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EPL week 37 review: Liverpool beat Newcastle to move up; Cardiff fall down

TAGs: English Premier League, liverpool

The first half of Week 37 of the English Premier League is over with Liverpool taking it to the wire with a victory over Newcastle, another defeat for Spurs, and relegation-confirmed for Cardiff.

A Griffin, Pegasus, the Loch Ness Monster – they don’t exist, but after this year’s English Premier League (EPL) title race, I’m beginning to have my doubts.

EPL Wk 37 Review: Liverpool beat Newcastle to move up; Cardiff fall downJuventus leads Serie A by 19-points.

PSG leads Ligue 1 by 17-points.

Barcelona leads La Liga by 9-points.

Of the top European leagues, only the Bundesliga can place a skip into the heartbeat of fans with Bayern leading Dortmund by four points, but the EPL is something else entirely.

Liverpool.

Manchester City.

He who dares wins, as Del Boy used to say.

It’s advantage Liverpool, as Jürgen Klopp’s side weathered one hell of a storm in Tyneside against a Newcastle team who looked like they were also playing for the title.

Liverpool bounced back well after the bitter disappointment of losing 3-0 in the Nou Camp in midweek, going ahead after only 13-minutes. Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped in a devilish corner, and Virgil van Dijk found all the space in the world to head home from close range.

Rather than wither and die, Newcastle flew at Liverpool after the goal and equalised on the 20-minute mark. Javier Manquillo supplied a cross from the right, Dejan Lovren’s clearance landed at the feet of Matt Ritchie who found Salomon Rondon, and the former West Brom man saw his shot cleared off the line by Alexander-Arnold, only for Christian Atsu to sweep in the rebound. It turned out to be the best result for Liverpool. Had Andre Marriner pointed to the spot, Newcastle would have likely scored anyway, and Liverpool would have lost their full-back as his clearance clearly came off his arm.

Then a ten-minute spell that presented fantastic chances for both sides, with only one converting.

First, Ayoze Perez got the better of Van Dijk in the area, only to see his shot rebound off the crossbar, and then at the other end, Alexander-Arnold sent in a cross after an exquisite touch from Daniel Sturridge, and Mohamed Salah volleyed home his 21st EPL goal of the season.

Newcastle was level within ten minutes of the restart.

Ritchie sent a corner into the Liverpool box, the defensive line cleared the ball to the edge, only for Rondon to bang in the equaliser with his left peg.

Then came what could be a significant moment in the dying embers of Liverpool’s season – Mo Salah stretchered off the park after being knocked out cold by Martin Dubravka. With the Barcelona return next week and the all-important Wolves clash coming up, Liverpool fans will be hoping for a quick recovery from the Egyptian.

Losing Salah was a nightmare, especially with Roberto Firmino still recovering from injury, but it all worked out in the end. Klopp sent on Xerhdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi, and with four minutes of normal time remaining Shaqiri fired in a free kick from the right, and Origi rose to head home the winner, a chance that Salah would never have converted.

Now it’s over to you, Man City.

Pep Guardiola’s side faces Leicester at the Etihad on Monday Night football, knowing that a win and subsequent victory over Brighton on the last day of the season clinches victory. One thing we know for sure, should they lose a single point, Liverpool will be waiting in the wings to step into the limelight.

Winning Odds

Man City 2/9
Liverpool 3/1

Man City Remaining Fixtures

Leicester (H) 4 May
Brighton (A) 12 May

Liverpool Remaining Fixtures

Wolves (H) 12 May

Cardiff City Fall Into The Championship; Spurs Continue Malaise

In 2013-14, Cardiff City fell into the Championship after one season of the good life, and it’s a case of deja-vu after the Bluebirds failed to beat Crystal Palace at home securing their fate.

Neil Warnock knew that only two victories in his remaining games against Palace and Man Utd would be enough to keep his side in the EPL, and even then he would need Brighton to lose against both Arsenal and Man City.

But it wasn’t to be.

Man of the match, Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring on 28-minutes, but Cardiff found hope when Martin Kelly turned a Leandro Bacuna cross into his own net. Michy Batshuayi restored Palace’s lead before half-time before Andros Townsend put the tie beyond Cardiff in the 70th minute. Cardiff rallied late, scoring through Bobby Reid in injury time, but it was too little too late. Cardiff joins Fulham and Huddersfield in the EPL and Brighton can breathe a massive sigh of relief.

We won’t have a relegation fight to discuss on the last day of the season, but we do have to cut the umbilical cords from two of four teams still trying to find a way into the light of the Champions League.

For many months, Spurs was a shoo-in to join Liverpool and Man City in the world’s most significant club competition, but a horrible run has seen the bookies slash their odds dramatically, and they fell even further after losing to Bournemouth on the weekend.

A win for Spurs would have guaranteed Champions League football at White Hart Lane next season, but playing with nine men is never easy no matter who you’re facing.

The referee dismissed Son Heung-min for pushing Jefferson Lerma in a crazy spell towards the end of the first half, and then less than three minutes after coming on at half time, Juan Foyth was also given his marching orders, this time a straight red, after a nasty challenge on Jack Simpson. Bournemouth won the tie thanks to a late strike by Nathan Aké, leaving Spurs with only one win in their last four EPL games, and, of course, that dismal display in midweek against Ajax.

Chelsea will move into the third spot with one game to play if they can beat Watford at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Both Arsenal and Man Utd can close the gap to one and two points respectively if they beat Brighton and Huddersfield on Sunday.

Top Four Odds

Chelsea 2/7
Spurs 1/3
Arsenal 13/8
Man Utd 6/1

Chelsea Remaining Fixtures

Watford (H) 4 May
Leicester (A) 12 May

Arsenal Remaining Fixtures

Brighton (H) 4 May
Burnley (A) 12 May

Man Utd Remaining Fixtures

Huddersfield (A) 5 May
Cardiff (H) 12 May

Spurs Remaining Fixtures

Everton (H) 12 May

Results in Full

Everton 2 v 0 Burnley
Bournemouth 1 v 0 Spurs
West Ham 3 v 0 Southampton
Wolves 1 v 0 Fulham
Cardiff 2 v 3 Crystal Palace
Newcastle 2 v 3 Liverpool

To Play

Chelsea v Watford (Sun)
Huddersfield v Man Utd (Sun)
Arsenal v Brighton (Sun)
Man City v Leicester (Mon)

EPL Standings

1. Liverpool – 94
2. Man City – 92
3. Spurs – 70
4. Chelsea – 68
5. Arsenal – 66
6. Man Utd – 65
7. Wolves – 57
8. Everton – 53
9. Leicester – 51
10. Watford – 50
11. West Ham – 49
12. Crystal Palace – 46
13. Bournemouth – 45
14. Newcastle – 42
15. Burnley – 40
16. Southampton – 38
17. Brighton – 35
18. Cardiff – 31 (R)
19. Fulham – 26 (R)
20. Huddersfield – 14 (R)

Top Goalscorer Odds

Mohamed Salah 4/5
Sergio Aguero 2/1
Sadio Mane 5/1

Current Top Scorers

1. Mohamed Salah – 22
2. Sadio Mané – 20
3. Sergio Aguero – 20
4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 19
5. Jamie Vardy – 18

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