Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United dropped points, while, Southampton and West Ham registered rare wins in an action-packed Premier League weekend. Here are the Winners and Losers from Matchweek 14. Bet on football here.
After seven Premier League games without a win, West ham finally registered their first victory and it came against London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. This was the Hammers’ first-ever win away at Chelsea in 17 years. The win also relieved pressure on their manager Manuel Pellegrini who was close to getting the sack after a run of poor form which included five defeats in six league games. The win lifted West Ham four points clear of the relegation zone. With a packed fixture list coming up this month, this might be the turning point they needed.
Southampton came from behind to beat Watford in a tense relegation six-pointer at St Mary’s. This was the Saints’ first league win since September and moved them above Norwich and to within two points of safety, while Watford remain six points adrift of 17th place. The win also led to the sacking of Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores after 85 days in charge. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s charges face Norwich in their next game knowing they can gain significant ground in the relegation battle against the Canaries.
The Foxes’ title credentials were tested on Sunday when they came from behind to seal a hard-fought 2-1 win over struggling Everton. Leicester went behind in the first half and looked like they will be losing their first game at the King Power this season but goals from Jamie Vardy and a stoppage-time effort from Kelechi Iheanacho saw the Foxes register their 10th league win of this campaign. They are now eight points off leaders Liverpool who have 40.
Both Teams to Score
Of the ten games played this weekend, eight of them saw both teams find the net. Only West Ham and Crystal Palace kept clean sheets in what was a bad weekend for defenders. The Hammers registered a rare 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge while Palace won 2-0 away at Burnley.
Manchester City’s title defence suffered another major blow after they were held by Newcastle United in a pulsating encounter at St James’ Park. Despite dominating possession and managing 24 attempts on goal, Pep Guardiola’s men were exposed defensively. With difficult games coming up, the defending champions cannot afford any more slip-ups.
Arsenal’s winless run extended to eight games when they drew 2-2 at Norwich City. The Gunners, who sacked Unai Emery on Friday, were again exposed at the back. Arsenal have now kept just two clean sheets all season and have dropped to eighth in the table, seven points off the top four.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United
Manchester United’s quest to finish top four suffered a setback after they were held to another disappointing draw at Old Trafford. The Red Devils failed to impress and never looked like creating clear cut goalscoring opportunities. With Jack Grealish causing United problems, the hosts’ midfield lacked invention and penetration leaving the attackers frustrated. The result also mounted pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whose position has come under scrutiny in the last few weeks. With games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, Solskjaer is entering a very crucial time in his career at United.
Quique Sanches Flores
After just 85 days in charge, Quique Sanchez Flores was sacked by Watford after winning just one of ten Premier League games he undertook leaving the Hornets at the bottom of the league. The Spaniard had replaced countryman Javi Gracia after four games. Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Southampton was their eighth this season and the final straw of a terrible run.