Premier League Matchday 26 review: Liverpool’s lead lessens

Arsenal & Man City capitalise on the Reds’ absence.

Four teams weren’t in action this past gameweek as Liverpool and the billion-pound bottle jobs (f.k.a Chelsea) battled it out at Wembley for the Carabao Cup. Congrats to Liverpool on their victory.

But back in the Prem, their biggest rivals this season took advantage of their game in hand and closed the gap at the top.

Matchday 26 threw up a couple of surprises, including another disappointing showing at the supposed ‘Theatre of Dreams.’

Check out my thoughts in the latest Premier League Matchday 26 review, looking at the good, the bad and the ugly, plus highlighting the biggest winners and star players.

The Good

Credit: Gunners win SIXTH game in a row! | Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle | Premier League Highlights (Sky Sports Premier League, Youtube)

The top four remains the same as Arsenal, Manchester City and Aston Villa all picked up victories.

The Gunners kept up their fantastic scoring form as of late by putting four past Newcastle. Villa did the same with four against Nottingham Forest, but City’s 1-0 win over 14th-placed Bournemouth wasn’t entirely convincing. Still, a wins a win.

A battle in London between West Ham and Brentford saw the Hammers snap their three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory despite the visitors looking stronger on the stats.

Wolves deservedly put themselves into the top half of the table with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United. They have been silent movers in the league this year and do seem to be in contention for a European spot for next season.

Away from the pitch and from Matchday 26, Everton found some good news in that their appeal for the 10-point penalty they were given in November has been reduced to six points, thus moving them from 17th to 15th in the table. However…

The Bad

Credit: Dunk heads in late equaliser for 10-player Brighton | Brighton 1-1 Everton | EPL Highlights (Sky Sports Premier League, Youtube)

The Toffees are still in trouble (seamless transition, right?!) as they are facing another possible points deduction after being charged again in January along with Nottingham Forest for alleged breaches in their accounts for 2022/23.

The rest of the season will be worrying times for Everton, knowing that they may be hit with another 10-point deduction at some point, and an appeal decision wouldn’t be heard until a week after the season concludes.

That’s why a draw with Brighton isn’t quite enough. It is a good result on the surface, given that Brighton are fighting for European football next season, but Everton needs more to put their fate in their hands.

The Ugly

Credit: Iwobi stoppage time winner STUNS Old Trafford | Man United 1-2 Fulham | Premier League Highlights (Sky Sports Premier League, Youtube)

I can’t take the mick too much out of the Manchester United result as I saw the score after witnessing my Southampton lose 2-1 to a disgustingly bad Millwall side for a second home loss in one week.

Still, it was quite funny to see, and in all honesty, the only reason why they’re going in the ugly section is because they lost to a 97th-minute Alex Iwobi goal.

No hate on Iwobi, it’s just, him. Really?

Biggest Winners

Credit: Palace blow away Burnley in a match THRILLER! | Crystal Palace 3-0 Burnley | EPL Highlights (Sky Sports Premier League, Youtube)

This week, I’m going with a rare bottom-half team pick for my biggest winners, with Crystal Palace getting the nod.

With new manager Oliver Glasner at the helm, Palace earned a confident 3-0 win over Burnley, moving them above Bournemouth in the table to 13th and taking a good step closer to the 35 point mark which should see them safely remain in the league another year.

Star Players

Credit: Bowen's brilliant hat-trick and Emerson scores SCREAMER | West Ham 4-2 Brentford | EPL Highlights (Sky Sports Premier League, Youtube)

Jarrod Bowen

It’s not really plural players this week as only one man stood above the rest. West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen carried his side to their victory over Brentford, and even a screamer of a fourth goal from his teammate Emerson couldn’t take away his spotlight.

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