Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Premier League Results Match Week 33: Manchester City Surges To Top As Arsenal and Liverpool Lose; Newcastle Blasts Spurs; Cole Palmer Grabs Four Goals In Chelsea’s Win

Manchester City is now in pole position to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title. The Citizens blitzed Luton Town 5-1 on Saturday and then watched title contenders Liverpool and Arsenal lose on Sunday. The shocking events at Anfield and the Emirates turned the Premier League title chase on its head.

The positive reaction promised by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to his club’s midweek Europa League loss failed to materialize as yet another blow was dealt to hopes of any more silverware in the manager’s final season. The Reds followed up Thursday’s Europa League debacle with a second consecutive loss at home. Crystal Palace were 1-0 winners at Anfield, the Eagles’ first victory there in seven years. For Liverpool, it was the first home Premier League loss after an unbeaten 29 match run at its historic venue. Eberechi Eze’s 14th minute goal for the Eagles was the difference on Sunday as Liverpool squandered numerous scoring opportunities. The misses up front have been a key feature of a difficult stretch for the Reds which has seen frustration and failure across three different competitions. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, likely guaranteed its survival for another season in the Premier League with the Eagles’ first away win since November.

Liverpool’s loss was in the books before Arsenal took the field at the Emirates versus Aston Villa. The question has been whether this Arsenal side is made of tougher stuff than the club which suffered an April swoon to derail its title hopes last season. A 2-0 loss to Aston Villa would say perhaps not. With the opportunity to take a step forward in the title chase, the Gunners found their former Manager Unai Emery and former Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez in the way. Aston Villa won for a second time over Arsenal this season with Martinez posting a second clean sheet. Sunday’s game hung in the balance until Leon Bailey broke the scoreless deadlock with his 84th minute goal for Aston Villa. Ollie Watkins, a childhood Arsenal supporter, would then score the clinching goal just three minutes later. It was Watkins 19th goal of the season, one behind joint Premier League leaders Erling Haaland and Cole Palmer in the Golden Boot chase. With the defeat, Arsenal relinquished first place in the table to defending champion Manchester City as both the Gunners and Reds sit two points back with each of the three teams having six matches left to play. Aston Villa, meanwhile, boosted its top four aspirations with the win at the Emirates coupled with a Tottenham Hotspur loss the day before. The Villans lead Spurs by three points in the chase for fourth. While the London side have a game in hand, Villa now owns the goal difference advantage after Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-0 capitulation to Newcastle at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle moved into the top six with a dominating performance which featured two goals by Magpie forward Alexander Isak. Newcastle is now ahead of Manchester United on goal differential for sixth and an assured Europa league place.

The Red Devils dropped points at Bournemouth in a 2-2 draw which saw them salvage the point with Bruno Fernandes’ equalizing penalty kick in the 65th minute. It was the second tying goal of the match for the Manchester United captain who leads his club with eight goals this season. Saturday’s draw extended a four-match winless run for Manchester United which has pretty much extinguished hopes of Champions League and now has the Red Devils in danger of missing out on Europa League as well.

West Ham is two points back of Manchester United and eighth in the table after losing 2-0 to Fulham. Andreas Perreira scored twice to sweep all three points for the visiting Cottagers and give Fulham its first league double over West Ham since the 1965/66 season. The defeat was a Hammer blow for a West Ham side trying to qualify for a fourth consecutive season of European football.

There was little change to the bottom of the table over the weekend. Luton Town was smashed when five different Manchester City players, including joint league scoring leader Erling Haaland, found the net.

The 18th place Hatters fell a point back of Nottingham Forest which crept a point closer to securing safety in a 2-2 draw with visiting Wolverhampton. Wolves’ Matheus Cunha scored twice for the visitors, preventing the home side from further distancing themselves from the relegation muck.

Everton remained two points above the drop line after an embarrassing 4-0 loss at Stamford Bridge. Young Chelsea star Cole Palmer scored four times in the rout to tie Erling Haaland at the top of the Premier League scoring table with 20 goals apiece. Palmer is also now tied with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins for the most goal involvements in the league at 29 combined goals and assists. The victory moved Chelsea to within three points of Newcastle and Manchester United with the Blues having played one less match than either of those clubs.

And yet, despite Palmer’s heroics and the impressive scoreline, Chelsea still managed to disappoint its supporters with the childish actions of some of its young stars. Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke first bickered with each other and then fought with Palmer over the penalty kick which was to become Palmer’s fourth goal. The would-be penalty takers were rebuffed by Palmer and Chelsea Captain Conor Gallagher. Gallagher wresting the ball from Madueke and Palmer shoving Jackson away from the spot. A still petulant Jackson then refused to celebrate Palmer’s conversion. Manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has allowed these penalty taking disputes to fester among the players in the past, affirmed Palmer as the club’s designated penalty taker and apologized to Chelsea supporters after the match for the embarrassing actions which tainted one of the season’s best days for his club.

Burnley fumbled a late lead in embarrassing fashion to draw 1-1 with visiting Brighton. Goalkeeper Arijanet allowed  a straightforward back pass into his own net for a backbreaking own goal in the 79th minute. It was the second consecutive match in which a  mistake by the Burnley goalkeeper led to a goal for the opponent.

Bottom of the table Sheffield United were 2-0 losers to Brentford as a 63rd minute own goal by the Blades and a stoppage time goal by Brentford’s Frank Onyeka ended a nine-match winless run for the Bees. Brentford thus gets some breathing room, moving seven points clear of the drop line with Saturday’s victory. 

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