Premier League Review
Friday 3rd May, 2019
Everton 2 Burnley 0
Until Wolves beat Fulham the next day, Everton still harboured hopes of seventh place with this win. They can't catch them now, but no doubt Marco Silva's side will put in a professional performance against Spurs next week.
Everton's 17th minute opener looked as if it had been scored by Richarlison, but his shot was off target until it took a touch from Ben Mee. Right back Seamus Coleman was in the middle of the area to score when Heaton could only parry Digne's shot three minutes later and that was the end of the scoring. We will be hoping for more resilience from Burnley against Arsenal on Sunday!
Saturday 4th May, 2019
Bournemouth 1 Spurs 0
This was our first league defeat to Bournemouth, who we had only ever met in one FA Cup match (we lost that too) in 1957 prior to their arrival in the Premier League. Moussa Sissoko was voted your Spurs man of the match, whilst Juan Foyth naturally got one of the lowest marks ever on the spursometer.
West Ham 3 Southampton 0
After their win at Tottenham, The "Hammers" sent their fans home happy after this win over a "Saints" side whose Premier League survival was secured last week. Those home fans were no doubt also grinning over our early defeat. Fraser Forster was allowed a first appearance of the season for the visitors.
Arnautovic opened the scoring after 16 minutes, receiving from Noble before he scored his first goal for the club since early January. Arnautovic had a second goal after 69 minutes when Forster could only parry Masuaku's cross and the striker had an easy close range finish. Ryan Fredericks made it 3-0 three minutes later after a one-two with Wilshere. It was Fredericks' first ever Premier League goal.
Wolves 1 Fulham 0
Wolves have secured seventh place with this win over a relegated Fulham side who had won their last three games. Jota took an early booking from referee Jon Moss for simulation, and then almost scored with a right foot shot after a pass from Jimenez.
Dendoncker hit the bar in the first half and Jota had another good chance go just wide in the second but Dendoncker broke the deadlock after 75 minutes with a good right foot shot when meeting Doherty's cross. Jota had another shot go off the top of the bar after Rico's save.
Fulham did make a little bit of Premier League history when 16 year old Harvey Elliot came on after 88 minutes to become the youngest Premier League player ever. Elliot's birthday was April 4th.
Should Manchester City win the FA Cup Final, then Wolves can look forward to a Europa League campaign, but they would have to start that very early!
Cardiff 2 Crystal Palace 3
Cardiff's relegation and Brighton's survival was ensured with this defeat by Crystal Palace. There is an irony there for the A23 enemies!
Murphy gave Guaita an early scare with a dipping shot that hit the outside of the post, but Zaha opened the scoring after 28 minutes with a right foot shot from the edge of the area. It was 1-1 three minutes later when Martin Kelly turned in Bacuna's cross. Another defensive error allowed Ayew's pass through to Batshuayi who had an easy chance to score, which he did after 39 minutes.
Cardiff had been battling for an equaliser but had a mountain to climb after Andros Townsend went on a run down the right wing, before coming inside and scoring with a left foot shot which rebounded off the post across the line to make it 3-1 after 70 minutes.
Cardiff gave it their all, and did get a goal back after 90 minutes with a good right footed shot by Bobby Reid. It was too late though, and we won't be travelling to Wales next season.
Newcastle 2 Liverpool 3
Liverpool won to ensure that the title race goes into the last day (that's two televised games sorted then), but this was not a smooth ride. Newcastle had a massive "We are the Mags" flag at the Gallowgate End before the 7.45pm kick off. I have not previously seen this flag.
Firmino was ruled out for Liverpool and Sturridge started. Liverpool opened the scoring from a 13th minute corner which was headed into the ground and into the net with power by Virgil van Dijk - the PFA Player of the Year. Newcastle equalised seven minutes later when Manquillo crossed from the right, Ritchie returned the ball low to Rondon, whose shot was blocked on the line by Alexander-Arnold (actually with his arm) before Atsu scored with a followed up shot.
That man Salah made it 2-1 to the visitors in the 28th minute. Sturridge had back-heeled the ball from the right corner flag to Alexander-Arnold who delivered the cross for Salah's well placed right footed shot to the right of Dubravka.
The Ritchie, Atsu and Rondon combination nearly worked again for Newcastle with Rondon's shot being saved, before Sturridge hit a good chance over at the other end. Liverpool were made to sweat after a cracking 54th minute equaliser by Rondon. His shot followed a corner which had been won by Atsu's run and cross.
Salah went down after a collision with the Newcastle keeper. He was stretchered off and replaced by Origi. The winner was a header scored by Origi from Shaqiri's free kick which had been won by Fabinho on the right wing. Liverpool had to see out 9 minutes of added time to hold onto their win. The word after the game was that Salah was fine, but no doubt there will be further assessment of his fitness for Liverpool's two remaining games this week. The latest news is that both Salah and Firmino will not be available to face Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg.
Sunday 5th May, 2019
Chelsea 3 Watford 0
Chelsea overtook Spurs with this win and they have ensured their entry to the Champions League next season.
