Here’s what happened in the Premier this weekend, in case you missed it…
READ ALL ABOUT IT
• Saturday’s roundup: Liverpool wins 9-goal thriller, Vardy ends scoring drought, Man United falters
• Man United director: Van Gaal is underachieving
• Sunday’s roundup: Chelsea beats 10-man Arsenal, Guidolin earns 1st win at Swansea
WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS::
Norwich City 4, Liverpool 5 || Sunderland 1, Bournemouth 1 || Crystal Palace 1, Tottenham 3 || West Bromwich Albion 0, Aston Villa 0 || Watford 2, Newcastle United 1 || Manchester United 0, Southampton 1 || Leicester City 3, Stoke City 0 || West Ham United 2, Manchester City 2 || Everton 1, Swansea City 2 || Arsenal 0, Chelsea 1
WHAT STOOD OUT
Tottenham continues its title push
Value in loss by valiant Arsenal
Arsenal began the weekend top of the table. By Sunday afternoon they dropped third, after their loss at home to Chelsea, combined with Leicester City and Manchester City both picking up points on Saturday. This was a golden opportunity for Arsenal to end their five-year, Premier League winless streak against Chelsea, cement their spot at the head of the standings and silence their doubters. Instead, they suffered another loss to the Blues (this time without Jose Mourinho at the helm), and were unable to exorcise their Chelsea demons.
Arsenal authored its downfall, with the critical moment coming in the 18th minute when captain Per Mertesacker was dismissed for bringing down Diego Costa from behind. Minutes later, Costa scored the game’s lone goal against 10-man Arsenal. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger bemoaned the call to eject Mertesacker, believing Costa purposely got the German sent off. Regardless, Arsenal was valiant while playing a man down for the majority of the match, although not even the introduction of Alexis Sanchez, coming back after a lengthy injury layoff, did enough to trouble Chelsea. The table was set for the visitors to run rampant over the hosts, but the Gunners held firm, limiting the damaging and coming close to earning a share of the points.
No doubt, it was a missed chance by Arsenal in the greater scheme of things. However, they sit only three points back of leaders Leicester, and you got the sense from watching them on Sunday that this result—and the way it played out—will not be a major psychological blow or seriously dent their title aspirations. Arsenal can take pride in the way they competed while playing a man down, and with 15 games remaining there’s still plenty to play for and plenty of time to close the gap. No need to worry.
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Nine goals. Two goals in second-half injury time. Twists and turns. Liverpool’s 5-4 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road was one of the most entertaining games of the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s celebration on the touchline after Liverpool scored the late winner against Norwich was priceless.
“Clearly we all hoped the results would be better and everyone is disappointed with that … undoubtedly it’s been a season of under-achievement.” – David Gill, Manchester United director
SIX PACK OF STATS
• There have been four 5-4 results in Premier League history, and Norwich have lost two of them (vs. Southampton in 1994).
• Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy on Saturday ended his goal drought of 10 hours and 17 minutes without a goal in the Premier League.
• Southampton has won back-to-back league games at Old Trafford against Manchester United for the first time since 1969.
• Nacer Chadli’s goal for Tottenham was the 600th scored in the Premier League in 2015-16.
• West Ham United’s Enner Valencia has scored as many goals in his last three Premier League appearances (four) has he had in his previous 39.
• Chelsea is the only Premier league team this season not to drop any points from winning positions away from home.
Stats courtesy of Opta
1) Roberto Firmino: Scored two goals for Liverpool and was a pain in the side of Norwich for the majority of the match.
2) Dele Alli: Scored a goal of the year candidate in Tottenham’s win away to Crystal Palace.
3) Sergio Aguero: Bagged a brace, including a late equalizer, to help bail out Manchester City yet again.
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