Saturday, January 18, 2020

Premier League Review: Matchday 33

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 9 Apr 2018

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Manchester City will have to put the champagne on ice as they were beaten 3-2 by Manchester United in a thrilling game at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

The runaway league leaders were 2-0 up after half an hour thanks to goals from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan and their advantage would have been greater had they managed to convert any of the other clear cut chances they created.


However, two quick fire goals from Paul Pogba drew the visitors level just ten minutes into the second half before Chris Smalling thundered in a volley to turn the result on it’s head.

The gap between the two sides now stands at thirteen points, meaning that City won’t be able to finish the job until next weekend, though they will need beat Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley and for their rivals to lose to bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.

Crucially for Jose Mourinho’s men, they are now four points clear in the race for second with a game in hand after Liverpool were held by neighbours Everton at Goodison Park.

Much like Pep Guardiola did in the Manchester derby, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp rested a number of players with the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie imminent.


Tottenham Hotspur tightened their grip on fourth after coming from behind to beat lowly Stoke City, who are now four points from safety while Chelsea lost ground in the race for a Champions League spot after only drawing with West Ham United in Sunday’s late afternoon kick-off.

Earlier on Sunday Arsenal survived a scare to beat Southampton 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium.

Shane Long gave the Saints the lead after seventeen minutes though hgals from Danny Welbeck and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw the Gunners ahead at half-time.

Charlie Austin then leveled moments after coming off the bench only for Welbeck to grab his second and his sides third late on to leave the North Londoners five points clear of Burnley in sixth place and Mark Hughes’s men in the bottom three.


Sean Dyche guided his side to yet another victory as they too came from behind to win at Watford and they are now six points ahead of Leicester City in the race for seventh after the Foxes lost at home to Newcastle United.

Rafa Benitez’s men are now on thirty-eight points – ten clear of safety and the same can be said for Bournemouth who played out a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on the south coast.

The Eagles are now in seventeenth place, three points ahead of Southampton though Roy Hodgson’s side have played a game more and are now priced at a very generous8/1 to be relegated.

Finally, Swansea City and Huddersfield Town both gained a valuable point in their battle for survival, securing 1-1 draws with West Bromwich Albion and Brighton and Hove Albion respectively.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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