Premier League Matchday 24 - Round up
With matchday 24 of the premier league kicking off after the short international break and the end of the January transfer window, we take a look at the results with some important fixtures for making both top 4, and the relegation battle.
Newcastle 3-1 Everton
With both teams making big signings in the recent transfer window, it was the much improved Newcastle side that took home a massive 3 points which takes them out of the relegation zone with back to back wins over other bottom 6 teams. In a comical start to the game Everton got the lead in the 36th minute with a Lascelles own goal due to some poor defending. However, immediately after in the 37th it was an Everton own goal in a direct replica of the first with Mason Holgate putting it into his own net. Newcastle kept the pressure on and got their second thanks to Ryan Fraser in the 56th minute before wrapping up all 3 points with a flashback to the 2018 world cup via a beautiful free kick by Kieran Trippier.
West Ham 1-0 Watford
In a match surrounded by controversy following the actions of the starting Kurt Zouma, a massive 3 points was up for grabs as the win puts West Ham in the top 4 and if they had managed to get the win would of taken Watford out of the relegation zone. The first half was a close thought half that would of frustrated the West Ham fans as they were unable to break down the resolute Watford defence that scuffed out a lot of good chances with the main action coming at the end of the first half. In the end Watford will be annoyed at how they conceded as a result of a heavily deflected shot from Bowen that takes the ball away from Foster, but West Ham wont mind as it secures them all 3 points and a place in the top 4 for the time being.
Burnley 1-1 Manchester United
A big result for Burnley in the hopes of survival as well many United fans frustrated at more points dropped in their aim for top 4 this season. A back to back game of two halves that proved truly exciting was put on display at Turf Moor that seemed to start all wrong for the hosts. The first half showed the visitors in complete control and could of been 3 goals up but two of them were ruled out for offside so went into halftime with a one goal lead via a good finish from Paul Pogba in the 18th minute getting his first goal for united in over a year! Whatever Sean Dyche told his players at half time seemed to work wonders as they flipped the game of its head and took united head on and it didn't take long for them to get an equaliser thanks to Jay Rodriguez and some good link up play with new signing Weghorst. Burnley created several more chances most notably getting a great save from David De Gea thanks once again to Weghorst, but ultimately the game ends level after an entertaining evening.
Norwich City 1-1 Crystal Palace
Despite the visitors being the more dominant side throughout the game, the hosts put on a much more resolute defence and were able to hold on to a crucial point in there hopes for survival. The hosts got off to a flying start to the game with Pukki scoring the fastest goal of the season so far, 40 seconds into the game with that being most of the action in the first half. The second half showed both sides of Wilfried Zaha's game as he scored an absolute screamer from just outside the box as he cuts inside and hits it into the top right corner leaving Gunn with no chance. However, Zaha then went on to produce one of the worst penalty kicks for a long while as he scuffed his shot upon hitting it and sent it miles wide of the goal leaving both sides with a point.
Tottenham 2-3 Southampton
A back and forth game with lots of controversy was played out at the Tottenham hotspur stadium, with the visitors taking a well earned 3 points away after a clinical performance. Spurs took the lead in the 18th minute thanks to a good passage of play and an unfortunate own goal via Jan Bednarek. However, it didn't take long for the Saints to equalise and in the 23rd minute Armando Broja got the equaliser with a good finish from close range, leaving the game level at half time with the visitors being the much more dominant team. The hosts went on to restore their lead thanks to Frontman Son Heung-Min, but the goal will be seen as a mystery for how it was allowed to stand as Spurs won possession back after a clear foul on Broja by Emerson Royal yet VAR did not even look at the incident and simply allowed play and the goal to stand. It didn't take long for the visitors to not only get back into the game, but get a winner as well as they scored twice in 2 minutes thanks to Elyounoussi and Che Adams both in extremely similar fashion with headers after a good delivery from James Ward-Prowse. Spurs thought they had secured an equalizer in the 94th minute thanks to Begwijn but with VAR correctly being used this time it was deemed as offside allowing the visitors to take all 3 points, no less than they deserved.
