Arsenal Win Away From The Emirates: Watford 1-0 Arsenal

By Juan Aguerrevere

Monday's lone fixture featured Watford hosting Arsenal. And it turned out to be a peculiar one. The strange chain of events started ahead of the game when Watford's manager, Javi Gracia expressed that captain Troy Deeney is England's best no. 9.

"There are good English players in that position, but in my opinion, Troy is the best one," said Gracia. 

Coming of a stunning FA Cup semi-final comeback against Wolverhampton last weekend, Gracia had to make some changes in the line-up. Ben Foster, Daryl Janmaat, and Adam Masina returned, while Roberto Pereyra (hip) and Gerard Deulopheu (ankle) missed the game due to injury. 

Arsenal played last Thursday, beating Napoli at home in their Europa League quarter-final first leg. Concerns over the Gunners' recent away form (1W, 1D, 3L) was their main worry before the game.

The Hornets swarmed the Gunners in the opening minutes of play. German goalkeeper Bernd Leno was pressed by Andre Gray and was just fast enough to release the ball for a throw-in before being robbed.

Things were looking fine for Watford until Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chased down a horizontal pass directed to Foster. Watford's goalkeeper wasn’t able clear his lines the way Leno did a few minutes before. Arsenal's ace, Aubameyang, was able to block Foster’s clearance right into the net.  

A minute later, in a late challenge Deeney clashed with Lucas Torreira. Craig Pawson, the center referee, was alerted to a high elbow from Deeney by one of his assistants. Deeney was sent off for this infringement. And Pawson became public enemy number 1 at Vicarage Road after leaving Watford crippled for the remaining 80 minutes.

Shortly after the break, Henrikh Mkhitaryan's close-range effort was denied by Foster before Adam Masina cracked a long shot against the crossbar on the other end.

Attempts from Andre Gray and Will Hughes came close to drawing Watford level. But the North London team was able to find its first away clean sheet of the season and take back fourth place.

Watford faces Huddersfield on Saturday hoping to keep adding points to its already best Premier League season ever. 

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

Liverpool Outplays Chelsea: Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

By Juan Aguerrevere

Both Jurgen Klopp and Maurizio Sarri made some changes after midweek clashes in the Champions League and Europa League, respectively.

Klopp summoned Joel Matip and Andrew Robertson for Dejan Lovren and James Milner. Meanwhile, Sarri introduced six changes from his lineup against Slavia Praha including Emerson Palmieri who replaced Marcos Alonso, who scored the winner midweek.

In the first half, Klopp's men dominated possession and had more chances than Chelsea despite a couple of counterattacks from the Blues. Liverpool tested Chelsea's defense with several crosses. The away team's backline responded well until Antonio Rudiger suffered a knee injury forcing Sarri to use his first substitution bringing on Andreas Christensen.

The difference was almost instantaneous. Chelsea failed to adequately defend a free-kick leaving three Liverpool players against Kepa Arizabalaga who made the save even though the play was called offsides.

Liverpool claimed its first goal five minutes after the start. Mohamed Salah connected well with Jordan Henderson who then lobbed it to the back post fining Mane's head. Nearly three minutes later, Salah drilled a missile in the top corner from just over twenty yards out. The fans at Anfield were roaring.

Eden Hazard missed two back-to-back chances that he should have finished, leaving Chelsea fans hopeless. Hazard was denied by the post in his first chance and by Alisson Becker in the second.

Mane is now the league’s joint-third top scorer with seventeen goals while Salah tied with Aguero for the most with 19 goals. Alisson recorded his eighteenth, and league leading, clean sheet.

Before the match, a minute of silence was held in memory of the 96 lives lost 30 years ago in the Hillsborough Disaster.

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

City Keeps Pressure on Liverpool: Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester City

By Juan Aguerrevere

Earlier this season, Crystal Palace defeated Manchester City 3-2 at the Etihad. But this reverse fixture at Selhurst Park told a different tale.

