Premier League Review - Matchday 8
It's tight at the top!
Spurs have equalled their best eight-game start to a Premier League season with six wins and 18 points, but they find themselves in fifth place after a dramatic Sunday featuring the current top four. However, they are only two points behind the top three and only behind Arsenal on goal difference, and with injured players hopefully to return in two weeks we can continue a competitive battle for another top four place.
Brighton 1 West Ham 0
Brighton striker Glenn Murray recently celebrated his 35th birthday, and his fifth Premier League goal of this season consigned West Ham to their fifth defeat. It was a precious win for Chris Hughton's side who have a 100% Premier League record against "The Hammers", and Brighton climbed above the London side in the table.
After their goal it was more or less a backs to the wall job for Brighton, who kept their first clean sheet of the season with their centre backs Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk jointly awarded Sky's man of the match award. They recently signed new five year contracts too!
West Ham's next game is their "Cup Final" at home to Spurs after the International break.
Burnley 1 Huddersfield Town 1
Huddersfield scored their fourth goal and gained only their third point of the season. That was enough to at least lift them to third from bottom of the table. It was Burnley who took the lead though with Sam Vokes's 20th minute header. Huddersfield's equaliser came from a Schindler header in the 66th minute.
Crystal Palace 0 Wolves 1
Wolves are unbeaten in six games now, and unchanged in eight games, which is a Premier League record. They also climbed to seventh place on the back of this win against a Crystal Palace side still looking for their first home goal.
Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy, playing against his former side, made a fine one-handed save from Jimenez after half an hour, but he could do nothing about Doherty's second half goal which beat him inside his near post. That goal secured Wolves their fourth win of the season, but they were grateful to their goalkeeper Rui Patricio for a fine double save.
Leicester 1 Everton 2
Bernard was making his first Premier League start for Everton since his signing from Shakhtar Donetsk and he created Richarlison's opener after some fine dribbling into the area on Everton's left flank. Pereira scored a fine equaliser for Leicester after 40 minutes as Leicester broke out of their own half. The Portuguese player finished off a good run with a low shot.
Wes Morgan was booked when bringing down Richarlison as the Brazilian advanced towards the Leicester area, then just about avoided a second booking for another challenge on Richarlison in the second half. There was no escape for the Leicester captain after a third challenge, which was from behind the Brazilian player. Gylfi Sigurdsson sealed the points with an excellent dipping shot into Schmeichel's right corner. It was the Icelander's fourth goal in four games.
Spurs 1 Cardiff 0
Comment of the week:- "Signs that some players like Rose, Alderweireld, and Sissoko are finding form as so with Son, Winks, and Dier. Dier getting a goal shows that. The squad continue to perform well.
It was uplifting to see Hugo doing much better and he really ensured Cardiff did not get a draw. The referee was spot on with the red card for Ralls. It is odd with 19 shots on their goal we were not more clinical."
Toby Alderweireld and Harry Winks tied in your Spurs man of the match vote. You can see the spursometer here.
Watford 0 Bournemouth 4
Nobody could have predicted this scoreline as Eddie Howe's side ran riot at Vicarage Road. Watford defender Kabasele, who had been sent off in Watford's Carabao Cup defeat recently, was shown an early yellow card for jumping into Bournemouth keeper Begovic, during a period when the home side did exert some pressure on the "Cherries"' goal. However, the visitors took the lead after breaking out from their own area. Wilson's shot was saved, but Brooks swept home the parried shot.
Kabasele was shown a second yellow card when he fouled King outside and inside the Watford area when referee Jon Moss awarded a penalty converted by Josh King. King made it 3-0 at half-time heading home Wilson's cross with ease. Two minutes into the second half Wilson made it 4-0 from a cross by Fraser to make Watford's misery complete. Bournemouth climbed to fifth place before Sunday's games, continuing a fine start to the season. Watford are without a win in 5 games, and have slipped down to ninth place.
Man Utd 3 Newcastle 2
Jose Mourinho's men averted Old Trafford disaster with this comeback from a 2-0 deficit. Kenedy scored Newcastle's opener in the seventh minute, cutting inside Ashley Young with ease. Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto, making his first Premier League start, made it a remarkable 2-0 after only 10 minutes, following a Shelvey cross from the right. De Gea had to save from Shelvey before Mourinho replaced Bailly with Mata after only 19 minutes.
