Paul Gilham

Premier League, Week 27: Gareth Bale fires Tottenham to third place

A generally poor performance by Tottenham Hotspur was rescued by the brilliance of Gareth Bale. They downed West Ham, 3-2, thanks to two goals and a free-kick setup by the Welshman.

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Bale leads Spurs to huge win

A 90th-minute winner by Gareth Bale saw Tottenham Hotspur beat an impressive West Ham side 3-2 at Upton Park.


West Ham vs. Spurs: Lineups

It's time for some Monday Night Fútbol as this week's Premier League schedule wraps up with a London derby between Spurs and West Ham at Upton Park.

James Collins and Joey O'Brien both made it through fitness tests and will start for Sam Allardyce. No major surprises in the midfield and attack for the Irons with Andy Carroll up top, playing in front of Nolan, Jarvis and Cole.

No surprises from Andre Villas-Boas as he rolls out a first choice level lineup. The only major adjustment is Jan Vertonghen replacing Benoit Assou-Ekotto at the left back position. It's a tactical move likely designed to help with set piece defending to help offset some of West Ham's size up front.

West Ham United starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Jussi Jaaskelainen; Guy Demel, Winston Reid, James Collins, Joey O'Brien; Gary O'Neil, Mohamed Diamé; Carlton Cole, Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis; Andy Carroll.

Tottenham Hotspur starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris; Kyle Walker, Michael Dawson, Steven Caulker, Jan Vertonghen; Scott Parker, Mousa Dembélé; Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale, Lewis Holtby; Emmanuel Adebayor.


City get the better of lacklustre Chelsea

Manchester City handed out a deserved defeat to Chelsea with goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez after Frank Lampard missed a penalty.


City and Chelsea scoreless at half-time

It's not been a great game at the Etihad Stadium, as neither side has played particularly well. Manchester City have seen far more of the ball, but their finishing has been astonishingly profligate despite some catastrophic defending from Chelsea.

In truth, both teams have given a glimpse of why they're so far off the pace in the league this season, although City's all-round play was superior. Matija Nastasic almost put them in the lead early from a corner, but a fine stop from Petr Cech kept the scores level. Sergio Aguero also had a fine opportunity to score after Ashley Cole gave the ball away with Chelsea's defence all over the place, but the Argentinian took too long, and after failing to round Cech the chance was gone.

Pablo Zabaleta had the opportunity to score late in the half as a bouncing ball landed outside the area nicely for him, but he could only crash his shot into Gary Cahill's head. Chelsea enjoyed a few spells of possession outside the City area, but seemed only capable of winning possession through being fouled, and were reduced at one point to having Frank Lampard try to score from a free-kick 40 yards out.

Something's got to give in the second half, but at this point it's difficult to see what.


Manchester City vs. Chelsea: Lineups

Manchester City have named an unusual lineup to take on Chelsea, with Yaya Toure the furthest forward midfield presence in a very defensive-looking lineup.

Toure is backed up by Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia in midfield, while James Milner and David Silva flank Sergio Aguero, the lone striker. Joe Hart continues in goal despite Roberto Mancini's threats that he would be dropped.

Chelsea, meanwhile, start Demba Ba ahead of Ramires, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, with the Brazilian playing further ahead than usual. David Luiz and Gary Cahill start at centre-back, with John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard in the centre.

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Joe Hart; Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Matija Nastasic, Pablo Zabaleta; Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell; James Milner, Yaya Toure, David Silva; Sergio Aguero.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole; John Obi Mikel, Frank Lampard (c); Ramires, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard; Demba Ba.


Chelsea, City can send one another spiraling

Between Manchester United's form and the average performances of the Premier League's fourth-place competitors, Chelsea and Manchester City should be locked into their positions. If either side wins on Sunday, that could change.


Norwich stuns Everton with two late goals

Leon Osman scored right before halftime and Everton looked on their way to a win. That was until Kei Kamara scored his first Premier League with six minutes to play and Grant Holt scored on the last play of the game to give Norwich the come from behind victory.


Wigan hammer Reading, move out of the drop zone

A brace from Arouna Koné allowed Wigan to roll past Reading and move out of the drop zone on goal differential over Aston Villa.


Rafael powers United past lacklustre QPR

Manchester United cruised past Queens Park Rangers thanks to a man-of-the-match display from Rafael, although a knock to Robin van Persie will give them cause for discomfort.


Lukaku brace sees Baggies triumph

Romelu Lukaku scored in both halves as West Bromwich Albion picked up the points in a 2-1 victory over Sunderland.


Santi Cazorla fires Arsenal past Villa

Some generally poor football was on display at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, but Santi Cazorla had the quality to fire Arsenal past Aston Villa.


Robin van Persie taken off injured for United

Robin van Persie was withdrawn midway through the first half in Manchester United's game against Queens Park Rangers, with fears the striker could have picked up a back injury.


Berbatov smashes Fulham to win over Stoke

Dimitar Berbatov's first-half volley proved enough to secure a narrow win for Fulham, after Stoke missed a second-half penalty.


QPR vs. United lineups, no real surprises

Júlio César and José Bosingwa both overcame injuries to start for QPR and considering the attack their about to face, that will help. Bobby Zamora starts in the striker role with Loïc Rémy still trying to come back from a groin issue. Harry Redknapp's side are going to need to be on their game today if they want to get any points.

With Wayne Rooney out with a sinus issue, Alex Ferguson drops Robin Van Persie into Rooney's normal role and starts Javier Hernández up top. Ashley Young makes his first Premier League start since mid-January with the ageless one Ryan Giggs in the midfield.

Queens Park Rangers starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Júlio César; José Bosingwa, Christopher Samba, Clint Hill, Armand Traoré; Stéphane M'Bia, Esteban Granero; Andros Townsend, Adel Taarabt, Jamie Mackie; Bobby Zamora.

Manchester United starting lineup (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Rafael, Nemanja Vidić, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra; Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs; Ashley Young, Robin Van Persie, Nani; Javier Hernández.


Last place QPR hosts first place Manchester United

The best that the Premier League as to offer at the moment travels to face the worst the Premier League has to offer at the moment. To some that might even sound interesting.


Come for the Berbatov, maybe see the Brek

Fulham and the great Dimitar Berbatov host Stoke City in what could be American Brek Shea's first match in the EPL


City-Chelsea: A contest between two condemned men

Manchester City take on Chelsea at the weekend, and there's a high chance that when this fixture comes around next year, both managers will have departed us.

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