Friday, April 5, 2024

Premier League Results Match Week 31: Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City Win; Chelsea Comes Back To Stun Manchester United

The three Premier League title contenders all won their midweek matches by two goals or more as Liverpool maintained its narrow lead at the top. Alexis Mac Allister scored in the 77th minute to break up a surprisingly deadlocked match with Sheffield United at Anfield. Cody Gakpo would score an insurance goal in the 90th minute for the Reds in their 3-1 victory.

Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola rested both Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne against Aston Villa. The stage was left to Phil Foden who went for the hat trick in the Citizens 4-1 snore over fourth place Villa.

Arsenal weathered the absence of injured Bukayo Saka to ease past Luton Town 2-0 at the Emirates. Saka sustained a knock last weekend versus Manchester City and the hope is that he can return this weekend when the Gunners face Brighton. A Martin Odegaard goal and a Luton Town own goal just before halftime were all that was needed for his teammates to defeat the 18th place Hatters.

Nottingham Forest moved three points beyond Luton Town in the relegation battle when the Tricky Trees defeated a listless Fulham side 3-1. Morgan Gibbs-White had a goal and an assist as the Trees jumped to a three-goal lead on the Cottagers. Fulham might well be on cruise control with no realistic hope of Europe and no fear of relegation.

Burnley’s hopes of survival might well have died when it failed to protect an early lead at home versus Wolverhampton. Wolves scored in first half injury time to end the scoring for the day in a 1-1 draw. The Clarets are six points south of Nottingham Forest and safety, three points below fellow relegation zone occupant Luton Town.

Everton are fortunate to be a point above Nottingham Forest in the relegation scramble after capturing an unlikely point at Newcastle. A clumsy foul by substitute Newcastle defender Paul Dummett led to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 88th minute penalty conversion and a sharing of points in a 1-1 draw. An away point at St. James Park is a good result for the battling Toffees. The draw does, however, mark the 13th consecutive Premier League match where the Toffees have failed to capture all three points.

The prize for late drama this week must go to Chelsea. A rollercoaster match with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge saw the Blues relinquish a two-goal lead by conceding three consecutive scores to fall behind before two late goals by Cole Palmer delivered a 4-3 Chelsea victory. Palmer’s winner at 110 minutes and 39 seconds was the latest for a match winning goal in Premier League history and came just one minute after the 21-year-old had equalized with a penalty kick. Chelsea’ most productive player finished the day with a hat trick. Two of those goals were from the penalty spot where Palmer is perfect on all eight of his attempts this season. Alejandro Garnacho scored twice for a stunned Manchester United side which may have seen any remaining hopes of Championship League qualification extinguished with Thursday’s late capitulation. The Red Devils fumbled a stoppage time lead for a second consecutive match as the pressure mounts on Manager Eric ten Hag.

Tottenham Hotspur Manager Ange Postecoglou could have seen his club move into the top four with a win over West Ham at London Stadium. That did not happen in a 1-1 draw with the Hammers where the goals for both clubs came in the first 20 minutes of play and nothing much happened after that. The dropped points were not overly damaging for Postecoglou’s men, however, as the draw moved Spurs to within two points of Aston Villa while still having a match in hand and a currently superior goal differential.

A yet even more uneventful match took place at Brentford where the Bees played to a goalless draw with Brighton. The point is probably more valuable to keep the Bees from relegation danger than it is to Brighton’s European qualification hopes. The Bees moved six points above the drop. The Seagulls remain ninth in the table, on the periphery of the European places.

Bournemouth is further down the table in 12th position despite winning four of their last five matches. The Cherries took care of Crystal Palace 1-0 on Tuesday, extending the Eagles winless run to four matches. New Crystal Palace Manager Oliver Glasner does not seem to be having the desired effect of improving the Eagle attack and playing more attractive football. The Eagles have scored but three times in their most recent four matches and do not look any more dangerous than they did under former manager Roy Hodgson.

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