10 things we learned from Week 30 of the 2023-24 Premier League season

Liverpool’s alone in first place, Arsenal's happy with a scoreless draw at Man City, and those hosts aren't happy at all.

Sometimes, you don't need much of an introduction to pieces like this one.

[ MORE: Man City vs Arsenal player ratings | Arteta & Guardiola reaction ]

Week 30 of the Premier League was a treat from the opening bell — Newcastle and West Ham's seven-goal thriller up north — to the final whistle of as tense, tight draw between the Gunners and their defending champion hosts Manchester City.

And all of this with a two-match week ahead for most of the Premier League, beginning Tuesday and stretching through the following Monday, April 8.

[ MORE: Premier League upcoming schedule, all results ]

10 things we learned from Week 30 of the 2023-24 Premier League season

Gunners get what they played for

Manchester City 0-0 Arsenal

RELATED: Player ratings | Arteta & Guardiola reaction

Assuming one of the other Premier League title rivals will drop points is a dangerous game to play, but Mikel Arteta must believe his Arsenal can chase down Liverpool. The Gunners opted for the pragmatic over a real sense of confident adventure on Sunday in Manchester, a well-organized approach to stopping Manchester City that very cautiously picked its spots to attack the champions. It worked in terms of an away point, something most teams will accept at the Etihad Stadium but it also removes certain control of destiny from their hands. Bring back last year’s calculators, Gooners, because it’s again about math. Liverpool now have to drop points at least once in order for a perfect Arsenal run-in to be enough to claim the title. Is that worth it? — Nick Mendola

World class Mac Allister delivers the goods for first-place Liverpool

Liverpool 2-1 Brighton

RELATED: Liverpool as favorites — Why the Reds may not drop points again

A very early and silly yellow card could’ve spelled doom for Alexis Mac Allister, but the World Cup winner navigated the caution with little issue in a fantastic performance at Anfield. Mac Allister created five chances and attempted five shots, deservedly getting on the score sheet with his terrific control and assist to Salah on the match-winning goal. The Argentine had nearly 100 touches and recorded a dozen defensive actions according to fotmob, as Liverpool's more settled midfield has him in his ideal place. He has a lot more freedom when Dominik Szoboszlai is healthy, and having Mohamed Salah often in his proximity hurts nothing. If Liverpool win the Premier League, Mac Allister will be a big reason for it.
Nicholas Mendola

Massive frustration on both sides of Bees, Red Devils late fireworks

Brentford 1-1 Manchester United

RELATED: Ten Hag says Man Utd failed to match Brentford ‘aggression’

Let’s start with the obvious for the Manchester United fans out there: This was an unacceptable level of play away to a Brentford side flirting with the relegation zone and missing a half-dozen players who would improve their 18. There’s some “folly of youth” in the performance, as Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund aren’t near their best, but every player in the 11 is a bonafide Premier League talent and simply need to do more. At least there’s the silver lining of Mason Mount getting not just back on the field but back on the score sheet in a big spot. Could this be the moment his Man United career flips on? But, oh, to be Brentford’s Thomas Frank. Your team bosses the Red Devils at home — again — but just cannot find a way to get the ball over the line. Ivan Toney has a hat trick another day, but gets zero on the board Saturday. You register 31 shot attempts and 2.60 of xG but get just one goal, and need it to take a point.— Nicholas Mendola

Woeful decision swings epic game in Newcastle’s favor

Newcastle 4-3 West Ham

With 13 minutes to go injury-ravaged Newcastle were 3-1 down at home to West Ham. Then they were handed a way back into the game. Anthony Gordon won his second penalty kick of the game in the same fashion as he won his first, as he stuck his leg in front of Kalvin Phillips who was clearing the ball in his own box. Gordon went down. VAR asked referee Rob Jones to go to the monitor. A penalty kick was awarded. Isak scored. Newcastle had their way back into the game but it was a decision which made no sense. At no time did Gordon have control of the ball. At no time did Phillips intend to kick Gordon. Contact was made but common sense wasn’t present. There is no way that was a penalty kick. But it was given and sparked an incredible late Newcastle comeback as they won 4-3. Look, Newcastle deserved the win. They hung in there and created plenty of chances in the second half as West Ham inexplicably stopped playing when they went 3-1 up. But Newcastle were handed a way back into this game just as West Ham looked likely to see things out. The penalty decision for the ‘foul’ on Gordon swung a truly bonkers game in Newcastle’s favor. — Joe Prince-Wright

Cole Palmer can’t do it all on his own for Chelsea

Chelsea 2-2 Burnley

Cole Palmer is nailed on to be named the Young Player of the Year in the Premier League. Palmer, 21, has 13 goals and eight assists for a Chelsea side badly struggling for confidence. He is the one constant threat in attack. He is the calm head when hugely experienced players around him look flustered by Pochettino’s side languishing in midtable. But this worrying draw at home against Burnley proved that Palmer can’t do it on his own. He dinked home his penalty Panenka style, then slotted home his second calmly (because that’s his thing) and put a glorious chance on a plate for Raheem Sterling to win it late on but his former Man City teammate somehow headed wide. At the final whistle Palmer muttered under his breath as he trudged off the Stamford Bridge pitch with his trademark languid strut. Palmer is the talisman of this team at the age of 21 but he isn’t getting much help as Mudryk, Sterling, Jackson and Gallagher all have their moments but are too inconsistent. This Chelsea season is going to be one to forget in a hurry. But nobody will forget this was the season when Cole Palmer announced his arrival as one of the top young talents in European football. — Joe Prince-Wright

