Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Premier League Results Match Week 16: Villa Does It Again; Liverpool Leaps Into First; Cherries Smash Manchester United; Spurs Return To Win Column; Fulham Gone Wild; Wilder And Blades Subdue Bees; Everton Makes It Three In A Row; Does Forest Point Mean Reprieve For Cooper?

Just a week after defeating Manchester City, Aston Villa has done it again by defeating Arsenal Saturday by the same 1-0 scoreline. The victory, which helped Liverpool move to the top of the Premier League table, was historic for Aston Villa as Manager Unai Emery’s side established a new club record in winning its 15th consecutive home match. John McGinn had the winning goal just seven minutes into the contest, assisted by the goal scorer against Manchester city, Leon Bailey. Villa frustrated Arsenal from then on until a seeming breakthrough in final stoppage time. Kai Havertz scored but VAR review declared a handball and Arsenal were done with the Gunners incurring just their second loss of the season. Aston Villa, meanwhile, have now won their opening eight home matches of a topflight season for the first time since 1932/33.

Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace moved the Reds past Arsenal into first place. The Gunners now trail the new league leaders by a point with Aston Villa just one point further back in third. Manchester City is fourth, four points behind leader Liverpool. Liverpool’s win on Saturday came late as the Reds engineered a come from behind win for the fifth time this season. Crystal Palace scored the first goal by penalty kick, awarded after an unusually long VAR review, in the 57th minute. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Jordan Ayew would receive a second yellow card, reducing Crystal Palace to 10 men in the 75th minute. Two minutes later the match was tied on a goal by Mohamed Salah, his 11th Premier League goal of the season. Salah then assisted Harvey Elliot’s winner in stoppage time to dash Crystal Palace hopes of a surprise result.

There was little drama but for the saga of an embattled manager at Old Trafford where Bournemouth dominated Manchester United 3-0. Despite some underwhelming performances, Manchester United had won six of its last eight Premier League matches before this past weekend. Bournemouth’s easy run to its first ever win at Old Trafford, however, now increases the pressure on a manager already dogged by poor European results and off-the-pitch controversies. Across all competitions, Manchester United has lost as many matches as it has won this season. Bournemouth, meanwhile, has completely turned around its season. After failing to win any of the first nine matches, losing six during that run, Bournemouth has won five of its last seven matches, losing only to Manchester City (an admitted drubbing) and drawing with Aston Villa. Saturday’s win extended an unbeaten run in the league for the Cherries to five matches. Dominik Solanke scored his eighth goal of the season, Marcos Senesi scored for a second consecutive match and Marcus Tavernier had two assists in the romp at Old Trafford.

Manchester City, playing without an injured Erling Haaland, needed two second half goals by Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish to come from behind and beat Luton Town 2-1 at Kenilworth Road. The victory ended a string of four winless matches for the Citizens.

Tottenham Hotspur ended a five-match winless run, including four losses, as Ange Ball proved too much for Newcastle to deal with in a 4-1 win for the home side at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Richarlison scored twice and Son Heung-min had two assists and a penalty kick goal to lead Spurs back into the win column. The north London club remain three points outside the top four with renewed hope after Sunday’s victory for crashing back into that elite group. Newcastle, meanwhile, looks tired. Magpies Manager Eddie Howe has started the same ten outfield players for five matches in a row as the club now looks to a critical Champions League match in just a matter of days.

Fulham, meanwhile, is having tons of fun as the Cottagers won for the third time in four matches in a 5-0 rout of West Ham. It was the second consecutive 5-0 victory for a Fulham side which has scored 16 goals in its last four matches. Five different Cottagers scored on Sunday. One of those goal scorers was Raul Jimenez who has now scored four times in the Cottagers’ last five Premier League matches. It’s gratifying for league fans to see the Mexican forward back to getting results after a three-year journey back from a serious skull fracture suffered while playing for Wolverhampton. The recent four goal in five match explosion by Jimenez marks as many goals as he had registered in his previous 49 matches. The Cottagers moved to tenth in the table with Sunday’s win, three points behind the Hammers.

While Fulham is to be applauded, Everton would be above the Cottagers in the table if not for a ten-point deduction levied by the league. The Toffees won a third consecutive match and fourth in their last five league outings, with a 2-0 whipping of Chelsea at Goodison Park. Abdoulaye Doucoure and substitute Lewis Dobbin scored second half goals to defeat the visitors. Everton has won nine of its last 13 matches as Manager Sean Dyche’s team has galvanized behind an us against the world mantra after the draconian penalty was levied against the Toffees by the league. Chelsea manger Mauricio Pochettino is rightfully coming under some fire after another poor performance by his expensively crafted roster. The London club is both wasteful in the attacking third and often negligent along its back line. The two most expensive players in the Premier League, midfielders Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandes are invisible for large portions of Chelsea matches.

Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder secured the first win in his second run as Blades skipper in a 1-0 home victory over Brentford. The Blades secured their first clean sheet and second league win as James McAtee’s goal in first half stoppage time proved the winner. The Bees, meanwhile, have lost their sting with the recent injury to Bryan Mbeumo and ongoing suspension of Ivan Toney severely limiting their attack.

Burnley captured a point in a 1-1 draw at Brighton that kept the Clarets ahead of 20th place Sheffield United on goal differential. Brighton’s Simon Adingra scored the equalizer in the 77th minute as the Seagulls were quite likely caught looking ahead to Thursday’s key Europa League match with Marseilles.

Nottingham Forest Manager Steve Cooper may have extended his employment with a 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton. The result snapped a four-match losing run which put Cooper on the hot seat. He’s not home free, however, as the Tricky Trees are still just five points clear of the drop line. Wolverhampton, meanwhile, are level with three other clubs on 19 points positioned 11th through 14th in the table.

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