Premier League Review – Matchday 36
Saturday 7th May, 2022
Brentford 3 Southampton 0
Southampton fell to a seventh defeat in 10 Premier League games and to fifteenth place, still not quite out of the reckoning regarding relegation. Brentford can be proud of their first Premier league season.
Brentford’s first goal was scored in the 13th minute and followed a Christian Eriksen corner. Toney turned the ball back sharply from beyond the back post and Jansson scored from close range. Eriksen counted an assist for the second goal only a minute later. He was making a powerful run through the middle and seemed to be fouled, but he still managed to touch the ball to Wissa who took it on and scored with referee Michael Salisbury waving a good "play-on". Wissa’s goal was from 18 yards and hit with his right foot. Mr Salisbury was in charge of his third Premier League game of the season.
Southampton had been at sixes and sevens, but Raya was required to make a competent save from a James Ward-Prowse shot in open play. Adam Armstrong was denied what looked like a good goal by a marginal offside decision. An Eriksen pass had rebounded off a Southampton player to Armstrong who hit a good right foot shot into the corner of the Brentford goal.
Raya made a clean second half save from Elyounoussi’s shot. Brentford added a third goal in the 79th minute. The scorer was Ajer taking Norgaard’s pass before slipping into the area and through three defenders before hitting a shot beneath Forster. It was Ajer’s first Brentford goal.
Burnley 1 Aston Villa 3
This defeat could be fatal for Burnley, who have to play a return fixture against Villa, as well as next Sunday’s trip to Tottenham and a final day match at home to Newcastle. Mike Jackson made one change, replacing Vydra with Ashley Barnes. Villa made four changes and included Danny Ings whose career in the top flight had started when with Burnley.
Ings had an early chance after receiving a pass from Targett, curling a shot just wide of the far post. Ings did score in the seventh minute taking on Buendia’s forward pass before scoring inside Nick Pope’s right post. His celebration was muted, but he is used to scoring against former clubs.
Barnes and Weghorst combined for the first time after 25 minutes, but Weghorst’s shot was wide. Weghorst headed over from a McNeil cross, but Burnley went two down in the 31st minute when Buendia scored from Digne’s cross with a deflected low shot.
Burnley lost Tarkowski to injury and he was replaced by Kevin Long at half-time. Villa went three up in the 52nd minute when Watkins met McGinn’s cross from the left with a powerful diving header which went low and beat Pope in the middle of his goal.
Some Burnley fans had left by the time their team scored a consolation goal in added time. It came from two substitutes when Pieters sent Cornet clear who rounded Martinez before planting his left foot shot into the net. In the summer break, Burnley left back Erik Pieters, who is of Dutch nationality, might enjoy some off the entertainment which can be found here, because his club are on the ropes.
Chelsea 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
Wolves coach Bruno Lage missed this game after testing positive for Covid. Potential buyer of Chelsea Todd Boehly was at Stamford Bridge.
Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa made a good one-handed save from a Werner attempt to score across his goal. Werner had the ball in the net after 28 minutes but was deemed to have fouled Saiss. Chelsea were denied another goal after a corner when Lukaku headed down and Loftus-Cheek converted only just in front of the goal-line. He was offside. Wolves had a chance at the end of the half, after Mendy parried a shot by Neto, but Dendoncker skied his attempt. Sa just managed to save Lukaku’s low added time shot.
Sa saved well again, early in the second half on the stretch to again deny Werner. Saiss tangled with Lukaku on the right edge of the area and after VAR and monitor reviews a penalty was awarded. Lukaku sent Sa the wrong way and scored with a left foot shot in the 56th minute. It was his first league goal of 2022. Lukaku scored an excellent second goal two minutes later, taking Pulisic’s pass in his stride before despatching a right foot shot to the left of Sa from the edge of the box.
Mendy saved at close range from substitute Hwang who was in space in the middle after Neves ball from the right. Sa batted away a Kovacic shot at the other end, before Wolves staged a late comeback. Trincao took a pass from Chiquinho, who had disposed Kovacic, and scored with a powerful left-footed shot from the edge of the box. (79 mins) Trincao had replaced Neves, and Chelsea were struggling to keep him under control. He won a corner with a shot deflected by Thiago Silva.
