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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2019-20 - Matchday 13

Premier League Review – Matchday 13
Saturday 23rd November, 2019

West Ham 2 Spurs 3

West ham v Spurs, 23.11.19

Mourinho has not lost his opening game at any club since his very first match as a manager, when Benfica lost to Boavista in September 2000. He is the third consecutive Spurs manager whose first competitive game in charge was against the “Hammers”. Mauricio Pochettino also won his first game with a goal by Eric Dier, who looks like winning Mourinho’s favour.

Spurs have won their fourth successive game at The London Stadium, and Harry Kane scored his 175th Spurs goal to take him to third place in our all-time scorers’ list above Martin Chivers and now chasing Bobby Smith (208) and Jimmy Greaves (266).

Son Heung-min and Dele Alli shared the Spurs Odyssey man of the match honours, with Harry Kane a close third.

Arsenal 2 Southampton 2

Arsenal were rescued by a very late equaliser by Lacazette against a team that had lost 9-0 at home to Leicester only four weeks ago. The “Saints” still have not won any of their last 8 games in all competitions, and this was just their second point in that time, which leaves them in the bottom three. Arsenal have also not won in their last 6 games.

Danny Ings gave the visitors an 8th minute lead after Redmond had been fouled and Southampton took a quick free kick sent by Bertrand to Ings who advanced and scored with a low shot that went in off the near post. Lacazette equalised after 18 minutes after Ozil advanced; Tierney crossed and Aubameyang’s shot was blocked, falling kindly for the Frenchman who had not scored since 1st September against Spurs.

Lacazette and Aubameyang threatened early in the second half but Aubameyang was just denied by the outstretched leg of goalkeeper McCarthy. Pepe hit a shot against the bar after another Tierney cross. Arsenal were shocking at the back sometimes, having conceded an early second half cheap corner and then nearly presenting Southampton with a goal when Sokratis was dispossessed in his own area.

James Ward-Prowse gave the visitors a 71st minute lead after a penalty was awarded for Tierney’s foul on Danny Ings. The spot-kick was saved, but Ward-Prowse seized upon the rebound and scored. Djenepo could have made sure of the points three minutes from time but substitute Willock managed to block the shot. Djenepo had provided a chance for Redmond, but he could not get a shot in and passed back to Djenepo. Djenepo missed another golden chance three minutes into added time, and Southampton paid the price with that last-ditch equaliser by Lacazette who scored from the back post after a cross by another substitute – Martinelli. The gooners had had a lucky escape.

Bournemouth 1 Wolves 2

Wolves climbed to fifth place and have only lost one of their last 13 games in all competitions. Bournemouth’s inconsistency (1 win in 8 games) does not augur well for their visit to Tottenham on Saturday.

Wolves took the lead after 21 minutes with a brilliant free kick from the left side just outside the area, after Jota had been fouled by Simon Francis. It was 2-0 ten minutes later after Traore was fouled 40 yards out. Wolves took a quick free kick and Traore picked it up deep on the right, crossing low for Jimenez to sweep the ball home.

Simon Francis was sent off for a second yellow card offence committed in the Wolves build-up for another chance which Doherty’s shot was saved by Ramsdale. Francis won’t be at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next week.

10-man Bournemouth got a goal back when Steve Cook headed home from a corner in the 59th minute. Ake had a shot saved at close range following another Bournemouth dead ball situation. This one was a free kick headed by Cook to Ake’s feet.

Brighton 0 Leicester 2

Leicester keep rolling on and retained second place, whilst Jamie Vardy tops the goalscorers’ list after 13 games. Perez headed against the outside of the Brighton post after two minutes when Ben Chilwell hit a good cross. Chilwell hit a good free kick which was headed goalward by Vardy but pushed over the bar by Matty Ryan.

Leicester had clearly been on top in the early stages, but Brighton kept the scores level until the 54th minute when Leicester had a breakaway attack with Vardy and Perez advancing side by side. Vardy teed up Perez for the goal.

Ryan made a good save from close range from Vardy after a fine run and a cross from Chilwell. Maupay was denied a penalty by both referee Mike Dean and the VAR when he went down under Ricardo’s challenge, but Leicester substitute Demarai Gray did get a penalty when he went down just inside Brighton’s box under Webster’s challenge. Vardy took the penalty which was saved with Maddison putting the rebound in the net. However, there had been encroachment by both sets of players and kick was re-taken. This one did hit the net and that was 2-0 (82 mins).

Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2

Mo Salah was an unused substitute in this game, as he had an ankle problem. Former Spur Andros Townsend was the BBC web site’s man of the match, despite this defeat for Palace. Jordan Ayew missed a good chance after Kouyate’s ball. Palace had a free kick near the left corner flag just before the break, taken by Milivojevic and headed home at the back post by Tomkins, but VAR ruled out the “goal” for a push by Ayew as the ball crossed the Liverpool area.

