EPL Match Week 16 Review
Written By: Mahdi Farahikia
The last Match Week before the World Cup was a weekend of stunning results and excitement. Manchester City failed at home against the Bees and fell behind in the title race. Nottingham Forest stunned Viera's Palace. Liverpool redeemed themselves, while Newcastle shocked Chelsea. Arsenal took the opportunity to increase the gap in the title race. Here is the recap of EPL Match Week 16.
Manchester City vs. Brentford, Bees' Tale of Manchester:
Brentford's results have not been great. They have seen wins slip even against teams lower in the table. But they have gotten one thing right: upsetting Manchester teams. Their best win before this weekend was their 4-0 home victory against Man United in week 2. But the Bees would possibly agree that the away win against the better Manchester team tastes sweeter than honey. They blocked De Bruyne and Haaland and only conceded to Foden's unstoppable shot, which wasn't enough to save City.
Liverpool vs. Southampton, Nunes Won The Game:
Having suffered two shocking defeats, Liverpool had one thing in mind in this match. They sought redemption. Southampton played their first match after sacking their manager. Liverpool's early goal scored by Firminho was quickly responded to by the visitors' equalizer. The Reds maintained pressure on Southampton's goal, and Nunes earned them three points with his two goals.
Bournemouth vs. Everton, Deja Vu for Lampard:
Bournemouth eliminated Everton from the Carabao Cup midweek. The question was whether Lampard's squad were capable of taking their revenge. The answer was no. Pickford was unreliable as Everton's and England's number-one goalkeeper. His clumsy half-hearted saves gave Bournemouth opportunities in the danger area. The hosts took advantage of Everton's mistakes to put the ball in the net three times.
Nottingham Forest vs. Crystal Palace, Forest Surprised Viera:
It's fair to say Palace were poor in this match against the last-place Forest. None of their eight shots troubled Henderson, and despite maintaining 68.4% ball possession, Palace couldn't create scoring opportunities. Forest, who had only 31.6% ball possession, produced 9 shots, two of which were on target. But it only took one of those two opportunities to bring home the victory and move the hosts up in the table, although they're still in the relegation zone.
Tottenham vs. Leeds, Game of Up and Down:
Tottenham needed to redeem themselves after disappointing results in all competitions. Leeds, too, needed to pull themselves out of the crisis. Jesse Marsch's future in Leeds is in jeopardy, and Konte feels the pressure. This was a breathtaking match as Leeds took the advantage three times, and Spurs equalized every time, although there were calls for a foul on Leeds' keeper by Kane before the hosts' second goal. Kudos to Leeds, as they fought hard in this challenging game, but they couldn't confine Spurs.
West Ham vs. Leicester, Rogers Upset Moyes:
In my preview of this match week, I said that the clash between Moyes and Rogers would be enjoyable. Both teams started the season in lousy form, struggling to win. Leicester were sitting at the bottom of the table, and pressure was mounting on Rogers. At almost the same time, both Foxes and Hammers showed signs of improvement, but Leicester looked in better shape. Maddison and Barnes ensured their club took the three points in this hard away game, in which they produced fewer shots than the hosts.
Newcastle vs. Chelsea, Almiron-Willock-Goal:
The rejuvenated Newcastle looked to win their fifth back-to-back game, while Potter hoped to escape a streak of four winless games with a win at Saint James Park. Breaking the Magpies' spirit was not an easy challenge for Chelsea. Newcastle maintained pressure on Chelsea's defense from the beginning of the game. The loud fans' support in the stadium boosted their morale, but the first half ended in a draw. Almiron, the underrated magician, took the ball, and his move created an opportunity for Willock, who put the ball in Chelsea's net with a fabulous strike.
Wolves vs. Arsenal, Gunners Keep The Lead:
Hours after City's shocking defeat to Brentford, the Gunners took advantage of the opportunity to move past Wolves and increase the gap with the second place to five points just before the World Cup break. Arsenal were as sharp as they have been all season long, although they went to the locker rooms 0-0. But their pressing paid off against the rock-bottom Wolves, who have scored the fewest goals in the league.
Brighton vs. Aston Villa, Brighton's Broken Record:
Brighton had not lost a game in which they scored the first goal. Scoring the opener in just 49 seconds, they were poised to win (or at least get a draw) from this home match. The two teams played an even game after the first goal, and Villa found the equalizer through Ings' penalty kick. The even flow of the match continued in the second half. Villa found the second goal as Ings capitalized on Brighton's defender's mistake. Emery is out of the Carabao Cup, but his perfect start to the EPL also broke Brighton's record.
Fulham vs. Manchester United, Fulham's Last-Minute Heart-Brake:
This match was a tale of the first 92 minutes and the last minute. Both teams began the match well and showed an incredible game. Chances were made on both ends. De Gea was busy in United's goal keeping the score 1-0 for the Red Devils. But James, former Man U player, scored the equalizer. The intensity of the match maintained until the very end, when another substitute, Garnacho, scored the winning goal for the Red Devils, increasing their unbeaten record against Fulham to fourteen games.