Premier League Review - Matchday 19
26.12.18 - 27.12.18
Fulham 1 Wolves 1
Fulham managed to drag themselves off the bottom with this point against Wolves. Christie and Mitrovic had good chances for the home side in the first half, which remained scoreless.
Ryan Sessegnon came off the bench to replace Shurrle and gave his side the lead on 74 minutes after a Fulham free kick was headed across the area and punched to his feet by the Wolves goalkeeper.
Wolves equalised from very close range through Saiss in the 85th minute. A deep cross from the left had been met at the back post by Helder Costa, and Saiss finished from a goalmouth scramble. Mitrovic's late effort for the home side was firstly half blocked, then scrambled off the line by the Wolves defence.
Burnley 1 Everton 5
Burnley capitulated and Everton bounced back from their own heavy home defeat to Spurs on Sunday. Questions are now being asked about Burnley manager Sean Dyche's prospects, along with the chances of Burnley's survival in the Premier League.
Everton's first goal followed a cheap corner on the right, a ball returned from the left by Bernard, and a headed goal by Yerry Mina (his first for the club) after only 2 minutes. Calvert-Lewin was fouled just outside the box, and Digne scored from the free kick with his left foot, beating Joe Hart inside his right post after only 13 minutes.
Referee Michael Oliver awarded Everton a penalty when Mee's arm went up at an Everton corner, and Sigurdsson made it 3-0 within 22 minutes. Burnley got one back after a corner on 37 minutes. One attempt at goal was blocked on the line, but Gibson scored with a close range shot.
Tarkowski had a chance to reduce the deficit to one goal, but missed from close range, and Digne scored a second goal from a good 28 yards out, following an Everton corner in the 71st minute. Richarlison made it 5-1 in added time with a neat left foot finish just inside Hart's left post, and Burnley's misery was complete.
Crystal Palace 0 Cardiff 0
Predictably this game was last on Match of the Day! Perhaps unpredictably after their heroic win against Manchester City, Palace failed to beat Cardiff, who did play in a defensive 5-4-1 formation. Townsend did have an early effort land on top of the bar. Palace's next decent chance came late in the game after Townsend was fouled outside the area and Milivojevic's shot rebounded off the post.
Guaita was required to make a very good one handed save from Harris's shot for Cardiff, and Etheridge had to reach low to save Zaha's shot across his goalmouth. Zaha was goalbound with a great run from just inside the Cardiff half, but Manga chased and caught him to make a great challenge. Van Aanholt was also denied by goalkeeper Etheridge.
Leicester 2 Manchester City 1
Manchester City, who at the start of the month were one of the unbeaten teams in the Premier League, fell to their third league defeat in four games at The King Power Stadium. Leicester were on a high having beaten Chelsea in their previous game. Guardiola was still without Fernandinho, and will surely be hoping for his swift return to action. Aguero started, as did Kevin de Bruyne.
City had a 14th minute lead with Aguero providing the pass for Bernardo Silva's finish from 10 yards. Albrighton equalised with a header only four minutes later with Vardy providing the pass from the left of the area. The Leicester happy clappers were noisy! A typical Man City move followed with De Bruyne threading to Sane, who crossed for the left only for Aguero to fail in front of the goal. Leicester had the best chances at the end of the first half with Choudhury and Maddison both going close.
Ricardo scored a fantastic 81st minute winner for "The Foxes", following a corner on the right, when he hit a powerful right footed shot from the edge of the area. Fabian Delph was shown a straight red after Mike Dean consulted his assistant for a studs high challenge upon Ricardo as he followed through with his challenge.
Leicester had claimed their second big scalp in two games which will surely have an influence upon the title challenge of other teams. Manchester City lost their second place to Spurs!
