Barclays Premier League Round #26 Saturday Review

"Chelsea forward Diego Costa controls the ball during his side's 3-1 home win vs. Swansea on Saturday." (Credit to Chelsea News.)
“West Bromwich Albion’s Gareth McAuley celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich and AFC Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.” (Credit to the Daily Mail.)

After last weekend off due to F.A. Cup fifth round fixtures, the Barclays Premier League returned Saturday with six matches taking center stage.

12 teams were in action on Saturday in England’s top-flight, while four teams saw their weekend fixtures postponed due to the EFL Cup Final on Sunday.

Here is a recap of all the day’s action from Europe’s top domestic league. Video highlights of each match can be found in the respective score-line.

Chelsea 3 – Swansea City 1
League-leaders Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the league table to 11 points with a 3-1 home win. Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring after 19 minutes for the hosts after finishing nicely from inside the box. Fernando Llorente equalized for Swansea just before halftime as he headed home his ninth league goal of the season. Pedro‘s match-winner in the 72nd minute made it 2-1 before Diego Costa added an insurance goal in the 84th. Lukasz Fabianski made three saves for Swansea, while Thibaut Courtois made one for Chelsea. Swansea stay in 15th after the road defeat.

Crystal Palace 1 – Middlesbrough 0
Sam Allardyce‘s Eagles got a huge home win against Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park. Patrick van Aanholt‘s 34th minute curler was all the hosts needed to break the 0-0 deadlock. It was the January signing’s first goal for the club since joining from Sunderland earlier this year. Middlesbrough had four efforts on-goal but failed to break down the Palace back-line or keeper Wayne Hennessey. Palace moved up to 17th place after the win, while Boro sit a place higher but level on points.

Everton 2 – Sunderland 0
Everton made it six matches unbeaten in league-play after a comfortable 2-0 home win at Goodison Park. Idrissa Gueye‘s 40th minute strike had the hosts up 1-0 just before halftime. Tom Davies almost doubled the hosts lead a few minutes after but saw his smoothly struck effort go off the right post. Romelu Lukaku added an insurance tally in the 80th minute as he slid home his 17th league goal of the season. Sunderland didn’t pose many chances on-goal but saw a Jermain Defoe effort go off the bar. Jordan Pickford made six saves for the Black Cats. Everton remain in seventh, while Sunderland remain in last.

Hull City 1 – Burnley 1
Burnley fought back for a crucial road point at the KCOM Stadium against Hull. After a scoreless first half, Tom Huddlestone‘s 72nd minute penalty kick goal gave Hull a 1-0 advantage. Burnley defender Michael Keane was whistled for handball inside the box which gave Hull the chance from the spot. Four minutes later, Keane made up for his previous mistake by rifling home the equalizer following a Burnley corner-kick. It was the defender’s second goal of the season. Sean Dyche‘s men move up to 11th, while Hull drop down to 19th.

West Bromwich Albion 2 – A.F.C Bournemouth 1
Tony Pulis‘ side fought back at the Hawthorns to earn a 2-1 win over struggling Bournemouth. Despite going down 1-0 after five minutes to a Joshua King penalty kick, West Brom got it together not long after. Craig Dawson‘s deflected effort from outside the box equalized for the Baggies five minutes later. Gareth McAuley tapped home a second goal for West Brom in the 21st minute as Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc failed to clear a corner. Eddie Howe‘s side came close to equalizing in the final minute of play but King saw his header pushed away by Ben Foster. Boruc made two saves, while Foster made three. West Brom remains in eighth, while Bournemouth stay in 14th after suffering their fifth loss out of the last six matches.

Watford 1 – West Ham United 1
In the late match of the day, West Ham fought back for a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road. Andre Ayew‘s 73rd minute tap-in drew the Hammers level after Michail Antonio‘s previous effort went off both posts. Troy Deeney had Watford leading 1-0 after three minutes, as the striker slotted home from the penalty spot. The Hammers were reduced to 10-men in the 86th as Antonio was given a second yellow card for handball. Substitute Issac Success missed a great chance from close range in stoppage-time to win it for the hosts. Watford jump up to 12th, while West Ham move up to ninth.

Sunday’s only match of the round features Tottenham Hotspur hosting Stoke City at White Hart Lane. Monday sees the round conclude as Leicester City host Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.

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