10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 16


What a weekend in the Premier League, as the final matchweek before the World Cup break delivered shocks, late drama and so many incredible moments.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

December 26 can’t come soon enough.

Until then, we will focus on yet another intriguing weekend as the Premier League season has been box office on so many levels so dar.

VIDEO: PL highlights ]

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

10 things we learned in the Premier League: Week 16

1. All’s not well at Tottenham despite win, as Spurs still in bad shape (Spurs 4-3 Leeds): From booing Emerson Royal when he came off to the general malaise around the team, Spurs fans are feeling very negative right now. Even though they won. And they’re still in the top four heading into the international break. And they’re in the Champions League last 16. But all is not well under Antonio Conte. This week he refused to commit himself to the club beyond the end of his contract at the end of this season and unless Tottenham spends big in January, this is heading toward a very familiar outcome. It looks like Conte believes he has taken this Spurs team as far as he can with the current squad. He has shown enough to suggest if he’s given better players they can push on again but right now everything has gone stale. Still, there is enough fight to keep coming back and winning games like this. (JPW)

2. Eddie Howe, Newcastle giving Premier League “Something to Talk About” (Newcastle 1-0 Chelsea): The Magpies look so, so, so good right now and their place in the top-four chase is completely deserved. The fact that this is happening with so many contributors who were in the Newcastle side before the Saudi Arabian takeover is a real high-five to Eddie Howe, who has Joelinton, Miguel Almiron, Fabian Schar, and Joe Willock playing at or near career-best form. While new additions Bruno Guimares, Sven Botman, and Nick Pope have been sensational and the result of “new money,” the Magpies are recalling the spirit of Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About” after reading so many stories about how their new wealth will inevitably make them a European power—> “Now that we know it, let’s really show it, darlin’.” Newcastle’s arrived ahead of schedule as a major player and achieving a Champions League place this season would show what many supporters knew was hibernating underneath previous owner Mike Ashley’s sleepy pursestrings: a northern giant. (NM)

3. Martin Odegaard, Arsenal feeding their new highs (Wolves 0-2 Arsenal): Martin Odegaard is a technician. Sometimes he’s the team metronome. Other times he’s asked to carve open a difficult, tight back line. But the Norwegian has also shown a willingness to fire when ready, and Odegaard’s pair of finishes on Saturday gives him six goals through 13 Premier League games this season. That’s one off his PL-best total, set last season, and two off his best-ever league season when he scored eight times with Vitesse Arnhem in the 2018-19 Eredivisie season. He’s about to get a month off to recharge his batteries with Norway’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, and that seems unlikely to be a bad thing for Arsenal. (NM)

4. Ivan Toney shows his class as Brentford upsets champions (Man City 1-2 Brentford): It must have been a very tough week for Ivan Toney who was called into the last England squad but not the World Cup squad as Callum Wilson was preferred to him. Toney headed home the opener, grabbed the winner in stoppage time and was denied a hat trick by Kevin de Bruyne’s goal-line clearance. He caused chaos throughout and it took incredible character to play the way he did after the disappointment of this week. (JPW)

5. Quality of Eriksen, Casemiro sets the platform (Fulham 1-2 Man United): There was one pass Casemiro made in the first half which never looked on. Nobody else inside Craven Cottage saw it but somehow he sliced through a crowded midfield with ease, taking out four Fulham players with one pass. The Brazilian is so much more than a destroyer and his classy displays alongside Eriksen have added control and poise to United. The summer arrivals have made a massive difference to this team and Eriksen grabbing his first goal as a Red Devil showed he still has the ability to pop up in the right place in attacking areas as well as excel in his new deeper role. With United playing a fluid front four, you need a stable and solid platform behind them and Casemiro and Eriksen supply that. The balance of this United side is so much better when they’re in midfield together and their intelligence and experience on the ball is exactly why Erik ten Hag signed them. When Scott McTominay came on in the second half to play alongside Casemiro and Eriksen was pushed higher up the pitch, everything fell apart for United. There’s no coincidence that happened when the Casemiro and Eriksen duo was broken up but Eriksen still had the class to win it as his brilliant assist fed Garnacho to win it. (JPW)

