8 Things We Learnt From Premier League GW30

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

18 Apr 2023

With a handful of games remaining, the Premier League season looks set to go down to the wire at both ends of the table. This weekend’s action saw a momentum shift at the top, while the relegation battle is looking as tight as ever. Here are our thoughts from the latest round of fixtures:

City Building Title Charge After Easy Leicester Victory

In a highly anticipated Premier League clash, Manchester City played host to Leicester City on Saturday afternoon.. The game had significant implications for both teams, as Manchester City looked to close the gap at the top of the table, while Leicester aimed to get themselves further away from the relegation zone.

The game got off to a fast start, with Manchester City striking first courtesy of a John Stones half volley in the 5th minute, giving them an early lead. It was clear Guardiola had sent the City side out with a job to do, and Haaland managed to double the lead through a penalty kick in the 13th minute, before furthering their advantage in the 25th minute and making it 3-0 before half an hour had even been played. Credit to Leicester, they managed to keep themselves in the game somewhat in a desperate attempt to mount a comeback, but their efforts were ultimately in vain. A goal back from Iheanacho in the 75th minute only sat as a consolation, and City saw out the win, in a crucial three points for them with Arsenal being held level at West Ham.

They will undoubtedly be looking to carry this form into the remainder of the season as they aim to claim yet another title, however Arsenal still just have the edge at the top. It’s not looking great however for Leicester, who sit rooted in 19th at risk of relegation to the Championship at the end of the season – there is a lot of work to do for Dean Smith and his team if Leicester want a fighting chance at staying in the Premier League next season.

Harvey Marwood

Hammer Blow For Arsenal As Bowen Secures Point

Arsenal travelled to east London on Sunday knowing that they could not afford another slip up after their draw at Anfield last week. The Gunners have been in imperious form all season, but as we near the finish line Manchester City are beginning to string together a run of games that continue to pile pressure on Mikel Arteta’s men.

The away side got off to a great start, finding themselves 2-0 up inside ten minutes thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard. West Ham however managed to turn the game on its head, as Said Benrahma converted a penalty before Bukayo Saka spurned a chance from the spot to restore Arsenal’s two goal lead. This proved costly, as Jarrod Bowen fired home past Aaron Ramsdale to secure a vital point for the Hammers.

While the Liverpool result felt as if it was out of Arsenal’s hands, this one would have hurt Arteta’s side as they really should have had the game wrapped up. This is not the time in the season to suffer a blip, especially as Manchester City are coming into their own. The Gunners face a monumental trip to the Etihad next week in what feels like a title deciding clash. Arteta will be disappointed that he is not taking any momentum into the fixture, but Arsenal would have taken this opportunity at the start of the season and need to treat the game as a one-off.

Joe Simpson

Valiant Villa Dispatch Off-Colour Magpies

Aston Villa took a giant step in an unlikely charge for European football next year, comfortably seeing off Champions League hopefuls Newcastle United 3-0 at home. Before Unai Emery’s midseason arrival at Villa Park, the Birmingham club looked locked in for a relegation battle, so for Villa to be confidently knocking on the door of the European places is a real testament to the job the former Villareal boss has done. No other player has benefited more from the Spaniards intervention than striker Ollie Watkins, who tore the Magpies apart notching his 13th and 14th goals of the season, stretching his goal scoring run to eleven goals in his last 12 appearances. Villa and Emery feel like a good fit – two underdogs aiming to overachieve and re-establish themselves on the continental stage making the side certainly one to watch closely this season and the next.

This defeat however ends a five game winning streak for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle who have put up a valiant effort in their quest for Champions League football. Watching the match however it felt like for the first time this season Howe’s men were overrun and physically could not compete especially in the midfield. Whether fatigue is setting in or whether it just wasn’t their day this kind of performance will have to be a momentary blip with a big clash against top 4 rivals Spurs up next.

