Premier League Recap

With the majority of teams only have four league games remaining, two teams already relegated and four Champions League spots available, the battles are intense.

Who will be the third team relegated? Can Cardiff pull off the impossible?

Who will grab the third and fourth Champions League places? Will it be Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United?

This is the most exiting time of season, with 29 goals and 25 yellows over the weekend.

 

Saturday

 

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Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur

1-0

Phil Foden‘s first Premier League goal saw Manchester City return to the top of the table for a few hours as they overcame their Champions League conquerors Tottenham at the Etihad.

The 18-year-old’s diving header just five minutes into the affair ensure the reigning champions maintained the pressure on rivals Liverpool.

It was a nervous performance from both sides in a game that couldn’t have been further from the drama of Wednesday’s European matchup. City’s keeper Ederson had to make several crucial saves to deny the visitors, and they lost key midfielder Kevin de Bruyne to injury.

Ederson thwarted Son Heung-min on three occasions and saved well on efforts from Christian Eriksen and Lucas MouraSon was also denied by a world class tackle by Aymeric Laporte.

England midfielder Raheem Sterling had City’s best chance after half time, only to be denied by the outstretched leg of Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga, in for the injured Hugo Lloris.

 

Up Next:

Man United v Man City – Wednesday, April 24 (3pm)

Spurs v Brighton – Tuesday, April 23 (2:45pm)

 

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AFC Bournemouth v Fulham

0-1

Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser said defeat by already relegated Fulham “summed up” their inconsistent season of being “good one week and a shambles the next.”

The Cherries, who thrashed Brighton last Saturday, looked no where close to that team this weekend, slipping to a third loss in five games as Aleksander Mitrovic‘s second-half penalty gave the Cottagers their first away victory.

The defeat spoiled Eddie Howes‘s 500th game as a manager and gave Fulham their first back-to-back Premier League victories since April 2014.

The Cherries, who went unbeaten in 10 home matches against promoted opposition, began brightly but fell away after missing several early chances.

Howe‘s side were hampered by injures to right-back Adam Smith in the warm-up and to his replacement, Junior Stanislas midway through the first period, contributing to a disjointed performance.

The result leaves Bournemouth in 12th whilst Fulham remain second to bottom.

 

Up Next:

Southampton v Bournemouth – Saturday, April 27 (10am)

Fulham v Cardiff – – Saturday, April 27 (10am)

 

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Huddersfield Town v Watford

1-2

Gerard Deulofeu scored an impressive double as Watford kept their European ambitions on track with a comfortable win over already relegated Huddersfield.

The Spaniard opened the scoring in the fifth minute and sealed victory late on, sending his side into seventh.

Huddersfield salvaged a late consolation, with substitute Karlan Grant capitalizing on some tired Watford defending, heading home from close range in the final seconds.

The Terriers remain anchored to the bottom of the table, whilst the Hornets take one step closer to European football – and could qualify via the FA Cup.

 

Up Next:

Liverpool v Huddersfield – Friday, April 26 (3pm)

Watford v Southampton – Tuesday, April 23 (2:45pm)

 

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West Ham United v Leicester City

2-2

Harvey Barnes, coming on as a substitute for Leicester in stoppage time, secured a controversial Premier League draw with West Ham in a frantic finish in London.

The Hammers looked set to take all three points with Lucas Perez turning in the rebound after Pedro Obiang hit the post after 82 minutes. The Spaniard should have had a second goal when he rounded Kasper Schmeichel after Obiang‘s through ball, but was wrongly called offside.

That decision allowed the visitors to surge forward in search of another equalizer and Youri Tielemans picked out Barnes, who slotted home for his first Foxes goal.

Michail Antonio had put West Ham ahead for the first time before the break, heading in from Mark Noble‘s fine cross, before Jamie Vardy leveled with his ninth goal in 10 league games.

The Foxes fall to eighth, whilst West Ham remain 11th.

 

Up Next:

Spurs v West Ham – Saturday, April 27 (7:30am)

Leicester v Arsenal – Sunday, April 28 (7am)

 

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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton & Hove Albion

0-0

Brighton ended a run of five successive defeats to earn a valuable point at Wolves in their battle against relegation.

Keeper Mat Ryan was the hero for the Seagulls, who move three points clear of the bottom three. Firstly he bravely got down as Leander Dendoncker closed in on the rebound from Diogo Jota‘s header, before the Australian was in the right place to stop the Belgian’s header three minutes from time.

It’s been 570 minutes since Brighton last scored, however, given their 12-goal advantage over Cardiff, Saturday’s point means even a shock win for the Bluebirds on Sunday wouldn’t have been enough to send Chris Hughton‘s men into the bottom three.

 

Up Next:

Wolves v Arsenal – Wednesday, April 24 (2:45pm)

Spurs v Brighton – Tuesday, April 23 (2:45pm)

 

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Newcastle United v Southampton

3-1

Ayoze Perez scored a hat trick as Newcastle saw off a spirited second-half performance from the Saints.