Mane gave Liverpool a 49th minute lead with a shot that hit Guaita’s right post; crossed the goal; then went in off the left-hand post. Townsend forced a save from Alisson at the other end with a rising shot.

Guaita made a good left-hand save from Firmino, and substitute Benteke hit a shot wide at the other end. Zaha scored an 82nd minute equaliser from the right side of the box after Townsend’s clever pass, but Firmino gave Liverpool an 85th minute winner from a corner after the ball had rebounded around the area couple of times. Townsend picked out Zaha in added time on the left-hand side of the area, but Zaha flashed his shot too high. Every other team in the league would give their right arms for a cut of Liverpool’s 39 points!

Everton 0 Norwich 2

Marco Silva’s Everton (for how much longer?) lost a seventh league game to bottom club Norwich, who climbed to 18th with this first win since 14th September (against Manchester City!). Hernandez had a bright game for the “Canaries” who played in a burnt orange strip which had flashes of yellow. The German forced a right-handed save from Jordan Pickford. Cantwell ended the first half with a shot over the bar following another good piece of play by Hernandez.

Cantwell gave Norwich the lead after 54 minutes, receiving a short pass from Pukki before planting the ball into Pickford’s net. Norwich defended their lead and Krul made a good low save from Sigurdsson’s shot. The Everton boos rang out in the second minute of added time when Srbeny scored after good work inside the box by Buendia.

Everton’s next five games are against Leicester (A), Liverpool (A), Chelsea (H), Manchester United (A) and Arsenal (H). they should beat Arsenal, at least!

Watford 0 Burnley 3

Sean Dyche’s side had previously lost three consecutive games, but now they have won two games on the trot 3-0! Watford are back at the foot of the league table.

Deulofeu had an early shot saved by Pope’s outstretched leg, and had another run brought to a cynical end just outside the Burnley area in added time at the end of the first half. Deulofeu’s free kick was saved by Pope, diving to his left.

Watford have yet to win at home. Burnley had yet to win away. Something had to give, and Chris Wood gave the visitors a 54th minute lead hooking a shot into the net following a corner at The Rookery End.

Watford at last had club captain Troy Deeney available and he came off the bench, but to no avail. Rodriguez chipped Ben Foster but hit the bar. Following that, Watford failed to clear their lines after another corner and Holebas caught Ashley Barnes with a penalty area challenge. Play was allowed to continue by referee Paul Tierney, but VAR ruled there was a penalty from which Barnes scored, despite Foster pushing the spot kick in off the post. (82 minutes).

Tarkowski made it 3-0 in the 88th minute. He was left in space at the back of the Watford area following a free kick. Tarkowski’s first effort was saved by Foster, but the centre-back, who had had so much trouble handling Deulofeu, fired home the second chance.

Manchester City 2 Chelsea 1

All the goals in this top four clash came in the first half, with Chelsea’s Kante opening the scoring only for De Bruyne and Mahrez to secure all three points and third place for City. Pep Guardiola’s side are just a single point behind Leicester, but he will be more stressed by the fact that Liverpool remain 9 points ahead.

De Bruyne nearly gave his side a 4th minute lead as he ran onto Aguero’s pass but hit his shot just wide across the Chelsea goal. Willian did the same at the other end after Abraham’s pass. Chelsea’s goal came after 21 minutes. Kovacic hit a good ball from the left-hand side and Kante scored with a well-placed shot past Ederson. De Bruyne levelled that goal with a deflected left-footed shot after 29 minutes, before Mahrez scored a brilliant winning goal in the 37th minute. Kovacic had aimed a ball at Abraham but this had been cut out before City bounced back, and Rodri provided the final pass for the former Leicester man. Aguero hit the bar when presented with the ball by Arrizabalaga.

There were chances at either end in the second half and Raheem Sterling thought he had made it 3-1 in added time, but he was denied by an extremely marginal VAR decision for offside.

Sunday 24th November, 2019

Sheffield United 3 Manchester United 3

For the non-partisan viewer, this was great entertainment. At various stages both managers were no doubt livid. Sheffield United were “at it” from the start, playing with gusto and desire towards the “home” end. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he wanted to change his whole team at half-time, but settled for taking off the hapless Phil Jones, who had appeared in a Premier League game for the first time. Solskjaer had decided upon a back three, which just didn’t work for United. In the end, both managers were probably happy to take a point.

The “Blades” were not allowed to play goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who has yet to appear for Man Utd, but who is a loanee at Bramall Lane. 29-year-old Simon Moore made his Premier League debut, but hardly had a touch in the first half. 37-year-old Phil Jagielka made his first Premier League start in his second spell at the club. Harry Maguire captained the visiting side at the ground where he started his professional career.

Manchester United had a warning of what was to come when David De Gea was required to make a double save firstly from Lundstram, and then from McGoldrick when the ball was returned to the centre. Lys Mousset signed from Bournemouth in the summer, was giving Jones and Maguire problems with power and pace. Mousset out-muscled Jones before crossing when Lundstram’s shot was saved but could not be held by De Gea. John Fleck snapped up the rebound, somewhat involuntarily. “There’s only one United!” sang the home fans.

