Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Premier League Results Match Week 30: Liverpool the winner as Arsenal and Manchester City Deadlock

Liverpool has returned to the top of the Premier League table this past weekend after the Reds defeated Brighton and Arsenal and Manchester City played to a goalless draw. Arsenal had replaced Liverpool at the top just before the international break when the Reds dropped points in their own draw with Manchester City. The consecutive draws by Manchester City with the other two title contenders highlights how tight this season’s Premier League title chase is.

Liverpool now leads Arsenal and Manchester City by two and three points, respectively. Liverpool came from behind in its 2-1 defeat of Brighton on goals by Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah. The winning goal by Salah was the Liverpool star’s 16th of the season, just two goals short of league leader Erling Haaland.

The Manchester City striker, meanwhile, was held without a shot on target for a second time this season in Sunday’s draw at the Etihad. Combined with a mediocre performance by midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City was unimpressive as the Citizens failed to score for the first time at the Etihad in 47 Premier League matches. Much credit, of course, goes to the Gunners who held Manchester City scoreless over their two league meetings and have conceded fewer goals than any Premier League side. Center backs Gabriel and Wiliam Saliba, along with midfielder Declan Rice, were brilliant in neutralizing Haaland and Manchester City’s other stars. Rice, in particular, seems to have shifted the balance of power with his addition to the Gunner lineup this season.

Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur matched serve in the battle for fourth as both clubs won over the weekend. Spurs overcame a shock third minute goal by Luton Town’s Tahith Chong to defeat the Hatters 2-1. Son Heung-min had the 86th minute winner at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Aston Villa maintained its three-point lead over Spurs with a business like 2-0 win over Wolverhampton at Villa Park. Wolves were limited by injuries to key attacking players and mounted little threat in their defeat. Aston Villa’s position in the table, meanwhile, remains vulnerable with Spurs having played one fewer match to date.

Both Villa and spurs have less to worry about from Manchester United after the Red Devils’ 1-1 draw with Brentford. The dropped points leave Manchester United eight points back of fifth place Tottenham Hotspur with just eight matches left to play. A rare Mason Mount sighting saw the former Chelsea player score in the 96th minute to  give United a seeming victory. Brentford responded, however, with a dramatic 99th minute goal to share the points. Manchester United’s Champions League hopes are diminished while a valuable point for Brentford moves the Bees five points clear of the drop line.

Newcastle reaffirmed its contention for the European places when the Magpies came back from a two-goal deficit to stun West Ham 4-3 at St. James Park. Harvey Barnes was the here for the Magpies, scoring the final two goals after his 67th minute substitution. Alexander Isak had scored the earlier two Newcastle goals on penalty kicks. Former Leeds and Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Philips was guilty of the foul leading to the second penalty and his generally poor play after his 69th minute substitution was the subject of vocal abuse by supporters. Philips’ profane finger gesture in response will not help his standing with Hammer faithful. The victory moved Newcastle from 10th to 8th in the table, just a point behind West Ham in the battle for European qualification.

Chelsea has not lost since the first week of February but draws in three of their last five matches have left them mired midtable with scant hope for Europe. On Saturday, the Blues failed to maintain a goal advantage at home against a 10-man Burnley side which is mired in the relegation zone. Cole Pamer scored twice for Chelsea, continuing his fine season for the Blues. There is not much else good to say about the club as it failed to prevail over a Burnley side which went to 10 men in the 40th minute but still salvaged a point with an equalizer by Dara O’Shea in the 86th minute. Chelsea’s 33 shots were more than the club had launched in 10 years as, yet another scattershot performance was delivered by its young talent. Burnley is now four points removed from safety.

Nottingham Forest moved past Luton town to safety as the Tricky Trees grabbed a point in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. Forest, which was recently socked with a four-point deduction by the league to throw the club into relegation jeopardy, is ahead of the Hatters on goal differential.

Everton failed to win for a twelfth consecutive Premier League match. The Toffees were defeated 2-1 at Bournemouth. A third consecutive defeat leaves Everton just three points above the relegation zone as they still await a potential second point deduction at the hands of the Premier League.

Sheffield United remains at the bottom of the table but the Blades began strongly versus Fulham in front of the home supporters on Saturday. Hopes were again dashed for Bramall Line supporters, however, when a two-goal lead disappeared with Fulham goals in the 86th minute and 93rd minute of play in a 3-3 draw with the Cottagers. Fulham’s Rodrigo Muniz scored the dramatic injury time equalizer with a sensational bicycle kick. It was the second consecutive match in which Sheffield United settled for a draw after taking a two-goal lead. 

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