Manchester City 2-0 Brentford
The champions got back to winning ways to extend their lead at the top of the table to 12 points after a clinical 2-0 win over Brentford. Man City dominated the first half but really failed to challenge Raya in goal. It was until the 40th minute where Sterling won a penalty after being taken down by Rasmussen with a poor challenge that allowed City to get the lead. Mahrez stepped up and with a great shot smashed the ball into the top left corner leaving Raya with absolutely no chance. The second half carries on much as the same as City dominate but fail to get a second until Brentford end up making another mistake. This time its keeper Raya who plays an extremely poor pass to Jensen that ends up being cut out by Sterling. Sterling's shot is saved by Raya but it falls straight to Kevin De Bruyne and he simply slots it into the back of the empty net to secure all 3 points for the hosts.
Aston Villa 3-3 Leeds United
An absolute thriller was played out at Villa park that sees the points split between the teams after a 3-3 draw and a red card being shown. The first half started quick with the visitors getting an early lead in the 9th minute thanks to Welshman Daniel James with a great finish into the bottom corner. The game continued to be back and forth with constant chances falling to each side where it could of easily been 2-2 within the first 15 minutes. However the hosts were able to grab the next goal in the 30th minute thanks to rejuvenated talisman Philippe Coutinho, who scored with a finish similar finish to Dan James hitting at great strike into the bottom corner out of the reach of Meslier. 8 minutes later the hosts were able to take the lead thanks to some great play by Coutinho as he turns Ayling in the middle of the park before hitting a sublime through ball to Jacob Ramsey who finishes it well into the far bottom corner. In no time at all Villa get their third goal of the game with the same combination linking up again after another good piece of build up play by Coutinho is finished emphatically by Jacob Ramsey in the top right corner for his second of the game. The half doesn't end there and in the 47th minute of the first Dan James gets his second of the game as he is somehow able to out header both Mings and Buendia to force the goal into the back of the net at close range to leave the game 3-2 at half time. The game didn't slow down and in the 63rd minute Leeds United got there equaliser via Diego Llorente after Villa fail to clear their lines and Llorente reacts first to smash the ball into the back of the net to make it all level. Lots of chances fall for both team throughout the second half with both sides failing to capitalize and in the 87th minute Ezri Konsa receives his second yellow card in a stupid fashion as he blocks of Meslier from releasing the ball with his arms and is subsequently sent off, but the game ends 3-3 with both teams splitting the points in an absolutely thrilling game.
Liverpool 2-0 Leicester City
After an extremely disappointing cup exit, Leicester take another loss via a dominant Liverpool performance. Liverpool dominate most of the first half getting several good chances but a good display from Schmeichel limited the damage in the first half to a single goal. That goal came via the man in red hot form Diogo Jota, who scored from close range after Schmeichel made a good save to deny a Van Dijk header but the ball fell straight to the Portuguese star who rifled it home to make it 1-0. The second half continued in the same style as the first with the hosts dominating the game and creating numerous chances, being denied by both the frame of the goal and the outstanding Schmeichel. Jota gets his second goal of the game late in the second half in the 87th minute. The visitors fail to clear their lines after a corner and the ball finds its way to Jota in space inside the box and hits it first time with the keeper only able to get a hand to it. The win keeps the hosts in second but the visitors find themselves in 12th after a very disappointing campaign so far.
Wolves 0-1 Arsenal
A close fought contest between two teams aiming for European football at the end of the season was played out at the Molineux stadium. The hosts grabbed the lead early on in the 25th minute thanks to defender Gabriel, after Wolves fail to clear their lines. The goal stood despite protests from the Wolves players that their was a foul on Sa. The game continues at a level pace throughout the rest of the half and the start of the second, with both teams making good chances but failing to capitalize on any of them. The real talking point of the game occurred in the 69th minute with Gabriel Martinelli receiving one of the strangest yet deserved red card in premier league history. Martinelli loses the ball at the byline and in frustration tries to stop wolves from taking the quick throw in and pushes over Podence, however the ball was already thrown and advantage was played. Martinelli proceeds to chase down Semedo who receives the ball and then pushes over Semedo to stop the play right after the advantage had ended by the ref. As a result another foul was called, and Martinelli received a first yellow for his original foul on Podence and then immediately received his second for his foul on Semedo to give him a red card in which can only be seen as a moment of stupidity as summarised by Arteta's shaking of the head. Wolves dominate the remaining 20 minutes but are unable to get an equaliser meaning the visitors leave with a hard earned 3 points to keep their European football hopes alive.