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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2019-20 - Matchday Three

Premier League Review - Matchday Three

Friday 23rd August, 2019

Aston Villa 2 Everton 0

There was another hot atmosphere for Villa's second home game, and it was played on a hot Friday night too! Villa were on the back foot for the first fifteen minutes with Guilbert taking an early yellow card. Richarlison went down too easily in the box under a Grealish challenge and referee Michael Oliver correctly dismissed a penalty claim.

Everton had looked sharp in the middle and regularly broke forward without threatening the Villa goal.

Villa took the lead after a quickly taken free kick in their own half. Jota, who they signed in the summer from rivals Birmingham, had already impressed and he brought the ball forward finding Wesley towards the right of Everton's area with a well-weighted pass which Wesley struck across Pickford's right hand into the net. (21 mins) This was Wesley's first Premier League goal, and the first conceded this season by Everton. Wesley almost got behind the Everton defence two minutes later, but was blocked.

Everton had a good chance to equalise ten minutes later after a move which ended with Coleman cutting the ball back from the bye-line for Calvert-Lewin, whose shot was blocked.

Villa found their confidence after their goal, giving home supporters plenty to cheer.

Villa's good form continued in the second half and on the hour Marco Silva replaced Sigurdsson and Bernard with Iwobi and Moise Keane - two of his summer signings. Iwobi probably forced the first real save for Tom Heaton after 70 minutes when he received Digne's cross and hit a shot into the ground which bounced up into Heaton's hands.

El Ghazi replaced Jota for Villa whilst Walcott replaced Richarlison for Everton. Iwobi hit the post with a left foot shot at the end of a move in which he had been heavily involved after 81 minutes. At the other end El Ghazi hit a low shot from 25 yards which Pickford saved and pushed into safety.

Walcott missed a golden chance after 89 minutes after receiving a cross from Moise Keane. Digne missed another opportunity in added time after Walcott's cross. Everton had lacked the killer touch, and Villa sealed their first Premier League win since February 2016 with a goal by El Ghazi who beat Pickford with a low shot after good play by Wesley and McGinn.

Saturday 24th August, 2019

Norwich 2 Chelsea 3

Pedro was injured in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Ross Barkley. Carrow Road was vibrant after their opening win over Newcastle last week. Norwich were unchanged. Tammy Abraham got the nod up front for Chelsea.

Abraham opened the scoring within three minutes. Pulisic pushed the ball out to Azpilicueta, whose cross fell to Abraham's feet. The striker finished with a low shot to the left of Krul, and he ran to celebrate with his manager. Norwich equalised in the sixth minute after a nice short-pass move in and around the area. Cantwell scored from Pukki's cross from the left.

Chelsea regained the lead in the 17th minute after Norwich failed to play out from the back and Barkley slipped the ball to Mason Mount, who turned inside before firing high into the net from just inside the box. Chelsea were putting the home side under pressure and Krul made a good reaction save to deny Christensen after 24 minutes. Godfrey had to block Jorginho's attempt as more pressure was put upon the home side.

After all the pressure, that man Pukki levelled the scores on the half-hour, receiving a nice threaded pass from Buendia inside the right hand side of Chelsea's area beating Arrizabalaga with his low shot. The keeper got a touch, but it was not enough to prevent the goal, which was already Pukki's fifth of the season.

Jorginho was booked (his third booking of the season already) and Norwich had a free kick after which Arrizablaga had to save both from Buendia, then Hanley. Norwich survived more Chelsea pressure just before the interval, but this entertaining game promised more goals for the second half.

Chelsea piled on the pressure early in the second half with shots by Mount, Jorginho (2) and Pulisic not testing Krul in the Norwich goal. Krul did have to make a save from Emmerson on the hour, but the shot was hit straight at him. Chelsea had been pressing high en masse. Barkley hit a shot straight at Krul five minutes later.

After 67 minutes, Pukki forced a save from Arrizablaga, but within a minute Abraham had a second goal, with excellent control, a turn and a right foot shot inside Krul's right post.

Norwich fought hard and centre back Godfrey made a great run and had an attempted cross which won a corner, from which the same player headed against the Chelsea bar. Chelsea had the ball in the net after 78 minutes, but VAR decreed there had been a foul by substitute Giroud upon Krul. The offence took place inside the goalkeeper's 6 yard area.

Krul pushed a Barkley shot around the post for a late corner, but Norwich had essentially run out of steam in the second half, and could not take advantage of six minutes of added time. Chelsea deserved their win, but Norwich will entertain a lot of people this season, not least their own fans.

Brighton 0 Southampton 2

Brighton's chances of continuing their good start to the season were severely hampered when Andone was sent off after only half an hour. Andone committed a foot high challenge and will face a three match suspension.

Dunk had the ball in the net from a corner, but the Southampton goalkeeper was being fouled almost on his line by Burn, and the "goal" was disallowed.

