Premier League Review – Matchday 29
Most teams have now played at least 29 games now. Three of this weekend’s four games were originally scheduled for this FA Cup quarter-final weekend. Our game against Villa had originally been planned for January. Manchester City and Fulham are one game ahead of the schedule for the remaining games in the Premier League. The next Premier League game is on Saturday 3rd April after this International break. Check out bets-promo-code.co.uk for offers related to future games.
Friday 19th March, 2021
Fulham 1 Leeds United 2
Fulham were looking for a win which would take them out of the bottom three for the first time since December. Scott Parker brought back left back Antonee Robinson and striker Josh Maja, with Tete and Loftus-Cheek on the bench. Leeds were unchanged from the team which had drawn against Chelsea.
Both sides had early attacks and Leeds thought they had an eighth minute lead when Ayling headed into the net from a Roberts cross from the left. Ayling literally let his hair down in his celebration of what he thought was his first Premier League goal, only to be denied because VAR found Roberts had been offside.
Bamford had to go off in the last game against Leeds and was struggling again but recovered. Raphinha had the ball in the net again for Leeds, but he was clearly offside.
Fulham had been struggling to get out of their own half, but they did get a corner after 25 minutes, following which they had a couple of efforts blocked or pushed out by Meslier before Maja got hold of a shot from 10 yards which the Leeds keeper managed to save one-handed. Ayling completed the clearance, booting the ball off the line.
Leeds took a legitimate lead in the 29th minute. The goal followed a throw on the left and a cross by Harrison to Bamford who met the ball at the near post and scored with a low shot.
Fulham equalised in the 38th minute from a corner taken by Lookman from the right and hooked in by Andersen for his first club goal. It was nearly 2-1 a minute later when Meslier first of all managed to save from Lookman's feet after a defensive error. Then when the ball was fed back to the advancing Anguissa, Meslier dived to his right to make a good save from the low shot.
Meslier had another decent save to make before the break when Cavaleiro hit a left foot shot from 20 yards which had the goalkeeper saving low to his right.
Scott Parker replaced Maja with Mitrovic at the start of the second half. Harrison, working from the right, was allowed a run inside before his shot was parried by Areola, rebounding off a defender for a corner. Fulham had a great chance after 57 minutes when Lemina cut a ball back into the area, but Lookman could not make contact. From the clearance, after a good passing move, Bamford fed the ball to Raphinha who scored with a right foot shot just inside Areola's left post. (58 mins)
Raphinha needed treatment 10 minutes later after a challenge by Aina, but when play resumed, he soon managed a run into the Fulham area, but the ball was cleared before he could pull the trigger with his right foot. Dallas had a great chance to seal the win after 80 minutes, running onto Harrison's pass on the right of goal, but firing his shot wide across Areola. Leeds had a chance from another corner, met by Ayling at the near post and headed across the goal where Harrison hit the ball over. Meslier also had to save from Alioski.
Fulham went close in added time from a corner, but Leeds cleared, and held onto a win which leaves them secure in mid-table. Fulham remain in the bottom three and are running out of games.
Saturday 20th March, 2021
Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Newcastle United 0
Brighton included 21-year-old Polish loanee Jakub Moder, who was making his first Premier League start. Newcastle had Almiron back after a three week absence, but he could not help as his side lost this crucial game convincingly, leaving them deep in the relegation mire. Steve Bruce’s side host Spurs in two weeks’ time. Brighton seem to have the hex on Newcastle as they won 3-0 at St. James’ Park in September on Matchday Two.
Moder had two early chances. One was off target; the second went straight to Dubravka in the Newcastle goal. Newcastle hadn’t managed a shot on target. They lost Hayden to injury and in the third minute of first half added time Veltman sent forward a good long ball from halfway which was picked up by Trossard towards the left of the area. Trossard turned and scored with an excellent right-footed shot inside the keeper’s left post.
Four minutes into the second half Newcastle finally had a chance of note when Almiron fed a ball to Ryan Fraser to his left. Fraser’s shot beat Sanchez but rebounded off the far post to safety. Two minutes later Brighton were two up, and they scored with ease as Trossard crossed from midfield to Danny Welbeck who had space and freedom to move in side and also beat Dubravka to his left with a 20-yard right foot shot. The third goal was scored in the 68th minute when Gross crossed hard and low from the right and Maupay turned the ball in with ease and accuracy, this time to the right of the goalkeeper. Newcastle had still not mustered a shot on target.
Dubravka did manage a save from Welbeck late on, but Newcastle’s effort had been tame.
Sunday 21st March, 2021
West Ham United 3 Arsenal 3
Jesse Lingard returned, after having to sit out the game against his home club. Benrahma also returned to the West Ham side. Aubameyang’s brief disciplinary exile was over as he returned to the Arsenal side. It looked as if the “Hammers” were going to run away with this game, but Arsenal got a foothold towards the end of the first half, before dominating the match after the interval.
