Seven takeaways from the latest round of Premier League fixtures

Liverpool end the Easter weekend top of the Premier League table after their comeback win over Brighton took them ahead of Arsenal, who drew with fellow title rivals Manchester City.

There was plenty of talking points throughout the league too in what was an action-packed weekend of top-flight football.

Here are seven takeaways from the recent round of fixtures…

Brentford’s dominance lays Man Utd’s problems bare

Brentford had 85 touches in the Manchester United box at the GTech stadium – the most by a team in any Premier League match across the last three seasons. Brentford peppered the United goal, accumulating 31 goal attempts but could only find an equaliser in stoppage time after Mason Mount fired home late on for United for his first goal for the club. A win would have been an outright robbery for United and even a draw felt unfair on Brentford after Kristoffer Ajer’s late strike salvaged a point for the Bees. The Red Devils have serious issues, especially when it comes to their out of possession play and defensive organisation as a team.

Newcastle’s injury nightmare continues 

After Sven Botman was sidelined for the foreseeable future with an ACL injury, Jamaal Lascelles suffered the same fate in Newcastle’s frantic 4-3 win against West Ham. The centre-back only lasted 16 minutes before being replaced by Emile Krafth and like Botman could be out for six to nine months. Miguel Almiron was also forced off with injury, another setback for Eddie Howe’s side who have had constant issues with casualties this season. 

Having Harvey Barnes back, who has also missed much of the season through injury, is a huge plus for the Magpies and his sublime double secured an incredible comeback win over West Ham. But injuries have and continue to seriously impact their aspirations for European football. To make things worse, star man Anthony Gordon will also miss their next game after being sent off late on in the victory over West Ham.

Arsenal show their resilience again

Arsenal’s two Premier League games against Manchester City last season saw them concede seven goals, and the two defeats proved crucial in Pep Guardiola’s side securing a third straight league title. But Arsenal look much more resilient this season, keeping a clean sheet in both of this season’s games against City and preventing the reigning champions from scoring at home in the Premier League for the first time since October 2021. It was not a vintage display from Arsenal, who lacked quality in the final third, but their solidity has them in the mix to win a first title since 2003/04.

Mac Allister shines for Liverpool

Freed up by the return of Wataru Endo in recent weeks, Alexis Mac Allister has been able to impact the game further forward and proved to be the difference in Liverpool’s 2-1 win against his former club Brighton. His passing was a joy to behold, brilliantly picking out Mo Salah for his team’s winner which saw them go top of the table. He is proving to be one of the signings of the season and is a big reason why Liverpool are where they are.

Muniz leads the 2024 goal-scoring charts 

Eight goals in eight Premier League has Fulham’s Rodrigo Muniz as the top goalscorer in the league in 2024. The Brazilian’s remarkable purple patch continued against Sheffield United on Saturday, scoring a wonderful scissor-kick equaliser to ensure his side left with a point after being 3-1 down. He has been a revelation since the turn of the year and may even have made some of the Premier League’s big boys sit up and take notice of the striker.

Luton struggle to stay in front again 

In four of their last five away games, Luton have led in the game yet failed to take all three points. Cauley Woodrow rescued a point for the Hatters at Selhurst Park last month, but after leading against Tottenham, Bournemouth, Liverpool and Newcastle, Rob Edwards’ side have let the lead slip. The most glaring example of their away struggles was against the Cherries, where they led 3-0 but ended up losing 4-3.

Tahith Chong’s early goal put Luton 1-0 up the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, however a familiar story played out for the away side, who ended up losing the game 2-1. The next two away games for Luton- Arsenal and Manchester City. These dropped points could be the difference between relegation and survival.

Where would Chelsea be without Cole Palmer?

Another two goals for Cole Palmer brought his season tally in the league to 13 goals, with eight assists to his name too. His cheeky penalty put the Blues’ ahead against relegation-threatened Burnley before he put his side back in front in the second half with a composed finished inside the box.

Despite playing with ten men for more than a half of football, Burnley snatched a point late on through Dara O’Shea on a dismal afternoon for the Blues and Palmer continues to be one of the few positives this season. It’s been a magnificent debut campaign in west London for the 21-year-old and with Euro 2024 on the horizon, he is making it very hard for Gareth Southgate to ignore him.

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