Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Premier League Results Matchweek 27: City Trumps United In Battle of Manchester; Liverpool Wins On Late Nunez Goal; Gunners Blast Bumbling Blades; Villa Survives Luton Scare; Fulham Flogs Listless Seagulls

Manchester United began brilliantly with a rare goal by Marcus Rashford to take the lead on Manchester City in the opening five minutes of the clubs’ Manchester Derby. That was the end of Red Devil highlights for the day, however, as Manchester City’s Phil Foden scored twice, and Erling Haaland added another in stoppage time as the defending Premier League champions swept to a 3-1 victory. Foden and Haaland have scored all 11 of Manchester City’s goals in the Citizens’ last four matches across all competitions, an unbeaten run of three wins and a draw. A second consecutive loss leaves Manchester United 11 points removed from the top four with just 11 matches left to play.

Manchester City, meanwhile, remains a point behind Liverpool in the title chase as Darwin Nunez provided the heroics with his stoppage time goal at Nottingham Forest. Nunez’s game winning header in the 99th minute was made possible by a brilliant cross from teammate Alexis Mac Allister. The Reds remain atop the table, a position they have occupied since Boxing Day despite the best efforts of Manchester City and Arsenal to run them down.

Arsenal’s goal scoring binge continued in a 6-0 rout of poor, hapless, and helpless Sheffield United. The cellar dwelling Blades have now conceded a staggering 72 goals this season while scoring only 22. The Blades were down 5-0 at halftime on Monday as their supporters streamed out of Bramall Lane. With a Champions League match looming this week, Arsenal substituted freely and took their foot off the gas in the second half, or the score could have been much worse. Even showing some mercy to the beleaguered Blades, the Gunners still became the first league side in England to score five or more goals in three consecutive away games. With Monday’s 6-0 scoreline in the bank, the Arsenal scoring machine now has 15 goals in its last three Premier League matches. The three-way Premier League title race has the Gunners one point back of Manchester City and trailing league leading Liverpool by two points in the table.

The gap widens from there as fourth place Aston Villa trails Arsenal by six points after the Villans escaped Kenilworth Road with a 3-2 victory over a resilient Luton Town. The Villans had sprinted to an early two goal advantage on the 15th and 16th goals of the season by Ollie Watkins. The Aston Villa striker’s production is now only two goals short of Erling Haaland in the chase for the Premier League Golden Boot. While things looked dark for the home side, Luton Town refused to quit. Second half goals by Tahith Chong and Carlton Morris brought the sides level. It was heartbreak for the Hatters, however, when Aston Villa’s Lucas Digne headed in an 89th minute winner for the visitors. The lost point could prove a difference maker for Luton Town’s survival chances as the Hatters remained four points south of the drop line with the loss.

Aston Villa, meanwhile, stayed five points ahead of fifth place Tottenham Hotspur who came back to paddle Crystal Palace in a 3-1 win on Saturday. Palace broke a scoreless tie in the 59th minute when Eberechi Eze scored to give the Eagles the lead. Spurs responded, however, with three goals by Timo Werner, Cristian Romero and Son Heung-min in the final thirteen minutes of play to tag Crystal Palace Manager Oliver Glasner with his first Premier League loss.

West Ham drew within two points of sixth place Manchester United as the Hammers staged their own comeback to defeat Everton 3-1. Everton forward Beto atoned for a first half penalty miss when his goal in the 56th minute put the Toffees in the lead at Goodison Park. West Ham defender Kurt Zouma equalized just four minutes later, and Toffee hopes were dashed by stoppage time goals from Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez. Everton are five points above the drop line as they battle for survival both on the pitch and off, threatened by a second financial fair play charge which could deduct vital points. Nottingham Forest also awaits a similar verdict from the league which could prove exceptional news for current relegation side Luton Town.

Further up the table, four clubs are within six points of Manchester United in the race for sixth place and a Europa League berth. Newcastle moved into eighth place with a 3-0 defeat of Wolves at St. James Park. The Magpies’ first home win since mid-December featured goals from Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento. Newcastle Manager Eddie Howe marked his 100th Premier League win as his current club works to re-establish itself in the fight for European qualification. Wolverhampton, meanwhile, suffered its first away defeat since mid-December in a blow to its own hopes for Europe.

Brighton was a 3-0 loser at Fulham as the Seagulls are struggling to stay aloft in their hunt for a top six berth. Manager Roberto De Zerbi’s side has lost three of their last six league matches as the manager pointed to fatigue and injuries as factors in Saturday’s loss. Winger Kaoru Mitoma was declared out for the season this week and De Zerbi rotated seven positions from the club’s midweek FA Cup win. The Seagulls must quickly regroup for a Europa League match this Thursday. Fulham Manager Marco Silva, meanwhile, deserves plaudits for the Cottagers’ 12th place position with a roster which might seem more suited to spots further down the table. A current six match run of form that has seen the Cottagers lose but once while winning three of those matches. A key contributor to that success has been Brazilian striker Rodrigo Muniz. Deputizing for an injured Raul Jimenez, Muniz has scored five goals in the past month, including one on Saturday versus Brighton, to lift the Cottager attack.

Chelsea supporters are losing patience with Manager Mauricio Pochettino. Away supporters directed vile chants toward the Argentine manager after the Blues squandered an early lead to fall behind at Brentford. A late goal by Axel Disasi salvaged a point for Chelsea but did little to mitigate the increasing unhappiness of supporters. A useful point for Brentford moved the Bees six points clear of the relegation zone.

Another home failure saw 19th place Burnley lose 2-0 at Turf Moor to Bournemouth. The Clarets have won just one Premier League match at their home ground this season. Bournemouth registered its first 2024 victory.  

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