Liverpool 4 Newcastle 0
The Liverpool machine rolls on, still unbeaten, and still top of the league. They went one up in the 11th minute after a Robertson cross was headed back into the path of Lovren by a Newcastle defender, allowing Lovren a free shot into the roof of the net. Shaqiri had a good free kick well saved by Dubravka, but the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
Salah was awarded a penalty and scored from the spot in the 47th minute. It looked a soft penalty, but Salah felt the touch of Dummett's hand and went down. Referee Graham Scott obliged him. Liverpool had to wait till the 79th minute for their third goal which followed Alexander-Arnold's low cross and Shaqiri's finish in front of the goal. Fabinho scored with a header from a corner in the 85th minute, by which time Liverpool fans were celebrating Man City's impending defeat, and were dreaming of a first title win in nearly 30 years. There's a long way to go yet though, and Spurs might yet be involved!
Liverpool's next two game are at home to Arsenal, and away to Manchester City.
Manchester United 3 Huddersfield 1
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made an emotional and successful return as caretaker manager at Old Trafford. Huddersfield had an early opportunity following one of those Billing long throws, but Kongolo put the final chance over the bar. United responded in the 28th minute, after Pogba was fouled and his free kick was deflected for a corner off the wall. Rashford's corner was headed across the area by Lindelof and Matic scored at close range.
Huddersfield nearly equalised after 68 minutes when Pritchard's corner was turned goalward by DePoitre. De Gea made a very good save to deny the "Terriers". However, Pogba made it 2-0 after good work by Mata on the right bye-line and a cut back ball which made it to the mercurial French International who made no mistake with his shot. Pogba scored a second goal on 78 minutes from 22 yards, after Lingard's pass from the left.
Jorgensen got a consolation goal two minutes from time, running onto Mounie's downward header from Alex Pritchard's long ball into the area. Huddersfield have slipped to the bottom of the table, and their next game is a six-pointer at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Spurs 5 Bournemouth 0
Kyle Walker-Peters won the official site's man of the m atch vote, but Spurs Odyssey voters chose Son Heung-min for the second consecutive game and the fourth time this season. Son is on target to win our player of the month poll. See the spursometer in full.
You might like to check where we stood after 19 matches in the last three seasons, in two of which we did challenge the eventual title winners:-
· 30.12.2015 - 4th place - 4 points behind eventual winners Leicester
· 01.01.2017 - 4th place - 10 points behind eventual winners Chelsea
· 23.12.2017 - 5th place - 21 points behind eventual winners Manchester City
After the next two rounds of games, when Liverpool face Arsenal and Man City, perhaps we will be in our best yet position to challenge for tht elusive title!
Brighton 1 Arsenal 1
Two points dropped leaves Arsenal two points shy of the top four and seven points behind Spurs. Matty Ryan made a very good save from Aubameyang's early effort, pushing the dipping shot over the bar. Aubameyang did score after 7 minutes after poor defending gave Lacazette the chance to feed Aubameyang for a right foot shot across Ryan's left hand.
There was confusion at the other end when Brighton wanted a penalty for a foul on Murray (not given) and a goal when Murray took the ball out of Leno's hands to force the ball over the line (not given). Referee Anthony Taylor's decision was a free kick to Arsenal for Murray's infringement on the Arsenal keeper, deemed to have had control of the ball. Ryan then made another excellent save from Aubameyang.
Brighton equalised after 35 minutes when Lichtsteiner headed a long Brighton ball into Locardia's path, allowing him to pass Leno and score his first goal of the season. There were few incidents of note in the second half, when Brighton actually forged three good scoring chances, but the score remained 1-1.
Arsenal go to Anfield on Saturday, and I suppose the best result for Spurs would be draw.
Watford 1 Chelsea 2
Chelsea made a welcome return to winning ways (from their point of view, and not that of the webmaster!). Watford defender Kabasele had to go off after a nasty looking collision with the post after Willian's shot had hit the same upright and gone out of play. It had been a competitive first half with opportunities at either end, but Eden Hazard hit his 100th Chelsea goal in first half added time. Kovacic fed him the ball from the right and the Belgian International took the ball around the advancing Ben Foster before planting his shot in the net. Pereyra immediately equalised following a Watford corner on the left, hitting a superbly placed shot just inside the keeper's left post.
