By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 30
- Full results
Man United took bragging rights over Liverpool, but there is concern surrounding Harry Kane’s World Cup prospects. Here is a breakdown of the top stories from match-week 30 of the Premier League season.
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Manchester United Boost Second Place Chances
Not only are there huge bragging rights at stake in the game between England’s two most decorated clubs, there was implications on the race for second place (yes that is what it has come down to with Man City so far ahead). Liverpool sat only two points behind Man United heading into Saturday’s lunch time kick off and had a chance to leapfrog them with a win.
Their hopes were set back early however when Marcus Rashford latched onto a Romelu Lukaku flick before neatly finishing to give United the lead. The English teenager, who returned to the starting 11 in this match, made it two just 10 minutes later with a deflected effort.
Liverpool worked to get back into the game, but it was a Manchester United player who got them back into the game. Eric Bailly turned Sadio Mane’s cross to give Liverpool a deserved lifeline and set up a nervy last 25 minutes for the hosts. United were forced into a defensive shell as Liverpool pressed for an equaliser, but the Reds were unable to find a real breakthrough and United held on for the three points.
The win meant Jose Mourinho’s side opened up a five point gap between themselves and Liverpool who slipped to fourth after Tottenham’s win at Bournemouth.
Harry Kane Suffers Injury Setback Ahead Of The World Cup
Harry Kane’s dream of appearing in his first World Cup for England hang in the balance after the Tottenham striker was forced off with an injury in his sides’ 4-1 win at Bournemouth.
An ankle injury forced Kane off the pitch after just 33 minutes, the same ankle issue he had before. Last season, the Premier League’s top scorer missed 10 games due to ligament damage on his right ankle. If this injury is as serious, the England striker will miss the rest of the Premier League season and will be in a race to get fit for the World Cup in June.
The positive news for Tottenham and England fans is that Kane was not carried off the pitch and overall did not seem overly concerned about the injury. Either way, he is expected to miss a few games at least which is a big blow for Spurs.
Empty Seats Show Arsenal Fans’ Displeasure
Arsenal returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 3-0 victory against Watford, but the alarming thing was the patches of empty seats in the stadium.
The attendance was clocked at 59,131 in the Emirates which sounds like a good figure, however the Red seats and lack of atmosphere as a result was evident. With the Gunners off the top four pace and needing the Europa League to salvage their season, Arsenal fans are upset about the current situation of the club and are urging Arsene Wenger to leave so the club can move on.
There is a lot of unrest at the club and beating Watford will not mask that. With fans not turning up to the game, they are starting to hit the club financially and empty seats does not put the club in a good light.
This is the situation Arsenal find themselves in and it will not likely change in the near future unless we see some fresh blood at the helm.
Palace Are In Trouble Again
When Roy Hodgson took over as Crystal Palace manager the Eagles sat bottom of the Premier League without a win. The former England manager then led his team to a win over Chelsea and then out of the relegation zone.
Hodgson was dubbed as the saviour, the man to keep Palace in the Premier League. Now, as we pass match-week 30, they are back in the relegation zone and in big trouble. Chelsea were able to extract revenge on the Eagles with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge which left Palace 18th on 27 points.
They remain only a point off safety which is not much at all, but the worrying thing Is their form. The Eagles have lost their last four games and even though three were against elite Premier League teams, they did let a two goal lead slip against Man United. The only team in worse form is bottom club West Brom.
What Else Happened
Manchester City stayed on course to win the title against Manchester United by defeating Stoke City 2-0 thanks to a David Silva brace.
At the other end of the table, West Brom suffered another heavy defeat at the hands of Leicester. The Foxes defeated the Baggies 4-1 at the Hawthorns to pile further misery on the Premier League’s bottom club.
Swansea spent much of their trip to Huddersfield a man down, but the Welsh side held on to earn a point at the John Smith’s stadium.
Newcastle boosted their chances of survival with an impressive 3-0 win at home to Southampton. West Ham were not so successful however as they fell 3-0 to Burnley amongst on field protests by the fans. Elsewhere, Everton returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win at home to Brighton.
Predictions Round Up
Neil wins the week 8-7 and extends his lead by a single point in match-week 30. A late Crystal Palace goal cost Niall 3 points which would have won him the week and seen him close the gap at the top. As it was, Neil correctly predicted eight results and becomes the first player to cross the 200 point mark. 14 points is now the gap, can Niall catch up?
||Actual Score||Neil (203)
|Man United 1-1 Liverpool||Man United 2-1 Liverpool||Man United 2-3 Liverpool|
|Everton 1-0 Brighton (1)||Everton 2-0 Brighton||Everton 2-1 Brighton (1)|
|Huddersfield 2-1 Swansea||Huddersfield 0-0 Swansea||Huddersfield 1-1 Swansea (1)|
|Newcastle 1-1 Southampton||Newcastle 3-0 Southampton||Newcastle 1-0 Southampton (1)|
|West Brom 0-1 Leicester (1)||West Brom 1-4 Leicester||West Brom 1-2 Leicester (1)|
|West Ham 0-1 Burnley (1)||West Ham 0-3 Burnley||West Ham 1-1 Burnley|
|Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace (1)||Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace||Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace (1)|
|Arsenal 2-1 Watford (1)||Arsenal 3-0 Watford||Arsenal 2-1 Watford (1)|
|Bournemouth 1-2 Spurs (1)||Bournemouth 1-4 Spurs||Bournemouth 1-2 Spurs (1)|
|Stoke 0-3 Man City (1)||Stoke 0-2 Man City||Stoke 1-3 Man City (1)|
The Premier League returns on March 17th
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