Saturday, 2 April 2016

Ramos winner seals BVB comeback

Dortmund 3-2 Werder Bremen: Ramos winner seals BVB comebackA flurry of second half goals saw the result change hands a number of times before the Colombia striker eventually sealed all three points for Thomas Tuchel's side
Adrian Ramos came off the bench to score a priceless late winner for Borussia Dortmund as Thomas Tuchel's side edged a thrilling 3-2 victory against struggling Werder Bremen

The substitute's intervention proved a crucial one for Dortmund, who remain five points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, after Pep Guardiola's side defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 earlier on Saturday. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Dortmund the lead shortly after half-time with his 23rd league goal of the season, the Gabon international chipping Felix Wiedwald after Henrikh Mkhitaryan played him through. 

The lead did not last long as Bremen hit back swiftly, Gonzalo Castro diverting Alejandro Galvez's strike into his own net after Dortmund failed to deal with a corner. 

Zlatko Junuzovic put Bremen ahead after fantastic work by Levin Oztunali with 16 minutes remaining, but Dortmund hit back almost immediately as Shinji Kagawa provided the finishing touch to a great team move.

And Ramos claimed the winner within two minutes of his introduction, the striker converting Mkhitaryan's corner to keep Dortmund within sight of Bayern. 

Defensive injuries meant Matthias Ginter partnered Sven Bender at the back for Dortmund, while Bremen were without top goalscorer Claudio Pizarro, who hurt his back on international duty with Peru, so Anthony Ujah started up front.  

And Ujah went close to putting the visitors into a shock early lead, but the striker could not quite stretch enough to convert a dangerous Sambou Yatabare cross. 

Wiedwald made a great save to deny Erik Durm after 14 minutes, the goalkeeper blocking the prodded effort after Marco Reus opened up the Bremen defence superbly. 

Aubameyang threatened on three occasions towards the end of the first half as Bremen, whose run of 28 Bundesliga games without a clean sheet is a league record, held on. 

Marcel Schmelzer smashed a volley into the side netting, before Galvez blocked a Reus header and Wiedwald saved Castro's curling strike. 

Dortmund finally broke Bremen's resistance to open the scoring in the 53rd minute. 

Reus freed Mkhitaryan and his throughball was perfect for Aubameyang, who lifted a delightful finish over Wiedwald for his fifth Bundesliga goal since the mid-season break. 

But the hosts, who had beaten their opponents in eight home Bundesliga games in a row, failed to find a second goal and Bremen levelled the scores in the 69th minute. 

Lewandowski disappointed with Bayern display

'It wasn't one for the fans' - Lewandowski disappointed with Bayern displayFranck Ribery scored a sensational overhead kick, but the Bavarians' Polish striker felt Bayern failed to produce their best football in front of their home supportRobert Lewandowski felt Bayern Munich's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena was far from the best spectacle the home fans will see this season.
Bayern controlled the clash with their relegation-threatened visitors, and a spectacular overhead kick from Franck Ribery in the 20th minute was enough to seal the victory.
Frankfurt goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky made saves from Juan Bernat, Xabi Alonso - who also hit the crossbar with a free-kick - and Thomas Muller in the second half, but Pep Guardiola's men were unable to add to their tally.

GOAL READ MORE  | Ribery stunner enough for Pep's men
Lewandowski conceded that Bayern's players were already thinking about taking on Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals in midweek, and that may have come at the expense of entertainment.
"It was not an interesting game for the spectators, but the three points were important," said the Poland striker.
"We certainly had the game against Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday in our heads.
"We have to play much, much better than we did today [against Benfica]."
However, Guardiola saw plenty of positives in the result, reserving particular praise for Ribery.
"We started well and had a lot of good actions - not only the wonder goal from Franck," he said

