Premier League hits and misses: Man City fight back to retain title race advantage

Mahrez misses however City present powers of restoration

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Highlights from West Ham’s match in opposition to Manchester City

The London Stadium was a cauldron of noise as the house supporters, already in buoyant temper amid emotional tributes to their departing captain Mark Noble, jubilantly celebrated Jarrod Bowen’s second objective in opposition to Manchester City shortly earlier than half-time.

This was a sport through which most anticipated City to transfer six factors away from Liverpool, placing themselves on the point of the title with one sport remaining. But West Ham had different concepts.

Bowen’s double put City in unfamiliar territory. They had not trailed a Premier League sport since February – not to mention by two objectives. But this group have a steely facet as well as to all their high quality.

  • West Ham 2-2 Man City – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

Injuries had robbed them of Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker, leaving them with a makeshift backline which West Ham succeeded in exploiting, however their response was fast after the break as Jack Grealish pulled one back earlier than Vladimir Coufal’s personal objective introduced them stage.

They walked off the pitch on the finish of all of it in deflated temper regardless of their efforts, Riyad Mahrez’s botched penalty making the draw really feel extra like a missed alternative than a creditable comeback.

But the purpose might but show essential within the title chase and it retains their future in their very own arms forward of their ultimate sport.

Also See:

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City may have crumbled. Instead, they confirmed powers of restoration in troublesome circumstances.

It might make all of the distinction.
Nick Wright

Everton should maintain composure to safe security

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brentford’s win in opposition to Everton within the Premier League.

With 11 males on the pitch in opposition to Brentford, Everton would in all probability have received. They went 1-0 up, had the group behind them, and have been enjoying with their tails up.

But in conditions like theirs, moments like Jarrad Branthwaite’s horrible misjudgement and lunge on Ivan Toney, which acquired him despatched off, can derail all the pieces in a second. And although to their credit score, they have been forward as late because the 61st minute, they have been deservedly crushed by the Bees ultimately.

  • Everton 2-3 Brentford – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

Had Branthwaite stayed on the pitch Everton’s Premier League security would possibly effectively already be assured. Because he did not, they go into Thursday night time’s crunch sport with Crystal Palace on the back of a chastening defeat and working out of obtainable defenders.

Given the character Frank Lampard’s facet have proven in current video games, incomes a primary away win since August in opposition to Leicester final weekend, you’ll anticipate them to recover from the road within the ultimate two video games of the season.

But if they do not, it is going to in all probability come down to extra moments of insanity. Everton should not be wherever close to the relegation fight with the uncooked high quality of their squad, but it surely takes much more than high quality to obtain success.

They lastly look succesful and motivated after struggling for thus lengthy this season, however banishing these particular person errors continues to be their largest concern. Get by means of the subsequent two video games with none extra repeats, and they need to be enjoying Premier League soccer subsequent season.
Ron Walker

Lloris dodges bug to present epic Spurs management

How simple it may have been for Tottenham to fall back into the lure that scarred them 16 years in the past.

  • Tottenham 1-0 Burnley – match report and highlights
  • How they lined up | Match stats

It’s May 2006 and Arsenal and Spurs are gunning for fourth place. Ahead of their ultimate day sport away at West Ham, a mysterious sickness hit Martin Jol’s Tottenham squad and a dismal draw on the Hammers noticed Arsenal end forward of them within the ultimate Champions League spot.

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Tottenham supervisor Antonio Conte was happy with the resilience his facet confirmed in prevailing 1-0 over Burnley

Lo and behold, the same bug hit Tottenham this week. Antonio Conte was alarmed to hear from his medical group that a number of gamers – together with each his first-team goalkeepers together with Harry Winks and Dejan Kulusveski – have been too sick to begin.

Tottenham folded in that scenario 16 years in the past, however they didn’t this time. Step ahead Hugo Lloris, who not solely performed the entire 90 minutes however stored a clear sheet, which included making an important save from Maxwel Cornet’s one-on-one within the first half.

Head coach Conte hailed his captain for displaying the dedication to maintain enjoying regardless of his sickness, despite the fact that the Italian coach didn’t sound in any respect stunned.

“It wasn’t simple as a result of yesterday morning the physician despatched me a message that a number of gamers they felt not effectively, with a abdomen drawback, vomiting and additionally a fever.

