Premier League Playback: Arsenal, Saints clash in busy midweek; title race on, Manchester United back?



As the video above shows, Southampton did plenty of things wrong against Manchester City in their 3-0 shellacking at St Mary’s on Sunday. But it’s okay, as long as they learn from it.

[RELATED: Watch full match replays]

Saints’ young squad have exceeded expectations under Ronald Koeman so far this season but they have a perfect chance to get that disjointed and tentative display against City out of their system. Arsenal away at the Emirates, where the Saints have already won in the League Cup, is the next challenge for Koeman’s boys but they have to be much better across the board than they were against City.

[ RELATED: Three things we learned from Saints vs. City ]

They showed City too much respect and in their first big test of the season most of the Saints received failing grades from their manager. I asked Koeman after Southampton’s defeat to City about his sides lack of creativity in the final third, here’s what he said.

Premier League Schedule – Week 14

Game Watch Live
Arsenal – Southampton Weds. 2:45pm ET
Burnley – Newcastle Tues. 2:45pm ET
Chelsea – Tottenham Weds. 2:45pm ET
Crystal Palace – Aston Villa Tues. 3pm ET
Everton – Hull Weds. 2:45pm ET
Leicester – Liverpool Tues. 2:45pm ET
Man United – Stoke Tues. 2:45pm ET
Swansea – QPR Tues. 2:45pm ET
Sunderland – Man City Weds. 2:45pm ET
West Brom – West Ham Tues. 3pm ET

“I think if I look through my team, two or three players reached the level of what they can show. In my opinion Toby Alderweireld played fantastic and in the first half we had a good organization,” Koeman said. “But in an attacking way, it is different to create those  kinds of chances that we can create [against other teams] against defenders like Man City. That was not good enough. You will get punished for that, we knew that before the game. They showed us that difference today.”

As for Arsenal, the Gunners can sneak into the top four with a win over Saints and other results going their way after they beat West Brom 1-0 at the weekend. Arsene Wenger’s men flattered to deceive but got the job done against the Baggies, as Arsenal’s fans held up the following banner (see the Tweet below) with their team limping through the current campaign.

[ RELATED: Wenger relief after win ]

Saints vs. Man City was not a battle for the top four, we all know Chelsea and City will battle it out for the title and the rest will play out a desperate scrap for third and fourth. So, Arsenal’s clash with Southampton is doubly important as both teams look to boost their top four chances. Saints will be missing Morgan Schniederlin through injury, and his forced withdrawal at half time against City was a big reason why Saints collapsed in the second half. If Arsenal’s attackers can exploit the space in front of Southampton’s backline, Wenger could get a morale boosting win. Oh, how he needs that.


With Chelsea slipping up at Sunderland and Manchester City battering Southampton over the weekend, the Premier League title race is set up perfectly as the busy festive season arrives.

[ RELATED: Is the PL title race back on? ]

A full slate of midweek matches, plus another game for everyone this weekend, means that Chelsea’s six-point lead over City can be dwindled down to zero in the space of three days.

Chelsea host Tottenham Hotspur, who are coming off the back of two-straight wins, in a London derby on Wednesday under the lights at Stamford Bridge which could be a classic (more on that shortly) and then travel to Newcastle. While City have two, on paper, easier games this week with a trip to Sunderland and then a home game against Everton.

[ RELATED: Latest PL standings ]

Premier League Schedule – Week 13

Result Recap & Highlights
Burnley 1-1 Aston Villa Recap and watch here
Liverpool 1-0 Stoke Recap and watch here
Man United 3-0 Hull Recap and watch here
QPR 3-2 Leicester Recap and watch here
Saints 0-3 Man City Recap and watch here
Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea Recap and watch here
Swansea 1-1 Crystal Palace Recap and watch here
Tottenham 2-1 Everton Recap and watch here
West Brom 0-1 Arsenal Recap and watch here
West Ham 1-0 Newcastle Recap and watch here

If you ask most punters in England, they have already handed the 2014-15 PL title to Chelsea after their imperious start to the season which sees them unbeaten after 13 matches. However, Jose Mourinho and his men will not be planning the victory parade down Kings Road anytime soon. City are coming on strong, just like they did at this stage of the campaign last season and the title race is back on, according to City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

[VIDEO: Premier League highlights]

“We can complain about a lot of things with this team this year. That we are conceding too many, and not scoring the amount of goals we did last season,” Pellegrini said. “But the only thing we cannot complain about with this squad is the spirit, personality, character and ambition to keep winning. We have to play 25 games more, it is a lot of points. In football, nobody knows what happens. In one week you can change with three bad results and that will change your position. Chelsea is playing very well, let’s see what happens in the future. We must try to just think about what we do against Sunderland [in our next game].”


Tottenham’s trip across the capital to play Chelsea is an intriguing battle. On Sunday Spurs beat Everton largely thanks to their two-pronged attack of Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado playing up top together, which saw the latter score his first goal since March.