Matic fired over from close range after Pogba's shot had been parried, and Rashford headed over a Pogba cross, but the United fans were getting behind their team. Mata got one back on 70 minutes, scoring directly from a free kick after Martial had been tripped just outside the area. Fellaini had a shot saved and Smalling's effort from the corner was also saved by Dubravka. Martial made it 2-2 after exchanging passes with Pogba with 14 minutes of normal time remaining.
The drama at the "Theatre of Dreams" was complete when Alexis Sanchez scored in the 90th minute, and the United fans chanted Mourinho's name on a day when rumours had circulated that the United manager would be sacked whatever the result. Jose described the press stories as a "manhunt".
Fulham 1 Arsenal 5
Fulham might have spent that £100 million in the summer, but they obviously didn't spend enough on defenders. Their side has conceded more goals than any other team in the Premier League, despite the fact they remain (just) outside the bottom three. One wonders how long manager Slovanovic will be allowed to try to find the right mix for his acquisitions.
It was only 1-1 at half-time with Schurrle scoring a nice deft equaliser just before the break, but (and it hurts to write this) Arsenal were rampant during a second half when Lacazette scored a second goal, Ramsey scored a goal of the weekend contender with a clever back-heel flick, and fellow substitute Aubameyang scored twice. "We've got our Arsenal back" sang the away crowd, as our rivals climbed above us on goal difference. They had not been above us since New Year's Eve, and that was only because we had played a game less.
Southampton 0 Chelsea 3
Chelsea were rampant too, and actually went top of the league before the Liverpool v Man City game was played. Ross Barkley, back in the England squad, caught the eye and scored his first goal and assist for more than 16 months. The assist was after a tigerish tackle in the final third as Southampton struggled to clear, allowing Eden Hazard to score his seventh goal of the season and to top the Premier League score chart. Barkley's goal came from close range from Giroud's cross/shot. Substitute Morata scored a 90th minute third goal for Chelsea.
Southampton had chances, notably from Ings and Bertrand, but it looks like Mark Hughes has another moderate side on his hands here - or should that be the other way round?
Liverpool 0 Man City 0
Inevitably billed as the game of the weekend, the goal-less game disappointed. City should have won it late in the game when Van Dijk brought down Leroy Sane. Aguero had been substituted and Mahrez and Jesus argued over who should take the penalty. Apparently Guardiola ruled that Mahrez should take the kick. Mahrez's recent penalty conversion stats are not good, and he maintained his record with a skied spot kick.
The two teams generally cancelled each other in terms of possession and shots on and off target. City haven't won at Anfield since 2003. Sterling was enthusiastically booed by the home crowd. Some things don't change. City took over at the top of the table where the three unbeaten teams are locked on 20 points, but not on goal difference. Spurs are just two points behind in fifth place!
Brighton 1-0 West Ham
Burnley 1-1 H'dsfield
C. Palace 0-1 Wolves
Leicester 1-2 Everton
Spurs 1-0 Cardiff
Watford 0-4 B'nemouth
Man Utd 3-2 Newcastle
Fulham 1-5 Arsenal
S'hampton 0-3 Chelsea
Liverpool 0-0 Man City
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Man City 8 6 2 0 21-3 18 20
2. Chelsea 8 6 2 0 18-5 13 20
3. Liverpool 8 6 2 0 15-3 12 20
4. Arsenal 8 6 0 2 19-10 9 18
5. Spurs 8 6 0 2 15-7 8 18
6. B'mouth 8 5 1 2 16-12 4 16
7. Wolves 8 4 3 1 9-6 3 15
8. Man Utd 8 4 1 3 13-14 -1 13
9. Watford 8 4 1 3 11-12 -1 13
10. Leicester 8 4 0 4 14-12 2 12
11. Everton 8 3 3 2 13-12 1 12
12. Burnley 8 2 2 4 10-12 -2 8
13. Brighton 8 2 2 4 9-13 -4 8
14. C. Palace 8 2 1 5 5-9 -4 7
15. West Ham 8 2 1 5 8-13 -5 7
16. S'hampton 8 1 2 5 6-14 -8 5
17. Fulham 8 1 2 5 9-21 -12 5
18. H'dsfield 8 0 3 5 4-17 -13 3
19. Newcastle 8 0 2 6 6-13 -7 2
20. Cardiff 8 0 2 6 4-17 -13 2