In the first matchday of March, Arsenal put their flag in the ground for the fourth spot in the league by defeating Watford and pulling ahead of Manchester United while holding three matches in hand. The fight at the top of the table has become something to watch after City’s multi-digit lead was brought down to six points.
Leicester (1) vs. Leeds (0)
A week after firing their beloved manager, Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds is facing a struggling Leicester who managed their first league victory in 2022 last week. The American, Jesse Marsch, will be taking over a squad that has been abysmal defensively and is riding a five-match losing streak. They are also within reaching distance of the relegation. He has a tough task ahead of him, to say the least. His squad showed up for him on Saturday afternoon. They dominated play and deserved a victory if it wasn’t for stellar goalkeeping by Kasper Schmeichel and a late goal by Harvey Barnes.
Aston Villa (4) vs. Southampton (0)
Aston Villa and Philippe Coutinho showed up at Villa Park to dismantle a flying high Southampton. The Saints last conceded a defeat on January 15th, almost two months. While Aston Villa claimed their first victory in the month of February last week. Villa scored quickly off the bat and grabbed their second prior to the half. Within ten minutes of the second-half kickoff, they had their other two goals. Coutinho dominated on the pitch and was rewarded for his efforts with a goal and an assist. Aston Villa climbed the table with their victory over Southampton, they now sit in eleventh.
Burnley (0) vs. Chelsea (4)
It was a drought between a top-of-the-table team and a relegation team. Chelsea handled their business in this one scoring all their goals right half and afterwards. The absence of Romelu Lukaku in the starting lineup has had a positive effect on Kai Havertz who has been taking his spot and rewarded the squad with five goals. He scored twice in this match. Reece James is another young star that made an impact in this match. He came off an injury in the Carabao Cup match last weekend and has been in the lineup since. Hopefully, this is a step to him regaining the form that he had prior to his injury.
Newcastle (2) vs. Brighton (1)
Ever since the transfer window in January, Newcastle has been on a positive run. They have yet to concede a defeat and have won five matches. The Magpies took care of business in the first fifteen minutes of the match by scoring both goals. The man of the match winner, Ryan Fraser, scored the first and assisted the second. Brighton scored ten minutes into the second half but could not find their equalizer.
Norwich City (1) vs. Brentford (3)
The story of the match was Christian Eriksen playing his first full 90-minute match since his incident in the Euro Cup in the summer. In the opening match for Denmark in Euro Cup, Erikson collapsed in the 42nd minute. He needed to be resuscitated on the field with a defibrillator and was eventually stretchered off the pitch. The match was delayed and the news was released that he was awake and stable. It was later released that he suffered a cardiac arrest. This match was his second appearance for the club since his signing on January 31st.
Wolves (0) vs. Crystal Palace (2)
Crystal Palace, who have had an up-and-down beginning of the year, defeated a struggling Wolves team who are losing ground on the battle for the fourth spot. Goals by Wilfried Zaha and Jean-Philippe Mateta lifted Palace ahead of Wolves and into the top half of the table.
Liverpool (1) vs. West Ham (0)
It was an incredibly tight matchup between two teams fighting in their particular races. Liverpool is trying to hunt down Manchester City for the top spot in the league, while West Ham is in a four-team race for the fourth spot. It was Liverpool that won the night’s battle off a questionable offside goal by Sadio Mané. He made an early run into the box to retrieve Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross. He looked to have had a shoulder offside. It reminded fans of the Romelu Lukaku disallowed goal the weekend prior in the Carabao Cup final when he outleaned Virgil van Dijk in extra time. But, Mané’s goal stood and Liverpool were within three points of City.
Watford (2) vs. Arsenal (3)
Arsenal continued their current form of victories against relegation-zone Watford. Since their draw at Burnley on January 23rd, Arsenal has ridden a four-match winning streak. An early goal by Martin Odegaard put Arsenal ahead in the 5th minute. A beautiful highlight-reel bicycle kick goal by Cucho Hernandez five minutes later drew the match. It was Arsenal with two more before Watford made it a tight game in the final three minutes. With the victory, Arsenal leapfrog Man United for the final Champions League spot with three games in hand.
Manchester City (4) vs. Manchester United (1)
Manchester City dominated the derby for the second time this season. United was without their two strikers, Ronaldo and Cavani. Both of them seemed to have pulled themselves out of the match after a week of good form. Rumours around Ronaldo’s departure from the club in this fixtures started swirling prior to the match when it was announced that he would not be in the lineup. The club said that he was out of the lineup due to his injured hip flexors that are plagued him in recent past. But, speculation started after his sister commented on social media that he was back home in Portugal. Cavani, on the other hand, has been out of the lineup for a period of time with a groin strain. Manager, Ralf Rangnick, commented earlier in the week about how Cavani looked in form and his expectation was that he would be able to go this weekend. But, when the lineup was announced there was no Cavani on the starting list or the reserves list. The absence of both of their number nines forced Rangnick to go with a false nine lineup. Not only did United not have their strikers but it seemed as though COVID-19 made its way through the lineup as well. Both Varane and Shaw were also absent from the lineup. Rangnick was at a serious disadvantage with his lineup and was facing a stacked lineup in City. The result of the match spoke for itself but it was also United’s raising of the white flag in the second half that really angered the Man United fanbase after this match.
Tottenham (5) vs. Everton (0)
Tottenham’s roller-coaster results continued in this match. It all started with a loss against contending Wolves who were vying for the fourth spot and it continued with a victory over Man City, a defeat to bottom-of-the-table Burnley, a dominant victory over Leeds, a loss in the FA Cup to Championship squad Middlesbrough and finally, another dominant victory over Everton. Everton is a struggling squad that is fighting to remain out of the relegation zone with a new manager in Frank Lampard. Lampard’s lineup choices on the night were a grave mistake as the Spurs walked all over their squad putting five goals in the back of their net.