Friday, March 5, 2021

Midweek Results: Citizens Tame Wolves; Manchester United Draws at Foggy Selhurst; Foxes Drop Points; Chelsea Crash Top Four; Blades Cut down Villa

Chelsea handed Liverpool a 5th consecutive loss at Anfield as the Blues remained unbeaten under manager Thomas Tuchel in a 1-0 defeat of the Reds. Only Manchester City has earned more league points than Chelsea during Tuchel’s 8 match tenure in charge of the Blues. Mason Mount’s first half goal on Thursday held up as Chelsea controlled play and Liverpool managed just one shot on target. Chelsea moved to 4th place with the win while Liverpool continued its tumble down the table to 7th. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was removed from the match shortly after the hour mark to the displeasure of both he and his agent.  

Manchester City danced with Wolves for 80 minutes before the first of two Gabriel Jesus goals broke up a tie game, beginning a late scoring burst which led to a 4-1 taming of the Wolves for the Citizens 21st consecutive win.

Riyad Mahrez also scored late for Manchester City while a Wolves own goal had accounted for the Citizens’ initial score. City’s early lead, courtesy of the Wolves’ own goal, marked the 19th consecutive league match in which they have not trailed, equaling the record set by Arsenal. With the win, Pep Guardiola’s team become only the third club in Europe’s top five league to have exceeded 20 consecutive victories. The loss snapped a 4-match unbeaten run for Wolves who continue to field a version of the Portuguese national team as the 8 Portuguese starters against City were the most for a club in Premier League history.  

Manchester United failed to score for a third consecutive match across all competitions with its goalless draw with Crystal Palace at a fog shrouded Selhurst Park. The result left the Red Devils 14 points behind league leading Manchester City heading into the clubs’ Manchester derby. Despite disappointment at the dropped points, the draw extended the Red Devils unbeaten run away from home to 21 matches. Defensive minded Crustal Palace, playing without star Wilfried Zaha, have earned 5 points in their last 3 matches while attempting only 4 shots on target. The play of Eagles defender Joel Ward was critical in the clean sheet against United and the Palace veteran has now started in 5 of the 6 clean sheets that Crystal Place has recorded this season, despite starting only 14 of the club’s 27 matches.  

Third place Leicester also dropped points in a 1-1 draw at Burnley.  A goal by Kelechi Iheanacho salvaged the point for the Foxes who also benefitted from key saves by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Matej Vydra scored for Burnley in a 4th consecutive Premier League draw at Turf Moor. Leicester remained 1 point behind Manchester United following the draws by both clubs.  

A headed goal by Richarlison, his 4th goal in his last 4 Premier League appearances, captured all three points for Everton in a 1-0 win at West Brom. The 3rd consecutive win for the Toffees left them 5th in the table, just 1 point behind 4th place Chelsea, as the Toffees continue to chase possible Champions League qualification. The loss snapped a 3-match unbeaten run for 19th place West Brom.  

A 1-0 victory over Fulham provided Spurs with the club’s first back-to-back league victories since November. It was a crushing defeat for Fulham who conceded an own goal and had a potentially tying goal nullified by a VAR ruling. Fulham was held scoreless for an 8th time this season, joint highest in the league.  

Aston Villa lost for a second time in 3 matches as they were cut down by the Blades of Sheffield United who won for just a 4th time this season in a 1-0 final. The Blades’ David McGoldrick scored on 1 of only 2 Sheffield United shots on target. Sheffield United played for more than a half hour with only 10 players following a red card to 38-year-old Phil Jagielka, the oldest Premier League player to be sent off. Villa have lost 10 of 11 league matches this season where they have conceded a goal.

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