10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 26


What did we learn in the Premier League over the weekend?

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in the USA ]

Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nick Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Let’s get to it.

1. Stones, Dias drive City on (Man City 2-1 West Ham): When they’ve played together in the PL this season they have conceded three goals and scored five between them. Incredible. Dias and Stones look so hungry and fired up and give City a rock-solid foundation to build from. We all marvel at City’s amazing attacking talents but the story of their season is how Dias, a new signing, has slotted in brilliantly and Stones, who looks like a new signing, is finally realizing his potential. Both in attack and defense. (JPW)

2. Safe Solskjaer gets his minimum expected result (Chelsea 0-0 Man United): When the epitaph is placed on Manchester United’s 2020-21 Premier League season, one seemingly destined for the top four, their performance against traditional powers won’t be why they finished above 16 teams but why they failed to challenge anyone above them (even if that’s just Man City).

Perhaps United was scared by their 10-man embarrassment at home to Spurs to start the season’s run versus the “Big Six,” but the Bruno Fernandes second-minute penalty that kicked off that game has seen exactly zero United goals scored in the ensuing 628 minutes against Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, and Liverpool. (NM)

3. Where can Spurs land? What if it’s without Hojbjerg? (Tottenham 4-0 Burnley): Jose Mourinho has talked up the final table as a true tale of Tottenham’s season, and there are three-straight London derbies ahead with Fulham away, Palace at home, and an away North London derby at Arsenal on March 14. Six points back of West Ham with a match-in-hand, the top-four of the Premier League is there for them if they find good form more often than not. That will be very difficult if Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s late non-contact injury is serious on any level. Nervy days and weeks for Spurs. (NM)

4. Leicester still well-positioned… alas, more injuries (Leicester 1-3 Arsenal): The Foxes are now done with the Europa League but will be happy that the lack of schedule congestion will couple with some very nice fixtures as they focus on the FA Cup and Premier League. Leicester next has Burnley, Brighton, and Sheffield United ahead of the FA Cup quarterfinal visit from Manchester United. Then it’s Man City at home in the league before West Ham, West Brom, Palace, Saints, and Leicester City. That is a lot of available points before a brutal trio of Premier League fixtures to finish the season.

Can they have a nice cushion above Man United, Chelsea, and Spurs before those three matches? Not if the injuries keep coming to the King Power Stadium. Jonny Evans and Harvey Barnes left the pitch, the latter on a stretcher, while Wesley Fofana, James Maddison, Dennis Praet, Ayoze Perez, and James Justin were out of the lineup. (NM)

5. Blades a good test run for Kabak, Phillips (Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool): The list of center backs (and center back options) unavailable for Liverpool these days is truly astounding: Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson. Without any of his first five central defenders available, not to mention January signing Ben White out due to illness, Klopp was forced to call upon another January signing, 20-year-old Ozan Kabak, and seldom-used academy product Nathaniel Phillips on Sunday. Sunday’s game marked Liverpool’s first clean sheet since Jan. 17 (seven games with 13 goals conceded). (AE)

6. Bale burns bright (Tottenham 4-0 Burnley): This is how Jose Mourinho, Daniel Levy, and Gareth Bale all thought it would look when the Welsh star and Spurs agreed to the loan move that brought him back to North London from Real Madrid; Heung-min Son, Harry Kane, and Bale came out of the gates with fire and class, leaving Burnley in the dust before the game was 20 minutes old (Yes, even with Tottenham’s struggling corps of center backs). He now has four goals and three assists in his last four appearances. If Bale’s season was judged on a scale of Matthew McConaughey movies, he’s gone from Bale-ure to Launch to Bale-las Buyers’ Club in terms of critical acclaim. (NM)

7. Aston Villa find a new way (Leeds 0-1 Aston Villa): Last week was Villa’s first Premier League match with Grealish starting and going 90 minutes in 51 matches, and it looked that way as Villa fell 2-1 to Leicester City. The organization was much better in Villa’s second try, as Marvelous Nakamba ran the midfield as part of a super strong spine from Emiliano Martinez all the way up to Ollie Watkins (even if the latter’s assist to El Ghazi came via a slip while shooting). (NM)

8. Saint-Maximin, Almiron injuries weaken Magpies (Newcastle 1-1 Wolves): Make no mistake about it, Newcastle United’s threat is largely based on the wizardry provided by Allan Saint-Maximin and the finishing of Callum Wilson.

[ MORE: Bruce gives Almiron injury update ]

The way the former pulled up, he may be out just as long as the latter. He left with the match 1-0 and there was a feeling that the Magpies had better keep hold of all three points given the tightening margins near the bottom of the table. Almiron was also hurt, though he played on to halftime with the ailment, and his bright month means he’ll be missed if misses any time. (NM)

9. Just how wasted of a chance for Fulham? (Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham): It gets much more difficult for the Cottagers now. Spurs, Liverpool, and Man City are next while Newcastle gets West Brom, Villa, and Brighton. Speaking of Brighton, they meet Leicester, Southampton, and Newcastle. In other words, Fulham’s home match with Newcastle to finish the season isn’t nearly as attractive if the Cottagers are no longer within range of the Magpies, who also meet Burnley and Sheffield United along the way to May 23. Fulham has Leeds and Burnley on the docket, too. (NM)

10. VAR shambles steals show, Brighton’s point (West Brom 1-0 Brighton): Referee Lee Mason blew his whistle for a free kick, which Brighton captain Lewis Dunk took quickly and scored. Straightforward? Nope, it was anything but. Referee Lee Mason blew his whistle sharply just after the initial whistle blew, and VAR was used to determine the ball had not crossed the line before the second whistle blew.

[ MORE: Dunk rages in post-match interview ]

Confused? You wouldn’t be the only one. Both Graham Potter and Sam Allardyce, plus their players and coaching staff, looked around in disbelief. Eventually, no goal was awarded and Mason ordered the initial free kick to be retaken as he had seen some reason to stop play just after the free kick was taken. It was a farcical situation and we can only hope a more detailed explanation will arrive. (JPW)

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Erling Haaland injury: Manchester City assess star


Manchester City star Erling Haaland left the Norway squad during the international break after suffering a groin injury.

Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports News say that Haaland missed team training on Thursday, less than 48 hours before the huge game against Liverpool this weekend.

Speaking ahead of that game, Pep Guardiola revealed City were waiting to see if Haaland could take part in training on Friday.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Haaland, 22, joined up with Norway for their EURO 2024 qualifiers but has been sent back to Manchester City for treatment.

That meant he went to Marbella and then Barcelona in Spain for specialist treatment and he is now back in Manchester recovering from the groin injury he picked up against Burnley.

The Norwegian striker has been in stunning form in recent weeks, scoring nine goals in his last three games in all competitions for City (including five against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and a hat trick against Burnley in the FA Cup) before the break.

He has scored 42 (yes, forty two) goals in all competitions for Man City this season.

However, Pep Guardiola and Man City now face an anxious wait as an injury to Erling Haaland is the last thing they wanted before a pivotal final few months of the season as they chase the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

What is the latest update?

Pep Guardiola have a fairly positive update on Haaland ahead of Liverpool’s visit to City but it seems unlikely he will be risked if there’s any doubt around his fitness.

“Erling is recovering. This afternoon (Friday) is the last training session then we’ll see how he feels. We will see today. Again, the doctors and especially the player will decide how does he feel,” Guardiola said.

“Yesterday I spoke with him and he feels good. But we will see. Life is risk in these stages. You have to take it. We score a lot of goals this season. He scored an incredible amount of goals. But in the past always we scored a lot of goals.”

Norway’s team doctor, Ola Sand, previously gave an update on Haaland’s injury.

“We hoped that this was just a familiarity that would carry over to Saturday, but after doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it to the games against Spain and Georgia,” Sand said. “It is better that he receives medical follow-up at the club.”

Norway face Spain on Saturday and Georgia next Tuesday, so it seems like Haaland is in a race to be fit for Man City’s games after the international break.

Which games could he miss?

After the international break Man City are playing in the first game of the weekend as they host Liverpool on Saturday, Apr. 1 at the Etihad Stadium.

It seems like Haaland could be struggling to be fully fit for that game, and maybe even the trip to Southampton on Apr. 8, so Pep Guardiola may choose to rest him for their massive UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Bayern Munich on Apr. 11.

Given the form Haaland is in right now, it will be a blow for City if he does miss the next few games but the last thing they want is any long-term damage. Plus, it’s helpful to have the likes of World Cup winner Julian Alvarez in reserve to step in for Haaland.

Premier League table, 2022-23 season

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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

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After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League returned with a bang and the start to 2023 has delivered plenty of fun.

Now we are approaching the final few months of the campaign, it is so tight up and down the Premier League table.

Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

As we head into the final months of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest and although Manchester United briefly surged into the picture, they look more likely to cement their spot as the third best team in the Premier League.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.