It took "Saints" until the 55th minute to exert their numerical advantage and the goal came with his first touch from substitute Moussa Djenepo, signed from Standard Liege. The 21 year old received a long ball and hit a right footed shot to the left of the keeper from nearly 25 yards.

Redmond secured the win with an added time goal from close range after Boufal's cross from close to the bye-line on the left. This was Southampton's first win of the season.

Manchester United 1 Crystal Palace 2

Spurs weren't the only team chasing a top four finish who suffered a shock home defeat! Wan-Bissaka faced his old team for the first time, and Gary Cahill made his Palace debut. Palace were seeking their first ever Premier League win over United at the 21st attempt.

James had an on target shot blocked by Van Aanholt after 17 minutes. Palace scored against the run of play after 32 minutes with a route one goal. Guaita's kick was flicked on by Schlupp for Jordan Ayew who had the time and space to score. It was his first goal since January.

United had been denied one penalty when Martial went down, but were awarded a spot kick when McTominay was fouled after 68 minutes. Rashford took this one and hit the post. He has subsequently been subject to racial abuse on social media. James was booked for simulation for the second time in a week, but might have been hard done by. Rashford was also denied a penalty by referee Paul Tierney and VAR.

James scored with a delightful right footed curler into the far corner after 88 minutes, following approach work by Pogba, Martial and Rashford. Palace won the game in the third minute of added time when Van Aanholt and Zaha advanced into the United area and the left back's shot crept beneath De Gea.

Sheffield United 1 Leicester 2

Jamie Vardy, born in Sheffield and apparently an ardent Wednesday fan took some stick off the very vocal home section and had great pleasure in putting his side in the lead after 38 minutes. He had received a flicked pass by Maddison and scored with a powerful left foot shot.

McBurnie equalised in front of the same goal after 62 minutes when he headed home a ball crossed from the right. Leicester took the points with an unstoppable right foot screamer by substitute Harvey Barnes after 70 minutes. Schmeichel made a great save reacting quickly to his left to save from Lundstram.

Watford 1 West Ham 3

Watford are rock bottom of the table after three defeats. They invested very little in the summer transfer market. West Ham on the other hand have spent out, not least on Sebastien Haller who scored two of the "Hammers"' goals. West Ham skipper Mark Noble opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Lanzini had been fouled by Doucoure. "Mr. West Ham United" was playing exactly 15 years after his club debut.

Andre Gray equalised for the "Hornets" in the 17th minute. Fed by Hughes, he scored from the right of goal across the keeper. Yarmolenko, making only his 6th Premier League start (due to injury last season) crossed from the right and Haller tried an audacious aerial back heel kick which was saved by Foster. Anderson hit the outside of the post with a glanced header.

In the second half Hughes somehow managed to miss his chance at the right post when Gray crossed. The Rookery Stand could not believe their eyes.

Haller's first goal came after 64 minutes from close range after he was set up by Anderson. His second came after 73 minutes following a corner on the left which led to a diving header by Antonio, well saved by Foster, but immediately fired into the net by the French striker.

Liverpool 3 Arsenal 1

All Spurs fans were looking to Liverpool to ensure that not all Premier League games played today ended in an away win! Presumably Arsenal won the toss and turned the teams round so Liverpool played towards The Kop in the first half. Emery chose to play Ceballos behind Pepe (his first start) and Aubameyang. Lacazette started on the bench again.

Liverpool had Arsenal on the back foot for most of the first ten minutes, then Adrian nearly gave a goal away by racing out to try to clear when Van Dijk was in control. The ball fell to Aubameyang who hit a reaction shot which fell wide of the Liverpool goal. Pepe got the better of Roberston and had his shot saved, but he had also handled it in the process.

Arsenal were defending in numbers and capable of breaking with speed. Liverpool's passing was not as slick and accurate as Jurgen Klopp would have liked. Pepe had a shot go just wide after approach work by Willock and Aubameyang.

There was a long VAR review over a possible red card offence before a Liverpool corner was eventually taken. (33 mins) Arsenal immediately broke clear and Pepe had a great chance to score, but hit the ball too close to Adrian.

After a Liverpool throw on the right, Salah received, turned and shot, but just too wide of the far post. The breakthrough finally came for Liverpool after 40 minutes when Matip rose to head home an Alexander-Arnold corner.

Liverpool were awarded a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor after 47 minutes when Salah was onto Firmino's pass and had his shirt pulled by David Luiz. David Luiz was booked and VAR confirmed the easy decision. Mo Salah powered his penalty into Leno's top right corner. (49 mins)

Aubameyang was clear for Pepe's pass but had the ball swiped off his feet before he could shoot.

