Premier League Round 23: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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We are 23 rounds through the Premier League season and Leicester City are still topping the table. Could they actually pull it off?

While Leicester City moved top of the table, other clubs missed out on opportunities.

Read on for the ins and outs of the top stories from Round 23 of the Premier League.

The Good

Enner Valencia v. Sergio Aguero

Valencia and Aguero dueled to the end and managed to share the spoils between them as West Ham and Manchester City drew 2-2.

Valencia opened the scoring less than one minute after kick-off, but the lead would not last long as Aguero equalized on nine minutes.

The Ecuador international Valencia managed to give the Hammers the lead once again with 56 minutes gone in the contest. The Hammers managed to hold this lead a lot longer than their first lead, but Aguero answered again to ensure that Manchester City came away with something from the match.

Aguero’s match rating of 8.66 was the highest of the match according to and the Argentine striker is on fire at the moment. Aguero has contributed to nine goals in his last seven matches in all competitions (7 goals, 2 assists).

The blue half of Manchester will hope Aguero can continue this hot streak now that Kevin De Bruyne faces 10 weeks on the sidelines due to knee ligament damage suffered during their Capital One Cup semi-final victory against Everton.

Valencia endured a seven match scoreless run to start his campaign after missing a chunk of it due to injury. He did contribute an assist in his seventh match to go along with a 7.74 average match rating. He scored twice against Bournemouth before a poor performance against Newcastle the following match.

Valencia was top notch against Manchester City, though, which makes three great performances in his last four matches. If he can continue to play well then the Hammers can become a legitimate threat to Manchester United in the fight for fifth place, and, maybe even find themselves in a top four fight with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City.

Charlie Austin scores on his debut

Austin sealed a move for 4 million pounds from Queens Park Rangers to Southampton shortly before their match against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils had just beaten Liverpool at Anfield and seemed to have a bit of momentum heading into this match, but their performance was quite poor.

Austin did not start the match, but he did make a massive impact on it by scoring an 87th minute winner on a free header from a corner kick. It was a standard 2 v. 2 marking situation, but Morgan Schneiderlin and Paddy McNair both marked the same player, leaving Austin all alone to head past a helpless David De Gea.

The header sealed a second consecutive league victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford for the Saints. It also comes with the added spice of Ronald Koeman getting the better of his Dutch rival once again in a Premier League match.

Southampton are now just four points behind Manchester United and sit 8th place in the table.

So, does that mean Austin is worth the price tag already?

Goals, goals, goals

Norwich City played host to Liverpool in what was one of the most exciting matches of the Premier League season. If you are a fan of goals then this was the match for you, not so much if you enjoy competent defending.

The Reds needed a morale boost after their frustrating home defeat at the hands of Manchester United last time out, but they had to endure a bumpy roller coaster ride to see it out.

Roberto Firmino, who I opined was not a center forward during last week’s edition of this piece, opened the scoring on 18 minutes, but the lead would last just 11 minutes.

After the equalizer it appeared as though Norwich City would steamroll the Reds as they went on to take a 3-1 lead through goals from Steven Naismith and Wes Hoolahan after 41 and 54 minutes.

Liverpool showed some resiliency, though, as Jordan Henderson replied just one minute later to score a crucial goal. If the game lingers for any extended period of time with the Reds down two goals then the pressure might have mounted to the point where Liverpool would not have been able to achieve a comeback.

Firmino would tie the match on 63 minutes, and James Milner put Liverpool ahead on 75 minutes.

At this point you’re thinking Liverpool have crushed Norwich City’s will, right? Norwich City scored three goals to take a 3-1 lead. Liverpool scored three goals to go up 4-3.

The Canaries picked themselves up from the mat when Sebastien Bassong scored 93 minutes into the match to equalize.

Spoiler alert: Liverpool wins the match 5-4. They broke the hearts of the Norwich City supporters with a 95th minute goal.

Now, think of the most unlikely scorer of a winning goal for Liverpool. Think of one of their many transfer flops over the past few years.

Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed Adam Lallana because he, of all people, scored the winning goal. We’ll see if he can pick up any sort of momentum from this moment, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Next: The Bad