The ill-struck year was bad, but the Premier League was not. After a long time, the table is finally looking lively. Liverpool ends the year as the table-toppers, but they will be disappointed with the last two results as they failed to win them both.
Manchester United have very well established themselves as the title rivals. They have a game in hand which if they win, they can join Liverpool as the joint leaders. Big Sam’s West Brom were brought back to Earth as Bielsa-ball broke more records.
Arsenal has somewhat redeemed themselves winning 2 games in a row as they fight to climb back into the upper half of the table.
THE PREMIER LEAGUE CONTENDERS:
NEWCASTLE UNITED 0-0 LIVERPOOL:
Liverpool failed to score for the first time this season, as their mistakes cost them from going 5 points clear after a 0-0 draw against Newcastle.
The Reds knew that the win would put a cushion to their lead, but their performance was proof of the stalemate. Liverpool started the match like the team they were 5 years ago. But Newcastle featured their best start as they had 4 shots in the starting 20 minutes itself.
The visitors then gathered themselves and gave their best performance, but Karl Darlow had other plans. He was undoubtedly the man of the match as he denied clear chances from Mohamed Salah who was missing his shooting boots and Roberto Firmino to grab his deserving clean sheet.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1-0 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS:
Marcus Rashford scored a last-minute goal bringing back the Fergie time memories as United defeated an excellent Wolves.
The Red Devils had to toil vigorously to break that adamant defence of the opposition. Wolves were pouring shots on target, testing David De Gea who tidily saved all the shots. It was a brilliant job from the visitors to display such performance despite having 30 hours less rest time than their opponent. But the late goal will have broken their spirits.
Bruno Fernandes assisted yet again in what was not his best performance this year. Rashford’s strike was deflected off an unlucky Romain Saiss that fooled Rui Patricio to the back of the net.
United have a game in hand, and if they win that, they can go level with Liverpool in Premier League. Who would have thought?
CRYSTAL PALACE 1-1 LEICESTER CITY:
Harvey Barnes was yet again the Foxes’ saviour when he scored the goal in the 83rd minute to earn a point at Selhurst Park.
Leicester City had plenty of chances in the first half only to have them misfired and even missed from the penalty spot. They eventually paid for their mistakes when Wilfred Zaha fired a volley from the brilliant play, past Kasper Schmeichel.
The visitor’s search for an equalizer was finally rewarded late in the game. Leicester sits 3rd in the table for the time being having the better goal difference against Everton.
THE PREMIER LEAGUE UNEXPECTED ONES:
CHELSEA 1-1 ASTON VILLA:
It is a month to forget for Frank Lampard’s side as they were able to register only two wins in six matches they played. Aston Villa, on the other hand, keeps on surprising with their contending display as they challenge for the top-4 spot.
Oliver Giroud headed a lovely goal into the net that was assisted by Ben Chilwell. The Villans started 2nd half with a claim to get back into the game and it worked. in the 50th minute, Anwar El Ghazi scored the equalizer, although Chelsea had a man down injured.
Aston Villa now sit in a European Championship spot and have 2 games on hand. Chelsea sit below them, shy on goal difference.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 0-1 ARSENAL:
Looks like Arsenal have got their mojo back as they win back-to-back matches to slowly climb up the table.
The Seagulls were sloppy and lacked ruthlessness in front of the goal. As a result of which they were punished. Alexandre Lacazette scored past Brighton seconds after he was introduced onto the pitch. It was the pinpoint pass from Bukayo Saka after he made a brilliant run down the right that deserves heaps of praises. The 19-year-old has now scored 2 matches in a row.
Arsenal climbed up a spot and will be hoping to continue this winning form when they travel to West Brom to 3 in a row. The Seagulls are now really close to the relegation zone with 13 points.
BURNLEY 1-0 SHEFFIELD UNITED:
Sheffield United’s wait for first win continues as they are now certainly relegation assured. They have now gone 16 games without a win, the joint-most alongside Newport County and Southport and Barrow which was recorded 5 decades ago.
The Blades surprisingly dominated the game but the one goal in the first half by Ben Mee was the only one we were able to see.
With the win, Burnley climbs up to 16th, whereas Sheffield stays put at the bottom.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0-5 LEEDS UNITED:
Leeds United became the first team to score 5 goals in a home as well as an away fixture. West Brom came crashing down after a heroic display against Liverpool.
All the goals scored were brilliant, including the first one. Romaine Sawyers scored a comical own goal. He passed the ball back to the keeper when he was pressed by Rodrigo Moreno. The mistake he did was he did not look before passing. Piling up on the misery, Leeds scored 3 more in the first half and one late in the second half.
West Brom was completely outplayed and was deserving of the hammering. Leeds climb up whereas the rivals are 2nd from the bottom.
MATCHES THAT DID NOT TAKE PLACE:
Everton vs Manchester City and Tottenham vs Fulham were the 2 fixtures that got cancelled this week. The outbreak of the Covid-19 among the squad was the main reason and the decisions were taken right before the matches.
The fixtures will be played at a later date which will be decided by the Premier League board.