PL hits and misses: Jordan Pickford stars, Man City crowd boosts, Arsenal’s big chance and Leeds on the edge | Football news

The Man City audience played its part

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Manchester City’s Premier League victory over Newcastle

From the moment the last whistle blows in Madrid, thoughts have turned to this encounter and what that devastating defeat in the Spanish capital could mean for Manchester City’s chances of retaining the Premier League title. Newcastle had a different perspective on Sunday.

Still, the mood in the stands was encouraging from the start. The result at Anfield the night before seemed to help. That realization that City is no longer in a win-loss scenario has bitten off a bit. There was freedom.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe seemed almost disappointed about it at his post-game press conference. “I think the audience was really good for them, it was a really good atmosphere.” He may have sensed the opportunity, but the mood was different.

Pep Guardiola understood that. “In the locker room most of the time we talk about our visiting fans. When we play away they are good. Sometimes I say we have to play well [at home] to let them know today that this is not a nice place to come. ”That was not necessary on Sunday.

The pace was high from the start, the audience encouraged their team. Maybe Manchester City fans felt they needed their players. The result was a 5-0 win that settles nerves and puts them on the path to a fourth title in five seasons.
Adam Bate

Newcastle’s reminder of the gap

Newcastle fans at the Etihad Stadium were in the mood for fun the whole time, insulting the home support, reminding them of their exit from the Champions League and happily pointing out that, after their own takeover, City may no longer have the richest owners in football.

The result on the pitch showed that, although the gap in the potential of these two clubs has been reduced, the gap in the quality of the team remains. Newcastle has work to do in training and the transfer market, which Eddie Howe wanted to emphasize.

“There’s a huge gap between us and Liverpool and City, but there’s the same gap between them and most clubs in the Premier League,” the Newcastle manager said at a news conference after his team’s 5-0 defeat. “We have to try to close that gap.”

That trip is a reason to excite Newcastle fans. They will just need to be patient. “It has to be an evolution, not a revolution, because we have to be careful not to change too fast. There have to be small, gradual steps to improve the team.”
Adam Bate

Can Arsenal take their big chance?

Arsenal have taken a big step towards securing Champions League football for next season with a 2-1 win over Leeds with 10 players, but they haven’t made things easier for themselves.

Nerves rattled at the Emirates Stadium as Leeds looked more likely from both sides towards the end of the match. Arsenal was the side that held on.

But they held out, and are now taking a four-point lead against Tottenham on Thursday for the big north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur.

The Gunners now know that a win at home against their rivals would ensure their return to the Champions League for the first time since 2016 and they have a great chance to spend the nerves that could be there in this match of the equation.

Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m.

Start at 19:45

To some extent, Arsenal’s pressure is not going on Thursday’s game, which is broadcast live on Sky Sports. The Spurs need to win to keep their first four hopes alive, and that could go to the hand of Mikel Arteta’s team.

There was a lot of talk about Arsenal being a young team, and just as we saw against Leeds, nerves are never far from the surface, especially at this business end of the season.

Arsenal’s remaining matches …

  • Thursday – Tottenham (a), live on Sky Sports
  • May 16 – Newcastle (a), live on Sky Sports
  • May 22 – Everton (h)

But they have a great opportunity to do the job, and it will be even sweeter if they manage to do it with their rivals from north London.
Oliver Yew

Watch Tottenham vs Arsenal live on Sky Sports from 7pm on Thursday; beginning at 7:45 p.m.

There is no European hangover for Hammers

Said Benrahmi congratulates teammates after bringing West Ham to a 3-0 lead at Norwich
Saidu Benrahmi congratulates his teammates after scoring his second goal in the win over Norwich

West Ham could have been forgiven for the European hangover after a disappointing way to lose in the Europa League semi-final in the middle of the week by Eintracht Frankfurt.

But this hammer team led by David Moyes has a solid focus and a different kind of resilience to it – and it comes directly from the manager.

The Hammers made two side changes to the defeated in Germany, both of which had a decisive impact on Carrow Road.

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FREE TO WATCH: The most interesting part of West Ham’s victory against Norwich in the Premier League

Vladimir Coufal replaced Ben Johnson, and he combined with Jarrod Bowen to give Norwich a stormy afternoon – Bowen finished with a hat-trick of assists, increasing his total for the season to 10 and becoming the first West Ham player to score at least 10 goals and 10 assisted by Paola Di Cania in the 1999/00 season.

Said Benrahma, who came in instead of Tomas Soucek, scored two goals, while Moyes was given a place to select the team. There was even an opportunity to hand Mark Noble a run from the bench on his 35th birthday.

Sunday, May 15 at 1 p.m.

