Football News

VAR piles misery on Bournemouth: Seven things you might have missed from Premier League’s 3pm kick-offs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:06, 22 February 2020

After the mid-season break, full Premier League action returned this weekend with four games in the Saturday afternoon slot.

There were games affecting both ends of the table with Sheffield United looking to push for a European spot as they hosted Brighton & Hove Albion.

Elsewhere, Burnley hosted Bournemouth, Crystal Palace faced Newcastle United and Aston Villa travelled to Southampton.

But, as always, with football spread out around the country it can be easy to miss the goings on of the Premier League. We’ve got you covered.

1. Matej Vydra strikes again

Prior to netting in Burnley’s 2-1 win over Southampton last weekend, Matej Vydra had not scored since September 2018 – against Bournemouth.

But now the striker has two goals in two games, opening the scoring for Burnley in their 3-0 victory against, coincidentally, Bournemouth.

And he may fancy his chances of making it three in a row against Newcastle United next week.

2. VAR piles misery Bournemouth

However, the Burnley win will be largely overshadowed by the use of VAR and Bournemouth will certainly feel hard-done-by.

Before Burnley took the lead, Josh King thought he had opened the scoring but his effort was ruled out for a handball by Philip Billing in the build-up.

They then thought they had equalised in the second half when Harry Wilson put the ball in the net, but again it was ruled out for a handball. However, this time the handball was by Adam Smith in their own area and Burnley were awarded a penalty.

Jay Rodriguez scored from the spot and put the game out of Bournemouth’s reach.

3. Dwight McNeil steals show at Turf Moor

Fighting against the headline-stealing VAR at Turf Moor was Dwight McNeil, who both scored and recorded an assist in the routine victory over Bournemouth.

The 20-year-old started with an assist for Vydra’s goal, his 10th in the Premier League, becoming the youngest player to reach that landmark since Raheem Sterling in November 2014.

And he then capped off the victory with a wonderful solo effort from outside the area having picked up the ball just inside the Bournemouth half, pushing Burnley up to eighth.

4. Shane Long continues fine run against Aston Villa

There was a time this season when Southampton looked in danger of relegation, but now Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men look comfortable in 12th.

Their 2-0 win over Aston Villa came courtesy of an early goal from Shane Long, who continues to torment the Villans.

The strike was Long’s ninth against Villa in all competitions – more than he has managed againt any other club. It also carried on a decent run of being directly involved in 11 goals in his last eight Premier League starts against Villa.

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5. Villa’s wait for away clean sheet continues

Not only did Long’s goal put Southampton ahead but it also delayed Aston Villa’s long wait for an away clean sheet.

Dean Smith’s side are the only team yet to keep an away clean sheet in the Premier League this season – failing to do so in 14 matches.

Villa eventually a second in injury time as they were counter-attacked by Stuart Armstrong after Pepe Reina went up for a corner.

6. Neal Maupay ends drought

Sheffield United missed out on the opportunity to move to fifth in the table after they were held by Brighton at Bramall Lane. Enda Stevens gave the home side the lead but it did not last too long, with Neal Maupay equalising.

In doing so, the Frenchman ended an eight-game run without a goal, spanning 660 minutes and 21 shots.

Maupay also became the first Brighton player not named Glenn Murray to score eight goals in a single Premier League season, moving one clear of Pascal Groß’s 2017/18 return.

7. Patrick van Aanholt makes Palace history

A battle between 13th and 14th saw Newcastle United travel to Crystal Palace to try and move away from the relegation zone.

Crystal Palace were the team to come out on top, needing just one goal to win it, and what a strike it was.

Awarded a free-kick roughly 25 yards out, Patrick van Aanholt stepped up and bent the ball past Martin Dubravka in the Newcastle goal. It was his 13th Premier League strike for Palace, moving ahead of Scott Dann as the club’s top-scoring defender in the competition.