Matchweek 24 Recap

Hi folks I’m going to recap this past matchweek since it was one to remember and a matchweek that may be very crucial in changing the direction of how the league will pan out this season. A few wild finishes, seven matches with at least three goals and two huge outright upsets headlined one of the best matchweeks of the season.

Burnley 2 @ Manchester United 2 – A match that had a scoreless first half surely woke up in the second. A 51st minute Ashley Barnes goal and an 81st minute Chris Wood header gave Burnley a 2-0 lead and surely the three points. But Fergie Time now has transformed into Ole Time as they channeled the infamous comeback spirit of old United teams. An 87th minute Pogba penalty and a 93rd minute Lindeloff rebound sealed the draw for United and kept their top four dreams well alive.

Everton 1 @ Huddersfield 0 – In one of the only matches that played out how most people expected, Everton took three points and almost surely doomed Huddersfield to relegation. A 3rd minute Richarlison goal basically sealed the fate of this match early on, but a Lucas Digne red card in the 66th minute gave Huddersfield hope of at least a point. But their inability to come back and score a goal was a reflection of how their season has gone to this point, and surely seals their fate with a 12-point climb ahead of them at the bottom of the table.

West Ham 0 @ Wolves 3 – It took until the second half for this match to come alive but it was Wolves who controlled it start to finish. They had plenty of chances to go up in the first half and ended up outshooting West Ham 20 to 4 in the match as a whole. Lead by Raul Jimenez’s two goals and Jao Moutinho’s two assists, Wolves comfortably took the lead and kept their foot on the pedal in the second half. West Ham were clearly tired and their lack of depth is now a clear cause for concern with their star striker Arnautovic, who just recently signed an extension instead of leaving, leaving on crutches with a foot injury. They’ve dipped into 12th and have now lost back-to-back Premier League matches without scoring a goal.

Brighton 2 @ Fulham 4 – A match that was not short of goals or drama. Brighton took a 2-0 lead only 17 minutes into the game and seemed in complete control as Fulham’s inability to score goals from behind made most lose hope for their chances at points. But a Calum Chambers volley only two minutes into the second half sparked an onslaught of goals. What followed were goals from Mitrovic (58′, 74′) and Vietto (79′) as Brighton capitulated. This could end up being a turning point in Fulham’s season as these three points have given life to their hopes of staying. A loss would’ve meant 9 points from safety but instead they sit only 6 points back from the three teams outside of the relegation zone who are all on 23 points (Palace, Southampton and Burnley).

Cardiff City 1 @ Arsenal 2 – This one was a little dicey for a while for Arsenal. The first half was scoreless but both teams had chances to put numbers on the board and both teams had penalty shouts as well. In the end Arsenal generated a 2-0 lead by the 83rd minute, only for Cardiff to pull one back to make it a one-score game in the 94th minute. But there was a glaring issue with Arsenal in this match as they controlled 70% of the possession but were outshot 19 to 15. They were lucky only two of those shots were on goal, but you can’t control the ball that much and allow 19 shots. They’re fortunate they only played Cardiff and not someone who could punish them with that many chances.

Manchester City 1 @ Newcastle 2 – Ahhh we get to the biggest upset of the Premier League season so far. A Sergio Aguero goal only 23 seconds into the game gave the notion to most people that the game was already over, but boy were we wrong. After that goal, City looked sluggish and had no drive to double their lead. As the match went on, Newcastle began to punish City for keeping the match at 1-0 with a Solomon Rondon equalizer in the 66th minute. Shockingly, City were unable to respond and lacked a sense of urgency going forward. This allowed Newcastle to again constantly counter and create dangerous chances, eventually leading to a turnover in the City defensive third and a penalty in the 80th minute scored by Matt Ritchie. City for a third time lacked urgency and creativity in the final third and the match ended 2-1, giving Liverpool the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table to 7 the following day.

Leicester City 1 @ Liverpool 1 – Another shock result here as Liverpool fail to pounce on City’s mistake and may have missed their opportunity to basically seal the title. It might even be a bigger result for Leicester as they were in a state of free fall, losing three straight in all competitions and three of their last four Premier League matches. Similar to the City/Newcastle match, Liverpool took the lead inside three minutes but failed to double their lead, allowing Harry Maguire to score off of a free kick on one of the last kicks before halftime. Leicester held on for dear life to secure the point, got their season back on track and gave this Premier League season some more hope for a title race as Liverpool’s lead above City sits at 5 points.

Crystal Palace 1 @ Southampton 1 – A match which would give the winner some distance from the relegation zone gave us a draw, which keeps both clubs at 23 points and only 4 above safety. A Wilfried Zaha goal set the tone for Palace as they went up 1-0 before halftime, forcing Southampton to push forward in the second half. A Ward-Prowse goal in the 77th minute equalized the scoreline for Southampton and a second yellow for Zaha in the 87th inspired hope that they could grab all three points, but they fell short and settled for the draw.

Watford 1 @ Tottenham 2 – Another cracking match as Watford almost stole not only one point but all three at Wembley on Wednesday night. After taking a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute, Watford looked well in the driver’s seat as they were almost dictating the pace and creating more of the chances in the first half. Being down 1-0 at halftime and without Kane and Alli, many thought Spurs were doomed and their horrifying month of January would end on an even worse note. But they began to pick up the pace in the second half, creating more chances and eventually finding an equalizer from Son in the 80th minute. They kept the pressure up and scored a winner from Llorente in the 87th who finally caught a break after a couple howlers of matches. By far one of the worst bad beats/pushes (Watford +1) of my blogging career.

Chelsea 0 @ Bournemouth 4 – In an absolute bananas scoreline, Bournemouth completely took it to Chelsea, proving truth to Sarri’s comments about the Chelsea players being hard to motivate. Oddly enough, the scoreline was 0-0 at halftime, only for Bournemouth to score one only 2 minutes into the second half. From there, Chelsea lacked resolve and some sort of response as goals from Brooks (63′), another from King (74′) and the dagger from Daniels (90+5′) gave Chelsea their worst Premier League loss in 22 years. The Blues have now fallen out of the top 4 and more concerns are starting to arise about whether or not Sarri can get his players together to keep them in the fight for that last Champions League spot.

That’s all for Matchweek 24’s recap. Get my Matchweek 24 Recap HERE.

Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.

Twitter: @nicodegallo
Facebook: Can I Kick It

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Nico

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