The Premier League served up yet another treat.
A David vs Goliath esque upset conducted by Bournemouth shocked everyone.
Both the top two keep on winning and are starting to look unstoppable.
As well as this there was plenty of goals with four goal thrillers at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Elland Road, and The King Power Stadium.
With shocking results up and down the table it’s becoming even more possible to predict the champions, top four and bottom three.
Here is your roundup…
GAME OF THE WEEK
Fulham 0-3 Arsenal
After the drama of last weekend’s 97th minute victory Mikel Arteta will have hoped for this weekend’s clash against Fulham to be more straightforward. Arteta won’t have been naive the threat that Fulham pose with Marco Silva’s side going quite under the radar having a very strong season.
After conceding twice at home to Bournemouth perhaps Arteta hoped to sure things up defensively by reintroducing both Ben White and Granit Xhaka back into the starting XI in the places of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Fabio Vieira.
There were also two changes to Fulham’s starting XI, Tosin Adarabioyo and Bobby Reid in for Issa Diop and Willian who misses out due to injury. Joao Palhinha was still unavailable for Fulham ahead of this game due to a two-game suspension after accumulating ten yellow cards this season.
Whilst Marco Silva will have wanted his side to bounce back immediately after a disappointing 3-2 defeat against top seven rivals Brentford, he will have known it would’ve taken something special for his side to beat the table toppers.
Arsenal thought they were a goal up after 15 minutes when Antonee Robinson turned the ball into his own net after Bernd Leno parried Gabriel Martinelli’s shot into the leg of the defender, bouncing back across the line. Luckily for the cottagers Martinelli was offside in the build-up so the goal was ruled out after a VAR check.
However, five minutes later Arsenal once again took the lead but this time there was no offside to save Fulham. Leandro Trossard’s floated corner was met by Gabriel who rose highest and headed past Leno from close range. Leno nearly managed to get a hand to the header however there was just too much power on it for the keeper to have much of a chance.
The gunners lead doubled just minutes later when Trossard turned away from Kenny Tete and crossed well to Martinelli who finally got his goal lurking at the back post. Fulham fans will have been disappointed with left-back Robinson who probably should’ve put the Arsenal scorer under more pressure when he headed in on the back post.
Arsenal got a third in first-half stoppage time through the skipper Martin Odegaard. Trossard once again crossed from the left wing, finding Odegaard who was unpressured whilst plucking the ball out the air inside the area. He shifted the ball onto his favoured left foot and drilled his shot into the bottom left corner from ten yards out.
Going into half-time three goals without reply there wasn’t much Arteta needed to say to his players other than keep going and don’t become complacent. However, there were probably some choice words used by Silva in the Fulham dressing room with some uncharacteristically poor defending.
Fulham did come close to getting themselves back into the game when Adarabioyo’s header crashed against the crossbar from a corner, other than that Aaron Ramsdale was relatively unchallenged for the second half.
The game ended 0-3 with the gunners extending their winning run to five games, they simply look unstoppable at the moment.
Fulham drop one place to eighth, now three points behind Liverpool in the last Europa League spot.
Arsenal are certainly showing no signs of letting up and have shown their title credentials with this flawless run after murmurs Arteta’s side were falling off a few weeks back.
We are certainly in for a cracking run in with the gunners also facing Manchester City at the Etihad at the end of April.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Manchester City
After slipping up a few weeks ago, drawing away at Nottingham Forest, City had bounced back with consecutive wins against Bournemouth and Newcastle. Pep Guardiola’s side were unbeaten in their last five games coming into Saturday evenings clash.
It’s a very different story for Crystal Palace, the eagles haven’t recorded a win yet in 2023 with their last three points coming against Bournemouth on New Years Eve. This is a concerning run of bad form for Patrick Viera’s side which has side them drop from being comfortable in mid-table to relegation contenders. There is a serious need for Palace to get going before they slip even further down into the relegation zone.
The game played out as many would’ve expected, with City dominating the ball and putting the Palace defence under pressure.
There were good chances for Rodri and Jack Grealish, but the best chance of the half fell to Erling Haaland. The striker received the ball just outside the six-yard box when Nathan Ake cut it back to him. Uncharacteristically the Norwegians shot flew over the crossbar, a chance you would expect him to score nine times out of ten.
In the second half city kept their pressure up and finally got their breakthrough when Ilkay Gundogan was fouled by Michael Olise clumsily inside the area resulting in the referee awarding a penalty to City.
Erling Haaland was on hand to slot the ball past Vicente Guaita drilling the ball into the bottom left corner sending the keeper the wrong way. The game ended 0-1 with the citizens happy to sit back and defend their lead comfortably.
Another win for City keeps them still in touching distance of league leaders Arsenal, both teams seemingly in cruise control for the time being, the gap remaining at 5 points.
