Gio salvages a draw for Liverpool, Watford sting Arsenal and Man City hammer West Ham– we discuss these EPL TALKING POINTS & more from Match Week 23
Gio rescues a point for Liverpool against the leaders
Giorginio Wijnaldum scored to keep Liverpool’s top four hopes alive against League leaders Chelsea at Anfield.
The Blues took the lead via a David Luiz improvised free kick. Fellow Brazilian Willian was due to take the kick but after Luiz noticed Mignolet was still organising his defensive wall after the referee blew his whistle, the curly haired centre back took it upon himself to smash the ball off the inside of the post – to put the blues ahead.
Liverpool played well and were much improved from their recent inability to win at home. They got the goal their efforts deserved as Wijnaldum scored after good work from Coutinho, early in the second half to pull the game level.
Chelsea should have claimed all three points after Diego Costa was fouled in the area. The league’s top goal scorer took the penalty and Mignolet made amends for his earlier mistake by saving the spot kick.
If the blues beat Arsenal next at home – then one would imagine the gap would be too big to close. As for Liverpool, fans will hope this performance acts as a springboard to push on for a top 4 finish.
Talking Points: Should Liverpool had recruited in the window? Will they finish top 4? Will Chelsea effectively win title by beating Arsenal this weekend?
Hornets put a sting in Arsenal’s title ambitions
Watford got the shock result of the week as they convincingly beat Arsenal 2-1 at The Emirates.
Goals from Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney put the Hornets two-nil up inside thirteen minutes.
Arsenal improved after the break and scored a consolation through Alex Iwobi but Watford held on to give manager Walter Mazzari a much needed win.
Arsenal were boo’ed by home supporters at the final whistle and the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade, were once again out in full on social media, as fans grow continually frustrated at another early conceding of a Premier League title challenge.
Talking Points: Will Mazzarri be given the chance to save Watford? Where has it gone wrong this year for Arsenal?
CITY SMASH IRONS (AGAIN)
Manchester City gave a near repeat performance of their recent FA cup hammering of West Ham, emphatically beating the Irons 0-4.
Pep Guardiola opted to start with Sergio Aguero on the bench and give Young Brazilian Gabriel Jesus his first Premier League start.
The recent signing repaid his manager’s faith by being named Man of the Match by assisting Kevin De Bryne for the first goal and scoring his sides third and being impressive throughout.
David Silva scored the second and a Yaya Toure penalty sealed the result.
The sooner West Ham can move on from this game the better. Slaven Bilic stating to BBC Sport:
“It’s like a copy and paste from the FA Cup game. It’s very frustrating. It’s a heavy defeat for us but we can’t let it hurt us a lot. We have to bounce back like we did after the FA Cup defeat”
Talking Points: What’s the best West Ham can hope for this season? Have Man City started to rediscover their mojo? Is Aguero nearing an exit?
Additional EPL Talking Points Match Week 23
(31st January/ 1st February 2017)
Crouch scored EPL goal 100 in Stokes draw vs Everton. Can Stoke finish above Everton this season?
Burnley left it late to beat Leicester City at Turf Moor. Vokes with the goal. Can BURNLEY go unbeaten at home this year? Will Leicester go down?
Crystal Palace got their first win under Big Sam beating Bournemouth 2-0 at The Vitality. Will Bournemouth slip into trouble? Will Big Sam’s new signings make an impact?
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the winner as Swansea won again under new manager Paul Clement, beating Southampton 2-1. What has Clement changed to get them out of danger? Can Saints win a trophy this year?
Tottenham dropped two points drawing 0-0 away to Sunderland. Can Sunderland take inspiration from this point and what impact will their new signings have on their chances of staying up? How much will Spurs rue this opportunity of not getting all three points to close the gap on leaders Chelsea?
Hull City held Man United to a goal less draw at Old Trafford. Was it really the refs fault – as Mourinho would have you believe? Can Silva save Hull?
Boro came from a goal behind to draw at home with West Brom 1-1. James Morrison and an Alvaro Negredo penalty getting the goals. That’s six games without a win for Middlesbrough, leaving them just two points above the relegation zone. Do they have enough goals in them to survive? How impressive have West Brom been this season?