Monday 21 March 2022

Narrowing the gap


After 30 weeks, with many teams still with games in hand, Liverpool are within one point of Manchester City and with the quadruple still a possibility while Chelsea, with their uncertain future due to sanctions, are in third place. Arsenal lead Tottenham and Manchester United as favourites for Fourth.

Week 21 – The year began with league leaders Manchester City coming from behind to beat 10-man Arsenal 2-1 in a controversial match at the Emirates while Manuel Lanzini scored 2 of West Ham’s 3 first-half goals at Crystal Palace who mounted a late unsuccessful comeback to lose 3-2 and Tottenham broke the deadlock deep into stoppage time to win at Watford. On Sunday, Chelsea came from 2 down to draw 2-2 at home to Liverpool with 2 goals just before the break and Brentford came from behind to send Aston Villa home 2-1 losers while an Anthony Gordon double at Goodison Park was not enough as Everton lost 3-2 to Brighton and Leeds United won 3-1 at home to Burnley. Leicester against Norwich and Southampton against Newcastle were postponed while on Monday evening Manchester United lost 1-0 at home to Wolves.

Week 22 – Before the weekend matches began, in rearranged midweek matches, Brentford suffered a 4-1 loss at Southampton and Tottenham lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea. On Friday evening, Brighton and Hove Albion earned a late 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace and on Saturday Manchester City took another step towards the league title with a 1-0 home win over Chelsea while Aston Villa came from 2 Bruno Fernandes goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Manchester United. Watford scored a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at Newcastle while Wolves were 3-1 winners at home to Southampton and Everton’s 2-1 defeat at Norwich resulting in the sacking of Rafa Benitez. On Sunday, Jack Harrison scored a hat-trick for Leeds United who enjoyed a 3-2 win at West Ham while Liverpool put 3 past their visitors from Brentford without reply. Arsenal’s match at Tottenham was postponed due to a shortage of available players.

Week 23 – In midweek matches Chelsea drew 1-1 at Brighton and Manchester United were 3-1 winners at Bretford while Steven Bergwijn scored twice in the last seconds of stoppage time as Tottenham came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at Leicester. On Friday Josh Sargent scored twice as Norwich City won 3-0 at Watford who ended the match with 10 players while on Saturday Aston Villa were 1-0 winners at Everton and Newcastle enjoyed the same outcome at Leeds. Manchester United scored with the last kick of the game to beat West Ham United 1-0 at Old Trafford while Manchester City drew 1-1 at Southampton and Wolves returned from Brentford with a 2-1 victory. On Sunday Tottenham lost 2-0 at Chelsea and Liverpool won 3-1 at Crystal Palace while Brighton drew 1-1 at Leicester and there was a goalless match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates.

Week 24 – Before the midweek matches began, Watford drew 0-0 at Burnley who were hosts again where they drew 1-1 against Manchester United while Watford lost 1-0 at West ham and Newcastle enjoyed a 3-1 win at home to Everton. On Wednesday Southampton were 3-2 winners at Tottenham while Crystal Palace drew 1-1 at Norwich and Manchester City put 2 past their visitors from Brentford. In a thriller at the Villa, Leeds United took the lead but needed 2 more goals to make up a 2-goal deficit and draw 3-3 with Aston Villa who finished the match with 10 players for whom Jacob Ramsey scored twice while Daniel James netted twice for the visitors and on Thursday it was 1-0 to 10-man Arsenal at Wolves while Diogo Jota scored both goals in Liverpool’s 2-0 win at home to Leicester.

Week 25 – Raheem Sterling netted a hat-trick as Manchester City won 4-0 at Norwich while Southampton drew 1-1 at Manchester United and Leeds lost 3-0 at Everton. Brighton won 2-0 at Watford and Crystal Palace played a goalless match at Brentford while the match between Chelsea and Arsenal was postponed, as Chelsea were winning the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi. On Sunday Tottenham lost to 2 early goals at home to Wolves while West Ham scored in the last minute to draw 2-2 at Leicester and there were 1-0 wins for Liverpool at Burnley and for Newcastle at home to Aston Villa. On Tuesday evening, 10-man Brighton lost 2-0 at Manchester United.

