EPL Wrap Up: All square in the derbies

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Phil Jagielka and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored late to ensure it was all square in the North London and Merseyside derbies, Manchester City overcame a hiccup at Hull and Manchester United were fortunate to escape with all three points at home to West Ham. Adam Dow has the EPL Wrap Up from Matchday Six.

An unbelievable long range strike in injury time from Phil Jagielka secured Everton a point at Anfield against Liverpool on Saturday.

The Reds looked set to get their season back on track after an indifferent start and compound Everton’s early season woes with a trademark Steven Gerrard free kick, but Jagielka’s wonderful half-volley from 25 yards sent the away fans into ecstasy.

Liverpool were again without Daniel Sturridge but Everton had injury concerns of their own, with evergreen club talisman Tony Hibbert starting at right back for the first time in 666 days in place of Seamus Coleman. Muhamed Besic made his starting league debut for the Toffees, with Leon Osman returning to the bench.

Gareth Barry’s yellow card in the first minute set the tone for a fiery clash, but that never really eventuated as the Reds dominated possession and chances.

They had a huge case for a penalty as Barry blocked Raheem Sterling’s shot with outstretched arms, but referee Martin Atkinson showed no interest.

Kevin Mirallas pulled up with a hamstring injury and was in tears before being replaced by Aiden McGeady.

Tim Howard redeemed his recent poor form with an outstanding save from Adam Lallana’s header, and produced another good save to turn away Sterling, who was having a field day on the left in behind Hibbert.

Reds skipper Steven Gerrard stepped up in the 65th minute to put the home side ahead, curling his free kick over the wall and towards goal, and Howard could only parry into his own net. The strike was Gerrard’s ninth Merseyside derby English Premier League goal, more than any other player.

Romelu Lukaku missed a free header immediately after Gerrard’s opener, but of the two managers, Brendan Rodgers will be desperately disappointed for his side’s inability to put away Everton.

Mario Balotelli missed a glorious opportunity to seal the game with a left-footed strike following more good work from Sterling down the left, who again left Hibbert in his wake, but the Italian struck the crossbar from close range with only Howard to beat.

Everton barely threatened and their equaliser came through the most unlikely of sources, with Ja
gielka’s wonder-strike only his tenth league goal for the Blues.

 

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Phil Jagielka’s stunning late equaliser had manager Roberto Martinez in euphoria.

 

At The Emirates, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain equalised for Arsenal with 15 minutes remaining to ensure the Gunners remained unbeaten in 2014/15.

Nacer Chadli scored the opener for Tottenham after 56 minutes via Erik Lamela, who had slipped a clever pass on the outside of the Arsenal defence for Chadli to fire across Szczesny.

Arsenal had 69% possession – a rarity for teams playing against Mauricio Pochettino – but failed to really create anything of substance until Oxlade-Chamberlain pounced on Welbeck’s airswing to level for the home side.

Pochettino will be pleased not only with his side’s ability to hold out Arsenal in the last 15 minutes, but in the manner Chadli scored.

The opener was a result of a fantastic press from Lamela and Eriksen in midfield and an early release to Chadli gave the Belgian ample time to place his shot into the bottom corner.

Earlier, Mikel Arteta was forced off with a calf problem, Aaron Ramsey was substituted at halftime with a hamstring injury and Jack Wilshere was replaced just after the hour with an ankle complaint – three injuries which strain Arsene Wenger’s side’s questionable depth even further.

Wenger also has a Champions League tie on Wednesday to worry about.

Pochettino handed a league debut to Ryan Mason, who impressed in Spurs’ midweek league cup victory over Nottingham Forest, and the 23 year old handled himself admirably.

The Argentinean spent much of the match urging his side to press the Gunners when they were in possession, and he seems to be getting more out of his side than was evident in the earlier matches against Sunderland and Liverpool.

Calum Chambers was not far away in the 72nd minute with a right footed drive, but the Gunners did not have to wait much longer for their equaliser.

 

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain secured a point for the Gunners, who remain unbeaten.

Elsewhere, Wayne Rooney was sent off but Manchester United managed to hold onto a 2-1 lead at Old Trafford against West Ham. It was a mixed day for Rooney, who opened the scoring but was later red carded for a rash challenge on Stewart Downing. Robin Van Persie extended United’s lead after 22 minutes, but the Hammers pulled one back through Diafra Sakho at a set piece. The away side could have had a late equaliser, but Kevin Nolan’s effort was ruled out for offside.

Chelsea remain top of the EPL after cantering to a 3-0 win at home against Aston Villa. Oscar opened the scoring in the 7th minute before Diego Costa scored his eighth goal in six league appearances, and the striker set up Willian to seal the game to complete the scoring. Villa have now lost two matches in a row after being unbeaten in four.

Crystal Palace continued their good form with a 2-0 win over Leicester City at Selhurst Park. The Eagles are unbeaten under Neil Warnock, and secured the three points with two second half goals in the space of three minutes to Fraizer Campbell and Mile Jedinak.

Manchester City suffered a brief setback as Hull City pulled back a two goal deficit, only for the visitors to tear away late on. Sergio Agüero and Edin Dzeko looked like they had made the game comfortable after just 11 minutes, but Eliaquim Mangala scored an own goal and Abel Hernández converted a penalty to send the sides in level at the break. Dzeko popped up with another goal with 20 minutes remaining and Frank Lampard came off the bench to score his second EPL goal in as many weeks.

Ronald Koeman’s Southampton kept within three points of leaders Chelsea as they overcame a resilient QPR side at St Mary’s. Ryan Bertrand scored his first EPL goal early in the second half before Charlie Austin equalised for the visitors in outstanding fashion immediately, volleying on the half turn beyond Fraser Forster. However, Graziano Pellè well and truly stole the show with an unbelievable overhead kick to seal the win for Saints.

Sunderland were held to a fifth draw out of six matches with another goalless stalemate against Swansea. The visitors had Angel Rangel sent off with 10 minutes remaining but held out to secure a point at the Stadium of Light.

West Bromwich Albion took apart a previously defensively solid Burnley at the Hawthorns, which gave manager Alan Irvine his second successive win. A Saido Berahino double was sandwiched by goals to Craig Dawson and Graham Dorrans, and the Clarets are now bottom of the league.

Finally, the pressure on manager Alan Pardew has gone to new levels after a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City. His Newcastle side trailed early thanks to a Peter Crouch header but could not fashion many real chances of their own. Pardew is now expected to have ‘serious talks’ with owner Mike Ashley during the week.

About Adam Dow 33 Articles
Adam is an Editor at The Blog FC and focuses most of his writing on the English Premier League. An avid Everton fan, he divides his time between writing about football and bartending at a cocktail bar in Sydney. Consequently, he doesn't mind the 3am kickoffs and also takes special interest in the lesser known Aussies plying their trade abroad.