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Manchester United registered a 2-0 win over Chelsea on Monday

3 talking points from Matchweek 26 | Premier League 2019-20

  • We take a look at three talking points from Matchweek 26 of the Premier League.
Tom Cunningham
ANALYST
Modified 18 Feb 2020, 08:04 IST

Heading into match week 26 of the Premier League, one thing that was clear was its massive importance, especially to those fighting for a place in next season's Champions League and those fighting to prevent relegation.

It was a weekend that saw Liverpool take a step closer to their first league title in three decades and Tottenham Hotspur bolster their Champions League hopes by moving up to 5th place, a position that could become crucial after Manchester City were banned from the competition for two seasons after being found guilty of breaking the financial fair play rules. The Citizens are likely to appeal the ban as well as the £30 million fine. 

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With that being said, here are 3 talking points from match week 26 of the Premier League.


#1 Spurs take a crucial step towards the top 4

Heung Min Son scored his 50th and 51st Premier League goals against Aston Villa.

With fellow top four competitors Manchester United and Chelsea going head-to-head, Tottenham had the chance to take a crucial step towards the Champions League spots. It was an opportunity that, in the end, Mourinho's men took with open arms as they were further aided by a defensive error by Aston Villa defender, Bjorn Engles. 

The winning goal would have come as a relief for a Spurs side whose performance probably didn't warrant the three points. Villa took the lead after confusion between Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld led to an own goal by the Belgian. However, it didn't take long for the defender to make up for his own goal as he scored at the right end to level the proceedings before Son Heung Min met his penalty rebound to give Spurs the lead.

When the first half came to an end, the London giants were in full control of the game. However, the match was far from over as the Villans relied on their opponents' leaky defence to prove dividends again.

The equaliser came just eight minutes into the second half when Engels met a Jack Grealish corner to level the proceedings at Villa Park. The game then fell back into its frantic end-to-end pattern with a winning goal looking ever likely. The winner finally came at the 94th minute courtesy of Villa's own error as Engel's missed control inadvertently played to the onrushing Son, who made no mistake with a finish.

The result leaves Spurs one point behind Chelsea in 5th place and Villa just one point above the relegation zone.

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Also Read: 3 talking points from Matchweek 25 of the Premier League


#2 Arsenal's front-four run rampant against goal-shy Newcastle

Saka registered his second Premier League assist of the season against Newcastle

Heading into the game against Newcastle United, Arsenal's front four, comprising of Nicolas Pepe, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Alexander Lacazette, were yet to collectively get on the scoresheet in a Premier League game. However, the weekend fixture provided the Gunners frontline with the opportunity needed to finally kick start what could be a deadly combination.

Mikel Arteta's men took the chance they had with open arms as all four attacking players found the back of the net in a second-half thrashing of the Magpies.

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Aubameyang opened the floodgates by netting the opening goal on the 54th-minute mark before Pepe doubled the tally minutes later to add to an earlier assist. Newcastle never looked threatening during the game, something Arsenal took advantage of as they netted the last two goals of the game in added time.

Ozil scored the third goal to end his drought before Lacazette completed the mauling of the Magpies, also ending a drought of his own in the process. The result will please Arteta who will hope that the scoreline brings with it the confidence the Gunners frontline were in desperate need of.


#3 United move up to 7th as VAR frustrates Chelsea 

Maguire scored his first-ever Premier League goal for Manchester United against Chelsea
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With Spurs just one point away from Chelsea going into the game against Manchester United, Frank Lampard wouldn't have been underestimating the importance of the fixture and knew his side needed a result. However, after two headed goals found the back of the Blues net and yet more VAR controversy, the Red Devils came away with the three points.

The first goal came out of nowhere as a seemingly harmless Aaron Wan-Bissaka cross found the head of the incoming Anthony Martial, who made no mistake with what was a difficult finish on the brink of half-time. The away side didn't take long to make it 2-0, either, with Harry Maguire's header finding the back of the net just 20 minutes into the second half to give his side the cushion they needed. 

However, the game wasn't without its controversy as VAR chalked off two Chelsea goals, one for a foul and the other for offside. This will leave Lampard incredibly frustrated and worried as his side are ever closer to dropping out of the top 4 after a poor run of form.

To conclude, match week 26 of the Premier League wasn't without its drama and was another crucial week in both the race for top four and the relegation battle as teams look to reach their end goals in the last 12 games of the season.


Also Read: Premier League 2019-20: 3 managers who could win the manager of the season award

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Published 18 Feb 2020, 08:04 IST