Payet nets stunning free-kick but Hammers held

West Ham 2-2 Crystal Palace: Payet nets stunning free-kick but Hammers heldThe Hammers saw two points slip away after coming from behind to take a second half lead through Dimitri Payet's outrageous free-kick, before Dwight Gayle levelled the game
West Ham had Cheikhou Kouyate sent off and saw their Champions League qualification hopes suffer a blow as Dwight Gayle equalised to earn Crystal Palace a 2-2 draw in the Premier League at Upton Park.
The hosts came from behind to lead after Adrian's error from Bakary Sako's free-kick presented Palace defender Damien Delaney with the opening goal on Saturday.
West Ham hit back almost immediately, Manuel Lanzini scoring with a neat finish after Palace failed to clear Michail Antonio's cross into the box, and Dimitri Payet put West Ham in front before half-time, whipping a sensational free-kick beyond the helpless Wayne Hennessey for his ninth Premier League goal of the season.
Slaven Bilic's side could not hold on after Kouyate was dismissed for a lunge on Gayle, who scored the equaliser with 15 minutes to go, the striker neatly finishing after a kind deflection.
West Ham were without James Collins (hamstring) and Antonio filled in at right-back, while Jason Puncheon made his first start for Palace in two months, but Yohan Cabaye and Emmanuel Adebayor missed out.

Adrian made a comfortable early save from Joe Ledley's header before Antonio tested Hennessey, who was equal to his shot.
But the Spaniard, who was making his 100th appearance for West Ham, was beaten after 14 minutes - and the goalkeeper was to blame.
Sako's free-kick evaded everyone in the box but Adrian flapped the ball straight on to the head of Delaney, who nodded a simple finish into the open goal.
Palace's lead was short-lived as Lanzini levelled the scores within three minutes by tucking a shot into Hennessey's bottom-right corner after Diafra Sakho's header deflected to him off Scott Dann.
Hennessey made saves from Sakho and Payet as the hosts pressed and Puncheon should have put Palace back in front after 32 minutes, but volleyed over from six yards.
Sakho put a free header wide after 38 minutes but that miss was soon forgotten when Payet stepped up to take a 20-yard free-kick.
Palace arranged a seven-man wall but the France international crashed an unbelievable strike past Hennessey, who stepped the wrong way, the ball dipping late to go in off the crossbar.
Lanzini forced a good save from Hennessey after 56 minutes before Aaron Cresswell cleared Sako's 22-yard shot off the line after a poor Kouyate back-pass caused chaos.
Kouyate was then sent off for the second time this season, the midfielder dismissed in the 66th minute for diving in on Gayle, and Sako blazed a volley wide as the visitors sought an equaliser.
Adrian made a fine save from Mile Jedinak's drive but he could not deny Gayle, who slotted in moments later after Pape Souare's cross deflected off both West Ham centre-backs.
West Ham's dropped points mean they lose important ground in the race for fourth place after Manchester City won 4-0 at Bournemouth.

Foster frustrates Allardyce's men

Sunderland 0-0 West Brom: Foster frustrates Allardyce's menThe Black Cats had to settle for a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light after they failed to get the better of the England international custodian
Sunderland had to settle for a 0-0 draw with West Brom in Saturday's Premier League encounter at the Stadium of Light as goalkeeper Ben Foster proved the visitors' hero.
There were chances for Jermain Defoe and Lee Cattermole before the break, while Jan Kirchhoff and Fabio Borini threatened in the second half, but neither managed to find the net as Sunderland's relegation struggles continued following their fourth consecutive draw.
West Brom, meanwhile, created few chances of note as they happily settled for a point, with Foster keeping his fourth clean sheet in nine league games this campaign.
Sam Allardyce opted to give Fabio Borini his first start in a home game since February, while giving Cattermole the nod in midfield ahead of Jack Rodwell.
Tony Pulis left out Stephane Sessegnon for West Brom after the attacking midfielder returned late from international duty.

There was a moment to cherish for West Brom's Jonathan Leko late on, with the 16-year-old making his Premier League debut as he replaced the underwhelming Saido Berahino.
Defoe threatened early on when he tested Foster with a clever backheel after some good work from Younes Kaboul down the right.

