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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: With every Premier League team bar one having played at least one match by Sunday, we look at how they have fared since the launch of Project Restart.
For the third season running the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park was goalless and fun-free. But Liverpool will care very little for entertainment at this point, and the draw means they are five points away from confirming the title, or less if Manchester City drop points.
Return Rating: 7 (out of 10)
In a comprehensive 3-0 win over Arsenal, Pep Guardiola’s team looked as if they had never been away. While they know the Premier League title is just about gone now, you can still rely on Manchester City to deliver the goods. Especially against Arsenal.
Having led by a stunning 88th minute goal from Ben Chilwell, conceding such a late equaliser to claim only a draw against Watford will be huge disappointment for Brendan Rodgers. However, a place in next season’s Champions League is ever closer.
An excellent performance against Aston Villa was capped by a devastating two-minute comeback to turn a one-goal deficit into a win. Mason Mount in particular shone and there was a welcome return for Christian Pulisic who scored the equaliser. A result that tightens Chelsea’s grip on fourth place.
The positivity surging through the club before the onset of the coronavirus crisis was maintained with a fine performance at Tottenham. The return of Pogba to a midfield in which Bruno Fernandez is excelling means hopes of a Champions League spot remain very much alive.
Carried on where they left off before the lockdown. Two brilliantly executed goals, a dominant all-round performance and three points against West Ham leaves them tied on points with Manchester United in fifth place. Don’t write them off in the hunt for Champions League football.
A dismal return to action for a team that had until the break enjoyed an excellent season. Chris Wilder’s team were unlucky not to win at Aston Villa on Wednesday thanks to the failure of goal-line technology. But there was no hiding place at St James’ Park where Newcastle overwhelmed their 10 men. The brief flirtation with a Champions League place looks to be over now.
From a purely results point of view, the enforced lockdown couldn’t have come at a better time for Tottenham. Looked much more solid against Manchester United, if not necessarily as exciting as their fans would want. Champions League qualification seems more unlikely by the match.
Safe in in mid-table and now beyond the 40-point mark thanks to an excellent win at Bournemouth. Roy Hodgson’s team have had a fine season and find themselves above the likes of Arsenal and Everton. One of the best returns by any of the Premier League teams.
Couldn’t have been any worse. Two defeats and spate of injuries including to goalkeeper Bernd Leno, not to mention an obligatory David Luiz sending off and suspension. Champions League qualification looking a distant dream for the Gunners.
Return to action on Monday night against Manchester City. No rating.
Newcastle’s best result was timely for Steve Bruce, the 3-0 win all but guaranteeing Premier League safety. There was also the added bonus of seeing struggling forward Joelinton score and give the Sheffield United defence a tough afternoon in general. Things looking up at St James’ Park.
A 0-0 draw will be seen as a decent result against local rivals and champions-elect Liverpool, though their fans will wonder why Everton did not show any attacking intent for the majority of the match. A result to build on for the Blues.
A comfortable 3-0 win over struggling Norwich was the perfect way for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team to ease their way back into action. Now almost safe from the drop, the Saints can approach the rest of the season with less pressure than was expected at the start of the year.
Brighton & Hove Albion
A dream, unexpected result. What looked like yet another defeat for Darren Potter’s team when they went down to Pepe’s excellent left-foot strike was somehow turned into the first win of the year against a typically obliging Arsenal. Three priceless points and arguably the Premier League’s best return to action.
The injury-time escape act against Leicester will have lifted the mood at Vicarage Road, but in truth a draw was hardly a result to celebrate for Watford. They remain just one point above the relegation places, and will hope to rediscover the form that helped them to beat Liverpool 3-0 before the break.
West Ham United
Very poor. Whatever few positive signs there had been before the suspension of the season seem to have disappeared. Lacking leadership from top to bottom and showing little creativity or cohesion against Wolves, this is a club in deep trouble now.
A shocking display and result against Crystal Palace at home leaves them in the bottom three with a desperately difficult run of matches coming up. Relegation beckons.
A lucky draw and a loss, with that priceless game in hand gone, and Aston Villa are now in deep trouble. Another defeat to a resurgent Newcastle on Wednesday could prove a fatal blow in their relegation fight.
Their plight looks ever more hopeless. The loss to Southampton leaves them rock bottom of the Premier League and seven points from safety. Need a miracle to survive.
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