The Premier League returns after a two week International break. The race is heating up at the two ends of the table. The battle for the fourth spot in the league is being fought between fives teams. The fight to stay out of the relegation zone has its own batch of teams.
Newcastle (3) vs. Everton (1)
Both teams needed a victory in this match to prove themselves to their manager in the case of Everton and to stay out of the relegation zone for Newcastle. Several unlucky bounces in the Newcastle box led to the first goal for Everton, a double deflection off Anthony Gordon’s free kick, which allowed Mason Holgate to have a free shot at goal. It was saved on the line but deflected off the head of a Newcastle defender and into the net. Jamaal Lascelles, who conceded an own goal for Mason Holgate, returned the favor and forced an own goal against Holgate at the other end a minute later.
West Ham (1) vs. Watford (0)
West Ham take a much needed victory to stay ahead of the battle for the fourth spot in the Premier League. Jarrod Bowen scored the lone goal for the Hammers in the second half after having to grind it out in the earlier stages of the match. Bowen’s shot from outside the box was unluckily redirected by the Watford defender away from his keeper which left him no chance to save the ball.
Burnley (1) vs. Manchester United (1)
In the second game in a week, Manchester United came out strong in the first half scoring the first goal of the match then disappeared in the second half to allow their “lower level” opponent to come back and score to force a draw.
Manchester City (2) vs. Brentford (0)
Manchester City was buzzing around the Brentford goal in the first half having many chances on goal until the later stages of the half when City was awarded a penalty off a challenge on Raheem Sterling. Riyad Mahrez made no doubt of his penalty kick, putting the top corner opposite the keeper’s choice. During the second half, City did not relent their attack on the Brentford goal. But, it was a mistake by the keeper that led to the final goal of the match.
Norwich City (1) vs. Crystal Palace (1)
Norwich City needed a victory in this match to stay ahead of Newcastle and out of relegation after Newcastle’s victory the day prior. They got off to a great start scoring in the first minute. They maintained the lead well into the second half despite the back and forth chances on both sides. Wilfrid Zaha drew the match with his sensational goal just outside the box, curling it to the opposite side of the goal. Not long after his goal, Zaha was awarded a penalty kick that he shanked completely wide of the goal. The match finished in a draw keeping Norwich City in the relegation zone.
Tottenham (2) vs. Southampton (3)
A disappointing result for the Spurs keeps them away from their hopes of the top four and slowly throwing away their matches in hand. They took the lead twice in the match but two goals within two minutes late in the match allowed the Saints to go home with the victory.
Aston Villa (3) vs. Leeds United (3)
A brilliant back and forth match that started with traded goals between Leeds and Villa. Then Jacob Ramsey gives Villa a two goal lead off two quality goals. Leeds responded with their own two goals to keep the draw.
Liverpool (2) vs. Leicester City (0)
For the first time in over two months, Liverpool have a complete line-up with the return of Mo Salah and Sadio Mané from the African Cup of Nations. But, it was Diogo Jota, who made all the difference in the match. He took advantage of his extra playing time due to the absence of Liverpool’s top two strikers and he showed that he is deserving of a spot in the starting XI.
Wolves (0) vs. Arsenal (1)
Both teams were trying to keep their hopes alive for a top four position in the league with a victory. Gabriel netted the only goal of the match to put the Gunners ahead which became crucial in the end when Gabriel Martinelli was shown two consecutive yellows in the same play that sent him off. The Gunners played the last twenty minutes of the match with a man down. Aaron Ramsdale stood tall in the Arsenal net, allowing his team to take a crucial victory.