Another packed week of Premier League action has been and gone, and with it the usual twist and turns as Brentford picked up a much-needed win at the bottom of the table, hammering Chelsea 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, Manchester City just about held onto their lead over Liverpool ahead of the clash between the two sides on April 10th, and Tottenham continued to impress.
But who stood out for the right reasons, and who is going to be kept awake at night?
Antonio Conte’s new Tottenham side have seemingly finally clicked into gear, and registered an emphatic 5-1 win over Newcastle to announce their return from the international break. Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, both signed on a deadline day in January, have made a massive impact on the side, combined with the resurgence of Harry Kane.
Harry Kane, playmaker. 👏 pic.twitter.com/ILzOUPQz4P
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 5, 2022
The result combined with Arsenal’s defeat means that they have leapfrogged their north London rivals into 4th spot, although Mikel Arteta and co. have a game in hand. However, the Lilywhites are well placed for a late-season push for the final Champions League spot.
Hot: Christian Eriksen
What a heartwarming story the return of Eriksen to the top tier of European football has been. The Dane was fighting for his life after collapsing at Euro 2020, but Brentford took a risk on him in January, and it is one that has paid dividends.
🥰 Things you love to see…
— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) April 5, 2022
The former Tottenham man found the back of the net against Chelsea to help his side to a mammoth 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge and help Brentford to safety in the Premier League next season, it seems.
Hot: Crystal Palace
Patrick Vieira has done a stellar rebuild job at Crystal Palace, moving them from one of the oldest sides in the Premier League to one of the youngest. Three of his players featured for England over the international break, the most of any side, and they continue to impress.
“Come to Daddy!” 🤣
Jean-Philippe Mateta’s reaction just before he scored in Crystal Palace’s 3-0 win over Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/Y7Fdd6NhPD
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 5, 2022
Their 3-0 win over Arsenal, themselves previously in good form, was not flukey or flattering, but rather a brilliant performance by a side growing by the week.
And Palace fans will be doubly happy as their rivals Brighton continue to struggle. Despite accumulating 2.86 expected goals in their game against relegation consigned Norwich, they could not break the deadlock and have now not scored in their last six Premier League games as they continue their freefall.
📊⚽️ Most Expected Goals (xG) created in the Premier League this weekend:
1 ️⃣ Tottenham – 3.24
2️⃣ Brighton – 2.86
3️⃣ Brentford – 2.54
4️⃣ Aston Villa – 2.52
5️⃣ Liverpool – 2.25
6️⃣ West Ham – 1.95
6️⃣ Wolves – 1.95
8️⃣ Southampton – 1.75
9⃣ Leeds – 1.66 pic.twitter.com/rRl0Nn8XfW
— Sporting Life Football & Infogol (@InfogolApp) April 5, 2022
A new striker is a must in the summer, but how much lower they will sink this season is still up in the air.
Not: Marcus Rashford
With no other strikers available through illness or injury, Marcus Rashford was once again overlooked for his side’s clash with Leicester City, as Bruno Fernandes was asked to fulfil the striker duties on the side.
He came on at the hour mark, and it was not for a tackle by fellow Red Devil Anthony Elanga, he may well have netted the winner, which would have changed the outlook on his contribution.
However, he didn’t, and he continues to struggle.
No player needs a new manager at Man Utd more than Marcus Rashford. Two weeks off, time spent on the training pitch and he still can’t get into a team without a striker in it. Needs a new boss to release his career…
— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) April 2, 2022
In awful form, the Englishman is seemingly being given the cold shoulder by Ralf Rangnick, and desperately needs a change of scenery to kickstart his career and rekindle his fast fading chances of making Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad in November.
On the pitch, Chelsea were seemingly entirely unaffected by the controversy and issues that surrounded the west London club, winning every game in March. But the Blues suffered a terrible reverse against Brentford, slumping to a 4-1 defeat despite spectacularly taking the lead through Antonio Rudiger.
Back to work! 🤙 pic.twitter.com/HTPDq9QJVG
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 4, 2022
Whether off the pitch issues are finally taking center stage remains to be seen, but the Blues will know that with Champions League and FA Cup knockout games to play in the next fortnight, they will need this to be a blip rather than a new normal under Thomas Tuchel.