Phil Bardsley

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PL Sunday preview: Chelsea v. Man United, Burnley v. Man City, Leicester v. Arsenal

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A critical day of Premier League fixtures hits center stage on Sunday as four of the top six are in action, including Manchester City who controls its own destiny in the title race with three matches to go.

With Liverpool having moved in front with a big win over Huddersfield Town on Friday, it is Man City’s turn to respond. In addition, Manchester United meets Chelsea in a critical battle in the race for the top four, with both teams right in the mix for a spot. Also in that conversation is Arsenal who visits Leicester City needing a win to keep pace with whoever comes out of Old Trafford with points.

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Finish to the Premier League season is riveting at the top of the table, with both the title race and Champions League battle coming down to the wire. Liverpool sits two points ahead of Manchester City at the moment, with the Citizens still to play on Sunday. Meanwhile, Tottenham sits on 70 points in third, with Chelsea three back in fourth on 67, Arsenal in fifth with 66, and Manchester United in sixth on 64.


Leicester City v. Arsenal — 7:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Arsenal travels to Leicester City to take on the in-form Foxes with an early morning kick. Leicester has won four of its last six Premier League matches and scored a late equalizer to draw West Ham last time out. The match is critical for Arsenal with either Chelsea or Manchester United figuring to get points at Old Trafford later in the day.

The Gunners, however, are not coming into this match in good form, having lost two straight and three of their last four. The Arsenal defense has coughed up six goals over the last two, and boss Unai Emery is struggling to figure out his squad with a number of injury problems to consider. The most important issue to sort out before kick on Sunday is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the last match after minor sinus surgery.

INJURIES: Leicester City —  OUT: Daniel Amartey (ankle). | ArsenalQUESTIONABLE: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (sinus). OUT: Aaron Ramsey (groin), Denis Suarez (hamstring), Hector Bellerin (knee), Rob Holding (knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle).


Burnley v. Manchester City — 9:05 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Manchester City hasn’t dropped points since late January when they suffered a 2-1 loss to Newcastle, and Pep Guardiola‘s squad seems stronger than ever. Last time out was a perfect encapsulation of the squad strength Man City possesses, as Leroy Sane was forced onto the pitch after an injury to vital midfielder Fernandinho, only to see Sane score a goal 15 minutes later.

Burnley was clobbered by Man City last time these two teams matched up back in October, a 5-0 drubbing that sent Man City on a tear through November before bogging down around the holidays. That match also saw Burnley come in with a three-match unbeaten run, but the pasting kickstarted a miserable stretch of seven without a win for Burnley. This time around, the hosts are again coming in having performed well of late, on a run of three wins in four without a loss in that span.

INJURIES: Burnley —  QUESTIONABLE: Phil Bardsley (leg). OUT: Peter Crouch (appendix), Steven Defour (calf), Aaron Lennon (knee). | Man City — QUESTIONABLE: Fernandinho (knee), Ilkay Gundoguan (knock). OUT: Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring), Claudio Bravo (knee).


Manchester United v. Chelsea — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces another brutal test as he looks to bring Manchester United out of the ignominious slump the Red Devils are currently mired in. Manchester United has lost three of its four Premier League matches in April, and that coupled with the Champions League humbling at the hands of Barcelona has left the honeymoon phase of Solskjaer’s managerial tenure in the distant past. Goalkeeper David De Gea will reportedly keep his place in goal for the foreseeable future despite the Spaniard’s struggles over the past few months, which were evident in the derby loss to Man City last time out.

Chelsea, meanwhile, is in a slide of its own with just two wins in the last six matches and Maurizio Sarri desperately hoping to confirm a Champions League place to give Roman Abramovich something to cling to when assessing the Italian’s first season in charge. They also have lost two straight visiting Manchester United, and have not lost three in a row since 1957 – conversely, of the six times Chelsea has won at Old Trafford, five of them came in a manager’s first attempt with the club.

INJURIES: Man United —  QUESTIONABLE: Ander Herrera (hamstring). OUT: Phil Jones, Scott McTominay. | Chelsea — QUESTIONABLE: N'Golo Kante (rib). OUT: Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles).

Burnley grab crucial win against Wolves (video)

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  • Burnley end run of four-straight defeats
  • Dyche’s 300th game in charge at Burnley
  • Wolves’ first loss in three

Burnley secured a huge win in their battle against Premier League relegation, as they upset high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

An early Conor Coady own goal set them on their way and Sean Dyche‘s side struck late on through teenager Dwight McNeil to grab a valuable three points.

With the win Burnley now have 33 points and sit five points above the relegation zone. Wolves remain on 44 points in seventh.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Burnley took the lead within the first two minutes as a quick free kick from Dwight McNeil caught out the Wolves defense and found Chris Wood.

He rounded Rui Patricio and his shot hit the post, but Coady slid in and deflected the ball into his own net. 1-0.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Phil Bardsley went close with a low effort, while at the other end Wolves wanted a penalty kick as Romain Saiss‘ shot was blocked by Ashley Barnes‘ arm.

Not a great half from Wolves, as they were missing Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez.

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Wolves did improve after the break, as Diogo Jota curled a cross into the box which just went past the far post and then Ivan Cavaleiro smashed over from the edge of the box.

Adama Traore was causing plenty of problems down the right flank as Doherty and Jimenez came on to try and force a late equalizer.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

But just as Wolves looked more likely to score next, McNeil broke and jinxed past a few tackles before he smashed a low short into the net to make it 2-0.