Pep Guardiola changed to a 4-2-3-1 formation starting captain Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Benjamin Mendy who returned from injury. Roy Hodgson stuck with his preferred 4-5-1 formation. Back-up center-back pair Martin Kelly and Scott Dann were introduced due to Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkin's injuries. Wilfred Zaha started in the wing with Christian Benteke starting as a lone striker.

Manchester City dominated the entirety of the match. City's first chance came after Silva, Aguero and De Bruyne linked up and squared the ball to Raheem Sterling who then missed from the 6-yard line. Sterling redeemed himself minutes after by chasing an exquisite through ball from De Bruyne and beating Victor Guaita with a powerful shot. Crystal Palace was happy to go into halftime down by one via Guaita's near-perfect performance.

The second half was a replica of the first performance wise. Sterling claimed his brace seventeen minutes into the half. This time around, he didn’t waste his teammate’s square pass.

The Eagles’ captain, Luka Milivojevic made the game more interesting in the eighty-first minute by scoring a free-kick. The Serbian international now has twelve goals this season; ten penalties, 1 freekick and 1 terrific long shot against Leicester in December.

During injury time, substitute Gabriel Jesus scored the fourth and final goal of this meeting.

Manchester City remains second place by one point with a game in hand behind Liverpool. 

This game marked referee Martin Atkinson's fifteenth-year anniversary serving as a Premier League central referee.

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

United Keeps Top-4 Hopes: Manchester United 2-1 West Ham

By Juan Aguerrevere

Saturday’s late game almost derailed Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's goal of finishing the season with a spot in the Champions League. Manuel Pellegrini's men outplayed a Manchester United just like in their first fixture back in September.  

Felipe Anderson's early goal was disallowed even though Diogo Dalot appeared to have kept Anderson onside. Minutes after, Graham Scott pointed to the Hammer's penalty spot after Robert Snodgrass's poor tackle on Juan Mata. Snodgrass and other West Ham players argued the foul took place outside the box, but to no avail. United's penalty taker, Paul Pogba, decided against his signature penalty run-up, but his shot beat West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for first goal of the afternoon anyway. 

Five minutes into the second phase, a bad giveaway by normally impeccable David de Gea led to a Manuel Lanzini cross that found Anderson lurking at the back post. Anderson punished de Gea and Marcos Rojo, who had carelessly left the Brazilian open on the back-post.

Marcus Rashford was denied a goal by Fabianski after Chris Smalling did his best Joel Matip impression.

Pellegrini’s decision to bring on Michail Antonio made an instant impact on the game. His sleek run and powerful left-footed attempt struck the crossbar. And it took an astonishing save from de Gea to deny Antonio a second time.

But with close to ten minutes remaining, Anthony Martial was sent through by a cutting pass from Pogba. West Ham defender Ryan Fredericks hauled Martial down in a clear goal scoring opportunity inside the box. Scott had no choice but to point to the spot for the second time this game. Once again, Paul Pogba dismissed his trademark run-up and beat Fabianski.

Manchester United carries on with its journey for a top-4 end. 

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

Brighton Self-destructs: Brighton 0-5 Bournemouth

By Juan Aguerrevere

Brighton and Bournemouth have struggled since the turn of the year. Since December, and despite a strong run in the FA Cup, the Seagulls had only secured eight out of thirty-six points. Bournemouth have managed to take twelve out of thirty-nine possible points. Eddie Howe went with a 4-4-2 formation instead of three in the back for more stability while Chris Hughton chose a 4-3-3. Not many expected what happened next.

Dan Gosling started the goal fest in the thirty-third minute. After a series of quick passes, Callum Wilson easily plays a ball across the Seagulls' box to Gosling who calmly controlled the ball and tucked it past Mathew Ryan.

In the second half, Anthony Knockaert's frustrations began to show after his giveaway leads to Ryan Fraser scoring Bournemouth’s second with a looping ball over Ryan.

Desperate to gain possession and likely still fuming about his poor giveaway for the second, Knockaert slid viciously taking Adam Smith's leg with him leaving Kevin Friend without any other option than to show a straight red.

Fraser then turned provider, for youngster David Brooks’s goal in the 74th minute. The third goal saw some of the home fans heading toward exit.

Wilson finally found his deserved goal after assisting on two earlier in the game. Substitute Junior Stanislas scored the fifth and last goal of the match.

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

Head It In, "Wood" You: Burnley 2-0 Cardiff

By Juan Aguerrevere

Both Sean Dyche and Neil Warnock practice the same philosophy: big men up front and quick players in wide positions to bombard the opposition's box. You can almost hear them yelling, ‘PUT IT IN THE MIXER!’

The Clarets got off to a solid start by almost capitalizing from a free-kick. Dwight McNeil delivered a cross toward the second post cleared poorly by Sean Morrison and almost finished off by Chris Wood who hit the post. Minutes later, McNeil delivered another cross from a corner and this time Wood made the best of it by losing his mark and heading past Neil Etheridge. 

Neil Warnock almost lost his cool once again after Mike Dean denied two consecutive handball allegations inside the box early in the second half. Despite that the Blue Birds kicked into high gear creating chances several chanes. Harry Arter barely missed a shot that went over the post and Junior Hoilett sent his open shot over cross bar.

Cardiff players and Warnock felt robbed of a penalty again when Aron Gunnarson was taken down softly by Charlie Taylor in the box. If that wasn't enough, in added time players screamed one last time for a penalty thinking that a shot hit James Tarkowski's hand when it really hit his knee.

A deflected cross by McNeil was finished by Wood in the ninty-seventh to close out the game.

Burnley secured another season in the Premier League leaving Cardiff City to continue their fight to avoid relegation. 

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

At Last, Fulham Wins: Fulham 2-0 Everton

By Juan Aguerrevere

Scott Parker can officially say he’s won a Premier League match and kept a clean sheet. This was Fulham's first win since late January and its first clean sheet since December. Parker replaced Claudio Ranieri just over six weeks ago.

Cottagers took advantage of a yet another lack-luster Everton performance, controlling most of the game’s offensive attempts. Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic proved to be a handful most of the first half and was unlucky to not be on the scoresheet.

Fans at Craven Cottage were loud and demanded a win and the players delivered it in the second half. Less than a minute after the restart, Tom Cairney finished off a centered pass from Ryan Babel.

Everton had its best time of the game after Fulham went up 1-0. Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed the Toffees' best chance of the game by just inches.

Then Babel, who assisted the first, sped past Everton’s backline latching on to a through ball from Mitrovic and doubling the lead.

Fulham will have gone home with something to be happy about. 

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

Brace Yourself, Redmond: Southampton 3-1 Wolverhampton

By Juan Aguerrevere

Despite falling to Liverpool last week, Southampton's manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl decided to stick with a three in the back. Hasenhuttl gambled on canceling Wolverhampton's Nuno Espiritu Santo's own 3-5-2 formation. Southampton's only two changes from last week were Josh Sims replacing Oriol Romeu with James Ward-Prowse dropping into midfield and Danny Ings coming on for Shane Long. Other than Rui Patricio's return, Wolves stuck with the same team that lost to Watford in last weekend's incredible FA Cup semifinal. 

Just two minutes in to the match, Southampton took the lead. Josh Sims used his pace and to find Nathan Redmond’s darting run at the near post. Patricio could do nothing as the former Birmingham City youth player finished off Sims’s low cross the cross.

Wolverhampton stuck to its plan to dominate possession progressively up the field. Joao Moutinho's corner attempt was attacked by Willy Boly who towered over the Southampton defense to equalize for Wolves.

