2019-20 Premier League game recaps

Chelsea beat Palace in thriller

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Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 3-2 in a thriller at Selhurst Park as Christian Pulisic scored once again for the Blues as they momentarily moved up to third in the Premier League table.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Olivier Giroud and Pulisic put Chelsea 2-0 up in the first half but Wilfried Zaha pulled one back with a great strike from distance. Tammy Abraham jumped off the bench to make it 3-1, then Christian Benteke made it 3-2 as Chelsea survived some scary moments late on as Scott Dann hit the post and Kurt Zouma made a sublime last-gasp tackle in the 95th minute.

CRYSTAL PALACE – CHELSEA: FULL REPLAY

With the win Chelsea now have 60 points with four games to go, while Palace have lost four of their five games since the restart and sit in 14th place with 42 points.


Three things we learned

1. Pulisic does it again: Three goals in five games since the restart for the USMNT winger and Palace struggled to contain him. They tried to kick him all over the pitch and had a central midfielder in McArthur doubling up on him with a full back. And Pulisic still scored. A constant treat, his pace was an outlet for Chelsea and alongside Bruno Fernandes, he’s been the best player in the PL since the restart. Pulisic and Willian switched flanks multiple times throughout and Pulisic Watch gives you an idea of just how good he was.

2. Chelsea’s defensive woes continue: Chelsea were really good in attack but pretty woeful defensively. Sound familiar? Yep. Kepa should have stopped Zaha’s strike. Yes, he hit it hard but it was central. Andreas Christensen was beaten too easily on Palace’s second goal and Chelsea did their best to chuck away the win late on. Lampard needs a new left back, center back and goalkeeper if he’s going to turn Chelsea into genuine title contenders. They missed N’Golo Kante through injury and it showed but in midfield and attack they look pretty set and have lots of options. At the back they did not. That needs to change.

3. Palace need Zaha on the ball more: He spanked home a fine goal and created key chances late on, but Zaha wasn’t on the ball enough. Chelsea had Reece James trying to lock him down and Palace need Zaha in more central areas. When he drifts around he is so tough to stop.

Man of the Match

Willian – He was everywhere for Chelsea, setting up two goals and always an outlet. His experience on the ball helped them ease some of the pressure. Hard to believe his Chelsea career may be over in a few weeks.


Chelsea took the lead in fortunate circumstances as former Chelsea defender Gary Cahill went down with a big injury out wide and Willian raced clear on goal and found Giroud to sweep home the opener.

Mamadou Sakho replaced the injured Cahill and Palace were all over the place defensively. Soon after Kurt Zouma headed wide from a corner as the Frenchman was 10 yards out and should have doubled Chelsea’s lead.

Pulisic did make it 2-0 after the drinks break as Willian found him on the left and he did superbly to shift the ball onto his left foot and he slammed home at the near post to score his third goal in his last five games.

Just as it looked like Chelsea would run away with things, Zaha smashed home from 30 yards out as his thunderbolt from distance caught out Kepa, who may have done better with the effort, and it was game on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Pulisic buzzed around in the box but Chelsea couldn’t quite find his runs as Palace were under pressure. Giroud then headed a wonderful Reece James cross over as Chelsea clicked through the gears in the second half. Palace did come back into the game in the final 25 minutes as they peppered the Chelsea goal with crosses.

Chelsea then brought on Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Abraham and the duo combined as RLC dinked the ball to Abraham who slotted home off the far post and in to make it 3-1.  Moments later Palace made it 3-2 as Patrick van Aanholt worked his way into the box and teed up Benteke to tap home and set up a wild finish.

Abraham went close to scoring another as Chelsea were dangerous on the counter but Chelsea almost imploded defensively once again late on. First, Dann hit the post with a header as Kepa looked to have got a fingertip on it. Then Zouma arrived just on time to deny Benteke who was somehow clean through on goal in the 95th minute.

Lampard was relieved at the final whistle as Chelsea edged to a hugely important victory.

Heroic Southampton stun Man City

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Southampton beat Manchester City 1-0 thanks to a heroic defensive display and a Che Adams wondergoal at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Adams lobbed home from over 40 yards out in the first half to score his first Premier League and Southampton goal in style and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side dug deep and held off wave after wave of Man City attack, as Pep Guardiola’s side followed up their 4-0 demolition of Liverpool by losing in disappointing fashion.

With the win Southampton move up to 13th in the table and have 43 points as they are three points off ninth, while Man City stay in second on 66 points and they are now 23 points behind Premier League champions Liverpool.


