PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW - MATCHDAY 24
Arsenal 2 Cardiff 1
There was a solemn ceremony before this game, as respects were paid to the missing Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala, for whom searches continue more than a week since the light aircraft in which he was being carried disappeared over the Channel. Cardiff manager Neil Warnock had described this week as the most difficult in his career.
Cardiff have signed Niasse on loan from Everton, and he had a good early shot on goal, and a good shout for a penalty, which was denied. Reid also went close for Cardiff, who had a good early spell. Lacazette was also denied a penalty shout late in the goal-less first half.
Kolasinac did get a penalty for Arsenal, following a foul by Bamba, and Aubameyang scored from the spot. Lacazette made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute, with a solo effort as he ran in from the touch line on the right. Mendez-Laing got a consolation goal for Cardiff in the third minute of added time with a nice left footed shot curled to the right of Leno.
Fulham 4 Brighton 2
Brighton goalkeeper Matty Ryan was back from the Asian Cup, and so displaced former Fulham keeper David Button for this game. In an action-packed game Glenn Murray gave the visitors a third minute lead turning in a cross from the right by Montoya. Murray had another after 17 minutes, flicking home Pascal Gross's overhead kick after Fulham had again allowed too much space for a cross from the right by March.
Babel crossed for Fulham and Mitrovic met the ball with a low shot at the back post very well saved by Ryan. Propper hit the bar for Brighton just before the break.
Fulham got their first goal back two minutes after the break, when Mitrovic put pressure on the defence and the ball was headed back as far as Chambers, who beat Ryan to his right from outside the box.
Fulham were piling pressure upon the Brighton goal and Vietto hit a shot just over the bar. Babel hit a deflected cross deep into the area and Mitrovic equalised with a header after 58 minutes.
Seri hit the post after a touch back by Mitrovic. Rico saved well to prevent Murray getting a hat-trick goal with a header. The determined Mitrovic scored a second (and Fulham's third) goal after 74 minutes, heading home Bryan's cross. The comeback was complete in quite sensational style in the 79th minute when Cairney's shot rebounded off the bar; Babel returned the ball to his right and Vietto scored his first Fulham goal with a header.
Spirits have certainly been lifted at Craven Cottage. And the win gives Fulham hope of survival, drawing them within 6 points of safety.
Huddersfield 0 Everton 1
It was not a happy home start for Huddersfield's new manager Jan Siewert, who remain at the foot of the table, 12 points away from safety. Richarlison scored the only goal of the game in the third minute, following good work by Davies inside the penalty area on the right.
Digne was sent off for a "last man" foul in the second half and Pickford dived to his right to save substitute Mooy's free kick. Pickford was required to make another save, stretching to his right from a late effort by Kachunga.
Wolves 3 West Ham 0
The letter "W" is currently unlucky for West Ham. First they lost an FA cup tie to League One Wimbledon, then they got well beaten by Wolves! Arnautovic played, and has chosen to extend his contract with the "Hammers" and not go to China after all.
Doherty was denied an early penalty by occasional Premier League referee David Coote, when the Wolves wing-back tangled with Masuaku. Wolves totally dominated a lacklustre West Ham side.
It took Wolves 66 minutes to score their first goal, which came from a corner courtesy of a Saiss header. Jimenez added two more in the last ten minutes. The first came following a free kick on the left, which he met with his right foot. The second came on 86 minutes after a Wolves counter and a final pass by Jota.
Manchester United 2 Burnley 2
Solskjaer's run of 8 consecutive wins came to an end, and so nearly ended in a shock defeat at home to struggling Burnley. Lukaku started and set up Rashford for what should have been a simple finish, but the England man pushed his shot wide. Burnley were defending well, and United's second decent first half chance fell to Mata, but he hit the shot wide.
Andreas Pereira was making his first Premier League start since August for United, ad he was caught in possession just outside the box, allowing Cork to feed the ball to Barnes, who fired the ball to the roof of the net in the 51st minute. Heaton made a great save from Lukaku, who was subsequently replaced by Sanchez.
The travelling fans were in dreamland as Chris Wood gave their side a two goal lead after 81 minutes when he headed home from close range following Westwood's cross.
There wasn't any protest from Burnley's Hendrick who had his hand on Lingard's shoulder leading to Jon Moss awarding United a penalty from which Pogba scored in the 87th minute. Heaton saved a Pogba shot from the edge of the area, before United equalised in "Fergie" time. Following a corner, Heaton saved well from Sanchez at close range, but Lindelof headed home the rebound.
Burnley had not won at Old Trafford since 1962, and of course they still haven't. Sean Dyche does keep a mysterious record of never having lost a Premier League game on a Tuesday!
Newcastle 2 Manchester City 1
This was a real shock of a result, particularly as Aguero had given City the lead after only 24 seconds. He seemed to have a second goal after 17 minutes, but referee Paul Tierney booked De Bruyne for taking the free kick which Aguero had converted too early.
David Silva had a close range shot blocked in the first half and an early second half shot well saved by Dubravka. Rondon scored in the 66th minute at the Gallowgate End, cleverly latching onto a chipped ball with a shot which bounced into the ground and over Ederson.