6. Another relegation fight or wasted season for Everton? (Bournemouth 3-0 Everton): Just three games shy of the halfway point of the season, the Toffees appear headed for another long fight against relegation. With just one win from their previous six games before Saturday (1W-1D-4L), defeats to Manchester United, Tottenham, Newcastle, and Leicester were understandable and largely expected. But to go down so quietly to a newly-promoted side is more embarrassing and a very worrying sign. If not Bournemouth, then who? As soon as the full-time whistle blew, there were words exchanged by an Everton fan (or fans) and midfielder Alex Iwobi, who reportedly received abuse from the away fans during the second half. Jordan Pickford walked closer to the fans than most of his teammates and was also seen having words with someone before being pulled away with the frustrations visible on his face. (AE)

7. Darwin Nunez has well and truly arrived at Anfield (Liverpool 3-1 Southampton): He’s going to be measured unfairly against Erling Haaland this season, but Darwin Nunez continues to look more and more like the star center forward Liverpool needed to one day fully replace Roberto Firmino. We say one day because Firmino is showing he’s not done yet and can teach plenty to his Uruguayan understudy, but Nunez found his finishing in the Champions League and now has been finding regular chances in the Premier League. His two goals Saturday looked a lot like videos we’ll see on repeat at other Premier League venues for years. (NM)

8. Worrall, Boly, Henderson give Forest solid showing at the back (Nottingham Forest 1-0 Crystal Palace): Joe Worrall has long been a key piece of this unit but Willy Boly’s a new addition and goalkeeper Dean Henderson was clearly in control of his box at the back. Throw in an odd strong game from Serge Aurier on one side and the recipe for success was there. Remo Freuler looks more comfortable in the center of the park and Morgan Gibbs-White shined in a sort of false-nine role, the ex-Wolves man getting better and better each week. Steve Cooper’s had to integrate a lot of new key pieces, but at least one has been there for quite some time in Worrall. Two if you count the boss himself. (NM)

9. James Maddison in the form of his life, hopeful injury no big deal (West Ham 0-2 Leicester): James Maddison’s goal was simply the continuation of the 25-year-old’s red-hot form of late, taking his recent tally to five goals and three assists in his last eight PL appearances. At the very least, he was set to be called upon to provide a creative spark off the bench for England at the 2022 World Cup in a matter of days, before coming off with an apparent injury to his right leg. Physios appeared to test Maddison’s knee as he sat on the ground in the 25th minute at London Stadium. Eventually, he made the long, slow walk across the field and went straight down the tunnel. He was shown in a good mood on the bench so hopefully this isn’t a heartbreaking blow for a player who’ll be 29 and a long shot to make the World Cup in 2026. (AE)

10. Unai Emery’s fingerprints already showing as Villa wins again (Brighton 1-2 Aston Villa): First-minute error aside, Aston Villa looks a different side. Unai Emery’s men look ready to stay compact in pursuit of possession or the chance to explode up the pitch. Four ball-winners across a midfield allowed fullbacks to get forward, which showed up in quickfire passing patterns and clearer ideas for Danny Ings and, especially, Emiliano Buendia. Good stuff… and that’s without mentioning the resolute defending with a 2-1 lead away to a very good Brighton team (Well, now it has been mentioned). One variable to note: Ollie Watkins was surprisingly not in the 18. (NM)

Player ratings: USMNT thumps Grenada in Nations League


The USMNT kicked off the 2026 World Cup cycle as the Yanks reconvened (the first team, at least) for the first time since the 2022 tournament in Qatar, in a 7-1 victory Grenada on Friday.

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

Who stood out (for better and for worse) as the USMNT thumped Grenada?

USMNT player ratings vs Grenada

GK – Matt Turner: 6 – Faced just three shots on target (0.36 xG), made two saves and watched helplessly as a screamer from outside the box hit the back of the net.

RB – Bryan Reynolds: 6.5 – The USMNT focused the vast majority of its attacking play down the left side of the field, making Reynolds the target of a handful of cross-field switches as he played the full 90 minutes.

CB – Mark McKenzie: 7 – Teamed up with his former center back partner from his Philadelphia Union days, McKenzie was tasked with being the far and away the senior figure and leader of the defense on Friday (his 10 caps were four more than the rest of the back-four combined).

