The Premier League saved the best to last in terms of major stories, with Manchester United suffering their biggest-ever Premier League defeat at the hands of their great rivals, Liverpool.
It was a brutal reawakening after the euphoria for United fans of winning the League Cup last weekend, whilst it gave a significant boost to Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish.
United arguably had the better of the chances in the first half, but fell behind just before the interval to a goal from Cody Gakpo.
However, they conceded twice early in the second half, once through Darwin Nuñez and then through Gakpo, and, after that, things quickly fell apart. Heads dropped and confidence visibly drained out of the side.
Mo Salah scored twice, Nuñez got his second, and Roberto Firmino, on as a substitute made it seven, not that there were any United fans left in Anfield to see it, having all departed for the exits long since.
It was Liverpool’s biggest-ever win in the fixture and Mo Salah passed the record of Robbie Fowler to become their all-time top Premier League scorer. For Manchester United, not only was it their biggest-ever defeat in the Premier League era, but it equalled their biggest-ever competitive defeat – the three other times they had lost by seven goals all occurred before the Second World War.
Commentators like Gary Neville were not slow to criticise the United players, labelling some of them “embarrassing” and a “disgrace.”
Playing in the lunchtime game on Saturday, City temporarily cut the gap to Arsenal as they continued Newcastle’s recent run of poor results. City took the lead in the 15th minute, a fine individual effort from Phil Foden who cut in from the right, and beat two defenders before forcing the ball home.
Newcastle responded well, created several good chances of their own, but were let down by a lack of cutting edge. Substitute Bernardo Silva made the points safe for the home team, finding the net from the edge of the area.
Arsenal maintained their five-point gap over City at the top of the table with a dramatic win over Bournemouth, who came into the match second bottom in the table. But they shocked the Gunners, by scoring in just 9 seconds, the second fastest goal in Premier League history, and had other chances to extend their lead before Marcos Senesi did add a second 12 minutes into the second half.
The Gunners could see their title chances start to slip away, but did pull a goal back when Bournemouth failed to clear their lines, allowing Thomas Partey to score from close range. Then Reiss Nelson on as a substitute crossed for Ben White, another substitute, to score his first goal for the club.
With time almost up, and the referee playing added time in stoppage time, a corner was cleared to Nelson on the edge of the box, who struck into the top corner with a left-foot half-volley. Bedlam ensued in the stands and on the pitch, as the Arsenal bench rushed to embrace Nelson.
Graham Potter will be feeling happier about life as his Chelsea side finally won, beating one of their old rivals Leeds United, thanks to a towering header from defender Wesley Fofana, his first goal for the club. The win helps relieve some of the pressure on Potter for his job.
However, another London manager under pressure is West Ham’s David Moyes, who will know that many more performances like their defeat at Brighton could cost him his job. Z first-half penalty from Alexis MacAllister and three further goals after half-time, though, boosted the South Coast’s European ambitions.
That result leaves the Hammers just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Tottenham’s week had started in bright fashion after they beat Chelsea in the London derby last week, but it ended in disappointing fashion, first knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Sheffield United, and then losing to Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, beaten by a late strike from Adama Traoré.
Southampton are off the bottom of the table to be replaced by Bournemouth after a vital win at St. Mary’s against Leicester City. The home side were given a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty, but Leicester keeper Danny Ward saved the spot-kick from James Ward=Prowse. However, Ward could do nothing to prevent Carlos Alcaraz from putting his side ahead, and that goal in ten ends proved decisive.
Crystal Palace remain the only Premier League side without a win in 2023, as they suffered a narrow defeat at Aston Villa. The South London side went behind when Joachim Anderson turned in a cross past his own goalkeeper.
To make matters worse, they were left to play the last half an hour of the match with only ten men after Cheick Doucouré picked up two yellow cards in the space of just five minutes.
Everton ended a run of 14 games in which they had scored just one goal, by drawing away at Nottingham Forest, although it was not enough to move them out of the bottom three, Leeds remaining above them from the penalty spot. In a frantic first half, Demarai Gray gave them the lead from the penalty spot, but Brennan Johnson soon equalised. Abdoulaye Doucouré restored Everton’s lead before half-time, but Johnson rescued a point for his team 13 minutes before the end.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES