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By Nick Boardman – Summer Staff Writer
The Premier League returned with a bang! Keep reading to find the talking points from each game since the league restarted on June 17.
The first Premier League game since March 9 was a 0-0 game between Sheffield United and Aston Villa. The scoreline misses one of the biggest controversies of the season: just before halftime, Sheffield appeared to have scored a goal when the Villa goalkeeper fell into the net with the ball. But, referee Michael Oliver pointed to his goal decision watch, signaling that the ball was not deemed to have crossed the line. Upon further review of the replay, the ball clearly crossed the line but the video assistant referee (VAR) was not used to properly award the goal. The company who develops the camera system used by the Premier League in its goal decision system, HawkEye, apologized for the error, saying that an error like this had not occurred in over 9,000 matches!
Manchester City clobbered Arsenal in its first game back. Arsenal center back David Luiz was the talking point in the game, after he came on in the 24th minute, made an error leading to a City goal just before halftime and then conceded a penalty and got a red card just a few minutes after the restart. Not the restart that Arsenal wanted.
This was not the restart last-place Norwich was hoping for. A 0-0 scoreline at halftime was blown open by two goals from Southampton before the 55th minute. Southampton put the game to bed in the 79th minute with a slick goal from Nathan Redmond.
Jose Mourinho, Tottenham’s manager, faced his former club in a much-anticipated game that didn’t totally live up to the hype. Paul Pogba made his first appearance for Manchester United in several months and drew the penalty that ultimately gave United the draw.
They say play ‘til the final whistle and that’s exactly what Watford did. A Ben Chilwell screamer in the 90th minute was matched shortly after by a Craig Dawson scissor kick in the 93rd minute. Two spectacular goals from defenders is a rarity in soccer.
After Arsenal’s tough loss to Manchester City, this loss to Brighton will only make things worse. Arsenal scored the first goal of the game in the 68th minute, but conceded the equalizer only seven minutes later. Brighton’s Neal Maupay crushed Arsenal’s hearts with the winning goal in the last minute of play.
Pedro Neto’s powerful volley in the 84th minute made sure Wolves were going home with three points. The goal gave Wolves some insurance after they scored through Raúl Jiménez just eleven minutes earlier.
Two goals before the 25th minute gave Palace three important points, moving them into ninth place in the Premier League. Luka Milivojevic’s top corner free kick in the 12th will definitely be a goal of the season contender. Bournemouth is lucky that so many teams near them in the table failed to win.
In one of the most surprising results of the past week, Newcastle was able to put three goals past Europa League contenders Sheffield in the second half. After Sheffield’s red card in the 50th minute, a defensive mistake in the 55th opened up the scoring for Newcastle, who added two insurance goals to make sure of the three points.
Two goals in two minutes gave Chelsea a much-needed three points, giving them five points of breathing room from fifth place Manchester United. Christian Pulisic, better known as soccer’s Captain America, came off the bench and scored the equalizing goal. Chelsea’s two second half goals gave them a win after they were losing 1-0 at halftime.
In a highly anticipated Merseyside Derby, this match ultimately disappointed. Blame it on the lack of crowd if you’d like, but the two teams looked seriously rusty. The best chance of the game fell to Tom Davies of Everton, who hit the post after Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker palmed an initial shot into his path.
Still to come for Matchweek 30:
Manchester City face Burnley today at 3 pm EST. The biggest implication for this game: if City fail to win against Burnley and Liverpool win on Wednesday, Liverpool would clinch its first Premier League title. The earliest title clinch in the Premier League currently stands at five games, set by Manchester United in 2000-01 – Liverpool have a great chance of smashing this record.
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