Last-minute goals, red cards, injuries, shocking results… Premier League return has it all! We present four biggest highlights from this unforgettable week of competitive English top-flight football.
Black Lives Matter and NHS tribute
A long-awaited moment has come as Premier League has restarted its fixtures starting with Aston Villa-Sheffield United match on 17th June. With a lot of things going on in the world, the Premier League has changed a few things around especially for the league’s return. There have been few transformations implemented to support and pay tribute to Black Lives Matter and the NHS.
Black lives matter. pic.twitter.com/XDtWEOOFQj
— #MyPLSummer (@NBCSportsSoccer) June 17, 2020
🎙 – "A powerful image to show football's social conscience."
Players from both sides take a knee before kick-off to show support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 17, 2020
What has changed?
- Players’ names on the back of the kits have been replaced with the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’ for the first 12 Premier League fixtures.
- Warm-up tops look also different and have gone through a transformation. Now the players are wearing black t-shirts with the printed slogans associated with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
- They have replaced the Premier League badge on the right sleeve with the BLM logo.
- There is also a special heart-shaped symbol with the NHS logo on every Premier League kit.
- The teams respectfully hold a one minute silence for those affected with Covid-19.
- Right before the kick-off, both sides take a knee symbolising Premier League’s opposition towards racism.
Series of unfortunate events
The Gunners haven’t started their Premier League return very well. Injuries of Granit Xhaka and Pablo Marí in the first 25 minutes of play have devastated the fans. Later on, the last-minute goal from Raheem Sterling before the half-time has put The Gunners into misery in the break. Nobody was expecting things to get any worse, unfortunately, they did.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) June 17, 2020
We're down to 10 men. David Luiz sees red.
De Bruyne converts from the spot.#MCIARS 2-0 (49)
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 17, 2020
David Luiz on the 49th minute has inconsiderately fouled the very agile Algerian, Riyad Mahrez in the penalty area. Not only the VAR confirmed the penalty but also the Brazilian got sent off for his mistake. Man City with the advantage of more man and 2 goals difference thanks to a successfully utilised penalty by KDB was predominating its rivals from that point out. The Citizens hit the net once again in the last minutes of the game making it 3-0 and calling it a day.
Goalless Merseyside derby
What came as a shocker this Sunday evening was a goalless match between Everton and Liverpool. This happened only nine times since the Premier League inception in 1992. Jurgen Klopp’s side has started with a different lineup this time out as they played the likes of Minamino, Keita, Milner or Matip from the first minutes. The Toffees went for the same starting eleven except for one player. Carlo Ancelotti has experimented with his left side this time by putting the 19 years old Anthony Gordon on the pitch from the first minutes of the game.
— Premier League (@premierleague) June 21, 2020
It has been Liverpool’s second time sharing the points with the opposite team. Without The Toffees’ brilliant defensive performance starring Mason Holgate or incredible Jordan Pickford, it would be more certain to see Liverpool hitting the net as usual. Both teams had their chances, but the statistics look better for the guests with 70% of ball possession, 10 shots and 6 corner kicks. Now as the draw has slowed down The Reds’ road to glory, the fans will need to wait a bit longer for their awaited moment to go down in the history of Premier League.
Shocking last-minute defeat
Arsenal lost another game, this time against 15th Brighton. The Gunners unfortunate series of injuries have been their ball and chain since the Premier League return. Nothing seemed to change this time. They had substituted Bernd Leno in 40th minute for Emiliano Martínez after a horrific knee injury. Things got very heated from that point out as Arsenal side have been blaming Neal Maupay for causing the injury.
Best wishes, Bernd – that didn't look good 😔
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 20, 2020
😎 Let's hear from the matchwinner himself!
— Brighton & Hove Albion (at 🏡) (@OfficialBHAFC) June 20, 2020
After a goalless first-half, both sides have finally started scoring. On the 68th minute, Pepe produced a stunning goal with his better-left foot very much reminding us of a similar Arjen Robben used to score for Bayern Munich. We didn’t have to wait long to see an equaliser from the hosts making it 1-1 in the 75th minute. Arsenal’s leaky and fragile defence hasn’t been on its best this season which takes us to the last seconds of this clash. Neal Maupay made it 2-1 in 90+5th minute after a brilliant assist from Aaron Connolly. Arsenal side and fans haven’t hidden their frustration which was seen on the pitch where the things got heated between both sides or on social media.
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