Premier League Review – Matchday 35
Thursday 28th April, 2022
Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1
This match was brought forward from Cup Final day which coincides with the penultimate day of the Premier League programme. United were aggrieved when the fixture was announced as they had consecutive matches against Liverpool, Arsenal and now Chelsea.
An early shot by Reece James was parried away by de Gea, and after 10 minutes a header by Fernandes was easy for Mendy. After a good and pacy run by Kante and his pass, Havertz hit his shot outside De Gea’s left post. Havertz soon had another chance. This one was on target but saved by the United keeper. James crossed from the right and Havertz met this ball with a header, again saved by De Gea.
Both the goals came in the second half. Firstly, James’ cross from the right was headed towards the back post by Havertz and Alonso crashed his shot into the net to the left of De Gea. (60 mins) Ronaldo equalised two minutes later, taking a lifted pass by Matic before hitting a powerful right-footer into the net at the Streford End. James tried to curl a shot inside De Gea’s right post, but the ball hit the outside of the post and the points were shared.
Saturday 30th April, 2022
Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 1
Jurgen Klopp was upset with the authorities when this fixture was announced. Liverpool beat Villarreal 2-0 last Wednesday night and played them again (and won again) on Tuesday 4th May. They are still chasing a historic “quadruple.” Klopp signed a new deal this week but was hard-pressed to take three points from St. James’ Park, especially as his rotation included starting with Mo Salah on the bench.
Schar, Shelvey and Almiron returned to the Newcastle side. Chris Wood was a substitute. Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and Fabinho joined Salah on the Liverpool bench. Keita had a diagonal shot go wide after 7 minutes, hit from outside the area with his right foot. He scored the only goal of the game after 19 minutes. Keita received the ball from Henderson, again towards the right of the area, then exchanged with Jota before a little jinking run and a final close-range left foot shot. Newcastle were livid as they claimed Schar had been fouled in the build-up, but VA supported referee Andre Marriner’s decision not to blow his whistle.
Mane hit a shot straight at Dubravka later in the first half having been teed up by Diaz, who had made a lengthy run from his own half. The home crowd got over-excited when Almiron put the ball in the net in front of The Gallowgate Stand, but he had clearly been offside. Dubravka saved well from a Jota header, tipping the ball over his goal.
Mane made another bad miss after 63 minutes following a short low cross by Joe Gomez. Salah entered the fray after 69 minutes. Jota hit a shot straight at Dubravka. Chris Wood came off the bench and was put in by Saint-Maximin but had been offside before his effort was saved anyway. Saint-Maximin teed up Guimaraes three minutes from time, but his shot was fodder for Alisson.
Aston Villa 2 Norwich 0
Norwich’s record sixth Premier League relegation was confirmed with this defeat to manager Dean Smith’s former club. Villa’s Leon Bailey went close with a shot which was pushed onto his bar by Tim Krul. Martinez had to dive and save from a Rashica shot at the other end.
Ollie Watkins scored the first goal, five minutes before the break. He took a long ball hit from inside the Villa half by Danny Ings before passing Williams, who slipped and firing a deflected shot high into Krul’s net.
Danny Ings headed against the post after a second half corner. It was Ings who sealed the win three minutes into added time with a right foot shot from inside the area after a touch from former Norwich player Buendia.
Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 2
It’s a good job Southampton have got 40 points, because with only one win and two draws in their last 9 games, their form has been abysmal. This was Palace’s first win in four league games. Vieira held back Zaha on the Palace bench, saying he had not fully recovered after a physical battle against Leeds last Monday.
Southampton did take the lead after 9 minutes. A Ward-Prowse free kick had been put out for a corner which he took from the left. Romeu headed that into the net. Gallagher should have done better with a free header at the other end after a cross from the left by Schlupp. Schlupp was busy and set up a chance for Mateta which was saved. Just before half-time Ayew had a shot parried away by Forster, following a corner, and the goalkeeper cleanly saved McArthur’s follow-up header from 16 yards.
