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Saturday, 28 February 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Saturday summary

Phil Thompson on how Arsenal limped to victory over Fulham

Last Updated: 21/04/13 at 09:46 Post Comment

Fulham 0-1 Arsenal: Read our report here

"Fulham were down to 10 men after 12 minutes [when Steve Sidwell fouled Mikel Arteta and was sent off] but it was not emphatic from Arsenal, who were very poor with their passing. They were passive and took ages to register any sort of shot and Fulham 'keeper Mark Schwarzer had very little to do.

"I think the absence of Jack Wilshere, who came on late on, may have had a bearing on Arsenal's display, but Arsene Wenger must be shaking his head at how poor they were. However, Arsenal are favourites to make the top four as they have points on the board and another clean sheet, thanks to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, who look a good centre-back partnership.

"I think the referee, Andre Marriner, got Sidwell's sending off spot on, because it was a lunge and Arteta was caught right on the ankle, while Olivier Giroud's late red card for a foul on Fulham's Stanislav Manolev was correct, too, as he rolled his foot over the ball and onto Manolev's ankle."

Charlie Nicholas on how QPR made life easy for Stoke

QPR 0-2 Stoke: Read our report here

"QPR performed as if they were already relegated, so Stoke didn't have to be at their best - and they weren't - but they were solid and managed to break their opponents down with a Peter Crouch tap-in and then finished things off with a late, clinical penalty from Jonathan Walters.

"QPR have definitely gone now and it's because the players at Harry's disposal haven't been good enough; today, for example, Adel Taarabt was doing step-overs rather than running and trying to be creative with the ball, while Junior Hoilett, who showed great qualities last season for Blackburn, looks like he doesn't know how to control the ball and where to pass it."

Paul Merson on how Norwich eased their relegation fears

Norwich 2-1 Reading: Read our report here

"Norwich started very well but because they didn't get an early goal they got a bit nervy and Reading finished the first half strongly. They got an early goal in the second half, though, through Ryan Bennett, which eased the tension amongst the Norwich fans, and I think they will be safe now.

"They need to add more firepower up front; the players they have just behind the forwards are good, like Robert Snodgrass, but they don't make a million chances - they make three - so they need a clinical striker or they will find things hard."

Alan McInally on how Swansea were stifled by Southampton

Swansea 0-0 Southampton: Read our report here

"Swansea started brightly and created some great chances throughout the day, while up the other end, home goalkeeper Michel Vorm had very little to do, so Michael Laudrup will be beside himself that his side haven't been able to win the game.

"Swansea were like Barcelona for about 20-25 minutes - Nathan Dyer was fantastic, Jonathan de Guzman was really busy, and Michu had chances - but it was a great point for Southampton, because they were under immense pressure and defended brilliantly."

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Readers' Comments

W

e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

S

toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

megabrow (cufc)
Being Defensive About Being Defensive...

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

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