Barclays Premier League Review – February 2014

BranislavIvanovicChelsea

With the poor weather we had last month, as well as the continuation of the FA Cup, it was perhaps a chance for the relegation scrap to take centre stage in the Premier League. But it was all change at the top as well…

The table on February 1st (Before the day's fixtures)
The table on February 1st (Before the day’s fixtures)
The table on March 1st (Before the day's fixtures)
The table on March 1st (Before the day’s fixtures)

What we can see from the table

  • Manchester City fell from first to third as Chelsea took top spot at the end of the month
  • West Ham won all four of their games to move from the relegation zone and into the top ten
  • Liverpool’s 10 points from a possible 12 moved them within touching distance of their rivals and right in the title race
  • However the chasing pack all fell behind as Spurs, Everton and Manchester United all dropped significant points
  • It wasn’t the best month for Aston Villa, who only picked up one point from four games

Player of the month

Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool

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Sturridge’s outstanding performances for Liverpool throughout last month in which he scored five goals and racked up two assists to keep Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title have earned him February’s player of the month award. In a month where Luis Suarez had an off spell, Sturridge netted in 1-1 draw with West Brom at the start of the month and followed that up with another goal in the 5-1 victory over title rivals Arsenal. He scored and assisted in the 3-2 comeback win over Fulham and bagged a brace and an assist in the 4-3 win over Swansea at Anfield. Sturridge’s goals helped Liverpool win three of their four Premier League games in February – the only points they dropped were in the 1-1 draw away to West Brom at the start of the month.

2nd – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

3rd – Kevin Nolan (West Ham United)

Manager of the month

Sam Allardyce – West Ham United

big sam

At the start of the month, West Ham were sitting in the relegation zone and there were calls for Sam Allardyce to face the sack. But Davids Gold and Sullivan kept the faith in their man and it came off, with the Hammers winning four out of four in February. More importantly, the wins were against teams around them, so they have now dragged themselves away from the drop zone and into tenth. The run included nine goals for and just one against. Although they aren’t mathematically safe from relegation yet, Big Sam will look back at February at the end of the season as a turning point in the season.

2nd – Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)

3rd – Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool)

Goal of the month

Jonjo Shelvey vs Liverpool

2nd – Thomas Rosicky vs Sunderland

3rd – Charlie Adam vs Manchester United

Others worth mentioning

  • Eden Hazard (1st) vs Newcastle
  • Nacer Chadli vs Newcastle
  • Rickie Lambert vs Stoke
  • Wayne Rooney vs Crystal Palace
  • Jay Rodriguez vs Fulham
  • Nikica Jelavic (1st) vs Cardiff
  • Daniel Sturridge vs Fulham

Game of the month

Fulham 2-3 Liverpool

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Steven Gerrard scored a last-gasp penalty as Liverpool moved to within four points of the Premier League summit after a dramatic win at Fulham. Kolo Toure’s own goal gave the Cottagers a surprise lead before Daniel Sturridge levelled following Gerrard’s delightful pass. Kieran Richardson capitalised on poor defending by Martin Skrtel to restore then bottom-of-the table Fulham’s advantage. But Philippe Coutinho equalised from 20 yards before Gerrard’s penalty. The spot-kick was awarded by referee Phil Dowd after Sascha Riether’s clumsy stoppage-time challenge on Sturridge. Gerrard’s calm conversion gave Liverpool a fifth league win of the calendar year and ensured they remain in the mix for the title and maintained their unbeaten start to 2014. Read the full match report here.

2nd – Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal

Read the full match report here.

3rd – Liverpool 4-3 Swansea

Read the full match report here.

Does this prove that Liverpool are the most exciting team in the Premier League?

Managerial Sackings

michael-laudrup

  • Michael Laudrup from Swansea City (04/02) – replaced by Garry Monk on the same day
  • Rene Meulensteen from Fulham (14/02) – replaced by Felix Magath on the same day

Games to look out for in March

guikjn

  • Cardiff vs Fulham (08/03)
  • Chelsea vs Tottenham (08/03)
  • Manchester United vs Liverpool (16/03)
  • Tottenham vs Arsenal (16/03)
  • Chelsea vs Arsenal (22/03)
  • Manchester United vs Manchester City (25/03)
  • Arsenal vs Manchester City (29/03)
  • Liverpool vs Tottenham (30/03)
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