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Hugo Lloris after Tottenham's win over Burnley

“Hugo had a fever, but there was no chance of missing an important game. They showed to be very professional and understanding the importance of the moment. Hugo is our captain and he never wanted to miss the game.”

Since Conte joined the membership, Lloris has tied himself down to a brand new contract and solidified himself as one in every of Tottenham’s most essential stars. There is little question the French goalkeeper is central to Spurs’ development below Conte.
Sam Blitz

Frank exhibits why he is up for supervisor of the yr

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Rico Henry scores the winner for Brentford at Everton

Thomas Frank was introduced as one in every of 5 candidates on the shortlist for the Premier League supervisor of the season final week and rightly so. Guiding Brentford to mid-table on a small funds, whereas the opposite two promoted sides have endured torrid seasons, is mightily spectacular.

The Danish boss confirmed precisely why he has acquired himself in rivalry alongside Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola along with his tactical tweaks at Everton.

Trailing 2-1 on the break regardless of Everton’s early crimson card, he was daring sufficient to deliver off Mads Sorensen for midfielder Vitaly Janelt to fill in on the back when Brentford didn’t have the ball, and play an element of their attacking unit after they did.

Another 13 minutes later he did the identical factor once more, including central midfielder Josh Dasilva to his backline rather than right-back Kristoffer Ajer. Within seven minutes of that second change, Brentford had scored twice and have been en route to victory.

Without the technical high quality or sources of among the groups round and beneath them, Brentford have had to suppose exterior the field and draw on different elements of their set-up for fulfillment this season. Frank’s personal nouse, as proven at Goodison, performs a serious half in that.
Ron Walker

West Ham’s royal send-off for Noble a becoming tribute

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After enjoying his final match on the London Stadium, Mark Noble delivers an emotional speech to the West Ham followers.

A prince paying his respects to a Noble? The sight of Prince Albert of Monaco within the stands on the London Stadium was one of many extra surreal moments of a Sunday through which West Ham gave membership captain and stalwart a proper royal send-off.

It seems the prince and Noble share a mutual good friend. But general the event was a becoming finale to his dedicated, loyal 18-year profession in east London.

A pre-match montage had him in tears, with the West Ham followers in a position to present their appreciation to a participant who, in his personal phrases, had lived their dream.

But when kick-off got here he was on the bench. As ever, placing the group earlier than himself, Noble had met with David Moyes this week to insist he wasn’t given sport time for sentimental causes. “It was only to be in the best interests of West Ham,” he mentioned.

Noble leaves West Ham in a powerful place, as their two-goal lead at half-time in opposition to Man City confirmed. They’ve had a unbelievable season and the indicators are they’re on the rise. But it was vital that Moyes despatched for Noble when City had pulled themselves stage, when West Ham wanted somebody to give them a foothold once more in the midst of the park. Even now, on the finish of his profession, Noble continues to be enjoying an essential function when he is on the sector. It’s a tribute to his abilities.

Off the pitch, there isn’t any secret concerning the affect he has within the dressing room and, particularly, on his successor on the coronary heart of the midfield, Declan Rice. He revealed afterwards to Sky Sports that West Ham’s administration need him to proceed to play a task sooner or later.

That appears inevitable. Noble’s place has been and all the time will probably be at West Ham. Although, maybe there’s time for a well-earned vacation for now. Apparently Monaco is good this time of yr…
Peter Smith

Burnley simpler on the attention as defensive duo star

It was the second-half second that just about introduced Burnley back into the sport.

Jack Cork performed it into Dwight McNeil, who then fed Ashley Barnes on the sting of the world. The Clarets striker may solely crack a shot in opposition to the woodwork, in what was the guests’ finest likelihood to earn a valuable level at Tottenham.

  • Burnley’s Jackson fumes over Spurs penalty
  • Premier League desk with one week to go

Such wonderful soccer has not all the time been seen at Burnley. Under Sean Dyche, sacked earlier this season, the Clarets have been far more direct and bodily – the January signing of 6ft 7in striker Wout Weghorst informed us as a lot.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s match in opposition to Burnley

But now Burnley, as they confirmed in opposition to Tottenham on Sunday lunchtime, are fairly simple on the attention. Goalkeeper Nick Pope performs wonderful balls out the back, the Clarets usually are not afraid to press groups excessive and they create loads of possibilities from open play – Barnes’ woodwork effort and Maxwel Cornet’s missed one-on-one alternative on Sunday are simply two examples.

