This weekend’s Premier League Matchweek 28 action saw hattricks, goal of the season contenders, and the return of a familiar face.
Premier League Champions-Elect
Leaders Manchester City followed up on their convincing 5-2 victory over Southampton last Wednesday by defeating Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Goals from John Stones, Gabriel Jesus, and the returning Sergio Aguero helped the Cityzens march forward in their quest for the quadruple.
The theme for the bottom three sides this past weekend was self-inflicted pain. Fulham gifted Manchester City three second-half goals, West Brom conceded an avoidable penalty in their 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace, and Sheffield United’s first match without legendary manager Chris Wilder ended in a 5-0 defeat.
Laca and Lamela share the limelight
Arsenal’s highly anticipated matchup against Tottenham did not disappoint. Prior to kickoff, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta left captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out from the starting lineup, citing disciplinary reasons. The game lit up when Erik Lamela –who came on for the injured Heung-Min Son — scored an outrageous rabona in the first half that will go down as one of the best North London derby goals.
Martin Odegaard managed to level the score before halftime before Lamela’s second-half red card put his side in trouble. To be fair, Spurs looked the better team with 10 men, but Arsenal regained their lead in the 64th minute thanks to a dubious penalty that was won and scored by Alexandre Lacazette. Harry Kane came close to salvaging a point in the 90th minute, but his free-kick could only cannon off the post, as Arsenal left the Emirates with a deserved 2-1 victory.
McNeil silences the Toffees
Burnley traveled to Goodison Park on Saturday having gone a month without a win. Despite sitting 16 points below Everton, the Clarets threw the form book out of the window and dominated early proceedings. Striker Chris Wood gave the away side the lead in the 13th minute before Dwight McNeil cut past Allan to unleash an unstoppable strike past Jordan Pickford.
Whether or not he scored the goal of the matchweek is debatable, but McNeil’s goal turned out to be the match-winner as Everton’s lone response came from a Dominic Calvert-Lewin header in the 32nd minute.
Sad day(s) at the office
Leicester City took on bottom-side Sheffield United on Sunday just one day after Chris Wilder mutually agreed to part ways with the Blades. Although results haven’t been the best this season, Wilder brought his side from League One to the bright lights of the Premier League, and many fans were stunned to see him go.
The decision seemed to affect the Sheffield players as well, as they showed little fight in a 5-0 drubbing to the Foxes. A hat-trick of goals by seniorman Kelechi Iheanacho, a hat-trick of assists by his strike partner Jamie Vardy, and a solid performance (and goal) by Ayoze Perez saw Leicester heap more misery on Sheffield United and make a strong case for a Champions League spot.
Liverpool visited Wolves at the Molineux on Monday night in search of their first league victory of the month. The Reds were lucky to avoid a penalty shout against Alisson just two minutes into the match, and Sadio Mane missed a chance to open the scoring in the 38th minute. Liverpool then took the lead seconds before halftime, courtesy of former Wolves ace Diogo Jota.
Liverpool’s front three combined neatly before Jota slotted his shot past fellow Portuguese international Rui Patricio‘s near post. Wolves captain Conor Coady missed a glorious chance to level the match in the 50th minute, but the game took a sad turn when Coady collided with his goalkeeper in the 87th minute after Mohamed Salah‘s offside goal was correctly ruled out.
The collision forced Rui Patricio to leave the match on a stretcher, a scene that is too familiar with Wolves fans who also saw Raul Jimenez get stretched off against Arsenal earlier in the season. Wolves pushed for a leveler late on but Liverpool held on for an important 1-0 win.
Best of the rest
Following Leicester City’s statement victory, Manchester United climbed back to second thanks to a hard-fought, yet dismal 1-0 win over West Ham. West Ham lacked the cutting edge needed to test United’s defense in a 3-5-2 formation, and the home side squandered a couple of big chances to put the game to bed. A 53rd minute Craig Dawson own-goal was enough to settle the match for the Red Devils.
Chelsea extended their unbeaten form under Thomas Tuchel to nine games but only after being held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Leeds United. Leeds had a goal chalked off and almost scored a comical own goal in the first half, before losing former Chelsea product Patrick Bamford to injury.
Summer signing Edouard Mendy produced two great saves on either side of the half to grab his 14th clean sheet of the season, but the Blues missed a big chance to close the gap on third-place Leicester City.
Brighton got a massive boost in their safety hopes on Sunday thanks to a 2-1 win over Southampton. Lewis Dunk opened the scoring in the 16th minute through a powerful header, before Che Adams followed up last weekend’s stunning strike with yet another volley to make it 1-1. Danny Welbeck and Leandro Trossard combined beautifully in the 56th minute for the Belgian to smash home the winner and keep the Seagulls floating from the danger zone.
Aston Villa were seconds away from snatching victory from Newcastle on Friday before an injury-time Jamal Lascelles header earned Steve Bruce‘s men a crucial point. The Villans lost Bertrand Traore to a freak injury in the first half, before knocking on Newcastle’s door several times in the second.
Both sides played a game of cat and mouse in the second half before Joelinton’s 81st effort rattled the crossbar. Five minutes later, Ollie Watkins thought he’d won the match for Villa after his low header took a wicked deflection off Ciaran Clark‘s knee before finding the net. Instead, the Magpies fought back and grabbed a last-gasp leveler to Villa’s dismay.
Hope you enjoyed my round-up of this weekend’s Premier League action. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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