Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Match Week 31 Results: Another Shocker At Selhurst as Eagles Defeat Arsenal; Spurs Smash Newcastle; Bees Swarm Chelsea; City and Liverpool Take Care of Business; Hammers Back to Top Six; Foxes Grab Point at Old Trafford; Seagulls and Canaries Meet Their Match

Crystal Palace influenced the Premier League races for a second consecutive league match. The Eagles defeated Arsenal 3-0 at Selhurst Park in their very next match after drawing league leading Manchester City in south London. A damaging night for Arsenal capped a disastrous  weekend for the Gunners as rival Tottenham Hotspur moved ahead of their rivals on goal differential. Crystal Palace registered a fourth consecutive clean sheet across all competitions and extended their unbeaten run to seven matches as the Eagles soared into the top half of the table with the win over Arsenal. Crystal Palace has lost but once in its last eleven matches across all competitions, a streak which has seen the club also move into the semifinals of the FA Cup. Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew scored first half goals Monday with each scorer assisted by center back Joachim Andersen. Club legend Wilfried Zaha drew and converted a second half penalty to put the exclamation point on the Eagles win in front of their wildly singing Selhurst Park faithful.

Arsenal suffered more than defeat Monday as Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey incurred injuries which could further damage the Gunners’ top four chances.

Spurs leapfrogged their north London rivals into the Champions League places with a 5-1 win over an outclassed Newcastle side. Five different players found the scoring column for Antonio Conte’s men who registered a fifth win in their last six matches. Son Heung-min was among those finding the net for Spurs as he scored for a ninth time in his last nine home appearances. Coupled with Arsenal’s heavy defeat at Selhurst, Spurs vaulted into fourth position with a seven-goal swing in goal differential from the weekend’s results.

West Ham moved into the top six on goal differential ahead of Manchester United with a 2-1 win at home versus Everton. The Hammers inflicted Everton’s seventh loss in the Toffees’ eleven matches under Manger Frank Lampard. West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen was an unexpected participant who was central to win in his return from injury for the Hammers.

A foul on Bowen led to Aaron Cresswell’s opening goal of the match off the ensuing free kick. Bowen would later score the winner for West Ham to break a deadlock created by Mason Holgate’s deflected goal for the Toffees. A Michael Keane red card which followed Bowen’s goal diminished any chance of an Everton comeback. Everton is three points above the relegation zone and faces a critical match Wednesday at currently relegation bound Burnley.

The Crystal Palace win overshadowed another London shocker of the weekend as Brentford went to Stamford Bridge and defeated Chelsea 4-1. Brentford has now won all three matches started by Christian Eriksen who scored his first goal as a Bee in Saturday’s match. Vitaly Janelt had a brace in the Bees’ rout at Chelsea. Manager Thomas Frank saw his club respond to a 1-0 halftime deficit to score three goals inside 10 minutes of the second half before a final 87th minute goal by Yoane Wissa. The Bees moved 11 points clear of the relegation line with the win while Chelsea’s five match winning run in the league ended with their first defeat to Brentford since 1939.

Manchester United tumbled to seventh in the table after an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Leicester at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo missed the match due to flu like symptoms and United has now failed to win any of the six league matches the Portuguese superstar has not started this season. Manchester United Manger Ralph Rangnick employed a curious formation with Fernades and Paul Pogba playing up top in the absence of an ill Ronaldo, an injured Edinson Cavani, and a suspended Mason Greenwood. Marcus Rashford was surprising relegated to substitute duty. Fred salvaged the point for United with a goal three minutes after Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho had given Leicester a second half lead. The Red Devils were fortunate to escape defeat when VAR overturned a late goal by Leicester’s James Maddison. Manchester United has drawn three times and lost once in the last seven matches to fall from the European places. Manchester City and Liverpool emerged unscathed from the weekend as the two giants move on to Champions League matches midweek before their potentially title deciding match on April 10th.

Liverpool experienced some tense moments in a 2-0 defeat of Watford before clinching the match with an 89th minute penalty kick. Liverpool dominated 74% of possession but had difficulty piercing the Hornets stacked defensive wall as the possibility of dropped points kept Anfield on edge almost to the final whistle. Diogo Jota’s first half header opened scoring and it was the Portuguese forward who was fouled in the dying minutes of the match to set up the clinching penalty strike by Fabinho.

Manchester City had a more comfortable weekend despite posting an identical 2-0 score line in a win at Burnley. Kevin De Bruyne scored after only five minutes had transpired and Ilkay Gundogan delivered the insurance goal in the 25th minute. City spent large portions of the remaining match minutes controlling possession and protecting their lead as Burnley’s only shot on target did not come until the 75th minute. Burnley failed to score for a fourth consecutive match as they approach a crucial test during the week when Everton visits Turf Moor.

Wolverhampton stayed in contention for European play next season with a 2-1 victory in its Midlands derby with Aston Villa. An own goal by Villa’s Ashley Young proved the difference after Jonny had scored for a second consecutive match for Wolves. A late penalty kick by Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins proved too little, too late. Eighth place Wolves trail West Ham and Manchester United by two points.

Southampton ended a three-match losing run with 1-1 draw at Leeds. James Ward-Prowse scored a league leading third goal from a free kick to rescue the point for Saints after Leeds had taken the lead on a goal by Jack Harrison. Ward-Prowse led the Premier League last season with four free kick scores. Leeds extended its unbeaten run to three matches under Manager Jesse Marsch to put eight points between the Whites and the relegation zone.

Bottom of the table Norwich played to a miserable, though predictable, draw with Brighton. The Canaries secured the point despite not launching a single shot on target versus the Seagulls. Brighton was wasteful, putting only 4 of 31 shots on target as they failed to score for a third straight match. Graham Potter’s club has not scored at home since mid-January. The goalless result ended a six-match losing streak for both Brighton and Norwich.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: