tried to get a run at goal. And Troy Deeney,
who has the opportunity to finally get his 100th Watford goal. Troy
Deeney! Is wait is over. The fifth Watford player to reach 100 goals
for the club, and the barren run that stretched back to October has
come to an end in emphatic style. Watford 1, Crystal Palace 1.
Now Fraizer Campbell. Bringing in Wilfried Zaha. Wilfried Zaha keen to
run. He goes down in the area. Mark Clattenburg is going to caution
Wilfried Zaha for simulation. It's fair to say he cannot believe that
call. Wilfried Zaha, the cross, Miguel Britos, but he didn't need
too much of an invitation to go to ground. Welcome back to the Premier
League, Sam. I think we dropped two points today. I think we had the
opportunity ourselves to win three points, and then I think that, when
that didn't happen and we didn't achieve that, I think that Wilfried
Zaha, that challenge was a definite penalty for me. He has got contact,
and we all know that, if you get contact like that, if he tries to
stay on his feet, they would be no way that he gives a penalty. He goes
down with the contact. Finally you have got the 100 mark? How does it
feel? It's been a long time coming. It played on my mind that, maybe
overthinking and trying to score the perfect goal, I suppose. But, no, I
haven't played well the last couple of weeks. The manager dropped me,
which is fair enough. I just wanted to prove I have still got some in
the tank. He put me on and I tried to show what I'm about. On a
personal note, did you enjoy the cut and thrust of a match situation
again? You've got to remember that, for many years, I only enjoy after
the game if we have won or drawn. I have never enjoyed a game in my life
as a manager and I'm not going to start now. There are obvious things
that big Sam needs to focus on. I suppose the most obvious is set
pieces. Absolutely. They were punished with the penalties. They
got away with one just before that as well. There is one thing we know
that Sam will do. Mark Clattenburg is actually looking at this
situation. Delaney and Sebastian Prodl. Delaney get away with it. He
has got hold of him. Pulling the shirt over the back of his head. The
referee didn't give that. Exactly the same thing happened five minutes
later. The referee decides, rightly so, to give that one. His hands up
all over him, pulling him back, pushes him over, and it is
definitely a penalty, no doubt about it. Do you think he gave that out
because he didn't give the first one? Definitely. Troy Deeney had
been left out, hadn't scored for a while, looking to get his 100th goal
for Watford, and we are saying, I bet he gets it straight down the
middle, and he did. Did Wilfried Zaha dive or not? Was it a foul? Big
Sam thinks so. I don't think he did catch him. I think it is one of
those where Wilfried Zaha's, Miguel Britos is coming, he's not actually
made a challenge. I'm not sure how Sam is a definite about it. He gets
booked for it. When we see it on the other angle, even here... Does he
pushed his leg in? What do you think? I don't think it's a penalty.
At the end of the game, the mascot dived in front of Wilfried Zaha.
Personally, I think that's quite amusing. Wilfried doesn't think so.
He got the hump. And big Sam says that carried the Hornet is out of
order and he wants the FA to have a look at it! He will probably get him
banned. Do him for diving! Is Sam the best man for Palace? Definitely.
Was Alan Pardew unlucky? After his record this year, I think they are
fortunate to have somebody like Steve Parish asking him for as long
as he did. Champions Leicester 21 points worse off than this stage
last season. Everton arrived at the King Power Stadium without an away
win since September. Jamie Vardy is everywhere today at
this stadium except where he is needed, at the pitch. The England
striker is suspended, as are Robert whose and Christian Fuchs, so a
player makes his debut. Mason Holgate makes his first state since
August as Everton go with free at the back. Find him, Joel Robles is
in for the injured Martin Stekelenburg.
Williams clearance, only as far as Daniel Amartey. Good shot. Well
played by Joel Robles. Confident enough to take on the drive on the
half volley from distance. The last time Everton came here in May,
Leicester beat them 3-1 and ended the afternoon by lifting the Premier
League trophy. All very different today, as Leicester begin the
afternoon just three points above the relegation zone.
Barry's delivery. Schmeichel collects.
