BOURNEMOUTH 1 V 4 NEWCASTLE UNITED
Bournemouth are in free fall, as their Premier League survival hopes were dealt another blow as Newcastle beat them comprehensively with an exciting performance at Vitality Stadium.
Jefferson Lerma’s mistake was punished by Dwight Gayle to give Newcastle an early lead and Cherries manager Eddie Howe shook his head in frustration as Sean Longstaff made it 2-0 within half an hour.
Bournemouth hit the woodwork twice in the second half but could not recover once Miguel Almiron netted a third for Newcastle.
Substitute Valentino Lazaro made it 4-0 after he was slipped in by Jonjo Shelvey and he hit the post moments later, before Isaac Hayden skewed the rebound over from a few yards out.
Dan Gosling bundled in a consolation goal in stoppage time for Bournemouth, who now sit second-from-bottom of the Premier League with six games remaining.
BRIGHTON 0 V MANCHESTER UNITED 3
Manchester United brushed Brighton aside with a vibrant all-round display as their pursuit of a Champions League place gathered further momentum.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side totally dominated the contest at the Amex Stadium and extended their unbeaten run to 15 games to move up to fifth in the Premier League, two points adrift of Chelsea.
Teenager Mason Greenwood bamboozled Seagulls defender Lewis Dunk with quick footwork and drilled in an accurate opener for the visitors.
United were ruthless in the final third as midfield playmaker Bruno Fernandes, who was highly impressive once again, netted via a deflection, then volleyed in to finish a swift counter-attack.
Brighton did pose some threat in the second half but David de Gea made a flying save to deny Aaron Connolly as Graham Potter’s side remain in 15th place, six points above the relegation zone.
SHEFFIELD UNITED 3 V 1 SPURS
This was not a good night for Spurs fans. Before the game, I was convinced that Spurs had the quality to overcome a Sheffield United side who were not in great form, however, I did not give Sheffield United enough credit, as their teamwork, discipline and defending were all far superior to Spurs.
Sheffield United picked up their first win since the Premier League restart and kept alive their hopes of playing European football next season.
Sheffield’s record signing Sander Berge opened his account for the club with a neat finish in the first half, completing a fine, attacking move by the hosts.
Harry Kane thought he had equalised moments later but his strike was controversially ruled out by VAR because of a handball by Lucas Moura in the build-up.
Spurs were unable to mount a response after that as they struggled to break through a strong Sheffield United defence.
Instead, Chris Wilder’s men added a second midway through the second half when Lys Mousset turned in Enda Stevens’ cutback from close range.
And an ultimately comfortable victory was completed in the closing stages as Oli McBurnie swept in for his fifth goal of the season.
Kane, who had another goal ruled out for offside at 2-0, finally got on the scoresheet when he steered in Son Heung-min’s cross for his 13th goal of the season, but it was to be only a consolation strike.
Victory moves Sheffield United above their opponents into seventh in the Premier League, five points behind Manchester United and Wolves, who are fifth and sixth respectively.
Tottenham, who have not finished outside the top six since 2009, are ninth, seven points adrift of Wolves.
ARSENAL 4 V 0 NORWICH CITY
A howler by goalkeeper Tim Krul helped set Arsenal on their way to a win that lifts them up to seventh as bottom club Norwich City’s hopes of staying in the Premier League faded further.
Dutchman Krul lost possession to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the edge of his own penalty area for Arsenal’s opener, the Gabon forward whipping the ball from his feet to score his 18th top-flight goal of the season.
Aubameyang then turned provider for Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka to sweep home his first club goal since March 2019 before Aubameyang added another after a mistake by Josip Drmic.
Cedric Soares completed the rout, the substitute scoring from outside the penalty area 229 seconds after coming on for his Gunners debut.
EVERTON 2 V 1 LEICESTER CITY
Everton kept up their post-restart push for a place in next season’s Europa League with an impressive victory over Leicester at Goodison Park.
The Blues are unbeaten since the Premier League began again two weeks ago, with a second successive win coming courtesy of two goals in quick succession in the game’s first quarter.
Richarlison struck from close range before Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a debatable penalty, awarded following a lengthy VAR review for handball against Wilfred Ndidi.
Leicester rallied at the start of the second half and pulled a somewhat fortuitous goal back when Mason Holgate’s attempted clearance flew into the net off the face of substitute Kelechi Iheanacho.
But they were unable to make the most of the larger share of possession and chances to gain parity.
It is another blow for Leicester City who were knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea last weekend and now face a real test to hang on to their top-four spot in the table.
Two points from their past three games has opened the door to Manchester United and Wolves, both of whom are only three points behind Leicester and in much better form.
Everton, though, are looking up the table, with this win leaving them one point behind ninth-place Tottenham, a position that could be good enough to secure a European spot for next season.
