EPL Matchday 24 Takeaways
The weekend threw up more twists and turns in the English Premier League, with some massive wins for the tops teams, as well as a few results that blew the relegation wide open. In addition, there have been signings coming through at a rapid pace, as we are looking at one of the most intriguing periods in recent league history. With all that being said, here are the takeaways from matchday 24 of the English Premier League:
Chelsea remembers how to score
Prior to the FA Cup game against Norwich, Chelsea had not scored in three successive games, and was last dated back to the 2-2 draw to Arsenal, the first game of 2018. The Blues then scored against Norwich, won in a penalty shootout, and then sank four past a disappointing Brighton team. Eden Hazard and Willian were fantastic for Chelsea, while Willy Caballero did well to keep a clean sheet.
It was not as if Mat Ryan (Brighton) was just another man in the sticks, with the ‘keeper having claim to six saves. It leads Brighton closer to the relegation zone, while Chelsea keep the pressure on Manchester United and Liverpool in those vital European spots.
New manager, new Stoke?
It has not been the case for many of the new managers this season, but Paul Lambert got a win in his first game in charge of Stoke City. A much needed three points for Stoke from Joe Allen and Mame Diouf were enough to get past a lackluster Huddersfield. The Terriers did not have a lot to offer in attack, with Stoke taking almost double the amount of shots as Huddersfield, despite the game being evenly distributed.
This win takes Stoke out of the relegation zone for the week, while Huddersfield stays within striking distance. The Potters looked revitalized under Lambert, and Stoke fans will want to see more of last week’s display when they play a struggling Watford next weekend. Speaking of Watford…
Silva sacked as Watford stumbles
Watford isn’t in horrible position, however, the 2-0 loss to Leicester over the weekend was enough for Watford to part ways with Marco Silva. In replacement, Javi Garcia has been hired as the tenth manager for the Hornets since 2012. Garcia, who has been signed on an 18-month contract, has the task of keeping Watford in touch with the top half of the Premier League, as well as keeping a few players happy.
Richarlison, one of Watford’s stars this season, tweeted his displeasure to the backlash of supporters who called for him to play for the shirt, and not the manager. It will be an interesting few weeks to see how Watford adapts to Garcia.
Time to bring in the cavalry
It has been a big few days in the transfer window for two of the big teams, as well as a struggling Newcastle United. Starting off with the Magpies, they signed Kenedy on a loan deal from Chelsea in what was a necessary signing. Newcastle has struggled up front for a majority of this season, and they needed someone who will finish off the chances created from the likes of Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey.
Arsenal has seen the back of Alexis Sanchez, sending him to Manchester United, while getting some backup in return. Henrikh Mkhitaryan went the other way to help fill the gap that will inevitably be left by Mesut Ozil when the German star does leave the club.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going to the Gunners seems pretty likely to occur, with Oliver Giroud potentially going to Borussia Dortmund in return. With Arsene Wenger seemingly willing to spend the cash this window, we could see another move with Jonny Evans coming from West Bromwich Albion to tighten up the defense.
Manchester United obviously got the better end of the trade, with another front man in Sanchez moving to Old Trafford. It bodes a problem for Jose Mourinho as to where he will fit Sanchez, Lukaku, Rashford and Martial. It will be interesting to see how Jesse Lingard will also fit, as he has taken more of an attacking role in recent weeks with great results. As for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, once he is fully fit, will Mourinho bother playing him? It’s a positive scenario to have for the United boss.
Liverpool chokes at Swansea
The game on Monday night is the exact reason as to why millions of football fans are not fans of the Reds. In the span of one week, the team went from beating the probable champions, to losing against the last-placed Swansea. In a game that saw Liverpool have nearly eighty percent of possession and twenty-one shots to four, the Reds could not find the back of the net. Firmino hit the post late in the game, while Mo Salah had a fantastic free kick saved by Swansea’s Fabianski.
The Swans start their climb from the depths of despair, while Liverpool needs to rebound. With an away trip to Huddersfield on the cards, Liverpool will want to stamp their authority early in the game. If they can’t do that, we may see another upset result on the cards.
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