Red cards, VAR drama, comebacks and memorable debuts, Matchweek 25 of the Premier League did not disappoint. Here are the Winners and Losers. Bet on the Premier League here.
Several players who joined the Premier League in the just-concluded window made decent debuts for their respective teams. Mbwana Samatta scored on his Aston Villa debut although his team eventually lost at Bournemouth. The 27-year-old becomes the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League making the east African nation the 117th to be represented in the competition.
Tottenham Hotspur’s latest signing Steven Bergwijn made a dream start for Spurs on Sunday where he helped Jose Mourinho’s side overcome Manchester City 2-0. Sander Berge also made a memorable debut for Sheffield United who beat Crystal Palace 1-0 away from home. Bruno Fernandes’ amazing debut was unable to inspire Manchester United to a win as the Red Devils settled for a goalless draw against Wolverhampton. Tomas Soucek also performed decently on his West Ham debut but was unable to prevent Brighton’s comeback.
Tottenham’s top-four hopes
Jose Mourinho got one over his old rival Pep Guardiola when his Spurs side beat City 2-0 in a drama-filled encounter in London. A brilliant debut goal from Bergwijn and Heung-Min Son ensured the hosts collected all three points in an entertaining affair. This was also Spurs’ first league win against City since October 2016, which was also a 2-0 victory on home soil. The win revived their hopes for the top four and lifted them up to fifth in the table, four points behind London rivals Chelsea.
Bournemouth survival chances
The Cherries’ bid to survive relegation received a massive boost with a 2-1 over fellow strugglers Aston Villa. A run of ten defeats in 12 league games saw Bournemouth slide to 19th in the table in mid-January. However, two straight wins over fellow strugglers Brighton and Villa have lifted the Cherries two points clear of the relegation zone and eased the pressure on Eddie Howe. Still, a difficult February awaits. They travel to Sheffield United, Burnley and leaders Liverpool as well as a home match with Chelsea. Can they weather this storm?
Manchester United’s top-four hopes
Manchester United failed to score in their third game running after their 0-0 home draw with Wolves. The Red Devils had the opportunity to move closer to the top four considering Chelsea had drawn earlier in the day. That listless performance means they occupy seventh position and visit Chelsea in their next game. The Red Devils have now won just once in their last five league games and need to improve if they want to play Champions League football next season.
Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title are looking slimmer by the day. Guardiola’s team failed to take their chances, including a penalty, and were punished by Spurs who inflicted a sixth defeat on them in this league campaign. Guardiola has definitely come under heavy scrutiny this season. The Spaniard has never lost as many league games in a single season during his management career, and City's latest setback leaves them 22 points adrift of runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool. His team have gone consecutive games without scoring for the first time under his tutelage. Can he arrest the situation?
West Ham let a two-goal lead slip to draw with fellow Premier League strugglers Brighton on Saturday to deal a huge blow on their survival chances. Their defensive frailties in the final 15 minutes proved to be their downfall. They travel to Manchester City and Liverpool in their next two league matches and, being 18th, things look bleak.