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2019-20 English Premier League recap: Week 24 of 38

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Liverpool were on track for the Premier League title when they registered one more win over a difficult Wolverhampton at the Molineux stadium on Thursday night. As had transpired many times this season, it was the Red’s Brazilian man Friday, Firmino, who broke a 1-1 deadlock with a stunning 84th minute winner. Jurgen Klopp’s men went into half-time leading 0-1 on the back of skipper Jordan Henderson’s early header, but Raul Jimenez drew parity for the hosts immediately after the interval in the 51st that ended a run of 725 minutes without conceding a Premier League goal for the visitors. Firmino’s late decider took Liverpool to a staggering 67 points from their 23 outings so far, 16 clear ahead of next best Manchester City’s tally of 51.

For Pep Guardiola’s City, it was their in-form man Sergie Aguero who sneaked in the lone winner in a tough 0-1 away win against Sheffield United who slipped a place below to the 8th on the EPL table as a result of that home loss at Bramall Lane. 

After 2 straight losses at home, Leicester City found their mojo back with a thumping 4-1 win over West Ham at the King Power stadium on Wednesday. A brace from forward Ayoze Perez and goals from Harvey Barnes and Ricardo Pereira sealed the issue for Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes but their talismanic striker Jamie Vardy was forced out of play with a hamstring injury in the 43rd minute. The Hammers on the other hand are just a slot away from relegation in the 17th and with their next tie coming up against a marauding Liverpool, their fortunes seem to be heading southwards. 

Leicester are now on 48 points and 8 ahead of 4th placed Chelsea who were held to a thrilling 2-2 at Stamford Bridge by a resolute Arsenal down to 10 men in as early as the 26th minute when defender David Luiz was red-carded for pushing down Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham inside the penalty area. In a game that seemed headed for a 2-1 Chelsea win, Gunners defender Hector Bellerin scored with a well-directed left-footer to the far corner of the net in the 87th minute to give new coach Mikel Arteta his fourth match without a loss. Arsenal remain in the 10th spot with 30 points and quite astonishingly as many four teams below have ended up with an identical tally after the round of mid-week games. 

Manchester United’s quest to get closer to the Top Four got buried at Turf Moor when they capitulated to 13th placed Burnley 0-2. Ole Gunnar Solskaer’s Red Devils remained in the 5th place at 34 points from their 23 games after that uninspiring away display but Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur have moved up smartly to the 6th spot and are on equal points with United on the table after their 2-1 home win over bottom-scrapers Norwich City on Thursday.

Watford’s dream run under new boss Nigel Pearson ended when they lost to Aston Villa 1-2 away at Villa Park on Monday. The Hornets are back to familiar territory (the relegation zone) after the loss while Villa have moved smartly out of it and leap-frogged West Ham to 16th.

Goals from Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong helped propel Southampton into the Top ten for the first time in the season as the Saints humbled Crystal Palace 0-2 away at Selhurst Park on Tuesday. This has been the Hampshire club’s best spell during the ongoing 2019-20 season in which they have lost just one of their last 7 Premier League outings and clawed their way out of the relegation zone where they once languished a few months back. The Selhurst Park loss cost Palace a place in the Top ten and pushed them to the 11th spot where they are currently.

Everton and Newcastle played out an exciting 2-2 draw but have done themselves little good as a result, as they have slid to the 12th and 14th spots respectively. 

Bournemouth earned their first win after seven PL outings when they thrashed Brighton 3-1 at Vitality Stadium on Tuesday but still remain in relegation territory with Watford and Norwich City below them.

Team standings with points on the Premier League table after 24 games

1Liverpool *67
2Man City51
3Leicester City48
4Chelsea40
5Manchester United34
6Tottenham34
7Wolves34
8Sheff Utd33
9Southampton31
10Arsenal30
11Crystal Palace30
12Everton30
13Burnley FC30
14Newcastle30
15Brighton25
16Aston Villa25
17West Ham *23
18Bournemouth23
19Watford23
20Norwich City17

* Denotes having played 23 games

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