There is Demarai Gray. Demarai Gray's shot! Claudio Ranieri
bumbling today, going for Demarai Gray instead of Riyad Mahrez.
Normally, when it is the kick out from Schmeichel, it is Jamie Vardy
who he aims for. Today it is the place for Demarai Gray. Not far from
beating Joel Robles at his far post. Not much fun for Everton away from
home this season. They lost the last four in a row.
A touch was all it required. Kevin Mirallas could not get his toe to
it. He will wonder how one has he didn't get any contact. Had he done
so, the deadlock might well have been broken. Leicester have changed
their formation. Kevin Mirallas is after. He scores! Is first goal
since August. The direct approach pays dividends. Put down by Joel
Robles. It clicked off the Polish defender, taking it beyond Kasper
Schmeichel. Just a tiny flick from the defender. Schmeichel deceived.
Ronald Koeman off his seat to lead the celebrations. The champions
behind at home. Claudio Ranieri's team have never been blessed with
great pace at the back. Joe! -- by Joe! There was power in
the header. But Joel Robles read it well. He was in the right place to
make the save look very easy. Should have scored. Ronald Koeman
knows it. Ranieri knows it. He certainly does. Lukaku put it on a
plate for him. This would have settled the game. Intelligent use of
the ball by Albrighton. Lukaku runs against Farsala ski. He
never looked like missing. Never looked like messing. Romelu Lukaku
reaches double figures again this season in the Premier League. And
Everton have the points. And for only the third time on the Claudio
Ranieri, Leicester City are going to lose at the King Power Stadium in
the Premier League. It started when Simpson failed to get the better of
Ross Barkley in the box. Lukaku sensed he might be in. Strong enough
to get away from Morgan. Clever enough to get away the next
defender. And calm enough to put it past Kasper Schmeichel. Leicester
ageing ever nearer the bottom three. It's been some fall for the
champions. How far will they drop. Leicester is
always difficult away. I think we played well. I think the second half
was better than the first. We dominated already. Our ball position
was not of that quality. It was better at 1-0. Then you see the
difference. A very good team performance. We fight. Defending
well. We make it very difficult. Dangerous in the counterattack. A
clean sheet is also very important. This year the gaps between the teams
is really close. All the teams are improving, which is good. You have
to be at the top of your level every weekend. This season is this way.
Nothing is right. Nothing is easy. We must continue to work hard and to
be very attentive in the little details. Only the little details
make us down. Now we have to react as as soon as possible.
Such a stark contrast from last season. Leicester now can't win a
game to save their life. One win in nine. Yes, but I thought Everton
were worthy winners. They were more aggressive. A bit more direct.
Leicester were missing Christian Fuchs and Robert Huth.
That came from the goalkeeper. That has troubled 80 yards, something
like that. That can't be allowed to happen. In the wonderful world of
statistics, the 50th goalkeeper that has had an assist. Not a bad assist
from Ross Barkley. Lukaku too strong. The defender can't touch
him. One hell of a finish. Pace, power, aggression. A superb finish
and a very good win for Everton. Leicester cannot blame the Champions
League, can they? No, they can't. They need to get lively.
They are in serious trouble now. Only Chelsea and Spurs have won
Morley games than Burnley this season. They played Middlesbrough.
A stoppage time equaliser from Michael Caine in a pivotal
Championship fixture the last time these teams met in April. -- Michael
Keane. Only Spurs and Chelsea won more home games than Burnley this
season. Negredo may be Middlesbrough's top scorer, but he
only took his tally to five with a brace last time out. Middlesbrough's
four wins again -- so far been against teams in the bottom half of
the table. It is a sell-out crowd. Both sets of supporters have sold
their allocations. What an opportunity. Should have been taken
by Stuani. Burnley were caught.. By the ball over the top. Stuani with
plenty of opportunities to maybe even steady himself further, drove
it beyond the far post. He will feel that his side have begun nervously.
Victor Valdes with the save. It is the first time that the
Middlesbrough goalkeeper has been extended. It was a decent stop,
actually. It may not have had the power but it certainly had the
accuracy. Steve Gibson in attendance. A beautiful turn. The
deflection on the cross wasn't great. An almighty scramble. Dean
Marney fell to the floor. The referee could not have been less
moved. Handballed, was it? The ball definitely struck Chambers' are arm.
