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English Premier League

Nottingham Forest 1 – 0 Arsenal



Nottingham Forest 1 - 0 Arsenal

Nottingham Forest 1 – 0 Arsenal. Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal at the City Ground to secure their Premier League survival and crown Manchester City as champions.

Taiwo Awoniyi’s 19th-minute goal was enough to seal victory and spark jubilant scenes from the home supporters at the final whistle.

Arsenal dominated possession but Mikel Arteta’s men could not find a way through Forest’s spirited defence in order to force City to win a fifth title in six years themselves.

Not that Forest and their noisy supporters were bothered about Pep Guardiola and his team.

After what must have seemed like an age as he paced up and down his technical area, waiting for seven minutes of injury time to pass and the loss of goalkeeper Keylor Navas in the very last seconds, Forest boss Steve Cooper was able to celebrate survival.

In the stand above, owner Evangelos Marinakis was also hugged by those around him, having been rewarded for keeping faith with Cooper during a tumultuous campaign.

Awoniyi only scored four times in his first 23 Premier League games after joining Forest from Union Berlin – but now has five in his past three.

And, like the former Liverpool striker, Morgan Gibbs-White’s form has also shown a major upturn over the past few weeks and it was little surprise the pair combined to put Forest ahead.

There was an element of fortune given Gabriel slid in to reach Gibbs-White’s angled pass into the penalty area first.

But given the battling qualities they have shown in their survival fight and the phenomenal support they have received from the stands, Forest deserved the fortune that saw the ball strike Awoniyi, then rise above Aaron Ramsdale, who was diving to smother, and into the net.

Forest did have other chances and Gibbs-White should have doubled their lead near the end when he found himself one on one with the Arsenal keeper.

However, showing the fighting spirit that has served them so well and backed by fans who have remained loyal to Cooper all season – probably saving the Welshman at some points – Forest’s determination ensured they did not their lead slip.

It would be grossly unfair to say Arsenal did not deserve something from this game.

They dominated possession for long periods and only some diligent Forest defending kept them at arms’ length.

But the clinical edge of their early season performances has deserted them just as City have hit top gear.

In contrast to the first half of the campaign, when they only dropped seven points, Arsenal have collected just nine points from their past eight games.

Following on from the home defeat by Brighton, Arteta’s men have now lost consecutive league games for the first time this season.

Gabriel Jesus had a couple of early chances, Bukayo Saka brought a decent second-half save out of Navas and from the corner that followed Jorginho’s shot was deflected over.

But a cutting edge was missing and there was a resignation about the outcome long before the final whistle blew on the Gunners’ title challenge.

source – BBC

English Premier League

Manchester City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur




Manchester City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham midfielder Dejan Kulusevski’s 90th-minute header denied Manchester City victory in a breathless six-goal thriller at Etihad Stadium.

City thought they had won it nine minutes from time when Jack Grealish turned home Erling Haaland’s cross for his first goal since April.

But Tottenham snatched a point from a match that ended in controversy as referee Simon Hooper blew for a foul on Erling Haaland, who had already shrugged off the effects of Emerson Royal’s tackle and chipped a pass to Grealish which seemed to set the England man clear.

Haaland was still complaining long after the final whistle and responded to something said from the Tottenham bench before furiously marching down the tunnel.

It was fitting both sides got something out of the game given how entertaining it had been.

Tottenham led early through Son Heung-min, only for the Tottenham skipper to divert Julian Alvarez’s cross into his own net three minutes later.

Phil Foden finished off a slick City attack to put the hosts in front at the break.

Giovani Lo Celso pulled Tottenham level with an excellent curling effort from the edge of the area midway through the second half, but Yves Bissouma was soon punished for losing possession close to the Spurs area.

Foden fed Haaland, who delivered the low cross for Grealish to convert.

Kulusevski’s late intervention – a mix of head and shoulder sending the ball in off the bar – ensured Tottenham avoided a fourth successive Premier League defeat, with Ange Postecoglou’s side fifth on 27 points, three behind champions City, who drop to third.

As predicted, there could be no complaints about the excitement value of a contest that pitted together two managers completely committed to an expansive game.

By half-time, the tally stood at three goals, two shots that hit the woodwork, 14 shots and 10 corners. At the final whistle, there had been six goals, 26 shots, 18 corners and no one left complaining about a lack of entertainment.

It really was brilliant stuff, with both sides at their most vulnerable when they were attacking their opponents’ goal.

When observers glibly talk about the Premier League being the ‘best in the world’, they often fail to explain what criteria they are using.

The technical quality, attacking invention and simple desire to score goals in this contest would bring joy to any set of supporters.

Manchester City 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham knew they would not dominate possession, but even under the most severe pressure they tried to play quickly out from the back.

The tactic brought them the opener, as they swept forward from a City corner, with Son shrugging off Jeremy Doku and completing a 40-yard burst by ramming his shot past Ederson.