During his first few months as a manger in the PL, Pochettino led Southampton to a famous 2-1 win over Chelsea as he started with two strikers in Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez. If Tottenham are to get a draw, or even a famous win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, the form of Kane and Soldado will be crucial. Chelsea will be missing their star man, Diego Costa, after his fifth booking of the season occurred at Sunderland, meaning an automatic one-game ban.

[RELATED: Premier League schedule]

Chelsea are stumbling a little, and in their 0-0 draw at Sunderland they failed to create a plethora of clear-cut chances while Jozy Altidore’s second half performance caused Chelsea’s backline plenty of distress with his direct and powerful runs. Kane can replicate that, and if Soldado has truly rediscovered his touch in front of goal, Spurs could shock Chelsea and blow the title race wide open.


After their 3-0 battering of Hull City, Manchester United looked back to their best. That is now three-straight victories for Louis van Gaal’s men who have only conceded one goal in this victories and are looking increasingly dangerous in attack. In the video above our Match of the Day crew analyze if United are clicking back into place as van Gaal’s methods are starting to show considerable signs of promise. This week they host Stoke on Tuesday and then Southampton away on Monday, as the Red Devils could easily be looking at five wins on the spin and be right behind Man City and Chelsea at the top of the standings.

[ RELATED: Van Gaal hails United’s display ]

Both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were on the scoresheet against Hull, as United’s two talisman are stepping up to the plate, plus Radamel Falcao returned from injury but there was a slight downer as Angel Di Maria hobbled off with a hamstring injury. Here’s a cheeky little stat which may interest you, as Rooney and RVP are fine-tuning their partnership…


During Week 13 there were plenty of stunning strikes, but Kevin Mirallas’ strike took the biscuit. What a hit, my son. Check out the video for the top goals from the weekend. This should warm your cockles for 20 more PL games coming your way in the next few days.

Premier League Playback comes out every Monday as PST’s Editor and Lead Writer takes an alternative look at all the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here

Phil Foden has appendix surgery, to miss Manchester City vs Liverpool


Manchester City star Phil Foden will be unavailable for the club’s big Premier League match with Liverpool, and he may be out longer.

Foden, 22, withdrew from the England squad in order to undergo an appendectomy, and City says he has returned to Manchester to begin recovery.

His recovery means he will not feature for second-place City when it hosts rivals Liverpool on April 1.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

Foden’s nine goals put him into a tie for 12th on the Premier League’s season goals list, and he’s chipped in four assists in league play.

City has 61 points, eight fewer than leaders Arsenal but with a match-in-hand on the Gunners.

Man City’s bidding to win a third-straight Premier League Trophy, something that hasn’t been done since Manchester United completed a “three-peat” at the end of the 2008-09 season.

England plays Ukraine at Noon ET Sunday.

Premier League top scorers: Who is leading Golden Boot race?


Harry Kane scored twice on Saturday to give him 20 goals on the Premier League season, and impressive figure with 10-plus matches left for the teams of the Premier League this season.

Then Erling Haaland converted a penalty at Crystal Palace to give him 28 on the season, reminding the country that the Golden Boot race remains in fait accompli territory.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

There is something somewhat dull about knowing the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, the lone curiosity being the final number of his final tally, we get it, but most of what Haaland is doing this season is simply marvelous and to be admired without much fear.

Haaland’s Premier League-leading 28 goals have him seven goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s fantastic and firing Harry Kane.

The Norwegian star piled up 20 goals in a single Premier League season faster than any player in history… by seven games (Kevin Phillips of Sunderland did it in 21). Now he’s within five goals of equalling Kevin Phillips’ record for most goals in a debut Premier League season.

And the later this season goes with him projected so far over the current record, the less chucking is accompanied by marking out the pace (especially considering Haaland was not beaten up by the World Cup, as Norway was not in the tournament). And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is rather realistic.

Which records can Haaland break?

Haaland may not be likely to hit 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault and that figure isn’t entirely absurd. He’s played in 23 of Man City’s 24 games, scoring 26 goals.

Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.

Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.

Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:

  • 30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
  • Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
  • Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
  • 11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)

Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.

