Sunday 10 March 2019

Tight at the top

With 8 weeks remaining, Manchester City lead Liverpool by a point at the top and Tottenham enjoy the same advantage over Arsenal for the third spot while at the other end Huddersfield Town and Fulham need a miracle not to drop out of the Premier League.
Week 21 – Arsenal began the year with a 4-1 win at home to Fulham while Tottenham blew hosts Cardiff away with 3 goals in the first 26 minutes and Leicester were 1-0 winners at Everton. On Wednesday evening Manchester United’s renaissance continued with a 2-0 win at Newcastle while Crystal Palace enjoyed the same result at Wolves and ten-man Huddersfield Town lost 2-1 at home to Burnley who also finished the match with ten men. West Ham United replied to 2 quick-fire Brighton goals with a swift brace from Marko Arnautovic to earn a 2-2 draw at the London Olympic Stadium while Troy Deeney scored twice for Watford who drew 3-3 at Bournemouth and Southampton held Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. The most eagerly anticipated match came on Thursday evening at the Etihad where Manchester City ended Liverpool’s unbeaten record with a 2-1 victory to narrow the gap with the Reds.
Week 22 – Manchester United continued their winning streak under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at Wembley while Chelsea were 2-1 winners at home to Newcastle and a converted penalty for Liverpool was the difference between them and their hosts at Brighton. Arsenal lost 1-0 at West Ham while ten-man Southampton were victorious 2-1 at Leicester and Crystal Palace lost 2-1 at home to Watford. Fulham lost 2-1 at Burnley while Huddersfield and Cardiff drew blanks in the Welsh Capital and Everton beat Bournemouth 2-0 at Goodison Park. On Monday evening Gabriel Jesus struck twice as Manchester City defeated 10-man Wolves 3-0 at the Etihad.
 Week 23 – Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2-0 at the Emirates while Mohamad Salah scored twice as Liverpool, who ended the match with 10 men, beat Crystal Palace 4-3 at Anfield and in another 7-goal thriller Wolverhampton Wanderers got the better of their visitors from Leicester with a hat-trick from Diegi Jota. Manchester United won 2-1 at home to Brighton while Newcastle brushed Cardiff aside 3-0 with a double from Fabian Schar at St James’ Park and Everton lost 2-1 at Southampton. West Ham were beaten 2-0 at Bournemouth while Manchester City won 3-0 at Huddersfield and Tottenham came from behind at Fulham to win 2-1 with a goal in stoppage time while Burnley drew 0-0 at Watford.
Week 24 – After a weekend of FA Cup matches, the Premier League resumed in midweek with champions Manchester City taking a 1st minute lead but suffering a shock 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United while Chelsea were battered 4-0 at Bournemouth with Joshua King netting a double and Liverpool dropped points in their 1-1 home draw with Leicester City. Tottenham came from behind to beat Watford 2-1 with 2 late goals at Wembley and Arsenal gained the same result over their visitors from Cardiff while Crystal Palace, who ended the match a player short, drew 1-1 at Southampton. Glenn Murray scored 2 early goals for Brighton, but Fulham struck 4 times after the break with Aleksandar Mitrovic bagging a brace for the hosts while West Ham fell apart 3-0 at Wolves with Raul Jimenez helping himself to a double and 10-man Everton held onto an early goal to win at Huddersfield who were managed by newly appointed Jan Siewert. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winning streak came to an end as Manchester United fought back from 2 down against Burnley to earn a point in stoppage time at Old Trafford.    
Week 25 – Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick to give Manchester City a 3-1 home win over Arsenal and narrow the gap with Liverpool who could only draw 1-1 at West Ham while a late goal gave Tottenham 3 points at home to Newcastle United. Debutant Gonzalo Higuain got off the mark with 2 goals for Chelsea who humbled Huddersfield Town 5-0 at Stamford Bridge with Eden Hazard also scoring a brace for the Blues while Wolves punished Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park and Crystal Palace enjoyed a 2-0 home win over Fulham. An early goal at Leicester was enough to give Manchester United 3 points while Burnley needed a penalty in stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton and a Bobby Reid brace gave Cardiff a home win against Bournemouth. Watford drew 0-0 at Brighton.
