Chelsea loanee Mohamed Salah scored a goal in Fiorentina's 2-0 win on Thursday that sent Spurs out of the Europa Cup with a 3-1 aggregate win over the North London club.
Spurs, already down an away goal, didn't generate many opportunities as they crashed out of the Europa Cup on Thursday in Italy. Mario Gomez's goal eventually proved to be more than enough for the win but Jan Vertonghen was stripped by Salah in the 71st minute and the Chelsea man scored to put the tie away. Roberto Soldado could have had a first half chance to put Spurs ahead but, befitting a man whose confidence is low, he chose to pass rather than have a shot on goal.
After Besiktas made their five penalties and Liverpool made their first four, Dejan Lovren sent his spot kick high and the miss saw the Reds bow out of the Europa Cup.
Liverpool were lucky not to lose the tie in open play as Demba Ba rattled the cross bar with the score 1-1. The Reds' luck wouldn't hold up as Lovern's miss compounded a miserable week for English clubs in European competition. Liverpool's hot form in the Premier League didn't carry over and now they will have more energy to focus on the Premier League as that will be the only way they qualify for next season's Champions League.
Marouane Chamakh is one of three Crystal Palace strikers currently sidelined because of a hamstring problem after Alan Pardew confirmed the Moroccan would be out for around two weeks.
Chamakh was injured during the build-up to last weekends’ game and missed the opportunity to face his former employers at Selhurst Park after a scan confirmed a grade one tear – a similar injury to the one suffered by team mate Yaya Sanogo – both players are expected to return for the Queens Park Rangers match in GW29. Glenn Murray and Dwight Gayle could lead the line at West Ham although Shola Ameobi is an option - Fraizer Campbell has been ruled out [for up to 6 weeks]. The Eagles will welcome back James McArthur for the trip to the Boleyn Ground while Pardew also confirmed captain Mile Jedinak had trained fully this week but a place in starting eleven is no gimme with Jordon Mutch impressing recently.
Tottenham exited the Europa League after an error-strewn 2-0 defeat by Fiorentina gave the Italian side a 3-1 aggregate win.
This could be the final nail in the coffin of Roberto Soldado's spluttering Tottenham career. The away side dominated the first half and had a clear chance to go ahead in the tie when Soldado broke the offside trap and found himself one on one with the Fiorentina keeper. However, instead of shooting he elected to square the ball to Nacer Chadli and woeful under hit his pass, allowing the keeper to recover. It was a shocking piece of play, and Spurs never recovered. Mario Gomez raced clear after a second-half mistake by Federico Fazio and slid the ball under Hugo Lloris before Chelsea loanee Mohamed Salah sealed the win after an error by Jan Vertonghen. The result is a blow for Spurs before their biggest game of the season so far - the League Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday.
Brown Ideye's hot streak had to come to an end sometime and Week 26 was the time as the Baggies failed to score at the Stadium of Light.
With Southampton West Brom's next opponents, it might be reasonable to guess that Ideye's goalless streak will go to two matches after the weekend. Ideye's revival under Tony Pulis has been a nice story over the course of February but starting with Week 27 we'll find out if it was just a nice run from a player who remains below average for the Premier League or whether the combination of some time to adapt and a better system around him supplied by Pulis has unlocked the best from the player. Tread cautiously but don't write him off after one poor match.
Mame Biram Diouf has technically been back from the ACN since Week 24 but Week 27 signaled his return to the score sheet after two lackluster matches.
Diouf has been a solid-but-not-great acquisition thus far for the Potters. He came to the club on a free but that is generally accompanied by high wages and it isn't clear that he's been worth that part of what it cost to bring him to the Premier League. Far be it from us to disparage the season Jon Walters is having but Diouf's goal against Aston Villa puts Diouf a goal behind Walters and tied with Peter Crouch for second among the Potters' goal scorers. Certainly Hughes would have been hoping he was recruiting a leading man rather than a member of a solid-but-not-great ensemble. Maybe this goal, and the return to form of Victor Moses, will be the thing that turns his season around and pushes him on to bigger and better things.
Stephen Ireland missed two Premier League matches with a hamstring injury but picked up where he left off in his Week 26 return.
Stephen Ireland's return to prominence owes a debt to Mark Hughes' faith and Bojan's injury. Regardless of the reasons, the Irish international has made up some of the gap left by Bojan's injury. He missed Week 24 and 25 with a hamstring issue but returned in Week 26 with an assist, two shots on target, and three tackles won in a strong all-around effort. He is a good bet to continue his production given what we've seen so far.
Newcastle will be without creative midfielder Remy Cabella for the second consecutive game as the Frenchman fails to recover in time from a minor knee ligament problem.
Cabella picked up the injury in training prior to the trip to the Etihad and John Carver confirmed he would rather rest his player for one game than risk a season ending injury [as was the case with Paul Dummett]. However the midfielder offered an update via his social media account on Thursday confirming he would not be available to face Aston Villa this weekend which goes some way to explaining why Jonas Gutierrez will be included in the match-day squad when 7 days ago the club said "he was not ready." Daryl Janmaat [tight groin] has also been passed fit after a return to training but Jack Colback is suspended and Rolando Aarons' recovery is taking a lot longer than anticipated.