Eze scored Palace’s equaliser on the hour mark. Nathan Clyne did very well to keep the ball in play on the right and his cross was met by Eze, whose shot went through Forster’s legs. Zaha did come on. Gallagher was denied a penalty by the referee and VAR. Palace had the momentum and that man Zaha scored the winner two minutes into added time with a right-footer that went into the net off the inside of Forster’s right post. The win put Palace a point ahead of “The Saints” in the table, chasing a place in the top half.
Watford 1 Burnley 2
Burnley scored all three goals, one of them into their own net. Two late goals gave them a precious win which put added pressure onto Everton before their game against Chelsea. Defeat leaves Watford almost assured of another relegation. Aaron Lennon got a start, playing on the left side, and Vydra also started this game.
Watford’s goal was an unfortunate own goal by Tarkowski. The goal followed a corner, then a cross by Femenia, which reached Kucka whose shot hit the underside of the bar bouncing out and rebounding into the net off the Burnley centre-back. Femenia hit Pope’s right post with a corner midway through the first half.
McNeil was sandwiched and fell down in the Watford area after which referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty. VAR decreed the foul had been outside the box. McNeil hit a poor free kick straight at the wall.
Lennon had a chance early in the second half when Sarr lost the ball, but Aaron’s low prodded shot was saved by Foster. Dennis and Kucka pressed for Watford, but Pope saved Kucka’s shot. Lennon’s right foot shot won a corner for Burnley after 73 minutes. Barnes, who had replaced Weghorst, forced a header which Foster pushed onto the bar. The ball bounced down and was not over the line.
Burnley equalised in the 83rd minute with a diving header by Jack Cork, getting on the end of Charlie Taylor’s cross from the left. Barnes won a free kick which was not cleared and Vydra got the ball back to Brownhill who scored with a low shot from just inside the area. (86 mins). Burnley fans’ joy was complete.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 3
Brighton won for the third time in their last four away games. This was both their biggest win and Wolves’ biggest defeat of the season. Wolves' chances of a European place don’t look so good now.
Jose Sa had to make a decent save to his left from Mwepu’s 20-yard effort following a good move from the back by “The Seagulls”. Moutinho had an on-target shot blocked for Wolves but after half an hour and a VAR + monitor review, referee Simon Hooper awarded a penalty after Saiss was deemed to have handled March’s cross from the right. Mac Allister’s right footed spot kick hit Sa’s right post. That was a third consecutive penalty miss for Brighton. Sa was busy and had to stretch his leg to save from Trossard’s angled shot from the left.
Brighton had another penalty five minutes before half-time when Welbeck was fouled from behind by Boly. This time Mac Allister scored with a shot to the same area, but inside Sa's right post. (42 mins)
The home fans became more and more unhappy in the second half, and with twenty minutes to go Welbeck ran forward before passing to Trossard who was allowed to cut to his left inside the area before firing into the Wolves net. That brought boos from the home section. Quite a few Wolves fans bad left when Brighton scored their third goal. Neto tried and failed with a nutmeg in Brighton’s half. The visitors surged forward and after Cucurella’s cross was not cleared, Bissouma scored from 20 yards with a low shot placed inside Sa’s right post. It had been all too easy. Neto did hit the inside of the post with a shot deep into added time. Not many home fans saw that.
Leeds United 0 Manchester City 4
Leeds fell below Burnley and are still very much at risk of relegation. This was their biggest defeat since Jesse Marsch’s arrival, but not as bad as the 7-0 away defeat they suffered against City in December. With a crucial Champions League game in Madrid to come, Guardiola left De Bruyne, Mahrez and Bernardo Silva on the bench.
City’s first goal came in the 13th minute and followed a free kick by Foden (Leeds disputed the foul) and a glanced header by Rodri. Stuart Dallas, who had started every one of Leeds’ Premier League games in the last two seasons, was stretchered off with a knee injury in first half added time after a heavy tackle he made upon Grealish.
City’s second goal followed a Foden corner taken in the 54th minute. Ruben Dias met the ball and headed down towards Meslier’s right post where Ake scored. Raphinha excited the home fans with a run from the right into the box, but his shot was deflected over the target.
