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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 22 May, 2018


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THERE ARE FIVE games to keep you abreast of this afternoon.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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  • Fulham 1-0 Stoke
  • Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa
  • Norwich 2-1 Everton
  • QPR 0-2 Manchester United
  • Reading 0-3 Wigan
  • West Brom 2-1 Sunderland

Good afternoon. After the FA Cup last weekend and European football in midweek, we’re back to the bread and butter that is the Premier League. Dimitar Berbatov scored a pretty stunning volley in the early game as Fulham saw off Stoke at Craven Cottage, but now we turn our attention to the remaining fixtures of the afternoon.

Not long until we get going so I’ll fire on the starting line-ups in a tick.

Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Traore, Mbia, Granero, Mackie, Taarabt, Townsend, Zamora. Subs: Green, Park, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Jenas, Remy, Hoilett.

Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Giggs, Young, van Persie, Hernandez. Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Valencia, Anderson, Rooney, Welbeck, Cleverley.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Gervinho.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Delph, Westwood, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor. Subs: Marshall, El Ahmadi, Holman, Sylla, Bowery, Dawkins, Lichaj.

West Brom: Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt, Long, Lukaku. Subs: Myhill, Rosenberg, Dorrans, Odemwingie, Jones, Tamas, Fortune.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, Bramble, N’Diaye, O’Shea, Sessegnon, Colback, Larsson, Johnson, Graham, Fletcher. Subs: Westwood, Bardsley, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Mangane, McClean, Cuellar.

Reading: Federici, Kelly, Mariappa, Morrison, Harte, Kebe, Akpan, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak. Subs: Stuart Taylor, Shorey, Pearce, Le Fondre, Hunt, McCleary, Robson-Kanu.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Scharner, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Maloney, McArthur, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo. Subs: Robles, Alcaraz, Henriquez, Gomez, McManaman, Espinoza, Stam.

Norwich: Bunn, Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Howson, Johnson, Hoolahan, Snodgrass, Holt, Becchio. Subs: Camp, Whittaker, Pilkington, Fox, Kamara, Elliott Bennett, Ryan Bennett.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith, Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Mirallas, Hitzlsperger, Neville, Duffy.

We’ve kick off around the grounds. I’ll be focusing on Loftus Road but bringing you all the incidents from elsewhere.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa (Santi Cazorla)

Great start for Arsenal after what has been a difficult week. After Jack Wilsher goes close, Santi Cazorla opens the scoring with a low drive after some decent build-up play.

In our feature game, QPR have started well and are closing United down at every opportunity. There are no goal chances to report but Javier Hernandez has just delayed his pass to Robin van Persie which results in his team-mate running into an offside position.

Nani earns United a free-kick after taking a knock to the hip and limping about for a couple of minutes. Ashley Young fizzes the set-piece in and it’s Nani who makes contact with a glancing header just wide.

“I think he’s been to Lourdes in the meantime”, jokes former Ireland manager Brian Kerry during his commentary for Today FM.

Young steps inside onto his right and curls a cros towards the penalty spot. Hernandez, who has made a darting run, nods on – forcing Julio Cesar to push the ball out for a corner.

Trap Watch – The Italian has become a big fan of Carrow Road recently. Could their pies be that good?

GOAL! QPR 0-1 Manchester United (Rafael Da Silva)

Phwoar, that’s a bit special from Rafael. The ball falls to the Brazilian full-back 25 yards out and he fires a bullet-like strike into the top corner.

There coud be bad news, though. Van Persie has collided with a cameraman and it’s moving very well.

West Brom have the ball in the back in the net through Romelu Lukaku but the referee calls play back for a free-kick after Steve Morrison is fouled. Could have played advantage there.

GOAL! West Brom 1-0 Sunderland (Romelu Lukaku)

From the penalty spot, the Belgian put the Baggies ahead after Craig Gardner is judged to have handled the ball.

Superb passage of play from the goalscorer Rafael. First he clears off the line from a header before bombing on to find Van Persie with a 40-yard pass. The Dutchman shoots first time but is kept out by Cesar.

GOAL! Norwich 0-1 Everton (Leon Osman)

Leighton Baines crosses for Osman to head home for his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

Robin van Persie has just gone strolling down the tunnel with Danny Welbeck replacing him. Alex Ferguson will be hoping it’s nothing serious as  United can not afford to be without their top scorer.

GOAL! Reading 0-1 Wigan (Arouna Kone)

The away side go in front in the bottom at the bottom thanks to Ivorian frontman Arouna Kone.

GOAL! Reading 0-2 Wigan (Arouna Kone)

A quick fire double for Kone has given the Latics a two-goal advantage heading into half-time. Brian McDermott will be livid.

Half-time scores:

  • Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa
  • Norwich 0-1 Everton
  • QPR 0-1 Manchester United
  • Reading 0-2 Wigan
  • West Brom 1-0 Sunderland

And we’re back.

One change to tell you about. Jermaine Jenas has been introduced for Esteban Granero by Harry Redknapp.

GOAL! Reading 0-3 Wigan (Maynor Figueroa)

That looks like the three points going Wigan’s way – this time it’s Figueroa who beats Adam Federici.

Wayne Rooney is readying himself while the Rs are about to make another change too.

Rooney has a half hour to regain his match fitness. The England international has taken Javier Hernandez’s place.

At the Madejski, Reading, trailing Wigan by 3-0, are also down to 10 ten. Pavel Pogrebnyak has been shown a straight red for a challenge on Figueroa.

Back to Loftus Road, where David De Gea has had his first real work of the day to keep out substitute Loic Remy after a smart run from the former Marseille man. Christophe Samba arrived up for the corner and heads off-target.

Substitution number 3 for Manchester United – Ashley Young off, Antonio Valencia on.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa (Andreas Weimann)

A 25-yard strike from the Austrian pulls one back for Villa which Wojciech Szczesny should have done better with.

GOAL! West Brom 2-0 Sunderland (Romelu Lukaku)

A second goal for Lukaku and a strange one at that. He pulls out of a 50/50 but Simon Mignolet blasts the ball off the striker.

GOAL! QPR 0-2 Manchester United (Ryan Giggs)

United in full control of this one and at 2-0 will surely not throw the three points away now. Nani slots in Giggs and the veteran shoots across Cesar and into the box.

Moments later, the same player curls to the back post where it comes off the post before Nani shoots over.

GOAL! West Brom 2-1 Sunderland (Stephane Sessegnon)

The Black Cats have got one back through Sessegnon and have 10 minutes to rescue a point.

GOAL! Norwich 1-1 Everton (Kei Kamara)

Norwich level terms after substitute Kei Kamara heads home from a corner.

GOAL! Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa (Santi Cazorla)

Relief for Arsene Wenger. They pile the pressure on Villa and get their just reward with their Spaniard Cazorla adding a second after being handed possession by compatriot Nacho Monreal.

GOAL! Norwich 2-1 Everton (Grant Holt)

Oof, Norwich have snatched a dramatic win thanks to Grant Holt’s 93rd-minute effort.


  • Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa
  • Norwich 2-1 Everton
  • QPR 0-2 Manchester United
  • Reading 0-3 Wigan
  • West Brom 2-1 Sunderland

So United open up a 15-point lead on their City rivals, who take on Chelsea tomorrow afternoon. Arsenal ease the pressure on their manager, Everton slip up at Norwich and Wigan climb out of the relegation zone with a big win over 19th-place Reading.

As I mentioned, Man City host Chelsea and Newcastle take on Southampton tomorrow but that’s about it from me. Cheers for the company.

About the author:

Ben Blake