Football News

Premier League gameweek 30: Cole Palmer reaches milestone and Tottenham’s fighting spirit plus other stats & stories you might have missed on Saturday

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:35, 30 March 2024

Premier League football returned following the March international break.

Today saw no fewer than eight matches. The day began at St James’ Park, where Newcastle and West Ham played out an entertaining seven-goal affair. Afterwards, there were five 3 p.m. games featuring Chelsea and Tottenham.

This was a precursor to a contest between midland rivals Aston Villa and Wolves in the 5:30 pm game before Brentford hosted Manchester United hours later.

With the bulk of matchday 30’s fixtures being played, it’s only natural if you miss an important or memorable event. But don’t worry – Squawka is here with several things you might have missed from this latest round of games.

A revolving door experience (Newcastle 4-3 West Ham)

What an incredible way to announce Premier League football is back on the menu than a lunchtime goal-fest. Newcastle and West Ham traded blows on Tyneside, with the Magpies prevailing most dramatically. Having led, the Hammers raced into a 3-1 half-time lead before Eddie Howe’s men scored three unanswered second-half strikes. It was a game that also saw both teams use all but one of their five available subsites, which made for some interesting historical notes.

For one, Alexander Isak became the second player to score a penalty goal against two different goalkeepers in a single Premier League match, after Steven Gerrard against Aston Villa in March 2009 (Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan). Furthermore, Newcastle became the second team to have two substitutes come on and be subbed off in a single Premier League match after Brentford against Wolves in January 2022.

Comeback Kings (Tottenham 2-1 Luton)

For the fifth consecutive Premier League home game, Tottenham conceded the first goal, but unlike against Wolves last month, Ange Postecoglou’s men completed the comeback to seal all three points. Tahith Chong’s opener (02:17) was the earliest Spurs have conceded at home in the Premier League since March 2014 against Arsenal (72 seconds). The leveller came from an unexpected source. Issa Kaboré inadvertently put the ball into his net. No side has benefited from more own goals in England’s top division this season than Tottenham (four). But their winner couldn’t be more familiar.

Son Heung-min has scored at least 15 goals in a Premier League season on three of the last four occasions (23 in 2021-22 and 17 in 2020-21). Indeed, five of his 15 goals for Tottenham in the Premier League this season have been the winning goal; no other player has more. Son’s effort also means Spurs have now earned 22 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season; only Liverpool (23) have more, while only in 2010-11 (24) and 2012-13 (23) have they accumulated more such points in a single campaign in the competition.

Muniz madness (Sheffield United 3-3 Fulham)

This spectacle at Bramall Lane fell one short of the weekend’s opening game, which saw a measly six goals scored. Sheffield United, who looks to be playing Championship football next season, will kick themselves. They were 3-1 up at one stage, seemingly cruising to obtaining three much-needed points. Chris Wilder’s men broke the deadlock with the first of Ben Brereton’s two goals. João Palhinha equalised before the Blades netted twice in as many minutes.

But the craziness was only beginning. Bobby De Cordova-Reid came off the bench to pull one back in the 86th minute, which set the stage for Rodrigo Muniz’s stoppage-time equaliser. On another day, the Brazilian forward, on a hot streak in front of goal, could have posted more.

Only Liverpool (19) and Tottenham (15) have hit the woodwork more than Fulham (14) in the Premier League this season. No Fulham player has hit the woodwork more than Rodrigo Muniz (3) in the league in 2023/24. Even so, Muniz’s effort counted as his eighth Premier League goal of the season, coming in his last eight games. He’s been involved in nine Premier League goals this campaign (scored 8, assisted 1), more than any other Fulham player.

Air Wood (Nottingham Forest 1-1 Crystal Palace)

Every point accumulated from now until the season’s end could prove pivotal. This season’s Premier League relegation battle can still produce a couple more twists and turns, but as things stand, Nottingham Forest is one place above the drop zone, albeit on goal difference. It looked hairy when Jean-Philippe Mateta put the visiting Crystal Palace in front. Forest have gone 1-0 down in 17 different Premier League games this season, with only Sheffield United (21), Luton (20) and Burnley (18) conceding first more often.

Tottenham’s beating of Luton kept Rob Edwards’ side on 22 points; the same total Forest has achieved with their latest point, won by the languid Chris Wood. It came via what is becoming his calling card. He’s now scored more headed goals than any other player in the Premier League this season (five). Having a credible goalscorer is often enough to stave off demotion, and Wood is enjoying life now. He’s scored nine goals in his last 11 Premier League starts.

Palmer dependency (Chelsea 2-2 Burnley)

In another frustratingly inconsistent season, one can only imagine Chelsea without Cole Palmer, who joined from Manchester City last summer and quickly became their most influential and most important player. Today’s meeting with Burnley was yet another example. Despite finishing with ten men, Vincent Kompany’s men left Stamford Bridge with hard-earned points. Palmer twice put the hosts in front before Josh Cullen and Dara O’Shea equalised, respectively.

This showdown ended with 51 shots between Chelsea (33) and Burnley (18), and only one Premier League game on record (since 2003-04) has seen more attempts at goal – Queens Park Rangers against Leicester City in November 2014 (52). In fact, that was the Blues most in a Premier League game in over ten years, since January 2014 against West Ham (39).

Palmer’s brace means been involved in 21 Premier League goals this season (13 goals, eight assists), with only Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (32 in 2000-01) and Diego Costa (23 in 2014-15) being involved in more in their debut Premier League campaign for Chelsea. He also became the first Chelsea player to score in five consecutive Premier League home games for the Blues since Eden Hazard in December 2014.

In unlucky company (Bournemouth 2-1 Everton)

In the final minutes at Vitality Stadium, Everton’s relief quickly turned into despair, leaving them winless in 12 matches (five draws and seven losses) — their joint-longest ever run in the competition without victory — and two places above the relegation zone. Three minutes from the end, Beto’s effort cancelled Dominic Solanke’s opener, but Séamus Coleman could only divert the ball into his own goal as soon as that equaliser went in.

On his 358th top-flight appearance for Everton, Coleman netted his sixth own goal to condemn Everton to defeat. In the competition’s history, only Richard Dunne (10), Jamie Carragher (7), Phil Jagielka (7), and Martin Skrtel (7) have ever scored more own-goals than Coleman.

Home Sweet Home (Aston Villa 2-0 Wolves)

One point from six available before the international break put a spanner in Aston Villa’s push for an improbable Champions League ticket. After tonight, Unai Emery’s side is three points ahead of fifth-place Tottenham, who have a game in hand. It wasn’t the usual suspects who made the difference as they ran out 2-0 winners over Wolves, with Ollie Watkins coming off at half-time.

Moussa Diaby and Ezri Konsa would instead net, ensuring Villa recorded as many Premier League wins this season as they managed last season (18)—only in 1992-93 (21) have they recorded more wins in a season in the competition.

That being said, Diaby (five goals and seven assists) became the fifth player to score five or more goals and provide five or more assists in his first Premier League season for Villa after Savo Milosevic in 1995-96, Watkins and Bertrand Traoré in 2020-21, and Danny Ings in 2021-22.

Also worth noting is the face since Emery’s first league game in charge of Aston Villa (6th November 2022); no other side in the competition has more than 20 home wins during that time (level with Liverpool and Manchester City).