City had to wait till late in the game to be absolutely certain of the win. Foden was involved again, finding Gabriel Jesus with a De Bruyne-like pass. Jesus scored with a right foot strike. (78 mins) Leeds had an excellent chance late in the game when Gelhardt got through and fed James whose shot was blocked on the line after Ederson had been rounded. Ederson then made an added time save from Gelhardt, whose shot had been from only 10 yards.
Fernandinho was one of those who came off the City bench and he scored with a low shot from outside the area after Sterling might have been fouled inside the box, but play had continued. (90+3)
Sunday 1st May, 2022
Everton 1 Chelsea 0
The atmosphere in and around Goodison Park was electric before, during and after a result which gives “The Toffees” great hope of Premier League survival. Chelsea have won just one of their last four games and have to look over their shoulder now as Arsenal are only three points behind. There is currently more uncertainty about Chelsea's future, following a story about Abramovich's £1.5 billion loan and a reported change of mind about writing off tht loan.
Yerry Mina returned to the Everton defence and Fabian Delph was in their midfield with Allan relegated to the bench. Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were also among the subs. Mount troubled Pickford with a shot at the Gwladys Street End and after 33 minutes Anthony Gordon went close with a shot just outside Mendy’s left post. Tempers were hot especially after Azpilicueta stepped into confront opponents after Mason Mount was penalised for a foul on Mina. The two captains (Coleman for Everton) went head to head, and both were shown yellow cards.
Everton’s goal was scored in the first minute of the second half and this time Azpilicueta did not lose his temper, but he did lose the ball to Gray then Richarlison who scored with his right foot from just inside the area, placing the shot to the left of Mendy. Richarlison will probably get into trouble for returning a blue-smoked flare to the crowd from which it had been thrown.
Mykolenko should have been a hero but failed to convert a good chance after good work by Gordon and Doucoure. Jordan Pickford was to be a hero for Everton. Firstly, he made an amazing recovery after a Mount effort rebounded across goal from the inside of his right post. Then, Pickford made ground across his goal to save Azpilicueta’s follow-up from the other side of goal. After the corner, Loftus-Cheek headed down and Pickford took Rudiger’s shot full-force in the face to prevent a goal.
Pickford later got a hand to a powerful rising shot by Loftus-Cheek. Gray had a good chance from the edge of the area five minutes from time but put his shot over the bar. The effort being put in by the Everton team was terrific and recognised by the crowd, who were applauded during the game by their own players! In added time, Pickford made a low save from a Kovacic shot. The points belonged to Everton, who despite remaining in the bottom three do have a game in hand and can say they have control of their own destiny.
Spurs 3 Leicester City 1
The spursometer has been a website staple for nearly 22 years now, and for most of those years I have utilised the votes and assessments of fellow fans. Sadly, I have had to end this process, so I can only tell you that two-goal Heung-min Son was my man of the match. Romero and Kulusevski were very close behind. “Kulu” has now scored three goals and has 8 assists in his 14 Premier League appearances (three as sub) since his arrival.
West Ham United 1 Arsenal 2
West Ham have a crucial game in Frankfurt this week, and it was too much for a Spurs fan to hope they would take something from Arsenal. All the other London teams hate us, after all! Soucek and Antonio were on the bench and Dawson was suspended.
Holding blocked a Lanzini shot, and Ramsdale held a shot by Declan Rice after 33 minutes. Rice was being partnered by Mark Noble, who plans to retire this year. Fabianski made a dive low to his left to keep out Nketiah’s shot. Holding headed home from the resulting corner in the 38th minute. Ramsdale made a good save from a Rice header following a corner at the other end. Bowen did score an equalising goal in the 45th minute with a well-placed shot across Ramsdale’s right hand after Coufal’s pass inside from his right.
After 52 minutes Ramsdale raced outside his area to tackle Jarrod Bowen. Apparently, he had not got a touch and referee Mike Dean booked Bowen for simulation! Fabianski (once of Arsenal, of course) saved low to his left from Saka, and after the corner Gabriel scored with a powered header when Martinelli returned the ball across the goal area. (54 mins)
Gabriel subsequently blocked a shot by Fornals. The ball was sent clear and Nketiah pushed a shot wide to the left of the West Ham keeper. Fabianski had to save another Nketiah shot after Coufal had lost the ball.
