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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2018-19 - Matchday 21

Premier League Review - Matchday 21

Tuesday 01/01/2019

Everton 0 Leicester 1

Everton have won only one of their last eight games, and lost four of the last five as they slip down the league table. Although losing their previous game at home to Cardiff, Leicester have won three of their last four games, which include the big scalps of Chelsea and Man City. Of the two sides, it is Claude Puel's men who look more likely challengers for a place in Europe than do Marco Silva's team.

Everton's right back - 21 year old JonJoe Kenny, playing his first Premier League game since the reverse fixture in October, hit the corner of the woodwork with a first half shot, and that was the closest either team came to scoring before the break in the lunchtime sunshine.

It was Jamie Vardy who scored the decisive goal in the 58th minute. A mistake by Keane gave Ricardo the chance to feed Vardy who beat Pickford with a low shot. Sigurdsson had a shot go over the bar after a nod down by Walcott, and Schmeichel had to save a shot by Tosun, but this was generally regarded as a poor advert for Premier League football with a restrained atmosphere to match.

Arsenal 4 Fulham 1

The game was preceded by a minute's silence for Peter Hill-Wood, the former long-standing Arsenal chairman, who recently passed away aged 82.

Lowly Fulham failed to resist the home side, although Ryan Sessegnon gave them an early scare with a shot across Leno's goal. Sessegnon also miscued a chance at the back post soon after that, missing his kick completely. Arsenal took a 25th minute lead when Xhaka was allowed the space to receive Iwobi's cross and score from the middle of the area with ease. It was only 1-0 at half-time though with Xhaka and Aubameyang missing further chances.

Lacazette increased the lead after 55 minutes with a right footed shot after Kolasinac had cut the ball back to him from his left. Mitrovic had a good downward header saved by Leno before Fulham did reduce the deficit through Kamara after Sessegnon's cross. Arsenal fans wanted a free kick because Torreira had lost the ball, but they got no joy.

Those Arsenal fans booed when Lacazette was replaced by Ramsey, but it was the Welsh midfielder who gave them a third goal after 79 minutes when Kolasinac crossed; Aubameyang's shot rebounded off the post and Ramsey finished it off. Aubameyang then had a shot saved before he scored the fourth goal in the 83rd minute with a right footed deflected shot.

At the end of the day, Aubameyang and Kane shared the lead in the Premier League goalscorers' chart with 14 goals apiece.

Cardiff 0 Spurs 3

Christian Eriksen won the Spurs Odyssey man of the match vote, and you can see the spursometer in full here.

It is 11 years since Spurs have not won a game they played on New Years Day (lost 2-1 at Villa Park in 2008).

2011 - Spurs 1 Fulham 0
2013 - Spurs 3 Reading 1
2014 - Man Utd 1 Spurs 2
2015 - Spurs 5 Chelsea 3
2017 - Watford 1 Spurs 4

Wednesday 02/01/2019

Bournemouth 3 Watford 3

It was 3-3 at half time in this game after a frantic spell of six minutes in which four goals were scored. The second half was goal-less. The start had been delayed due to a fire alarm.

Troy Deeney opened the scoring after 14 minutes with a downward header from Sema's short cross from the right. Fraser had a chance to equalise, which was comfortably held by the keeper. Deeney then scored a second goal when he picked up the ball which ran free from Deulofeu's long run from his own half.

Deeney followed Doucoure into the book for a foul on Fraser who was escaping deep into the Watford half, and following Daniels' free kick which was headed back across the goal, Gosling's effort was parried by Foster, before Ake headed home. Now Brooks was fouled by Capoue, and from the free kick Calum Wilson beat Foster with a powerful header in the 37th minute. That made it 2-2.

One minute later, Sema was the beneficiary of Deeney's headed assist as he hit a right foot shot to make it 3-2. Fraser completed the scoring after a cross from the right was dummied home for the sprightly midfielder to sweep home. Foster made a brilliant save to deny Wilson in the second half as he met Fraser's ball with a close range header. Watford were denied a penalty when Ake handled the ball, and had previously been denied by a brilliant penalty area tackle by Steve Cook.

