2018-19 Premier League game recaps

West Ham 4-1 Watford: Irons smash Watford to finish season in style (video)

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  • Noble scores twice
  • West Ham finish with 52 points
  • Holebas red card in 48th minute
  • Watford suffer major loss before cup final

On the same day his former club won its second-straight title, Manuel Pellegrini had himself a great end of the season as well. West Ham routed ten-man Watford, 4-1, at Vicarage Road, finishing the season with 52 points and securely in mid-table in the Premier League standings. It was West Ham’s third consecutive win to finish the season, following victories over Tottenham and Southampton.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham captain Mark Noble scored twice while Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini each added one of their own in the road victory. Meanwhile, Gerard Deolufeo scored the lone goal for Watford, though he had to be substituted midway through the second half on suspicion of injury. It was a rough end of the season for Watford, which now prepares for the FA Cup final a week from today.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

West Ham was in the ascendancy early in the first half, and it showed as the Irons got on the board first. Combining with Michail Antonio, Noble passed through the heart of midfield before running at Watford’s defense in the 15th minute. Noble then cut back to his left foot and slotted a strike home, past Ben Foster to put West Ham up 1-0.

Antonio again played a role in his side’s second goal, as he battled with Watford’s Craig Cathcart and Kiko before squirming free. Despite being off balance, Antonio’s strike clattered off the bar. Luckily for West Ham, it went right into the path of the wide-open Lanzini, who headed into an open net.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Javi Gracia‘s halftime team talk must have worked because Watford came out with more intensity and fight in the second half. The hosts used a bit of luck as well to cut the lead in half and for the moment, get back into the game.

A poor back pass from Pablo Zabaleta, perhaps with some of his mind on how his former Manchester City teammates were doing, put Fabian Balbuena and Lukasz Fabianski in no-mans land. Deulofeu, who had a quiet first half, ran down the ball, poked it past Fabianski and scored to make it 2-1 just 20 seconds into the second half.

However, Watford’s hopes to secure a point took a big hit two minutes later. With Antonio through on goal, Jose Holebas pulled him down just outside the box, leading to a straight red card for the denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

West Ham poured it on as the second half went on, with Jack Wilshere seeing minutes in the second half and Noble and Arnautovic scoring to make it a 4-1 scoreline.

Crystal Palace 5-3 Bournemouth: Zaha stars in eight-goal thriller (video)

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  • Wilfried Zaha involved in four of Palace’s five goals
  • Michy Batshuayi scores brace
  • Crystal Palace finishes on 49 points
  • Lerma scores stunner just before halftime

Crystal Palace and Bournemouth put on a show in the final match of the Premier League season, combining for eight goals in a 5-3 Crystal Palace win, Sunday afternoon at Selhurst Park. Wilfried Zaha, in what may have been his final game for the Eagles, was involved constantly in Crystal Palace’s attack and finished officially with two assists, though he played a role in two other goals as well.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe went again with 19-year-old Mark Travers in goal, and although he gave up five goals, he wasn’t at fault for nearly all of them, as the Bournemouth defense let Howe down.

With the victory, Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson finished with 49 points, the club’s highest total in the 38-game Premier League season era.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

This thrilling match for neutrals began with Crystal Palace in full control of the game. Luka Milivojevic came close to scoring inside five minutes, hitting the far post, but it was Batshuayi who finally put the Eagles in front. In the 24th minute, Zaha and Milivojevic worked together to create some space and Zaha’s cross into the middle took a deflection. The ball fortuitously fell right to the feet of Batshuayi, who slotted past 19-year-old Bournmouth goalkeeper Mark Travers.

Batshuayi scored again eight minutes later as Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s terrific cross on the ground from the right was put home to give Crystal Palace a 2-0 lead. Palace’s lead expanded to 3-0 in the 34th minute. James McArthur‘s pass found Zaha clear on goal. The Ivory Coast international’s shot was saved by Travers but re-directed off defender Jack Simpson in for another goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Just before halftime, Jefferson Lerma gave Bournemouth some life, as he unleashed an absolute blast from more than 30-yards out to make it 3-1, and give the Cherries some momentum heading into the break.

Despite more Crystal Palace pressure in the second half, Bournemouth scored again, as Jordan Ibe‘s low strike from just outside the box in the 56th minute took a deflection and went in past Vicente Guaita, making it a 3-2 game.

From then on, both teams traded goals as it was a wild, end-to-end affair in the second half. Zaha yet again made an impact on the goal, finding the overlapping run of Patrick Van-Aanholt, who fired home to make it 4-2. Joshua King‘s tap-in at the back-post off a corner made it 4-3, and yet Zaha found Andros Townsend on the counter attack, with the veteran attacker finishing past Travers to make it 5-3.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Zaha was subbed off late to a standing ovation at Selhurst Park, with plenty of speculation that he could be off to another club in the summer as he seeks a chance to play in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League.

Man City one win away from PL title (video)

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  • Man City have one-point lead 
  • Kompany scores winner
  • Win at Brighton will seal title

Manchester City controls its own destiny heading into the final week of the season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Following 70 long minutes of action, in which Leicester City’s strong defense repelled wave after wave of Manchester City attack, the Sky Blues found the breakthrough through captain Vincent Kompany.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Pep Guardiola‘s squad held on for the final 20 minutes of the match, defeating Leicester 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Monday

The win puts Manchester City at 95 points, one above Liverpool at 94 points, with just one game remaining.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Man City travel to Brighton knowing a win will seal the title, while Liverpool host Wolves knowing they must win and hope for some help from Brighton.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Despite Manchester City failing to reach last year’s points heights, this year, if anything, showed that Pep Guardiola’s side can win in tight games, even when it looks like they’re running out of gas or answers.