A massive win for Burnley in their battle against relegation.

Crystal Palace ease to victory at Burnley (video)

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  • Zaha, Batshuayi, Bardsley (OG) for Palace
  • Burnley lose second-straight game
  • Eagles on 33 points

Crystal Palace beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday, as the Eagles continue to soar towards midtable.

A Phil Bardsley own goal put Palace ahead and second half goals from Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha sealed the victory. Ashley Barnes scored a consolation in stoppage time.

With the win Palace move on to 33 points, while Burnley are on 30 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Eagles took the lead early on as Wilfried Zaha found Jeffrey Schlupp at the back post and his ball back towards goal was knocked into his own net by Bardsley.

Wayne Hennessey then made a fine save to deny Chris Wood as Burnley cranked through the gears and put Palace under serious pressure.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Jeff Hendrick then had a volley blocked as Burnley pushed hard to get back into the game.

Plenty of tackles were flying in as players from both teams piled in during a major flash point right on half time.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Palace doubled their lead in fine fashion. Aaron Wan Bissaka raced down the right and delivered a perfect cross for Batshuayi to hammer home his second goal in his last three Palace games.

Burnley piled the pressure on Palace, as Barnes missed from close range but the Eagles were happy to deal with plenty of long balls and crosses into their box.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

On the break Schlupp and Basthuayi both went close for Palace, and Zaha finished the job with a fine low finish to make it 3-0.

Barnes scored a consolation and Peter Crouch went close moments later, but Palace were more than worthy of the three points.

Roy Hodgson‘s men are now looking to break into the top 10 after three wins in their last five games.

AT HALF: Saints, Wolves, Palace lead as Cardiff in trouble

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Cardiff City is in big, big trouble as it stands.

The Bluebirds have fallen behind 2-0 to Wolves as part of a five-match Premier League mid-morning slate, while relegation rivals Southampton have a surprising lead at Manchester United.

It’s not all terrible news for Neil Warnock‘s Welshmen, with Burnley also behind and Brighton level with Huddersfield.

Manchester United 0-1 Southampton

Not only has Yan Valery scored this absolute rocket, but Saints might be up 2- or 3-0 thanks to a couple of ungiven penalties at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has some work to do.

To be fair, though, Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn has been fantastic for the visitors.

Bournemouth 0-0 Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne has left the match before halftime with a leg injury suffered while dribbling, as City has two big worries in their title fight going into halftime.

Wolves 2-0 Cardiff City

Mexico’s Raul Jimenez has a goal and assisted on Diogo Jota‘s clever goal as the Midlands bunch looks set to rebound from a dip in form.

Burnley 0-1 Crystal Palace

Phil Bardsley has conceded an own goal and Burnley is could well finish the day in 17th if Brighton can get a result versus Huddersfield Town.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Huddersfield Town

Alireza Jahanbakhsh struck the bar after a terrific individual play, but the Seagulls and Terriers are yet to see a goal at the Amex Stadium.

Furious Pochettino confronts referees, reacts to Spurs loss at Burnley (video)

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Mauricio Pochettino somewhat lost the plot at the final whistle on Saturday, as Tottenham Hotspur lost 2-1 at Burnley in controversial fashion.

Tottenham’s manager confronted referee Mike Dean and the officials at the final whistle and seemed angry over several decisions, including Burnley’s first goal which came from a corner which should have been a goal kick.

A nasty challenge from Phil Bardsley could have also seen Burnley reduced to 10 men as Spurs were stunned and missed the chance to reduce the gap on leaders Man City to two points.

It has been reported that the post-game argument continued into the tunnel area at Turf Moor before Pochettino and his staff finally dispersed.

Speaking to Sky Sports in the UK after the game, Pochettino would not delve into details about what was said between himself and the officials.

 “It was nothing. What happened on the pitch happened on the pitch. We made a few mistakes and conceded two goals. There is nothing to say,” Pochettino said. “Congratulations to Burnley. We don’t deserve the defeat but that’s football. I think it’s important to understand that it was a game that is important for us. I believe before the game that if you want to be a contender you need three points.

Pochettino said that perhaps nerves and tension impacted Spurs, who were disjointed throughout despite Harry Kane returning from injury and scoring an equalizer.

“The emotions, sometimes we find answers and excuses to try to justify the defeat. It’s not normal how I behave,” Pochettino added. “Maybe it’s because I knew before the game and after the game that it is going to be difficult to be a contender without three points.”

He also explained that he knew how pivotal a win at Burnley would be to keep their title hopes alive. Pochettino has been a huge critic of VAR, but surely Spurs’ goal would have been chalked off as Danny Rose clearly took the throw-in which led to Kane’s goal from 10 yards closer to goal than it should have been.

Asked if Spurs are now out of the title race after the shock defeat, Pochettino didn’t confirm that but did say it will be extremely tough to do now.

“For me, we are very disappointed. It is only 11 games, there are a lot of games to play. Today, I think in my mind, to win the three points to put pressure on them. In the end we didn’t for different reasons. For our mistakes. We cannot blame nobody. Only ourselves.”

As for himself, Pochettino said he is “going to accept anything that can happen from the FA and hopefully it doesn’t go further” which comes from his behavior after the final whistle.

Below is a look at the incident in question, as Pochettino will likely be receiving a letter from the Football Association on Monday to try and explain his actions after it is believed Dean will include the incident in his match report.