Premier League Matchday 26 Review
Kyle Campbell returns to break down the biggest of the action in the latest round of Premier League fixtures, including last-gasp drama at The Etihad and a six-goal thriller at Elland Road.
Super Spurs Steal All Three Points – Manchester City 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane’s last-gasp winner was enough to steal all three points for Tottenham, despite a game that saw Manchester City dominate throughout. A rare loss at home for City could now close the gap at the top to just three points, blowing the title race wide open.
What looked to be a daunting trip up to The Etihad started perfectly as Tottenham came firing out of the blocks and were rewarded for their fast start within five minutes.
A sweeping move allowed Harry Kane to send Heung Min Son through on goal with time to assess his options. Son took his time and sent Ederson to the ground, before rolling it across to new signing Dejan Kulusevski. The Swedish international kept composed and rolled the ball into the empty net to give the away side the lead.
Going behind did not alter Pep Guardiola’s plan and City were at their brilliant best, dictating the play and barely giving Spurs a sniff at the ball.
City were finally rewarded for their efforts just past the half hour mark when Ilkay Gundogan fired home from close range following Hugo Lloris’ spill.
The home side had the lion’s share of possession for the majority of the game but were unable to take advantage of their dominance.
Kane was at the top of his game in this encounter and was on hand to restore Tottenham’s lead on the hour mark. A beautifully weighted cross from Son was met by Kane, and Spurs’ talisman was able to guide the ball into the top corner.
Spurs looked to hang on for the remainder of the match and were doing a remarkable job, until Bernardo Silva’s low driven cross was met by Christian Romero’s arm, and a VAR check gave City a lifeline from the penalty spot. Riyad Mahrez stepped up and fired the ball into the top right corner, giving Lloris no chance.
After City looked to have salvage a vital point at the top of the table, Spurs were adamant on taking all three points and pushed for the winner with seconds remaining.
Kulesevski found himself down the right-hand side and whipped in a teasing cross which was attacked by Kane. The striker rose highest in the box and managed to direct his header past Ederson and ensured his side were heading back to London with three important points as they hunt down the top four.
Spurs’ resilience and unity throughout the 90 minutes gave them the well-deserved win and keeps them in the race for fourth place.
A rare loss at home for City means Liverpool can close the gap to just three points with their game in hand and ensure this title race goes down to the wire.
Red Devils’ Delight – Leeds United 2-4 Manchester United
Manchester United’s improving form continued this weekend with an impressive 4-2 win against bitter rivals Leeds United.
An electric atmosphere at Elland Road had Leeds ready from the jump, and it took some time for Manchester United to settle into the game and get a hold of the ball.
The Red Devils broke the deadlock just past the 30-minute mark when Harry Maguire met Luke Shaw’s in-swinging corner. United’s skipper headed home with no problems and scored United’s first goal from a corner all season.
Manchester United doubled their lead on the cusp of halftime when Victor Lindelöf’s marauding run from centre back opened up space for Jadon Sancho to loft a ball towards Bruno Fernandes, and the Portuguese playmaker headed the ball low and past Illan Meslier.
Leeds came out in the second half a completely different side and looked to pounce. Rodrigo looked to swing a cross into the box from the left in the 54th minute, but the wind carried the ball goal-ward, catching David de Gea out and cutting Leeds’ deficit to one.
Less than a minute later, Leeds were level after Daniel James flashed a driven cross into the box, with substitute Raphinha sliding in at the back post to tap home and tie up the game.
Elland Road was lifted, and they pushed on with real belief of a winner, but Ralf Rangnick had other ideas and brought Fred and Anthony Elanga on to gain some control.
Both made an impact as Fred bagged his third goal of the season before Elanga sealed the game with a fine finish in the final few minutes.
An important victory for Man United keeps them within touching distance of the top four, but more dropped points for Leeds pulls them into a relegation fight.
Best of the Rest
- Luis Diaz was at his scintillating best for Liverpool as he got off the mark at his new club. Goals from the usual suspects in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane cancelled out a shock Norwich opener, before Diaz’s maiden goal ensured a comfortable 3-1 win at home to Norwich.
- Burnley picked up some much-needed points with their 3-0 win away at Brighton. Wout Weghorst opened up his account in the Premier League and will hope to help Burnley survive.
- Arsenal secured a 2-1 victory at home to Brentford, with Hale End graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe coming up big for their side.
- Southampton’s fine form continued with a 2-0 win against a struggling Everton side, with the Saints’ Scottish contingent combining for the opener, before Shane Long wrapped up the points with a header.
- Aston Villa’s poor run of form continued with a 1-0 loss to Watford. Emmanuel Dennis scored his ninth goal of the season to keep the Hornets alive in a relegation dogfight.
- Wolves’ push for Champions League continues to look possible with another three points picked up against Leicester, with goals from Ruben Neves and Daniel Podence scoring either side of an Ademola Lookman tap-in.
- Chelsea picked up a late 1-0 win away at Crystal Palace as West Ham were unable to get the better of Newcastle in their 1-1 draw.
Player of the Week – Harry Kane
Harry Kane’s outstanding performance helped Tottenham to a famous win away against champions Manchester City. Excellent hold up play and intelligence helped his side throughout and two vital goals ensured the three points returned to North London.