Premier League Review - Matchday Five
Saturday 14th September, 2019
Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1
This game was introduced by Gary Lineker on Match of the Day as the "Michael Owen Derby", with pundit Alan Shearer in the studio! (The comment followed the recent publication of Owen's book which led to a two-way spat between the two former Newcastle strikers)
Liverpool suffered a nasty shock when they fell behind to an early goal, but normality was ultimately restored and the "Reds" have an early five point lead in the table. The Newcastle goal came after 7 minutes when left wing-back Willems received from Atsu and beat Adrian's left hand with a powerfully clean strike. The goal was scored in front of the delighted Newcastle fans, with the home side playing towards The Kop in the first half.
Mane scored the first of two goals after 28 minutes, receiving from Robertson on his left before lifting a right footed shot into the far corner in front of The Kop. His second was scored in the 40th minute. Atsu lost the ball in the middle; Dubravka failed too hold a relatively easy ball from substitute Firmino, and Mane picked up the scraps.
Liverpool had to wait till the 72nd minute for their third goal and it came from that man Salah, taking a one-two pass from Firmino (a clever touch and flick) as he advanced into the area and fired across Dubravka.
Liverpool are away to Chelsea next Sunday in what should be a humdinger of a game.
Brighton 1 Burnley 1
Brighton fans haven't seen a home win for 6 months and they have to wait at least another week before they host Aston Villa in the League Cup. Brighton's next opponents at home in the Premier League will be Spurs on 5th October.
Brighton did take the lead after 51 minutes when Maupay hooked home a cross by March, but Burnley took a point in added time when substitute Jeff Hendrick hit a low right footed shot just inside Ryan's left post. It had been Burnley's only shot on target.
Manchester United 1 Leicester 0
It was Harry Maguire's first game against his old team, and he had the happier day. There had already been chances at either end before United sealed the points with a Rashford penalty after 8 minutes. Rashford had been fouled by Soyuncu and beat Schmeichel with a shot inside his left post.
De Gea (who had earlier saved well from Maddison with his foot) had to tip over a good long shot by Chilwell before the first half was finished. Rashford hit the top left corner of the frame of Schmeichel's goal with a second half free kick.
Sheffield United 0 Southampton 1
Adams' shot hit the outside of the Sheffield United post early in the first half, before McGoldrick was denied by Gunn at the other end. Adams had a header well saved by Dean Henderson in the "Blades"' goal.
The "Blades" felt aggrieved by VAR today. Firstly McBurnie had the ball in the net following a free kick, but was denied by VAR's offside decision. Djenepo scored a good solo goal in the 66th minute for the visitors, before Sheffield United feel they were denied a handball in the penalty area. Former Southampton player Billy Sharp was shown a straight red card for a high challenge after 85 minutes.
Spurs 4 Crystal Palace 0
Whilst at the game and when we were three up after only 23 minutes, I e-mailed my ace statistician friend Declan Mulcahy, asking when we were last three up after such a short time. The answers Declan provided were quite recent examples:-
1. Cardiff (away) on New Year's Day this year. We were 3-0 up after 26 minutes.
2. Huddersfield (away) on September 30th 2017. We were 3-0 up after 23 minutes, and won that one 4-0. That fourth goal was Moussa Sissoko's one and only Premier League goal for Spurs so far. In fact, Moussa has only scored one other Spurs goal. That was in a 3-2 League Cup home defeat to West Ham (played at Wembley).
I've done my own bit of research and found that you have to go back as far as 11th February, 2012 for such a fine start by Spurs in a home game. That was a 5-0 win over Newcastle when we scored the first three goals inside 20 minutes.
Son Heung-min was your man of the match and you can see the spursometer which clearly confirms our best performance of the season so far. Long may such form continue!
Wolves 2 Chelsea 5
Wolves are still looking for their first Premier League win of the season, and suffered a heavy defeat to Chelsea, for whom Tammy Abraham scored a hat-trick to lead the early goal scorers' list - level with Aguero.
