By Richard Mugambe
Premier League fans witnessed a very exciting game week thirty two, shy of only five clubs, Leicester, Everton, Palace, Southampton, and West Brom. The fans were treated to hair-raising, heart racing and mind blowing displays, the likes of which can perfectly be explained by the pressure under which the clubs and players were and are being subject.
Liverpool vs Leeds
The most exciting and disappointing include Liverpool, the defending champions of the competition falling shy of a fourth place Champions League qualification slot, having failed to maintain their lead against the recently promoted EFL League One champions, Leeds United, who have won each of their last three premier league matches.
With all history against them, Leeds had to work doubly hard to get a favorable result against a more formidable enemy, having won just two of eleven home games against Liverpool in all competitions. The game started on a high note for the Mersey Side, with Sadio Mane ending his goal drought to score the game’s opener in the 31st minute, and remaining dominant for the remainder of the first half.
From there, things took a downward curve, with the defending champion’s only managing 7 shots on target, of the 17 attempts in the entire game. Leeds were clearly the better team of the contest, and their hard press on their opponents paid off in the 87th minute, with a Llorente header six yards out between Kabak and Firmino to level it.
West Ham vs New Castle
West Ham came into the 32nd game week seeking to put 3 points to their name, which would put them third, one point ahead of third placed Leicester City. However, things did not go as they had envisaged, with the game taking a twist in the 36th minute, that begun from a series of errors.
Craig Dawson’s heavy touch on a pass near the center forced him to give the ball away before running into skipper Joelinton, forcing referee Stuart Attwell to call advantage for New Castle, allowing number 10 Allan Saint-Maxim a run at goal. The Midfielder’s brilliance on ball forced an error as Issa Diop tried to clear ball, helping it past Fabianski.
AVAR review granted Dawson his second yellow of the game, and consequently a red card after his earlier committed foul, which gave the Magpies ease against a weakened ten-man Hammers opposition. Another Fabianski error gave Joelinton a clear chance at goal, when he fumbled and dropped a would-be simple save from a corner to drop the ball, sending the Magpies 2 goals up.
The drama was not about to wane, with own goal scorer Issa Diop putting the Hammers back in the game with a firm header off a Jarrod Bowen cross to put a firm header past Martin Dubravka. High-flying Jesse Lingard returned lost hope to his side, scoring his 9th in 8 appearances to level the game.
When all seemed lost for New castle, a well worked Matt Ritchie cross and a well-timed Joe Willock finish put the Magpies back in the lead and grant them a crucial 3 points that saw them edge a point past close companions Brighton and Hove.
Manchester United vs Burnley
A not-so-obvious clash between the Red Devils and Burnley had United try to get their first league double against their opponents for the first time since the 1975-1976 season. However, they were going against a nine-time comeback hero, with only Newcastle having had a better stint in the 2001-2002 season, pulling it off ten times.
Two goals from Mason Greenwood, in the first and second half, and a brilliant finish from Edinson Cavani gave Manchester United the edge, having received a first half scare from a James Tarkowski header, just two minutes after Greenwood had netted his fist for the Devils.
The victory allowed Manchester United edge closer to title favorites Manchester City, cutting the deficit to 8 points with six games left to end the campaign.
Chelsea vs Brighton
The two could only manage a goalless stalemate, with Brighton looking the livelier of the two, hitting the frame of the goal to give the blues a scare that came to nothing in the end in a clash at the Stamford Bridge.
History was not in favor of the Seagulls, having failed to score at the Bridge since their 2 goal lead in the FA cup in 1993. Chelsea on the other hand did not have a good home run, having lost 5-2 against West Bromwich Albion, history they felt a great need to erase.