Sky co-commentator Gary Neville was having an apoplexy about his old team’s lack of movement and running. United were caught in possession just inside the Sheffield half after 52 minutes when Fleck sent Mousset away. Mousset scored with a well-placed shot inside De Gea’s left post.

Man Utd took everybody by surprise with three goals in seven minutes. The first came in the 72nd minute when James crossed deep from the right and 19-year-old left back Brandon Williams, in only his second Premier League start, fired home from the back of the area. It was his first senior goal. Five minutes later Rashford found substitute Mason Greenwood with a delightful pass deep into the box, and Greenwood slotted the ball into the net. That was 18-year-old Greenwood’s first league goal, although he has scored for the first team in other competitions.

It was 3-2 to Solskjaer’s men when James advanced, this time down the left flank, before cutting the ball back to Rashford for a convincing finish. Now the other United fans were singing!

Parity was restored in the 90th minute when “Blades’ sub McBurnie fired home after Robinson’s pass, but he and the home fans had to endure a delay whilst VAR reviewed the issue of a possible handball when he received the ball. The judgement was “Goal!”, and McBurnie could celebrate for a second time.

Monday 25th November, 2019

Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0

It was one-way traffic in the early stages with Newcastle deploying a five-man defence. Villa’s best chance had been for El Ghazi who couldn't quite reach Targett's cross. Newcastle made a break after 18 minutes with Saint-Maxime passing to Almiron, who failed to get a shot in from a good position on the edge of the Villa area.

Referee Lee Mason awarded Saint-Maxime a dubious free kick on the left of the Villa box after 27 minutes. Shelvey took the kick which was held by Tom Heaton. Douglas Luiz had a shot tipped over at the other end by Dubravka.

DeAndre Yedlin shoved Grealish in the back just outside the Newcastle area, and after a touch from Grealish, Hourihane fired a shot past Dubravka after 31 minutes. Within minutes Federico Fernandez took out Grealish also just outside the box, but this time towards the left. Hourihane took this kick and El Ghazi converted from short range inside the 6-yard area to make it 2-0.

Tom Heaton made a great save from a Fernandez header following a Shelvey corner. The ball was headed down and bounced up so that Heaton had to push it over the bar with quick reactions.

Newcastle started the second half with some adventure and Heaton had to push a Saint-Maxime shot around his left post. Villa centre back Konsa had a header from a corner saved by Dubravka after 52 minutes. 21-year-old Konsa, signs from Brentford in the summer was making only his second Premier League start for Villa.

Heaton comfortably held a shot by Hayden, but he was as thankful as every home fan when Konsa screwed an attempted clearance wide of his own post. Steve Bruce sacrificed one of his defenders (Dummett) for Andy Carroll with just under half an hour left on the clock. Carroll had a shot on target after 69 minutes, but this again was comfortable for Tom Heaton.

After 76 minutes Hourihane laid on a pass for Wesley, who was close in on goal, but the centre forward hit his shot straight at the relieved Dubravka. In the dying seconds of the game Grealish set up McGinn with a chance, but McGinn's shot passed wide across the goal.

With this win Villa climbed above both West Ham and Everton and are four points clear of the bottom three.

Fixtures & Results 23-25.11.19


West Ham    2-3   Spurs
Arsenal     2-2   S'hampton
B'mouth     1-2   Wolves
Brighton    0-2   Leicester
C. Palace   1-2   Liverpool
Everton     0-2   Norwich
Watford     0-3   Burnley
Man City    2-1   Chelsea


Sheff Utd   3-3   Man Utd


A. Villa    2-0   Newcastle

           Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Liverpool 13 12  1  0  30-11  19   37
 2. Leicester 13  9  2  2  31-8   23   29
 3. Man City  13  9  1  3  37-14  23   28 
 4. Chelsea   13  8  2  3  28-19   9   26 
 5. Wolves    13  4  7  2  18-16   2   19
 6. Sheff Utd 13  4  6  3  16-12   4   18
 7. Burnley   13  5  3  5  20-18   2   18
 8. Arsenal   13  4  6  3  18-19  -1   18
 9. Man Utd   13  4  5  4  19-15   4   17
10. Spurs     13  4  5  4  21-19   2   17  
11. B'mouth   13  4  4  5  16-17  -1   16
12. Brighton  13  4  3  6  15-19  -4   15
13. C. Palace 13  4  3  6  11-18  -7   15
14. Newcastle 13  4  3  6  11-20  -9   15
15. A. Villa  13  4  2  7  19-20  -1   14 
16. Everton   13  4  2  7  13-20  -7   14
17. West Ham  13  3  4  6  16-23  -7   13
18. Norwich   13  3  1  9  13-28 -15   10
19. S'hampton 13  2  3  8  13-31 -18    9
20. Watford   13  1  5  7   8-26 -18    8

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