Newcastle shock Liverpool; Spurs back on track against Swansea
Sunday saw two vital games go ahead in the Premier League in the race for the honour of staging Champions League football next year. Rivals Newcastle United and Liverpool clashed at St James’ Park, whilst above them, Tottenham Hotspur hosted Swansea where Harry Redknapp’s men were hoping to close the gap between themselves and Arsenal in the fight for third place.
A brace from striker Papiss Cisse saw Newcastle stun 10-man Liverpool with an impressive 2-0 victory.
The result means United sit 11 points above the Reds in the race for the European spots, whilst Kenny Dalglish’s side have now lost six of their last seven league fixtures.
Cisse put the hosts in front when he guided a header beyond Pepe Reina after Hatem Ben Arfa had crossed, whilst he doubled his tally just before the hour, tapping in Demba Ba’s centre.
The Anfield club’s misery continued late on as they saw Reina sent off after he squared up to James Perch, leaving former Magpie Jose Enrique to wear the gloves in the final few minutes.
It means the Spanish keeper will miss Liverpool’s next three games, which includes the tasty FA Cup semi-final against neighbours Everton.
In the league though, Steven Gerrard and co remain in an uncomfortable eighth place. The Toffees ahead of their Merseyside rivals, and the likes of Sunderland are ready to pounce with the Black Cats just a point behind the Reds.
For the Toon Army, the table makes good reading, as they move level on 53 points with Chelsea, with a ten-point cushion between them and seventh-placed Everton.
At White Hart Lane, Emmanuel Adebayor helped himself to two goals as Tottenham moved back level on points with rivals Arsenal thanks to a 3-1 victory over Swansea.
Rafael Van Der Vaart’s effort, followed up by two Adebayor headers mean Spurs made the most of Arsenal’s slip-up at QPR on Saturday.
Gylfi Sigurdsson made things interesting when he levelled for Swansea on the hour mark. However the class of the home side told in the end, with Gareth Bale, Scott Parker and talisman Van Der Vaart, all impressing for the London club.
With just seven games to go, just goal difference separates Harry Redknapp’s side and their North London counterparts, with them both tied on 58 points, five ahead of the chasing Chelsea and Newcastle.
Tottenham, coming into the game on a five game winless run, now look like a team with momentum. With arguably the easier run in between themselves and the Gunners, the ball may now be back in the court of the white side of North London.
The White Hart Lane club’s recent dip in form was not evident in their performance, as they looked like a side fully focused on completing their job, with fast-flowing football evident at times.
They halted Swansea’s pretty football, and opened the Welsh team up on numerous occasions, with defender Ashley Williams or goalkeeper Michel Vorm often coming to the rescue for Brendan Rodgers’ team.
Spurs travel to Sunderland next in a tricky fixture, however rivals Arsenal host title contenders Manchester City, where Adebayor and his Spurs colleagues, will be hoping his parent club can do them a massive favour.