6 Things We Learnt From Premier League GW37

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

23 May 2023

The weekend’s action saw the title race sewn up, while the battle at the bottom is set to go down to the wire on the final day. Here are our thoughts from the weekend’s action:

Forest Cause Arsenal Title Hopes To Falter

Going into this game, fans of both sides knew how important the result was. Nottingham Forest under Steve Cooper have been a very interesting side to watch due to the ridiculous number of signings they made. After a crucial point at Stamford Bridge the previous week, they knew that survival was in their hands. Arsenal meanwhile had been well and truly beaten by Brighton the week prior, meaning defeat here would give away the title. In the end, costly mistakes and a lack of fight sealed the result and another Manchester City trophy.

Bukayo Saka tried his best to get his side going, whipping in a high corner that was headed into the path of Gabriel Jesus by Serge Aurier. Sadly, for the Gunners, he couldn’t get his header on target. Soon after, the North Londoners would seal their fate and the destination of the Premier League title. Martin Ødegaard’s poor pass was picked up on by Morgan Gibbs-White who ran the away side’s defence ragged. He ran and ran before playing through Taiwo Awoniyi who scored after his effort was blocked by Gabriel Magalhães, only for it to deflect back off Awoniyi’s leg. It was the Nigerian striker’s 5th goal in 3 games and 10th of the season for Forest, with this late uptake in form helping his side over the line.

The second half could have been even worse for Arsenal with mistakes and poor defending almost costing them. A chipped-in free-kick by Gibbs-White was headed across by Felipe and was initially cleared. However, they failed to capitalise on this, allowing Renan Lodi to play the ball back across which was flicked into the path of Felipe whose effort nearly squeaked in, if not for a deflection. Saka had his team’s best chance of the second half when he pounced on a ball forward by Ben White, only for Keylor Navas to parry away. Gibbs-White would continue to torment the Gunners’ defence, first pouncing on a poor pass back to White before hitting into the side netting. He then ran and weaved his way through the defence after Jesus’ poor clearance, but his shot barely troubled Aaron Ramsdale. In the end, it was just 1-0, but it could have been a lot worse for the Islington side.

Nottingham Forest have survived and will once again play in the top division next season. After 11 games without a win, they have won 3 of their last five to secure their status. Despite that tough run, credit must be given to the East Midlands side for sticking with their man. They are one of only two sides in the bottom half to not change their manager this season. Gibbs-White has been fantastic in the midfield, Navas has brought experience between the sticks, and Awoniyi has shown form just at the right time. They will conclude their season away at Crystal Palace. For Arsenal, it has been a miserable end to what promised to be a season to remember. Despite being 1st for 93% of the season, the Premier League trophy will not be returning to North London. It will now be 20 years since their last league title and the players only have themselves to blame. 3 defeats in their last 5, alongside those dropped points in April have cost them and handed the title to Manchester City. Many were hoping for an exciting title race till the finish, but it ended with a whimper. They conclude the season at home to Wolves. While it’s party time in Nottingham, it will be a time of quiet and reflection on what could have been in London.

Tom Atkinson

City Stroll To Championship Celebrations

With the title already decided, Manchester City wrung the changes for their final home game of the season, leaving the majority of their first team on the bench for the visit of Chelsea. This in turn demonstrated the strength in depth that Pep Guradiola has at his disposal, comfortably rolling to a 1-0 win thanks to an early strike from Julian Alvarez.

City have been imperious since the World Cup break, rattling off win after win to keep the pressure on Arsenal, who eventually crumbled just before the final hurdle. Erling Haaland has been sensational throughout the campaign, while the defensive resilience from the likes of Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji have helped them over the line in tighter games. This was the end result that most expected at the start of the season, but City should be given credit for their relentless charge throughout 2023.

Chelsea meanwhile are limping to the end of a horrific campaign. Frank Lampard’s tenure as caretaker manager has been hugely unsuccessful, and a lot will need to be changed before Mauricio Pochettino’s first game in charge. There is no doubt that there is talent throughout this squad, but there needs to be a trimming of personnel in order for the squad to become more harmonious and start moving in the right direction.

Joe Simpson

Magpies Secure European Football While Leicester Set For Drop

Newcastle United finally secured their seat at Europe’s big table next year courtesy of a 0-0 draw at home to Leicester. In what was probably the most one sided goalless draw of the season, the Magpies booked their spot in the 2023/24 Champions League a feat 20 years in the making. A huge amount of credit has to go to Eddie Howe and his staff for the meticulous job they’ve done. Newcastle from the start of the season till now still feel like a team playing beyond their means, which is scary considering how sparingly they have used the resources available to them. Of course this achievement cannot be removed from the stench of Saudi Arabian sports washing that now lingers over the club despite the fairytale narrative. Nevertheless Newcastle are back to the top of english and continental football in what should be the start of their reemergence as a force in the game. 

