PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEW
Friday 25th October, 2019
Southampton 0 Leicester 9 (NINE)
There are too many goals to describe, but both Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy scored hat-tricks as Leicester equalled Manchester United’s 1995 record Premier League score against Ipswich. This was also the biggest away win in the 131-year history of top flight football in England. This was Southampton’s record league defeat, but not Leicester’s record win, as they beat Portsmouth 10-0 on 20th October 1928.
It was only the second time two players have hit hat-tricks in the same Premier League game. Pennant and Pires did it for Arsenal in 2003 – also against Southampton.
Vardy’s hat-trick goal was an added time penalty. Maddison had made it 8-0 direct from a free kick. The “Foxes”’ first goal was scored by Ben Chilwell after 10 minutes, and to add to their pain Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand was shown a straight red card for a high challenge reviewed by VAR which occurred in the build-up to the goal.
Leicester’s fans were rewarded for their journey on a very wet night. Many Southampton fans left during the first half when Leicester racked up a 5-0 scoreline. Only Manchester City (against Burnley in 2010) had previously had such a lead at the interval.
P.S:- Tielemans scored Leicester’s second goal. Leicester took second place overnight, and Southampton fell into the drop zone.
Saturday 26th October, 2019
Manchester City 3 Aston Villa 0
City lost Zinchenko and Rodri to injury this week and started with Stones at centre-back next to Fernandinho. Kyle walker was on the bench whilst Mendy started at left back.
Villa gave a good account of themselves in the first half, and perfectionist Guardiola was upset with his team’s performance, but City did run out comfortable winners with three second half goals.
Ederson had to make a good double save from McGinn and Douglas Luiz (bought by Villa from City in the summer). John Stones had given the ball away to McGinn. Jesus and David Silva missed good opportunities for City.
Sterling opened the scoring within the first minute of the second half. Jesus flicked on a long ball by Ederson and Sterling fired in with his left foot. Jesus had a goal-bound shot deflected by Heaton before Tyrone Mings cleared in front of his goal-line.
Fernandinho got a first yellow for a foul on Grealish. City went two up in the 65th minute when de Bruyne’s shot from the left appeared run all the way into the goal. David Silva claimed the credit and the goal was initially awarded to de Bruyne. VAR reviewed offside (I think by Sterling not David Silva) and the goal stood and was subsequently confirmed as being scored by David Silva.
Gundogan put the score beyond doubt in the 70th minute after sharp crosses from right and left by Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva, before the ball ran out to the scorer.
Fernandinho’s second yellow was shown three minutes from time, and apparently he will serve his suspension in the league game against Southampton and not the League Cup game which precedes it. McGinn hit the City post in the closing stages.
Brighton 3 Everton 2
Everton fell to their sixth Premier League defeat as a result of an added time own goal by Lucas Digne. Marco Silva’s men had also been sorely upset at a penalty awarded by VAR for a foul by Keane on Connolly. Referee Andy Madley had not awarded the penalty, and this was the first such award by VAR.
Gross opened the scoring for the “Seagulls” in sensational style with a powerful free kick after 15 minutes, given when Gomes had clattered Connolly just outside the Everton area. Richarlison had turned away from the ball, rather than face it down.
It looked as if Richarlison had equalised four minutes later when he met Digne’s corner, but the ball had actually gone into the net off the head of Webster. Walcott had a good chance to give the visitors the lead but was too slow and Ryan closed him down. Walcott had another shot blocked and in the follow up play Webster nearly deflected another shot (by Iwobi) into his own goal, but Ryan saved.
Substitute Calvert-Lewin gave Everton a 74th minute lead when he slotted home a left foot shot after Holgate’s neat pass, but drama was to follow. The penalty award came after lengthy consideration and it appeared that Keane had stepped on Connolly’s standing foot. Connolly had to go off injured. Maupay scored from the spot in the 80th minute. Digne’s own goal was in the fourth minute of added time when he diverted Trossard’s cross into the net.
Watford 0 Bournemouth 0
This match inevitably got last billing on match of the day. On Sky Soccer Saturday, Paul Merson had been allocated the game, but spent his time watching the adjacent monitors. Such was the level of interesting action it seems!
Doucoure put one early chance over the goal, and Dawson had a shot well blocked after a corner for Watford. Steve Cook’s header hit the Watford bar following a corner by Fraser. Rico had a free kick deflected wide for a corner and in the following attack he had a shot well saved by Foster who also saved well from Danjuma before the break.