Jesse Williams

Antony And Fernandes Dismantle Faltering Forest


We are moving into a vital part of the season where every result counts and Manchester United secured an important win. After losing a 2-goal lead and being held by Sevilla in mid-week, the Red Devils needed a positive result. Having lost Lisandro Martínez and Raphaël Varane in that game and then Marcel Sabitzer in the warm-up, this team had been stretched to its limits. Forest meanwhile were without a win in 9 League games and needed something to get them out of the drop zone. Unfortunately, Steve Cooper’s men looked out of sorts and United moved closer to securing Champions League football.

Bruno Fernandes put in a class performance, continuing what has been a solid season in midfield. The team from Manchester finally found the breakthrough after a host of chances when a great through-ball by Fernandes picked out Anthony Martial, whose effort was saved before it was bundled in by Antony. It was his first Premier League goal since October, and he’ll need to bang in some more while Marcus Rashford is injured.

Fernandes was unlucky again in the second half, as after a 1-2 with Christian Eriksen from a corner, he smacked the crossbar after Navas got his fingertips to the shot. These two faced off again soon after, with Navas stopping a low effort from Fernandes creeping into the bottom-left corner. Keylor Navas showed why he is such a quality goalkeeper and is unfortunately on another level than most of his contemporaries in the Forest team. After headers from Martial and Felipe at either side narrowly missed the goal, the contest was brought to an end. Antony made a great run and slid the ball into the path of Diogo Dalot who cooly finished for his first Premier League goal. He had a back-and-forth with the Forest fans, but it was Dalot and United who had the last laugh on his 100th appearance for the club.With Newcastle and Tottenham both losing, it was an important result for United. They looked comfortable and played great football. They lacked a bit of that killer instinct but are now 6 points clear of 5th with a game in hand. They now take a break from the league with a European quarter-final 2nd leg and an F.A. Cup semi-final this week. Forest look out of it and are now without a win in 10 games. They still have plenty of opportunities to stay in the division but outside of Navas and Johnson, look lost and defeated. They travel to Anfield on Saturday in what will be a hard game. Despite all the injuries. Manchester United marched on toward Champions League qualification.

Tom Atkinson

Cherries Dent Spurs Champions League Hopes

After a controversial victory against Brighton last week, Tottenham would have expected to kick on at home against a Bournemouth side who have been languishing in the bottom half of the table since the start of the season. Cristian Stellini would have been delighted after an early goal from Son Heung-Min put the hosts in front, but their defensive frailty was exposed by the Cherries either side of half time, thanks to well taken goals from Matias Vina and Dominic Solanke.

The Tottenham crowd turned on one of their own, as Davinson Sanchez was substituted after being brought on by Stellini, thanks to a chorus of boos from his own fans making his position untenable. This goes to show what a mess the north London club find themselves in at the moment, and this was only amplified when Dango Ouattara scored a late winner to cancel out Arnaut Danjuma’s stoppage time strike.

The Cherries may well start to feel as if they can stay in the top flight for next season, while Spurs need to address a multitude of weaknesses both on and off the pitch if they are to secure Champions League qualification.

Joe Simpson

Liverpool Hit Leeds For Six At Elland Road

Liverpool travelled to Leeds for the Monday night football fixture in the Premier League; a massively important game for both parties.

After a tight-knit first half, Liverpool managed to take the lead through Cody Gakpo, a player who hasn’t quite lived up to the hopes and expectations so far. The left footed finish inside the box seemed to lift the Liverpool sides spirit up, allowing Mohamed Salah to double the Scousers lead just four minutes later with a brilliant fast attack rounded off with a left footed strike past Meslier. Half time, 2-0. The floodgates were truly opened in the second half however. Leeds pulled one back courtesy of Sinistierra, who throughout the game looked Leeds’ biggest spark. This in turn had the opposite effect to what Javi Gracia would have wanted, and instead sent Liverpool into a sixth gear. With a completely dominant performance in the second half, Klopp’s men put another 4 past the unorganised Leeds defence. Two goals from Diego Jota, another goal from Salah and a 90th minute strike from Darwin Nunez saw Liverpool win 6-1, in arguably their best performance of the season.

