Another heavily disrupted Premier League season has reached Gameweek 23 and there’s plenty to get excited about as we cast our eye away from the transfer window.
Chelsea’s London derby with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge is the standout fixture of the weekend, but don’t take your eyes off Crystal Palace’s clash with Liverpool – the latter has proven in the past that could be a real barnstormer.
Norwich started things off on Friday night with a statement win in their relegation six-pointer, while Lucas Digne had the last laugh against former club Everton. Manchester United and Newcastle also secured vital wins with late goals on Saturday, while Southampton frustrated Manchester City.
WATFORD 0-3 NORWICH
Norwich picked up a huge 3-0 win against relegation rivals Watford on Friday night, with goal-shy striker Josh Sargent netting twice.
Sargent got the party started with a stunning scorpion kick just before the break and he rose high at the back post to make it 2-0 with 16 minutes of normal time remaining.
Things soon got worse for Watford as Emmanuel Dennis saw red for a second booking, and the Canaries impressive win was capped off with a Juraj Kucka own goal in second-half stoppage time.
EVERTON 0-1 ASTON VILLA
Emiliano Buendia scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa picked up all three points against manager-less Everton, who parted company with Rafa Benitez last week.
Ex-Toffess star Lucas Digne got the assist for the decisive goal, which came in first half stoppage time. But both he and teammate Matty Cash were struck by a projectile thrown from the Goodison Park crowd during the celebrations – an arrest was made by police.
BRENTFORD 1-2 WOLVES
Wolves secured an away victory against Brentford thanks to a second half winner from Ruben Neves, which restored his team’s advantage after Ivan Toney had cancelled out Joao Moutinho’s opener.
The first half was paused twice, once so that could treatment could be given to Brentford pair Mathias Jensen and Rico Henry following a sickening clash of heads, and later because there was a drone flying over the pitch.
Adama Traore thought he had made it 3-1 in the closing stages but VAR intervened.
LEEDS 0-1 NEWCASTLE
Newcastle managed only a second Premier League win of the season, beating Leeds at Elland Road and rising to within one point of safety – with a game in hand on Norwich above them.
Jonjo Shelvey’s free-kick from the edge of the penalty area made the crucial difference with around 15 minutes left to play.
It was a blow for Leeds, although Marcelo Bielsa’s team at least have the benefit of a seven-point cushion between themselves and the drop zone.
MAN UTD 1-0 WEST HAM
Manchester United had to wait until the 93rd minute to made the breakthrough against West Ham at Old Trafford, with Marcus Rasford turning home Edinson Cavani’s low cross a few yards from goal.
The hosts had the majority of the possession and peppered the West Ham goal with shots, most of which missed the target. The Hammers were always in the game and did have chances of their own through Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek.
But the decisive blow came right at the end. Anthony Martial, who got a mixed reception off the bench, played in Cavani, who in turn found Rashford.
SOUTHAMPTON 1-1 MAN CITY
Southampton stopped Manchester City from making it 13 consecutive Premier League wins with a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s.
Kyle Walker-Peters gave the Saints an early lead with his first ever Premier League goal. Armando Broja also had the ball in the net but was denied by an offside flag and later hit the post.
City weren’t at their best but improved as the game progressed and eventually got back on level terms when Aymeric Laporte headed in from a set-piece.
ARSENAL VS BURNLEY
Arsenal’s disappointment at losing to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-finals must be quickly cast to one side when Burnley rock up in north London.
Sean Dyche’s side haven’t played in *checks notes* approximately 834 months so you’d imagine they’re going to be a little rusty. They also don’t have Chris Wood anymore, which is a bit of a blow despite his indifferent goal return this season.
CRYSTAL PALACE VS LIVERPOOL
Crystal Palace are playing some good stuff under Patrick Vieira, with consistency the only real thing that’s missing from their Premier League repertoire.
History tells us their games against Liverpool at Selhurst Park are pretty special, and despite the Reds’ dominant win over Arsenal in the cup, Jurgen Klopp’s side have got to the job done here without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
It won’t be straight forward…
LEICESTER VS BRIGHTON
Brendan Rodgers’ shock at seeing Leicester capitulate against Tottenham on Wednesday doesn’t have long to subside, with difficult to beat Brighton the next visitors to King Power.
The Seagulls have lost just four times in 21 Premier League outings, drawing an astonishing 11 of those games. You’ll never guess what we’ve gone for here…
CHELSEA VS TOTTENHAM
The final game of the weekend sees Chelsea renew their rivalry with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have been in a bit of a rut of late, winning just one of their last five Premier League games en route to collecting six points from a possible 15. Spurs are on the up under Antonio Conte and should be brimming with confidence against their arch enemy.
Roll on the inevitable home win, then…
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