Three things we learned

1. Saints can defend: They had a few slices of luck but Saints’ defensive unit stood tall and they deserved this marquee win. Center backs Jan Bednarek and Jack Stephens were particularly brilliant, throwing themselves in the way of everything and leading by example. Full backs Kyle Walker-Peters and Ryan Bertrand covered so much ground, Alex McCarthy made a string of fine saves and Oriol Romeu in front of them shielded the back four superbly. What a result for Hasenhuttl as his project at Saints is kicking on very nicely since the restart. It take a lot to come back from the start they had this season (ahem, 9-0 defeat to Leicester) but the spirit is good and the spine of this team is solid. With Ings, Redmond and others in attack, Saints could be a top 10 team next season.

2. Man City leggy: You can forgive City for this win. They were bright and went close on several occasions but let’s not forget, they tore Liverpool apart on Thursday and had just over 48 hours rest before this game. Southampton had a week of rest and a week to prepare. It showed. Man City had an off day and just kind of ran out of ideas. That dominate the game but they lost and that has happened to them a few times this season (Norwich away, Chelsea away) and that is why they are so far behind Liverpool.

3. Priority is FA Cup, Champions League: Pep Guardiola clearly wants to focus on winning the FA Cup and the Champions League and that is fine. People will point to Guardiola losing three consecutive league games away from home for the first time in his career as a sign that Man City are in decline, but they lost at Man United and Chelsea and luck wasn’t on their side at Southampton. Let’s get some perspective here. Man City proved their point by hammering Liverpool 4-0 on Thursday and they will be back better next season. The changes Pep made for this game underlines that Man City’s head is elsewhere. They are going to finish second in the Premier League so why not focus on winning more trophies.

Man of the Match

Jan Bednarek – Basically every Saints player deserved this but I’m going for Bednarek, closely followed by Stephens, McCarthy and Ings. The spine of this Saints team worked so hard to preserve their early lead and they actually looked dangerous on their rare forays forward. What a win and win a defender Bednarek has become, as the ‘Polish Maldini’ continues to improve from a positional point of view.


The first real chance of the game arrived for Southampton and they took it in some style.

Oleksandr Zinchenko gave the ball away and Adams lobbed Ederson from 40 yards out to score his first Premier League goal in style as his teammates mobbed him.

Gabriel Jesus then almost finished at the back post as Man City kicked on after falling behind.

Raheem Sterling then sent in a wonderful cross to the center of the goal which almost found Jesus but Ings cleared away from danger. Sterling was then denied by Alex McCarthy, then Fernandinho hit the post and McCarthy denied David Silva as Man City came roaring back.

McCarthy then denied Mahrez at the near post as Man City continued to press for an equalizer, while Nathan Redmond had a shot which Ederson saved. Before the break Southampton settled themselves and Ings volleyed over after a great ball from Kyle Walker-Peters.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the start of the second half Jesus flicked a header from a corner just wide as Man City continued to create chances.

McCarthy then denied Jesus’ header and Stephens hacked away as Southampton were under severe pressure with McCarthy then denying David Silva.

Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden came on for the final 30 minutes as Man City cranked through the gears with James Ward-Prowse blocking a goalbound Bernardo Silva shot. Jesus had another header saved by McCarthy as Saints had a brief break which saw Adams close down Ederson who cleared.

Substitute Shane Long ran in on goal and that led to Stuart Armstrong having a shot on goal which Ederson saved brilliantly down low.

Late on Man City chucked everything at Southampton but some heroic defending sealed a huge win for Hasenhuttl’s side.

Sleepy Liverpool edge past Aston Villa

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Liverpool – Aston Villa wasn’t a classic, but the Reds won for the first time since they were crowned champions to keep their chase for plenty of Premier League records on track.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones scored the goals to give Liverpool a 2-0 win as they have now won 24 consecutive wins at home, with the new Premier League champions winning all 17 of their home games so far this season.

LIVERPOOL – ASTON VILLA: FULL REPLAY

With the win they now have 89 points for the season and with five games to go they can still beat Man City’s record for most wins, points and the biggest winning-margin in Premier League history. Aston Villa remain in deep relegation trouble and are one point from safety with five games left.


Three things we learned

1. Late subs make the difference: Henderson, Wijnaldum and Firmino arrived for the final 30 minutes and made a huge difference as Liverpool struck twice in the final 20 minutes to seal a win. Jurgen Klopp’s side looked a bit disjointed but did what they had to do as they put their defeat at Man City behind them.