Week 26 – A goal at the end of each half at Everton on Wednesday evening took Manchester City above Liverpool on goal difference with an extra game played, but Liverpool went back to the top with a 3-0 home win over Bournemouth on Saturday before Sergio Aguero’s Sunday hat-trick in City’s 6-0 demolition of Chelsea at the Etihad. Paul Pogba scored twice as Manchester United returned from Fulham with a 3-0 win while a Chris Wood brace helped Burnley beat Brighton 3-1 away from home and Arsenal laboured to a 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town. Tottenham were 3-1 winners at home to Leicester while West Ham drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace and Everton, who ended the match with 10 players, lost 1-0 at Watford. Southampton’s stoppage-time leveller was silenced as their visitors from Cardiff scored even later to win 2-1 and on Monday evening Wolves salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle with a goal in stoppage time.  
Week 27 – The weekend began on Friday evening with Watford walloping Cardiff City 5-1 away from home with Gerard Deulofeu scoring a hat-trick and Troy Deeney adding 2 to the visitors’ tally while West Ham United recovered from an early setback to beat Fulham 3-1 at The London Stadium. On Saturday Tottenham suffered a 2-1 defeat at Burnley while Crystal Palace punished Leicester City 4-1 with a double from Wilfried Zaha at the Walker Stadium while 10-man Huddersfield lost 2-0 at Newcastle and in a game of penalties, Wolves scored a late penalty to draw 1-1 at Bournemouth who converted and missed a spot kick. On Sunday while Manchester City were beating Chelsea on penalties to win the League Cup at Wembley, Liverpool drew 0-0 at Manchester United and 2 early goals gave Arsenal a 2-0 home win over Southampton.   
Week 28 – In midweek matches Tottenham lost 2-0 at Chelsea while Arsenal buried Bournemouth 5-1 at the Emirates and Liverpool destroyed Watford 5-0 at Anfield with Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk each netting a double. Romelu Lukaku also scored twice as Manchester United were 3-1 winners at Crystal Palace while a penalty conversion was the difference between Manchester City and West Ham at the Etihad and Fulham lost 2-0 at Southampton. Huddersfield Town defeated Wolves 1-0 at home while Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice as Everton won 3-0 at Cardiff and Newcastle put 2 past Burnley at St James’ Park. Leicester City won 2-1 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.  
Week 29 – Arsenal missed a stoppage time penalty and ended the match with 10 men as they drew 1-1 with Tottenham at Wembley while Romelu Lukaku scored twice to give Manchester United a 3-2 win at home to Southampton and one goal was enough to give Manchester City 3 points at Bournemouth. Crystal Palace were 3-1 winners at Burnley while 2 early goals gave Wolves a win at home to Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town sank 1-0 at Brighton. Newcastle lost 2-0 at West Ham and on Sunday there were 2-1 wins for Chelsea at Fulham and Watford at home to Leicester in Brendan Rodgers’ first match in charge of the Foxes while the Merseyside derby finished goalless at Everton.
Week 30 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer experienced his first league defeat at the helm of Manchester United as they lost 2-0 at Arsenal who moved into fourth place within a point of Tottenham who had taken the lead but lost 2-1 at Southampton while Chelsea scored in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves. Ayoze Perez netted a late double for Newcastle who came from 2 down to win with 3 goals in the second half at home to Everton while a brace from Jamie Vardy helped Leicester to 3-1 victory at home to Fulham and Brighton were 2-1 winners at Crystal Palace. Cardiff City enjoyed a 2-0 win at home to West Ham United and Bournemouth picked up the same result on the road to Huddersfield Town while at  the top Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick in 13 minutes at the start of the second half as Manchester City defeated Watford 3-1 at the Etihad and 2 goals apiece from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane at Anfield gave Liverpool a 4-2 win over Burnley.