But that isn’t what Burnley want. They want the pragmatic and environment friendly fashion of Dyche if they need to keep within the Premier League.

Centre-back Nathan Collins and goalkeeper Pope each impressed on the back. The Clarets – in opposition to the very best Premier League mixture of all time in Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son – managed to cease Tottenham from scoring in open play and solely a contentious penalty name noticed that backline – marshalled by Collins and Pope – fall on the shedding facet on Sunday.

“[He was] amazing,” mentioned Burnley caretaker Mike Jackson when requested about teen Collins. “That’s brilliant for him and he’s taken on that challenge, taken on one of the best strikers around [in Kane] which is great for a 21-year-old. It doesn’t surprise me because I know what he’s like.”

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Burnley defended excellently within the early exchanges

And on Pope, Jackson added: “He’s been brilliant, not just on [the saves]. His performance levels, I just keep seeing him improving and the work he puts in as well with Wayne Hennessy and the goalkeeper coach. He’s a top, top goalkeeper.”

Those two give Burnley confidence that they’ll maintain the backdoor shut, to cease them falling by means of the trapdoor. They have two video games to show simply that.
Sam Blitz

Gelhardt carrying the fight for Leeds

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leeds’ draw in opposition to Brighton

When you’re down on the backside preventing in your lives, you want gamers like Joe Gelhardt on the forefront of your play.

Although his ultimate ball is typically missing, he performs with a fearless nature combined in with a lot positivity. There was no searching for the simple go in opposition to Brighton. He took the fight to them with some bulldozing runs and harmful ahead passes.

  • Leeds 1-1 Brighton – Match report & highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

The complete event at Elland Road may have additionally been a distinct one had his goalbound strike not hit his personal man Liam Cooper with the ball heading into the online within the early phases. For the subsequent 91 minutes, that likelihood seemed to be defining Leeds’ day on the workplace as their fight for survival seemed an ominous one till Gelhardt sparked them into life in injury-time.

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Star man: Joe Gelhardt carried the fight for Leeds

Some gamers might have let that earlier unfortunate goalscoring scenario make their heads drop however Gelhardt stored going till the final minute the place it was his tenacious ability on the byline that arrange the important equaliser scored by Pascal Stuijk.

Next week at Brentford, he’s the primary title on the teamsheet in what may very well be the largest sport in Leeds’ Premier League historical past.
Lewis Jones

Positives for Leicester as Vardy, Barnes and Maddison shine

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leicester’s win in opposition to Watford

“A winning mentality is formed every day and in every game you play.”

The message is obvious from Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers to his facet following their 5-1 hammering of Watford at Vicarage Road.

In phrases of this season, the Foxes solely goal for his or her ultimate two video games of the season at Chelsea and at residence to Southampton is a top-half end, however the longer-term goal is obvious for Rodgers and his facet.

“I’ve spoken about the importance of putting a marker down for next season,” Rodgers added. “We didn’t want to go out with a whimper and be soft and think there’s nothing to play for. Even if you have nothing to play for as such, in terms of trophies or European places, that’s when your winning mentality comes into it. I have a huge pride in the players for what they’ve done in the last couple of games, to continue with that fight and aggression. It bodes well for us going into next season.”

What additionally bodes effectively for Leicester is the type of key attacking trio Jamie Vardy, James Maddison and Harvey Barnes. All three have been within the objectives at Vicarage Road, displaying their significance to Rodgers’ facet.

All three have had spells on the sidelines this season as Leicester have struggled with accidents, however they’re match and firing now, and giving a glimpse of what may need been for Leicester this season.

But extra importantly, what may very well be on the horizon in the event that they maintain their star trio match and get some additions by means of the door this summer season.
Oliver Yew

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Brendan Rodgers says his facet had

Plenty for Edwards to ponder forward of Watford bow

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Watford's defensive struggles have been there for all to see in opposition to Leicester

There was optimism earlier than the sport.

