Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Premier League Results Match Week 13: Arsenal Moves To Top of The Table As Manchester City Draws With Liverpool; Aston Villa moves Into Top Four As Spurs Continue Spiral; Garnacho Golazo As Manchester United Heaps More Misery on Everton; Chelsea Embarrassed at Newcastle; Young Premier League Stars Shine

Arsenal has climbed to the top of the Premier League ladder, defeating Brentford 1-0 over the weekend while Manchester City and Liverpool battled to a 1-1 draw. Kai Havertz made his first meaningful contribution to the Gunners in a big way as he scored in the 89th minute to grab the victory and a place at the head of the table. The former Chelsea man was a quizzical acquisition for Arsenal but perhaps showed a glimmer of what Manager Mikel Arteta was thinking when striking the decisive goal, his first from open play for Arsenal. The German’s contribution was critical in a match where Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard showed rust in their return from injury in a less than scintillating overall performance by the Gunners.

The result can’t be quibbled with, however, as the London side moved a point beyond Manchester City. The Citizens were victimized by Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold when his 80th minute strike equalized matters at the Etihad. The versatile Alexander-Arnold struggled at times in defense but once again displayed prowess in augmenting his club’s attack in his hybrid role. Liverpool’s equalizer came long after Erling Haaland gave Manchester City the early lead with his 14th goal of the season in the 27th minute. The goal was the 50th by Haaland as he became the Premier League’s fastest to that mark, achieving it in just 48 Premier League matches. Manchester City will rue the dropped points at home, however, as all credit to Liverpool for grabbing a point at the home of the defending champions.

Aston Villa is now level on points with Liverpool, having crashed into the top four with a 2-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur. Only Manchester City and Arsenal can match the nine wins for Villa this season. Saturday’s victory came on an Ollie Watkins winner in the 61st minute, the striker’s seventh league goal of the season. Villa now resides in the top four after 13 matches for the first time in 14 years, two points ahead of descending Spurs.

The spiral continues for Spurs as Manager Ange Postecoglou lost for a third consecutive time, squandering a lead in each of those matches, after an undefeated first ten matches of the season. Despite another negative result, Tottenham Hotspur competed well on Saturday as “Angeball” continues to create opportunities for the London side. Three balls which found the net off the foot of Tottenham Hotspur’s Son-Heung-min were negated by offside decisions.

Coming up fast in Tottenham Hotspur’s rear-view window is the club currently demonstrating the best run of results in the Premier League. Surprisingly, that club is Manchester United. Despite unceasing criticism of its manager and admittedly discombobulated play at times, the Red Devils have won four of five matches after a 3-0 domination of Everton at Goodison Park. Everton fans, numbed by a ten-point deduction assessed by the league over the break, were barely in their seats before Manchester United’s 19-year-old Alejandro Garnacho stunned everyone with an overhead kick into the net in the third minute of play. The bicycle kick instantly becomes a contender for goal of the season. Garnacho’s 18-year-old teammate Kobbie Mainoo also had a moment when he cleared an Everton chance from the goal line in his debut for the Red Devils.

Another youngster figured in things at St. James Park as 17-year-old Lewis Miley assisted on Newcastle’s opening goal in a 4-1 shellacking of Chelsea. Alexander Isak was the beneficiary of Hall’s threaded pass as the striker quickly scored in his return from an injury absence. Chelsea was thoroughly embarrassed by a Newcastle side ravaged by injuries and facing a critical mid-week Champions League match versus PSG. Chelsea was guilty of failed marking, giveaways and missed goal opportunities as Manager Mauricio Pochettino watched the mess unfold as he sat in the stands due to accumulated yellow cards. A lack of discipline seems pervasive throughout Chelsea, captain Reece James next to be disciplined by the league after being red carded in the loss to the Magpies.

Brighton and Hove Albion were fortunate to survive some late indiscretions of their own in a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest. The Seagulls enjoyed a two-goal advantage and seemed to be coasting towards their first win since September until a 73rd minute red card to defender Lewis Dunk. Three minutes later the Brighton lead was cut in half after a penalty kick by Morgan Gibbs-White. The undermanned Seagulls then barely held onto all three points when goalkeeper Bert Verbruggen made a critical save deep into stoppage time. On a day when younger players seemed to shine throughout the league, 19-year-old Evan Ferguson had one of the three Brighton goals.

Burnley improved its relegation chances with a late collapse at home against an undermanned West Ham. The Hammers were missing both Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen who were injured over the international break. A 49th minute Jay Rodriguez penalty kick had Burnley ahead after 85 minutes. Then disaster struck. Pressure from West Ham’s Divin Mubama, a 19-year-old forward forced into action by the injuries upfront, caused Burnley’s Dara O’Shea to misdirect a ball into his own net. Tomas Soucek then found the winner for West Ham in stoppage time to seal Burnley’s doom. The Clarets, who remain in the league basement, have lost seven consecutive matches on their home pitch.

Another newly promoted side won their first match at home this season as Luton Town downed Crystal Palace 2-1 at Kenilworth Road. The Hatters moved four points clear of the drop zone with their second  league victory of the season. Some concern is beginning to rise at Crystal Palace after four losses in the last five matches. The Eagles, however, are still hovering 10 points above the drop zone.

Fulham and Wolverhampton are both level on points with the Eagles after Fulham’s 3-2 win at Craven Cottage over visiting Wolves on Monday. Willian converted on two penalty tries for the Cottagers, his second providing the winner in stoppage time.

Don’t look now but Bournemouth has won three of its last four matches after a 2-1 win at Sheffield United.  Manager Andoni Iraola’s job had looked in dire jeopardy after the Cherries were defeated by Iraola’s predecessor Gary O’Neil and Wolverhampton to extend a then winless drought to nine matches. No more, as the Cherries have moved seven points clear of the drop with their recent run of success.

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