Gary Mabbutt the best insights and reviews. It has not been the best of weeks to be a Spurs fan, the furore surrounding the Super League, followed by the sacking of Jose Mourinho and then a below par performance in the final has not brought many smiles this week.
It was though amazing to see fans back in Wembley stadium for the game and has wetted every football fan’s appetite for a return to the stadiums.
Manchester City won the League Cup for a record equalling fourth time in succession with a deserved victory over a disappointing Tottenham Hotspur side at Wembley.
City defender Aymeric Laporte, arguably fortunate to be on the pitch after escaping a yellow card in the first half before being cautioned after the break, rose above Spurs substitute Moussa Sissoko to head home Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick eight minutes from time.
It was appropriate reward for City creating a host of chances and dominating Spurs, who did not enjoy any sort of positive reaction from sacking manager Jose Mourinho on Monday and replacing him with caretaker Ryan Mason.
The final was played in front of 8,000 supporters, including 2,000 from each club and it was a delight to hear noise inside Wembley’s vast arena once more.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND UP WEEK 33
ASTON VILLA 2 V 2 WEST BROMWICH ALBION
West Brom’s faint hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a significant setback after substitute Keinan Davis scored a 92nd-minute equaliser for Aston Villa.
West Brom fell behind when Anwar El Ghazi marked his return to the side by firing Villa ahead from the penalty spot after Semi Ajayi had clipped Ross Barkley.
They were then awarded a penalty of their own, Matheus Pereira beating Emiliano Martinez to equalise after Ezri Konsa caught Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Mbaye Diagne’s deflected finish off Tyrone Mings looked to have sealed a third win in four games.
But Davis pounced in the closing moments for his first Premier League goal after a defensive mix-up to deny the Baggies, who are now nine points from safety with five games remaining.
LEEDS UNITED 0 V 0 MANCHESTER UNITED
The bore draw of the week came at Elland Rd, where both teams looked very laid back and not at it.
The draw continued Leeds fine run of results against teams in the top six since the turn of the year, having won at Leicester and leaders Manchester City, as well as holding Chelsea, Liverpool and, now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.
The result means Manchester City will be crowned Premier League champions next weekend if Pep Guardiola’s side beat Crystal Palace on Saturday and second-placed United lose at home to Liverpool on Sunday.
WOLVES 0 V 4 BURNLEY
This was an embarassment for any Wolves fan, the Wolves players looking like they are already on the beach holidaying, it speaks a lot of their squad.
Burnley took a huge step towards retaining their Premier League status as a first-half Chris Wood hat-trick saw them thrash a lifeless Wolves at Molineux.
An awful display from the hosts was ruthlessly exposed by Burnley, who produced an excellent performance to end a run of three straight defeats in style.
Sean Dyche’s side are now nine points clear of Fulham and the relegation zone with 15 to play for and the long-serving manager can surely start planning for a sixth consecutive season in the top flight.
Wood was superb throughout but was also gifted his chances by a Wolves display that was worryingly half-hearted and reeked of the end of a season marooned in mid-table.
Strike partner Matej Vydra saw his effort ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside but there was still time for a fourth as Ashley Westwood thumped in from the edge of the area.
SHEFFIELD UNITED 1 V BRIGHTON 0
David McGoldrick said Sheffield United’s players are fighting for their futures at the club after he scored a winner which earned the Blades a first victory since manager Chris Wilder’s departure last month. McGoldrick’s seventh goal of the season gave caretaker head coach Paul Heckingbottom his first three points and kept wasteful visitors Brighton looking nervously over their shoulders. United’s relegation was confirmed by defeat at Wolves seven days ago, but handed a glimmer of hope to the other sides in the bottom three as McGoldrick punished poor Brighton defending.
WEST HAM UNITED 0 V 1 CHELSEA
Timo Werner’s first goal since February saw off West Ham and means Chelsea head for Spain’s capital with confidence sky high for Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid.
In a tightly-fought contest against West Ham, Werner, who has struggled to make a significant impact since joining for £47m last summer, started and finished the move that sealed the points.
The Germany forward fired home from Ben Chilwell’s cross after a well-worked move involving Christian Pulisic, West Ham struggled to create chances and finished the game with 10 men after Fabian Balbuena was shown a straight red card in the 81st minute after catching Chilwell’s leg with his follow through while making a clearance.
The Hammers remain fifth in the table, three points behind Chelsea.
LIVERPOOL 1 V 1 NEWCASTLE
Newcastle substitute Joe Willock scored a dramatic but deserved 95th-minute equaliser to deny Liverpool a much-needed win in their pursuit of Champions League football.