Monday 2nd May, 2022
Manchester United 3 Brentford 0
Due to Thursday’s game against Chelsea being brought forward, this was United’s last home game of the season. The convincing win clouds the pervading disappointment and negative atmosphere within and outside Old Trafford where fans continue to protest against the club’s ownership. The mathematical possibility remains, but there will be no Champions League football here next season.
Despite their troubles, there was almost an end of season party feeling as interim manager Ralf Rangnick gave send-offs to Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani and Phil Jones, all of whom are also due to exit the club this summer. Jesse Lingard will also be leaving, as he is out of contract, but he was a denied an appearance as Rangnick said he had not been training fully recently.
Mata was making his first league start of the season. Matic has another year on his contract but has declared his intention to leave. When he was replaced by Fred with twenty minutes remaining, there were quite emotional scenes in the dug-out as Matic said his home farewells. Cavani and Jones were granted appearances off the bench after United had already scored their third goal.
This was United’s biggest win since they beat Spurs 3-0 at NWHL in October, and only their second win in seven league games. As for under-par Brentford it was only their second defeat in 8 games.
Ronaldo had slipped in front of goal when presented with an early chance, but after Dalot sent a long ball down the right for Elanga, who quickly crossed into the centre, Fernandes slammed home a powerful strike in the ninth minute. It was Fernandes’ first club goal since early February. Ronaldo was in great form and teed up Mata for a chance which was put wide of Raya’s left post. Mata returned the compliment with a pass from the left flank, but Ronaldo’s “goal” was disallowed for offside.
Fernandes put a chance wide early in the second half with a shot across goal, but then Ronaldo was awarded a penalty when Rico Henry shoved him in the back after being upset about being forced off the ball outside the area. Ronaldo’s penalty kick was strong and sure for his 18th Premier League goal of the season, and his 23rd club goal this season. (61 mins) Not bad for a 37-year-old, eh?
Varane even got in on the act with a 72nd minute goal, meeting Telles’ corner kick from the right with a sweeping right-footed shot. It was Varane’s first goal for the club.
Fixtures and results - 28.04-02.05.22
Thursday 28th April, 2022
Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea
Saturday 30th April, 2022
Newcastle 0-1 Liverpool
A. Villa 2-0 Norwich
S'hampton 1-2 C. Palace
Watford 1-2 Burnley
Wolves 0-3 Brighton
Leeds 0-4 Man City
Sunday 1st May, 2022
Everton 1-0 Chelsea
Spurs 3-1 Leicester
West Ham 1-2 Arsenal
Monday 2nd May, 2022
Man Utd 3-0 Brentford
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Man City 34 26 5 3 84-21 63 83
2. Liverpool 34 25 7 2 86-22 64 82
3. Chelsea 34 19 9 6 68-29 39 66
4. Arsenal 34 20 3 11 54-41 13 63
5. Spurs 34 19 4 11 59-39 20 61
6. Man Utd 36 16 10 10 57-52 5 58
7. West Ham 35 15 7 13 53-46 7 52
8. Wolves 34 15 4 15 33-33 0 49
9. Brighton 35 10 14 11 34-42 -8 44
10. Newcastle 35 11 10 14 40-56 -16 43
11. Leicester 33 11 9 13 48-54 -6 42
12. C. Palace 34 9 14 11 45-42 3 41
13. A. Villa 33 12 4 17 44-46 -2 40
14. Brentford 35 11 7 17 41-52 -11 40
15. S'hampton 35 9 13 13 41-58 -17 40
16. Burnley 34 7 13 14 31-46 -14 34
17. Leeds 34 8 10 16 38-72 -34 34
18. Everton 33 9 5 19 35-55 -20 32
19. Watford 34 6 4 24 32-69 -37 22
20. Norwich 34 5 6 23 22-71 -49 21 R