CB – Auston Trusty: 7 – A solid performance in his USMNT debut for the 24-year-old Arsenal defender (on loan to Birmingham City, where he has appeared in 37 games in the Championship thus far). With nearly 70 percent of possession on the night, there aren’t many better opportunities to get your feet wet at the senior international level.

LB – Joe Scally: 7.5 – Do not get overly excited about a 20-year-old’s performance against Grenada. I repeat, do not get overly excited about a 20-year-old’s performance against Grenada. That said, does the USMNT have… two left backs?

DM – Luca de la Torre: 7 – It would be unwise to assign too much value to a game that finished 7-1 against the no. 173-ranked nation in the world, but one thing is for certain and has been proven on a number of occasions: LdlT is a smooth operator as a ball-playing defensive midfielder, and he showed himself quite capable further up the field, in and around the opposing penalty area, on Friday as well.

CM – Weston McKennie: 8 – Two goals (both off of free kicks) for the newly acquired Leeds midfielder, which would be an incredibly welcome development for a side that hasn’t made enough of its set pieces in recent times.

CM – Gio Reyna: 6.5 – This was the solid, if unspectacular, return that Reyna needed after weeks of off-field controversy surround himself, his family and former (but perhaps future) head coach Gregg Berhalter. There were plenty of fireworks elsewhere in the team on Friday, and Reyna managed to come through the game unscathed.

RW – Brenden Aaronson: 7 – It’s been a tough first season in the Premier League for Aaronson, so his first-half goal will hopefully provide a much-needed boost in confidence (his first goal, for club or country, in any competition, since Aug. 21, his third game for Leeds).

CF – Ricardo Pepi: 8 – Aside from scoring the opening goal, Pepi was active and involved in much of what the USMNT tried to do going forward in the first half. Given how deep Grenada sat defensively to begin the game, the Yanks could have taken the easy way out — staying wide and crossing the ball repeatedly — every time down the field, but there appeared to be a concerted effort to combine through the middle of the field, which meant Pepi had to be sharp and quick with his movement to create space for Reyna, Aaronson and Christian Pulisic. Speaking of building confidence, how about the finish for his second goal…

LW – Christian Pulisic: 8 – Ho hum. Just a one-goal, two-assist performance from Pulisic. As previously discussed, the USMNT found infinite joy down the left side of attack and Pulisic was at the center of most of it (for 64 minutes, at least).

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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.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

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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England vs Ukraine: How to watch live, team news, updates


England host Ukraine in a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier at Wembley with an extremely emotional atmosphere expected in London.

[ LIVE: EURO 2024 qualifying scores – England vs Ukraine ]

As the war rages on across Ukraine following the Russia invasion just over a year ago, the United Kingdom have been one of Ukraine’s key partners in the fight against Russian forces.

The English Football Association have given away close to 1,000 free tickets to Ukrainians who were forced to flee their country and resettle with families in the UK. Over 4,200 Ukraine fans will be in the away end at Wembley amid a sea of blue and yellow and you can expect plenty of mutual respect and support from fans of both countries towards each other. This match is Ukraine’s first of 2023, as they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after losing to Wales in a playoff last summer.

[ MORE: Full EURO 2024 qualifying schedule, standings ]

England beat Italy 2-1 in Naples on Thursday as Harry Kane became their all-time leading goalscorer with his 54th goal for the Three Lions and they held on after going 2-0 up as Luke Shaw’s red card with 10 minutes to go complicated matters. Gareth Southgate’s young side are developing but will they be able to finally win a major tournament?

They have to qualify for the Euros in Germany next summer first, but a first win away in Italy since 1961 was a great start to this qualifying campaign.

Here’s everything you need for England vs Ukraine.

How to watch England vs Ukraine live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12pm ET, Sunday (March 26)
Updates: Via NBCSports.com
Stadium: Wembley Stadium, London

Key storylines, in-form players

The last time this nations met England ran out 4-0 winners in the quarterfinals of EURO 2020. They will be the heavy favorites in this game but Ukraine should not be underestimate as the No. 26 ranked team in the world have the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mykhailo Mudryk and Vitalii Mykolenko all playing in the Premier League.

