Matchweek 24 proved to be a week filled with suspense and drama at all points of the Premier League table. From Arsenal climbing back to the top of the table to Southampton keeping their survival hopes alive after defeating Chelsea. Let’s take a look at some of these key moments that happened over the weekend.
Arsenal show mettle as they continue to fight for the Premier League Title.
Arsenal were in danger of losing steam at a crucial time with just one point out of a possible nine. Even worse than losing to Manchester City 63 hours earlier, Arsenal found themselves in a similar situation at Aston Villa on Saturday. They fell behind to an early goal from Ollie Watkins, drew even through Bukayo Saka, then conceded again to Philippe Coutinho’s goal. Arsenal showed they have the character to handle the strain of battling it out with serial winners City following the dramatic late win over Unai Emery’s Aston Villa as their title hopes began to dwindle after a string of poor results over the last several weeks. Arsenal’s first victory in five games across all competitions has given them new hope that winning their first championship since 2004 is still possible.
Manchester City slip up yet AGAIN!
Chris Wood’s 84th-minute equalizer in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest punished Manchester City for a string of squandered opportunities, frustratingly ending their brief place at the top. City would have ended the weekend in first place if they had overcome Forest after defeating Arsenal 3-1 on Wednesday. When Bernardo Silva gave them the lead in the 40th minute, they were on track to accomplish that. Erling Haaland, however, missed another excellent opportunity as City faltered, blazing the rebound over after hitting the bar. Although they are now two points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand, City defender Kyle Walker fires a warning to the Gunners that his team would not give up on winning a 5th title in 6 years.
Bottom of the league Southampton stun Chelsea at the Bridge.
At Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, Chelsea lost 1-0 to Southampton in the Premier League. As caretaker manager Ruben Selles demonstrated in the most recent criticism of Potter’s administration to date, a work in progress and a cluttered mess are entirely different things. Selles had just finished six days of coaching a Saints team that had been inherited from the bottom of the table. Chelsea put up extra commitment in the second half after a lackluster first, but very little was still created. Chelsea and Arsenal share the league’s second-best defensive record after allowing just 23 goals each, but they struggle mightily offensively as their 23 goals scored are the fewest of any team in the top ten. Graham Potter’s tactical choices need to be scrutinized because, while at Brighton, he struggled to get his team to score goals while maintaining a strong defense. Chelsea supporters shouldn’t worry too much, though, because at least he’s getting the defensive aspect right but it’s only a matter of time before we know if he can get the attack firing.
Eddie Howe makes unwanted history following the Liverpool defeat.
First, Liverpool. Bravo, Liverpool. They had been pretty bad for the whole season, but they are now solidly in the running for the top four. Eddie Howe had a terrible game as Newcastle lost to Liverpool 2-0 on Saturday night at St. James’ Park, and he won’t want to hear the history he just made. Howe became the first manager in history to lose 10 straight league games against the Reds. The defeat was Newcastle’s second of the season, both coming against Liverpool. The Reds are right back in the top-four race, seven points behind 4th placed Tottenham Hotspurs, with two games in hand.
Rashford is inevitable.
Marcus Rashford scored twice to give Manchester United a 3-0 victory over Leicester, continuing his incredible run of form. With this weekend’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Leicester City, Erik ten Hag’s team continued their good run, quietly closing the gap on the clubs above them. The team led by Brendan Rodgers had won three straight games, including a spectacular 4-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur the previous week. Indeed, they ought to have taken the lead sooner in the first half as the visitors had David de Gea work for his record-tying clean sheet, but they came out and played almost flawlessly in the second half to ensure the victory.
Tottenham second half performance spared their blushes.
Tottenham’s 2-0 victory over West Ham on Sunday allowed them to reclaim a top-four spot. Emerson Royal and Heung-min Son’s goals gave Tottenham the victory they needed to defeat West Ham and move up the table. While the team celebrated Harry Kane breaking their all-time scoring record last weekend, Spurs welcomed West Ham to the stadium. Jarrod Bowen’s shot from the edge of the area just over a minute into the game came close to being the game’s first goal for West Ham, but it missed the target. This season, Tottenham has received a lot of criticism for how unimpressive they have been. Some supporters have given in to the temptation because Mauricio Pochettino is still unemployed and still resides in London. With a crucial matchup against Chelsea coming up next weekend, the north London club has moved into the top four thanks to Sunday’s victory over West Ham.