In normal circumstances a defeat against Manchester City isn’t too concerning for Palace but in the context of their results in 2023 its yet another defeat. Viera’s side haven’t recorded a shot on target now in three consecutive Premier League games, something must change if Palace are going to keep themselves in the Premier League.
Leicester City 1-3 Chelsea
Chelsea had finally gotten going under Graham Potter with a win against Leeds last weekend in the Premier League and a win midweek in the Champions League. There was lots of speculation that Chelsea had to win both these games for Potter to keep his job so therefore he will have been relieved to do so. Chelsea fans will have been cautiously optimistic coming into this game off the back of two victories and now starting to see glimpses of what Potter wants to do.
Leicester had lost three on the bounce ahead of this game, so a result was needed as the foxes’ edge closer to the relegation zone. Brendan Rodgers opted to match Chelsea up with a back five, perhaps fearful of the threat Chelsea pose down the flanks with their wingbacks.
It was Ben Chilwell, one of Chelsea’s wingbacks, who gave his side the lead after ten minutes. Kalidou Koulibaly found himself wide on the left after a corner and seemingly overhit his cross clearing everyone who was still waiting in the box. However, Ben Chilwell was waiting ready to pounce fiercely lashing a volley toward the near post from a tight angle. Danny Ward will be disappointed to be beaten at his near post from so far out but perhaps will blame all the bodies in the box that could’ve unsighted him.
Both teams struck the woodwork before Leicester equalised in the 39th minute. Joao Felix lost the ball in a dangerous area allowing Leicester to get at the Chelsea’s defence. Patson Daka received the ball about 25 yards out and weaved away from Felix and Enzo Fernandez before picking out the bottom right corner with a powerful and precise effort from the edge of the area. A moment of individual brilliance that got his team back into the game just before halftime.
However, Leicester wouldn’t go into the interval drawing as in the sixth minute of first-half additional time Chelsea retook the lead through Kai Havertz. The German latched onto a brilliant, lofted pass over the top of the Leicester defence from Fernandez before delicately lobbing Ward. Everyone will be talking about the pass from Fernandez that he made look so effortless which left the back three of Leicester completely stranded.
Chelsea sealed victory in 78th minute when Mateo Kovacic finished spectacularly inside the box. Havertz involved again, crossed to the back post where Mykhaylo Mudryk was waiting to head back inside the area to Kovacic who showed his flair scissor kicking the ball past Ward from close range.
To add insult to injury Leicester went down to ten men in the last few minutes. Wout Faes was shown a second yellow for a late challenge on Carney Chukwuemeka.
It appears now that Chelsea have turned a corner and with their last few results sit only five points away from a Europa League spot.
Leicester only stay out of the bottom three on goal difference. The foxes need to get back to winning ways next weekend against Brentford if they’re to stay up.
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Nottingham Forest
With Champions League disappointment still fresh in the minds of Spurs fans as well as questionable interviews from both Antonio Conte and Richarlison leaving a sour taste, there were many eyes peeled to see what sort of reaction Conte’s side would have.
Forest had no win in their last four games coming into this one and with only one away win all season a trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was always going to be a real challenge.
Spurs flew out of the traps taking the lead after three minutes when Richarlison fired into the roof of the net from close range. However, the Brazilian had strayed just offside so the goal was ruled out by the VAR meaning that elusive first Premier League goal is still escaping him.
This didn’t stop Spurs with Conte’s side taking the lead in the 19th minute. Pedro Porro picked the ball up inside the area and curled a cross towards the back post where Harry Kane was waiting to head back across goal an into the back of the net. This goal concluded a brilliant start from Conte’s side showcasing just what they’re capable of.
Spurs lead was doubled 15 minutes later when Harry Kane converted from the penalty spot. Joe Worrall brought Richarlison down inside the box clumsily leaving no doubt when the referee awarded a penalty. Kane made no mistake from 12 yards finishing powerfully straight down the middle of the goal sending Keylor Navas the wrong way.
Spurs went into halftime two goals to the good and with Fraser Forster having little to no work to do.
Spurs brought their attacking dominance into the second half and again Nottingham Forest had no reply. Cristian Romero curled the ball down the right channel in behind Renan Lodi for Richarlison to chase. The Brazilian crossed first time however it was blocked by skipper Joe Worrall, but the ball fell back to the feet of Richarlison on the right wing. This time his cross found Heung-Min Son who was stood on the penalty spot. The South-Korean took the ball down brilliantly and turned away from Serge Aurier before drilling an effort low into the bottom right corner.
Forest managed to claw a consolation goal back against the run of play courtesy of a Morgan Gibbs-White corner. Felipe rose the highest to flick the corner to the back post where Worrall was waiting to nod the ball over the line.
