Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Premier League Results Week 21 (Partial Slate): De Bruyne Stars In Return For Manchester City; Hatters Strike Late To Tie Burnley; Toffees Hang Tough With Villa; Spurs Grab Point At Old Trafford

Burnley had a chance to change the trajectory of its largely unsuccessful season. It failed. Playing at home versus fellow relegation zone resident Luton Town, the Clarets conceded the tying goal in the 92nd minute of a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor. Burnley Manager Vincent Kompany was irate as he claimed goalkeeper James Trafford was interfered with on the fateful goal by Luton Town’s Carlton Morris. VAR review, however, found no fault on the part of the Hatters as Luton Town remain a point behind 17th place Everton after the weekend’s action. The nervy Hatters scored a goal in the 80th minute or later for the 12th time in the league this season. Burnley, meanwhile, remained four points behind Luton Town after a match and play which could well affect its survival chances.

In a match which had little consequence for either side, Chelsea defeated Fulham 1-0 as the Cottagers failed to score in a seventh consecutive visit to Stamford Bridge. Cole Palmer’s penalty kick in first half stoppage time provided the margin of victory for Chelsea after Raheem Sterling was tripped up in the box by Fulham defender Issa Diop. The victory, a fourth straight Premier League home win for Chelsea, lifted supporter spirits after the club’s opening leg loss to Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week. While the three points are to be celebrated, Chelsea could have eased to a larger win over the Cottagers but for numerous missed opportunities, including two post rattling misses by Raheem Sterling and Conor Gallagher. Fulham, meanwhile, posed little threat in losing for a fourth time in its last five Premier League matches.

Newcastle appeared poised to snap its own streak of futility when the Magpies carried a 2-1 advantage into the 74th minute of play against Manchester City. The fatigued home side collapsed however as Manchester City substitutions stole the show. Kevin De Bruyne made his Premier League return after a lengthy injury absence by equalizing the score with his 74th minute goal just five minutes after entering the match. The club legend then assisted on fellow substitute Oscar Bobb’s winner in the first minute of stoppage time. The 20-year-old Bobb’s first Premier League goal sent Newcastle to a fourth consecutive league defeat. The Manchester City victory sent the Citizens sailing past Aston Villa in the table.

Villa’s goalless draw at Everton allowed Manchester City to take over second place in the table behind idle Liverpool. It was only the third time this season that Aston Villa has not scored a goal in a league match. It was also the first time in 97 career Premier League matches that Manager Unai Emery had presided over a goalless draw. The point was useful for an Everton side locked in a relegation battle. The match’s lack of production, however, continued to highlight a sterile Toffee attack. Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has not scored in 13 matches. Only Crystal Palace and, surprisingly, Manchester United, have scored fewer goals than Everton among clubs outside the relegation zone.

Manchester United had a veritable scoring explosion at Old Trafford where even Marcus Rashford scored in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. The Red Devils took the lead twice before allowing Spurs equalizers. The second Tottenham Hotspur goal came just one minute into the second half, raising some questions about the quality of Eric ten Hag’s halftime talk and adjustments. Hopes for a thrilling home win in front of new part owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe were dashed for the Red Devils when Scot McTominay missed an uncontested header in stoppage time. Richarlison scored his sixth goal in as many league matches for a Tottenham Hotspur side which saw Timo Werner return to the Premier League and assist on Pedro Porro’s second half equalizer.

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