Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Premier League Results Match Week 35: Fading Liverpool Drops Points; Arsenal Survives Late Scare To Defeat Spurs; Haaland Scores In Manchester City Win; Everton Is Safe! ; Burnley Stokes Survival Hopes By Drawing At Old Trafford; Aston Villa Draws With Chelsea; Sheffield United Relegated

Things continue to worsen for Liverpool and departing manager Jurgen Klopp. Not only were points dropped in a 2-2 draw at West Ham but an unseemly argument between Mohamed Salah and Klopp on the touchline seemed to symbolize what is becoming a sad ending to the manager’s successful years-long run with the Reds. Liverpool allowed a critical three points to slip away when Michail Antonio headed in an equalizer to squash a Liverpool comeback. The Reds had overcome a first half deficit to lead by a goal before Antonio’s 77th minute score leveled a damning blow to Liverpool’s title hopes. Liverpool is now five points back of Arsenal with just three matches left to play. Salah started on the bench for the key match and was unable to bottle up his displeasure as he lit into his manager while awaiting a late substitution. Teammates sadly needed to intercede between the two individuals who are most responsible for Liverpool’s success in recent years. The public fracturing of that relationship is poignant as the curtain comes down on the Klopp era.

While Liverpool is facing a wrenching transition, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal project remains in ascendancy as the Gunners scored a 3-2 victory at the home of rival Tottenham Hotspur. The Premier League leaders sprinted to a 3-0 first half lead before a nervy second half which saw Son Heung-min bring Spurs within a goal with his 87th minute penalty kick. Arsenal saw out the remaining time, however, for its third consecutive victory since a damaging loss to Aston Villa. Kai Havertz continued his torrid form for the Gunners, scoring his third goal in three matches while also assisting on a goal by Bukayo Saka on Sunday. The Gunners’ lead over Manchester City, in what now looks to be a two-horse race, is a single point with the defending champions having a match in hand.

Manchester City prevailed over Nottingham Forest in workman like fashion in a 2-0 victory at the City Ground. Manchester City was without an ill Phil Foden and began with Erling Haaland on the bench after the league’s joint leading scorer had missed the previous two matches due to injury. No problem for the defending champions, however. Defender Josko Gvardiol scored for the second time in Manchester City’s last three matches to stake a halftime lead for his club. Haaland then entered as a second half substitute and scored to cinch Manchester City’s fifth consecutive victory and extend the Citizens’ league unbeaten run to 19 matches.

Tottenham Hotspur’s loss on Sunday helped mitigate Aston Villa’s disappointment with a 2-2 draw with Chelsea the day before. The fourth place Villans led by two goals at Villa Park before Chelsea roared back to tie the score on goals by Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher. A potential stoppage time winner by the Blues’ Axel Disasi was disallowed when VAR identified a foul on the play. The point for Aston Villa gave Manager Unai Emery’s side a seven-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur, an important margin of safety as Tottenham Hotspur has two matches in hand to carve into Villa’s lead. The comeback by Chelsea was laudable after the Blues had conceded seven consecutive goals dating to Tuesday’s annihilation at Arsenal. Even with the positive performance on Saturday, however, Chelsea provided more cringeworthy moments as players, agitated over the foul call on the potential winner, menacingly crowded the referee after the final whistle before being herded away by Chelsea staff.

A heavy loss to Chelsea is the only blemish in a five-match run for Everton, which defeated Brentford 1-0 on Saturday to clinch a spot in the Premier League for next season. The victory was the Toffees’ fourth win in their last five matches, all coming by clean sheet as Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford trails only Arsenal’s David Raya in the Premier League’s clean sheet pecking order. Everton’s Idrissa Gueye scored the 60th minute winner against a Brentford side which ironically also became mathematically safe despite the loss.

The Bees clinched when Luton Town fell 2-1 at Wolverhampton. Hope of survival for the Hatters is fading fast as Luton Town lost for the 11th time in the Hatters’ last 13 matches.

Burnley now seems the club to watch for a possible late season escape from relegation after the Clarets grabbed a point in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Saturday. Zeki Amdouni’s 87th minute penalty kick silenced the crowd at Old Trafford after Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana violently crashed into Amdouni moments earlier to set up the tying kick. Onana was desperately trying to reach an ill-advised back pass from Casemiro when he clattered into the Burnley forward in front of the Manchester United goal. Burnley, which trails Nottingham Forest by two points with the two sides scheduled to meet on the final day of the season, have lost just one of their last eight matches to rekindle survival hopes.

It’s all over, however, for Sheffield United which was mathematically condemned to relegation following Saturday’s 5-1 loss at Newcastle. For a second consecutive week, the Blades took the lead before opening the floodgates to their opponent. A fifth minute goal by Sheffield United’s Anel Ahmedhodzic was washed away by five consecutive scores by the home team at St. James Park. Newcastle’s Alexander Isak posted a brace in the Magpie onslaught as Sheffield United allowed four goals or more for a third consecutive match. The 97 goals conceded to date by the Blades have already exceeded the record total for a 38 match Premier League season and the relegated side is now closing in on the record of 100 goals conceded by Swindon Town in the 1993/94 Premier League season which spanned 42 matches.

Midtable matches this past weekend having little to do with relegation battles or European qualification included Fulham and Crystal Palace playing to a 1-1 draw, sharing the points for the fourth time in their last five meetings, and Bournemouth putting an exclamation point on Brighton’s spiraling season with a 3-0 win on the south coast. Jeffrey Schlupp’s 87th minute goal salvaged a point for Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage, extending the Eagles’ unbeaten run to four matches.

Brighton Manager Roberto De Zerbi apologized to Seagull supporters after his club’s latest non-winning effort. The Seagulls began this season by winning five of their first six matches, further burnishing the growing reputation of their manager. Things have since soured. Brighton has won only six of its last 28 matches and Sunday’s defeat marked the fourth loss in the club’s current six-match winless run. Brighton supporters are no longer so concerned at rumors of De Zerbi, who was once a rumored candidate for the Liverpool job, moving on to bigger and better things. The situation is far different at Bournemouth where Andoni Iraola has justified his hiring after the controversial sack of former manager Gary O‘Neil. Victory on Saturday pushed Bournemouth to its highest ever Premier League point total.

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