Cristiano Ronaldo’s magic saves Manchester United from humiliation, Arsenal and Spurs fail in synchronization, and more…￼
The top three of the current league table – Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea did not feature in the recently-concluded match-week of the 2021/22 Premier League season, as they were busy competing in the FA Cup semi-finals. However, that had no effect whatsoever on the thrill and quality on display over the weekend, as the top-four and the relegation race took yet another turn. Manchester United capitalized on the slip-ups of both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to get back in the contention for the top four, whilst bottom-dwellers Norwich City and Burnley failed to increase their chances of survival despite putting up a spirited show.
Check out what happened over the weekend in the Premier League:
Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Tottenham Hotspur’s four-match winning streak came to an end as Brighton & Hove Albion handed them a 1-0 defeat, just a week after the Seagulls defeated Spurs’ arch-rivals Arsenal. Unlike what many would have predicted, Graham Potter’s team dominated possession and also created more chances at Tottenham’s den.
Having said that, the Seagulls could not deliver the killer blow until the 90th minute when Leandro Trossad took the onus on his shoulders. The Belgian attacker outfoxed every single white shirt he had in front of him before beating Spurs’ custodian Hugo Lloris with a precise strike.
Manchester United 3-2 Norwich City
After a disappointing defeat against Everton, Manchester United needed something magical to lift the spirits in the camp, and when it comes to producing magical moments in football, there isn’t a bigger Harry Houdini than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Banking on a Ronaldo hat-trick, the Red Devils secured a hard-fought 3-2 win over basement boys Norwich City. Whilst the Portuguese goal-machine scored his 60th career hat-trick, Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki were on the scoresheet for the Canaries.
Watford 1-2 Brentford
Watford took another massive step in the direction of the 2022/23 EFL Championship as they suffered their third consecutive Premier League defeat, this team succumbing to a 2-1 loss against Brentford.
Christian Norgaard opened the scoring for Thomas Frank’s team in the 15th minute but Emmanuel Bonaventure’s 55th-minute strike restored parity in the match. It seemed certain that the game will end in a 1-1 stalemate until Pontus Jansson tipped the scale in favour of the Bees with his 95th-minute winner.
Southampton 1-0 Arsenal
With North London rivals and fellow top-four competitor Tottenham Hotspur losing out to Brighton & Hove Albion, Arsenal had a golden opportunity to reclaim their position in the Champions League places but that was not to be, as Southampton handed the Gunners a 1-0 defeat.
Mikel Arteta’s team dominated the proceedings and also created plenty of chances, but Saints’ custodian Fraser Forster made one save after another. Jan Bednarek scored against the run of play for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team in the 44th minute and it turned out to be the differentiating factor between the two teams.
Newcastle United 2-1 Leicester City
Besides Manchester United’s game against Norwich City, this match between Newcastle United and Leicester City could be considered the most enthralling game of the weekend from a neutral’s perspective. Eddie Howe’s team registered their second consecutive triumph by beating the Foxes 2-1.
Ademola Lookman opened the scoring for Brendan Rodgers’ side in the 19th minute but winter signing Bruno Guimaraes restored parity only eleven minutes later. The Brazilian midfielder came up trumps once again in the 95th minute as his last-minute goal secured all three points for the Magpies.
West Ham United 1-1 Burnley
In the first match of the post-Sean Dyche era, Burnley fought hard to restrict West Ham United to a 1-1 stalemate at the latter’s home, London Stadium. In another winter signing, Wout Weghorst opened the scoring for the Clarets in the 33rd minute.
David Moyes’ team then threw the kitchen sink at the relegation-threatened team and eventually got the equalizer in the 74th minute, courtesy of Tomas Soucek. However, the Hammers could not get a second goal as the Clarets came out with a point that could prove to be crucial at the end of the season.