Premier League Review – Matchday 16
Saturday 7th December, 2019
Everton 3 Chelsea 1
Duncan Ferguson took charge of the “Toffees” for this game following the sacking of Marco Silva on Thursday. His team were clearly inspired by his unbridled passion, and as a result Goodison Park fans had a day to remember. The “Toffees” had a dream start inside five minutes when Richarlison scored his third headed goal in three games after Sidibe crossed from the right. The closest Chelsea came to scoring in the first half was when Abraham just failed to get a touch onto Mount’s cross.
The Gwladys Street End and the whole stadium was bouncing when Calvert-Lewin made it 2-0 in the 49th minute. Christensen and Zouma failed between them to clear a high ball and the Everton number 9 took full advantage, scoring with a well-placed low shot. Kovacic got one back for Chelsea three minutes later with a low right footed shot inside Pickford’s right post. The goal stood, despite a VAR review for a possible offside.
More Chelsea carelessness in defence led to Calvert-Lewin’s first Premier League double in the 84th minute. Arrizabalaga’s clearance was not anticipated by Zouma out on the left. Walcott took possession and passed inside to Davies. Chelsea couldn’t clear and Calvert-Lewin scored with an outstretched right foot.
The win lifted Everton out of the relegation zone. Big Duncan is after the job on a full-time basis!
Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 3
Bournemouth lost their fifth successive league game and have plummeted down the table as a result. It is also their worst Premier League run. Liverpool are enjoying quite different emotions!
Bournemouth are already injury-ridden, and suffered a damaging loss when Ake had to go off after 35 minutes with a leg injury. At that time, it was 0-0 and the most dangerous moment had been a shot by Salah which had been saved by Ramsdale. Almost immediately Oxlade-Chamberlain scored, latching onto Henderson’s long ball forward. Keita made it 2-0 in the 44th minute, after a one-two with Salah. Jurgen Klopp had made 7 changes from the team which won the Merseyside Derby, and Keita was making his first Premier League start of the season. A tricky Champions League beckons for Liverpool on Tuesday in Salzburg.
Mo Salah completed the scoring with a 54th minute goal. 22-year-old Simpson, who had replaced Ake, gave the ball away to Keita and Salah collected his pass, then scored from the left side of the Bournemouth area.
Spurs 5 Burnley 0
Despite the feast of goals, including Son’s goal of the season contender, Spurs could only make third on the BBC’s match of the Day billing. Needless to say "Sonny" was your man of the match.
Watford 0 Crystal Palace 0
Nigel Pearson, best known for his time as Leicester manager, and more recently employed in Belgium takes over as Watford manager after this game. The “Hornets” have had more head coaches than league wins so far this season.
This goal-less draw did not set the pulses racing, and there was no shot on target in the first half. The second half wasn’t much better but at least Watford had two or three good chances. Deulofeu forced a save by Guaita, and then led a charge after a Foster clearance with Watford looking likely to score. Deulofeu crossed and Sarr headed over from close range. Sarr had another chance with Cahill perhaps doing just enough to ensure the shot went wide. Deeney and Sarr threatened deep into added time but could not break the deadlock.
Manchester City 1 Manchester United 2
This was the 149th Manchester Derby match and it produced an unexpected result, and some unsavoury headlines after the game because of an arrest made for racist comments/gestures made by a City fan towards United’s Fred. United made two changes from the team which beat Spurs. Luke Shaw replaced Ashley Young and Anthony Martial was up front in place of Greenwood. City dominated possession and had more shots on goal, but United had more on target.
Ederson parried an early shot by James. United survived a City appeal for handball against Lindelof after 13 minutes, but such a decision would have been incredibly harsh. Ederson had to save again; this time from Martial’s powerful shot after Rashford and James had been involved in the build-up. Fred intercepted in his own half and the ball went forward via Lingard to Rashford, who went down in the area and was awarded a penalty by VAR Michael Oliver – not by referee Anthony Taylor. Rashford sent Ederson the wrong way after 23 minutes for his second spot kick in four days.
Rashford pushed another chance wide and then hit the bar with a dipping shot after Martial crossed from the right. Martial squeezed in a shot from 20 yards inside Ederson’s near post after several exchanged passes with James approaching and on the edge of the City area. (29 minutes) United fans must have been in dreamland! Fergie was beaming in the stand.
Jesus headed wide from a De Bruyne cross, and Kyle Walker wanted handball against Fred in the closing stages. There must have been a better chance of success with this appeal, but it was a corner only.
United defended feverishly at times, particularly when Lindelof got his leg in the way of a De Bruyne shot. De Gea made a fingertip save from Rodri’s shot. Yet another City appeal for a penalty failed when the ball hit Luke Shaw’s elbow close to his body. United finally succumbed when Otamendi headed in an 85th minute corner. De Gea saved low from substitute Mahrez, and United held their lead for surely Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s best result yet!
Sunday 8th December, 2019
Aston Villa 1 Leicester 4
All Villa fans have been saddened this weekend by the news of Ron Saunders’ death at the age of 87. Saunders led the “Villans” to two League cup wins and their historic 1981 League Title. Saunders was a man of high principal and resigned during Villa’s successful European Cup winning season.
Sadly, the result did not go Villa’s way today, and they have fallen into the drop zone. Leicester won their eighth consecutive Premier League game (a club record), and Jamie Vardy has scored in every one of those games. They are closer to Liverpool than Man City and must be regarded as genuine league title contenders.
