The English Premier League continued to bring mouth watering fixtures as teams are fighting for points to win the league, finish in top four and not to be relegated. Here is your full update with highlights on how the Africans playing in the EPL have performed.
Action for the week in the EPL started on Tuesday 16th April 2019.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION VS CARDIFF CITY
Brighton invited Cardiff City at American Express Stadium where Cardiff City made no mistake to collect three points as they defeated Brighton 2 – 0 with goals from Nathaniel Mendez – Laing and Sean Morrison.
On the day the Gabonese Bruno Manga playing in central defence for Cardiff City was absolutely a pillar as he was everything the team wanted in defence and made crutial tackles and interceptions that denied the home team scoring opportunities.
With the win, Cardiff City has 31 points to take the relegation battle to the wire as their closest opponents Brighton and Southampton have 34 and 36 points respectively.
Action continued on Saturday 20th April 2019.
MANCHESTER CITY VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS
Tottenham Hotspur went to Etihad Stadium in search for three points but Spurs coach Mauricio Pauchettino knew that it won’t be easy considering that four days before the match, the two teams played in a EUFA Champions League match which Tottenham Hotspur progressed to the quarter finals of the competition on a night VAR denied Manchester City a late goal.
In the game on Saturday, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola gave no game time to the Algerian Riyad Mahrez who was on the bench in a match Manchester City won through a Phil Folden goal.
For Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino introduced the Kenyan Victor Wanyama in the second half of the game replacing Eric Dier in midfield and Wanyama who seems to be regaining form and fitness toughened up the midfield making it difficult for Manchester City midfielders.
The Ivory Coast defender Sergio Aurier was not in the squad for the day for Tottenham Hotspur.
The win takes Manchester City to 86 points and 2nd in the EPL while the lose for Tottenham Hotspur leaves the battle for the top four finish with Arsenal and Manchester United wide open as it is still stuck on 67 points from 34 games.
HUDDERSFIELD VS WATFORD
Watford defeated Huddersfield Town 2 -1 to cement their top half finish with Gerald Deulofen scoring a brace to take Watford to position 8 with 49 points from 34 games.
For Watford, the Nigerian Isaac Success who replaced Gray in the second half was not much effective as expected in a game he didn’t make much of his runs and failed to make himself into the game. Success needs to put off his weight.
WEST HAM UNITED VS LEICESTER CITY
West Ham United and Leicester City played to a 2 all draw at London Stadium with Leicester City’s point being rescued by a late equaliser from Harvey Barnes after Michail Antonio and Lucas Perez scored for What Ham and Jamie Vardy with the other goal for Leicester City.
For Leicester City, the Nigerian Wilfred Ndidi was in the starting line up as usual and played a pivotal role in midfield as a defending player to win plenty of tackles but needs to improve on his passing accuracy.
The Nigerian Nkelechi Iheanacho had few to display as he was introduced in the 84th minute while the Algerian Rachid Ghezzal did not make it into the final squad for the day.
NEWCASTLE UNITED VS SOUTHAMPTON
Newcastle United made sure they are more than safe to play in the EPL next season as they defeated Southampton 3-1 at St James Park on Saturday with Ayoze Perez being the hero with his hat trick on the day.
For Newcastle United coach Raphael Benitez gave the Ghanaian Christian Atsu game time as he was introduced in the 63rd minute and his introduction offered energy to the game with his pace and on point crosses that gave trouble to Southampton defence while the Senegalese Mohammed Diame was introduced in the 77th minute to moop up things in Midfield a thing he did.
The win takes Newcastle United to position 13 with 35 points.
On Sunday 21st April 2019
EVERTON VS MANCHESTER UNITED
At Goodson Park , Manchester United was humiliated as they lost4-0 making their chances for a top four finish to be in a hung.
Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdisson, Lucas Digen and Theo Walcot scored the goals for Everton in a match the Senegalese Idrisa Gueye showed an exceptional performance in midfield as he outshined Manchester United’d players. His work off the ball was perfect as he knew who, when to man and close down the spaces. Gueye was also instrumental as he made sure he didn’t lose possession easily.
For Manchester United, the Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly was no where to be seen since he got a head injury in March while on international duty and with the lose Manchester United are on position 6 with 64 points from 34 points.
ARSENAL VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Arsenal had a bad day in office as they lost to Crystal Palace 3-2 at their own back yard Emirates Stadium to make the top four finish battle to still be exciting after Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United all lost over the weekend.
Crystal Palace had Christian Benteke, James McArthur and Wilfred Zaha with the goals while Mesut Ozil and Pierre Emerrick Aubameyang scored for the Gunners.
The Ivory Coast Wilfred Zaha for Crystal Palace terrorised Arsenal’s back four with his pace that they failed to contain him and his performance was spiced up when he scored Palace’s second goal of the game.
The Senegalese Cheikhou Kouyate in midfield was everywhere that Arsenal players did not match him physically making it difficult for Arsenal to control the game in midfield.
The Ghanaian Jordan Ayew was given few minutes to be on the pitch.
For Arsenal, the Gabonese Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was all in his shell as he failed to break Crystal Palace’s defence or create a chance for his team mates until he brilliantly scored Arsenal’s second goal.
The Nigerian Alexi Iwobi was introduced in the 46th minute and with his first touch he showed to change the game for his team and played a crucial role in the build up to Ozil’s goal and his display leaves questions as to why Arsenal coach Unai Emery started him on the bench.
The Egyptian Mohammad Elneny seemed to struggle in midfield as he insisted on passing backward slowing Arsenal’s attacking options despite him making more tackles in the game.
The lose takes Arsenal to be stuck on position 4 with 66 points.
CARDIFF CITY VS LIVERPOOL
Liverpool went to Cardiff City Stadium with nothing but to collect three points a thing they managed thank to goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner to go top of the EPL with 88 points from 35 games.
For Cardiff City, the Gabonese Bruno Manga was solid at the back for his team and and made strong tackles. Overall he had a good performance against Liverpool’s front three.
For Liverpool, the Egyptian Mohamed Salah used his pace to great effect although his decision making let him down as he didn’t make proper timely decisions.
The Senegalese Sadio Mane was a threat to Cardiff City with his pace and lovely feet work on the ball and managed to set up great chances his team mates failed to convert into goals.
The Guinean Naby Keita was in the starting line up and Seems to have won the heart of coach Jurgen Kloop and Keita saw a lot of possession in midfield but didn’t drive forward much as he usually do.
What is the Premier League?
The Premier League, normally referred to as the English Premier League [EPL] or sometimes the Barclays Premiership after the title sponsor. The EPL is the top level of the English football system. Contested by 20 clubs. The 2018 / 2019 season includes these clubs; AFC Bournemouth, Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley, Cardiff City, Chelsea FC, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham FC, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Southampton FC, Tottenham, Hotspur, Watford FC, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
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My name is Blessings Mpando from Lilongwe district born in December 1994. I am a Christian and a member of CCAP. I grew up in Lilongwe and completed my secondary education in 2010 before going on to complete my diploma in journalism at the Polytechnic Continuing Centre.