Deep into added time (7 minutes), Wolves skipper Conor Coady rescued a point for his team when he headed home a cross by Chiquinho. Chelsea had been leaving too many spaces at the back and this was not the best preparation for next week’s cup final. They haven’t yet guaranteed their Champions League place.
Crystal Palace 1 Watford 0
Watford’s relegation was finally confirmed with this defeat. Roy Hodgson has (for the second time) indicated his intention to retire and was given a great ovation by Palace fans. Palace’s front line of Olise, Edouard and Zaha was supported by Gallagher and Eze in midfield.
The one goal of the game was a Zaha penalty kick after Hassane Kamara handled Olise’s header. Zaha sent Foster the wrong way before hitting the net with the 31st minute kick. It was his 13th goal of the season, five of which have been penalties. Foster made an excellent save towards the end of the first half from Guehi’s header following a corner. In added time, Olise put a shot over the target after a good Palace move from halfway.
Somehow an early second half shot by Edouard was kept out of the net by Ben Foster’s foot at his right post, and when the ball rebounded out off his back post. Kamara, who had been booked in the first half was shown a second yellow and will miss Watford’s next game - against Everton.
Palace substitute Mateta met a cross by Olise with a powerful downward header which was well saved by Foster at his right post. Foster also saved from Schlupp in added time and kept the score down to a reasonable level. Watford will be looking for their umpteenth manager in the last ten years to steer them through at least the first part of their next Championship campaign.
Brighton & Hove Albion 4 Manchester United 0
This was Brighton’s first home win in 10 matches since Boxing Day. The home fans enjoyed not just a win but a festival of goals and a thrashing of once mighty Manchester United, who still cling onto sixth place and might yet play in next season’s Europa League. The United team was unchanged from that which beat Brentford 3-0 last Monday.
Caicedo gave the home side a fifteenth minute lead with his first Brighton goal. He hit a low shot from over 25 yards which crept inside De Gea’s right post after his defence had failed to clear a Brighton centre. Caicedo clipped Fernandes after 38 minutes, but Ronaldo’s free kick was far too high. Welbeck nearly took advantage of Varane’s error at the other end, but his reaction shot passed over De Gea’s bar.
Rangnick brought on Fred and Cavani at the start of the second half for Elanga and Matic. Cucurella scored with a left foot shot high into the net after Trossard had cut the ball back from the left of the area. (49 mins) It was the Spaniard’s first goal in English football. Gross made it 3-0 in the 57th minute. Cucurella took on Sanchez’s long clearance and passed inside to Trossard. He, in turn teed up Pascal Gross who scored with a shot across De Gea and his goal. United were being overwhelmed. Three goals became four just three minutes later as Dalot tried an overhead clearance off his line after Welbeck’s effort, but the ball hit Trossard and rebounded into the net!
Sanchez made a good right-handed save to deny Cavani’s header after a cross from the left by Mata. Mac Allister hit the outside of the post from short range at the end of a delightful Brighton move. After a United corner, Sanchez parried a Fernandes 20-yard stinger of a shot. Welbeck hit a late shot wide, and De Gea saved a Gross shot low to his left.
With just one game left to play, United are guaranteed their lowest ever Premier League points total.
Liverpool 1 Spurs 1
Follow the link for my match report and see the full results of the spursometer here. Emerson Royal gained his highest mark yet, and his first man of the match accolade of the season. He was also voted our best player on the club's official Twitter feed.
Sunday 8th May, 2022
Arsenal 2 Leeds United 1
Leeds committed football hari-kari in the first 10 minutes of this game by conceding two goals to former loanee Eddie Nketiah, whose restrained celebrations would be of no consolation to the Yorkshire side. Their players (in warm-up) and fans wore white shirts bearing the name of the injured Stuart Dallas who will be a big miss for the side. Also missing for the rest of this season will be defender and captain Luke Ayling who set a poor example to say the least with his reckless two-footed challenge upon Martinelli. Ayling was sent off in the 27th minute for what was really a needless tackle. It was both near the corner flag and the bye-line in front of the away fans, already horrified by the early capitulation of their team, who have slipped into the bottom three.