Chelsea 0 Southampton 0

Chelsea failed to break down a determined Southampton side for whom Hasenhuttl made no less than 8 changes including a Premier League debut for 22 year old Angus Gunn (son of Bryan), who Mark Hughes had signed from Man City last summer for a fee of up to 13.5 million.

Gunn's biggest first half challenge was to save from Hazard in front of his right post from Hazard's angled shot. He batted away a second half shot by the same player. Morata had the ball in the net after 70 minutes, but had been flagged offside. The same player was then denied by Gunn, whose positioning senses looked good. Alonso went down too easily in added time and was denied a penalty. Gunn then cleanly held a 25 yard shot by Alonso.

It was a precious point for Southampton, but they have still slipped into the bottom three. Chelsea are now four points behind Spurs, and hold fourth place.

Huddersfield 1 Burnley 2

Huddersfield fell to a record breaking eighth consecutive defeat and are now 8 points adrift at the bottom of the table. Survival in their second Premier League season looks highly unlikely. Burnley's second successive win lifted them out of the bottom three.

Schindler was booked for a foul on Wood and Burnley nearly scored from the free kick with Lossl making a double save from Mee and Barnes. Bardsley headed clear a Kachunga header from a corner. Mounie gave the home side a 33rd minute lead with only their 13th goal of the season. Mbenza crossed with his right foot from the left and Mounie headed down to beat Heaton in the Burnley goal.

Wood equalised in the 40th minute with a left foot shot from McNeil's cross from just inside the area to his left. Schindler was then shown a second yellow card when he held McNeil back as the young Burnley player advanced towards the box. Schindler had clearly forgotten his first booking, as he could not understand the decision.

Burnley's winner came in the 74th minute from Ashley Barnes receiving the ball from Westwood after Wood's advance. The goal was celebrated with gusto in front of the away fans. Burnley's Brady was shown a straight red in added time for a two-footed tackle.

West Ham 2 Brighton 2

Andy Carroll made his first West Ham start for a full year, but he only lasted the first half. The "Hammers" had had most chances, including a failed penalty appeal by Arnautovic, but it was Dale Stephens who gave Brighton a 56th minute lead after a corner was only half cleared to him on the edge of the area. Duffy made it 2-0 within two minutes from another corner finishing off with a shot at the back post.

Two goals in two minutes (66 & 68) by Arnautovic redeemed the situation for the home side. The first came from substitute Noble's ball, and the second followed a long ball by Noble to Antonio who cut the ball back for Arnautovic to finish. Antonio might even have cut the ball back from over the bye-line.

Wolves 0 Crystal Palace 2

Cardiff beat Leicester away and lose at home to Spurs. Spurs lose at home to Wolves, who then lose to Palace. It's a funny old game! This was though Wolves' fifth home defeat in the Premier League.

Milivojevic had a shot pushed over the bar after good work by Townsend, before Wolves had two chances in front of goal from their first corner after 36 minutes. Palace had chances in the box after a corner and a scramble in the area, but they didn't take the lead until Jordan Ayew fired home Van Aanholt's ball in the 83rd minute. It was Ayew's first club goal of the season.

In added time, Zaha was fouled in the box by Bennett and Milivojevic scored from the spot. That was the Palace captain's fifth successive penalty of the season. Palace are six points clear of the bottom three, and four clear of three rivals below them.

Newcastle 0 Manchester United 2

It's four opening wins now for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, emulating no less a figure than Sir Matt Busby. United had to wait until mid-way through the second half though for their first goal. Newcastle had whipped up an atmosphere and a banner suggesting that there was only "One United" and that it was not from Manchester!

Newcastle had been giving a spirited if not a penetrative performance before Solskjaer introduced two substitutes - Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. Lukaku scored even quicker than he had against Bournemouth, snapping up Dubravka's spilling of Rashford's free kick (64 minutes).