The experienced striker continued to be Sunderland’s biggest threat in the first half, turning past his marker after being played in by Patrick van Aanholt before seeing his low shot go just wide of the far post in the 20th minute.
Defoe then only just failed to get his head to a fine Wahbi Khazri cross.
Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who made his 100th Premier League appearance, was called into action for the first time when James Chester’s mishit cross from the left nearly surprised him at the far post.
Cattermole should have opened the scoring for Sam Allardyce’s men after 32 minutes when a superb ball from Khazri played him in, but a poor first touch allowed Foster to rush off his line and make a save as the midfielder attempted to chip him.
West Brom, meanwhile, seemed happy to sit back and defend, as attackers Salomon Rondon and Berahino remained largely anonymous, with Sunderland looking comfortable in defence.
The home side continued to dominate after the break and Kirchhoff was unlucky not to break the deadlock in the 54th minute, the former Bayern Munich man's shot hitting Foster in the face.
Borini was next to try his luck with a powerful long-range strike, only for Foster to show his class with a superb save.
Italian Borini volleyed just wide from 10 yards just a few minutes later when he got his foot to a low cross from the right.
Sunderland were arguably more deserving of the victory, but they failed to beat Foster as Borini and Defoe missed more late chances to win it.
Dame N'Doye then thought he had netted the winner well into stoppage time, but his goal was disallowed for offside as West Brom held out for a hard-fought draw.

Battling Swans rescue a point

Stoke City 2-2 Swansea City: Battling Swans rescue a pointFrancesco Guidolin's side came back from two goals down to salvage a result away in the potteries, with Mark Hughes' men throwing away a comfortable lead
Goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alberto Paloschi in the second half rescued a point forSwansea City as they drew 2-2 with Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday.
Ibrahim Afellay scored the first goal of the game with a header early on at the Britannia Stadium after he was picked out by Marko Arnautovic. The home side continued to dominate proceedings but they were forced to wait until after the break for their next goal.
After a strong first half, Bojan Krkic capitalised on some poor Swansea defending and he showed his class by placing the ball in the far corner, past Lukasz Fabianski.
Swansea eventually showed some fight after going 2-0 behind and they dominated the rest of the game, sparking hopes of a revival in the 68th minute when Sigurdsson hit the back of the net.
The comeback was complete in the 79th minute when substitute Paloschi let fly from the edge of the area and saw his shot deflected home.

The draw leaves Stoke in eighth while Swansea moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone in 15th spot.
Swansea had two early chances but neither Leon Britton nor Bafetimbi Gomis could find the back of the net from the edge of the area.
The Potters opened the scoring in the 13th minute with Afellay grabbing a goal on his 30th birthday. Arnautovic was allowed to turn inside the area and the forward curled in an inch-perfect cross for Afellay, who was left unmarked inside the six-yard box.
Spaniard Joselu had two chances to score before the break but he was denied by Fabianski and the offside flag.
With seconds to go in the first half, Jack Cork forced the first save out of Jakob Haugaard but the Premier League debutant was on hand to dive on the low drive.

Mark Hughes' side doubled their advantage just after the break following a superb run fromBojan. The former Barcelona man was given too much time and space and he fired the ball into the far corner past Fabianski.
Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin decided to make a change and he introduced Jefferson Montero for the first time since he took charge. The winger made an immediate impact with his mazy runs and crosses causing plenty of problems for Stoke's defence.
The Ecuadorian's introduction changed the momentum of the game and Sigurdsson fired his side back into it after a neat turn on the edge of the box. His right-footed drive went through the legs of a Stoke defender and in doing so wrong-footed Haugaard in the goal.
Swansea drew level after a run from defender Ashley Williams, the Wales international cutting the ball back for Paloschi, whose effort was deflected in off Philipp Wollscheid.
Stoke had one final chance through Arnuatovic but his free-kick hit the side netting to round off a disappointing afternoon on home soil.