Nketiah’s first goal was gifted when Meslier failed to deal with a back pass and allowed the 22-year-old striker to steal the ball off his feet and score. Nketiah’s second goal was from further out but inside the area after he took Martinelli’s pass from his left. The Leeds defence was almost non-existent. When Ayling was sent off, Raphinha could have followed for his very angry reaction to referee Chris Kavanagh who had upgraded an initial yellow card shown to Ayling after VAR’s intervention and a monitor review.
Whilst Arsenal increased their advantage over Spurs to four points before Thursday’s derby match, ten-man Leeds gave Spurs some hope with their second half resilience and even a Llorente goal following a 66th minute corner. Leeds might even have equalised in added time following a long free kick, but Rodrigo’s header was comfortably held by Ramsdale.
Leeds have the unenviable record of most yellow cards in a Premier League season – 96 so far. Only Norwich have conceded more goals this season.
Leicester City 1 Everton 2
Having been beaten in Thursday night’s Europa Conference League semi-final by Jose Mourinho’s Roma, Leicester had literally nothing to play for – except (mathematically) for survival. Everton won only their second away game of the season (the last was in August at Brighton) and having lifted themselves above both Burnley and Leeds, must be hot favourites of the three to survive with four games to play. Everton were unchanged from the team which started against Chelsea in last week’s win.
Yerry Mina made an important block of an early shot by Daka after Iheanacho’s pass. The shot had beaten Pickford. Everton had the best possible start in the sixth minute. The goal followed a throw-in by Iwobi, who after a short return pass, hit a cross to the left side of the area where Ukrainian left back Mykolenko scored with a great hit. It was Mykolenko’s first Everton goal, and he hit it on the volley, inside Schmeichel’s left post.
Everton (playing in white shirts) nearly added a second goal after 11 minutes. Leicester’s former player Demarai Gray was getting booed all the way as he advanced along the left channel before he delivered a short ball into the centre where Doucoure’s shot crept beneath Schmeichel’s body, only for the keeper to recover and hold the ball. Leicester immediately equalised following a long clearance with Daka coming out with the ball despite two defenders, before beating Pickford with a left foot shot. Mina had headed backwards allowing Daka to take advantage. The Everton defender was withdrawn through injury midway through the half and replaced by Keane.
Everton regained the lead from a corner after half an hour. The corner was taken from the right and headed powerfully towards goal by Richarlison. Schmeichel couldn’t hold and Holgate was on hand to head home the free ball.
Pickford made a great save after 63 minutes, following a Leicester corner, pushing Mendy’s 20 yard shot around his left post. The England keeper gets plenty of practice and made another vital save diving again to his left to keep out Harvey Barnes’ close range shot. Barnes had another chance, this time from outside the area, but Pickford saved again with his left hand. Barnes had a third chance, heading wide after 82 minutes. They had been on the back foot for much of the second half, but Everton held on for a vital win. That’s two wins in two weeks against teams who have been competing in Europe this season.
Next up for "The Toffees" are doomed Watford, but I rather hope Frank Lampard’s men need something from their last game against Arsenal!
Norwich City 0 West Ham United 4
Norwich already know their Championship destiny, but West Ham now have to try to gain another entry to Europe after their semi-final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last Thursday. They took a big step in that direction with this emphatic win.
Benrahma scored the first goal after 12 minutes. He hit a right-footed shot from just inside the area, which carried less than full power. The shot did take a deflection off Aarons, but Tim Krul should still have saved the shot, getting a hand to the ball. Mikhail Antonio hadn’t scored a Premier league goal since January 1st, but he was gifted West Ham’s second goal after half an hour when between them Handley and Krul failed to collect Bowen’s through ball. This was relegation standard alright! A minute later Bowen managed to shoot off target from even closer than Antonio’s goal!
Bowen provided the pass (from right of goal) for Benrahma’s second goal scored with a powerful right foot shot into the roof of the net in first half added time.