Man City opened the match on the front foot and dominated throughout, with around 61 percent possession. Man City youngster Phil Foden had the game’s first chance, but his effort in the box went straight to Kasper Schmeichel. More often than not, Man City found space around the edge of the box, but with around eight to nine Leicester City players hunkering around the box, it left very little space for the likes of Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling to exploit.

Even when they did, it involved passing one or two defenders, but getting stymied by the third.

Leicester City offered a some resistance, especially on the counter attack, but Ederson didn’t have much to worry about as Kompany and Aymeric Laporte kept things on lock down.

After the first 45 minutes and another 25 into the second half, it appeared that maybe Liverpool’s dream of winning its first title in the Premier League era could become reality, as Man City edged closer to a scoreless draw. Then, in the 70th minute, Kompany stepped up, quite literally, and fired home a massive strike that sent reverberations across the Premier League to put Manchester City up.

Guardiola’s men continued to attack after the goal, looking for a second, and that decision also kept Leicester City on its heels, forcing more players back and less into the attacking areas. Kelechi Iheanacho had a terrific chance to level the score in the 87th minute off a great diagonal ball from Hamza Choudhury, but Iheanacho put his shot well wide of goal. It turned out to be Leicester’s last chance of the game.

Bournemouth’s Brooks bullies Brighton

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  • Brooks scores in each half
  • Brighton’s Lewis Dunk sent off
  • Bournemouth up to eighth place
  • Brighton without a win away from home this season

Bournemouth beat 10-man Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, as the Cherries enter the festive season on a high.

David Brooks scored a stunner and a header to do the damage, as Brighton’s captain Lewis Dunk was sent off in the second half after picking up two yellow cards.

The win moves Bournemouth up to eighth in the table and on to 26 points, while Brighton remain in 13th on 21 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Brighton started well as Yves Bissouma burst through the Bournemouth defense but his low shot was saved by Asmir Begovic.

At the other end Simon Francis clipped in an inviting ball which just evaded the Bournemouth attack as the home side huffed and puffed.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Callum Wilson then raced in and his cutback was cleared on the line by Brighton’s Bernardo and then Mat Ryan saved the rebound after persistent Bournemouth pressure. Jurgen Locadia prodded a decent effort goalwards at the other end, but then Bournemouth took the lead in sensational fashion.

Welsh international Brooks picked the ball up without much on but he danced towards goal and slammed an effort into the far corner to put the Cherries 1-0 up. Before the break Lewis Dunk got a powerful header on goal but Begovic saved superbly as Brighton were unlucky to get in behind at the break.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

In the second half Bournemouth almost doubled their lead.

Junior Stanislas whipped a free kick just wide of the post with Ryan rooted to the spot and the home side looked the more likely to score.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Brighton’s task was made tougher late on as Dunk was handed a second yellow card for taking out Wilson, and then it was game over.

Brooks scored his and Bournemouth’s second goal of the game as he deftly flicked home Ryan Fraser‘s inch-perfect cross to make it 2-0.

Game. Set. Match.

Watford beat wasteful West Ham

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  • Deeney, Deulofeu score for Hornets
  • West Ham’s Hernandez misses several chances
  • Second-straight win for Watford

Watford beat West Ham United 2-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday, as it just wasn’t West Ham’s day.

Several big chances came and went for the Hammers who hit the woodwork twice and Javier Hernandez had an off day, while a Troy Deeney penalty kick and a fine strike from Gerard Deulofeu saw Watford eased to victory in the end.

With the win the Watford move up to sixth in the table, while West Ham drop to 12th as their run of four-straight wins came to an abrupt end.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Hammers were dangerous early on as crosses from Pablo Zabaleta and Michael Antonio down the right caused chaos in the Watford box.

Felipe Anderson gave the ball to Antonio and although his shot on goal was powerful, it was straight at Ben Foster.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

At the other end Watford won a penalty kick as Roberto Pereyra played a wonderful one-two with Gerard Deulofeu and was brought down by Fabian Balbuena, who injured himself in the process. A clear PK.

Deeney drilled the spot kick into the top corner to make it 1-0. Moments later Deeney was almost played in as West Ham’s defense was all over the place.

Balbuena was forced off through injury for the Hammers but they were almost level before the break. Ben Foster saved well from Javier Hernandez who pounced at the back post but couldn’t keep his good run of form going.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

In the second half West Ham pushed hard for an equalizer and it almost came right away as in-form Scottish winger Robert Snodgrass whipped in a corner. Antonio met the cross but his header hit the post and Watford cleared.

Watford almost sealed the win as Abdoulaye Doucoure played in Pereyra and his low shot across goal was pushed away by Lukasz Fabianski with Deeney lurking.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

The Hammers kept pushing as Anderson played in Hernandez but the predatory Mexican forward completely missed his kick at the vital moment.

Doucoure was then denied by a fabulous stop from Fabianski after being played in by Deulofeu, and at the other end another chance fell to Hernandez but Doucoure denied him with a wonderful last-ditch block.

West Ham went even closer soon after as Foster saved Snodgrass’ header and then Antonio somehow hit the crossbar with the rebound. That summed West Ham’s day up.

Watford sealed the win late on as Deulofeu played a lovely one-two with Pereyra and finished superbly to make it 2-0 and send the Hornets into the top six of the Premier League.