Premier League Matchday 21: Highlights and match reports

The Premier League continued with two replayed matches from earlier postponements - Southampton vs Brentford and West Ham vs Norwich.

By Robert Cottingham Published: 13 January 2022 - 9.08am

Premier League decides against break

Premier League clubs have decided to carry on with the fixture list and not take a break despite seeing a number games called off due to Covid cases.

A statement from the Premier League read: “While recognising COVID-19 challenges, League’s collective intention is to continue current fixture schedule where safely possible.

"It was confirmed at a Premier League club meeting that while recognising a number of clubs are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and challenges, it is the League’s collective intention to continue the current fixture schedule where safely possible.

"The health and wellbeing of all concerned remains our priority and the League will continue to monitor and reflect public health guidance, always proceeding with caution."

The Premier League action continues with two replayed games from earlier cancelled fixtures.

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Saturday 1 January

 Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City

Rodri's dramatic stoppage-time winner snatched three points for Manchester City against an Arsenal side who might wonder how they ended up empty-handed on New Year's Day.

Bukayo Saka's precise finish from a low Kieran Tierney cross had given the home side a deserved lead at half-time but an exhilerating five-minute period of the second half saw the game turn on its head to benefit the champions.

First, Granit Xhaka was adjudged to have fouled Bernardo Silva in the box after VAR summoned Stuart Attwell to rewatch incident, with Riyad Mahrez making no mistake from the spot.

Then Aymeric Laporte's midjudged header back to Ederson was cleared off the line by Nathan Ake as Gabriel Martinella slammed the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

Seconds later, Gunners defender Gabriel was given his marching orders for a second yellow card after fouling Gabriel Jesus, his second infringement within minutes after being cautioned for scuffing up the penalty spot before Mahrez's spot kick.

Arsenal looked as though they had done enough to hold on for a point before a hopeful ball canonned off Aymeric Laporte and fell perfectly for Rodri to poke past Aaron Ramsdale into the Arsenal net in the 93rd minute.

Leicester P-P Norwich

Leicester's clash with Norwich on New Year's Day has been postponed due to Covid-19 cases in Dean Smith's squad. 

It's the second match that the Canaries have had postponed after their game against West Ham, which was due to be played on December 18.

It will be the third match Leicester will have postponed and the Foxes have a backlog of fixtures to make up after Covid cases in the camp led to the Tottenham and Everton games being called off on December 16 and 19 respectively.

Watford 0-1 Tottenham

Davinson Sanchez's stoppage-time header snatched three points for Tottenham to break Watford hearts as the visitors secured a vital win to keep their top four campaign alive.

The Hornets had done the hard work as they looked to keep a first clean sheet of the season but the Colombian defender rose highest from a late Heung-min Son set piece to send Spurs into dreamland.

Crystal Palace 2-3 West Ham

Crystal Palace fought back after a dismal first half to give West Ham a late scare at Selhurst Park but the home side were unable to overturn a three-goal deficit to rescue a share of the points.

Miguel Lanzini was the chief tormentor for the Hammers as he scored a brace to compliment Michail Antonio's opener before Odsonne Eduoard and Michael Olise added two in reply after the break.

West Ham emerged easy winners at Selhurst Park.
West Ham emerged easy winners at Selhurst Park.

Sunday 2 January

Brentford 2-1 Aston Villa

A late strike from Mads Roerslev condemned Steven Gerrard to defeat on his return to the touchline at Brentford.

Gerrard was back in the Aston Villa dug-out following a Covid lay-off as his side attempted to bounce back from the Boxing Day defeat at Chelsea.

They led through an early Danny Ings strike, but Yoane Wissa hit a spectacular equaliser for the Bees before Danish defender Roerslev proved the unlikely hero with his first professional goal to seal a 2-1 victory.

Full match report

Southampton P-P Newcastle

A combination of Covid cases and injuries in Newcastle's squad means their trip to the South Coast has been called off, with a date for the rearrangement due to be announced soon.

The postponement is the second in a matter of days for the Magpies, who were unable to face Everton at Goodison Park on Thursday for the reasons listed above. A new date for this match has also not yet been confirmed. 

A statement on Newcastle's website reads: "Newcastle United thanks the respective clubs and the Premier League for their cooperation and understanding.

"The club also extends its sincere apologies to supporters affected by both postponements and asks them to retain their tickets.

"The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted Covid-19 or their vaccination status. We ask that their privacy is respected and we wish them a full and speedy recovery."

Leeds 3-1 Burnley

Stuart Dallas and Dan James struck second-half goals as Leeds beat Burnley 3-1 at Elland Road to give their Premier League survival chances a major boost.

Dallas fired home with 13 minutes left in a pulsating relegation battle to raise the roof after Burnley substitute Maxwel Cornet’s fine free-kick had cancelled out Jack Harrison’s first-half opener.

James sealed Leeds’ first league win since the end of November with a stoppage-time header.

Leeds halted a run of three straight defeats and more importantly climbed eight points clear of Sean Dyche’s side, who remain third from bottom.

Full match report

Leeds secured a huge win against Burnley.
Leeds secured a huge win against Burnley.

Everton 2-3 Brighton

Brighton’s first victory at Goodison Park piled more pressure on Everton manager Rafael Benitez as Alexis Mac Allister scored twice in a 3-2 win which the Seagulls made harder work of than they should have.

It was a case of new year, same old Everton as even the long-awaited return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin after almost five months out with a thigh injury failed to change their fortunes, with the striker’s main contribution being a missed first-half penalty.

By then the home side were already 2-0 down after Mac Allister’s opener was followed by a Dan Burn header as the Toffees conceded the first goal for the 14th time in 20 matches this season and seventh time in succession. 

Full match report

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool

Chelsea battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool in a thrilling first half at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool scored two early goals through Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah's brilliantly-taken effort as they looked set to take control of the clash.

But two goals in three minutes at the end of the half turned the game on it's head as Mateo Kovacic's wonderful strike and Christian Pulisic's effort earned Chelsea a point.

Monday 3 January

Manchester United 0-1 Wolves

Joao Moutinho's effort eight minutes from time earned Wolves a huge win at Old Trafford and condemned Manchester United to the first defeat of the Ralf Rangnick interim reign.

Jose Sa's save in stoppage time from Bruno Fernandes was then required to maintain the three points in a game that Wolves deservedly won.

The goal came about when Phil Jones', who coped well on his return after two years out, header fell to Moutinho to drill home.

Tuesday 10 January

Southampton 4-1 Brentford

Southampton’s new owners watched from the stands as the club registered their biggest Premier League win of the season by thrashing Brentford 4-1.

Goals from Jan Bednarek, Armando Broja and Che Adams, plus an own-goal from Bees goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez, secured a resounding victory in Saints’ first top-flight outing since last week’s takeover.

Brentford midfielder Vitaly Janelt briefly levelled proceedings with a fine first-half volley but the evening belonged to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s rampant hosts.

Wednesday 11 January

West Ham 2-0 Norwich

Jarrod Bowen fired West Ham into the top four and enhanced his England credentials in a 2-0 win over Norwich.

Bowen’s seventh and eighth goals of the season secured a third straight Premier League win for the Hammers and left City rooted to the foot of the table.

The calls for Bowen to win a Three Lions call-up are getting louder, with his eight assists meaning the former Hull winger has now been directly involved in 16 goals this season – the most of any English player in the top flight.

The statistics for Norwich make grim reading, however. It is now six successive defeats without scoring, equalling a depressing club record in the Premier League.