Dean Smith gave 19-year-old Tony Springett a debut in the second half, replacing Rashica. Springett won his side an early corner, after which (following a Fabianski fumble) Byram had the ball in the net, but he had handled, and the goal was not allowed. West Ham were awarded a penalty when Sorenson handled the ball when challenging Dawson for a corner. Lanzini put the ball away from the spot in the 65th minute with Krul diving the wrong way to his right.
Manchester City 5 Newcastle United 0
City went a little way towards easing their blues after last Wednesday night’s dramatic Champions League exit. This win enabled the "Sky Blues" to not only regain the lead in the title chase, but to extend it both in terms of points and goal difference. On the down side, Guardiola has lost Ruben Dias and is running out of defenders with Kyle Walker and John Stones also out for the rest of the season. Fernandinho stepped in at half-time.
Newcastle’s side included club captain Lascelles for Schar, Sean Longstaff for Shelvey and Wood for Willock. Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson were fit enough for a place on the bench. Newcastle mounted an attack after 8 minutes with Saint-Maximin crossing from the right before Wood dollied a header into the hands of Ederson. Laporte put a good chance high over the Newcastle goal from a corner at the other end. Cancelo (playing at right back) put another good chance off target when Zinchenko crossed from deep on the left. Cancelo got the assist for the first goal in the 19th minute when he headed Gundogan’s ball to Sterling who headed home from the left of goal. This was the first of two goals for Sterling who had 12 league goals for the season by the end of the game.
Newcastle had the ball in the net from a corner after 23 minutes, but there was an offside flag, confirmed by VAR. Two minutes later, Dubravka saved at his left-hand post from Cancelo after Sterling’s pass from his right. Gabriel Jesus could not quite reach Zinchenko’s cross from short range after another typical City passing move. City had a corner in the 38th minute, taken by De Bruyne from the right. Dubravka couldn’t hold Gundogan’s low shot from the edge of the area and Laporte swept up after the keeper saved Dias’s first attempt.
City went three up from another corner in the 61st minute. De Bruyne took the kick from the left which was met by Rodri heading into the net from in front of the near post. Dubravka got his fingertips to a Zinchenko shot conceding another corner. Wilson, Trippier and Murphy came off the Newcastle bench. Murphy fed a ball to Wilson who was denied by Ederson who closed down the striker as he shot.
City added two more goals late in the game. Foden came off the bench and scored in the 90th minute from a Zinchenko pass that might have been intended as a shot. Grealish had advanced down the left flank before delivering to the City left back, who is still seeking a first Premier league goal after 73 appearances over the last 5 years. Three minutes into added time, Grealish and Foden opened up the Newcastle defence before Grealish delivered a short pass on a plate for Sterling to rifle in his second goal of the game.
Tuesday 10th May, 2022
Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2
It was an intriguing game. After their draw against Spurs, Liverpool are now playing catch-up against title rivals Manchester City. In their way tonight were Aston Villa, managed by Liverpool legend (and fan) Steven Gerrard. City will be hosting Villa in their last game, so Gerrard might yet have a say in the destination of the title.
Villa made two changes, including Nakamba and former Liverpool player Coutinho in their midfield. Jurgen Klopp made five changes from the Spurs game, including Matip, Tsimikas, Jones, Keita and Jota for Konate, Robertson, Henderson, Thiago and Salah.
Villa made a bright start and Liverpool were looking for an offside flag when Alisson had to make an early save from Danny Ings. No flag was shown, and the ball was first returned into the area from the right then the left (by Digne) before Douglas Luiz's header was not held by Alisson. Douglas Luiz followed up and scored (3 mins).
Liverpool levelled in the sixth minute. Villa failed to clear Alexander-Arnold's free kick from the right and although Martinez got a hand on Van Dijk's close range cross/shot, the ball ran to Matip who poked the ball into the net from short range.
Mane put a header wide after 18 minutes following a Tsimikas cross from the left. Alisson got away with a kick straight to the feet of Watkins but recovered to clear the rebound. Following a Villa corner midway through the first half Danny Ings headed over when the ball was crossed from the left.