The end of this season is definitely shaping up to be exciting, and this result certainly has impact at both ends of the table. Leeds now sit just two points above the relegation zone, with Liverpool just one spot outside of European football and eight games remaining. It’s all still to play for, and it’s never been tighter.

Harvey Marwood

Brilliant Brighton Highlight Chelsea Woes

If Chelsea boss Todd Boehly was hoping Frank Lampard could offer some inspiration in his brief stint as Chelsea boss, he has yet to see that play out as the Blues bumbled their way to a flattering 2-1 loss at home to Brighton. 

The two teams have become closely linked as of late but there was a clear difference to be seen between them on the pitch. Brighton pretty much bossed the game from minute one, doing everything but putting the ball into the net. Even when Chelsea fortuitously took the lead with a deflected effort from Connor Gallagher you could see it wasn’t to last. Brighton play with an assuredness that is simply non-existent in the Chelsea ranks. So when rising star Evan Ferguson went off injured, veteran Danny Welbeck was able to fill in and score the equaliser. Both teams possess a healthy amount of young talent but Brighton’s stability and strategic planning has allowed for players like Moises Caicedo, Levi Colwill and match winner Julio Enciso to thrive. 

This season has been historic for Chelsea. Having spent the GDP of American Samoa in two windows, the west Londoners find themselves as the only team in the league wallowing in mid table mediocrity. It feels like the rest of the league has something to play for but the Blues. That lack of purpose in addition to the constant turbulence surrounding the club has made for a woeful showing on the pitch with Lampard vying to become the first manager to achieve 007 status. This season is already a write off but there doesn’t appear to be a single green shoot sprouting at Stamford Bridge right now.

Jesse Williams

Wolves Come Out On Top In Battle Against Bees

Wolves moved closer to Premier League survival after a dominant win over Brentford at Molineux. The West Midlands side came off the back of an important win at Chelsea and were looking for another win to move further away from the drop. Brentford meanwhile had lost two games in a row, needing a win to stay in the race for Europe. Sadly, for Thomas Frank, it was an unhappy 225th game as manager of the Bees, in a game where they were played off the park.

Wolves dominated from the get-go, forcing several blocks before Mario Lemina’s effort was tipped over by David Raya. They would go into half-time 1-0 up when Toti Gomes whipped the ball into the path of Diego Costa. After an awkward touch, the ball deflected off Christian Nørgaard onto Costa and into the net. He finally scored for Wolves, ending his drought, and scoring his first Premier League goal since 2017.

The second half continued in their favour with Craig Dawson’s ball forward leading to a combination between Matheus Nunes and Costa, with Costa forcing the save from Raya. There was then a call for a penalty with the officials put into the spotlight. After an initial call for handball, Wolves took advantage of a Brentford mistake, with a ball played towards Gomes who was brought down in the box by Raya. VAR ruled no foul in the end, but once again the decision-making of the referee and the VAR team has proven to be inconsistent. The game was then finished off as Nunes glided his way through the Brentford defence and played the ball into the box which deflected off a defender and into the path of Hwang Hee-chan. Right at the end, Ivan Toney rattled the post, but it was too little too late.

From start to finish, Wolverhampton Wanderers were in control and secured back-to-back victories in the league. They are now 7 points clear of the relegation zone and are well on the way to the secure status of 40 points. They have another big game coming up as they travel to the East side to face Leicester City on Saturday. After three defeats in a row, Brentford is now 7 points off the European spots, and it looks like they will have to settle for mid-table. The Bees can still be proud of a top-class season and will be hoping for a change in fortune at home to Aston Villa at the weekend. Julen Lopetegui looks to finally have this Wolves side working and maybe this will be something to build on next season.

Tom Atkinson