The Hard Tackle rounds up the action from Gameweek 30 of the Premier League, as Arsenal falter against Liverpool, while Manchester City and Aston Villa come out as big winners.

Gameweek 30 of the 2022/23 Premier League season brought a few surprises with some expected results on the cards. While Arsenal faltered up top, Manchester City continued their relentless form, dispatching Southampton.

Erling Haaland returned from an injury that saw him miss the international fixtures and Manchester City’s last game against Liverpool. Pep Guardiola’s side experienced a cagey first half before breaking the deadlock at the stroke of half-time through Haaland.

The Norwegian ended Saturday with a brace, while Jack Grealish and Julian Alvarez also got on the scoresheet. While Manchester City reduced the gap to Arsenal aside from having a game in hand, the result was not good for Southampton, who remained pinned to the foot of the table.

Ruben Selles will have been impressed with his side’s performance in the first half, only to see them crumble in the second period. There were few changes to the bottom three after Nottingham Forest and Leicester City remained within the relegation zone courtesy of their respective losses.

West Ham United, on the other hand, bounced back from a hammering at the hands of Newcastle United to secure a crucial win over Fulham. A Harrison Reed own goal in the first half proved enough for the Hammers to secure three points, while Marco Silva’s men would resign to not finishing in a European place.

There were plenty of other movements in the battle for relegation, with Bournemouth, Wolves and Crystal Palace gaining advantages to secure their safety. The Cherries secured a crucial victory over 19th-placed and manager-less Leicester City through a Philip Billing strike.

Crystal Palace are one of our overwhelming winners after turning around the game in style and defeating Leeds by five goals. Meanwhile, Wolves added to Chelsea’s misery at home with a narrow win in Frank Lampard’s first game of his second reign.

Aston Villa continued their impressive form with Ollie Watkins’ scoring run and Bertrand Traore’s resurgence. Unai Emery would hope to continue this resurgence and possibly take Villa into a probable European place at the end of the season.

Finally, on Sunday, Arsenal faced Liverpool at Anfield, which turned out to become one of the games of the season. Despite the Gunners going into a two-goal lead, Liverpool fought back in some fashion to almost secure a late victory.

Jurgen Klopp will return home as the happier manager of the two. On the other hand, Mikel Arteta will rue his side’s efforts not to secure a win. While it does not help Liverpool much in their quest to finish in the top four, the result certainly hurt Arsenal in keeping up the pressure on Manchester City.

While teams are already gearing up for the next weekend’s action, we look back at the winners & losers of Gameweek 30 of the 2022/23 Premier League season, with Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa leading the way. Chelsea feature on top of the losers’ charts at the weekend alongside Arsenal, who turn up here because of their inability to manage the game at Anfield.


Manchester City and their title defence

Manchester City have only played well in phases this season. And such form had previously cost them the title in 2019/20. Despite being this late this season, Pep Guardiola has realised the flaw and has his side on a tremendous run.

After that surprise draw against Nottingham Forest, Manchester City have won their subsequent five games and have nine more to go this season. Guardiola’s side can put in a 14-game winning run, which would win them the Premier League title.

Some players, especially Jack Grealish, have hit the best form of their Manchester City careers and become a mainstay in Guardiola’s system. Meanwhile, many pointed out the team played better against Liverpool without Erling Haaland, with the Norwegian returning with a fitting reply to those doubters.

Incredibly enough, Haaland has more goals in the league than Chelsea as a team, thus showing how tremendous his scoring record is. Manchester City are in the right vein of form ahead of their midweek UEFA Champions League blockbuster clash against Bayern Munich.

Aston Villa

The Unai Emery revolution continues as his Aston Villa side performs another fitting performance to continue their good run. Taking full advantage of Nottingham Forest’s dreadful away record, the Villans put in a composed performance to add another win to their European ambitions.

After being relatively frozen out the entire season, the game also saw a resurgent Bertrand Traore score in successive games. While it was only a matter of time before Ollie Watkins got on the scoresheet again and continued to showcase he was among the best in the league.

The win instilled belief in the Villa Park supporters that a European finish could still become a reality. However, Emery will likely take it game by game and continue on this incredible quest to become a top team in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson may have managed for decades and achieved success at various levels. But never has his team won or even scored a goal at Elland Road. That record could have continued beyond Sunday, but his Crystal Palace had other plans.

After going a goal down against Leeds and with the home side dominating proceedings in the first half, it seemed impossible for Palace to get anything from this game. Considering how they played, it did feel like Leeds would score a few more.

However, a first-half stoppage-time equaliser from Marc Guehi brought the Eagles back to life. Hodgson’s men responded emphatically and scored four more goals in the second period to kill off any slim hopes of a Leeds revival.

The victory certainly vindicated the decision-makers at Palace, and the idea of bringing Hodgson back into the fold. With two wins in the bank, it does seem the 75-year-old has plenty to offer to Premier League football and Palace, as he may keep them up quite nicely.

Top-four hopefuls

The top-four race in the Premier League continues to pass steadily, with at least four teams in the mix. Newcastle United finished the weekend ahead of Manchester Unite don goal difference, while Tottenham kept up their charge with a ‘lucky’ win over Brighton.

Newcastle United secured a rather sturdy win over Brentford despite the Bees having many chances, including two penalties, to make their mark. The forward redeemed Ivan Toney’s surprise miss from the spot earlier with another spot-kick moment later.

However, Newcastle United and Alexander Isak continued their recent good run to keep pressure on the top-four race. Manchester United are behind the Magpies only on goal difference. But a solid win over Everton at Old Trafford kept them in the hunt for third.

Meanwhile, Tottenham had to dig deep, and some advantage from the terrible decisions from the VAR room ensured they got past Brighton at home. THE PGMOL have since apologised to Brighton for the errors, which will not bring the lost points back to the Seagulls. That defeat will also be seen as a big blow to Brighton’s ambitions of a top-four finish, although a Europa League place is still within grasp.



Frank Lampard’s appointment as caretaker manager had brought a bit of optimism to Stamford Bridge, only for it to disappear as Chelsea continued their dismal form. This time, Wolves hosted the Blues and got their share of three points.

Chelsea were abysmal on all areas of the pitch, as sloppy defending saw Matheus Nunes net a fantastic strike past Kepa Arrizabalaga. Wolves kept their composure to see out the challenge posed by the Blues to give themselves a boost in the relegation fight.

Despite the appointment of Lampard, the problems tend to persist at Chelsea. They now face the mammoth task against Real Madrid in the Champions League, where they are underwhelming favourites to get anything out. Then again, many games are left in the domestic season, with any hope of a European finish evaporating quickly.


Going to Anfield remains a monumental task for any team in this league, let alone Arsenal. The Gunners arrived here as league leaders and faced a Liverpool side abysmal in their last many games. Jurgen Klopp had said before the game how much he believes the ground will play a part, and it did.

Arsenal took an early lead through Gabriel Martinelli and then doubled it through Gabriel Jesus. Going by their form this season, it is easy to predict the Gunners would have kept hold of the lead and gone past the finish line, only this time; it didn’t happen that way.

Liverpool put in a tremendous performance in the second half and even came close to snatching an improbable late win. Aaron Ramsdale stood strong on multiple occasions to deny Salah a few goals and even stood tall as the Egyptian shot his penalty wide.

The late saves from Ramsdale to deny Salah and Ibrahima Konate will stand out. That point gained due to those stops could play a big part in Arsenal winning the title, although we will have to wait for that. The draw may be seen as a good point by many, but it does feel like a loss from the Gunners’ perspective.

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