New Year weekend action kicks-off today…02/01/2021

Current Premier League goal difference leaders Liverpool failed to extend their lead when they went down to a one nil defeat at Southampton on Monday evening. Caoimhin Kelleher was unused on the visiting substitute bench while the host duo Shane Long and Will Smallbone were also unused substitutes.  


There was further Premier League action this Sunday afternoon with Newcastle United going down to a two one defeat by Leicester City in St James Park. The hosts included Ciaran Clark in their starting eleven while Jeff Hendrick was again an unused substitute.

First into Premier League action on Saturday were Tottenham Hotspur who included Matt Doherty in their starting eleven for their three nil victory over visitors Leeds United. Doherty was dismissed two minutes into added time for a second bookable offence. James McCarthy was again an unused substitute for Crystal Palace who defeated Sheffield United and their Irish trio of John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick by two goals to nil at Selhurst Park. Aaron Connolly started and scored after xx minutes but was withdrawn at half-time as his Brighton & Hove Albion side conceded three goals before the break to visitors Wolverhampton Wanderers. The hosts recovered after the break to score twice and earn a point. Jayson Molumby was an unused substitute for the ‘Seagulls’. Troubled West Bromwich Albion included Dara O’Shea and Callum Robinson in their starting eleven for the visit of Arsenal which ended in a resounding four nil victory for the visiting ‘Gunners’.

Glasgow Rangers overcame Glasgow Celtic in the Scottish Premiership with the only goal at Ibrox Stadium to go nineteen points clear at the summit. It is extremely doubtful that, even with three matches in hand, the Parkhead side can mount a successful challenge. Shane Duffy was a 65th minute substitute for Celtic. Millwall loanee Danny McNamara gave another fine performance for St Johnstone in their one all draw at Ross County.

Two sides struggling for Championship form, Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers met at St Andrew’s with the visitors securing a two nil victory. Darragh Lenihan. was in the victors starting eleven while Scott Hogan was a 76th minute substitute for the defeated hosts. The New Den hosted the meeting of Millwall and Coventry City which went the way of the visitors by two goals to one. Tottenham Hotspur loanee Troy Parrott was a second half substitute for the hosts.  Preston North End named Sean Maguire in their starting eleven for the the visit of Cyrus Christie and Nottingham Forest with the visitors scoring the only goal from the penalty spot for a desperately needed victory. Harry Arter was a very late substitute for the victors. Daryl Horgan started for Wycombe Wanderers who went down to a three one defeat by visitors Middlesbrough. There iwas a 7.45pm kick-off time for the meeting of Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth which went the way of the visitors by one goal to nil.  Nathan Collins and James McClean both started for the hosts while Mark Travers and Gavin Kilkenny were unused substitutes for the visitors.

Anthony Scully started while Zack Elbouzedi was an unused substitute for Lincoln City who stayed top of League One with a two one victory at AFC Wimbledon. Kieran O’Hara and Burton Albion continued their recent dismal defensive displays when they crashed to a five one home defeat by Oxford United who included Olamide Shodipo and Anthony Forde in their starting eleven with Shodipo scoring twice in the opening half. U21 international Thomas O’Connor started for  loan club Gillingham who went down to a one nil defeat at Plymouth Argyle.

U21 international Joshua Kayode scored  for loan club Carlisle United in their two nil League Two victory at Walsall.

U19 international Jonathan Afolabi, on loan at Scottish Championship side Dundee from Glasgow Celtic, was introduced from the bench on 69 minutes of their encounter with league leaders Heart of Midlothian and helped consolidate their three one victory when converting from the penalty spot on 84 minutes after he himself had been fouled.

First into New Year Premier League action were Everton and West Ham United who went head to head in Goodison Park at 5.30pm this Friday afternoon with the visitors scoring the only goal for victory. Club Captain Seamus Coleman started for the hosts while Darren Randolph was a very late inclusion in the visitors starting eleven who are managed by former ‘Toffees’ boss David Moyes. High flying Aston Villa travelled to Old Trafford to take on another uplifted side Manchester United with Conor Hourihane again unused on the visitors substitute bench as they went down to a two one defeat.

There was a 5.30pm kick-off time for Championship side Sheffield Wednesday who welcomed Derby County to Hillsborough. The visitors included Jason Knight in their starting eleven while teenage midfielder Louie Watson was an unused substitute as the ‘Rams’ suffered a one nil defeat despite dominating the great majority of the game.