Fabinho, who had been busy fouling again, pulled up with a hamstring tweak, and was replaced by Henderson after 29 minutes. Coutinho went close with a right footed curler after cutting in from the left after 33 minutes. The shot passed outside the far post. At the other end, Keita couldn’t get his feet right in front of goal when Alexander-Arnold crossed. Curtis Jones hit a shot straight at Martinez after Villa lost the ball in the 43rd minute.
Alexander-Arnold had an early second half free kick go just over the bar, and at the other end Tsimikas made a vital tackle when Watkins was in a scoring position inside the Liverpool area. McGinn was penalised for a foul on Mane and Alexander-Arnold had another free kick opportunity. This one was a powerful kick wide of Martinez's left post.
Villa had been giving a good account of themselves, but Liverpool took the lead in the 65th minute when Diaz's cross from the left was met by a well-placed Mane header. Minutes later Danny Ings was put through by a good ball by Watkins, but Alisson was out to deny Ings.
Mo Salah entered the field of play for Diaz after 71 minutes. Thiago had already come on for Jones. Keita had a long distance strike following a corner, but the ball swerved away from goal. Ings broke through inside the Liverpool area. Alisson saved his shot, and the ball ran just wide of substitute Chukwuemeka. Ings hit a good shot past Alisson after 85 minutes but had been offside.
Liverpool had the win they needed to put them level with Manchester City but three goals behind on goal difference. Villa had pushed them hard, in particular another former player Danny Ings.
Wednesday 11th May, 2022
Leeds United 0 Chelsea 3
Leeds were without the suspended Luke Ayling. They welcomed back skipper Liam Cooper to the team, and other changes were to include Lewis Bate, Struijk and Rodrigo. Firpo, Klich and Gelhardt stood down and sat on the bench. It looked as if Leeds would be in a 5-4-1 formation.
Chelsea also made four changes and have an FA Cup Final against Liverpool to consider. Jorginho, Christensen, Chalobah and Mason Mount came in for Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Loftus-Cheek, and Werner, all of whom were on the bench.
It was good to see Leeds legend Eddie Gray heartily joining in the pre-match rendition of "Marching on Together".
It didn’t take Leeds long to take the lead. Reece James passed inside from the right and Mount scored with a right foot shot. (4 mins) Leeds tried to respond with Raphinha starting a couple of attacks, but Chelsea came closer to increasing their lead with Bate blocking another Mason Mount shot.
Daniel James was shown a straight red card in the 24th minute by referee Anthony Taylor for a dangerous tackle on Kovacic. VAR supported the decision and James had to go. Leeds were down to ten men for the second consecutive game within the first half hour. James was fouled by Struijk and when the free kick was awarded, Leeds fans chanted, 'You're not fit to referee". Kovacic had to go off in the 30th minute and was replaced by Loftis-Cheek. Lukaku chipped goalkeeper Meslier but was offside.
Lukaku was close with a glancing header, wide of the far post after James crossed from the right after 33 minutes. Jack Harrison had suffered a knock earlier in the game and was replaced by Junior Firpo. There was a brief delay late in the first half due to a medical emergency in the crowd. Soon afterwards, Chelsea thought they added a second goal. Lukaku passed to James to his right and Meslier made a great sprawling save at the feet of Pulisic on front of goal. However, James had been offside.
Pulisic did score a goal in the 55th minute. He took Mount’s short pass from his right and simply passed his shot into the net inside Meslier’s right post from the edge of the area. Pulisic nearly had another goal when Rodrigo presented him with the ball, but this shot was pushed wide. Lukaku had spurned a couple of second half chances, but he did score a third goal in the 83rd minute after Leeds lost possession in midfield. Ultimately, Ziyech made the final pass and Lukaku delayed his shot with Leeds players desperately getting back and swarming around him, but the Chelsea striker picked his spot and there was no way back for Leeds.