2. Solid Villa need more cutting edge: David Luiz, Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish looked really good and Villa were solid up until Liverpool scored. Defensively they’ve looked better since the restart but they have to find more cutting edge. They face Man United, Crystal Palace, Everton, Arsenal and West Ham in their final five games and it will likely come down to the finale to see if they stay in the Premier League. Villa have to be more attacking in their final games of the season to try and keep themselves up.

3. Records still in sight: Liverpool can get records for the most points, wins and the biggest winning margin in Premier League history and that has to be their aim. This superb season could peter out but Klopp and his side will want to show everybody that the record suggests that are better than Man City in 2017-18 and are the best team we’ve ever seen in the PL. These tight wins all season long have pushed them towards greatness.

Man of the Match

Douglas Luiz – Was everywhere in midfield for Aston Villa and his bite in the tackle set the tone for a dogged display from every single Villa player. They will need more of that from Luiz in the final games of the season to drag themselves out of the bottom three.


A slow start to the match saw Liverpool create a few chances with both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane eager to get on the ball.

Douglas Luiz had a volley on goal which was straight at Alisson as the game struggled to come to life in the first half with Salah’s weak effort denied by Pepe Reina at the near post.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half the intensity failed to increase as Grealish had a shot saved by Alisson but the flagged was raised for offside.

Anwar El Ghazi then forced Alisson into a save at his near post as Grealish led a counter attack with Liverpool caught napping.

Liverpool made a triple substitution for the final 30 minutes as Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum came on to try and spark the champions into life.

Virgil van Dijk blocked a shot from Grealish as Villa looked more dangerous but then succumbed to a moment of quality.

Naby Keita picked out Mane at the back post and his finish came off the underside of the bar and in.

Substitute Jones then jumped off the bench and finished off Robertson’s cross after Salah nodded it down into his path. It was Jones’ first Premier League goal and sealed a 24th consecutive home win in the league for the champions.

Grealish went close late on but Alisson saved as Villa really missed a chance to pick up a bonus point in their relegation battle and Liverpool made them pay.

Red-hot Man United smash five past Bournemouth

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Manchester United beat Bournemouth 5-2 at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side put in a dominant performance with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood all on the scoresheet.

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Greenwood scored twice, while Bournemouth went ahead through Junior Stanislas and Josh King made it 3-2 early in the second half before Man United’s offense exploded once again to boost their top four hopes.

FULL REPLAY: MANCHESTER UNITED – BOURNEMOUTH

With the win Man United momentarily move into fourth place on 55 points, while relegation-threatened Bournemouth remain in 19th place and are one point from safety but their goal difference took a big hit.


Three things we learned

1. No need for new winger with Greenwood around: What a start to the restart Greenwood has had. 18 years of age and Greenwood is a natural finisher with both feet. He is a striker by trade but is playing on the right and with Rashford and Martial, they compliment one another perfectly. With Man United linked with a $130 million move for Jadon Sancho, why would they need to buy him? Greenwood could be just as good as Sancho and maybe even better. What a future he has.

2. Bruno Fernandes has huge impact: He scored one, set up another and gave the penalty kick to Rashford to boost his confidence. Fernandes is a total team player and Solskjaer has built his team around the Portuguese magician. Perhaps no Man United signing since Eric Cantona has had such a big impact and it feels like Fernandes was one of the final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. What a player both technically and from a leadership point of view. Fernandes knits this entire Man United team together and is encouraging his teammates and he makes his teammates better.

3. Bournemouth at least creating chances: Yes, Bournemouth were thumped but at least Eddie Howe’s side were back to creating chances and scoring goals. Anything from this game would have been a bonus but Bournemouth are deep in relegation trouble and in their final five games they face Tottenham, Leicester, Southampton, Everton and Man City. How many of those games will they win? They need probably three wins to drag themselves out of the bottom three and time is running out. Bournemouth need to take chances and attack. This game proved they can do it.

Man of the Match

Mason Greenwood – This kid is the real deal. At the age of 18 he is showing up and he now has 15 goals in all competitions this season. What a talent. Fernandes could have been Man of the Match too, but it has to go to Greenwood.


Man United looked dangerous early on as Fernandes was played in over the top but his lobbed finished looped over the net.

Stanislas then stunned Man United as a cross into the box wasn’t cleared properly and after the Bournemouth winger had his first shot cleared, he picked up the loose ball, nutmegged Harry Maguire and beat David de Gea at his near post to put the Cherries ahead. The shock was well and truly on.

Fernandes’ free kick was saved well by Aaron Ramsdale but the Bournemouth goalkeeper was soon picking the ball out of his own net. Nemanja Matic found Marcus Rashford who played it to Fernandes, who picked out Greenwood to smash on goal and Ramsdale failed to hold onto the ball as Man United were level. 1-1.

