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Premier League 2019-20: 3 talking points from Match Week 24

  • 3 talking points from match week 24 of the Premier League.
Modified 24 Jan 2020, 07:37 IST

Gabriel Martinelli was sensational against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
Gabriel Martinelli was sensational against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Match week 24 of the Premier League produced some of the best games yet with a stunning Newcastle comeback at Goodison Park and a first Old Trafford win for Burnley since 1962 among some of the cracking results this week. And it was also a crucial week at the bottom of the table with Aston Villa overcoming Watford to move out of the relegation zone. But, this loss has put Watford back into the relegation zone and perhaps the doubt back into the minds of the Hornets' fans. With that being said, after a week that has seen Liverpool go 16 points clear of Manchester City, here are three talking points from match week 24 of the Premier League.

London Derby ends in a draw 

Going into the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal, both sides were in pretty inconsistent form with just 3 wins and 2 wins respectively in their last 5 games. This showed on the pitch as both sides were struggling to get going in what was an even start to the match. However, the game was completely turned on its head in the 28th minute when a Shkodran Mustafi pass inadvertently played Blues' striker Tammy Abraham through who took it round the incoming keeper Bernd Leno and with a simple goal in front of him.

But the Chelsea forward was taken out by David Luiz. This left the referee with no choice but to hand Luiz his first red card of the season and all that was left for Chelsea to do was score the penalty. And they did. Jorginho stepped up to calmly slot home to put Chelsea ahead. 

What's more, after the goal, the game fell into the usual pattern of attack vs defence with Arsenal's 10 men sitting behind the ball, waiting for the perfect opportunity to counter-attack for the equaliser. As a consequence of Arsenal's defensive solidity, the chance finally fell to the Gunners for the equaliser. The goal came from a Chelsea corner when Gabriel Martinelli charged towards N'Golo Kanté whose unfortunate slip left the Brazilian 1 on 1 with Arrizabalaga Kepa in the Chelsea goal. Martinelli, the 18-year-old forward finished like a veteran with a calmly passed strike into the back of the net to level the game at 1-1. 

The pace of the game went up a level after the goal as both teams looked for a winner and Chelsea thought they had it in the 84th minute. The goal came from César Azpilicueta who was left unmarked in the box to simply tap home to seemingly give Chelsea the result. Although despite the late goal, Arsenal didn't give up.

A dramatic equaliser came from the unlikely source of Héctor Bellerín whose curled, left-footed strike found the back of the net for the equaliser. The game ended in a 2-2 draw which is a result that, in the end, Frank Lampard will be frustrated with after playing against 10 men for most of the game.

Burnley further dent United's top 4 hopes

After a fairly routine result away to Burnley a couple of weeks ago, many believed this game was a simple one for United and one that would see them bounce back after the disappointment at Anfield. However, by contrast, Burnley caused Manchester United plenty of problems which resulted in yet another unexpected loss for Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side. It was a classic Burnley performance.

The goal came as a result of a set-piece which eventually found the head of Chris Wood who made no mistake to put his side 1-0 up at Old Trafford, a place they hadn't won at since 1962. 

United were booed and fans left early in the 0-2 defeat to Burnley
United were booed and fans left early in the 0-2 defeat to Burnley

After the goal, not much changed for Manchester United who never seemed to be capable of breaking down the resolute defence of Burnley and in truth, Burnley looked the team more likely to score next. And on the 56-minute mark, Jay Rodriguez's sensational strike found the back of De Gea's goal to shock Old Trafford and further deepen the wounds of the Manchester United faithful.

The goal signalled an early exodus for many United fans who had seen enough. Even as Old Trafford emptied, Manchester United didn't look like making a comeback. The game ended 0-2 much to the displeasure of the few Manchester United fans left in the stadium who had seen yet another damaging result to their top 4 hopes.

Liverpool march on despite Wolves scare 

The main mission now for Liverpool is to not only win the league but break records along the way, with one of those records being to become only the second side to go a whole season unbeaten. However, with a difficult Molineux test standing in their way, Liverpool's unbeaten record was at risk.

Liverpool captain with the opening goal against Wolverhampton
Liverpool captain with the opening goal against Wolverhampton

But you wouldn't know that with how the Liverpool players began the game at Wolves with an opening goal within 15 minutes. The goal came in fairly simple fashion for the Reds whose corner was nodded home by the captain himself, Jordan Henderson. 

Wolves knew a big second-half performance was needed. The Europa League contenders set the tone right from the off in the second half and this eventually led to the equaliser in the 51st minute. The goal came from Raúl Alonso Jiménez who headed past Alisson Becker from Adama Traore's cross to level the proceedings. Adama Traore went on to pick up the Man of The Match award after a dominant display up against Andy Robertson. After the goal, the game was completely turned on its head with Wolves looking the likely scorers and Traore particularly looking dangerous for the home side.

But nobody knows how to win a game of football as much as Liverpool these days, especially in the Premier League, and it was this winning mentality that kept Liverpool going after countless Wolves moves, which eventually led to a winner against the run of play. The goal came when the ball fell to Roberto Firmino who lashed the ball into the top corner to give Liverpool the winner. The win means that Liverpool are 16 points clear with a game in hand and in touching distance of their first title in over 20 years.

To conclude, match week 24 was full of drama and results that have had a significant impact at the top and bottom of the Premier League table as we edge closer to the final stages of the season.

Also read: Pain and glory the catalyst for Liverpool's success 

Published 24 Jan 2020, 07:37 IST
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