Shelvey was lucky to escape punishment for his challenge on Pogba. Rashford made it 2-0 in the 80th minute after a United break and a three pronged attack featuring Lukaku, Sanchez and finally Rashford, who was left in the clear to fire home.

United are now 6 points behind fourth placed Chelsea. Their next league game will be against Spurs at Wembley a week on Sunday.

Thursday 04/01/2019

Manchester City 2 Liverpool 1

Billed by Sky as "The Game of the season so far", 17 minutes were on the clock when we saw the first real significant action. Then, Salah pushed a ball through the middle and Mane's shot rebounded off the post. It went back towards goal off Stones and Alisson and was cleared off the line by Stones with goal-line technology confirming no goal - just! It was also quite amazing how Stones' clearance passed through the legs of the advancing Salah.

No quarter was being given at either end. Kompany was on the margins of a red card, but was shown yellow for his highish tackle on Salah. City came close to scoring when Sterling cut a ball back for David Silva, whose shot was blocked. Aguero gave City a 40th minute lead soon after Alisson had saved a previous shot, but the goal was a classic rising shot from an angle that beat the keeper above his head just inside his right-hand post. It was Aguero at his lethal best.

Overall, City had been showing more intensity than the visitors, but Klopp urged his side to up their game and they responded with a 64th minute equaliser. Alexander-Arnold crossed deep with his left foot and Robertson returned the ball across the area with Ederson beaten and Firmino dived low to head the ball into the net. Game on!

Sane put City 2-1 up in the 72nd minute. Sterling passed the ball across the outside of the area and Sane hit a left foot shot across the keeper with the ball rebounding into the net off the far post. Sterling broke away from Robertson as Liverpool put pressure on the City defence, and Alisson did just enough to prevent Aguero from scoring again.

Salah went close to equalising after a pass on the left. Guardiola was going wild on the touch line over a foul he felt should have been given in the build-up, but only "words" were had with the City manager by the officials.

As full time approached, Liverpool sub Shaqiri made a poor pass inside and Bernardo Silva's shot was saved with Sterling putting the follow-up wide. Liverpool's approach during the five minutes of added time was to hit hopeful high balls towards the area, but City held firm.

Liverpool have finally lost their unbeaten record and City are back in second place. Spurs remain 6 points behind the leaders, and the title race is that bit closer after this highly intense game.


Fixtures/Results 01-03.01.19

Tuesday

Everton      0-1    Leicester
Arsenal      4-1    Fulham
Cardiff      0-3    Spurs

Wednesday

B'mouth      3-3    Watford
Chelsea      0-0    S'hampton
Hds'field    1-2    Burnley
West Ham     2-2    Brighton
Wolves       0-2    C. Palace
Newcastle    0-2    Man Utd

Thursday
Man City     2-1    Liverpool

           Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Liverpool 21 17  3  1  49-10  39   54
 2. Man City  21 16  2  3  56-17  39   50
 3. Spurs     21 16  0  5  46-21  25   48  
 4. Chelsea   21 13  5  3  38-16  22   44
========================================= 
 5. Arsenal   21 12  5  4  46-31  15   41
=========================================
 6. Man Utd   21 11  5  5  43-32  11   38
 7. Leicester 21  9  4  8  25-23   2   31
 8. Watford   21  8  5  8  30-31  -1   29
 9. Wolves    21  8  5  8  23-25  -2   29 
10. West Ham  21  8  4  9  29-32  -3   28
11. Everton   21  7  6  8  31-31   0   27
12. B'mouth   21  8  3 10  31-40  -9   27
13. Brighton  21  7  5  9  24-29  -5   26
14. C. Palace 21  6  4 11  19-26  -7   22
15. Newcastle 21  4  6 11  15-29 -14   18
16. Burnley   21  5  3 13  21-42 -21   18
17. Cardiff   21  5  3 13  19-41 -22   18
=========================================
18. S'hampton 21  3  7 11  21-38 -17   16
19. Fulham    21  3  5 13  19-47 -28   14
20. H'dsfield 21  2  4 15  13-37 -24   10

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