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Bigtips.co.uk Football Review – Monday 22nd Apr

QPR 0 Stoke 2
Stoke City took a big step towards survival with a rare away win that all but sealed Queens Park Rangers' fate.  The visitors took the lead just before half-time when Peter Crouch converted Cameron Jerome's cut-back. And Jon Walters sealed the win from the penalty spot after Clint Hill had impeded Crouch.  Stoke moved up to 15th place, six points clear of the drop zone, while QPR will be relegated on Monday if Aston Villa beat Manchester United. Livewire striker Loic Remy apart, QPR looked a disjointed unit in a match which provided ample evidence as to why they are in such a dire predicament.  Too often players shot when they should have passed and vice versa, while in conceding the opening goal shortly before the break the home side reprised a habit that has cost them points up and down the country.  Stoke had entered the match on a desperate run that had seen them slip into relegation contention, but Crouch's opener injected much-needed confidence into their play and they comfortably held on for a first away victory since 1 December.  Bookies have stopped taking bets on QPR to get relegated!  Stoke meanwhile are a very healthy 28/1 with Bet365 to go down.

Tottenham 3 Man City 1
Tottenham came from behind to beat Manchester City thanks to three quick-fire goals from Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale which all but ends the reigning Premier League champion’s hopes of retaining their crown.  The away side took a fifth-minute lead through Samir Nasri, converting James Milner’s low cross, and enjoyed superiority over Spurs for much of the opening hour of the match. Despite appearing to be in control, however, City allowed Dempsey to tap home Bale`s cross with fifteen minutes remaining, before Defoe and Bale scored in quick succession to give Tottenham a vital win in the race for the top four.  Andre Villas-Boas made two changes from the side that earned a 2-2 draw against Basel as Benoit Assou-Ekotto and, more importantly, Gareth Bale returned to the first team at the expense of Kyle Naughton and Lewis Holtby.  Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, rotated his side heavily, making five changes from the team that beat Wigan 1-0 on Wednesday with Edin Dzeko notably replacing Sergio Aguero, while David Silva picked up a knock in training that ruled him out.  Spurs strong finish ensured that they took the points to keep up their top four quest, they are 10/11 with Paddy Power to do so.  

Liverpool 2 Chelsea 2
The striker’s temper was to get the better of him once again here and the dark side of his character could not be suppressed, dragging him, and more importantly Liverpool, back into the mire.  On any other day, Suarez’s last-gasp header in front of the Kop would have captured the attention as Chelsea’s momentum was checked in their chase for a top-four place. Or the sublime pass that he had earlier conjured to set up Daniel Sturridge for the first of Liverpool’s equalisers would be drooled over.  Yet this was not just any other day, but an afternoon when reputations – or what was left of them – lay in tatters.  It was the 66th minute when Suarez collected possession in the Chelsea penalty area and tried to hoodwink Branislav Ivanovic in much the same manner that has seen him outwit the Premier League’s best defences time and again.  But what followed veered dramatically from the script. Suarez was stopped in his tracks and, in his frustration, immediately grabbed the right arm of the Serbian centre-back, sinking his teeth into the flesh by the defender’s elbow as if transformed into a wild animal.  Ivanovic fell to the turf clutching his arm, pointing to the injury and performing a chomping motion to referee Kevin Friend to convey a moment that is now set to have far-reaching repercussions for the Uruguay international.  Chelsea had led twice through Oscar and Hazard – but the result was badly overshadowed by the actions of Suarez.  


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Posted: Monday, April 22nd, 2013 @ 03:04 pm by Bobby Bigtips

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