Liverpool and Chelsea played out a dull goalless draw, as the recent struggles of both teams were highlighted. Few would have predicted that this fixture would be a midtable clash at the start of the season. And the quality of the game, along with the disappointment both sets of supporters will be feeling this season, was reflected in the subdued atmosphere at Anfield.
Kai Havertz had an early goal disallowed for offside, but the game failed to get going after this. Mykhailo Mudryk did impress for Graham Potter’s side off the bench following his move from Shakhtar Donetsk and had a number of opportunities to mark the occasion with a goal.
The final whistle was greeted with indifference and near silence. The two teams remain locked level on points in midtable. Jurgen Klopp’s side can at least reflect that they have ended a two-game losing streak in the Premier League, while Chelsea are now on a run of six away league matches without a win.
A Jarrod Bowen brace gave West Ham a much-needed 2-0 victory over Everton, a result that leaves the Toffees stuck in the relegation zone.
Both teams came into this match on a seven-game winless run, and the stakes were high for both managers but it was David Moyes that came out on top as Bowen’s first-half double gave the Hammers the three points.
Everton looked the more composed at first, passing the ball well, however they lacked any cutting edge against a deep lying home defence. It was clear that West Ham aimed to play on the counter-attack, but those plans were almost ruined when a good chance fell to Yerry Mina. However, the Everton defender blazed over from close range, much to the relief of the Hammers.
West Ham grew into the game and on 33 minutes Kurt Zouma won his battle from an Emerson cross and Bowen stayed onside to poke home from close range. The goal survived the VAR review as the tension among the home support in the London Stadium began to lift.
The lead was doubled minutes later as Michail Antonio’s deflected cross fell to Bowen who finished from close in. Having only scored twice all season, Bowen had doubled his tally within 41 minutes.
Frank Lampard responded at the break with a double substitution that switched Alex Iwobi to a right-wing back role. However his offensive work rarely troubled the home defence.
It was West Ham that provided the greater threat on the break. Although they didn’t add to their tally, they comfortably held on for a precious three points. It Everton’s ninth defeat in 12 Premier League matches. Their under-fire board responded by sacking Lampard after less than a year in charge. They are now looking for their sixth permanent manager in five years.
Arsenal stayed in the driving seat in the race for the Premier League title with a dramatic win over Manchester United. Eddie Nketiah’s 90th-minute winner gave them victory in a pulsating match at the Emirates Stadium.
Manchester City’s earlier win over Wolverhampton Wanderers ramped up the pressure on the Gunners but they responded with steel, strength and quality. They overcame the setback of going behind, when the in-form Marcus Rashford drove home a superb right-foot shot from 25 yards on 17 minutes
Arsenal responded in ferocious fashion and drew level seven minutes later when Granit Xhaka’s cross saw Nketiah get ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the far post to finish with a thumping header.
Bukayo Saka’s drive put Arsenal ahead eight minutes after the interval but they were pegged back within six minutes. Aaron Ramsdale failed to collect a corner and Lisandro Martinez headed his first goal for the Red Devils.
Arsenal looked the more likely winners in the closing stages, though Erik ten Hag’s side remained dangerous on the break. Saka hit the post and Nketiah was denied by a great save from David de Gea. The pressure told in the closing moments when Nketiah turned in from close range to send the home support into raptures.
Mikel Arteta’s side are now five points clear of Manchester City with a game in hand. United are eleven points off the top, having played a game more. They sit fourth in the league, behind Newcastle United on goal difference.
Haaland hat-trick keeps City in touch, Magpies unbeaten in 15, Kane equals record
Erling Haaland scored his fourth Manchester City hat-trick and took his goal tally for the season to 31 in all competitions as relegation-threated Wolves were swept aside by Pep Guardiola’s men. Haaland has now scored 25 goals in City’s first 20 Premier League games. City´s victory leaves them five points behind leaders Arsenal, having played a game more.
Newcastle United stretched their unbeaten run to a club-record 15 top-flight games with their third goalless draw against Crystal Palace this season. The Magpies will feel disappointed not to have taken all three points, after failing to take a number of chances. They end the weekend in third, having only conceded 11 league goals in 20 games.
Bournemouth drew with Nottingham Forest, Leicester and Brighton also finished level, while Aston Villa won by the only goal at Southampton. Leeds United against Brentford finished goalless. Tottenham won at Fulham, thanks to a record equalling goal from Harry Kane. It was his 266th goal for Spurs, levelling the record set by Jimmy Greaves between 1961 and 1970.
Tottenham, Brighton and Fulham make up the top seven, while West Ham’s win over Everton takes them out of the bottom three. The fight to avoid relegation is extremely tight, with six points separating 13th placed Nottingham Forest from 20th placed Southampton.
The Premier League takes a break next weekend for the FA cup fourth round. It resumes with Matchweek 22, which will be played between Friday February 3 and Sunday February 5.
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