By Yobel Petros ‘24
Brentford vs Norwich City
Brentford beat relegation rivals Norwich City 3-1 at Carrow Road, thanks to Ivan Toney’s first Premier League hat-trick. In a strong start for Norwich, Milot Rashica, Teemu Pukki, and Joshua Sargent all had early chances, but Brentford took the lead at 32 minutes. After Kristoffer Ajer flicked on a corner from Christian Eriksen, who made his first start for Brentford, Toney volleyed in at the far post. After Ben Gibson fouled Pontus Jansson, Toney extended the Bees lead from the penalty spot seven minutes into the second half. After being pulled down by Gibson, the Brentford striker completed his hat-trick with a second penalty six minutes later. Norwich was unable to prevent Brentford from winning for the first time in nine league games, leaving Brentford in 15th place with 27 points, six points clear of the bottom three. Norwich is in 20th place.
Burnley vs Chelsea
Chelsea had a comfortable victory over Burnley at Turf Moor, scoring four consecutive goals in the second half to win 4-0. Burnley had the better chances in the first half, with Thiago Silva needing to clear a Wout Weghorst shot off the line. Chelsea took the lead two minutes after the break when Reece James showed excellent skill before converting from a tight angle. Kai Havertz scored twice for Chelsea, first heading in a Christian Pulisic cross and then converting a James cross. At 69 minutes, Pulisic scored his fourth goal of the season, slamming the ball home after defender James Tarkowski had deflected the ball into his path. Chelsea is in third place with 53 points, while Burnley is in 18th place with 21 points, one point from safety.
Southampton vs Aston villa
Philippe Coutinho was the standout performer for Aston Villa in their 4-0 victory over Southampton at Villa Park. In nine minutes, Ollie Watkins scored his second goal with a spin and finish inside the box. Following Coutinho’s corner, the Saints goalie was unable to prevent Douglas Luiz from increasing Villa’s advantage just before half-time. Coutinho was rewarded for his efforts with a goal at 52 minutes, as he put Danny Ings’ ball into the net. Two minutes later, Ings scored against his previous club, turning in Matty Cash’s cross. Villa has moved up to 11th place with 33 points, two points, and two places behind Southampton despite having played one fewer game.
Crystal Palace vs Wolves
Crystal Palace beat the Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 in the first half to move into the top half of the Premier League table. In 19 minutes, Jean-Philippe Mateta gave Palace the lead, knocking in a rebound after Jose Sa had saved his original shot. Wilfried Zaha extended Palace’s lead 15 minutes later, converting a penalty awarded for a foul by Max Kilman on Jeffrey Schlupp. Before halftime, Michael Olise came close to adding a third, but Sa saved him with a fingertip save. Wolves pressed for a late equalizer, but Vicente Guaita saved a lofted effort from Chiquinho, giving Crystal Palace the win.