A free kick in a promising situation for Burnley. Arfield and George Boyd
poised to strike this. Boyd strike said. Victor Valdes, who was just
shifting his weight the wrong way, managed to readjust and get his hand
to the ball. Just watch Victor Valdes. He starts to go the other
way and moves his body to the right to make the save. Whenever these
teams get together, there aren't many goals. 31-0s.
You get the feeling a goal might be decisive. Just as well there were no
doubts about the challenge. When you come sliding in like that as a
defender, you know that if you miss time it, it is a penalty. The Dodig
right. -- he got it. Stuani's header went upwards rather than with any
Grey Power. Tom Heaton with a secure safe. Joey Barton is set to become a
Burnley player in the New Year, providing the FA enquiry does and
ban him from doing so. It is a corner. Just as well that Ashley
Ward -- that Ward stretched out and got it. Ninth grader was poised and
ready. -- Negredo. Gibson is one of those poised and ready. Flicked on
by Stuani, who, for the second time in this half, found himself
unchallenged. He was playing down the significance of this fixture but
he will know that three points against the team just above them
will be huge. Middlesbrough looking to try to make something of it. The
challenges laid from Fabinho. And he will get a card. We may not have had
a goal. But we now have booking number nine. -- Fabinho.
Andre Gray! It has crept over the line. Andre Gray has put it in. And
the Middlesbrough players cannot believe it. What a bonus that is for
Burnley. From virtually nothing, Victor Valdes couldn't keep it out.
Andre Gray turns away in celebration. He will be kicking
himself for not keeping this one out. Just a long punt forward. The
connection wasn't that good. But it was on target. Andre Gray has given
Burnley a precious, precious lead in a game of genuine significance above
the bottom three. It was a close game, an ugly game at
times. I thought the conditions were really hard today. The wind was
swirling, the ball was going all over the place. It probably didn't
show through the lens. They are a fair side. They have only been
beaten twice away. They have the tenth best record in the division.
We knew they would not be easy to knock over but we got there in the
end. These kinds of games don't come
again. We have lost an amazing opportunity. We have to think now
about the future. The future is Man United next week. Your art to work
hard for it is today? Yes, not the best conditions. It is not a game
many people will be watching back. It was windy. It was horrible. It is
about trying to make something. We got some luck in the end that we
have been waiting for. We managed to win it. Another home
win for Burnley. 19 points from ten home games. An astonishing home
record? Yes, it is. I watched them against Manchester City and they got
the ball into Sam Vokes. But they didn't have Andre Gray playing with
him. I thought that was really strange. This was just route one.
Big man. In the right area. Yes, he has got a little bit of luck. A
fantastic header from Sam Vokes. He is just close enough. A good hit. He
got it on target. That's what you have to do. That's what Burnley have
to do. Get two up front and just battered teams. Both managers said
it wasn't the best game. Both teams several points above the drop zone.
Both promote. Both doing well? Think they will be very pleased with the
progress after rating games. Both in reasonably comfortable positions.
Middlesbrough tried to play more exciting football. After 18 games,
both teams will be very happy with where they are. You would have
thought so. Thank you very much. We're just about out of time. Before
we leave, let's look at the Premier League table. Chelsea stretched
their lead to seven points. Manchester City move into second.
Everton are into seventh. With the bottom three all losing, a draw is
an to leave Crystal Palace two points above the relegation zone.
Leicester dropped to 16. Burnley NSX points clear of trouble. Let's look
at the papers. The Guardian focuses on Antonio Conte, who says that
Chelsea proved their title credentials by willing without cost
and Kante. The Telegraph describes the miraculous Scorpion kick by
Mkhitaryan. And Sam Allardyce once the Crystal Palace mascot to be
banned after he mocked Wilfried Zaha diving.
-- mascot. Goodbye. It's like a joke, though,
it's like an Irishman, a Scotsman, an Englishman and
a French actress walk into a bar. Your man says, "Go," at the start
and there's a hooter at the finish.