Barclays Premier League Review – February 2015

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It’s the shortest month of the year anyway, so add in a weekend of FA Cup fixtures, and you see that some sides only played three Premier League games in February. It didn’t matter though, with entertaining games, great goals and players on form making up for the lack of action…

The table on February 1st (before the day's fixtures and the arrows are irrelevant)
The table on February 1st (before the day’s fixtures and the arrows are irrelevant)

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What we can see from the table

  • Chelsea and Manchester City had similar months, and are still separated by five points.
  • It’s incredibly close behind them though, with Arsenal getting into the top four ahead of Southampton.
  • A good month for Liverpool means that they are now serious top four contenders, with Tottenham also competing.
  • Everton continue to slide down the table and are now only six points clear of the relegation zone.
  • Leicester are still bottom, but Hull and QPR have been replaced in the drop zone by Burnley and Aston Villa.

Player of the Month

Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur

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For the second month in a row, I’ve named Harry Kane as my player of the month as the Englishman continued his fantastic run of form since the turn of the year. Tottenham had an inconsistent month, but Kane was superb again, starting with a man of the match performance in the North London derby when he scored both goals in a 2-1 Spurs win. In the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool, the 21 year old was on the scoresheet again, whilst he also set up Mousa Dembele’s goal at Anfield. It looked as though he would end the month on a bad note when he missed a penalty against West Ham, but he scored the rebound to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw against the Hammers. I said it last month and I’ll say it again: if Roy Hodgson doesn’t pick Harry Kane for England’s internationals this month, there will have to be some sort of inquest.

2nd – Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

3rd – Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

Manager of the Month

Brendan Rodgers – Liverpool

Brendan-Rodgers-Liverpool

At the start of February, it looked a tough month for Liverpool, but Brendan Rodgers guided his side through it unbeaten, claiming seven points out of a possible nine and keeping two clean sheets in the process. It began with a hard fought 0-0 draw against Merseyside rivals Everton before the two big wins against sides also battling for a spot in the top four. Despite being pegged back twice, the Reds managed to win 3-2 over Tottenham, before beating Southampton 2-0 at St. Mary’s, something not many other teams have done this season. Part of their success in February was Rodgers being able to turn the fortunes of Mario Balotelli around, who seems to have found his feet at Anfield. Rodgers’ tactics mean that Liverpool have claimed the most points (17) than any other Premier League club in 2015. They are the only unbeaten Premier League side in this calendar year.

2nd – Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)

3rd – Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)

Goal of the Month

Philippe Coutinho vs Southampton

2nd – Saido Berahino vs Southampton

3rd – James Milner vs Hull City

Game of the Month

Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur

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Mario Balotelli’s first Premier League goal for Liverpool gave them a crucial victory in the fight for a Premier League top-four place in a thrilling game at Anfield. The Reds led twice only to be pegged back by Spurs before Balotelli, on as a substitute for Daniel Sturridge, turned in Adam Lallana’s cross with seven minutes left. Lazar Markovic gave Liverpool an early lead but man-of-the-moment Harry Kane was on the mark again to swiftly equalise for Spurs with his 23rd goal of an outstanding season. Steven Gerrard’s penalty just after half-time restored Liverpool’s lead but Mousa Dembele levelled again before the decisive late intervention from the Italy striker. Read the full report here.

2nd – Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 West Ham United

Read the full report here.

3rd – Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle United

Read the full report here.

Managerial Sackings

Tim-Sherwood-at-Villa-Park

  • Harry Redknapp resigned from QPR (03/02) – replaced by Chris Ramsey on 12th February
  • Paul Lambert from Aston Villa (11/02) – replaced by Tim Sherwood on 14th February

Games to look forward in March

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We’ve already seen Liverpool host Manchester City this month, but what other big games are there in March?

  • Chelsea vs Southampton (15/03)
  • Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur (15/03)
  • Liverpool vs Manchester United (22/03)
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