Premier League 2022-23 Golden Boot race

    1. Erling Haaland, Man City — 28
    2. Harry Kane, Tottenham — 21
    3. Ivan Toney, Brentford — 16
    4. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United — 14
    5. Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal — 13
    6. Bukayo Saka, Arsenal — 12
    7. Miguel Almiron, Newcastle — 11
    8. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham — 11
    9. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool — 11
    10. Rodrigo, Leeds United — 11
    11. Martin Odegaard, Arsenal — 10
    12. James Maddison, Leicester City — 9
    13. Phil Foden, Man City — 9
    14. Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa — 9
    15. Harvey Barnes, Leicester City — 9
    16. Leandro Trossard — Brighton/Arsenal — 8
    17. Danny Ings, Aston Villa/West Ham — 8
    18. Darwin Nunez, Liverpool — 8
    19. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool — 8
    20. Callum Wilson, Newcastle — 7
    21. Brennan Johnson, Nottingham Forest — 7
    22. Alexis Mac Allister, Brighton — 7
    23. James Ward-Prowse, Southampton — 7
    24. Kai Havertz, Chelsea — 7
    25. Solly March, Brighton — 7
    26. Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace — 6
    27. Pascal Gross, Brighton — 6
    28. Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton — 6
    29. Heung-min Son, Tottenham — 6
    30. Phillip Billing, Bournemouth — 6
    31. Alexander Isak, Newcastle — 6

USMNT vs El Salvador: How to watch live, team news, updates


The USMNT host El Salvador in a winner-take-all CONCACAF Nations League Group D finale on Monday (7:30 pm ET), at Exploria Stadium in Orlando.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings vs Grenada | Recap/highlights ]

The group winner will qualify for the finals (four teams) of the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League (June 15-18) as well as the 2023 Gold Cup (June 24-July 16). The group runners-up will also qualify for this summer’s Gold Cup.

Following their 7-1 thumping of Grenada on Friday, the USMNT is in good shape and interim head coach Anthony Hudson will likely rotate his first-choice back four back into the lineup.

[ MORE: Folarin Balogun to USMNT? “It’s something that will come to me”

Christian Pulisic, Brenden Aaronson, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and Ricardo Pepi all sparkled in the final third against Grenada and we could see Alex Zendejas and Daryl Dike from the start in Orlando.

Of course, Folarin Balogun is also expected to be watching on from the stands as intrigue grows around his possible switch from England to the USMNT to give the Americans another fine young attacking talent.

Here is everything you need for the USMNT vs El Salvador.

How to watch USMNT vs El Salvador live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30pm ET
Stadium: Exploria Stadium – Orlando, Florida
TV in English: TNT
TV/streaming en Español: Universo/Peacock

[ LIVE: CONCACAF Nations League scores – USMNT vs El Salvador ]

USMNT squad

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders (8): Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders (7): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juarez), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar)

Forwards (6): Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alejandro Zendejas (Club America)

Premier League assist leaders: Who will win Playmaker of the Season?


Kevin De Bruyne’s gaudy assist numbers give rise to any number of considerations, and we have to wonder if the Manchester City star has ever wondered if the Premier League record would be his in a world in which Jose Mourinho found better use for him at Chelsea.

De Bruyne’s 12 assists this Premier League season are two more than his nearest competitors — Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka — and give him 98 for his career. That’s fifth all-time, two more than Dennis Bergkamp and 64 (?!) behind record holder Ryan Giggs.

[ MORE: Premier League Golden Boot race ]

The Belgian star, 31, arrived at Chelsea from Werder Bremen at the age of 22 and managed only 425 in a half-season before being offloaded to Wolfsburg. Back in the Bundesliga, De Bruyne got six assists the rest of the way before setting up 21 goals the next season to set up a move to Man City.

He’s since won the nascent Premier League Playmaker of the Season Award twice, including a 20-assist 2019-20 season, and he’s on pace to make it three of six. Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, and Eden Hazard have also won the award, which is only five years old.

De Bruyne also led the Premier League in assists in 2016-17, the year before the league but a name on the honor.

His stats hint that there’s more to come, as ‘KDB’ is creating a gaudy 3.61 chances per 90 minutes. After a season in which he scored 15 times with eight assists, De Bruyne is back taunting those who’d dare chase him in terms of setting up goals (Some guy named Erling Haaland is helping…).

Premier League 2022-23 assist leaders

  1. Kevin De Bruyne, Man City — 12
  2. Bukayo Saka, Arsenal — 10
  3. Leandro Trossard, Arsenal/Brighton — 8
  4. Christian Eriksen, Manchester United — 7
  5. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool — 7
  6. Andreas Pereira, Fulham — 6
  7. Alex Iwobi, Everton — 6
  8. Martin Odegaard, Arsenal — 6
  9. Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United — 6
  10. Andy Robertson, Liverpool — 6
  11. Jack Harrison, Leeds — 6
  12. Bernardo Silva, Man City — 5
  13. Dejan Kulusevski, Tottenham Hotspur — 6
  14. James Maddison, Leicester City — 6
  15. Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal — 5
  16. Morgan Gibbs-White, Nottingham Forest — 5
  17. Ivan Perisic, Tottenham Hotspur — 5
  18. Granit Xhaka, Arsenal — 5
  19. Michael Olise, Crystal Palace — 5
  20. Douglas Luiz, Aston Villa — 5
  21. Erling Haaland, Man City — 5
  22. Rodri, Manchester City — 5
  23. Kieran Trippier, Newcastle United — 5
  24. Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa — 5