Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Match Week 16 Results: Odegaard Fires Arsenal Past Wolves; Citizens Stung by Bees; Magpies Fly Into Break With Win Over Chelsea; Spurs Overcome Leeds’s Leads; United Wins As Ronaldo Rages; Cherries Top Toffees

Arsenal heads into the World Cup break with a five-point lead over Manchester City after the Gunners’ 2-0 win at Wolverhampton. Two goals by Martin Odegaard ensured the Gunners will be top of the table on Christmas Day for the first time since 2007. Wolves offered little threat to the league leaders as the league’s poorest attack failed to score for an eighth time this season.

Manchester City fell further behind in the title race, losing late to Brentford in a surprising 2-1 home defeat at the Etihad which ended City’s 16 match home winning streak. Ivan Toney scored the winner for the Bees in the eighth minute of stoppage time. Toney’s two goal performance was a strong response to his omission from the England squad which will head to Qatar.

Harry Kane is the only Englishman to score more Premier League goals than Toney since the beginning of last season. Brentford secured their first away win of the season.

Newcastle won a fifth consecutive match as the magnificent Magpies trail only Arsenal and Manchester City as the league pauses until Boxing Day. Joe Willock’s goal secured all three points in Newcastle’s 1-0 defeat of Chelsea. Chelsea lost a third consecutive Premier League match and are winless in their last five league matches as the Graham Potter experiment is not going well. Potter’s former club, Brighton, had difficulty scoring goals. Chelsea had trouble scoring goals under former Manager Thomas Tuchel. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Chelsea still can’t score. The Blues under Potter have only scored twice in their past five league matches after the defeat at Newcastle. Frustrations boiled over in the loss at Newcastle as both Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz got into shoving matches with opponents as the match reached its conclusion. Chelsea is eighth in the table as Potter now gets a pause to consider how best to proceed with his troubled Blues.

Spurs took advantage of a poor Leeds defense to win a seven-goal shootout in London. Rodrigo Betancur scored the tying and winning goals in the 81st and 83rd minutes, respectively, to hand Leeds a 4-3 defeat. The leaky Leeds defense squandered three different leads at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. A key objective following last season’s managerial change at Leeds was to tighten the defense following the wide-open play practiced under former manager Marcelo Bielsa. Leeds has failed miserably in trying to achieve that objective as the club has now allowed six more goals after 14 matches than the comparable period last season. Leeds wasted a brace by Rodrigo and a fourth goal in four appearances by Crysencio Summerville. Only three clubs have allowed more goals than Leeds and two of those clubs are in the relegation zone. Spurs, meanwhile, accepted the generosity Saturday and head into the break in the top four.

A stoppage time goal by 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho gave Manchester United a 2-1 win over Fulham.

The Red Devils stay fifth in the table, three points behind Spurs. Cristiano Ronaldo missed the match due to illness but made headlines anyway with an interview critical of the club and Manger Eric ten Hag as the relationship between club and legend is becoming increasingly untenable. Fulham, meanwhile, were without striker Aleksandar Mitrovic for Sunday’s match as the Serbian rested a troublesome foot injury, hoping to find fitness for the upcoming World Cup. The newly promoted Cottagers remain in the top half of the table after an encouraging start to their season despite the loss.

Liverpool moved up to sixth in the table with a 3-1 win over Southampton. Darwin Nunez scored twice as the Reds put back-to-back wins together heading into the break. Southampton Manager Nathan Jones, not unexpectedly, received  a rude welcome in his Premier League debut.

Unai Emery posted a second consecutive win in his return to the Premier League as Aston Villa defeated Brighton 2-1. Danny Ings scored both goals for Villa while Brighton managed just two shots on target for the game. With the victory, Villa moves to within three points of seventh place Brighton.

Leicester has now won four of its last five matches after a 2-0 victory at West Ham. A goal by James Maddison for the Foxes moved him past Riyad Mahrez on Leicester’s all-time Premier League goalscoring list behind only Jamie Vardy. Maddison needed to leave the match after suffering a knock to his knee but is expected to be fit for his England World Cup debut. West Ham lost at home for a second consecutive week and have only scored one goal during a three-match losing run in the league. The loss to the Foxes was West Ham’s ninth league loss of the season, joint most in the Premier League. The Hammers were also eliminated from the Carabao Cup at home by Blackburn Rovers during the week.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha missed the target on a penalty kick to deprive the Eagles of a valuable away point in a 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest. Forest has now taken points from five of the last seven matches after a Morgan Gibbs-White goal delivered a third league win of the season. Manager Steve Cooper’s men could yet survive despite losing seven of their first ten league matches to open the season. Palace, meanwhile, are left with a sour taste heading into the break after a flat performance punctuated by Zaha’s failed kick.

Jordan Pickford and Alex Iwobi both had unpleasant exchanges with their own away fans as Everton continued to struggle in a 3-0 loss at Bournemouth. The Toffees also lost by three goals to the Cherries in a Carabao Cup match earlier in the week. Everton Manager Frank Lampard is once again settling into the hot seat after the Toffees lost for a fifth time in their last seven league matches. Everton are a slender point from the relegation zone as they appear destined to repeat their survival battle of last season. Whether Lampard will be participating in that fight is a different question. Bournemouth, meanwhile, ended a four-match losing run to stop its own slide toward the relegation scrap.

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