Olsson wins it late for hosts

Norwich City 3-2 Newcastle United: Olsson wins it late for hostsThe home side twice surrendered a lead in Saturday's Premier League encounter but the Sweden international was on hand to secure three points in the dying minutes
Martin Olsson's dramatic late winner saw Norwich City give their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost as they secured a thrilling 3-2 victory over relegation rivals Newcastle United on Saturday. 
A towering header from Timm Klose in first-half stoppage time capped off an impressive start for Alex Neil's men, but the opener was cancelled out by Aleksandar Mitrovic, who came off the bench to restore parity with a planted header midway though the second half.  
The visitors' hopes of salvaging a result looked to be extinguished after 74 minutes as Mbokani cut inside from the left to lash home, only for referee Mike Dean to point to the spot following Gary O'Neil's handball, allowing Mitrovic to level again with a confident penalty. 

A rejuvenated Newcastle pressed for a winner but were dealt a hammer blow deep into stoppage time when Olsson found space in the penalty area to drill home. 
The result leaves Norwich four points clear of the relegation zone, while Rafael Benitez's men are now six points adrift of safety, with relegation now looking an increasingly likely prospect. 
Newcastle arrived at Carrow Road having lost their last seven Premier League games on the road but dominated possession during the opening 10 minutes, with Papiss Cisse looping a header narrowly over the crossbar.
Goalkeeper Karl Darlow, in for the injured Rob Elliot as one of five changes from the 1-1 draw with Sunderland, was called into action a minute later as Norwich responded, producing a smart save to keep out Steven Naismith's low drive.
Norwich, previously without a Premier League win at home in their last five attempts, grew in confidence and had the ball in the net when Mbokani finished Jonny Howson's low cross, but the striker was denied by the offside flag.

Robbie Brady then stung the palms of Darlow with an angled effort after half an hour, before Mbokani's close-range effort was denied by another fine save three minutes later.
But a deserved opener for the hosts came on the stroke of half-time as Klose rose highest to head home Brady's teasing free-kick from the right. 
A more positive start to the second period from the visitors saw Cisse attempt to catch out Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy with an audacious lob from distance, before Andros Townsend saw a low drive well saved.
Newcastle's derby-day hero Mitrovic was introduced shortly after the hour as they sought a breakthrough, and the Serb once again made an impact 19 minutes from time, beating Ruddy with a header following Townsend's cross.

Tottenham: Kane rescues draw as title-chasing Spurs slip up

Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham: Kane rescues draw as title-chasing Spurs slip upThe England international scored an excellent goal in the second period to earn Mauricio Pochettino's men a point, but the result will be a major boost to league leaders Leicester
Harry Kane's excellent second-half strike earned Tottenham a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, in a result that will boost Leicester City's hopes of claiming a shock Premier League title win. 

An inspired display from Hugo Lloris ensured there were no goals in the first half, but Philippe Coutinho put the home side ahead with a low strike six minutes into the second period.

Spurs, though, levelled within 12 minutes as the in-form Kane became the first Spurs player to score 22 goals in a Premier League season with a lethal finish.

While a draw at Anfield is no disaster after Mauricio Pochettino's men had only won once in their previous 21 visits, shock leaders Leicester now have the chance to move seven points clear at the top when they host Southampton on Sunday.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are ninth after a draw that means they are still waiting to record back-to-back home Premier League wins for the first time since last May.

Spurs initially made the brighter start and a patient passing move led to Kyle Walker laying the ball off for Christian Eriksen to sting the palms of Simon Mignolet in the home goal with a left-footed effort.

At the other end, Lloris had to react quickly to prevent Son Heung-min - starting for the injured Erik Lamela in Spurs' only change - from inadvertently diverting Alberto Moreno's cross into the bottom corner.

Kane dragged an effort wide after space had opened up for him inside the Liverpool box, but it was the hosts who should have gone into the break in front, with only a trio of Lloris saves keeping the scores level.

First to be denied was Sturridge - picked ahead of Divock Origi up front for Liverpool with Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino injured - when he beat the offside trap and latched on to Coutinho's clever pass but failed to beat Lloris, even though there were no defenders in sight.

The France captain then pushed away a goal-bound Adam Lallana strike, before producing an even better diving, one-handed stop to keep out the England international, who gathered Coutinho's cross and scuffed a bouncing volley towards the top corner.

But even Lloris could not prevent the opener six minutes into the second half. Coutinhoexchanged passes with Sturridge on the edge of the area and calmly sent a right-footed finish into the bottom corner.

Sturridge squandered his second big chance of the match when he headed just over from six yards from a magnificent Coutinho cross.

That proved costly for the hosts when, shortly after Son had volleyed wide after being picked out in a great position by Eric Dier's lofted pass, Spurs levelled.

Eriksen superbly kept the ball in play and crossed from the left, allowing Kane to send an exquisite finish beyond Mignolet on the turn for his sixth goal in four league matches.

Both sides had chances to win the match, with Mignolet making an impressive diving save from Eriksen's long-range drive, while Coutinho dragged a shot wide from a good opening created by substitute Origi.

Eriksen was then just off target with a free-kick and Mignolet denied Mousa Dembele as Spurs were unable to move within striking distance of leaders Leicester. 

Pato shines in Blues debut

Aston Villa 0-4 Chelsea: Pato shines in Blues debutThe Brazil international scored shortly after coming off the bench in his first appearance 63 days after signing for the Blues, while he had a hand in two more goals
Alexandre Pato marked his long-awaited Chelsea debut with a goal as the Blues won 4-0 to leave crisis club Aston Villa teetering on the brink of relegation at the end of a miserable week.
Having parted company with manager Remi Garde on Tuesday, and then seen Gabriel Agbonlahor suspended amid an investigation into his conduct, interim boss Eric Black presided over a limp performance at a frustrated Villa Park, where supporters voiced their anger and despair and displayed banners venting their feelings.
On the pitch, Ruben Loftus-Cheek's first Premier League goal gave Chelsea the lead before Pato's introduction for his maiden Chelsea appearance following his signing in January.
The Brazilian soon converted a penalty he won himself and he was also instrumental in the second half, combining with countryman Oscar to create two goals for Pedro, as the Blues' slender hopes of a top-six finish were given a boost.

Match Stats — Team Stats

Aston VillaV.Chelsea
Alan Hutton's late sending off ended a dismal afternoon on another low note for Villa, who have suffered seven defeats in a row for a second time this season.
With Gary Cahill and John Terry both ruled out with minor injuries, Chelsea handed a debut to 20-year-old defender Matt Miazga, while Micah Richards and Carlos Sanchez returned to the Villa side.
The hosts have endured heavy criticism from supporters for a perceived lack of effort this season, but Carles Gil sought to energise his side with a number of surging runs forward in a tepid opening.
At the other end, Pedro turned smartly to create the space to shoot from 20 yards and his bending effort was only just wide of Brad Guzan's goal.
A knock for Loic Remy saw the Frenchman replaced by Pato after 22 minutes, and a few moments later the visitors took the lead.

John Obi Mikel's quick feet pulled Villa apart in midfield and Chelsea shifted the play out to Cesar Azpilicueta, whose low cross was side-footed into the net by Loftus-Cheek via a slight deflection off Joleon Lescott.
Villa almost hit back when Gil latched onto Jordan Ayew's pass and arrowed in a shot from a tight angle, but Thibaut Courtois was equal to it and made a diving save.
There were further chances for Villa to level matters, but the game drifted out of their reach in first-half injury time when Aly Cissokho wrestled Pato to the ground in the area and the Brazilian lashed his penalty beyond Guzan.
The introduction of Oscar further galvanised Chelsea after the break, and he combined brilliantly with Pato to set up Pedro, who slammed home from close range a minute after the restart.