Salah scored an excellent goal to make it 3-0 in the 58th minute. He received an excellent pass from the Liverpool half by Fabinho and had the beating of both David Luiz and Monreal finishing with his left foot across Leno's right hand. There was going to be no away win here!

Arsenal substitute Torreira got a goal back for Arsenal after 84 minutes, receiving inside the area from Aubameyang before firing low to the left of Adrian.

Sunday 25th August, 2019

Bournemouth 1 Manchester City 3

Man City were back in the old routine at Bournemouth who tried a five man defence but failed to stem the tide. David Silva started for City. Aguero opened the scoring after 15 minutes at the end of a simple and effective short-passing move from the left. Wilson replaced Charlie Daniels and Eddie Howe tried a more attacking approach.

Raheem Sterlng made it 2-0 after 43 minutes. This fast-paced move came from the right through the Silvas- Bernardo and David. Harry Wilson made it 2-1 with an excellent left footed free kick just before the break.

Calum Wilson had a shot charged down by Ederson in the second half. City were denied a penalty by onfield referee Andre Marriner and VAR when Lerma trod on David Silva's foot but Aguero made it 3-1 with his second goal after 64 minutes after close footwork by David Silva.

Spurs 0 Newcastle United 1

The full match report can be read here. Hugo Lloris was deemed our best player. All the grades were low, as you would expect and can be seen on the spursometer.

Comments this week included:-

1. "When we come up against a side that put 11 men behind the ball and are really just looking kill a game, the only plan B appears to be throw Eriksen into the mix. He may not be here this time next week so Poch needs to take stock and decide how we are going to unlock teams, the earlier the better. Had we scored early against Newcastle we would have got 2 or 3 as they would have had to try and come at us."

2. "Over the past few home games, it seems we are rumbled. Park the bus and we play in front, slow build up, cross field passes to static players. Result, no penetration. Sometimes - Brighton, Villa, we get away with it. Too often not. In those circumstances, giving goals away by not marking seems an obvious fault which makes the job even harder. What now?"

3. "...Mike Dean did his usual against us. Gave very little and illustrated bad judgement throughout. Newcastle players were cynical in their time wasting and feigning injury. Dean appeared to be having a friendly chat with Lascelles and the physio and allowed him to take the long route from the pitch when he had already left the field once behind the goal. He was slow to react, booking Joelinton and as for the penalty decision! Why not? How was it not given?"

Wolves 1 Burnley 1

Wolves faced a side who had the same experience of Europa League qualifiers last year. Wolves stand a good chance of making the group stage, as opposed to the failure suffered by Sean Dyche's men. Wolves have sold out Thursday's home leg against Torino.

Ashley Barnes has been in excellent goal scoring form for Burnley and added to his tally (4 now) with a well taken shot from 25 yards after 13 minutes. Mee had a header somehow cleared or smothered on the line after it had come down off the Wolves bar.

Wolves failed to create many chances but Jiminez hit the post in added time before having a lifeline in the 95th minute. Wolves had a throw from the left and the referee (supported by VAR) decreed that Jiminez had been fouled, by Pieters. Jiminez sent Pope the wrong way before planting his kick to the goalkeepers's left side. Wolves have drawn their first three games.



Results 23-25.08.19

Friday

A. Villa    2-0   Everton

Saturday

Norwich     2-3   Chelsea
Brighton    0-2   S'hampton
Man Utd     1-2   C. Palace
Sheff Utd   1-2   Leicester
Watford     1-3   West Ham
Liverpool   3-1   Arsenal   

Sunday

B'mouth     1-3   Man City
Spurs       0-1   Newcastle
Wolves      1-1   Burnley

           Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Liverpool  3  3  0  0   9-3    6    9
 2. Man City   3  2  1  0  10-3    7    7 
 3. Arsenal    3  2  0  1   4-4    0    6
 4. Leicester  3  1  2  0   3-2    1    5
=========================================
 5. Man Utd    3  1  1  1   6-3    3    4
========================================= 
 6. Burnley    3  1  1  1   5-3    2    4
 7. Spurs      3  1  1  1   5-4    1    4 
 8. Brighton   3  1  1  1   4-3    1    4
 9. Sheff Utd  3  1  1  1   3-3    0    4
10. C. Palace  3  1  1  1   2-2    0    4
11. B'mouth    3  1  1  1   4-5   -1    4
12. Everton    3  1  1  1   1-2   -1    4 
13. Chelsea    3  1  1  1   4-7   -3    4
14. West Ham   3  1  1  1   4-7   -3    4
15. Wolves     3  0  3  0   2-2    0    3
16. A. Villa   3  1  0  2   4-5   -1    3 
17. Norwich    3  1  0  2   6-8   -2    3
=========================================
18. S'hampton  3  1  0  2   3-5   -2    3
19. Newcastle  3  1  0  2   2-4   -2    3
20. Watford    3  0  0  3   1-7   -6    0

This week last year

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