Only a Ruben Dias interception of a Brennan Johnson cross that was about to be met by Son denied the South Korean a second. Additionally, Son could not contain his fury when Bryan Gil took three touches and then gave the ball away after a rare stray pass from Bernardo Silva invited a first-time pass to the Tottenham captain.

And this was in the first-half period that City dominated.

The second period was more even, but it still came as a surprise on both occasions when Tottenham got themselves level.

The first time was after Son had created the opening for Lo Celso, and the second when Kulusevski met Brennan Johnson’s cross.

Haaland was genuinely furious as he stormed down the tunnel.

His frustration was obvious to everyone and pity the poor door when he entered the City dressing room.

Hooper’s decision was hasty, but chances are that Haaland was already simmering over his two incredible first-half failures to score.

The Norwegian sent one shot wide from 10 yards when it appeared he had to score with the goal at his mercy. Towards the end of the opening period, Haaland skied a shot over after Alvarez prodded a pass into his path.

Even then, the forward’s reflective reaction was not that of someone who was entirely happy with his lot – and his temper had not improved by the end.

City were still excellent overall and Foden’s goal was a thing of beauty.

In a slick exchange, Haaland played a first-time pass to Doku, who immediately found Alvarez, and he spun round and presented Foden with an invitation to score which the England man immediately accepted.

If there was a moment to sum up the excellence on show, that was it.

source – BBC

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English Premier League

West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace




West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace

West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace. Odsonne Edouard’s second-half finish salvaged a Premier League point for Crystal Palace against West Ham at London Stadium.

Mohammed Kudus had opened the scoring for the Hammers after 13 minutes.

James Ward-Prowse’s sublime cross-field ball was collected by Vladimir Coufal, whose cutback into the box was converted thanks to a first-time finish from the onrushing Kudus.

The Hammers were in complete control but Konstantinos Mavropanos was caught out when his poor back pass was intercepted by Edouard, who slotted home to equalise for Palace, scoring his sixth league goal of the season.

Mavropanos had the chance to make amends for his earlier mistake when he rose to meet a ball into the box but his header landed just wide of the far post.

Pablo Fornals’ cross was met by Jarrod Bowen in added time but it could only land in the grateful arms of away goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as West Ham had to settle for a point.

West Ham could have made it three consecutive league wins but were unable to make the most of their opportunities against Palace.

Mavrapanos’ error was West Ham’s only lapse in concentration throughout the match but it proved costly with David Moyes’ side unable to find another opening.

England forward Bowen, back in the starting line-up after suffering a minor knee issue during the international break, got beyond Joachim Andersen but was unable to lift the ball over Johnstone for the required finish.

West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace

Kudus was in the thick of the action, regularly troubling the Palace defence and he thought he had a second for the hosts just after the break but it was ruled out for offside with Tomas Soucek deemed to be interfering with play and in the eyeline of Johnstone.

Lucas Paqueta whipped in a brilliant ball at the back post but Emerson was unable to sort his feet out and ended up blazing it over the bar.

A worrying trend continued for West Ham, who have now lost 12 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only Burnley (14) losing more.

Moyes told BBC Sport: “It was a really tight Premier League game. We got in front but gave away a horrendous goal.

“Sometimes in these games, you just have to see it out, but I have to say we made two or three chances at the end which on another day we might have scored.

“It wasn’t our best point, it wasn’t our best performance but we will take something from the game.”

Palace, who had lost four of their previous five league games, did not manage a shot on target in the first half, despite a decent start – Edouard hooking a volley wide in the 12th minute as he was unable to shift his body position.

Within a minute of that miss, they were behind, and battling to find a way back. Michael Olise, recently returned from a hamstring injury, was Palace’s main threat but struggled to create much of note. A threaded pass through to Edouard was cut out as the Frenchman tried to move his side further up the pitch.

Jordan Ayew, in for the injured Eberechi Eze, skewed an effort well wide, and Tyrick Mitchell put in a poor cross from a promising position, while an Andersen free-kick hit the West Ham wall and deflected out for a corner.

Roy Hodgson’s side have not scored in the first half in 11 of their 14 matches, with only newly promoted Luton Town (13) and Sheffield United (12) failing to score more often.

Edouard did find an equaliser early in the second half, but Palace’s lack of cutting edge was laid bare as their last shot of the match was taken by Olise in the 55th minute.

A midweek match against Bournemouth is followed by fixtures against high-flying Liverpool and Manchester City, which will require Palace to be much sharper.

Hodgson told BBC Sport: “I thought for large parts of the game, especially the bulk of the first half in particular,we actually played well. We established a lot of control and the game was even during that period.

“I think their [West Ham’s] first attempt in our penalty area put them 1-0 up but where we really had to show resilience was at the end – because the 1-1 is basically there for you, you’ve earned it but unfortunately on the back of two bad results, the anxiety tends to creep in.

“Hats off to the players. I hope they’re satisfied with their performance and I hope they get some confidence from it because I certainly got some confidence from the team’s performance today.”

source – BBC

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