Leicester who not too long ago harboured even loftier ambitions than this current Newcastle side look set for a shock return to the Championship. The 2016 premier league winners who were once the example for all clubs looking to break the top 6 oligopoly, now find themselves wading deep in the waters of relegation having to both beat West Ham and hope Everton drop points to Bournemouth on the final day of the season. How they got into such a precarious position is a cautionary tale of a myopic wage structure and complacent player recruitment alongside other details. To make matters worse the Foxes will lose the core of their side this summer with James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Caglar Soyuncu all but confirmed to leave.

Jesse Williams

Casemiro Leaves United On The Brink Of Top 4


Manchester United left the south coast victorious thanks to a fine acrobatic finish from Casemiro early in the first half against Bournemouth. The Brazilian has been a pivotal figure in United’s charge towards Champions League football, and his goal has left the Red Devils in the driving seat for a top four finish thanks to a Liverpool slip up on Saturday afternoon.

United were relatively comfortable throughout, without necessarily asserting their dominance over the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium. Erik Ten Hag has instilled a defensive identity which allows his forwards to play without fear. Although Antony and Jadon Sancho were somewhat underwhelming, the creativity of Bruno and Eriksen in the midfield picked apart Bournemouth on a few occasions. United barely had to get out of second gear but will be thankful to David De Gea, who saved a shot from Kieffer Moore in the dying embers of the game.

Bournemouth have been safe for three weeks now and their performances have shown it. There has been a lack of urgency or dynamism across the park, which is probably to be expected given that their sole ambition was to maintain their Premier League status going into the season. They will still however have a huge part to play on the final day, as they travel to Goodison Park knowing that a win could send their opponents down to the Championship.

Brighton Claim European Football Against Sorry Saints

Brighton guaranteed themselves Europa League football next season, seeing off bottom side Southampton 3-1 at the Amex stadium. In what has been a historic campaign for the Seagulls, Roberto De Zerbi’s men will look to take Europe by storm next campaign. The biggest caveat to the joy currently showering the south coast side is that some of the pillars of this history making side look almost certain to be gone this summer. How well will they cope without Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister or Kirou Mitoma or Evan Ferguson?

Brighton, who insist they will not become a selling club, know what it’s like to have coveted players and will be desperate to not fall into the same trap as clubs like Southampton themselves who were picked off year after year. For now it’s time to celebrate and dream of European adventures but the real work has probably already started. Expect it to be a busy summer down the seaside. As for Southampton their fate has long been sealed and they showed exactly why, failing to execute in the crucial moments yet again. The championship is unforgiving and despite the obvious talent in their ranks they must bolster the squad with experienced veterans to have any chance of bouncing back the first time round.

Jesse Williams

Toffees Leave It Late To Keep Premier League Hopes Alive


Wolves v Everton would be a vital fixture in the battle at the bottom. Wolves were already safe and looking to end the season on a high, despite being comfortably beaten by Manchester United a week prior. The Toffees, meanwhile, were very much still in a relegation dogfight and after being comfortably disposed of by Manchester City needed something from this game. In what was a thrilling game that either side could have won, it finished with a point each at Molineux.

Everton were very much in control in the first half but failed to act in this period. Dwight McNeil’s free-kick was headed down by Yerry Mina and chested down nicely by Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Sadly, he could only finish into the side netting. Calvert-Lewin then headed over from an Alex Iwobi cross, before Mina did the same from a McNeil looping ball. Wolves would however draw first blood against the run of play. After winning the ball back, Adama Traoré would show his pace and strength to take the ball all the way down the pitch. He almost did it all by himself, but his effort was saved by Jordan Pickford only to be scored on the rebound by Hwang Hee-chan. 

The favour of the game then appeared to change as the West Midlands side dominated the second half. Traoré again showed pace, blitzing his way towards the Everton goal before playing in Pablo Sarabia who set himself up to score, only to curl wide. He would then play in Daniel Podence who found Nélson Semedo, who again failed to hit the target. Pickford then produced a brilliant save with his foot to deny Matheus Nunes and keep the game alive. His teammates would thank him as in the 9th minute of stoppage time, they scored a crucial equaliser. Demarai Gray’s dangerous ball in was high and not dealt with by Dan Bentley with James Tarkowski winning their battle in the air. With the goal exposed, Michael Keane found Mina, who bundled it over the line to secure a crucial point. Mina has barely featured this season, but he may end up being the man who kept Everton up.

It was an exciting end to a thrilling game, which could have produced more goals if either side had their shooting boots on that day. Wolves are already thinking of next season, so won’t be too disheartened by a point. Julen Lopetegui has done his job and will be looking for a respectable end to the campaign against Arsenal. For the team in blue, their destiny is in their hands. Sean Dyche’s reign has not gone as swimmingly as hoped, but with a two-point difference from the bottom three, he has almost got his side over the line. With a three-horse race for Premier League survival on the final day, they host Bournemouth knowing victory will ensure they remain one of the few sides to never have been relegated in the Premier League era. The title may be decided, but down at the bottom, it should be an exciting sprint finish.

Tom Atkinson