Premier League Review - Matchday 17
15.12.2018 - 16.12.2018
Manchester City 3 Everton 1
After last week's defeat at Chelsea, City started the day in second place, and overtook Liverpool with this win. Sterling was on the bench, whilst Guardiola went with a front three of Mahrez, Jesus and Sane. Marco Silva went with a 5-4-1 formation, which says everything about the gap between Everton and the Champions.
After an error by Walker and a cross by Digne, Richarlison fired over at the back post when presented with a good chance to give the visitors the lead.
Everton's attempt to play out from the back failed after 22 minutes when City seized onto a poor ball. Sane fed Jesus, who scored. He thought he had a second just before half-time but the offside flag had been raised. Jesus did score a second five minutes into the second half with a header following Sane's cross from the left of the box.
Silva changed his formation, with a desire to get back into the game and Calvert-Lewin did make it 2-1 with a downward header after 65 minutes, following another Digne cross.
Sterling replaced Sane, and scored with his first touch. It was a header from short range at the back post, following a City move from the back with Fernandinho making the final cross.
Crystal Palace 1 Leicester 0
Zaha was serving a one-match ban following his five bookings, and Palace had not won a game without him since May 2016. Jamie Vardy returned for Leicester. Vardy was penalised for a nudge on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita as he struggled to clear inside his area, but Palace captain Milivojevic gave his side the decisive lead after 39 minutes with an excellent right footed shot from 20 yards, beating Schmeichel inside his right post.
The Palace goalkeeper preserved the points with a good save to his right from Vardy's shot, pushing the ball onto his right post.
Huddersfield 0 Newcastle 1
Huddersfield will miss their injured midfielder Aaron Mooy, but Billing went close with a first half free kick forcing a good save by Dubravka. Rondon snatched the points for Newcastle with a 55th minute goal, following a good move down the right flank. Perez passed inside to the advancing Manquillo who teed up Rondon for his sharp finish.
Spurs 1 Burnley 0
I thought we might have been last on Match of the Day, but we made their third slot, with the highlights looking more fun than the 90+ minutes!
“Fantastic. Fantastic,” Pochettino said about 18 year old Oliver Skipp. “He played like a 30-year-old man. I said to him ‘You look so relaxed.’ That’s the difference between someone who’s going to be a top player against someone who was a normal player like me.”
Only Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson managed their first 100 Premier League wins faster than Pochettino, who is the first manager to achieve the feat (in the Premier League remember) for Spurs. This is our best Premier League points tally after 17 games.
Unsurprisingly, Christian Eriksen won your man of the match vote for his added time winning goal. The full spursometer can be viewed here.
We now know that Eric Dier had appendicitis. He has had an operation and will be absent until January.
P.S - Harry Kane was voted into third place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, behind winner Geraint Thomas and runner-up Lewis Hamilton - both "Gooner" fans, although of course they rarely attend, if ever!
Watford 3 Cardiff 2
Deulofeu kicked off this five-goal feast of football after 16 minutes with a fine solo goal through the middle ending with a neat low shot. He went through Bamba and Morrison before beating the keeper. It remained 1-0 at half-time despite Pereyra going close with a free kick, just before the break.
Holebas scored with a fine left footed shot from 25 yards after 52 minutes to make it 2-0. Six minutes later it was 3-0 as 19 year old Quina scored his first goal for Watford. This was also a fine shot from outside the area.
Cardiff's Hoilett got one back after 80 minutes with a right footed curler, similar to the goal he scored against Wolves in November. Reid made it 3-2 two minutes later with a shot from 7 yards after a goalmouth scramble in which Cardiff had a couple of shots blocked. Doucoure forced a good save by Etheridge towards the end.
This was referee Andy Madley's first Premier League game of the season (his last game in March was also at Watford), and there was some controversy regarding the lack of a card for Troy Deeney when the striker did not pull out of a challenge upon the Cardiff goalkeeper. Andy Madley is the older brother of former referee Bobby Madley, who withdrew from refereeing in the summer.
Wolves 2 Bournemouth 0
Wolves climbed up to seventh place after this third successive win, indicating a return to the good form shown early in the season. For Bournemouth this was an eighth defeat, and they have dropped out of the top half.
Jimenez gave the home side a 12th minute lead. He had made the mistake which led to a Bournemouth throw inside their own half. They gave the ball away to Jota, who ran into the left side of the area before passing to Jimenez, who was unmarked at the back post, scoring with ease.
Stanislas hit the bar with a second half free kick, but apart from that Bournemouth had not created enough chances, despite tending to control the game. Helder Costa had missed an early second half chance to score, but in the final moments of the game he sent Cavaleiro away to secure the win with a second goal.
Fulham 0 West Ham 2
Fulham are still rooted to the bottom of the table, after West Ham won their fourth successive game for the first time since 2014. The "Hammers" have climbed up to ninth place, only two points behind Manchester United, and no doubt now are sniffing for a possible Europa League place.
