Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Match Week 30 Results: Spurs Blunt Hammers; Streaking Leeds; Gunners Rebound; Foxes Trot

Tottenham Hotspur defeated a fatigued West Ham side 3-1 to remain in the conversation for a top four berth. A West Ham own goal provided an early lead for Spurs before the most lethal combination in Premier League history struck twice. Son Heung-min found the net twice on assists from teammate Harry Kane. Son and Kane have combined for more goals than any two Premier League teammates. The victory kept Tottenham Hotspur three points back of fourth place Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification. West Ham limps into the international break having lost two of three matches in the league. The Hammers were victorious in Europa League midweek and their roster is stretched to deliver on multiple fronts. West Ham is now six points behind Arsenal and have played two more matches than the Gunners.

Arsenal responded to a midweek loss to Liverpool by winning 1-0 at Aston Villa, the Gunners fifth consecutive away victory. Bukayo Saka bagged the winner as Arsenal increased its lead in the table over fifth place Manchester United to four points with the Gunners having played one less match than the Red Devils. Saka’s goal was the 2,000th for Arsenal in the Premier League as the storied club joins Manchester Unted and Liverpool as the only two clubs to share that rarefied air.

Leeds United won in dramatic fashion for a second consecutive match in a 3-2 come from behind victory over Wolves. The Whites were behind by two goals when Wolves striker Raul Jimenez was ejected with a second yellow card in the 53rd minute. Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier was injured in the collision with Jimenz and joined Leeds players Diego Llorente, Mateusz Klitch and Patrick Bamford who were all forced from the match with injuries. Despite going deep into his bench, Leeds Manger Jesse Marsch saw his charges capitalize upon their on-field numbers advantage to knot the match with goals three minutes apart by Jack Harrison and Rodrigo. Luke Ayling scored the winner for Marsch in extra time as pandemonium erupted with post game extracurriculars initiated by angry Wolves.

By escaping Wolves, Leeds is temporarily out of the woods with respect to relegation, the club’s cushion versus the drop now extended to seven points with the win at Wolverhampton. Wolves drop to eighth in the table, four points from a possible Europa League berth.

Leicester City is a further ten points below Wolves despite the Foxes’ 2-1 defeat of Brentford. It has been a discouraging season for Leicester caused in large part by key injuries. Some of Leicester’s injured back line players are now returning to the fold and producing results. Timothy Castagne scored versus Brentford in his first 2022 appearance and Jonny Evans also made his first 2022 appearance of the season against the Bees. Wesley Fontana was rested Sunday after providing the goal which advanced the Foxes in the Europa Conference League on Thursday in the youngster’s return from a broken leg. James Maddison’s goal proved the winner Sunday for Leicester which survived a late goal by the Bees’ Yoane Wissa. Defeat at Leicester ended a two-match winning run for Brentford which still looks a good bet to secure a second Premier League season.

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