It has been a regular occurrence over recent weeks but this round of fixtures could prove to be pivotal in the grand scheme of things. Title challengers dropped points while top four hopefuls made a statement with not only their results but also their performances.
More dropped points
For the third successive week, Arsenal dropped points. Though this one might feel a little different. Having thrown away 2-0 leads in consecutive weeks, the Gunners came from 3-1 down this time around to salvage a point against bottom of the table Southampton.
Martin Odegaard scored in the 88th minute before Bukayo Shaka levelled things up in the final minute of normal time. The England international was the standout performer on the day, creating five chances and finishing with a FotMob rating of 9.0.
Arsenal now travel to the Etihad needing to take maximum points to wrestle back control of their destiny.
The goal drought is well and truly over
Diogo Jota failed to score for over a year but now have four goals and an assist in his last two appearances for Liverpool.
He netted twice in the 6-1 win over Leeds United during the mid-week and added another two in the 3-2 in over Nottingham Forest. He was the difference-maker at Anfield on Saturday, finishing the match with four shots – the joint highest – and an Expected Goals haul of 1.51 – the most of anyone in the match. He also found a teammate 93% of the time, an impressive tally for a player often criticised for his looseness in possession.
Liverpool aren’t favourites for a place in the top four but if Jota keeps scoring, their late rise up the table could go under the radar.
The Foxes stun Wolves
Leicester City fell behind to an early Matheus Cunha goal but rallied to complete a turnaround that ensured they picked up a well deserved three points. Dean Smith’s charges amassed an xG of 2.43 and are now out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Everton replaced them in the bottom three and with momentum on Leicester’s side, they could beat the drop. It would be a remarkable turnaround for a team that looked dead and buried a couple of weeks ago after parting ways with Brendan Rodgers.
The Toon trounce Tottenham
Few would’ve envisaged such a result. Newcastle lost 3-0 to Villa last weekend while Spurs fell to a last minute defeat to Bournemouth. Both sets of supporters would’ve expected a reaction in their pursuit of a top four finish but only one team delivered.
Newcastle United found themselves 5-0 up after 21 minutes with both Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak netting early doubles. A shell-shocked Spurs had no reply until after the break when Harry Kane netted his 24th of the season.
Callum Wilson added a sixth for the Magpies. In all honesty, it was completely deserved. Eddie Howe’s men finished with an xG of 3.85 and created seven big chances to one.
Newcastle now find themselves in third spot in the Premier League, six points clear of Spurs with a game in hand. It would take a remarkable collapse from here for the Magpies not to be playing Champions League football next season.
The Hammer blow
West Ham powered past Bournemouth to lift themselves up to 13th in the Premier League table. David Moyes’ men are now six points clear of the drop and though they aren’t mathematically secure, this win makes it much more likely that they’ll be in the English top flight next term.
They leapfrogged the Cherries with this emphatic away victory. The game was much closer than the score line suggests though with the hosts finishing with an xG of 1.52 while the Hammers carved out chances worth 2.43.
The difference maker was Declan Rice. He finished with a pass success rate of 88% having created two chances and having one shot. He recovered the ball on 12 occasions, won five of his nine ground duels and won 50% of his tackles on his way to a 8.6 FotMob rating.