Week 22 of the Premier League had some memorable games and unforgettable controversies, no doubt. So let’s look at the week 22 matches in brief and the latest Premier League news below.
Arsenal vs Chelsea
The biggest match of week 22 was between Arsenal and Chelsea. Each time these two giants play we always get a match with many talking points, from great skills, top saves, controversial cards, penalties, and dismissals (though we hadn’t one this time) and this match was no different. The first 10 minutes of the game were rather scrappy with both teams trying to shore up their defence to avoid falling behind in the opening stages. After the first 10 minutes, however, the game rose to life and an end-to-end stuff got underway.
The first real chance fell to Alvaro Morata who was quick to the ball in-between Arsenal’s two defenders near the halfway line, he ran all the way down to the 18-yard box but as was to be his game throughout, he missed what many thoughts was a definite goal. The chance was a wakeup call to the Arsenal defenders who then went on to produce a defensive performance that many Arsenal fans have not seen this season. The following chance of the game fell to Alexis Sanchez whose shot at the near post forced Thibaut Courtois into a full stretch to tip it onto the post before gathering it. The first goal finally came courtesy of Jack Wilshere who put in a ferocious shot in off the post just before the break.
After the break, the first talking point came when Jack Wilshere supposedly ‘dived’. At that time, he was already on a yellow card, and another would have sent him to the early shower, the referee, however, did not bring out the second yellow to the delight of Arsenal fans and dismay of the Chelsea fans. A few minutes later Chelsea had a penalty, which Eden Hazard slotted home after Hector Bellerin fouled him. The game then became a match for the wingbacks. Marcus Alonso producing a clinical strike inside the 18-yard box from a delightful cross before Bellerin put one out of Courtois reach in the dying minutes. Morata had the chance to make amends for his early miss but he fluffed his lines, passing the ball into Petr Cech’s hands when placing the ball either side of the goalie would have produced a last-gasp winner for Chelsea. In the end, a one all draw was enough for both teams.
Everton vs. Manchester United
Manchester United travelled to Everton after a somewhat indifferent couple of Premier League games. During the opening stages, Man United was a bit off the pace, however, they somehow managed to pick it up during the course of the game where they scored two goals, leapfrogging Chelsea into second place. Everton definitely showed signs of improvement, but as many would say, they still miss a commanding centre-forward. They have since signed Cenk Tosun from Beskitas and we all wait to see how he will fare in the Premier League.
Watford vs. Manchester City
Regardless of an underwhelming performance, Manchester City was strong enough for a regressing Watford. Watford started their season like a house on fire, disposing of some of the so-called ‘big clubs’ including Arsenal, but have found themselves in some rough waters later on. Despite their impressive early performances, if results do not go their way in the coming weeks, they might easily be part of a relegation dogfight.
Swansea vs. Tottenham
Tottenham continued their push for a top-four place with a 2 -0 win against the bottom-placed side, Swansea. Tottenham have been doing their business quietly in recent weeks after a couple of disappointing results before the Christmas 2017 period. Swansea, on the other hand, has to raise their games with some huge results before the end of the month to have any hope of playing in the Premier League next season.
Burnley vs. Liverpool
Liverpool showed great determination to fight for all three points after conceding an equaliser in the 87th minute. Liverpool’s central defence partners, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan combined at a set piece to score an unlikely winner. With the recent acquisition of Virgil Van Dijk, it will be interesting to see who will be partnering him in the heart of the Liverpool defence, but whoever is picked, it seems Liverpool has taken the right step in correcting one of their problem areas.
Stoke City vs. Newcastle
Stoke City woes continued as they lost to fellow strugglers Newcastle. Stoke City find themselves in the relegation zone; a position no one anticipated at the start of the season. Newcastle, on the other hand, is in the same predicament. Experts say new additions in the January transfer window may be the reason between one team being relegated and the other staying and if this is true, Stoke City are on the right path as they have recruited two new players while Newcastle is yet to add one.
Brighton vs. Bournemouth
Brighton should have been out of sight as early as the 70th minute in a recent game, but a string of poor finishes finally made them rue their chances as they conceded a late equaliser against Bournemouth. Brighton’s wingers were guilty as Jose Izquierdo found himself one-on-one with the keeper, but tried to dink him instead of squaring the ball to Stephens who was on his own. Brighton may be disappointed by the single point they picked, but their season thus far has been exceptional, to say the least.