Forest where awarded a penalty in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time when the ball struck Dejan Kulusevski on the arm inside his own penalty box. Andre Ayew stepped up to take the spot kick however Forster was level with his tame effort, diving the right way and denying the Ghanian his first Forest goal.
The game ended 3-1 with the home side collecting all three points cementing their place in the top four.
As for the visitors they’re now winless in their last five Premier League games with only two points now separating themselves and the bottom three. Forest face Wolves at home as well as Leeds away in two of their next three games, these will be crunch games in determining which sides stay up this season.
Leeds United 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton are still chasing their dreams of European football coming into this game just seven points behind Spurs in fourth with three critical games in hand.
Leeds were still finding their feet under new manager Javi Gracia ahead of this game with an important home win against Southampton in his first game and a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
Both teams have had no issues scoring goals this season, so this game was set to be a thriller.
Brighton opened the scoring in the 33rd minute after a brilliant team move down the right-hand side of the pitch. Adam Webster started the move by finding Pascal Gross in space on the right wing. The German cut back onto his weaker foot and then cut back again to his stronger foot beating Marc Roca before crossing to the back post. Kaoru Mitoma outjumped Luke Ayling and nodded the ball down to Alexis Mac Allister inside the six-yard-box who powered a header past Illan Meslier and into the left-hand side of the goal. The French goalkeeper had no chance with Mac Allister finding himself with so much space inside the six-yard-box. Javi Gracia will be left wondering how did the World Cup winner find himself all alone so close to the goal in such a dangerous area.
However, Leeds fought back just seven minutes later when Jack Harrison robbed Joel Veltman in a dangerous area. The winger ran down the wing before carefully picking out Patrick Bamford outside the area who turned away from Moises Caicedo and fired an effort in off the underside of the crossbar. This was only Bamfords second goal of the season and his first at Elland Road this campaign.
Brighton retook the lead midway through the second half when the lively Mitoma once again foraged down the left-wing causing Luke Ayling all sorts of problems. Mitoma beat Ayling to the by-line before flashing a cross across the face of goal. Leeds were unable to deal with it as after a few deflections Jack Harrison turned the ball into his own net with a failed clearance on his week foot. Brighton will not have cared how they retook the lead all they had to do now was hold on for 30 minutes, but that was easier said than done away at Elland Road.
Leeds battled back and equalized for a second time through Harrison who had to put things right after scoring an own goal earlier in the game. It came from a short corner in which Harrison drove into the penalty area before cutting onto his right foot and lifting his powerful shot over Jason Steele and into the top right corner.
This goal capped a brilliant attacking display from both sides and got his side a well-deserved point. Leeds remain in the bottom three but with only five points between 20th and 13th there are plenty of teams under threat.
Roberto Di Zerbi’s side lose ground on Spurs however they’ll still feel confident they can close some of the gap with their crucial games in hand.
AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Liverpool
After Liverpool’s 7-0 demolition job of Manchester United last weekend many expected Liverpool to breeze past Bournemouth with perhaps a similar score line to the one last week. Gary O’Neil perhaps may also have been fearful of a heavy defeat with the manager himself admitting that he didn’t know how his side would react to the heartbreak of losing in the seventh minute of added time against Arsenal after being two goals up in the 62nd minute.
However, Bournemouth started strong and caused the Liverpool backline a fair few problems with the pace off Dango Ouattara. Liverpool came close early the first half when Virgil van Dijk guided a header goalward which Jefferson Lerma acrobatically blocked on the line, keeping his side in the game.
Bournemouth’s hard work was rewarded in the 28th minute when they took the lead through Philip Billing. The lively Ouattara received the ball over the top of the Liverpool defence before weaving away from van Dijk and to the by-line. The winger cut the ball back to Philip Billing who just like last week against Arsenal found himself in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball away into the back of the net.
The cherries defensive effort was resolute for the remainder of the first half and much of the second half.
In the 68th minute Diogo Jota headed goalward with his effort destined for the back of the net before it struck the back of Adam Smith’s arm. Despite the fullback not knowing anything about it the referee had no choice but to award Liverpool a penalty.
Up stepped Mohammed Salah who’d been so consistent from the penalty spot for his side in seasons past. However, not this time. The Egyptian missed the target in an attempt to find the top left corner. After being on the end of quite an unlucky decision that saw Liverpool awarded the penalty Gary O’Neil will have been relieved to see his side receive a bit of luck with the penalty not converted.
Spurred on by this, Bournemouth held on for the remainder of the game with a heroic defensive display that saw them earn all three points. This result was just what the cherries needed to kickstart their charge for Premier League survival after three tricky games against Liverpool and the top two.
This result came as a shock for Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s side now back to square one after such a promising result last weekend.
Newcastle United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Newcastle came into this game without a Premier League win since mid-January and one point in their last three games.
The visitors would’ve picked up some momentum from their win last weekend against Spurs, points still vital in their survival fight.