Leeds’ remaining games are at home to Brighton and away to Brentford. They now miss both Ayling and James. They have conceded 77 goals and might not manage another point. Chelsea were looking for points to secure their place in next season’s Champions League. Effectively, their goal difference leaves them needing only one point from two games, which are at home to Leicester and Watford.
Leicester 3 Norwich 0
Brendan Rodgers made five changes and his team included Maddison, Barnes, Lookman and Vardy. Dean Smith made four changes, one of which was goalkeeper Angus Gunn for Tim Krul. Another Norwich change was to give 19-year-old Tony Springett a first Premier League start. Leicester climbed into the top half with this win. In his press conference, Norwich manager Dean Smith said, "I've applied to the Premier League to see if we can play Wolves on Thursday and Tottenham on Friday (to end the season quickly)."
There were quite a few vacant seats in the home section. Jamie Vardy made his first Premier League start for over two months and celebrated with his eleventh and twelfth league goals of the season, making his total league goal tally for the club 150. Twenty of those goals were scored in the Championship before Leicester’s most recent promotion.
Gunn was called upon to make an excellent double save after 11 minutes. First, he saved, but could not hold Maddison’s 22-yard effort. Then when Vardy tried to snap up the chance, the keeper parried again, and the ball was cleared. Gunn was kept busy and saved again, diving towards his left post to push away another powerful Maddison shot.
Norwich had an excellent chance to score and Schmeichel had to save at the feet of Springett after he raced onto Rashica’s cross from the right. Schmeichel could only push the ball away but then saved Pukki’s follow-up shot from inside the area on the left. Schmeichel soon had to save again from Norwich left back Giannoulis.
The goalkeepers were starring as Gunn made a good save from Lookman’s 28th minute shot from 8 yards after good work by Dewsbury-Hall inside the box to his left. Pukki hit the post with a right footed shot when Schmeichel was beaten.
The goals came in the second half and the first (in the 54th minute) was scored by Vardy, whose shot from inside the area on the left took a heavy deflection, causing the ball to loop up and over the unfortunate Angus Gunn. Vardy scored again, 8 minutes later. This was a clear shot, again from the left of goal, coming at the end of a swift passing move with Barnes offering the final ball to Vardy. Maddison completed the scoring in the 70th minute when Gunn did not hold but pushed Dewsbury-Hall’s cross to Maddison’s feet. The ball was slammed into the net with a left foot shot.
Watford 0 Everton 0
Watford announced the appointment of former Forest Green Rovers manager Rob Edwards for next season’s Championship campaign. Roy Hodgson made seven changes to his team for this game. As for Everton, Frank Lampard had to make one change for the injured Yerry Mina, and Michael Keane took his place.
Many Watford fans had clearly given up on their team, and even The Rookery stand had plenty of empty seats. There was a full contingent of Everton fans, urging their team to survival, but they did not see any goals. Richarlison had a 52nd minute shot deflected then well saved by Foster at The Rookery End. Ten minutes later Demarai Gray was presented with the ball and after an exchange with Iwobi, he pulled his shot just wide of Foster’s right post. That was as close as anybody came to scoring, as Foster was only challenged by easy shots on his goal.
Watford ended a run of 11 consecutive home defeats, and Everton’s point takes them closer to survival, but they must be disappointed not to have done better here.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Manchester City 5
The biggest City news was that announced on Tuesday when City tweeted:-“ Manchester City can confirm that we have reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of striker Erling Haaland to the Club on 1st July 2022. The transfer remains subject to the Club finalising terms with the player.”
As anticipated, City were without Walker, Stones and Dias. Fernandinho made a rare start at centre back. Pep Guardiola's other changes were standard rotation with Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden starting for Grealish and Gabriel Jesus.
Bruno Lage was still absent, due to Covid. Roman Saiss was injured, so Jonny Otto fell back, while Chiquinho made his first league start, playing on the right side of midfield.
Like Chelsea at Leeds, it didn’t take City long to take the lead. Bernardo Silva sent De Bruyne away with an excellent pass and De Bruyne hammered home a sharp left foot shot. (7 mins) Wolves equalised four minutes later. Jimenez raced forward and sent Neto away to his left. Neto put the ball back into the middle where Dendoncker had made a run, meeting the ball in his stride and scoring with a right foot shot. The goal was quite City-like.