Watford were unable to reach seventh, and their focus has to be on winning the FA Cup, but they had a good start with Arrizabalaga having to make a good save from Troy Deeney's header, pushing the ball into the post and away.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek had had to replace the injured Kante early in the first half and he headed in Chelsea's first goal following a corner and a subsequent cross by Hazard after 48 minutes. It was 2-0 within three minutes as David Luiz had a free header from another Hazard corner.
Higuain scored Chelsea's third goal after 75 minutes with a deft finish from Pedro's through ball into the right of the Watford area.
Chelsea have what should be a tough game at Leicester next week, so Spurs could still finish third with a win over Everton. Here's hoping!
Huddersfield 1 Manchester United 1
It's Europa League football for Manchester United next season, after they disappointed at Huddersfield. McTominay opened the scoring in the 8th minute with only his second goal for the club. Alexis Sanchez made only his ninth Premier League start of the season and his first for United for two months. He had to be replaced after injury in the second half and his disastrous stay at Old Trafford could be coming to an end if United can offload him.
De Gea had to make a vital save with his feet from Grant in the first half, before Pogba hit the bar with a header. Huddersfield scored a route one equaliser on the hour after Lossl collected a United corner kick and arrowed a ball upfield which Mbenza converted for his first Huddersfield goal. He also destroyed the corner flag in his celebrations!
Pogba hit the woodwork for a second time with a right foot shot inside the area.
The draw brought an end to Huddersfield's latest run of defeats, which had amounted to 8 games.
Arsenal 1 Brighton 1
Regular readers will know I do not usually allow myself to watch any Arsenal game live. I did tune in for a score check after 75 minutes and was delighted (to say the least) to see that Chris Hughton's boys were level. If the score stayed the same, Spurs' place in next season's Champions League would be all but certain.
I cheered every Brighton clearance and urged them to score again. It was as if I was urging my beloved Spurs to cross that line! The 1-1 scoreline remained and barring a win for Arsenal at Burnley and defeat for Spurs at home to Everton with an 8 goal swing in goal difference, we are in the Champions League for a fourth consecutive season. Arsenal will play in the Europa League again, unless they win this year's final, which they haven't yet reached.
For the record, both goals were penalties. Aubameyang gave Arsenal a 9th minute lead, and Glenn Murray equalised in the 61st minute. Twitter was full of a lot of Spurs love for Chris Hughton and plenty of images of dejected Arsenal players.
Monday 6th May, 2019
Manchester City 1 Leicester 0
The monumental title race between City and Liverpool goes to the last day with City regaining the lead thanks to a sensational 70th minute goal by captain Vincent Kompany. Kompany, now aged 33, is out of contract this summer, with his future yet to be decided.
Brendan Rodgers has given Leicester some steel and inspiration, and they could yet take something off Chelsea on Sunday, allowing Spurs to regain third place, if we can only win against Everton! Leicester had harboured some hope of a potential European place if they had won this game and the one to come on Sunday.
Aguero had a first half header travel along the goal-line off the inside of the post, but not over the line according to the technology. David Silva had a shot travel through the area but just wide of the far post.
The goal when it came followed a corner conceded by a great close range save by Schmeichel from Aguero, and was an absolute screamer from 26 yards by Kompany. His shot went in just under the bar and was unstoppable. It was also Kompany's first goal of the season. Could it be his last for City?
Former City man Iheanacho had a clear chance to score an equaliser near the end, but he put his shot wide.
City must travel to resilient Brighton on Sunday, whilst Liverpool host Wolves. Sky and their viewers will be salivating, whilst we are hopefully having a party at New White Hart Lane.
Everton 2-0 Burnley
B'mouth 1-0 Spurs
West Ham 2-0 S'hampton
Wolves 1-0 Fulham
Cardiff 2-3 C. Palace
Newcastle 2-3 Liverpool
Chelsea 3-0 Watford
Hds'field 1-1 Man Utd
Arsenal 1-1 Brighton
Man City 1-0 Leicester
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Man City 37 31 2 4 91-22 69 95
2. Liverpool 37 29 7 1 87-22 65 94
3. Chelsea 37 21 8 8 63-39 24 71
4. Spurs 37 23 1 13 65-37 28 70
5. Arsenal 37 20 7 10 70-50 20 67
6. Man Utd 37 19 9 9 65-51 14 66
7. Wolves 37 16 9 12 47-44 3 57
8. Everton 37 15 8 14 52-44 8 53
9. Leicester 37 15 6 16 51-48 3 51
10. Watford 37 14 8 15 51-55 -4 50
11. West Ham 37 14 7 16 48-54 -6 49
12. C. Palace 37 13 7 17 46-50 -4 46
13. B'mouth 37 13 6 18 53-65 -12 45
14. Newcastle 37 11 9 17 38-48 -10 42
15. Burnley 37 11 7 19 44-65 -21 40
16. S'hampton 37 9 11 17 44-63 -19 38
17. Brighton 37 9 9 19 34-56 -22 36
18. Cardiff 37 9 4 24 32-69 -37 31 R
19. Fulham 37 7 5 25 34-77 -43 26 R
20. H'dsfield 37 3 6 28 21-75 -54 15 R