The first goal in this game came in the 26th minute from yet another Kieran Trippier set piece. He floated a cross in from a freekick around 35 yards out wide on the left wing. Alexander Isak met it with a brilliant header which beat Jose Sa and landed in the bottom left corner. This was the Swedes fourth of the season and first since January.
Wolves capitalised on a rare defensive mistake from Trippier when he slipped whilst attempting to clear the ball. Hwang Hee-Chan was on hand to pass the ball into an open net when this opportunity presented itself out of nowhere.
However, Newcastle made sure that mistake didn’t cost them when they won the game with just over ten minutes left of the game. Miguel Almiron played a one-two with Joe Willock picking the ball up on the corner of the six-yard box before showing composure curling the ball around Sa and into the back of the net. The Paraguayan continues his brilliant scoring season now with eleven in this campaign.
They may have left it late but all that counts is that they got the three points, keeping up their impressive record at St. James Park only losing once there this season.
Julen Lopetegui will have been disappointed to see his side lose so late on, however with games against Leeds and Nottingham Forest fast approaching his attention will quickly focus to those six-pointers.
West Ham United 1-1 Aston Villa
Just as we thought West Ham had turned a corner by when they beat fellow relegation rivals Nottingham Forest 4-0 all was undone when they lost 4-0 themselves away at Brighton the week after. After some tough opponents in recent weeks hammers fans had identified this game as one that their side needed to get something out of with many teams around them starting to pick up points.
Villa came into this comfortable in midtable with nothing really to play for but undefeated in their last three so Unai Emery will have wanted to extend that streak.
Alex Moreno has found it difficult to break into the Villa side since he signed in January but when he crossed excellently setting up the villains first goal, it will have done him plenty of favours. His drilled cross was met by Ollie Watkins who headed the ball down into the ground, bouncing into the top corner. Watkins now has six in his last seven games and will be hoping for a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad on Thursday.
Only nine minutes later Leon Bailey dragged Lucas Paqueta down inside the area forcing referee Chris Kavanagh to award the hammers a penalty. Said Benrahma took the spot kick, hammering the ball down the centre of the goal and into the roof of the net.
Watkins should’ve put his side back into the lead later in the first half when he shot from close range however, he couldn’t beat Alphonse Areola.
There were missed chances for both chances in the second half showing a lack of quality finishing from both sides.
The point lifts West Ham out the relegation zone, another home game against Southampton the next time they’re in Premier League action. This will be a must win game for David Moyes with many fans calling for the board to give him the sack.
Everton 1-0 Brentford
Brentford come into this game with a 12-game unbeaten streak, with Thomas Frank’s side last losing in late October.
Everton came into the game needing a win as since Sean Dyche took over wins had been hard to come by despite performances improving.
Everton took the lead after just 35 seconds. Alex Iwobi won the ball wide by the touchline and passed inside to Abdoulaye Doucoure who charged forward before laying the ball off to Dwight McNeil on the edge of the box. McNeil took a touch before lashing the ball past David Raya and into the top corner. This was a moment of magic that gave Everton a kickstart and stung the bees early on.
Just before halftime Everton thought they’d doubled their lead when Demari Gray was on hand to bundle home an effort from very close range. However, with the help of the VAR, referee Simon Hooper disallowed the goal for handball.
Everton managed to hold on and win the game 1-0 with some heroic defending that’s so synonymous with Sean Dyche sides.
The win lifts Everton out of the relegation zone, however with the teams beneath them all with games in hand they’re far from safe.
Thomas Frank will be disappointed after this loss with his side chasing European football however with the visit of Southampton midweek the bees won’t have to wait long for a chance to put things right.
Manchester United 0-0 Southampton
All eyes were peeled to see how Manchester United would respond to last weekend’s 7-0 battering at Anfield. After a strong response midweek in the Europa League many expected united to get back to winning ways in the Premier League with what on paper seemed a fairly easy game at home.
Southampton’s form had been inconsistent in recent weeks but with two wins in their last three the Saints would’ve gone to Old Trafford with some momentum behind them.
The biggest talking point in the match occurred in the 34th minute when Casemiro arrived late in a challenge on Carlos Alcaraz catching the Argentine high on his shin. The on-field referee Anthony Taylor initially showed a yellow card to Casemiro however once the VAR instructed him to review the challenge on the monitor Casemiro was shown the red card.
Southampton made use of their man advantage with the Saints causing problems for the United defence. The best of the Saints chances occurred when James Ward-Prowse hit the top of the crossbar from a freekick.
Bruno Fernandes also hit the woodwork with his shot having the beating of Gavin Bazunu.
The game ended 0-0 which was a great result for Southampton, a point closer for safety.
Eric Ten-Hag will have been disappointed his side didn’t go on to win the game despite being down to ten men due to the quality his side has in comparison to the saints.