MANCHESTER CITY 4 V 0 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool’s Premier League title-winning celebrations were slightly dampened as they were thrashed by deposed champions Manchester City, but who can really be surprised? Liverpool became champions last week after a thirty-year wait and I do not think that consciously the players were ready for the game, but subconsciously they must have been more relaxed, elated at being champions and on this occasion they were not at their best and got battered by Man City, although in the first period of the game, both teams had chances and it appeared to be an even game.
Jurgen Klopp’s side ended an agonising 30-year wait for the top-flight title when City lost at Chelsea last week, but were resoundingly hammered on their return to action.
The Reds, who were given a guard of honour by the hosts before kick-off, could have taken the lead at Etihad Stadium but Mohamed Salah’s low drive cannoned off the post.
It proved costly as Pep Guardiola’s men took complete control with a devastating first-half display in which they scored three goals within 20 minutes.
The sublime Kevin de Bruyne converted the opener from the penalty spot after Joe Gomez hauled down Raheem Sterling and the England international finished off a swift counter-attack for the second.
Midfielder Phil Foden further enhanced his reputation as a star in the making, coolly slotting home before half-time following a quick one-two with De Bruyne.
City scored their fourth in the second half when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain inadvertently slid the ball into his own net from Sterling’s low drive.
A disappointing result for Liverpool fans, but nothing to worry about, just the champions’ minor blip.
WEST HAM UNITED 3 V 2 CHELSEA
Andriy Yarmolenko’s last-gasp winner settled an eventful London derby with Chelsea and delivered a huge boost to West Ham United’s hopes of avoiding relegation.
In a topsy-turvy game, which saw West Ham infuriated when Tomas Soucek’s first-half goal was ruled out by VAR, substitute Yarmolenko made the decisive contribution when the finished off a superb counter attack with a classic left-foot finish.
Moyes was angry when Soucek saw a first-half goal ruled out because Michail Antonio was adjudged to be offside and in Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s line of vision.
Chelsea then took the lead through Willian’s penalty but battling West Ham levelled through Soucek’s header right on the stroke of half-time.
Man-of-the-match Antonio bundled West Ham in front six minutes after the interval but this eventful affair looked to be heading for a draw when Willian’s superb free-kick with 18 minutes left drew Chelsea level.
And yet, with injury-time looming, West Ham broke and the tireless Antonio set up Yarmolenko for a crisp finish that gave Moyes’ men what could be a priceless three points.
ASTON VILLA 0 V 1 WOLVES
Wolves are now fifth in the Premier League and only two points behind fourth-place Chelsea after their third win in a row.
Wolves, surprisingly, only managed two efforts on goal on Saturday, but the Belgium midfielder Leander Dendoncker made it count with their second when he struck low past Orjan Nyland.
As for Villa, they look to be a team in trouble, the desire to retain Premier League football seems to be draining out of them, they remain in 19th with 27 points.
WATFORD 1 V 3 SOUTHAMPTON
Danny Ings scored twice as Southampton deservedly beat Watford, Ings is now the second top scorer in the Premier League this season with 18. Watford were poor and remain in deep relegation trouble after another uninspired performance.
Ings curled home the opener from 20 yards following Will Smallbone’s pass.
And he blasted home a second, after controlling Ben Foster’s poor throw before surging towards the box.
Watford were bereft of ideas going forward and did not manage a single shot on target.
They did score when Jan Bednarek turned a cross into his own net but their hope of a comeback was brief as three minutes later James Ward-Prowse’s brilliant free-kick settled the game.
Watford, who have only won once in their past 11 games in all competitions, remain one point above the bottom three.
CRYSTAL PALACE 0 V 1 BURNLEY
Burnley’s victory came courtesy of a second-half header from captain Ben Mee, who threw himself in to meet an Ashley Westwood free-kick and steer an effort past Vicente Guaita, although the home keeper should really have saved it.Palace had Wilfried Zaha fit after he limped out of their previous game, at Liverpool five days ago, but his was a subdued display, like the rest of his fellow home forwards.
Their best chance fell to defender Gary Cahill, who fired straight at Nick Pope from inside the box.
Burnley’s win takes them to 45 points and eighth, a league position that could well result in a Europa League place if Manchester City’s European ban is upheld.
Palace, who also hold out hope of a late surge for a European place, are now 11th in the table, three points worse off than Monday’s opponents.
I got seven correct scores this week, so picking up my form 🙂
Please see following my week 33 predictions:
Norwich City 1 v 2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Leicester City 2 v 1 Crystal Palace
Manchester United 3 v 0 AFC Bournemouth
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 v 1 Arsenal
Chelsea 3 v 1 Watford
Burnley 2 v 1 Sheffield United
Newcastle United 2 v 1 West Ham United
Liverpool 3 v 1 Aston Villa
Southampton 1 v 3 Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur 3 v 1 Everton