Surprisingly in such a high scoring game we had to wait half an hour for the first goal. It followed a Chelsea corner and after some build-up play by Willian and Mount, Tomori hit the net with a shot from some 28 yards. Not only was it his first goal, it was his first ever Premier League shot!
Abaham's first goal followed in the 34th minute and Chelsea's youngsters were to the fore as Tomori advanced again, passed to Mount (who was fouled inside the area) with the ball running to Abraham to score following advantage played by referee Graham Scott. It was 3-0 in the 41st minute when Abraham headed home Alonso's short cross from the left.
Abraham had his hat-trick after 55 minutes, receiving a ball from Jorginho, before getting round Coady and scoring with his right foot. Wolves finally got a goal back after 69 minutes and it was Abraham own goal. He was unlucky as Arrizabalaga had done well to save from Saiss's header, but the ball rebounded off Abraham's hand into the net.
It was 4-2 when Doherty's shot was saved, but Cutrone was on hand to fire home the rebound, but Chelsea finished with a three goal margin of victory when Mount scored in the sixth minute of added time.
Norwich City 3 Manchester City 2
The "Canaries" got a result to be proud of, and one which will keep a smile on their fans' faces for a long time to come. This win was achieved despite a number of absentees through injury. City had a significant absence because of centre-back Laporte's long term knee injury. Otamendi and Stones were exposed here.
Norwich took the lead in the 18th minute when McLean headed home from the near post. It was his first Premier League goal. City's defence was badly exposed 10 minutes later when Pukki outran them down the right channel and passed to Canwell in space for an easy finish and a 2-0 lead!
Sterling hit the outside of the Norwich post with a header, and City got a goal back just before half-time when Aguero headed home a Bernardo Silva cross from the left.
Pukki had already had a good chance to make it 3-1 before he did score in the 50th minute. Buendia stole the ball off Otamendi and passed to his left where Pukki could not miss. It was 3-1 now! Stones had tried to play out by passing to Otamendi across the goalmouth. Otamendi's touch was too heavy and not befitting the Premier League Champions of the last two seasons.
City did get a late goal through Rodri, following a spell of sustained pressure, but that was not enough to salvage a point, or any pride.
Sunday 15th September, 2019
Bournemouth 3 Everton 1
Close season big spenders Everton are under-achieving again. They've conceded seven goals in their last three league games, and you can add to that the two goals scored against the "Toffees" by Lincoln in the league cup.
With this win Bournemouth leap-frogged Everton in the table. Eddie Howe was able to welcome back Lewis Cook in midfield, making his first appearance since suffering injury at Huddersfield 9 months ago. Howe also gave a league debut to 23 year ago old Jack Stacey, signed from Luton in the summer.
Richarlison received a ball from Delph and smacked a shot off the top of the crossbar from 20 yards before former Liverpool man Solanke forced a good save by Pickford with a shot from a similar distance. After the corner, Callum Wilson headed home from short range after King's touch from the back of the goalmouth. (23 minutes)
Calvert-Lewin headed in an equalising goal a minute before half-time after Richarlison's lofted cross.
Bournemouth's 21 year old keeper Aaron Ramsdale made a good save from Sigurdsson early in the second half. Ryan Fraser replaced Bournemouth's Harry Wilson after 57 minutes, and gave his side the lead 10 minutes later. King had been hauled down after a good run down the left flank and Fraser's free kick took a touch off Delph before hitting the net. Callum Wilson made it 3-1 with his second goal 5 minutes later racing onto Rico's ball and beating Pickford with a cool right footed finish from just inside the box.
Ramsdale saved well from Iwobi and preserved the two goal margin of victory for the "Cherries".
Watford 2 Arsenal 2
Apparently, during the International break, Arsenal manager Unai Emery had a chance meeting with his good friend Javi Gracia, who at the start of their meeting was the Watford manager, but by the end of it had been informed that he had been sacked! It's a small world, isn't it? That meeting took place on the streets of a Spanish town - Hondarribia.