Week 26 – Manchester City levelled from the spot in stoppage time, but Harry Kane completed his brace with the last kick of the match as Tottenham won 3-2 in Manchester while Chelsea scored the only goal of the match in the last minute at Crystal Palace and Liverpool came from a goal down to beat Norwich 3-1 at Anfield. Burnley celebrated a 3-0 victory at Brighton and Southampton were 2-0 winners at home to Everton while Newcastle drew 1-1 at West Ham. Arsenal defeated Brentford 2-1 at the Emirates and Watford picked up a 1-0 win at Aston Villa while on Sunday Manchester United enjoyed a 4-2 win at Leeds and Leicester lost 2-1 at Wolves.

Week 27 – Before the weekend several rearranged matches took place in which Leeds United were smashed 6-0 at Liverpool with Mohamed Salah scoring 2 penalties and Sadio Mane grabbing a late brace while Wilfried Zaha scored 2 late goals as Crystal Palace Walloped Watford 4-1 at Vicarage Road and Tottenham lost 1-0 at Burnley. On Thursday Arsenal came from behind to beat Wolves 2-1 with the last kick of the match at the Emirates. The week’s fixtures began on Friday evening when Norwich lost 2-0 at Southampton and on Saturday Leeds were battered 4-0 at home to Tottenham which resulted in the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa while there were 2-0 away wins for Aston Villa at Brighton and for Newcastle at 10-man Brentford. Manchester City won by a single goal at Everton while Burnley drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace and Manchester United were held to a goalless draw at home to Watford. On Sunday while Liverpool were winning the League Cup on penalties against Chelsea, one goal gave West Ham all 3 points at home to Wolves and in a rearranged match on Tuesday Leicester scored 2 late goals to win at Burnley.

Week 28 – Aston Villa celebrated a 4-0 victory at home to Southampton and Chelsea achieved the same result at Burnley with Kai Havertz netting a brace for the Blues while Leeds United, under new manager Jesse Marsch, lost 1-0 at Leicester. Ivan Toney scored all 3 goals for Brentford at Norwich who hit back with a single goal in the last minute while Crystal Palace scored twice to win at Wolves and Newcastle netted 2 early goals as they enjoyed a 2-1 home win against Brighton. West Ham lost 1-0 at Liverpool while on Sunday Manchester City triumphed 4-1 over their neighbours Manchester United with Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez scoring 2 goals each and Arsenal were 3-2 winners at Watford. On Monday evening Everton came unstuck 5-0 at Tottenham for whom Son Heung-min and Harry Kane scored 2 apiece.

Week 29 – Several matches were played on Thursday. Watford fell apart 4-0 at Wolves and Leeds suffered a 3-0 loss at home to Aston Villa while Newcastle came from behind to win 2-1 at Southampton and Chelsea were 3-1 winners at Norwich. On Saturday Tottenham lost 3-2 at Manchester United with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring all 3 goals for the Red Devils while Ivan Toney scored a late double as Brentford picked up a 2-0 home win over Burnley who had a player dismissed in stoppage time and Liverpool scored twice without reply at Brighton. On Sunday Newcastle fell to a last-minute goal at Chelsea while Cucho Hernandez netted a brace as Watford won 2-1 at Southampton and West Ham enjoyed the same result at home to Aston Villa. Norwich levelled at Leeds in stoppage time but the host made it 2-1 with the last kick of the match while 10-man Everton lost 1-0 at home to Wolves and Arsenal were 2-0 winners at home to Leicester. On Monday evening league leaders Manchester City drew 0-0 at Crystal Palace.

Week 30 – On Wednesday Liverpool narrowed the gap at the top to one point with a 2-0 win at Arsenal while Tottenham were 2-0 winners at Brighton and on Thursday 10-man Everton defeated their visitors from Newcastle with the winner coming deep into stoppage time. The Friday evening match saw Leeds United score in added-on time as they came from 2 down to win 3-2 at 10-man Wolves. With the quarter finals of the FA Cup taking place, there was only one match on Saturday in which a single goal gave Arsenal a win at Aston Villa and on Sunday Son Heung-min scored twice as Tottenham enjoyed a 3-1 win at home to West Ham and Leicester defeated Brentford 2-1 at the King Power Stadium.