Mohamed Salah’s early goal appeared to have put the champions on track for a vital three points as they chase a top-four finish at the end of a disappointing season.
Steve Bruce’s much improved team kept up the late pressure and were rewarded when Willock fired in for the third match in a row with the last kick of the game to strengthen their own position at the bottom of the table.
The draw leaves Liverpool four points adrift of fourth placed Chelsea, with five games to play.
CHELSEA 0 V 0 BRIGHTON
The bore draw of the week came at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea could only manage three shots on target against relegation threatened Brighton, it was a very poor perfromance
from a side whose point on the night moved them into a Champions League place. No team has been able to show any consistency like Liverpool did last season when demolishing the Premier League. It has been a very wide open affair, Manchester City have been the better of the teams , but have also been very vulnerable on occasions.
ASTON VILLA 1 V 2 MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester City’s win leaves them 11 points clear of Manchester United and withing touching distance of the title.
However, they had a scare when centre-half John Stones was sent off just before the break for a knee-high challenge on Jacob Ramsey.
But Villa wasted the man advantage when Matty Cash was dismissed 11 minutes into the second half following two bookings in the space of three minutes.
The hosts had earlier gone ahead after only 20 seconds as John McGinn guided a shot past Ederson following Ollie Watkins low cross.
The impressive Phil Foden finished off a fine City team move to equalise before Rodri headed what proved to be the winner following Bernardo Silva’s cross.
City led 2-1 when they went down to 10 men, but Villa could not capitalise on the extra player.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 V 1 SOUTHAMPTON
Gareth Bale curled in a superb equaliser after Southampton had taken the lead when Danny Ings glanced in James Ward-Prowse’s corner.
With Harry Kane missing Spurs were not at their best and appeared to have been affected by their tumultuous few days, with Jose Mourinho being sacked less than 24 hours after the club announced they were to join a new European Super League.
Chairman Daniel Levy has since expressed regret over the “anxiety and upset” caused by the proposal, which had collapsed before this game kicked off, following widespread condemnation.
Signs of that backlash were evident prior to kick-off as groups of Spurs supporters gathered outside their club’s stadium calling for Levy and owners the ENIC group to leave the club.
Despite the unrest and an unsettling start to the week, this result moves Tottenham up to sixth, two points outside the top four. while the Saints remain 14th in the table.
Click here for the goals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JkuwOoEFYA
LEICESTER CITY 3 V 0 WEST BROMICH ALBION
Leicester moved four points clear in third place in the Premier League with victory over relegation-threatened West Brom at the King Power Stadium.
Three goals in 13 first-half minutes did the damage as striker Jamie Vardy scored one and assisted another.
Vardy was teed up by Timothy Castagne for the opener, before he set up Kelechi Iheanacho after a driving run down the left for Leicester’s third.
Centre-back Jonny Evans had nodded in a deflected corner to make it 2-0.
Victory means Leicester are now four points clear of Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot with six games remaining. The two sides meet in the league – as well as the FA Cup final – next month.
ARSENAL 0 V 1 EVERTON
Everton had failed to win in six games in all competitions but moved to within three points of the top four with a victory which was achieved amid a backdrop of protest. Over 1,000 Arsenal fans turned up outside the stadium to show their anger about owner Stan Kroenke’s role in the failed European Super League.The goal came when Everton forward Richarlison tried to roll a pass across the six-yard box. Leno should have scooped it up, but the ball slipped through the Arsenal keeper’s hands, hitting his leg on the way in.
That was a rare moment of goalmouth action on the night as Everton won at Arsenal in the league for the first time since 1996. Gylfi Sigurdsson came closest before that when his 30-yard free-kick hit the bar. Arsenal were awarded a penalty in the second half after Richarlison nicked Dani Ceballos – but it was overturned by the video assistant referee for a Nicolas Pepe offside in the build-up.
I got five correct results, just mid table form from me, but safe from relegation 🙂
Please see following my predictions for week 34
Leicester City 2 v 1 Crystal Palace
Southampton 2 v 1 Leicester City
Crystal Palace 1 v 3 Manchester City
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 v 1 Leeds United
Chelsea 1 v 2 Fulham
Everton 1 v 2 Aston Villa
Newcastle United 2 v 1 Arsenal
Manchester United 2 v 1 Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur 4 V 1 Sheffield United
West Bromwich Albion 2 V 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Burnley 2 V 1 West Ham United