The referee awarded Newcastle a penalty when Fernandinho clattered into Sean Longstaff, and after some delay Matt Ritchie scored from the spot in the 80th minute to set the St. James' Park atmosphere alight. Newcastle will arrive at Wembley on Saturday in good spirits, not least because they have finally broken their club record transfer fee (£20 million) with the signing of midfielder Miguel Almiron from American Major League side Atlanta United.
Bournemouth 4 Chelsea 0
Here was another shock result and one which helped Spurs, leaving both Chelsea and Arsenal seven points behind our third place. Arsenal have even gone above Chelsea because they have scored more goals. Incredibly, this is only the second time in Premier League history that Chelsea have lost by four goals. The last time was a 5-1 defeat by Liverpool in 1996. I wish we could say the same about Spurs.
Sarri gave a debut to Higuain, but he didn't manage a single shot on goal. Kovacic had a header pushed onto the bar by Bournemouth goalkeeper Boruc in the first half. Man of the match Brooks stole the ball off Hazard and went on a run for goal, hitting a shot which was comfortably saved by Kepa. Boruc saved again from Azpilicueta. The first half was goal-less and no indication of what was to come.
Bournemouth took a 47th minute lead when King converted Brooks' pass from his left. Pedro lofted a ball for Kante, but the goalkeeper was down to the ball before the Chelsea man could control it. David Luiz lost possession to Brooks, who took a return pass from King before confidently shooting underneath Luiz and past the goalkeeper. 2-0!
Josh King got his second and Bournemouth's third goal and the game was over after 74 minutes. Nathan Clyne sent a lovely ball down the right for Stanislas, who quickly crossed to King to score. The rout was nicely completed by an ex-Spurs lad - Charlie Daniels - who headed home a free kick from the left side in the fifth minute of added time. Lovely!
Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 1
Both teams would have been hoping for a win, but the point apiece did lift them both above Burnley, and a precious four points above the drop zone. Palace took the lead in the 41st minute through Zaha's first goal since mid-Septemeber. Andros Townsend was fully involved in the build-up as the ball was worked from right to left with Kouyate also participating.
Sakho had a second half effort headed off the line following a corner. Palace needed that second goal because in the 77th minute they left too much space for James Ward-Prowse to level the scores with a low shot after the ball had been crossed from the left. Sakho had another chance with a header when he was unmarked, but he put the ball over the target.
Zaha had a spat with Ward-Prowse towards the end of the game, and was shown a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner. The Palace player sarcastically applauded the referee and was deservedly shown a second yellow and a red card for his petulance.
Liverpool 1 Leicester 1
On what was the coldest night of winter so far, snow had been falling at Anfield and some was on the pitch. Jurgen Klopp blamed the snow partly for his team's failure to take all three points off Leicester, thus failing to extend their Premier League lead.
Captain Jordan Henderson was required to fill in at right back. James Milner was suspended for this game. Mane gave the home side a third minute lead with a right footed shot from just inside the left side of the box. Firmino had a shot saved by Schmeichel three minutes later. Leicester equalised just before half-time following a free kick by Maddison, which was cleared to the feet of Chilwell, whose short, headed cross was fired home by Harry Maguire.
Leicester nearly took the lead in the second half when Maguire returned another free kick across the goalmouth and Alisson had to clear from the feet of his own player - Firmino. Liverpool were denied a penalty by Martin Atkinson when Ricardo caught Keita inside the box in front of goal. Schmeichel saved Firmino's shot well, following a cross by Henderson.
Spurs 2 Watford 1
Son Heung-min had a very successful return after his Asian Cup absence, and was your man of the match by a stretch. See the spursometer in full here.
Comment of the week:- "Hard fought victory and good to have Son back. Not sure what Lloris was thinking of,coming out like that, maybe a few too many mistakes might cost us ultimately? Winks gets better and better, should have played against Palace but then would he have had the energy for this game."
Spurs have not previously had this number of points (54) from this number of games (24) played in the Premier League.
Arsenal 2-1 Cardiff
Fulham 4-2 Brighton
Hds'field 0-1 Everton
Wolves 3-0 West Ham
Man Utd 2-2 Burnley
Newcastle 2-1 Man City
B'mouth 4-0 Chelsea
S'hampton 1-1 C. Palace
Liverpool 1-1 Leicester
Spurs 2-1 Watford
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 24 19 4 1 55-14 41 61
2. Man City 24 18 2 4 63-19 44 56
3. Spurs 24 18 0 6 50-24 26 54
4. Arsenal 24 14 5 5 50-33 17 47
5. Chelsea 24 14 5 5 40-23 17 47
6. Man Utd 24 13 6 5 48-35 13 45
7. Wolves 24 10 5 9 30-31 -1 35
8. Everton 24 9 6 9 35-33 2 33
9. Watford 24 9 6 9 33-34 -1 33
10. B'mouth 24 10 3 11 37-42 -5 33
11. Leicester 24 9 5 10 30-30 0 32
12. West Ham 24 9 4 11 30-37 -7 31
13. Brighton 24 7 5 12 27-36 -9 26
14. Newcastle 24 6 6 12 21-32 -11 24
15. C. Palace 24 6 5 13 24-33 -9 23
16. S'hampton 24 5 8 11 26-41 -15 23
17. Burnley 24 6 5 13 25-45 -20 23
18. Cardiff 24 5 4 15 20-46 -26 19
19. Fulham 24 4 5 15 25-53 -28 17
20. H'dsfield 24 2 5 17 13-41 -28 11