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Football | Premier League | Matchweek 17 | Round-up

By Chris Sampson

  • Late Wolves winner boosts Lopetegui, Magpies fly high with victory at Leicester
  • Arteta’s Arsenal win in front of Wenger to maintain lead
  • Haaland double sinks Leeds

UK -The Premier League returned after the World Cup break and we were treated to some Christmas crackers in a festive feast of football.


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Everton 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

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Julen Lopetegui saw his Wolves side come from behind against fellow strugglers Everton to record their first away win of the season. The former Sevilla boss, appointed just before the World Cup break, becomes the first Wolves manaager to win his first top-flight game in charge since John Barnwell in 1978. The Spaniard had also overseen a two-nil victory over Gillingham in the EFL cup in midweek.

Victory was achieved with a dramatic stoppage time winner from Rayan Ait-Nouri as Wolves moved off the bottom of the Premier League. However, it was the home side who went ahead after seven minutes when Yerry Mina glanced home Dwight McNeil’s near-post corner.  Wolves equalised 15 minutes later when a training ground set-piece routine saw a lofted pass from Joao Moutinho calmly finished at the back post by Daniel Podence.

Both sides have struggled for goals this season, and both failed to convert a number of chances. Lopetegui had introduced Adama Traore from the bench and it was his cross in the 95th minute which saw Ait-Nouri beat Jordan Pickford to give the visitors a precious three points. Wolves are now only one point behind Everton, who have now lost their last four games.


Leicester City 0 Newcastle United 3

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Newcastle United claimed their sixth consecutive Premier League win as three first-half goals saw off Leicester City.

The Magpies were two up inside seven minutes. Chris Wood smashed home from the penalty spot after Joelinton was brought down in the box by Daniel Amartey. Miguel Almiron doubled Eddie Howe’s side’s lead, finishing off a great move which also involved Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimarães.

The game was effectively over as a contest on 32 minutes when Joelinton lost his marker to power in a header from Trippier’s corner. The visitors saw out the remainder of the game to record their eighth Premier League clean sheet of the season. The introduction of Jamie Vardy provided Brendan Rogers‘ side with a little more pace and attacking intent. However, when the former England striker did manage to get in down the channels nobody from the home team could get on the end of his crosses.

Despite this setback Leicester will hope to recapture their pre-World Cup form and climb the table in the coming weeks. For Newcastle, while talk of a title challenge may be premature, they will be looking to continue their excellent form as they look to secure a European place.


Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1

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League leaders Arsenal came from behind to beat West Ham, in front of  Arsene Wenger, the last Gunners manager to win the title. Wenger, who won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups with Arsenal, was making his first visit to the Emirates Stadium since ending his 22-year reign in 2018.

Mikel Arteta’s side began on the front foot and Bukayo Saka had a fourth minute strike ruled out for offside. However, West Ham looked dangerous on the break, with diagonal balls from left to right causing problems. David Moyes’ side took the lead, against the run of play, on 27 minutes.  Jarrod Bowen was caught late by William Saliba in the area and Said Benrahma struck  the resulting penalty straight down the middle.

It had been a frustrating night for Arsenal, but they stuck to their task and turned the game on its head inside five second-half minutes. On 53 minutes Saka collected Martin Odegaard’s mis-hit shot to stroke home. Then Gabriel Martinelli put the hosts ahead, beating Lukasz Fabianski at the near post.

Eddie Nketiah turned sharply in the box following Odegaard’s pass to seal the win on 69 minutes. The result, and the manner of the performance, suggest that Arsenal are continuing where they left off before the World Cup break. The Gunners are genuine title contenders for the first time since the Wenger era. West Ham are fifth from bottom, one point clear of the relegation zone.


Leeds United 1 Manchester City 3

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Manchester City overcame a stubborn Leeds United side to return to winning ways, thanks to a brace from Leeds born Erling Haaland. The Norwegian striker became the fastest player to reach 20 Premier League goals in a season with a second-half double.

Leeds were competitive, compact and organised. They frustrated City throughout the first-half with Pep Guardiola‘s side missing a number of chances in the opening period. With less than a minute on the clock Haaland went through, only to be denied by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier. Meslier saved again from Haaland later in the half, after he had been played in by Kevin De Bruyne, while Jack Grealish failed to convert a couple of opportunities.

However, on the stroke of half-time City took the lead. A sweeping move saw Meslier save from Riyad Mahrez, only for Rodri to follow up to score his first goal of the season.

Grealish made amends for his missed chances by unselfishly playing Haaland in on 51 minutes. And the England international was again the provider for Haaland’s second, which he slotted in from close range.

Leeds, to their credit, continued to compete and reduced the arrears on 73 minutes when Sam Greeenwood’s corner was headed in by Pascal Struijk. Substitute Joe Gelhardt’s clever flick almost set up a barnstorming finish, however his effort went agonisingly wide.

City, however, saw the game out to move back into second place, five points behind leaders Arsenal and two points ahead of Newcastle in third.

Jesse Marsch’s side are in 15th place on 15 points as just eight points separate 11 teams at the bottom of the league.



Another Spurs comeback, Red Devils close in on fourth

Tottenham Hotspur came from two goals down to salvage a point at Brentford. Fulham enjoyed a fine three-nil win away at Crystal Palace, where red cards for Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins saw the hosts reduced to nine men. Brighton & Hove Albion continue to push towards the European places with a three-one win at Southampton, a result which leaves the home side bottom of the league. Liverpool won by the same score away at Aston Villa to move within five points of a Champions League spot. Goals from Kai Havertz and Mason Mount gave Chelsea victory over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. Manchester United closed in on the top four after goals from Marcus Rashford, Antony Martial and Fred gave them a comfortable home win over Nottingham Forest.

Arsenal lead the table by five points from Manchester City, with Newcastle a further two points behind having played a game more. Tottenham are in fourth, 10 points off the top and a point ahead of fifth placed Manchester United. Liverpool are four points behind in sixth, a point ahead of seventh placed Brighton.

At the bottom, Southampton prop up the table on 12 points. Nottingham Forest and Wolves both have 13 points and  complete the bottom three. Everton and West Ham are both a single point better off and sit just above the relegation zone.

The hectic festive programme resumes on Friday December 30, with the next round of games taking place across the New Year weekend.