Week 20 of the Premier League saw Man Utd winning a match for the first time in 10 games, Leicester drawing a blank for the third game in a row, and Man City close the gap.
Arsenal extend their lead at the top by two points after overcoming a stubborn Newcastle at home. Leicester draws a blank for the third successive game at home to 10-man Bournemouth. Man Utd win for the first time in 10-matches with a victory over Swansea. Sunderland are the only team in then bottom five to take all three points.
“I am scratching my head on how we came away with nothing,” said a beleaguered Newcastle boss after his team lost by a goal to nil away to Arsenal.
The Gunners weren’t at their best. They won. They don’t usually win when they are at their best. Arsene Wenger was proud of this at the final whistle.
Newcastle played exceptionally well for long periods of the game. Georginio Wijnaldum was a star. The Dutchman will surely be a big money signing for someone in the summer. Newcastle were wasteful in front of goal. Arsenal nicked it with a Laurent Koscielny tap in. It’s the Frenchman’s third-ever goal against The Magpies.
Arsenal are now two points clear of Leicester after The Foxes drew a blank for the third time in succession. They had scored in the previous 21 matches until this damp patch.
Of the three previous no scores, this one would have hurt Leicester the most. They were at home. They were facing Bournemouth. They were up against 10-men after Simon Francis brought Jamie Vardy down in the box. Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty.
It was a game of missed sitters. Josh King missed one for Bournemouth. The once unstoppable Jamie Vardy was guilty of missing another; so was his captain Wes Morgan. Has Leicester’s howling bonfire burnt out?
Man City close the gap on the top three with a hard-fought victory away at in-form Watford. City winning an away game for the first time since beating Crystal Palace by a goal to nil in September.
A devilish Ben Watson corner was put into the roof of his net by Aleksandr Kolarov in the 55th minute. Watford were the better team. Watford looked like winning. City changed all that with two goals in three minutes to take maximum points – Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero both scoring a couple of peaches with eight minutes on the clock. It was the Argentinean’s first goal in five matches. Watford have now suffered two defeats on the bounce. All seven of their losses this season have come against top seven opposition.
Man Utd finally win a game. Louis Van Gaal’s men beat Swansea City at home by two goals to one. Swansea usually do well against United winning four of the previous five before this one.
United continued the form that saw them outplay Chelsea the week prior. Both Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney scored for United either side of a Gylfi Sigurdsson equaliser. It’s the first time two United forwards have scored in the same game for well over a year.
“I hope this is a fantastic starting point for us.” Said Van Gaal after the match.
It was a good weekend for Sunderland. Of the bottom five teams, the Wearsiders were the only team to extract three points. The Black Cats defeated Aston Villa in a relegation dogfight. Although, it was more like a pussy cat fight.
Patrick Van Aanholt’s cross-shot deflected off Micah Richards to give Sunderland the lead in the 30th minute. Aston Villa then equalised with one of the goals of the season. Adama Traore driving up the field with a mazy run before dropping the ball into the box. Carles Gil had plenty to do. The Spaniard volleying the ball home to stun Sunderland.
Nine minutes later and the shock wore off. Jermain Defoe scoring his 131st and 132nd Premier League goals in the 72nd and 92nd minute to ensure Aston Villa remain winless in 19-games. Sunderland remain in the bottom three despite that crucial win.
Here are the rest of the weeks results.
Week 20 Results
West Ham 2 v 0 Liverpool
Sunderland 3 v 1 Aston Villa
Norwich 1 v 0 Southampton
Man Utd 2 v 1 Swansea
Crystal Palace 0 v 3 Chelsea
West Brom 2 v 1 Stoke
Arsenal 1 v 0 Newcastle
Leicester 0 v 0 Bournemouth
Watford 1 v 2 Man City
Everton 1 v 1 Spurs
Premier League Standings (After 20 Games)
1st. Arsenal – 42 pts.
2nd. Leicester – 40 pts.
3rd. Man City – 39 pts.
4th. Spurs – 36 pts.
5th. Man Utd – 33 pts.
6th. West Ham – 32 pts.
7th. Crystal Palace – 31 pts.
8th. Liverpool – 30 pts.
9th. Watford – 29 pts.
10th. Stoke – 29 pts.
11th. Everton – 27 pts.
12th. West Brom – 26 pts.
13th. Southampton – 24 pts.
14th. Chelsea – 23 pts.
15th. Norwich – 23 pts.
16th. Bournemouth – 21 pts.
17th. Swansea – 19 pts.
18th. Newcastle – 17 pts.
19th. Sunderland – 15 pts.
20th. Aston Villa – 8 pts.