By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 28
- Full results
Man City’s Carabao Cup win allowed Man United to close the gap at the top, but should the Red Devils be looking over their shoulder? Here is the breakdown of match-week 28 of the Premier League.
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Manchester United Claim Bragging Rights Over Chelsea
They had to come from behind after Willian opened the scoring after 32 minutes. The Brazilian linked up with Eden Hazard before firing the ball past David De Gea at the near post. The lead would last only seven minutes though as Romelu Lukaku held off Marcos Alonso to score against his former club.
The Belgian has been criticised for ‘going missing’ in big games, but his performance in this match showed why United paid big money to bring him in. Lukaku set up Jesse Lingard’s winning goal with 15 minutes left and came close to scoring a solo effort late on. Chelsea will feel aggrieved that Alvaro Morata’s goal was wrongly disallowed for offside, but for now United remain second whilst Chelsea slip out of the top four.
There was much talk in the build up to this match of the spat between the two managers. José Mourinho had referenced Antonio Conte’s ban for failing to report match-fixing in Italy, though the Italian was cleared over any wrong doing. Conte responded by calling his counter-part ‘A little man’, so tensions were high when they met on Sunday. Despite that, both managers shook hands before and after the game signalling the end to this chapter of their rivalry.
But They Better Watch Their Back
Man United have occupied second place for most of the season with their City rivals clear in front, so it has been heavily favoured to be a Manchester one-two. However, the Red Devils need to watch over their shoulder as Liverpool and Tottenham are hot on their heels.
Liverpool temporarily moved into second place with an impressive 4-1 win at home to West Ham on Saturday. Emre Can headed home from a corner after 30 minutes to put Liverpool ahead and net the Reds’ 100th goal of the season. Who else but Mohamed Salah would make it 2-0 after the break before Roberto Firmino added a third. Substitute Michail Antonio grabbed one back for the visitors, but Sadio Mane would restore the three goal lead 13 minutes from time.
Tottenham were less convincing in their win over Crystal Palace, but their own talisman Harry Kane would be the hero as he headed home two minutes from time to earn a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park. It was a deserved win for Spurs who continue their good form heading into the last 10 games of the season.
The recent form of both Tottenham and Liverpool has left them within touching distance of second place. Spurs are fourth, four points behind Man United whilst Liverpool sit only two points behind their rivals, and with the form both teams are currently in, it would not be a shock to see either of them finish second.
Pressure Is Mounting On Alan Pardew
West Brom’s miserable season continued as they suffered another defeat at the hands of fellow relegation rivals Huddersfield Town at the Hawthorns.
The Terriers went ahead early in the second half through Rajiv van La Parra, and doubled their lead through Steve Mounié. West Brom would get one back through Craig Dawson to make for a nervy finish, but Huddersfield would hang on to win their second straight Premier League match.
The Baggies would have remained bottom no matter the outcome, but only one win in their last 14 matches has surely condemned them to the Championship. Albion are currently seven points from safety and six points from 19th. Things can turn around quickly in the Premier League, but in current form it does not look likely for the Baggies. Alan Pardew was tasked with saving the team from relegation when he was appointed, and defeat next week may see the end of his tenure.
Huddersfield move to 14th, three points from the drop zone. The Terriers face Spurs next weekend before having two home games against fellows strugglers Swansea and Crystal Palace. There is a good chance over the coming weeks for the Yorkshire club to build their survival chances after a rough patch.
One Down, Two To Go For Man City
A shocking defeat at Wigan ended Manchester City’s hopes of a history making quadruple, but their took one step closer to the treble by winning the Carabao Cup on Sunday.
The Citizens were not at their best against Arsenal, but they did enough to secure a comfortable 3-0 win to lift their first trophy of the season at Wembley.
Sergio Aguero lobbed David Ospina to give his side the lead after 18 minutes after poor defending from Shkodran Mustafi. A rather toothless Arsenal failed to respond and after the break Vincent Kompany made it 2-0. David Silva’s fine finish would put the icing on the cake on 65 minutes and seal the victory for the Citizens.
It was the perfect response to the Wigan defeat on Monday as City complete stage one of their treble quest, and it was three members of the old guard that scored the goals. The Citizens will turn their attention to securing the Premier League title, which they can still do against Manchester United and the Champions League, where they are all but guaranteed a quarter final place. The domestic double looks like a certainty at this point, so the real challenge will come against Europe’s elite in the Champions League
Arsenal’s only hope a trophy comes in the Europa League. The Gunners have been drawn against a rejuvenated AC Milan however which will be a tough test for Arsenal. A trophy-less season and failure to finish inside the top four may signal the end for Arsene Wenger at the club, but that remains to be seen.
What Else Happened
Leicester City and Stoke City played out a 1-1 draw at the King Power stadium. The Foxes remain in the top half whilst Stoke remain in the bottom three, but this is a positive away result for the Potters.
Swansea are back in the bottom three after a 4-1 defeat at Brighton. The Seagulls were excellent in their home win that took them to 12th, four points clear of the relegation zone.
Southampton moved into 16th with a 1-1 draw at Burnley. Meanwhile Bournemouth came from 2-0 down to draw at home to Newcastle.
It was not a successful week for either of our writers, but Neil has extended his lead to 21 points in match-week 28 so far. There is still one game left to play. Can Niall overturn the week and catch up to Neil? Our will Neil extend his lead heading into match-week 29?
||Actual Score||Neil (191)
|Leicester 2-0 Stoke||Leicester 1-1 Stoke||Leicester 2-0 Stoke|
|Bournemouth 2-1 Newcastle||Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle||Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle|
|Brighton 1-1 Swansea||Brighton 4-1 Swansea||Brighton 4-1 Swansea (1)|
|Burnley 1-0 Southampton||Burnley 1-1 Southampton||Burnley 1-0 Southampton|
|Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (1)||Liverpool 4-1 West Ham||Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (1)|
|West Brom 1-0 Huddersfield||West Brom 1-2 Huddersfield||West Brom 2-0 Huddersfield|
|Watford 1-1 Everton||Watford 1-0 Everton||Watford 3-2 Everton (1)|
|Crystal Palace 0-2 Tottenham (1)||Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham||Crystal Palace 1-2 Tottenham (1)|
|Man United 0-0 Chelsea||Man United 2-1 Chelsea||Man United 0-0 Chelsea|
|Arsenal 1-3 Man City (1)||Arsenal 0-3 Man City||Arsenal 2-2 Man City|
The Premier League returns on March 3rd
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