By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 23
- Full results
Manchester City finally tasted defeat in match-week 23 of the Premier League season. There is that and more to look at in our review of the weekend’s football.
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Man City No Longer Invincible
Manchester City finally tasted defeat in the Premier League this season as they were defeated 4-3 by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Many pointed at this fixture as one where Pep Guardiola’s side could come undone. Liverpool are in good form and have the style to take it to City and make it count. The Citizens have shown more vulnerability to teams that press high and use the ball well, and that is exactly what Liverpool bring to the table.
Jurgen Klopp’s side implemented this game-plan right away and took an early lead through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. City would equalise before half time when Leroy Sane powered an effort past Loris Karius.
It looked like City may take control of the game, but in an incredible eight minute spell Liverpool hit three goals to go 4-1 up against the league leaders. Roberto Firmino took advantage of poor defending to restore the lead, an Sadio Mane made it 3-1 just minutes later with a neat finish. City were reeling and Ederson’s poor clearance gifted a goal to Mohamed Salah who made it 4-1.
Credit must go the Guardiola’s side however. Despite being 4-1 down they never gave up on the match and as Liverpool felt the pressure, Bernardo Silva got one back to make for a nervy last ten minutes. Ilkay Gundogan made it 4-3 early in stoppage time, but Liverpool were able to hang on for a well deserved victory.
It is the first time the league leaders have tasted defeat this season, and the first time they were second best in a match for the first time this campaign. Liverpool move up to third with their win.
Harry Kane Cements Himself As A Tottenham Legend
It was another big week for Tottenham’s Harry Kane. The English striker scored twice as Spurs thumped Everton 4-0 at Wembley on Saturday, and in the process he broke another record.
Kane now sits on 98 Premier League goals for Tottenham, one more than the previous record held by Teddy Sheringham, and he did it in 131 less games. It is clear he is not done yet too. At only 24 years of age, Kane has plenty of opportunities t add to his tally.
The Englishman has not won any major trophies with Spurs yet, but he will still go down as one of their all time great players just based on his goalscoring ability alone.
It Has Been a Terrible Month For Arsenal
It is fair to say January has not been a good month for Arsenal and their manager Arsene Wenger.
Alexis Sanchez is moving closer and closer to exiting the club with Manchester United now the favourites to snap up the Chilean. Sanchez has not signed a contract extension and could leave as soon as this month for the right offer. The Gunners are also yet to seal Mesut Ozil’s and Jack Wilshere’s contract too and they could also both leave the club at the end of the season.
If things could not get any worse, Arsenal responded to their shock FA Cup defeat by losing to Bournemouth on Sunday. Hector Bellerin had given the Gunners the lead, but Callum Wilson and Jordan Ibe overturned the score-line to give Bournemouth a huge win.
Arsenal are now eight points shy of the top four and it is looking increasingly likely that their only way to return to Champions League football is by winning the Europa League.
West Brom Finally Get A Win
We talked plenty about the winning streak of Manchester City and their unbeaten start to the season being over, but lower down the table another streak was coming to an end.
It had been 20 matches since West Brom had recorded a Premier League win. It was the worst run of form in the history of the club and as a result they sat joint bottom with Swansea. That is until they beat Brighton on Saturday.
New manager Alan Pardew got his first win with the club as his side ran out 2-0 winners at the Hawthorns. They took the lead in typical West Brom fashion when Jonny Evans bundled home from a corner. The hosts added a second after the break thanks to Craig Dawson’s header which sealed a much needed win.
West Brom remain 19th, but this could be a start of a relegation escape. They are now only two points behind Southampton is 17th and travel to an out of form Everton next time out.
What Else Happened?
Chelsea slipped to third after a 0-0 draw with Leicester at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have a busy fixture schedule coming up and have been dragged into the top four battle at the worst possible time.
Manchester United took advantage of Chelsea’s dropped points by defeating Stoke City 3-0 at Old Trafford. Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku were the scorers as United cemented second place for another mach-week.
Crystal Palace continued their good form under Roy Hodgson by narrowly defeating Burnley 1-0 at Selhurst Park. Palace are now one point off the top half of the table whilst Burnley are winless in their last five.
West Ham find themselves in a similar position to Palace after thrashing Huddersfield 4-1 at the John Smiths Stadium. The Hammers are now unbeaten in their last four and sit 11th in the table.
Southampton’s woes continued after squandering a two goal lead against Watford. Meanwhile Swansea remain bottom after a 1-1 draw at Newcastle.
Neil extended his lead to 32 points this match-week with two correct scores and four correct results. Niall needs a big turnaround, can he start it next week?
||Actual Score||Neil (164)
|Chelsea 3-1 Leicester||Chelsea 0-0 Leicester||Chelsea 2-1 Leicester|
|Crystal Palace 1-1 Burnley||Crystal Palace 1-0 Burnley||Crystal Palace 2-1 Burnley (1)|
|Huddersfield 2-1 West Ham||Huddersfield 1-4 West Ham||Huddersfield 2-2 West Ham|
|Newcastle 2-0 Swansea||Newcastle 1-1 Swansea||Newcastle 1-1 Swansea (3)|
|Watford 2-1 Southampton||Watford 2-2 Southampton||Watford 0-0 Southampton (1)|
|West Brom 1-0 Brighton (1)||West Brom 2-0 Brighton||West Brom 2-1 Brighton (1)|
|Tottenham 2-0 Everton (1)||Tottenham 4-0 Everton||Tottenham 2-2 Everton|
|Bournemouth 2-3 Arsenal||Bournemouth 2-1 Arsenal||Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal|
|Liverpool 2-2 Man City||Liverpool 4-3 Man City||Liverpool 3-2 Man City (1)|
|Man United 2-0 Stoke (1)||Man United 3-0 Stoke||Man United 3-0 Stoke (3)|
The Premier League returns on January 20th
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