Lingard gave the home side a fifteenth minute lead with a cracking goal. Antonio had cut the ball back to him from the left of the area and from 20 yards, Lingard scored after taking one touch, beating Leno all ends up. It was a right foot shot that just curled away from the goalkeeper’s left hand into the top of the net. Two minutes later West Ham scored again. Antonio was fouled by Saka outside the right-hand side of the box. Lingard cleverly let the ball roll to a standstill, before taking the Arsenal defence by surprise with a quick free kick forward to Bowen who scored through Leno’s hands at his near post.
West Ham’s third goal came in the 32nd minute. Their players did not celebrate it initially, thinking there was an offside. Coufal had crossed from the right and Antonio headed down with Soucek getting a touch as the ball went into the net to the left of the keeper. It turned out Soucek had not been offside, and he was confirmed as the scorer. It looked as if there would be no way back for the gooners, but Soucek scored at the wrong end six minutes after his goal. Chambers had crossed from the right and it looked as if Lacazette had scored after taking a touch before hitting his right-footed shot, but it was heading wide and went into the net because of Soucek’s attempt to intercept. Fabianski soon had to make a save from Saka, who received a pass from Lacazette as he advanced into the area. Saka had another effort just before the break, following a Tierney cross, but the shot was put out for a corner.
Within a minute of the restart, Lacazette very nearly scored to make it 3-2, with a lofted shot, but Diop cleared off his line. It was pretty much one-way traffic at this stage with Fabianski making a comfortable save from another Lacazette shot. It was 3-2 after 61 minutes, and another own goal by West Ham. This one was clear to see as Chambers crossed hard and low and Dawson tried to clear but scored powerfully. West Ham might have been upset that referee Jon Moss had given a free kick in favour of Arsenal (taken quickly) and not in favour of Bowen as he went to ground inside the West Ham half.
Bowen and Antonio both had shots blocked by Tierney in the Arsenal area, and the Arsenal defence managed to clear from Benrahma and Lingard in another attack. Benrahma got through on the right and hit the ball towards the back post where Antonio should have scored, but the ball rebounded off the woodwork. Arsenal equalised in the 82nd minute and this was one of their own making. Passes by Partey and Odegaard gave Pepe the chance to lift a cross from the right which was met by Lacazette’s firm header.
Declan Rice made a determined and powerful run from deep inside his own half all the way to the Arsenal area where he hit a good right-footed shot but Fabianski was able to save. At the end of the day, West Ham’s point keeps them above Spurs in fifth place, whilst Arsenal are six points behind with a big fight on their hands to qualify for Europe through their league position.
Aston Villa 0 Spurs 2
For all our woes after the performances against Arsenal and in Zagreb (completely justified, of course), we have won four of our last five league games which puts us top of the five-game form guide with Manchester City. Harry Kane is level top scorer in the Premier League with 17 goals and has 27 club goals for the season. This was his seventh Premier League goal against Villa, and his fourth such away goal. Incidentally, Carlos Vinicius reached double figures for the season in all competitions with this, his first Premier League goal.
Lucas Moura was the Spurs Odyssey man of the match by a convincing margin. Lucas won your vote in the Arsenal game and has generally been in very good form for the last month.
We habe won all three games when Mike Dean has refereed us this season, and all three games when he has been in charge on this date in 2009, 2015, and now 2021!
Friday 19th March, 2021
Fulham 1-2 Leeds
Saturday 20th March, 2021
Brighton 3-0 Newcastle
Sunday 21st March, 2021
West Ham 3-3 Arsenal
A. Villa 0-2 Spurs
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Man City 30 22 5 3 64-21 43 71
2. Man Utd 29 16 9 4 56-32 24 57
3. Leicester 29 17 5 7 53-32 21 56
4. Chelsea 29 14 9 6 44-25 19 51
5. West Ham 29 14 7 8 45-35 10 49
6. Spurs 29 14 6 9 49-30 19 48
7. Liverpool 29 13 7 9 48-36 12 46
8. Everton 28 14 4 10 40-37 3 46
9. Arsenal 29 12 6 11 40-32 8 42
10. A. Villa 28 12 5 11 39-30 9 41
11. Leeds 29 12 3 14 45-47 -2 39
12. C. Palace 29 10 7 12 31-47 -16 37
13. Wolves 29 9 8 12 28-38 -10 35
14. S'hampton 29 9 6 14 36-51 -15 33
15. Burnley 29 8 9 12 22-37 -15 33
16. Brighton 29 7 11 11 32-36 -4 32
17. Newcastle 29 7 7 15 28-48 -20 28
18. Fulham 30 5 11 14 23-38 -15 26
19. West Brom 29 3 9 17 20-57 -37 18
20. Sheff Utd 29 4 2 23 16-50 -34 14