Swansea City beat Watford 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium to move back out of the relegation zone in the Premier League on Monday.
Ashley Williams opened the scoring midway through the first half, and his strike proved decisive in a game of few chances.
After an energetic start, the two sides produced a fairly tedious encounter as Watford failed to trouble their hosts, who were largely content to sit back on their lead.
Over the weekend, Manchester United beat Liverpool 1-0 in a smash-and-grab win at Anfield, while a goalless draw with Stoke City was enough for Arsenal to retain their position at the top of the league thanks to Leicester City's stalemate with Aston Villa.
Read on for further details of Swansea's win over Watford and the rest of the weekend's action, as well as the final standings after Week 22 and the fixtures to look forward to in Week 23.
|Saturday, Jan. 16|
|Manchester City||4-0||Crystal Palace|
|Aston Villa||1-1||Leicester City|
|Sunday, Jan. 17|
|Monday, Jan. 18|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||22||7||6||9||22||30||-8||27|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||12:45 p.m. GMT||Norwich City vs. Liverpool|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||3 p.m. GMT||Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||3 p.m. GMT||Leicester City vs. Stoke City|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||3 p.m. GMT||Manchester United vs. Southampton|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||3 p.m. GMT||Sunderland vs. Bournemouth|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||3 p.m. GMT||Watford vs. Newcastle United|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||3 p.m. GMT||West Bromwich Albion vs. Aston Villa|
|Saturday, Jan. 23||5:30 p.m. GMT||West Ham United vs. Manchester City|
|Sunday, Jan. 24||1:30 p.m. GMT||Everton vs. Swansea City|
|Sunday, Jan. 24||4 p.m. GMT||Arsenal vs. Chelsea|
Week 22 Recap
There was an electric start to the match at the Liberty as both teams began at frantic pace, the ball quickly shifted from end to end, though the hosts looked far more threatening than the visitors as they pushed forward in numbers.
Swansea took a deserved lead in the 27th minute when Ashley Williams headed home Ki Sung-Yueng's cross following a corner.
As Squawka Football pointed out, the Swans haven't often been the first to break the deadlock in the Premier League this season, but as Sky Sports Statto revealed, in doing so the omens looked good for them:
Swansea have scored the first goal for only the fifth time in 22 Premier League matches this season. pic.twitter.com/rbc9cRTvqz— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 18, 2016
Swansea are unbeaten in their last 12 PL games when scoring 1st (W10 D2) since 3-1 defeat v West Ham (A), Dec 2014 pic.twitter.com/pZ9twbhgIg— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 18, 2016
The Hornets improved in the wake of the setback, and Jose Jurado forced a save from Lukasz Fabianski shortly before the break.
Watford continued to improve after half-time and put more pressure on the hosts but struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout the match.
The visitors were arguably unlucky not to earn a late penalty when Williams grappled with Odion Ighalo in the penalty area, but referee Michael Oliver waved away their protests.
Bafetimbi Gomis hit the post in injury time, but Watford remained unable to punish Swansea's failure to kill off the game. Quique Sanchez Florez's side have now lost four consecutive games in the league, while Swansea move back out of the relegation zone.
As in their previous encounter this season, Manchester United's clash with Liverpool left much to be desired for the neutral.
The Red Devils were poor throughout while Liverpool had much the better chances, but with the Reds unable to take any of them, there was relatively little excitement to be had.
United were able to punish Liverpool's profligacy, though, when Wayne Rooney smashed home a half-volley from close range after Marouane Fellaini's header rebounded off the bar. Football writer Liam Canning ran the rule over both sides:
Genuinely have no idea how Manchester United won that game. Shocking performance – as usual – but great result. LvG’s future? Probably IN.— Liam (@OffsideLiam) January 17, 2016
Liverpool will be kicking themselves for not taking their chances. Had 19 shots, only 4 on-target, and couldn’t find the net. So poor.— Liam (@OffsideLiam) January 17, 2016
The single goal was more than Arsenal and Stoke could muster, though, as they played out a bore draw at the Britannia Stadium with chances proving few and far between.
Two of the best chances fell to Olivier Giroud, but twice the Frenchman was denied by the excellent Jack Butland.
Chelsea's showdown with Everton offered enough thrills to make up for both of Sunday's games. A John Terry own goal and a powerful strike from Kevin Mirallas gave the Toffees a 2-0 lead before goals in quick succession from Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas saw the Blues pull level.
Everton looked to have secured a late winner when Ramiro Funes Mori scored in injury time, but in the 98th minute of the game, Terry redeemed himself with a controversial backheeled winner from a clearly offside position.
Football writer Miguel Delaney noted that Funes Mori's celebrations led to the excessive amount of injury time added, while fellow writer Tony Barrett praised Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink for admitting the equalising goal should not have stood:
Last kick of the game. Time that probably wouldn't have been added had Funes Mori not gone so wild. Great game, woeful defending.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) January 16, 2016
Just seen Hiddink agree that Chelsea's equaliser was offside. Be good if more managers were that honest when bad decisions go their way.— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) January 16, 2016
Leicester had the opportunity to put pressure on Arsenal in Saturday's late kick-off and took the lead through Shinji Okazaki in the first half. Riyad Mahrez spurned a golden opportunity to double the Foxes' lead from the penalty spot, and Villa punished them in the second half through Rudy Gestede's fortunate equaliser.
Sunderland took a surprise lead against Tottenham Hotspur through Patrick van Aanholt, but the Black Cats were in front for just two minutes before Christian Eriksen equalised.
Mousa Dembele's deflected effort put Spurs in the lead before the Dane added a second, while Harry Kane rounded out the comprehensive win with a penalty.
Dan Gosling gave Bournemouth an early lead against Norwich City, and goals from Charlie Daniels and Benik Afobe in the second half secured an invaluable win for the Cherries.
Southampton continued their resurgence in form with a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. James Ward-Prowse scored a free-kick and a penalty in the first half before Dusan Tadic's narrow finish killed off any slim hopes of a comeback from the Baggies.
Newcastle United earned their first win in six matches at home to West Ham United thanks to goals from Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum, though the Hammers pulled one back through Nikica Jelavic.
Jonjo Shelvey made his debut from the start while Henri Saivet came on from the bench for the Magpies, and both impressed according to the Chronicle's Mark Douglas:
Shelvey superb, Coloccini playing like a leader but Wijnaldum man of the match. Big win. #nufc— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) January 16, 2016
It won't get much comment but I thought Saivet was pretty neat and tidy in a tough second half as well. Thoughts?— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) January 16, 2016
Indeed, Shelvey in particular stood out in an all-round excellent display, per Squawka Football:
Jonjo Shelvey's Newcastle debut by numbers: 91% pass accuracy 4 shots 3 tackles won 1 chance created Shelvey show pic.twitter.com/Py4MxyhpL2— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 16, 2016
If the pair can continue to add quality and steel to Newcastle's play, the Magpies may yet claw their way out of danger.
Newcastle face Watford in their next outing and will be hoping to take advantage of the Hornets' poor form in order to claim back-to-back wins and potentially move out of the relegation zone.