Watford took the unusual step of re-appointing former manager Quique Sanchez Flores, previously dismissed at the end of the 2015-15 season and until recently in charge of Shanghai Shenhua. One of the Shanghai club's players is Odion Ighalo, who previously played for Quique Flores (among other managers!) at Watford.
Arsenal had a 2-0 First half lead, courtesy of Aubameyang, but squandered that in a game where Watford dominated in terms of shots on goal (31-7).
Leno had to tip a Cleverley shot over the bar before Aubameyang's first goal came in the 21st minute when Arsenal stole the ball in midfield and Kolasinac ran forward before passing to Aubameyang, who turned and scored inside Foster's right post in one swift movement. Watford wanted a foul for the midfield challenge, but were denied and the goal stood.
Aubameyang's second goal was an easy back post finish after swift passes from Ozil and Maitland-Niles on the right of the area.
Watford's first goal by Cleverley followed a comedy of errors by the Arsenal defence. Leno took a short goal kick to Sokratis inside the 6-yard box. Sokratis gifted the ball to Deulofeu, who presented it to Cleverley who fired home!
When Guendouzi was substituted and presumably received some abuse from home fans, he prematurely signalled the 2-1 scoreline.
Watford's equaliser followed a good save by Foster from Torreira and a nice passing move by the "Hornets" from box to box. David Luiz gifted a penalty when upending Pereyra, who scored from the spot in the 81st minute. Deulofeu even had a chance to win the game with a shot that passed narrowly in front of Leno's left post. Leno also had to make a save from Doucoure's late shot.
Monday 16th September, 2019
Aston Villa 0 West Ham 0
Both teams carried hopes for a win going into this game, but neither could break the deadlock.
Almost the most exciting moment of the game came when Tyrone Mings and team-mate Anwar El Ghazi had a head to head flashpoint for which referee Mike Dean awaited a VAR review. No action was taken, but West Ham's Masuaku was shown a red card for a second yellow offence after 67 minutes. That was Mr. Dean's 102nd red card shown in what after all has been a very long Premier League career.
Wesley went closest for the home side in the first half with a header going just wide after goal work by Jota and Grealish. Grealish himself might have scored late in the game, but could not get hold of his shot in front of goal.
West Ham had their chances with shots by Rice and Haller blocked by Grealish and Mings respectively, but generally the teams cancelled each other out and Pellegrini did not get a win for his 66th birthday.
It was a bonus for Spurs to finish the weekend in third place on 8 points above 5 other teams (including the "Hammers") on goal difference.
Fixtures & Results 14-16.09.19
Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle
Brighton 1-1 Burnley
Man Utd 1-0 Leicester
Sheff Utd 0-1 S'hampton
Spurs 4-0 C. Palace
Wolves 2-5 Chelsea
Norwich 3-2 Man City
B'mouth 3-1 Everton
Watford 2-2 Arsenal
A. Villa 0-0 West Ham
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 5 5 0 0 15-4 11 15
2. Man City 5 3 1 1 16-6 10 10
3. Spurs 5 2 2 1 11-6 5 8
4. Man Utd 5 2 2 1 8-4 4 8
5. Leicester 5 2 2 1 6-4 2 8
6. Chelsea 5 2 2 1 11-11 0 8
7. Arsenal 5 2 2 1 8-8 0 8
8. West Ham 5 2 2 1 6-7 -1 8
9. B'mouth 5 2 1 2 8-9 -1 7
10. S'hampton 5 2 1 2 5-6 -1 7
11. Everton 5 2 1 2 5-7 -2 7
12. C. Palace 5 2 1 2 3-6 -3 7
13. Norwich 5 2 0 3 9-12 -3 6
14. Burnley 5 1 2 2 6-7 -1 5
15. Sheff Utd 5 1 2 2 5-6 -1 5
16. Brighton 5 1 2 2 5-8 -3 5
17. A. Villa 5 1 1 3 4-6 -2 4
18. Newcastle 5 1 1 3 4-8 -4 4
19. Wolves 5 0 3 2 6-10 -4 3
20. Watford 5 0 2 3 4-10 -6 2