Soon after they were ahead as a cross in the box saw Jefferson Lerma miss his clearance and the ball then hit Adam Smith on the hand and a penalty kick was awarded.

Rashford stepped up and stroked home the penalty to put Man United ahead before half time and Martial then extended their advantage with a superb curler. 3-1.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Eric Bailly was brought on at half time and made a big mistake right away. He handled the ball right on the edge of the box and after a lengthy VAR check, a penalty kick was given and King slotted the spot kick home to give Bournemouth a lifeline. 2-3. Game on.

But just when it looked like Bournemouth had a chance of getting back in the game, Man United scored another stunner as Greenwood worked the ball onto his right foot and smashed home into the far top corner. The teenage sensation has been a revelation since the restart.

Fernandes then curled home a beauty of a free kick to make it 5-2 as Man United kicked on in the second half and Bournemouth had no answer to the fluid attacking play of the red-hot Red Devils.

Rashford then had a goal chalked off for offside as Bournemouth struggled to contain the rampant hosts and a host of subs saw the scoring end as Ramsdalde denied Pogba and Fred.

Man United extended their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions with minimum fuss.

Everton beat stumbling Leicester

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Everton edged past Leicester City with a 2-1 win as the Foxes continue to drop points and are in real danger of dropping out of the Champions League positions.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton scored twice early through Richarlison and a Gyfli Sigurdsson penalty kick and even though Kelechi Icheanacho pulled one back for Leicester right at the start of the second half, they couldn’t find an equalizer.

Everton are unbeaten since the restart and move up to 11th on 44 points as they are well in the Europa League mix. Leicester could slip to fourth and have Man United, Chelsea and Wolves breathing down their necks.


Three things we learned

1. Leicester in freefall: They’ve won one of their last eight Premier League games and have been knocked out of both cup competitions, as well as just four wins in their last 16 in the PL. They won eight-straight through October and November and looked nailed on to finish in the top four, as at one point they had a 14-point gap over the fifth-place team. Leicester are really falling away and are now just three points above Man United and Wolves who are hunting them down. Brendan Rodgers’ side were woeful in the first half and although they improved in the second, it wasn’t enough. They have lost their balance in midfield and spark in attack.

2. Everton smart defensively: The big improvement has been defensively and Ancelotti has sharpened up the Toffees. They look more streetwise and have a settled back four which is getting the job done. Going forward they have attacking weapons to hurt teams, so as long as they don’t make defensive mistakes they will win a lot of games. It may not be the most exciting style to watch but boy is it getting results. Everton have lost three of Ancelotti’s 14 games in charge and those were away at Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City. They look solid.

3. Vardy hardly had a kick: Vardy played in a cross to Perez in stoppage time and that was about all he did. Vardy, 33, has run out of steam after his amazing start to the season and has only scored in two of his last 16 outings for the Foxes. That is a big reason why they are in freefall and Vardy just isn’t getting in the right areas of the pitch.

Man of the Match

Michael Keane – Dominant display as he helped win the penalty kick and marshalled the backline expertly under intense pressure in the second half. Probably up there to win the PL comeback player of the year award, if there was such a thing. Proper old school center half.


Everton struck early as Richarlison put them ahead after some great work from youngster Anthony Gordon. Played in down the left, Gordon picked out Richarlison on the penalty spot and the Brazilian swept home to make it 1-0.

Six minutes later the Toffees doubled their lead as Lucas Digne whipped in a free kick which saw Michael Keane and Wilfred Ndidi battle for the ball in the penalty box and a penalty kick was awarded for a handball on Ndidi after plenty of deliberation from VAR. Sigurdsson calmly slotted home the spot kick to make it 2-0.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was then played in superbly over the top by Gordon but Caglar Soyuncu did brilliantly to put him under pressure at the crucial moment as a big chance came and went for Everton.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Digne’s shot deflected off James Justin and Kasper Schmeichel scrambled to claw it away as Everton almost made it 3-0.

Iheanacho then made it 2-1 as he bundled home after Everton failed to clear. Another half time sub, James Maddison, caused all kinds of problems and Michael Keane almost scored an own goal as Jordan Pickford allowed a cross to slip through his grasp but Keane hacked the ball off the line.

Iheanacho then brought the ball down but fired over when he was off balance, as Leicester totally dominated the second half.

In stoppage time Jamie Vardy set up Ayoze Perez and his effort flashed wide as Mason Holgate got a crucial block on the effort and Everton held on to secure a big three points and pile more pressure on Leicester.