Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Match Week 26 Results: Spurs Surprise Manchester City; Liverpool Closes Gap By Defeating Canaries; Chelsea Downs Off Target Eagles; Red Devils Lose Lead, Still Defeat Leeds; Newcastle Extends Run With Hammer Draw; Burnley Beats Brighton; Hornets Post Win

Tottenham Hotspur defeated Manchester City to inject life into the Premier League title chase. Liverpool was the beneficiary of a surprising 3-2 win by Manager Antonio Conte’s Spurs at the Etihad. Harry Kane arose from a season long malaise to score a brace which included the stoppage time winner against the club he wanted to move to this past summer.

Tottenham Hotspur can move level on points with fifth place West Ham should they defeat Burnley in a midweek clash this Wednesday. Manchester City’s lead over Liverpool in the table was reduced to six points with the Citizens’ first defeat since October. The Reds, meanwhile, hold a match in hand and visit the Etihad in April.

Liverpool took care of business on Saturday with a 3-1 defeat of Norwich. Mohamed Salah scored a league leading 17th goal in the Liverpool win.

Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 on an 89th minute goal by Hakim Ziyech. The homestanding Eagles failed to direct a single shot on target in the loss. Despite accolades regarding a more entertaining style of play, Crystal Palace are six points worse than they were a year ago under former manager Roy Hodgson.

Manchester United squandered a two-goal lead before roaring back to bury Leeds 4-2 at Elland Road. Leeds’s supporters expressed their frustration in dangerous fashion as they pelted Manchester United forward Anthony Elanga with objects after he scored the match’s final goal.

The Red Devils increased their table advantage over fifth place West Ham to four points as the Hammers were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Newcastle United. West Ham has won only one of its last five matches as supporters decry the lack of transfer window activity to help the club’s chances to secure Champions League competition. Newcastle had an active window, helping the club to a six-match unbeaten run as the Magpies have risen from the relegation places under Manager Eddie Howe.

Arsenal avenged an opening weekend loss to Brentford with a 2-1 victory over the Bees on Saturday. Young guns Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka provided the scoring for Arsenal to keep the Gunners in the chase for the final Champions League position.

Brentford lost for the eighth time in their last ten matches.

Pressure is mounting on Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers as the disappointing Foxes extended their winless run to six matches in a 2-1 defeat at Wolves. The charging Wolves continued their chase for a European place with their fifth win in six matches this calendar year.

Brighton and Hove Albion lost a second consecutive match in a shocking 3-0 home loss to Burnley. Despite the absence of their top two center backs due to injury and suspension, the concession of three goals was embarrassing against a Burnley side which traditionally struggles in attack. Burnley will be encouraged by a first goal from newly purchased striker Wout Weghorst who also added an assist.

Everton is one of the clubs Burnley is chasing in its quest to escape relegation. The Toffees are but four points clear of the relegation zone after a 2-0 loss to Southampton. Everton failed to register a shot on target in a meek display versus the Saints. Southampton continues an impressive season under Manager Ralph Hassenhuttl. The Saints are currently 10th in the table as they seek their first top half finish in five years.

Aston Villa failed to score for a second consecutive match as the Villans stumbled at home in a 1-0 loss to Watford. Villa has won just one of its last seven matches under Manager Steven Gerrard. Watford won for the first time under new manager Roy Hodgson as the relegation bound Hornets declared victory for the first time since November.

Champions League

This week’s Champions League Round of 16 action will include Chelsea playing at home versus  French side Lille on Tuesday while Manchester United travels to Spain for a Wednesday match with Atletico Madrid. Lille is having a difficult season, currently sitting 11th in the French domestic table after their surprising dethroning of PSG as French champion last season. Lille striker Jonathan David has been linked to moves to Chelsea and other Premier League clubs. Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 25 career goals against Atletico Madrid, his former La Liga rival. Atletico is currently fifth in the La Liga table and ran second to Liverpool in the group stage of Champions League.

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