Friday 15 December 2017

Nothing happened the way it was supposed to in Saturday's Premier League action

By Max McLean

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

The day’s Premier League action was somewhat depleted, with Tottenham and Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final dominating the day, but that didn’t stop the four league games that were on from creating their own drama.

And that drama came in the form of things just not happening the way you would have expected them to.

West Ham 0-0 Everton

The problem: Romelu Lukaku’s goal-scoring streak against West Ham ended.

Romelu Lukaku, the division’s top goalscorer, would have fancied himself to score in a 10th successive game against West Ham, but it wasn’t to be.

Furthermore, the 0-0 draw between the teams was the first since 2003, when Brian McBride and Tomasz Radzinski lined up for the Toffees.

Over 600,000 fantasy football managers captained Lukaku as well – just the four points for them.

Swansea City 2-0 Stoke City

The problem: What should have been 1-1 turned very quickly into 2-0.

With Swansea City 1-0 up, Stoke won a penalty, only for it to be directed over the bar by Marko Arnautovic.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Swansea’s Tom Carroll then went up the other end and doubled his side’s lead just 60 seconds later.

What a result for relegation battling Swansea, who remain just two points from safety.

Hull City 2-0 Watford

The problem: Hull won despite having 10 men for 65 minutes.

The reason Swansea’s win didn’t lift them out of the relegation zone was that Hull City completed one of the more remarkable 2-0 wins of the season.

With 25 minutes on the clock, Oumar Niasse was sent off for City after a challenge on M’Baye Niang. However, for 65 minutes the Tigers not only survived, they thrived.

Lazar Markovic put Hull 1-0 up on 61 minutes before Sam Clucas doubled the lead nine minutes later from 25 yards – the Hornets were stung, the Tigers escaped.

Bournemouth 4-0 Middlesbrough

The problem: What has happened to Boro’s defence?

And last but not least, Bournemouth putting four past Middlesbrough might well be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the north-east club.

Boro have now conceded three, four and four in their last six league games, and are nine points adrift of safety albeit with a game in hand.

With no league win since December, is there any hope of survival for Middlesbrough? If there is, they can’t be conceding four too many more times.

Press Association

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