Ramsdale saved well from Deulofeu who made twists and turns on a run towards the goal. The Bournemouth keeper made another good save later in the game from Watford midfielder Will Hughes. Harry Wilson curled a free kick wide towards the end if the game with Foster rooted to his spot.
There was more action than I thought, according to the level of interest shown by Merson!
West Ham 1 Sheffield United 1
The points were shared, and the teams are two of the four who have 13 points. The Sheffield side had been having the best of the chances, but Snodgrass gave the “Hammers” the lead just before the break after Yarmolenko passed inside for the midfielder to score his first of the season.
Baldock had a good effort well saved by Roberto in the second half, and Henderson saved well from Anderson at the other end. Baldock had another chance for the “Blades” but skewed this shot wide. Baldock did contribute to a deserved equaliser when he crossed and substitute Mousset (who had scored the winner against Arsenal last Monday) scored with a well-placed shot to the left of Roberto.
Henderson did well to save Cresswell’s shot at close range, and Snodgrass hit the post from beyond the goal.
Burnley 2 Chelsea 4
Christian Pulisic opened his scoring account for Chelsea with a “perfect” hat-trick at Turf Moor. The first goal came in the 21st minute when Lowton lost the ball to the 21-year-old American who continued his run and scored with a left foot shot across Pope’s left hand. Arrizabalaga had to make a reaction save at the other end when Pieters’ shot was deflected towards goal. Pope had to be similarly smart at the other end when another Pulisic shot was deflected goalward by the unfortunate Lowton.
Barnes missed a good chance at close range at the back of the Chelsea goal, but Pulisic made it 2-0 before the break, this time with his right foot. Willian had been gifted the ball by Tarkowski and had fed the ball to Pulisic. The shot did take a deflection.
Pulisic’s hat-trick goal was the header after Mason Mount’s corner was cleared back towards the corner from where he crossed again for the third goal. (56 mins) Willian made it 4-0 two minutes later with a right foot shot under Pope’s outstretched right arm, after Abraham’s pass.
Referee Michael Oliver initially awarded Hudson-Odoi a penalty, but when reviewed the decision was rescinded and the Chelsea man was booked for simulation.
Burnley got what turned out to be consolation goals towards the end of the game. The first was a magnificent right footer by Jay Rodriguez from over 25 yards which dipped and curved away from Arrizabalaga. The second was a deflected shot by Dwight McNeil.
This was Chelsea’s seventh consecutive win in all games, and they are holding fourth place, four points clear of Arsenal.
Sunday 27th October, 2019
Newcastle 1 Wolves 1
“Is this the moment for Almiron?” commentators ask every week as the Paraguay International (one goal in 24 appearances) still seeks a first goal for Newcastle. He had an early run and a shot into the side netting in this game. Newcastle did take a 37th minute with a header by skipper Lascelles in a move which followed Newcastle’s first corner of the game. The ball had been crossed from the right by Federico Fernandez.
Wolves (playing their 20th game of the season already) did equalise in the 73rd minute through Jonny following Traore’s forward ball to Doherty whose cross was pushed out by Dubravka to the Spaniard for his first goal in over a year. Sean Longstaff was shown a straight red for a high tackle on Ruben Neves after 82 minutes. Doherty hit a glanced header wide across the goal in added time and both sides had to be happy with a point.
The Newcastle crowd was 46,019. Their highest attendance so far this season has been 51,198 against Manchester United.
Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 2
There were two main talking points regarding this game. One was the fact that Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead to Roy Hodgson’s side. The second was the behaviour of Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka when he was substituted after 61 minutes.
Arsenal’s first goal followed a corner and after one or two touches by either side in the box, the ball fell to Sokratis who scored with his right foot in the seventh minute. David Luiz made it 2-0 two minutes from another corner, scoring from close range at the far post.
Hennessy dived low to his right to keep out Lacazette’s shot. After 29 minutes Calum Chambers stuck his leg out and Zaha went down in the box. Referee Martin Atkinson initially booked Zaha for simulation, but VAR awarded the penalty, and there was no card. Milivojevic scored from the spot in the 32nd minute. Pepe put a shot just wide as the first half closed.
Palace equalised through Jordan Ayew in the 59th minute when McArthur got round Xhaka and crossed to the back post. Arsenal fans cheered when Xhaka was called off, who didn’t help his cause with his gesticulations towards his own fans, pulling his shirt off as he walked straight down the tunnel. He will surely not captain the side again. Will he play for them again?
Sokratis thought he had scored a late goal (83) minutes for Arsenal, but VAR decreed that there had been a push by Chambers in the build-up to the “goal”. Henderson made a good save late in the game from Lacazette. Guendouzi got a yellow card for a rugby tackle on Zaha as he tried to break away from deep in his own half, which led to a melee between the teams.