Start at 14:00

A clear 4-0 win on Carrow Road, coupled with Manchester United’s embarrassing defeat by the same score from Brighton, left the door open for West Ham to win sixth place and re-qualify for the Europa League next season.

United, who have a three-point lead over West Ham, will cheer on bitter rival Manchester City next weekend as they travel to London Stadium for what could now be crucial in the title race and next season’s Europa League race.
Dev Trehan

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Arsenal’s Premier League win against Leeds

Time is running out for lively Leeds

Luke Ayling was expelled from the Emirates
Luke Ayling was expelled from the Emirates

With 2-0 minus 10 players, the game looked better for Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium.

It seemed like it was time to limit the damage to Jesse Marsch’s team, who had to play just over an hour with 10 players after Luke Ayling’s mindless red card.

However, as the odds were shattered against them, Leeds showed a very lively game in the second half, grabbed a goal through Diego Llorente, and put Arsenal under significant pressure towards the end of the game as they sought an equalizer that would allow them which seemed like an unlikely point after 27 minutes of play.

Arsenal was the side that hung to the end.

Leeds match remaining …

  • May 11 – Chelsea (h), live on Sky Sports
  • May 15 – Brighton (h)
  • May 22 – Brentford (a)

However, that is no consolation for Leeds, who also showed a lively game in the 4-0 defeat by Man City.

Of course, Leeds needs a spirit. “We need the fight and determination we saw in the second half,” Marsch said after the game. But they also need results.

Leeds, which hosts Chelsea live on Sky Sports on Wednesday (starting at 7.30pm), have now suffered consecutive defeats against Man City and Leeds, and with Everton and Burnley’s results in recent weeks, they are now in the fall zone for the first time since 30. October.

With only three games to go, time is running out for lively Leeds.
Oliver Yew

Pickford leads Everton out of trouble

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FREE TO WATCH: The most interesting part of Everton’s draw against Leicester City

As it stands now, Jordan Pickford’s defenses keep Everton in the Premier League. There are ways to dress things up, but that’s the point in the past two weekends. Two games, six points won with a lot of courage and determination of 10 Everton outside players.

But when the back line was breached, one man stood upright, defying his critics and highlighting his status as the best English goalkeeper in the country.

The overlap with Everton’s improvement was a noticeable shift toward a less-based-style style that began at Pickford’s feet, and its more direct distribution pays dividends. Pickford’s 17 passes in the final third were more than any other teammate.

Goalkeepers are there to defend, but sometimes they have no right to do so. Like last weekend, when Cesar Azpilicueta was left speechless on Pickford’s reactions.

Pickford took a more direct approach
Pickford took a more direct approach

And again, at King Power Stadium, on three separate occasions to ensure Everton crosses the line for their first win in the away league since August. Nampalys Mendy is still waiting for his first goal in Leicester and couldn’t have hit a cleaner shot than his attempt to bend from the range that Pickford was grasping around the post.

Everton’s sharp instincts thwarted Harvey Barnes twice in the space of three minutes. Roy Keane recently described Pickford’s antics of wasting time as “shameful,” but said he understood why the tactic was applied – he’s a man forever under the microscope often unfairly – but there can be nothing but praise here.

A total of seven defenses to get their club out of the relegation zone – with a game under Burnley and Leeds. Consecutive wins for Everton for the first time since September, while 3,339 traveling fans continued to sing The spirit of the blues long after the last whistle from their seats — no man has embodied such a spirit as Jordan Pickford.
Ben Grounds

Leicester corners continue

It’s a famous story for Leicester. I can’t defend the corners.

Mason Holgate’s top winner for Everton at King Power on Sunday was the 56th league goal Leicester have conceded this season. Fifteen of them came from the corner, most side by side in one campaign from Brighton 2017/18. (16).

Mason Holgate is celebrating after regaining the Everton lead at Leicester
Mason Holgate regained Everton’s lead in the 30th minute after Leicester failed to resolve another corner

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said it was a “whole season problem” after Roma striker Tammy Abraham’s goal knocked his team out of the European Conference League on Thursday night – and it cost them again three days later.

“It’s getting very irritable,” Rodgers said. “We tried everything. I looked at it in terms of the player profile we have. We put in an extra center-half to deal with those moments and changed the system for that.

“But we lack that concentration and determination to defend it and if you keep doing it, you’re going to undo a lot of your good work and so we’ve had too many times this season.”

Leicester’s season is now in danger of failing. Their last win in all competitions came at PSV Eindhoven eight games ago, while their 10-match unbeaten run was interrupted by an Everton team struggling to avoid relegation.

Entering the top 10 is the best Foxes can hope for, but if they want to return to European football and reach the peaks of previous years, Rodgers will have to figure out how to solve the problem that was his team’s Achilles heel again and again.
Dan Sansom

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