Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Matchweek 23 Results: Blue Skies For City; Late Collapse For United; Another Historic Anfield Streak; Saints Fail To Take Advantage; On-Line Ugliness; Dynamic Duo Leads Spurs Win

Manchester City continued its title march by defeating Liverpool 4-1 at Anfield. Ilkay Gundogan scored a brace for the Citizens who are five points clear of second place Manchester United with a game in hand. Since scoring his first goal of the season on December 15th Gundogan has surprisingly outpaced all other Premier League goal scorers. Phil Foden contributed a goal and an assist for City while Raheem Sterling scored his 100th goal playing for Pep Guardiola. Sterling joins Lionel Messi and current teammate Sergio Aguero in reaching the century mark under the iconic Spanish manager. City has now won 14 consecutive matches across all competitions.

Liverpool lost at home for a third consecutive match, its first such streak since 1963. The last time a defending top-flight champion lost three consecutive home matches was 1956. Mohamed Salah increased his league leading goal total to 16 with a first half penalty kick but Liverpool rarely threatened during the match. The Reds were victimized by a rare poor performance in goal by Allison Becker whose miscues led to two of the City goals. Liverpool remained fourth in the table but are only three points ahead of seventh place Everton who have two games in hand versus their Merseyside rivals.  

Manchester United, perhaps the league’s best hope to catch Manchester City, dropped two points in a 3-3 weekend draw with the Toffees. The Red Devils squandered a two-goal advantage, allowing Everton to score the tying goal on the final kick of the match. Manchester United has captured only 8 of 15 points available in their last 5 matches as they have been overtaken at the top of the table by Manchester City. Everton’s Calvert-Lewin delivered the final strike for the Toffees, scoring for a second consecutive match and gaining redemption for a chance missed at the end of the first half against the Red Devils.  

Leicester missed a chance to go level with Manchester United by drawing 0-0 at Wolves. The Foxes recorded their fifth clean sheet in their 12 away matches this season against a Wolves squad which has failed to score in three of its last four matches and eight matches in total this season. Jamie Vardy, returning from hernia surgery as a second half substitute for the Foxes, nearly had the winner on a missed header opportunity in extra time.  

West Ham’s London derby with Fulham ended in a goalless draw notable only for a controversial red card assessed the Hammers’ Tomas Soucek in extra time. The card from referee Mike Dean was later rescinded by the Football Association. Dean, who had been involved in another controversial decision at Southampton a week ago, reported on-line abuse and death threats following the match and will step back from officiating this coming weekend. Following the draw at Fulham, West Ham have now lost but once in their last 9 matches. The draw for Fulham was its 9th in 21 matches, one less than league leading Brighton in the indecisive category. The Cottagers have won but twice, joint bottom in the league for victories with fellow relegation tenant West Brom.  

Chelsea won its third consecutive match in a 2-1 defeat of Sheffield United. Jorginho scored a penalty for a second consecutive match which followed an earlier Chelsea goal by Mason Mount.  Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was victimized by an own goal in a miscommunication with goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for Sheffield United’s score.  

Spurs ended a 3-match losing skid with their 2-0 victory over hapless West Brom.  Harry Kane made a surprising early return from his ankle injuries to score the opening goal for Spurs which was shortly followed by the clincher from Son Heung-min.  Kane and Son have scored 26 of Spurs’ 36 goals this season. West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has never beaten current Spurs Manager Jose Mourinho in 13 attempts.


Aston Villa posted an 11th clean sheet in their 21 matches in a 1-0 victory over Arsenal. Ollie Watkins scored his 10th goal of the season less than two minutes into the debut of newly acquired Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Ryan. Villa completed a league double against Arsenal for the first time since the inaugural Premier League season in 1992/93. A second consecutive loss by Arsenal leaves them 4 points behind ninth place Villa in the table.  

Leeds moved to 10th in the table with a 2-0 defeat of Crystal Palace. The Eagles were predictably dire in attack absent the injured Wilfried Zaha. Patrick Bamford had his 12th goal of the season as Leeds won for a third time in its past four matches.  

Southampton, following a 3-2 defeat at Newcastle, has now lost five matches in a row. The Saints will rue a missed opportunity to recover from their historic prior week thrashing at Old Trafford. Red cards forced Newcastle to play the final 18 minutes with 9 men after playing with 10 men since early in the second half. The Saints were unable to capitalize against the undermanned Magpies who won for a second time in three matches to go 10 points clear of the relegation spaces. Joe Willock scored his first goal for Newcastle since his loan from Arsenal. Takumi Minamino had his first goal for the Saints after transferring from Liverpool on loan.  

Brighton extended its unbeaten run to 5 matches in a 1-1 draw at Burnley. Burnley’s Johann Gudmundsson tied the match when scoring his first goal of the season for the Clarets in the 53rd minute, negating a first half goal by Seagull Lewis Dunk. The shared points leave Brighton 2 points above 17th place Burnley in the table.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: