In a stunning Gameweek 36, Arsenal somehow managed to convincingly beat Liverpool while Manchester City and Tottenham walked away with convincing wins of their own to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Elsewhere, however, Manchester United, Leicester City and West Ham all fell short.
Chelsea had no chance from the moment go. The Blues certainly gave it all they could and can but Manchester City scored four minutes into the first half. But Chelsea never gave up, with the Blues knocking eight shots against the City goal with the away side only managing one more. That changed in the second half, with Chelsea pulling one back six minutes after the restart.
But Manchester City were on a roll and the Cityzens proved as much despite them racking up only 41 dangerous attacks. Things changed in the second half, for both sides, but despite five more shots after scoring Chelsea struggled to find the net. City, on the other hand, took just five shots but three of them found the net with them scoring all three in a six-minute span.
Burnley 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Burnley kept their Europa League dreams alive as they scripted a 2-1 victory over 6th place Wolves this Saturday evening. Even though the first half was pretty evenly poised, Burnley drew first blood in the 22nd minute, from a penalty kick. The box-to-box action was visible from the opening minute of the game itself and it did not change in the entire first half. The Wolves restored parity at the half-hour mark while the scores were tied at 1-1 during the break.
Apart from a few patches, Burnley owned the second half and their 62nd minute winner was no fluke. Even though they came in scoring positions quite often in the second period, they managed to convert only one of them. In total, Burnley has 6 shots on target and spent an average of 22 seconds per goal. On the other hand, the Wolves had 4 shots on target and spent 16 seconds per attack.
Manchester United played out a 1-1 draw against 11th placed Crystal Palace this weekend. Even though they were 7 places below the Red Devils in the league table, the hosts took charge of the game in the first half. They constantly raided United’s defence and were awarded the opening goal of the game in the 13th minute. The goal seemed to be a blessing in disguise for the ‘Red Devils’ as they changed gears after conceding, eventually levelling the score board in the 37th minute.
Manchester United was extra cautious in the second half and managed to exploit Crystal Palace's back four much more than the first period. Even though they spent almost 20 minutes per attack, the winning goal eluded them. The visitors kept the tempo till the dying minute of the game, but only to see them share points with Crystal Palace. Statistically, there was not much to seperate the two teams, with Palace taking 4 shots at goal, one more than United.
Leicester City 1-3 Sheffield United
The Foxes were stunned at home by 6th placed Sheffield in an action-packed weekend fixture. Leicester made no mistake to take advantage of the home situation and hurled in attacks from the opening quarter of the game itself. It was in the 22nd minute of the game that the Foxes opened the scoring and putting the Blades on the back foot. Chris Wilder' sides' response was prompt and their disciplined football earned them the equalizer just a minute before the half-time mark, leaving an exciting second half to play for.
Unlike everyone thought, ‘The Blades’ pounded on the pressure after the resumption, which was shocking to some extent. It took them only 8 minutes to take the lead and tilt the game in their favour. Even though it was expected that Leicester would stage a comeback, the opposite happened as the Sheffield netted the third and secured full points from the fixture.
Newcastle 0-3 Tottenham
Spurs were merciless from the opening minute, having taken the offensive route too early in the game and the result was inevitable. After constant pressing, they found the back of the net in the 7th minute itself and doubled the lead just a minute later. It was in the 13th minute that they scored the third goal and swayed the game heavily in favour of them. The initial shock was too much for the hosts to recover from and went to the break with a 3-goal deficit.
Apart from short spells, it was the same story in the second half as well, even though the goals stopped for good. Actually, Newcastle United were much better at keeping Tottenham’s forwards at bay in the last 45 minutes, but that was not enough for them to avoid a crushing defeat at home. Spurs were the better attacking side, having taken 6 shots on goal, compared to Newcastle's 3. Meanwhile, both the teams spent 17 seconds per attack on an average.
Southampton 1-2 Brighton
Not the greatest game to watch and nothing proved that better than the first half. Eleven shots by both sides and yet they both struggled to find the net, which especially applies to Brighton. The Seagulls struggled to hit the target but Southampton managed to do just that five times. Yet, once the second half started, it was the away side that found the net.
The half-time talk might have changed things for Brighton but it did nothing for Southampton. The Saints struggled to get off to a great start and it proved as much with just four shots on goal. But they somehow managed to find the net and there was the equaliser. It was game over, until Brighton won and converted a penalty which sealed the win.
West Ham 0-1 Watford
Watford surged out of the relegation zone with another win to their name, making it three wins in their last five games. The Hammers, on the other hand, replaced them as the relegation threatened side with just a lone win in their last five games. And it showed with Watford netting 16 minutes into the first half and that was game. While the Hammers took 14 shots on goal over the course of 90 minutes, they managed just five on target.
Brighton preferred to sit back and defend well with them averaging just 17 seconds per attack and 52 dangerous attacks over the course of the game. It still didn’t help David Moyes’ side with them failing to get a goal despite firing six shots in the final ten odd minutes.
Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool
Nobody could believe their eyes. Somehow, out of absolutely nowhere, Arsenal managed to hand league leaders and Champions Liverpool their third loss of the season. That’s despite the fact that the Gunners walked in on the worst form of their season with just one draw out of their last four games. The Reds, on the other hand, were unbeaten in their last four and yet struggled to create much.
They had just nine shots compared to Arsenal’s 15, with one shot on target compared to Arsenal’s five as the Gunners found the net twice. The first one came off a rebound in the first half with the second one sealing the game as it hit the net two minutes before full-time. The game however, was over and done by then with Arsenal dominating the scoreline and the statistics cards.
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