The Premier League is officially back into our lives and brings nearly the same excitement and controversy we have always associated with it.
Rescheduled games were the first to be settled with Manchester City thrashing Arsenal 3-0 on Wednesday while VAR couldn’t come to Sheffield United’s aid as they had what looked like a clear goal not awarded, ultimately forcing them to a goalless draw with Aston Villa.
Game Week 30 officially kicked off on Friday night as Manchester United salvaged a late draw at Tottenham while Southampton enjoyed a fine evening thrashing struggling Norwich City at home 0-3.
On Saturday, four games went down in the Premier League with an early kickoff at the Vicarage Road, home to Watford FC.
Watford 1-1 Leicester
Watford currently occupies the 16th spot on the table and could still find themselves drown in relegation waters if they slip up. They need to get as many points as possible till the end of the season to stay up in England’s top division.
The Hornets, who have had strong home form under Pearson, rescued a point behind closed doors against Leicester after Ben Chilwell and Craig Dawson traded excellent stoppage-time goals.
Watford before the league was shut down produced an unbelievable feat thrashing Liverpool 3-0 to end Liverpool’s unbeaten run in the league. They are back fighting to stay clear of relegation and performances such as the last at home to Leicester would ensure they get their wish.
Stats from the game
- Watford has only won one of their past eight top-flight games (D3 L4), after winning four of the five before that.
- Six of the past seven meetings between these two sides in the Premier League have seen a goal or a red card in the 90th minute or later (six goals, one red card).
- Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell has scored two goals in his past five Premier League appearances, as many as in his previous 91 in the competition.
- Craig Dawson’s goal was his first in the Premier League in 31 appearances (since February 2018) and his first-ever in the competition for Watford (21 games).
Brighton 2-1 Arsenal
At 3 pm, the Arsenal team lost back to back game since the League restarted when Neal Maupay’s last gasp strike condemned Arsenal to a woeful start to the remainder of the season.
Earlier during the game, the same player, Maupay, appeared to have fouled Arsenal’s goalkeeper Bernd Leno who had to be subbed off the game due to a serious injury to his knee and might not feature again this season.
Maupay was a thorn in Arsenal’s flesh on and off the pitch as he mentioned after the game that the Arsenal players deserved it as they needed to learn humility.
West Ham United 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Raul Jimenez set the record for the most goals by a Wolves player in a Premier League season after scoring the opener against West Ham to help strengthen his side’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
The forward planted a wicked header beyond Lukasz Fabianski after a superb cross by substitute Adama Traore for his 14th league goal of the 2019-20 campaign.
Traore proved very instrumental as the super sub was also involved in the second goal. Another substitute Pedro Neto volleyed home Matt Doherty’s cross as Wolves, who started the day in seventh, moved above Sheffield United and level on points with fifth-placed Manchester United.
West Ham are flirting with relegation after a poor performance and their first shot on target did not arrive until the 49th minute when 19-year-old defender Jeremy Ngakia tested Rui Patricio from distance.
Jimenez’s 13-goal tally last season was the previous highest tally for a Wolves player.
Wolves are now unbeaten in their past six league games and now have nine top-flight clean sheets, including five in the past six games.
Stats from the game
- Wolves are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches in London. They have won 5 games and drawn 5 games as well.
- Nuno has won all four of his meetings with West Ham as a manager, his best 100% record against an opponent in league competition.
- Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore have combined for nine Premier League goals this season (6 assists from Traore, 3 from Jimenez).
- Since the beginning of last season, only Trent Alexander-Arnold (27) and Andy Robertson (19) have been directly involved in more Premier League goals among defenders than Wolves’ Doherty (15 – eight goals, seven assists).
- The Hammers have failed to score in consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since March to April 2019.
AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew both scored to bring Crystal Palace closer to European qualification. The Eagles are now just four points adrift of fifth-placed Manchester United, who currently occupy a Europa League spot for next season.
Palace skipper Luka Milivojevic scored an exquisite free-kick inside 13 minutes to put his team ahead before Jordan Ayew tucked in a shot from Patrick Van Aanholt’s cross to send Palace away with the win.
Crystal Palace have now won its fourth consecutive league game which lifts them above Arsenal into ninth on the table, four points behind fifth-placed Manchester United, while Bournemouth – who have earned just eight points from their last 13 games – remain in the bottom three on goal difference.
Stats from the game
- Crystal Palace has now made it three wins out of the last three league meetings with Bournemouth for the first time since April 1988.
- Crystal Palace has also now won four consecutive Premier League games, the best ongoing winning run of all sides in the competition; only in December 1992 and April 2014 (both five in a row) have they enjoyed a longer winning streak in the top-flight.
- This was the first time Crystal Palace scored more than one goal in the first half of a Premier League game this season; they last did so on the final day of the 2018-19 campaign, which was also against Bournemouth.
- Bournemouth has lost seven Premier League games in 2020; no other side has lost more during this calendar year (level with West Ham) and has failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 13 league matches, conceding 25 goals across this spell.