Slow start + furious comeback = a familiar (but unsustainable) formula for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Luton Town

A month ago, after Spurs turned in a stinker of an overall performance but came back to beat Crystal Palace with three goals in the final 15 minutes, spurred on by Brennan Johnson’s introduction off the bench in that game as well, I wrote the following about the team and manager: "At this point in the Postecoglou project, Tottenham rely very heavily on counter-attacks to generate scoring chances. It has, largely, served them well this season (especially early on, before opponents starting showing them a bit more respect with their own shape and structure), but they struggled badly on Saturday as Crystal Palace had so little of the ball that opportunities to counter were very few and far between. Instead, they aimlessly passed the ball around the final third and settled for 28 crosses into the box, without a natural center forward in the team to target." Those observations were painfully apparent once again on Saturday, as Dejan Kulusevski, Timo Werner and James Maddison most left Son Heung-min to feed on scraps. Maddison barely had a meaningful touch in the first half, while Kulusevski gave the ball away in key moments without so much as a threat of pressure, and Werner dragged a big chance inches wide of the post after rinsing the last defender one-on-one. And those were the good moments for the Tottenham attack. Most of the time, they made it far too easy for Luton to usher midfielders and wingers out wide, 15 or 20 yards from the nearest white shirt and nowhere to play the next pass. Spurs don’t miss Harry Kane’s goals nearly as much as they miss the brilliant long-range passing and playmaking he would provide when dropping into midfield. — Andy Edwards

Solid Villa will make it hard for top-four and -five rivals

Aston Villa 2-0 Wolves

There are more talented teams than Villa in the fight for a UEFA Champions League place, but is there even one who supplies the consistency and understanding of Unai Emery’s men? Yes, Spurs and Manchester United have the explosive star power to deliver moments and wins, and sure they may collect as many or more points than Villa by the end of this season, but at this point there’s no worth arguing which team is prepared the best and executes most often. It’s Villa, by a nose over Spurs and a house over Man Utd. Wolves may have been taken apart by injuries to their attack this week, but Villa didn’t leave any questions who were the superior side once the ball rolled between the two sides on Saturday. That’s been happening many, many weeks this season. — Nicholas Mendola

Forest are up for the fight

Nottingham Forest 1-1 Crystal Palace

There were concerns about how Forest would react to their four-point deduction. There shouldn’t have been. Ryan Yates was their spirit animal as he charged around midfield and dragged them to a point at a vociferous City Ground. There is plenty of experience in this Forest side and Hudson-Odoi and Gibbs-White were sharp on the counter, Wood provided a great focal point and a lively cameo from Gio Reyna proved Forest are up for the scrap to save themselves from relegation and can create and force the issue. But defensive frailties remain and they have to sharpen that up. Matz Sels made a fine save from Eze in the first half and Forest had the post to thank late in the second half as they secured a point to pull themselves out of the relegation zone. For now. There will be plenty of twists and turns ahead but Forest appear ready to embrace the anxiety of back-to-back relegation scraps. — Joe Prince-Wright

What a difference a Dominic makes

Bournemouth 2-1 Everton

Two Dominics, both English strikers, both born in 1997, and having very, very different campaigns. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is three seasons removed from his 16-goal post-lockdown star show, and it looks like his confidence is even further away from him. The Toffees striker hit a terrific chance at Neto and has not scored since October, snake bit and devoid of the swagger that saw him paint the leaderboard a few seasons ago. Dominic Solanke, on the other hand, can hardly miss this season and very much the reason that Bournemouth is going to play in the Premier League next season. The 26-year-old thumped home the equalizer in this one and he’s legitimately in frame for a surprise Golden Boot. Form can come and go but finishing touch shouldn’t just disappear and Solanke will be dreaming of what’s next following a stop-start career as a big-time prospect for Chelsea and Liverpool. The difference between Dominics is largely why the Cherries are safe and Everton still waiting to exhale. — Nicholas Mendola

Another miserable chapter to Blades’ season with blown two-goal lead in draw

Sheffield United 3-3 Fulham

Sheffield United added another chapter to their frustrating season on Saturday, as they let a two-goal lead slip away after the 85th minute and drew Fulham 3-3 at Bramall Lane. The Blades (15 points) would have remained bottom of the Premier League table, win, lose or draw, but the spirited attacking performance gave the home fans a rare reason to cheer this season. With nine games left to play, Sheffield United are seven points adrift of safety. Fulham (39 points), meanwhile, remain two points behind Wolves for a place in the top half. — Andy Edwards