Football News

Burnley say goodbye and Wissa’s on fire plus other stats & stories you might have missed in the Premier League

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:30, 11 May 2024

The 2023/24 Premier League season has entered its final stretch.

Eight matches were played today, beginning with defending champions Manchester City, who visited Fulham before six 3 pm games featuring Newcastle and Tottenham.

This was a precursor to a contest between Nottingham Forest and Chelsea in the late kick-off.

With the bulk of matchday 37’s fixtures being played, it’s only natural if you miss an important or memorable event. But don’t worry – Squawka is here to cover everything you might have missed from this penultimate round of games.

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Gvardiol at the double

What a few weeks Josko Gvardiol is enjoying. Having not scored in any of his first 32 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions, Gvardiol has since scored five in his last seven for the club, with none of his efforts have been scored with his left foot (four right-footed and one header).

But the Croatian defender wasn’t brought the previous summer for his scoring prowess. Pep Guardiola, though, will not be complaining as City maintained their march towards a historic four-peat at Fulham this afternoon.

The champions ran out 4-0 winners at Craven Cottage, with Gvardiol bagging a brace, meaning only Erling Haaland (7) and Phil Foden (7) have scored more goals for City since the start of April than Josko Gvardiol (5).

Speaking of Foden, who netted in between Gvardiol’s double, became just the second Englishman to score 25+ goals for City across all competitions in a season in the Premier League era, after Raheem Sterling in 2018-19 (25) and 2019-20 (31).

With just two matches left to play, City knows that winning both will guarantee them another successful title defence. Key players, particularly Kevin De Bruyne, are in top form at the right moment. The playmaker created Gvardiol’s opening goal, and he now has more Premier League assists (111) than anyone except Ryan Giggs (162).

Meanwhile, teammate Rodri has an impressive record of not losing any of the last 48 Premier League games he played for Manchester City. Only Sol Campbell (with 56 unbeaten games from November 2002 to October 2004) has enjoyed a longer unbeaten run in the competition’s history.

Wissa’s late show

With the game heading towards a goalless draw, Yoane Wissa, who had started on the bench for Brentford, found Bryan Mbeumo for the game-opener. On his 199th appearance for Brentford across all competitions, Mbeumo scored his 50th goal for the club.

Andoni Iraola’s men weren’t taking it lying down, and they produced an equaliser through Dominic Solanke in the 89th minute, but that’s when the drama began as Wissa sealed all three points in the 95th minute, which proved to be Brentford’s latest winning goal in the Premier League since Ivan Toney’s goal against Manchester City in November 2022 (98th minute).

Dyche be proud

After staving off relegation, which has become a yearly tradition, Everton will hope for better days ahead despite contentious off-field matters.

In another frustrating campaign, where they’ve spent much of it in the bottom half, the Toffees have at least shown the spirit their manager Sean Dyche demands.

If there’s one area where the gruff-sounding tactician hangs his hat on, it is discipline and defensive resolve, and they displayed both in a 1-0 win over already-relegated Sheffield United, the oft-reliable Abdoulaye Doucouré scoring the game-only goal.

The result meant Everton kept their 13th Premier League clean sheet of the season, second only to Arsenal (17) in the competition this term, which is crazy when you think where both clubs are on the league spectrum.

Furthermore, they’ve kept a clean sheet in 85% of their Premier League wins this season (11/13), the highest share in the division. Indeed, each of their last 14 league wins at Goodison Park have been to nil (six in 2022-23, eight this season).

Longstaff guarantees 100% home record

Brighton came into today’s game looking to complete the league double over Newcastle for the third time, previously doing so in 2020-21 (Premier League) and 1978-79 (second tier). Following Joël Veltman’s opener, it looked to be on the cards.

However, this recent Newcastle team are made of sterner material and Sean Longstaff levelled proceedings with many expecting the Magpies to push on, but that never came to pass, with both settling for a point apiece.

Longstaff’s effort, though, was significant as Newcastle have scored in every Premier League home game this season. They last scored in 100% of their home league games in a single campaign in 1982-83, while they last did so in the top flight in 1958-59.

Clarets go down

After earning promotion to the top division of English football with an impressive and proactive style of play, many expected Burnley to hold their own against the Premier League’s best teams.

However, the Clarets have struggled for form this season, and their relegation to the Championship was confirmed following their latest defeat against Tottenham in North London.

Despite taking an early lead through Jacob Bruun Larsen, Pedro Porro’s equaliser pegged Vincent Kompany’s side back before Micky van de Ven completed the comeback win.

Unfortunately, this confirmed Burnley will lose their Premier League status, and this is the fourth time they have been relegated from the top flight.

Luton on the brink

The inevitable seems real after Luton snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in David Moyes’ final home match in charge of West Ham this afternoon.

Relegation back to England’s second division could be confirmed later in the day, with Nottingham Forest required to improve their result.

Even if they cannot do so, a final-day success against Fulham might not be enough, but an incredible last-day rescue might be in store as long as they have a chance.

Albert Sambi Lokonga’s early opener gave the visitors hope, but that would be squandered after the break with James Ward-Prowse, Tomás Soucek, and substitute 19-year-old George Earthy ensured a 3-1 success on an emotional afternoon for their manager, who bid the London Stadium farewell.

Two-headed Eagle

There’s no question Crystal Palace is ending the season on a solid note. After enduring a five-game winless run (three losses and two draws), Oliver Glasner’s side are six unbeaten (five wins and one draw), averaging 2.7 goals per game during this run.

A key component behind their resurgence has been a solid defence supporting an exciting forward line that has more often than not done their job but let down with those behind them.

Wolves had no answer to Palace’s frontline, with Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta getting on the scoresheet; Matheus Cunha netted a consolation goal.

Olise and Mateta have been spectacular of late. The former has been involved in 14 goals in his last 13 Premier League games, scoring nine and assisting five. Meanwhile, the latter has scored seven goals in his last seven league appearances.