England’s forwards ran riot in the first half against Italy with Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka sensational, plus Jude Bellingham’s driving runs from midfield give this Three Lions side an extra dimension. There is more creativity and cutting edge about this England side compared to recent years and it feels like they are ready to win something. There will be a ceremony before this game to honor Harry Kane becoming England’s all-time goalscorer as he passed Wayne Rooney with his goal in Italy on Thursday.

England team news, lineup options

Luke Shaw will be suspended for this game after his red card in Italy, so Kieran Trippier or Ben Chilwell will come in at left back. It is likely Jordan Henderson will come in for Kalvin Phillips in midfield, while Phil Foden could start over Jack Grealish out wide. Reece James and Conor Gallagher could also come into the team as Bellingham limped off towards the end of England’s win against Italy.

Ukraine team news, lineup options

Andriy Yarmolenko (three goals away from equalling Andriy Shevchenko as Ukraine’s all-time leading scorer) has been struggling with a hamstring injury so he may start on the bench, while Bournemouth’s Ilya Zabarnyi and Shakhtar’s Oleksandr Zubkov are both out. Yevhen Konoplyanka and Roman Yaremchuk offer real quality in attack, while Zinchenko is the heartbeat of this Ukraine side.

USMNT kicks off 2026 World Cup cycle with 7-1 win in Grenada


The USMNT scored early and often, as they cruised to a 7-1 victory over Grenada in CONCACAF Nations League action in St. George’s on Friday.

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

The victory puts the USMNT (7 points) atop Group D with one game left to play, against El Salvador (5 points – 2nd place) on Monday.

The Yanks got on the board in the 4th minute, and it was a sensational cross from Christian Pulisic which found Ricardo Pepi atop the six-yard box. Pepi used the considerable pace on Pulisic’s cross to head the ball down and out of goalkeeper Jason Belfon’s reach.

Brenden Aaronson made it 2-0 in the 21st minute, as the Leeds attacked received the ball atop the 18-yard box, turned into open space and cut inside before firing a right-footed finish hard and low to the near post.

Weston McKennie made it 3-0 just after the half-hour mark, as he smashed an off-balance, left-footed volley home after his initial header on Pulisic’s free kick was blocked. Two minutes after Myles Hippolyte fired a laser past Matt Turner (a minute later McKennie’s first goal), the recently acquired Leeds midfielder struck again to make it 4-1, applying the final touch after Auston Trusty headed the ball down after another free kick from Pulisic.

[ MORE: Three key questions for USMNT in March ]

The USMNT jumped on Grenada just as quickly when the second half began, with Pulisic putting his name on the scoresheet in the 49th minute. Luca de la Torre found Pulisic cutting in from the left wing, and the ball somehow found its way past Belfon for 5-1.

Four minutes later, De la Torre played a slightly trickier through ball to spring Pepi in behind the Grenadine defense, and Pepi made no mistake with his one-on-one chance against Belfon. Pepi, who is currently on loan to Gronigen from Augsburg, waited for the goalkeeper to go down one way and coolly slotted the ball the other way.

Alejandro Zendejas, who recently elected to represent the USMNT internationally, became cap-tied to the USMNT when he came off the bench in the 64th minute. Eight minutes later, the 25-year-old winger got his first senior international goal.

Start of a new World Cup cycle = a clean slate

For all intents and purposes, the USMNT kicked off the 2026 World Cup cycle on Friday, with the first team reconvening for the first time since the 2022 tournament in Qatar. A new World Cup cycle means brand new opportunities for new players, and a fresh start for those who didn’t get the starts or appearances that they thought they should have.

The net will be cast far and wide as the rest of 2023 sees the USMNT (likely) head to the finals of the Nations League and then the Gold Cup, with a handful of players seemingly coming from out of nowhere to claim consistent call-ups ahead of Copa America 2024 (on U.S. soil once again). There will be even more opportunities than usual for fringe players to make a case, with the Yanks automatically qualifying for the 2026 tournament as hosts.

What’s next?

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

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

Kick off: 8pm ET, Friday (March 24)
Stadium: Kirani James Athletic Stadium, St. George’s
TV in English: TNT
TV/streaming en Español: Universo/Peacock

[ LIVE: CONCACAF Nations League scores – Grenada vs USMNT ]

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)

EDIT: Tim Weah (Lille) was originally called up, but exited due to a head injury.

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