Football Features

Tottenham open new stadium with a win: The Premier League action you may have missed

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:44, 3 April 2019

With the Premier League edging towards its climax, three more matches took place on Wednesday evening with teams catching up on their games in hand.

The matches involved teams from both the top and the bottom of the table, with title chasers Manchester City hosting relegation fighters Cardiff City.

Tottenham Hotspur welcomed Crystal Palace to their new stadium in their first game back at home after almost two years.

And the final game of the day saw Chelsea looking to keep their top four hopes alive against FA Cup semi-finals Brighton.

But what went down in the three games?

Chelsea 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

The match summed up in one stat… Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 50% of Chelsea’s home goals in the Premier League this season.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Chelsea have moved level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal in the race for the Champions League – though the Gunners do have a game in hand. Meanwhile Brighton remain five points clear of Cardiff in 18th.

Man of the match? Callum Hudson-Odoi, who created more chances than any other player and recorded one assist on his first Premier League start – the youngest assister in the competition this season.

Spare a thought for… Solly March. Brighton find themselves in a strange situation, not quite safe in the Premier League while also preparing for an FA Cup final. The tight nature of the relegation battle means Chris Hughton can hardly afford to rest key players and focus on one competition. One down-side of this is the risk of injuries and Brighton learned the hard way with March having to be taken off after 30 minutes – putting his appearance at Wembley in doubt.

In the managers’ words…

“In this match we played like we did in the first part of the season.” – Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea manager.

“Very quickly after [the FA Cup semi-final] it’s about doing enough to stay in the division.” – Chris Hughton, Brighton manager.

Manchester City 2-0 Cardiff City

The match summed up in one stat… Kevin De Bruyne (six) created more chances than the whole Cardiff team combined on Wednesday night.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Manchester City have returned to the top of the Premier League table, sitting one point clear of Liverpool. Meanwhile, Cardiff’s hopes of survival have worsened with the Bluebirds remaining five points off safety with six games to play.

Man of the match? Kevin De Bruyne, who opened the scoring from an acute angle – though admitted he didn’t mean it – and created six chances.

Spare a thought for… Fantasy Football managers. Pep Guardiola has been the bane of FPL managers since taking over at Manchester City with his rotation and in what was a double gameweek, the Catalan struck again. With one eye on the FA Cup semi-final this weekend, Guardiola rested key players and made just one substitution – an enforced chance in the first half due to Oleksandr Zinchenko’s injury.

In the managers’ words…

“[Phil Foden] competes with David Silva, Kevin [De Bruyne], [Ilkay] Gundogan, Bernardo [Silva]. He trains incredible.” – Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager.

“You can afford the odd draw but I think we have to win three at least, add a draw and who knows?” – Neil Warnock, Cardiff City manager.

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Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace

The match summed up in one stat… Crystal Palace hit the target with just one of their five efforts, compared to Tottenham’s eight from 24.

What does this mean for the Premier League? Tottenham have returned to third in the Premier League, one point ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, stay 13th.

Man of the match? Christian Eriksen, who set up Son Heung-min’s opener before rounding off the scoring.

Spare a thought for… Tottenham’s non-attending British fans. This is a moment Spurs fans have been waiting eagerly for, their first game at their new home, almost two years after leaving White Hart Lane. But for those unfortunate to miss out on a ticket, there was no other alternative to follow the game from Britain. Man City vs Cardiff was shown on TV and there was no national radio commentary available.

In the managers’ words…

“I’m pleased for [chairman] Daniel Levy because of this fantastic project and I dedicate that victory to him.” – Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur manager.

“I cannot be too disappointed with my side but there was no surrender on our side.” – Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace manager.