- We review five things we learned from the weekend’s Premier League matches including the title contenders, and Manchester United’s criticized players.
We review five things we learned from the weekend’s Premier League matches including the title contenders, and Manchester United’s criticized players.
Manchester City‘s recent performance has an air of foreboding. This is not the first time Pep Guardiola’s team has found a surge of support when it mattered most. At the lunch hour on Saturday, the Citizens overcame Everton’s resolute opposition to win 2-0 at the Etihad, marking their tenth straight victory overall and their sixth in the Premier League.
Everton put up a strong defense for the whole of the match, but the champs have two players who can win any game: Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne. Haaland scored the first goal with an instinctive rasp before the top players for City collaborated for the second goal late in the game.
City can put together incredible winning runs, and they seem to be preparing for another one at the moment. With league games against Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal scheduled before the end of March, the timing could not have been more ideal.
The last two clubs are trying their hardest to break the Blues’ grasp on the division, but they both know they need to perform at a near-perfect level to prevent City from winning a record-breaking four titles in a row.
Arsenal are not giving up
Arsenal made sure they were still in the running for the title with their decisive victory over Liverpool last Sunday, and this weekend, the North Londoners made even more noise.
In a merciless display, Mikel Arteta’s team ripped apart West Ham to win 6-0 at the London Stadium, leading 4-0 at the break. Arsenal took advantage of West Ham’s poor defense by providing set-piece assistance. Arsenal, who have scored more goals from dead balls than any other team in the Premier League this year, increased their lead with risky passes from Gabriel and William Saliba.
Arsenal’s title campaign collapsed last season in the final stretch when the Gunners threw away two-goal leads to draw with West Ham and Liverpool in back-to-back games. This time, Arteta’s squad has defeated those same rivals and is still in the lead in a race where all of the top competitors are looking fantastic.
With the greatest defensive record in the division, a wide range of goal scorers, and a genuine danger from set pieces, Arsenal seems well-positioned to contend for a Premier League title for the first time in twenty years.
United’s criticized players shining
For players, playing for Manchester United may sometimes be a stressful situation. No team in English football faces more scrutiny than this one, and there isn’t much room for errors or bad runs.
With a crucial 2-1 victory over Aston Villa this past weekend, Erik ten Hag’s club maintained their chances of playing in the Champions League. The victory also saw numerous Red Devils players who had been criticized succeed.
Andre Onana made several superb stops to keep John McGinn and Ollie Watkins out of the game, turning in one of his greatest performances since coming to England. In the meanwhile, Scott McTominay came off the bench to provide his most recent clutch performance, and Harry Maguire got an assist while playing a dominant center back.
The midfielder, who has scored four goals off the bench this season, headed home Diogo Dalot’s late cross to record his seventh Premier League goal of the year. Only six Premier League players have scored three match-winning goals this season, including the Scotland international.
Even though all three of them have experienced hardships and criticism, Ten Hag and his squad need to win this game.
The long-term future of Bruno Guimaraes at Newcastle has come under scrutiny in recent months due to rumors that the team may try to make money off of a well-known player in order to stay in compliance with Premier League financial regulations.
Few players in Eddie Howe’s team will be as sought after as Guimaraes, who once again showed his class with a standout performance in the victory over Nottingham Forest.
The Brazilian finished 87% of his passes, won six ground duels, and had two magical moments to win the game for Newcastle. Initially, he arrived the far post to volley Kieran Trippier’s cross into the goal, directing his attempt at goal into the distant corner. Then, after he reacted quickly to intercept a stray ball and rocket a finish into the bottom corner, his persistence in the tackle set up Newcastle’s winner.
One of the Premier League’s most versatile midfielders, Guimaraes demonstrated his abilities when given more freedom to move the ball forward. If he keeps putting up performances this well, wealthier teams won’t be deterred by his rumored £100 million release clause come summertime.