Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Matchweek 19 Results: Battle at Top Resolves Little; Man City and Leicester Close Gap; Seagulls Soar; Eagles Bore

Manchester United and Liverpool played to a scoreless draw at Anfield, enabling the Red Devils to maintain their table lead and extend their road unbeaten streak to twelve matches. The Red Devils had the better of the game’s chances as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was forced to several outstanding second half saves to earn the point. A third consecutive game without a goal was the first such stretch since 2005 for Liverpool as the club’s glittering array of attack options has been inexplicably dimmed during the current drought.  

Benefitting most from the Anfield draw were Manchester City and Leicester who both advanced their title chances with victories.  Manchester City moved past Liverpool into second place behind Manchester United. The Citizens defeated Crystal Palace 4-0  for a fifth consecutive win and seventh victory in a nine-game unbeaten run.  Manchester City has maintained a clean sheet in four of its last five league contests.  Defender John Stones was the unlikely scorer of a brace in the win which saw Crystal Palace failed to register a single shot on target in an abject display.  The Eagles were playing without Wilfried Zaha and the result only reinforced perceptions that the Eagles are a one-man team.


Third place Leicester moved to within two points of the table lead  with a 2-0 defeat of a strong Southampton side, a third victory for Leicester in a five-match unbeaten run.  James Maddison scored for a second consecutive match as the Fox midfielder has now scored six of Leicester’s last twelve goals.  The Saints, playing without striker Danny Ings against the Foxes, continued to falter in attack and have scored just once in their last five matches. 

Sheffield United’s win streak was short lived as the Blades returned to their blunt form in falling 3-1 to Spurs.  Harry Kane had his 12th goal of the season and Tanguy Ndombele had a wondergoal in a dominating win by Spurs.  The victory kept Spurs within four points of the league lead despite winning just twice in their last seven matches. 

Wolves conceded two penalties in a sloppy loss to West Brom in their Black Country Derby.  It was a sixth loss in nine matches and fourth loss in five matches for a Wolves side now trailing much of the pack.  The Baggies recorded their first win under manager Sam Allardyce to move the relegation threatened squad within five points of safety. 

Chelsea played the entire second half with a man advantage and the Blues captured all three points in their London Derby with Fulham on a goal by Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount.  Fulham Manager Scott Parker’s Cottagers played well against the team their manager once played for but were unable to overcome the poor hand which was dealt them by the first half ejection US international Antonee Robinson.  

West Ham’s Mikhail Antonio scored the winner in his first start since November 30th as West Ham defeated Burnley 1-0 for a second consecutive league win by the Hammers. Burnley’s last four match matches have been decided by a 1-0 score line and the Clarets have been the team to score in only one of those four matches. Burnley’s nine goals scored in its seventeen matches are the least of any Premier League team this season.  

Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Newcastle was a fourth win in a five-match unbeaten run for the Gunners. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored twice for Arsenal who moved into the top half of the table for the first time in twelve matches. Newcastle has lost four of five matches, scoring just one goal during that stretch. 

Brighton moved five points clear of relegation by defeating Leeds 1-0 on Neal Maupay’s seventh goal of the season. The victory ended a nine-match winless run for the Seagulls. Unpredictable Leeds lost a second consecutive match following a run of two victories. The Whites, who managed just two shots on target versus the Seagulls, have been held scoreless in the two consecutive losses which followed a five-goal explosion in a win against West Brom. 

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