Watford followers on their means to the sport have been speaking a few contemporary new begin that was coming below Rob Edwards and then the brand new boss was paraded in entrance of stands at Vicarage Road and given an excellent ovation by the house followers.

The optimistic power appeared to translate onto the pitch as Joao Pedro gave Watford, who seemed freed by the very fact their relegation had been confirmed, the right begin.

However, Roy Hodgson’s ultimate residence sport in cost rapidly turned bitter as Watford gifted objectives to James Maddison and Jamie Vardy earlier than Leicester took full management within the second half with the objectives racking up.

  • Watford 1-5 Leicester – Match report and highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

“Watford’s performance has been disgraceful,” Tim Sherwood mentioned on Soccer Special. “They haven’t shown up. They have contributed absolutely nothing to this game.”

It was a good evaluation as Watford’s season at Vicarage Road led to a whimper. Midway by means of the second half, loads of Watford followers made their means to the exits. They’d seen sufficient for this season and for people who stayed there have been a good few boos on the full-time whistle.

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Watford boss Roy Hodgson questioned among the selections his group made of their 5-1 defeat to Leicester.

So, what would Edwards have manufactured from it sitting within the stands? There will probably be loads of change this summer season with quite a lot of gamers heading for the exit door. There’ll even be new faces within the door as Edwards appears to be like to form his squad.

He’d have recognized he had a giant job awaiting him this summer season, however after immediately’s sport, he’ll be totally conscious of the scale of the rebuild dealing with Watford as they head for the Championship.
Oliver Yew

Norwich should maintain maintain of Pukki this summer season

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich’s draw in opposition to Wolves

One shudders to suppose simply how a lot worse Norwich City’s already demoralising season would have been however for Teemu Pukki.

The Finland worldwide earned his facet a deserved level at Wolves on Sunday afternoon after a positive solo objective – his eleventh within the Premier League up to now this marketing campaign in 36 matches simply making him the Canaries’ prime scorer, and that is not together with three assists as effectively to his title.

  • Wolves 1-1 Norwich – Match report & highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

In truth, the striker has now been straight concerned in 61 per cent (14/23) of all already-relegated Norwich’s objectives within the prime flight this season, with solely Alan Shearer (62 per cent for Blackburn in 1995/96) and Matt Le Tissier (69 per cent for Southampton in 1993/94) having ever been concerned in a better share of their group’s objectives in a single marketing campaign within the competitors.

Numbers which absolutely make it important supervisor Dean Smith and the membership maintain maintain of the 32-year-old this summer season in the event that they harbour any ambitions to come straight back up subsequent season.
Richard Morgan

Ruthlessness missing as Villa and Palace proceed prime half battle

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa’s match in opposition to Crystal Palace

Based on the ambiance inside Villa Park alone, you’ll by no means have guessed this was a sport that had nothing main using on it apart from a lift within the race for a prime 10 end.

The 1982 European Cup-winning squad have been paraded to the Villa devoted earlier than kick-off, geeing up each the group and the gamers as soon as the sport acquired below means below cloudy skies within the Midlands. Villa quickly acquired a grip on the sport and ought to, arguably, have stormed into the lead, however three inviting openings have been handed up by Danny Ings.

  • Aston Villa 1-1 Crystal Palace – Match report & highlights
  • How the groups lined up | Match stats

With two objectives within the earlier three video games, his confidence is probably going to be at a fairly excessive stage, but that was not evident on Sunday. It has been a standard theme for Steven Gerrard’s males, although, who’ve solely scored multiple objective in two of their final 9 Premier League outings.

It is the same story for Palace, who’ve scored greater than as soon as in three of their final 10. They had 16 makes an attempt on this one, 25 per cent of which have been heading in the right direction.

Such information usually are not significantly encouraging because the pair jostle to end inside the highest half. Patrick Vieira even referenced the difficulty in his post-match press convention: “When we get to the last third we don’t always make the correct decisions and, of course, we need to keep working and keep improving. But this is one of the areas that, next year, we have to be better in,” the Frenchman mentioned.

This draw leaves Villa – who final completed inside the highest half in 2010/11 – 4 factors behind Tenth-placed Brighton, with Palace – who’ve completed there simply as soon as in 12 seasons as a Premier League membership – a spot and a degree forward in eleventh. The hole is widening, however a fortnight of the season stays.
Dan Long

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