But the Saints quickly retaliated exploiting spaces in the Wolves’ defensive half. Once again, Saiss lost Redmond who latched on to a perfectly weighted through ball by Ings finding Redmond who chips it over Patricio. Substitute Shane Long closed the game by scoring a scrappy tap in during a poorly defended corner. 

Wolverhampton continues their struggle against teams outside of the top-6. 

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

Spurs Keep Another Clean Sheet At The New White Hart Lane: Spurs 5-0 Huddersfield

By Juan Aguerrevere

Mauricio Pochettino had to make some changes to his squad after a well fought mid-week Champions League win over Manchester City. Harry Kane (ankle), Harry Winks (groin) and Delle Alli (wrist) came out of the game with injuries.The Spurs’ manager also rested a few players, featuring birthday boy Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth, Victor Wanyama, Fernando Llorente and Lucas Moura against relegated side, Huddersfield.

Jan Siewert's side featured 3 changes from last week along with a very tight 4-5-1 formation. Juninho Bacuna, Elias Kachunga, and Florent Hadergjonaj started leaving Alex Pritchard, Aaron Moy and Tommy Smith on the bench.

Huddersfield looked strong defensively in the first 20 minutes shutting down Tottenham through the middle. But the North London side, were just too much.

Ben Davies' pass to Llorente ended up as a perfect weighted through ball for Wanyama who was originally crashing the box looking to connect with Llorente. Wanyama rounded the keeper and tapped it in for his first Premier League goal this season. Just two minutes later, Wanyama's midfield partner, Moussa Sissoko charged forward and flicked the ball on to Moura, who had spun in behind his defender. Moura fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.

After the second goal, Llorente had 4 close attempts at goal including a magnificent volley that struck the crossbar. Siewert's late formation change and subs made the Terriers more dynamic going forward, but also it also left space for Tottenham to exploit. Assisted by Christian Eriksen and Heung-Min Son, Moura was able to complete his first Premier League hat-trick late in the game. Fans and Moura celebrated the special moment with his baby showing his serious tekkers on the field. Another game and another clean sheet for Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.

Newcastle Win Away from Home: Leicester 0-1 Newcastle

By Juan Aguerrevere

Rafa Benitez' last away win was back in December when Newcastle took down Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium. Since Miguel Almiron’s arrival just over two months ago, the Tyneside club has looked much more dangerous. But, Friday night's match away at Leicester City wouldn’t be easy.

Jamie Vardy has scored 6 goals in 5 games since Brendan Rodgers took over at the King Power Stadium. Like Vardy, Youri Tielemans has also found his best form, scoring and assisting from the midfield. Harry Maguire returned to the line-up after welcoming his newborn daughter Lily. There were also changes in the Magpies' line-up-- Paul Dummett for Florian Lejune after his horrific knee injury last week and Javier Manquillo replacing DeAndre Yedlin.

Leicester's left side had an electric start to the game. Ben Chillwell and young standout Harvey Barnes connected well for a couple of chances. An early mistake by Maguire led to a free-kick 25 yards away from goal. Solomon Rondon’s ensuing pixel perfect free kick left the goal post shaking.

The Foxes created more chances in the first half-hour. But it was Newcastle that struck first. Leicester’s defenders failed to clear after stopping Alimiron from dribbling into the box. The ball fell right to Matt Ritchie, who beats a defender and whips in a driven ball to Ayoze Perez making a run at the near post. Perez beats Wes Morgan, gets a slight touch with his head on the ball, and using the power from Ritchie’s cross angles the ball to the far post past Kasper Schmeichel.

Almiron, who remains goalless in the Premier League, had numerous chances in the second half, but remained goalless. Schmeichel skillfully denied Perez after he slalomed in the box for a close-quarters 1v1 opportunity. Vardy missed the Foxes' best chance of the game by scooping an excellent through ball from Tielemans over the bar.

Newcastle United win means they no longer face relegation and the fans celebrated every second of it staying after the match.

Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.