What about the top four and European places?

Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle and for the moment have hunted down Newcastle, while Liverpool is back in the Champions League picture after their return to form and Chelsea looks like a top six finish is their ceiling. For now.

Surprising Fulham, Brentford, and Brighton are all hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns. Can one of them surprise and qualify for Europe?

Who are the candidates for relegation?

Southampton, West Ham, and Bournemouth currently occupy the relegation places but that keeps changing all the time and it is so tight at the bottom of the table.

Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Wolves, Leeds, Everton and Crystal Palace all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three as the race to stay in the Premier League intensifies. This could be the craziest relegation scrap in Premier League history.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.

Premier League table – March 19

Premier League standings

NBC Sports’ standings and scoreboard

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Arsenal vs Leeds: How to watch, live stream link, team news


Arsenal can keep its Premier League title run going strong with a win over relegation-fighting Leeds United on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium (watch live, 10am ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).

The Gunners enter Saturday with an 8-point title lead over Manchester City, who holds a match-in-hand and plays the 7:30am ET kickoff earlier Saturday vs Liverpool.


Leeds is coming off a feisty but fortunate 4-2 win over Wolves that it took it clear of the bottom three by two points.

If Leeds can manage a point here, it will be a heaping helping of unexpected and will say something about Javi Gracia’s project at Elland Road.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Arsenal vs Leeds.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

How to watch Arsenal vs Leeds live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Key storylines & star players

For Arsenal, it’s going to continue to be a feast of talent in attacking positions as Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard are in the Premier League Player of the Year conversation and Gabriel Martinelli isn’t too far off. Perhaps Gabriel Jesus would be there, too, if he didn’t miss such a long stretch of time with injury but he’s fit and firing and Leeds has reason to worry about its back line. Leeds would love to see Maximillian Wober and Tyler Adams available but they are not and it will be incumbent about the attackers to make up for their absences. Weston McKennie and Marc Roca will be under the microscope today.

Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Thomas Partey (other), Kieran Tierney (calf). OUT: William Saliba (lower back), Mohamed Elneny (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee)

Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Maximillian Wober (thigh), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (groin), Tyler Adams (hamstring), Wilfried Gnonto (ankle).

Arsenal title tracker – What do Gunners need to win the Premier League?


Eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table with 10 games to go, what do Arsenal need to win their first Premier League title in 19 years?

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Mikel Arteta has his young side on the cusp of a pretty remarkable and very unexpected Premier League title win.

With a solid defensive unit, perfectly balanced midfield and the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard having fine campaigns in the final third, there is so much to love about this Arsenal team.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League table for 2022-23 season ]

But how, and when, can Arsenal seal the Premier League title they crave? How many points do they need to gain? What are the scenarios based on their huge game against Manchester City in April?

How many points do Arsenal need to win the Premier League title?

With 10 games remaining, there are many different ways the Gunners can win the Premier League title.

In its simplest form: if Arsenal win nine of their final 10 games they will be crowned Premier League games.

The magic number for Arsenal to reach is 95 points. If they reach 95 points, Manchester City cannot catch them.

But if Man City beat Arsenal in their huge game at the Etihad on April 26 and win their game in-hand, Arsenal will need to win all nine of their other remaining game to be sure of the title. That would give them 96 points and Man City could only finish on 94.

If Arsenal drew against Man City then Man City could only finish on a maximum of 92 points. That means Arsenal would need eight wins from their remaining nine games to win the title as they would have 94 points.

If Arsenal win at Man City then Man City would only be able to reach 91 points. So, Arsenal would only have to win seven of their other nine remaining games to seal the title.

All of this proves just how massive the Manchester City vs Arsenal game on April 26 is in deciding the title winner.

When did Arsenal last win the Premier League?

They last won the Premier League title in the 2003-04 season, the famous ‘Invincibles’ campaign as they didn’t lose any of their 38 games that season.

Think Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Sol Campbell and Robert Pires in full flow and Arsene Wenger with a huge smile on his face on the sidelines. Magnificent.

When did Arsenal last win a trophy?

The last trophy Arsenal won was the FA Cup in the 2019-20 season, they also won the FA Community Shield in 2020.

Both of those trophies were won by current boss Mikel Arteta.

Which trophies have Arsenal won?

Here are the list of trophies the Gunners have won in their history:

  • FA Cup (14 – Record)
  • Premier League/First Division titles (13)
  • League Cup (2)
  • FA Community Shield (16)
  • European Cup Winners’ Cup (1)
  • Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1)