Updated: January 19, 2020 11:47:56 am
On a standout day for the Premier League’s underdogs and English managers, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all dropped points Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City was held 2-2 by Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace, further boosting Liverpool’s title hopes, after Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham drew 0-0 with Nigel Pearson’s Watford.
City’s draw means Liverpool can extend its lead to an almost insurmountable 16 points by beating Manchester United on Sunday.
Arsenal’s underwhelming form under new manager Mikel Arteta continued in a 1-1 draw with Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United. Chelsea looked headed for a draw until Isaac Hayden headed in to give Newcastle a 1-0 win in stoppage time.
AGUERO NOT ENOUGH
Not even Sergio Aguero’s fearsome goalscoring form could earn City a win over a tenacious Crystal Palace team.
With City staring at a possible defeat courtesy of Cenk Tosun’s 39th-minute goal for Palace, Aguero scored twice in the last 10 minutes, taking him to six goals from his last three EPL games. However, Palace wasn’t done and leveled in the 90th when Wilfried Zaha’s ball went in off Fernandinho.
“I think we did everything,” said City manager Guardiola. “They defended so deep. We knew that, so we attacked – crosses and corners, put the ball inside. They didn’t do much but they win one point.”
Guardiola said City didn’t lack motivation as it dropped points for the eighth time in 23 games during the team’s title defense. “The spirit was there. We tried and we tried,” he said.
Leicester can move level on points with City if it beats Burnley on Sunday but won’t retake second place on goal difference.
On a day of draws, Chelsea looked on target for another point in the day’s last game. But Newcastle had other ideas.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Newcastle won a corner to roars from its fans. Matt Ritchie took the set piece poorly, but Chelsea could only clear it to Allan Saint-Maximin, who swung in another cross from deep which Hayden headed in.
Hayden said he wouldn’t normally have gone up for a corner but was on a yellow card, so he thought he couldn’t foul a Chelsea player to cut off any breakaway in a more defensive role.
“I don’t score many in the Premier League – or at all. I think it came off the side of my face,” he said.
Earlier, Ritchie had cleared a Tammy Abraham flick off the line to stop Chelsea taking the lead. “You don’t always create clear-cut chances against Newcastle – fair play to them, they defend with everything – but we absolutely controlled it,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said. “If you don’t score you’re always vulnerable to that sucker punch.”
Of the eight English managers with teams in action Saturday, only Lampard and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe tasted defeat. All the others drew except for Newcastle’s Steve Bruce.
FLECK PEGS BACK ARSENAL
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suspended, Arsenal lacked the attacking firepower to see off Sheffield United in a 1-1 draw. John Fleck salvaged a draw for Sheffield with a bouncing shot in the 83rd after two 18-year-olds had combined for Arsenal’s opening goal. Gabriel Martinelli was the scorer, knocking the ball in from close range after fellow youngster Bukayo Saka’s cross was deflected and looped over the Sheffield defense.
However, Arsenal could have built a bigger lead. Martinelli sent two other first-half chances wide, while Arsenal was aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty by the video assistant referee when Jack O’Connell missed the ball and made contact with Nicolas Pepe’s legs in the box.
“He’s an 18-year-old kid with all the enthusiasm but as well he’s so brave to make decisions, to threaten the opponent every time,” Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said about Martinelli. He added he was “very disappointed” with the result.
Arsenal has won just one of five Premier League games since Arteta took charge last month.
Dele Alli was left fuming in the Tottenham dugout as last season’s Champions League finalist slipped further away from qualifying for next season’s competition with a 0-0 draw at Watford.
A penalty save by goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga kept Tottenham in the game before a goal-line clearance from Watford’s Ignacio Pussetto stopped Tottenham sneaking a win in stoppage time.
Jose Mourinho’s team last won in the league against Brighton on Dec. 26. The frustration was clear when Alli threw an object to the ground in the dugout after being substituted. Watford is six league games unbeaten and has picked up 14 points from a possible 18 in that time.
Tottenham has not scored in 277 minutes of league action and again struggled to create and finish chances, with top scorer Harry Kane out until April with injury.
Wolverhampton showed plenty of hunger to win, coming back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2. Pedro Neto got Wolves going with a goal in the 53rd before Raul Jimenez powered the team to victory with two goals, the first of those from the penalty spot after a long VAR wait.
NEW AT NORWICH
Teemu Pukki’s penalty gave last-place Norwich some hope of avoiding the drop in a 1-0 win over fellow relegation contender Bournemouth.
Both teams finished the game with 10 men after receiving a red card apiece. The match witnessed the Premier League’s first pitchside VAR review when referee Paul Tierney, who had already sent off Bournemouth’s Steve Cook for handball in the first half, consulted his monitor in the second before changing Ben Godfrey’s yellow card to a red.
Jack Grealish scored to rescue a 1-1 draw for Aston Villa at Brighton. West Ham and Everton also drew 1-1.
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