De Bruyne scored again in the 16th minute. De Bruyne had passed into the centre of the area for Sterling and when Sa challenged, the ball ran loose to De Bruyne’s feet and he put it away, although Sa did get another touch. De Bruyne hit a super hat-trick goal in only the 24th minute. After a City throw from the left and a challenge upon Sterling, De Bruyne picked up the baton and scored with an unstoppable left foot shot inside Sa's right post.
Rodri was presented with a chance as Wolves tried, and failed, to play out from the back, but his right foot shot was wide. Wolves had their moments, not least when Chiquinho went down in the box under Zinchenko's tackle, but VAR Paul Tierney supported Martin Atkinson's corner decision.
There were further unsuccessful penalty appeals towards the end of the first half. The first was for a possible foul on Sterling, before another for handball against Fernandinho when the ball was driven at him.
Jonny managed to turn a dangerous Sterling cross over his own goal from close range early in the second half, before Sterling ran onto a pass and had the ball in the net, only to be denied by the offside flag. City had another injury worry when Laporte went down and needed treatment but was able to continue.
Pep was getting anxious as Wolves were putting his team under some pressure. Conor Coady forced a good save from Ederson after a corner, but the captain had been offside. De Bruyne put the result beyond question with a fourth personal goal in the 60th minute. The Belgian ace had passed to Foden to his left and when he crossed behind Sterling a defensive touch teed up De Bruyne for a right foot finish.
Wolves were denied another penalty when Fernandinho challenged Neto, but the officials were not interested. City were away again after 66 minutes, led by De Bruyne who fed the ball to Foden. His shot rebounded clear after rebounding off the post. Wolves were not giving up, and Ederson had to make a fingertip save from an excellent Jimenez shot from 20 yards.
Foden set up Sterling with a good ball across the area, but Sterling didn’t make good contact and slid into the post. City's master-class continued in the 84th minute. The move started with Ederson and continued through Cancelo who passed to Grealish and continued his run. When Grealish passed inside from the right, Cancelo tried to score, but the ball ran to Sterling who scored at the back post. De Bruyne even hit the post with another shot.
With two games left for both sides, City have extended their lead over Liverpool in terms of their goal difference. The title is very nearly in their hands.
Thursday 12th May, 2022
Spurs 3 Arsenal 0
You can see my assessment of Spurs' performances in this game here. Two-goal Harry Kane was my man of the match. Here are some match stats as prepared by Declan Mulcahy:-
A record crowd of 62,027 inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham’s 500th PL win.
P W D L F - A GD Pts
1150 500 281 369 1739 1438 301 1781
Spurs have won three consecutive home league games against Arsenal for the first time since August 1961.
Spurs have only lost one of their last one of their last 11 Premier League games against Arsenal when below them in the table (W5 D5), losing 0-1 in March 2014 under Tim Sherwood. Indeed, Spurs are now unbeaten in their last six Premier League clashes against Arsenal when trailing them in the table (W3 D3).
Since Antonio Conte's first Premier League game in charge of the club, only Manchester City (69) and Liverpool (64) have won more points in the competition than Spurs (50). Similarly, only those two teams have scored more league goals than Conte's side (54) in this period.
Spurs are unbeaten in their past eight home league games against the Gunners, their longest run since they went nine without defeat at White Hart Lane between 1960 and 1968.
Spurs have won five of their last six home league games, scoring at least three goals in each of those victories.
Son has both scored (13) and been involved in (17) more top-flight goals in 2022 than any other player.
After failing to score or assist in any of his first nine league games against Arsenal, Son has four goals and two assists in his last five North London derby appearances.
Harry Kane is the top scorer in North London derby history in all competitions, with 13 goals in 17 games.
Arsenal have gone eight league matches without a clean sheet since a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on 19 March.
Prior to tonight Antonio Conte has won just one of his eight meetings with Arsenal in all competitions while he was manager of Chelsea. He has now won his first game as manager of Spurs against Arsenal.