Fulham were missing the injured Ryan Sessegnon and the suspended Anguissa. Snodgrass gave West Ham a 17th minute lead with a left foot shot from outside the area, following a good ball by Noble and Anderson's final pass. It was 2-0 within the first half hour as Hernandez flicked a ball to the right and Antonio scored with a shot beneath the Fulham keeper.
Fulham have yet to manage a clean sheet this season.
Brighton 1 Chelsea 2
Chelsea were one of two London sides on the South coast today, but the only one to win. Chelsea's first goal looked too easy really. Hazard, playing in the middle of a front three ran through the Brighton defence and passed to the unmarked Pedro to his right after 17 minutes. Chelsea were looking very comfortable and had a scoreline to reflect that after 33 minutes when Willian sent Hazard away for a run down the middle and a low shot past Ryan.
Alonso hit a great shot across the Brighton goalkeeper midway through the second half, but was denied by the left-hand post. Soon after that, March got a goal back for the home side, scoring from close range after a cross from the right and a header down by Bernardo.
Southampton 3 Arsenal 2
What a result this was for Spurs! Arsenal were left trailing us by five points after this shock defeat. Southampton's new manager Ralf Hasenhuttl was so excited about the win that he forgot to shake Unai Emery's hand at the end of the game, for which he gracefully apologised.
Hasenhuttl matched Arsenal's 3-4-3 style playing Redmond, Ings and Armstrong up front. Arsenal had Mustafi and Sokratis suspended and Holding now injured, while Koscielny returned to the side.
Ings gave "Saints" a 20th minute lead with a great header from the near post when Targett crossed well from the left. Mkhitaryan equalised 8 minutes late with his own version after Monreal cut the ball back from the left. Ings scored again just before half time with another header, this time from Redmond's short cross from his right.
Mkhitaryan also got a second goal, this time with a shot deflected off the unfortunate Vestergaard in the 53rd minute, to make the score 2-2. By this time Emery had brought Lacazette off a strong bench, suggesting Arsenal will field a strong team against Spurs in this week's Carabao Cup quarter-final.
Shane Long thought he had given Southampton the lead after bundling the ball over the line after Yoshida's header, but he had correctly been flagged offside. Long did have a hand in the winner though, as his inch-perfect cross from the right was headed in by another substitute, Charlie Austin in the 85th minute.
Spurs fans are happy to sing "When the Saints go marching in" this week! Arsenal had lost their 22-match unbeaten record.
Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1
Unsurprisingly, this match had top billing for the weekend, and also unsurprisingly, these days, Liverpool gave United a good beating. Pogba was left out for the third game in a row, and also did not come off the bench. Surely United will be seeking to cash in on him in January.
Liverpool had the lead in the 24th minute. Fabinho chipped a lovely pass over the United defence and Mane finished off with a cushion off his chest and left foot shot. Lingard equalised after 33 minutes when Alisson failed to hold a cross by Lukaku, allowing the United and England player to score.
Shaqiri entered the fray after 70 minutes and had a dramatic impact. Within three minutes he had given the home side the lead in front of The Kop. Mane's cross from the left took a deflection and was saved by De Gea, running to Shaqiri, whose shot was also deflected into the roof of the net.
It was another deflected shot by Shaqiri that made it 3-1 after 80 minutes. There was a cross by Mane and interplay between Firmino and Salah before Shaqiri hit his shot.
Liverpool returned to the top of the table, and United are 11 points off the top four.
STOP PRESS! - This morning (Tuesday 18th December, 2018) it was announced that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had been sacked.
Man City 3-1 Everton
C. Palace 1-0 Leicester
Hds'field 0-1 Newcastle
Spurs 1-0 Burnley
Watford 3-2 Cardiff
Wolves 2-0 B'mouth
Fulham 0-2 West Ham
Brighton 1-2 Chelsea
S'hampton 3-2 Arsenal
Liverpool 3-1 Man Utd
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 17 14 3 0 37-7 30 45
2. Man City 17 14 2 1 48-10 38 44
3. Spurs 17 13 0 4 31-16 15 39
4. Chelsea 17 11 4 2 35-14 21 37
5. Arsenal 17 10 4 3 37-23 14 34
6. Man Utd 17 7 5 5 29-29 0 26
7. Wolves 17 7 4 6 19-19 0 25
8. Everton 17 6 6 5 24-22 2 24
9. West Ham 17 7 3 7 25-25 0 24
10. Watford 17 7 3 7 23-25 -2 24
11. B'mouth 17 7 2 8 25-28 -3 23
12. Leicester 17 6 4 7 21-21 0 22
13. Brighton 17 6 3 8 20-24 -4 21
14. Newcastle 17 4 4 9 14-22 -8 16
15. C. Palace 17 4 3 10 14-23 -9 15
16. Cardiff 17 4 2 11 17-33 -16 14
17. S'hampton 17 2 6 9 16-32 -16 12
18. Burnley 17 3 3 11 15-33 -18 12
19. H'dsfield 17 2 4 11 10-28 -18 10
20. Fulham 17 2 3 12 16-42 -26 9