Liverpool 2 Spurs 1
The last time Spurs were in the bottom half at this stage of the season was in 2008 when we were bottom of the table, but we had just drawn 4-4 away to Arsenal. Incidentally, in our next game we beat Liverpool!
Unsurprisingly, and most deservingly, goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga was the Spurs Odyssey man of the match by a mile, with honourable mentions for Son Heung-min and goalscorer Harry Kane. Christian Eriksen hasn't registered a decent score since the Crystal Palace game, but in truth the team has deteriorated badly since then apart from the Crvena zvezda game last week. I'll write more about performances in my October review ater this week.
Comments of the week:-
· "Thought Dele put in a decent shift, I don't care what Neville thinks, what does he know as a rubbish expert? Son was unlucky and Gazzaniga didn't really deserve to be on the losing side. Rose, Eriksen and Aurier were pretty poor, especially Eriksen who has forgotten how to find a teammate with a pass!"
· "I would never start Eriksen. I just hope he goes in January. I haven't rated him since Spurs left the old White Hart Lane ground. Yes, he's great for the occasional goal, sometimes a late and decisive strike. He changed the game against Villa. But temper this against the far greater number of incomplete/wayward/lazy passes that he does week in/week out. I was so sorry he didn't go in the Summer. Spurs had few chances yesterday but I recall 2 key final stray passes to Son (I think). Not good enough"
With the advent of VAR, it is very difficult for referees to get a decent mark these days, and Anthony Taylor is no exception. In this case, criticisms were directed at the man in the middle and not the system. Mr Taylor's average after 29 games in charge of Spurs is 5.42, which is well below the level of some of his colleagues.
Norwich 1 Manchester United 3
United climbed 8 places up the table with this win. Twenty minutes into this game, Tim Krul made a brilliant close range save from Martial following a United corner which had been flicked on by Rashford. The goalkeeper stood no chance though when McTominay rifled in a right footed shot after the next corner. That was United’s 2,000th Premier League goal. They are the first team to achieve the total.
James was initially denied a penalty by referee Stuart Atwell when James was shoved by Godfrey, but VAR reversed the decision. Rashford’s less than full-blooded kick was saved by Krul, who dived to his right. Rashford did have a goal though after half an hour when James lifted the ball over from the right-hand side; Rashford collected beautifully, scoring with a shot between Krul’s legs.
Cantwell did force a save from de Gea just before half-time. United were awarded (by VAR) a second penalty just before the break. This was for a handball, just inside the area following a shot by Fred. Martial took this one, and Krul saved again, diving to his left. This was a harder shot to save than that of Rashford.
Martial made it 3-0 in the 73rd minute at the end of a move which featured good interplay with Rashford. Norwich got a consolation goal when Hernandez stole the ball off McTominay and made a run to the edge of the United area before planting the ball in the net from 15 yards.
Fixtures & Results 25-27.10.19
S'hampton 0-9 Leicester
Man City 3-0 A. Villa
Brighton 3-2 Everton
Watford 0-0 B'mouth
West Ham 1-1 Sheff Utd
Burnley 2-4 Chelsea
Newcastle 1-1 Wolves
Arsenal 2-2 C. Palace
Liverpool 2-1 Spurs
Norwich 1-3 Man Utd
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 10 9 1 0 23-8 15 28
2. Man City 10 7 1 2 32-9 23 22
3. Leicester 10 6 2 2 25-8 17 20
4. Chelsea 10 6 2 2 23-16 7 20
5. Arsenal 10 4 4 2 15-14 1 16
6. C. Palace 10 4 3 3 10-12 -2 15
7. Man Utd 10 3 4 3 13-10 3 13
8. Sheff Utd 10 3 4 3 9-8 1 13
9. B'mouth 10 3 4 3 13-13 0 13
10. West Ham 10 3 4 3 12-14 -2 13
11. Spurs 10 3 3 4 16-15 1 12
12. Wolves 10 2 6 2 13-13 0 12
13. Burnley 10 3 3 4 14-15 -1 12
14. Brighton 10 3 3 4 12-14 -2 12
15. A. Villa 10 3 2 5 15-16 -1 11
16. Everton 10 3 1 6 10-16 -6 10
17. Newcastle 10 2 3 5 6-15 -9 9
18. S'hampton 10 2 2 6 9-25 -16 8
19. Norwich 10 2 1 7 11-24 -13 7
20. Watford 10 0 5 5 5-21 -16 5