Premier League Review - Matchday 16
Saturday 8th December, 2018
Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 4
Bournemouth were missing striker Calum Wilson (knee) and Lewis Cook is out for the season. Jurgen Klopp rang the changes again, with James Milner captain at right back in his 500th Premier League appearance. Mo Salah was included and scored a hat-trick which devastated the home side and helped to put Liverpool on top of the league and to equal a record of 17 unbeaten games for the club in the Premier League. They are now the only unbeaten team in the league.
Salah's first goal came after 25 minutes when he followed up Firmino's shot which Begovic failed to hold. There was a case for offside against the Egyptian here, but nothing was given. His second came three minutes into the second half when he collected Firmino's pass, shook off a foul and scored with a shot just inside Begovic's left-hand post.
Liverpool's third was an own goal by Steve Cook as he tried to clear Robertson's cross, with Mane just behind him. Salah's hat-trick goal came in the 77th minute. Substitute Lallana had sent a long ball into the Bournemouth half which Salah took on, jinking into the penalty area and around Begovic twice in Greaves-style fashion, before delivering a neat killer goal.
Arsenal 1 Huddersfield 0
Arsenal allegedly had 59,893 in the ground today, but there seemed to be a lot of empty seats. They had to wait till the 83rd minute for their winner after both Aubameyang and Lacazette had missed first half chances you'd expect them to finish. The "gooners" also were shown no less than three yellow cards for simulation. (Mustafi and Guendouzi) Torreira scored his second goal in three games with a close range scissor kick.
Huddersfield's key midfielder Aaron Mooy is out till February with a knee injury, but Australia want to make their own assessment, s they want Mooy to play in the Asia Cup in January.
Burnley 1 Brighton 0
Burnley got their first win in 9 games and clawed themselves out of the bottom three. It was Tarkowski who deflected Cork's shot into goal after 40 minutes. Brighton out the Burnley goal under quite intense pressure towards the end of the game, but the Turf Moor side survived.
Cardiff 1 Southampton 0
Neil Warnock's men have edged themselves away from the drop zone with a third consecutive home win, despite Southampton's change of manager. The solitary goal came following Vestergaard's stumble, allowing Paterson to take advantage and score from inside the box. Southampton remain in the bottom three.
Manchester United 4 Fulham 1
Fulham took a beating and United moved up to sixth place, although they remain 8 points behind fourth and fifth placed Chelsea and Arsenal.
Ashley Young opened the scoring after 13 minutes, moving into the Fulham area on the left before unleashing a great rising shot across Rico's goal. It was 2-0 in the 28th minute as Mata finished off Rashford's pass from the left. Rashford himself hit a stunning free kick from 28 yards, but this was saved by Sergio Rico.
United went three up in the 42nd minute with a slick passing move following a corner on the left, finished off by Lukaku.
Referee Lee Probert awarded Fulham a penalty after Kamara was adjudged to have been fouled by Herrera. Kamara scored from the spot (67 minutes). Fulham's defensive midfielder Anguissa was sent off for a second bookable offence. Rashford scored a cracking right footed goal from the left of the area to make it 4-1.
West Ham 3 Crystal Palace 2
The "Hammers" will be without Arnautovic for a month, and started with Hernandez and Perez up front. Palace played Townsend and Zaha as their front two, and gave West Ham a nasty shock when McArthur scored from close range after Tomkins headed down a free kick. Milivojevic hit the crossbar from a free kick just before half-time.
Snodgrass equalised with a fine left footed shot from just outside the area after 48 minutes. The rarely seen Andy Carroll came off the bench and was fouled 22 yards out. Hernandez scored from close range when Hennessy could not hold Anderson's free kick (62 minutes). Anderson scored himself three minutes later with a right footer from just outside the box. Hernandez had slipped him the ball. Schlupp scored with a header following a Palace corner on the left but that was as close as Roy Hodgson's men could get.
West Ham, with three consecutive wins - scoring three times in each of those games - climbed into the top half for a day at least, while Palace look as if they face another season-log battle against the drop.
Chelsea 2 Manchester City 0
Sarri went without a front man for this game, playing Pedro, Hazard and Willian as a front three. Similarly, Guardiola played Mahrez, Sterling and Sane.