It must have been cold for the former Barcelona player Deulofeu, who was wearing leggings, and he was upset when Martin Atkinson waved away penalty appeals when David Luiz collided with the forward in the Chelsea area. Hazard did get a penalty when Ben Foster blocked him just inside his area. Foster was also shown a yellow card, and could not save Hazard's penalty, with just over half an hour of the game to be played.
Willian hit the post again with Foster well beaten, and Kante pushed a shot wide, before Willian had another shot pushed out for a corner.
Southampton 1 West Ham 2
The 190th game of this Premier League season featured two teams who have recently shown winning form. Southampton came out of the blocks quickly with early chances for Redmond (saved) and Ings (side netting). Redmond and Armstrong showed some potency down the left side for "Saints" against Antonio who was covering at right back for the "Hammers".
West Ham's first shot of note came after 18 minutes from Snodgrass, but it was straight into McCarthy's arms. Lucas Perez had a great chance three minutes later, but he missed badly to the right of goal. As the half progressed, Southampton were having to defend more, but the nearest clear cut chance was a Snodgrass shot from the edge of the area just before the break which passed wide of the keeper's right post.
Southampton took the lead after 50 minutes through a very messy goal. Lemina crossed from the right and the ball was headed down for Redmond who was not the player in an offside position. There was then a scramble with Redmond getting the final touch, probably with his arm as he dived in front of the goal line.
Anderson got the equaliser in the 53rd minute with a classy right foot shot just inside McCarthy's right post. Fabianski saved well, diving to his left, when Armstrong hit a right footed shot from 25 yards following a Southampton throw-in. West Ham countered from the cleared corner, with two men spare and Anderson fired home from Antonio's cross.
Vestergaard did well to block a Perez shot after Anderson had run the ball down the left touch line and crossed. Fabianski saved well from Lemina after 74 minutes, but an offside decision had been given anyway in West Ham's favour.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, Anderson was after a hat-trick but his shot was saved at the right post by McCarthy. Anderson was denied again by McCarthy in the last minute of added time. The win puts West Ham back in the top half, and along with Liverpool and Spurs they have gained more points than any other Premier League team in December. 15 points is also the most that "The Hammers" have accumulated in any month when in the Premier League. Southampton remain too near the drop zone.
Fulham 1-1 Wolves
Burnley 1-5 Everton
C. Palace 0-0 Cardiff
Leicester 2-1 Man City
Liverpool 4-0 Newcastle
Man Utd 3-1 Hds'field
Spurs 5-0 B'mouth
Brighton 1-1 Arsenal
Watford 1-2 Chelsea
S'hampton 1-2 West Ham
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 19 16 3 0 43-7 36 51
2. Spurs 19 15 0 4 42-18 24 45
3. Man City 19 14 2 3 51-15 36 44
4. Chelsea 19 12 4 3 37-16 21 40
5. Arsenal 19 11 5 3 41-25 16 38
6. Man Utd 19 9 5 5 37-31 6 32
7. Leicester 19 8 4 7 24-22 2 28
8. Everton 19 7 6 6 31-29 2 27
9. West Ham 19 8 3 8 27-28 -1 27
10. Watford 19 8 3 8 26-27 -1 27
11. Wolves 19 7 5 7 20-22 -2 26
12. B'mouth 19 8 2 9 27-33 -6 26
13. Brighton 19 6 4 9 21-27 -6 22
14. C. Palace 19 5 4 10 17-25 -8 19
15. Newcastle 19 4 5 10 14-26 -12 17
16. S'hampton 19 3 6 10 20-35 -15 15
17. Cardiff 19 4 3 12 18-38 -20 15
18. Burnley 19 3 3 13 17-41 -24 12
19. Fulham 19 2 5 12 17-43 -26 11
20. H'dsfield 19 2 4 13 12-34 -22 10