Monday, February 1, 2021

Matchweek 21 Results: Newcastle Rises from the Dead; City Rolls On; Liverpool Finding Form; Mixed Result at Emirates; Seagulls Take Wing

The unpredictability which lends to the Premier League’s attraction for fans was demonstrated once again as Newcastle rose up to defeat Everton for a second time this season. The 2-0 victory was the first win in ten matches for the Magpies who had lost their four previous matches. Callum Wilson’s brace for Newcastle included his 50th career Premier League goal. Wilson’s performance was certainly helped by manager Steve Bruce’s change to a 4-4-2 diamond formation as his side showed more ambition.  

Everton showed little in the disappointing home performance and appears lacking in scoring options without production from leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Toffee striker has not scored since December 5th when he was leading the league with 11 goals.  

Sheffield United was unable to pull a second consecutive upset of a league leading Manchester club. Manchester City rode a Gabriel Jesus goal to a 1-0 victory over the Blades as the Citizens posted a fifth consecutive clean sheet. Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale helped control the damage after the early Jesus goal, but his Blades teammates were able to manage only one shot on target against Pep Guardiola’s home side. Manchester City has now won twelve consecutive matches across all competitions. 

Manchester United extended its away unbeaten run to eighteen matches with a goalless draw at Arsenal. Despite the accomplishment, the Red Devils have dropped five of six points in their last two matches as they have ceded top position in the table to Manchester City. Arsenal have not lost in their last seven league matches and a sixth straight match against United without a loss marks the longest such stretch in almost 38 years for the Gunners in their long rivalry with the Manchester club.  

Liverpool moved to third in the table with a 3-1 victory over West Ham, a second consecutive game with three goals for the Reds. Mohamed Salah had a brace for Liverpool, increasing his league leading goal total to 15. Versatile Liverpool midfielder and captain Jordan Henderson admirably filled in at center back to cover for a spate of injuries on the back line. West Ham lost for the first time in four matches.

Liverpool leapfrogged Leicester into third position with the win.  The Foxes fell 3-1 at home to Leeds, marking the first loss in eight matches for Leicester. Following an opening goal by forward Harvey Barnes, Leicester proceeded to drop points from a winning position for the first time this season. Newly promoted Leeds now have 9 victories in their 20 league matches this season. Leeds Striker Patrick Bamford had his 11th goal of the season in the win over Leicester. 

Spurs sorely missed injured striker Harry Kane as they were able to generate little in the way of attack in a 1-0 defeat at Brighton. It was an important win for Brighton who pulled themselves seven points clear of relegation with the win.  

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrated his first Premier League win in the Blues 2-0 win over Burnley at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of goals defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.  The clean sheet was Chelsea third in its past four matches. Burnley, playing without Striker Chris Wood, failed to record a single shot on target.  

Aston Villa won for a second time in three matches by defeating the Saints 1-0 at St. Mary’s. Ross Barkley’s header, nicely assisted by Villa Captain Jack Grealish, decided the contest for Manager Dean Smith’s men. The Saints were gutted by a VAR disallowance of what would have been a tying goal by Danny Ings. Southampton has failed to score in 5 of the club’s last 8 matches, scoring just one goal in each of the other three matches during that stretch.  

Crystal Palace was much improved on recent form in a 1-0 home victory over Wolves.  The defensive solidity which had been lacking in recent matches was restored for the Eagles and Roy Hodgson’s men seemed more comfortable in attack. Young Eagles midfielder Eberechi Eze scored his third goal of the season for the win. Wolves failed to win for an eighth consecutive match, the longest such streak in Nuno Espirito Santo’s tenure as Wolves manager.  

Fulham and West Brom decided nothing in their relegation battle as the two sides finished in a 2-2 draw.  It was the 7th draw in the last 9 matches for the Cottagers who seem lacking the necessary next gear to escape the bottom three.  The shared result leaves West Brom trailing Fulham by two points in the table.   

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