Chelsea defended well against the first half domination of the City side with defenders generally blocking well and preventing the need for Kepa Arrizabalaga to make any drastic saves. Kante scored from the edge of the area with a rising shot just before half-time, taking a pass from Hazard. It was Chelsea's first shot on target, and Stamford Bridge was rocking.
In the second half, Willian was fouled by Fernandinho and took the free kick himself forcing a good save by Ederson, with an offside Pedro following up. David Luiz made it 2-0 in the 78th minute with a header from Chelsea's first corner of the game, and City were beaten for the first time.
The press was full of an image of Raheem Sterling facing vicious verbal abuse from Chelsea fans, allegedly of a racist nature, but this has yet to be established, and the day after the game Sterling said nothing specifically about the incident but instead criticised the press generally for their portrayal of some black players, in particular with regard to big purchases by two of his younger team-mates, suggesting the press differentiated regarding their descriptions of major spending by a white player (Foden) and a black player (Adarabioyo).
Leicester 0 Spurs 2
Spurs have achieved their highest ever Premier League points total (36) after playing 16 games. This was also the first time they started a game without either Eriksen or Kane since March 2014, when Tim Sherwood was acting head coach.
Both Son and Dele Alli scored fine goals for Spurs, but it was Dele who edged out Son for the man of the match vote for his all round creative play. You can see the full spursometer here.
Sunday 9th December, 2018
Newcastle 1 Wolves 2
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez was left rueing the decisions of referee Mike Dean in this match won in the last minute of added time by Wolves, who climbed above West Ham into tenth place. Wolves had opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Jota ran into space behind Lascelles to finish off Helder Costa's cross from the right. Rondon had already gone close for the home side in the first minute and nearly equalised when he hit the bar with a rasping free kick. Rondon ran to collect the loose ball, and when he returned it to the area, Perez glanced home a header.
The game turned in the second half when Perez was denied a penalty and Boly appeared to get away with an elbow to the face of the Newcastle player. Yedlin was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity when he tugged Jota as he approached the Newcastle area. Newcastle's pain was complete in the very last throes of the game when Wolves made a break. Jota's shot was saved by Dubravka but palmed into the path of Doherty who fired home in front of the despairing Gallowgate End.
Monday 10th December, 2018
Everton 2 Watford 2
Only a late, late free kick goal by Digne rescued Everton in a fixture now given extra bite because the "Toffees" have Watford's former manager Marco Silva, and their former Brazilian star Ricardo. Ricardo had given the home side a 15th minute lead, but Walcott should have been given offside. Watford hit two goals in quick succession in the second half. Firstly Pereyra's shot rebounded off the post and Seamus Coleman scored an unfortunate own goal from the rebound. Then Doucoure headed home to give the visitors the lead.
Minutes later, Gylfi Sigurdsson had a chance to equalise from the penalty spot, but his shot was saved. Digne's equaliser came 6 minutes into added time.
B'mouth 0-4 Liverpool
Arsenal 1-0 H'dsfield
Burnley 1-0 Brighton
Cardiff 1-0 S'hampton
Man Utd 4-1 Fulham
West Ham 3-2 C. Palace
Chelsea 2-0 Man City
Leicester 0-2 Spurs
Newcastle 1-2 Wolves
Everton 2-2 Watford
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 16 13 3 0 34-6 28 42
2. Man City 16 13 2 1 45-9 36 41
3. Spurs 16 12 0 4 30-16 14 36
4. Chelsea 16 10 4 2 33-13 20 34
5. Arsenal 16 10 4 2 35-20 15 34
6. Man Utd 16 7 5 4 28-26 2 26
7. Everton 16 6 6 4 23-19 4 24
8. B'mouth 16 7 2 7 25-26 -1 23
9. Leicester 16 6 4 6 21-20 1 22
10. Wolves 16 6 4 6 17-19 -2 22
11. West Ham 16 6 3 7 23-25 -2 21
12. Watford 16 6 3 7 20-23 -3 21
13. Brighton 16 6 3 7 19-22 -3 21
14. Cardiff 16 4 2 10 15-30 -15 14
15. Newcastle 16 3 4 9 13-22 -9 13
16. C. Palace 16 3 3 10 13-23 -10 12
17. Burnley 16 3 3 10 15-32 -17 12
18. H'dsfield 16 2 4 10 10-27 -17 10
19. S'hampton 16 1 6 9 13-30 -17 9
20. Fulham 16 2 3 11 16-40 -24 9