Premier League round-up: Saturday review

Match-by-match reports and reaction are included in our review of Saturday’s Premier League action.

Arsenal turned up the heat on Liverpool in the race for Champions League qualification as an Olivier Giroud brace helped them to a 4-1 win at Stoke.

At a ground where they had only won once on eight previous Premier League visits, the Gunners grabbed the lead three minutes prior to the break through Giroud’s close-range strike, with Mesut Ozil then extending their advantage in the 55th minute with a neat finish.

Stoke hit back with a controversial 67th-minute goal from substitute Peter Crouch, before efforts from Alexis Sanchez in the 76th minute and Giroud 10 minutes from time wrapped up a victory that sees the gap between Arsene Wenger’s fifth-placed men and fourth-placed Liverpool reduced to a point.

Both sides have two games left, and Arsenal will be watching with great interest when Liverpool play at West Ham on Sunday, hoping their fellow Londoners can do them a favour. Manchester City, also with two matches to go, are three points clear of Wenger’s team in third.

Kyle Naughton’s first goal in more than six years helped Swansea to the brink of Premier League safety as relegated Sunderland capitulated horribly.

Naughton’s effort in first-half injury time coupled with Fernando Llorente’s early header gave the Welsh club a 2-0 victory and eased them four points clear of Hull with a better goal difference.

Paul Clement’s men will stay up if the Tigers lose at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Swansea have taken 10 points from the last 12 available just when they needed it most, in stark contrast to Sunderland, whose win at the KCOM Stadium last weekend proved to be yet another false dawn. 

Riyad Mahrez’s penalty slip ensured Manchester City did not take a tumble of their own in the Champions League race, moving third with a 2-1 win over Leicester at the Etihad Stadium.

On the fifth anniversary of their first Premier League title win their 2012 hero Sergio Aguero was restricted to a late cameo, but a penalty from his heir apparent, Gabriel Jesus, and David Silva’s opener left City with the points.

Shinji Okazaki gave the Foxes hope with a stunning volley before half-time but when Mahrez had the chance to level from the spot 13 minutes from time, he lost his footing and touched the ball into his standing leg.

The effort somehow still ended up in the top corner but referee Robert Madley spotted the infringement and chalked off what would have been a fitting reward for Leicester’s unexpected comeback.

Southampton emerged 2-1 victors from the clash at relegated Middlesbrough, where disillusioned fans made their anger clear as the Riverside bid a meek farewell to Premier League football.

Boro’s return to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed by Monday’s defeat at champions Chelsea and their final top-flight home match brought precious little relief.

Substitute Nathan Redmond scored a goal just as impressive as Jay Rodriguez’s first-half effort before Shane Long put a penalty over the crossbar. Patrick Bamford scored his first ever Premier League goal but it was mere consolation for Boro.

Josh King’s late winner ensured Bournemouth will finish the season with their highest-ever tally in the top flight after a dramatic 2-1 victory over Burnley.

Sam Vokes’ 83rd-minute equaliser looked to mathematically secure the Clarets’ Premier League status but King fired home two minutes later as the Cherries claimed victory in their final home game of the season. 

Junior Stanislas had given Bournemouth the lead with his first-half effort.

 

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