The 23rd matchday of the 2022-23 Premier League season is now over. All 20 teams played, and it was a significant weekend at the top and bottom of the table. Here are ten takeaways from all 10 games.
Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal: The Gunners show their guts
Arsenal traveled to Aston Villa for the early kick-off on Saturday, desperate for a win. The Gunners had not won in their previous three games, and at 2-1 down, it felt like that stretch would continue. However, Arsenal rallied after halftime. Oleksandr Zinchenko’s driven shot in the 61st minute got Arsenal level. The championship contenders kept probing, kept pushing, and eventually found the breakthrough. In added time, Jorginho’s swerving shot hit the bar before hitting Emiliano Martinez’s head and trickled into the net. From 2-1 down, Arsenal fought back to lead 3-2 and grab a crucial three points. A breakaway fourth goal finished it off, and Arsenal went back to the top of the league table. The North Londoners had over 70% possession in the second half and forced Aston Villa into submission. Lesser teams would have collapsed, but Arsenal did not. And their season is still alive.
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Manchester City: The defending champions stumble
Manchester City completed 676 passes, had 23 shots, and over 70% possession. City dominated the match. However, they failed to add a 2nd goal, and Nottingham Forest punished Pep Guardiola’s team. Manchester City’s lack of killer instinct left them susceptible to a counter-attack. And Forest did just that; an 84th-minute breakout saw Nottingham score with their only shot on goal. The draw denied Manchester City top spot, and it could prove critical later on.
State of play at the top of the table:
Chelsea 0-1 Southampton: Chelsea’s woes continue
Rock-bottom Southampton stunned Chelsea as the Saints inflicted another damaging defeat on the Blues. James Ward-Prowse’s spectacular free-kick was the difference, as Chelsea failed to score in another game. The boos hailed down from the seats at full-time. Southampton should be commended for their tough tackling and courageous defense. Owner Todd Boehly has spent over $500 million on new players, and Chelsea are languishing in 10th place. The American billionaire has already fired one head coach, and Graham Potter’s seat is getting warm.
How lucky are we to have James Ward-Prowse?
Genuinely the best free kick taker on planet Earth. #SaintsFC pic.twitter.com/0dnA2hNOdE
— Saints FC Podcast (@SaintsFCPodcast) February 19, 2023
Newcastle United 0-2 Liverpool: Big moments see the Magpies lose
Newcastle United started with more intensity and aggression than Liverpool in this game. But the Reds took their chances, and the Magpies did not. Add that a reckless red card for Nick Pope, and Newcastle lost at home for the first time this season.
Everton 1-0 Leeds United: Toffees take sweet victory in fiery clash
Bottom-of-the-table matchups are seldom pretty. They are nervy, physical games that no one enjoys. With a win in this one, Everton clambered out of the relegation zone, and Leeds entered it. New Everton boss Sean Dyche has won two of his first three games, and the Toffees are playing diligent, tough football. As for Leeds, they need to find a new head coach ASAP, or they will be relegated.
Brighton 0-1 Fulham: Fulham steal the win at the death
Fulham stole this one! Brighton dominated this game and should have finished Fulham off. Goalscorer Manor Solomon scored a splendid counter-attack goal to send the Cottagers home with all three points.
Brentford 1-1 Crystal Palace: London derby ends all square
This hard-fought London derby finished level as both teams couldn’t find a winning goal. It was a hard-hitting clash that lacked a lot of quality and precision.
Wolves 0-1 Bournemouth: The Cherries get a much-needed win
Michael B. Jordan’s Bournemouth got up off the canvas and landed a big win over their relegation rivals. It was a poor game, but games at the bottom always are. For Bournemouth, that was irrelevant. They needed three points, and they got them.
Manchester United 3-0 Leicester City: Marcus Rashford is the best player in England
Marcus Rashford bagged another two goals on Sunday against Leicester City. The in-form forward was too good for Leicester, as the Red Devils strolled to a comfortable win. Rashford is unstoppable at the moment, and United are purring.
It's Marcus Rashford's best goalscoring season of his career.
Still only February 🌟 pic.twitter.com/HLtRusE1br
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 19, 2023
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United: Spurs climb into fourth place
A routine win for Tottenham saw them overtake Newcastle and jump into fourth place. With Newcastle struggling for wins, Spurs may have timed their run to perfection. Players are finally getting healthy, and confidence is returning to many players.