Southampton, who had a dismal first half, improved dramatically in the second but could only find a consolation, scored by substitute Mario Lemina.

The win sees the Magpies jump to 12th place, 10 points above the relegation zone and practically securing their safety for another season. Meanwhile Southampton sit just five points above the danger zone with four games to play.

 

Up Next:

Brighton v Newcastle – Saturday, April 27 (12:30pm)

Watford v Southampton – Tuesday, April 23 (2:45pm)

 

Sunday

 

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Everton V Manchester United

4-0

Everton produced an enthralling display to outclass a pitiful Manchester United at Goodison Park and expose all the problems facing new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær. 

The Red Devils continue to fight for a place in the top four and a spot in the Champions League next season. With fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea coming before the end of the week, they need to perform a lot better than in those torturous 90 minutes on Sunday.

United keeper David de Gea had made a fantastic save on Richarlison before the Brazilian opened the scoring with an acrobatic volley in the 13th minute to set the tone.

The Spaniard was beaten again by Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s low 25-yard drive, going down late, allowing the Toffees to take total control.

The hosts didn’t ease off after the break, with Lucas Digne scoring from long range after De Gea punched away for a corner, before substitute Theo Walcott ran clear on to Sigurdsson‘s pass for their fourth.

The visitors have lost six of their last eight games in all completions, while a fifth successive away defeat (the first since 1981) leaves them facing the prospect of Europa League football next season.

Out of the top six, the Red Devils have the toughest run to the finish line.

 

Up Next:

Palace v Everton – Saturday, April 27 (10am)

Man United v Man City – Wednesday, April 24 (3pm)

 

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Arsenal v Crystal Palace

2-3

Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish were dented after Crystal Palace held on for a 3-2 victory, confirming their Premier League safety.

Christian Benteke, who was left unmarked, headed home Luka Milivojevic‘s delivery, only for Mesut Ozil to equalize with a clever finish shortly after the break.

However, two goals in eight minutes ended Arsenal’s 10-match league winning streak at the Emirates Stadium.

Wilfried Zaha capitalized on a mistake by Shkodran Mustafi to restore the Eagles’ lead, and James McArthur‘s header made it 3-1, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reduced the deficit with his 19th league goal of the season.

The Gunners wasted a prime opportunity to climb the league ladder, with Man United getting hammered by Everton and Spurs losing to Man City, a victory would have given them a huge step toward securing a Champions League spot.

Arsenal sit sixth on 55pts, whilst Palace are 12th on 42pts.

 

Up Next:

Wolves v Arsenal – Wednesday, April 24 (2:45pm)

Palace v Everton – Saturday, April 27 (10am)

 

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Cardiff City v Liverpool

0-2

Liverpool returned to the top of the table, but were made to work hard for victory at a relegation-threatened Cardiff City.

The Reds had to be patient as they dominated a dogged Bluebirds side, who had chances of their own to cause a major upset.

The perseverance paid off when Georginio Wijnaldum met Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s corner with a thunderous first-time effort, with enough force it could have broken the net. The wild celebrations showcased the visitors’ relief.

Shortly after missing a wide open net, Cardiff captain Sean Morrison conceded a penalty after grappling with Mo Salah, substitute James Milner confidently slotted home from the spot to seal victory for the visitors.

Despite the loss Cardiff have not been relegated, they remain in the danger zone, just three points adrift of safety.

Meanwhile, Liverpool restore their two-point lead over Man City, who travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday for the Manchester Derby.

 

Up Next:

Fulham v Cardiff  – Saturday, April 27 (10am)

Liverpool v Huddersfield – Friday, April 26 (3pm)

 

Monday

 

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Chelsea v Burnley

2-2

Chelsea leapfrogged Arsenal into fourth despite being held by Burnley in a thrilling affair at Stamford Bridge.

With rivals Tottenham, Arsenal and Man United all losing over the weekend, the Blues will be frustrated that they couldn’t take full advantage, a win would have lifted them into third.

All four goals came in the opening 24 minutes with Jeff Hendrick giving the Clarets an eighth-minute lead, before N’Golo Kante equalized and Gonzalo Higuain gave Chelsea their first lead of the afternoon.

The visitors equalized when Ashley Barnes scored from close range for his 11th league goal of the season.

To add to the hosts’ frustrations Callum Hudson-Odoi ruptured his Achilles tendon and Kante left with a rib injury, whilst the aggravation saw boss Maurizio Sarri sent to the stands.

Burnley are almost certainly safe now with three games to go, holding a 9pt advantage over 18th-placed Cardiff with a 17+ goal difference over the Welsh side.

 

Up Next:

Man United v Chelsea – Sunday, April 28 (11:30am)

Burnley v Man City – Sunday, April 28 (9:05am)

 

 

ALL TIMES U.S. EASTERN 

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