Premier League 2018-19 : Week 23 Round Up | Liverpool still four points clear at the top

Round 23 of English Premier League 2018-19 provided all the stuff to excite and amaze the football fans all around the globe.


The English Premier League is forever intoxicating, and it was full of twists and turns this week also. The matches saw some bumper results, an outstanding form of a few players, and the usual dose of action and drama. Here are the results and some of the key talking points.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-3 Leicester City

Diogo Jota’s hat-trick, saw Wolves beat Leicester 4-3 in a nail-biting clash. Wolves made a fast start to proceedings, scoring twice inside the opening quarter of an hour through Jota’s well-taken effort after just four minutes, and Ryan Bennett’s header eight minutes later. With the hosts seemingly cruising to the three points, though, Leicester responded right at the start of the second half through the recalled Demarai Gray (47), before Conor Coady’s own goal completed a quickfire turnaround. But Nuno Espirito Santo’s side responded through Jota (64), only for Wes Morgan to head home substitute James Maddison’s free-kick (87), before the Portuguese sealed his hat-trick in stoppage time.

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Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace

Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table as they saw off a determined Crystal Palace side in a frantic end-to-end encounter at Anfield. The hosts started brightly but Palace took the lead through Andros Townsend. But it did not take long before his side were back on level terms by Salah. The hosts found themselves in the lead for the first time on 53 minutes when Roberto Firmino placed the ball into the bottom corner. On 65 minutes, James Tomkins was given a free header in the box from a simple corner and the Eagles were back on level terms. However, it was not long before Liverpool’s lead was restored when Salah popped up with his second of the game. It was a nervy end when Milner was given his marching orders for a second yellow although the Reds went on to score again thanks to a late effort from Sadio Mane. Palace pulled another goal back, with Max Mayer getting on the scoresheet, but it was not enough to stop Liverpool extending their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points.

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Watford 0-0 Burnley

Burnley kept up its push for Premier League survival on Saturday, drawing 0-0 at Watford to go four straight matches unbeaten. Visiting attacker Chris Wood had the ball in the net in stoppage time but it was ruled out for offside. Abdoulaye Doucoure, who has told Watford he wants to leave amid reported interest from French giants Paris St Germain, was a notable absentee from the home side’s starting line-up. Watford said the midfielder’s absence was owing to a knee injury sustained in last weekend’s victory at Crystal Palace, but it was an issue that manager Javi Gracia curiously failed to report ahead of Saturday’s fixture. Burnley has escaped the relegation zone in recent weeks and is now three points clear of danger with 15 matches remaining.

Newcastle United 3-0 Cardiff City

Newcastle United moved out of the relegation zone and dropped Cardiff City into it as an unlikely double by Fabian Schar earned them a crucial 3-0 victory at St James’ Park on Saturday. After five games without a league win, the visit of Cardiff had the feel of a key relegation battle and Schar’s 24th-minute opener eased the tension around the ground. he doubled his side’s lead when bundling the ball into the net from a Matt Ritchie corner just past the hour mark. Schar became the first Newcastle defender to score two goals in a game since Philippe Albert in 1996. Cardiff offered little in response apart from the odd flurry and Schar was not far away from claiming a hat-trick when he headed off target from another Ritchie corner. Ayoze Perez added some late gloss, tapping in Newcastle’s third in stoppage time from Salomon Rondon’s cross.

Manchester United 2-1 Brighton

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer made it seven wins in seven as interim manager of Manchester United with a 2-1 win at home over Brighton. Paul Pogba gave the Red Devils the lead from the penalty spot, after drawing a foul from Albion left-back Bong. United dominated possession in the first half, and Rashford made it 2-0 with a brilliant finish from a tight angle with three minutes to go. Brighton pushed back in the second half and began controlling large parts of the game. Their main goal threat came through set pieces, and eventually, a cross from Davy Propper was prodded home by Pascal Gross. As the Seagulls pushed men forward in the dying minutes of the game, United dug deep, with Solksjaer bringing Darmian on for Rashford in stoppage time. The win sealed an impressive seven straight win for the Norwegian. Incidentally, Brighton inflicted United’s first defeat of the season back in August, a 3-2 result at the Amex Stadium.

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Bournemouth 2-0 West Ham United

Callum Wilson’s stunning strike helped Bournemouth register a deserved victory over in-form West Ham at Vitality Stadium. The England striker recalled to the starting line-up after two weeks out with a hamstring injury, lashed home Ryan Fraser’s deflected cross on the half-volley, eight minutes after the break. Joshua King sealed only the Cherries’ second win in 10 league and cup games in second-half stoppage time, firing David Brooks’ low cross past the helpless Lukasz Fabianski. Eddie Howe’s team move level on points with 11th-placed Everton, while West Ham drop a place to 10th.

Southampton 2-1 Everton

Southampton struck twice in 14 second-half minutes to secure a 2-1 home win over Everton and pull further away from relegation danger on Saturday. James Ward-Prowse’s second goal in as many Premier League matches and a bizarre Lucas Digne own goal lifted Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men three points clear of the drop zone. The Saints, 2-1 winners at Leicester City last weekend, were on top from start to finish at St Mary’s in a confident response to their midweek FA Cup exit at the hands of Derby County. The fit-again Danny Ings was a menace throughout the first half and Everton – who grabbed a late consolation through Gylfi Sigurdsson – never came to grips with the home side’s intensity, slumping to their fifth league loss in seven.

Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea

Arsenal picked up a comfortable 2-0 victory against Chelsea on Saturday night. Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny ensured the Gunners cruised past their rivals and closed the gap on the top-four. The game was billed as one that could swing Arsenal’s season – a loss to Chelsea would have seen them nine points adrift of fourth spot and all-important Champions League football next season. But, the win means they’re instead just three points behind, and it’s all to play for as we get into the business end of the campaign. In truth, Unai Emery’s side far outclassed their opponents at the Emirates. All seemed to be going smoothly for the Gunners but they were dealt a blow when Bellerin went down holding his left knee. Arsenal are firmly back in the race for a top-four finish after beating rivals, Chelsea.

Huddersfield Town 0-3 Manchester City

Manchester City eased past managerless Huddersfield to move back to four points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool. City, who had netted 19 goals in their past three games, were not at their free-scoring best in the first half at the John Smith’s Stadium. But the defending champions went ahead in the 18th minute when Danilo’s long-range effort deflected in off the head of Christopher Schindler. The visitors then struck twice in two minutes after the break to put the game to bed, with Leroy Sane creating the first and scoring the second. First, the Germany forward whipped in a cross for Raheem Sterling to dive and head in his 12th goal of the season. Then Sergio Aguero cushioned a header for Sane to run on to and slot home past Jonas Lossl.

Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

A Harry Winks header in injury time saw Tottenham come from behind to beat relegation-threatened Fulham. The Cottagers took a deserved lead when Spurs striker Fernando Llorente scored an own goal but two second-half headers from Dele Alli and Harry Winks saw the visitors take all three points at Craven Cottage. Fulham had nine shots on goal in an impressive first half and took a deserved lead when Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente scored an own goal. The Spaniard, making his first Premier League start of the season in place of the injured Harry Kane, inadvertently beat Hugo Lloris from close range while attempting to clear the danger inside his own six-yard box after a Jean Michael Seri corner.

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