El Ghazi had an early chance for the home side, but his reaction shot from 6 yards hit the top of the bar. Tyrone Mings was struggling with what looked like a hamstring injury and when Iheanacho’s through ball went to Vardy, Mings was unable to assist his defence and Vardy scored after several touches before the coup de grace. (20 mins) Mings had to be replaced by Engels.
Leicester went two up after 41 minutes. Maddison carried Chilwell’s ball towards the bye-line, crossed low and hard and Iheanacho finished off from close range. Grealish got a goal back in added time at the end of the first half. The goal followed a corner, and Grealish’s shot took a deflection on the way to the net.
Jonny Evans made it 3-1 with a thumping header in the 49th minute after Maddison’s corner kick. Vardy scored his second and made it 4-1 when he picked up Praet’s longish ball and made no mistake with a typical Vardy and typical Leicester goal. Both Maddison and Barnes had missed earlier chances for the “Foxes” too. Heaton made a brilliant reaction close range save from Soyuncu’s powerful header following a free kick, and another added time save from Barnes.
Newcastle 2 Southampton 1
Following their hard-fought win at Bramall Lane, Newcastle fans might have been optimistic about this game. Ultimately, they succeeded, and they moved into 10th place overnight, but it took a late goal to secure them the win. 42,000 fans turned up for this game. Joelinton made the starting line-up this time.
Goalkeeper Dubravka came to the rescue after Redmond seized Willems’ poor inside pass. He saved from Redmond again following Ward-Prowse’s corner. Danny Ings gave the visitors a 52nd minute lead when he ran onto a long clearance from defence and scored beneath the Southampton fans up in the “gods” at St. James’ Park. Dubravka had to make another save from Cedric Soares.
Andy Carroll replaced Joelinton after 59 minutes. Shelvey took a free kick after 68 minutes and whilst Carroll could not score, he took the ball out to the right before crossing for Shelvey to head home the equaliser. Ryan Bertrand had a massive opportunity when a corner reached him at the back post, but it was more a case of the ball hitting him, and it went over the goal.
Newcastle’s winner came in the 87th minute, following a corner. McCarthy flapped that away but couldn’t hold a subsequent shot by Sean Longstaff. Fernandez was on hand to snap up the chance in front of the Gallowgate End.
Norwich 1 Sheffield United 2
Not for the first (or last) time, VAR made the headlines in this game. This was mainly because of the first VAR reverse of a red card decision when referee Simon Hooper’s decision to send off Chris Basham for a lunge on McClean was not supported by VAR. There were other VAR delays and an incident where perhaps VAR should have changed the referee’s decision. This was when Tettey opened the scoring after 27 minutes following a corner, but the ball looked as if it had been handled by a fellow Norwich player in the build-up.
Stevens levelled in the 49th minute with a header from Baldock’s cross. Baldock gave the “Blades” the lead three minutes later. The goal followed a long ball from the left and several opportunities for the Norwich defence to clear, with Baldock firing home from inside the area with his right foot.
Basham was shown a yellow after his VAR review, but by then both sets of fans and the teams were sick of VAR. Sheffield United had also been denied a penalty/goal in an incident that ended with an offside decision. McGoldrick missed a great opportunity to make it 3-1 and would have regretted his miss deeply had Henderson not made a great save from Cantwell.
Brighton 2 Wolves 2
All the goals in this game came within a 16-minute first half spell. Wolves have still lost only two league games, the last of which was in mid-September. They have drawn 9 times and claimed sixth place above Spurs with this point. It is all set up for a great contest at Molineux next Sunday afternoon! This draw also gave Wolves their longest unbeaten run in the top flight for 57 years.
Ryan made a great one-handed save from a Saiss header following a cross by Jimenez, who became the provider for the first goal, scored by Jota in the 28th minute. Ryan saved at the feet of Jota before Brighton’s equalizer. Stephens hit a long ball out of defence and Maupay seized onto it, beating Rui Patricio with a quickly taken and well-placed shot inside the keeper’s right post. (34 mins)
Two minutes later, it was 2-1 to the “Seagulls”. Mooy passed inside to Trossard, who chipped a cross from which Propper headed down inside the goalkeeper’s right post. Rui Patricio was stranded in the middle of his goal. Propper became the villain after 44 minutes when he made a poor pass well inside his own half allowing Jonny to advance and set up Jota for a second goal.
Monday 9th December, 2019
West Ham 1 Arsenal 3
This game had a slow start with both teams seemingly more scared of losing than seeking the win. Ozil put a free header over the top of the goal after an Aubameyang cross in the first half, and Leno stopped Antonio's shot from an angle on the left inside the box. Ogbonna gave the "Hammers" the lead seven minutes before the interval. It was a messy deflected head goal after Arsenal had failed to clear the first corner of the game. VAR reviewed and confirmed the goal.
Declan Rice hit a firm shot straight at the goalkeeper before Arsenal took the game by storm with a devastating spell of three goals in nine second half minutes. Firstly, Martinelli scored his first Premier League goal with a well-placed right foot shot from Kolasinac's cross on the hour. Six minutes later Pepe made it 2-1 with a left foot shot across goalkeeper Martin, after the ball had been moved left to right across the area with Aubameyang making the final pass.
The win was sealed in the 69th minute when Pepe became the provider for Aubameyang, who beat Martin with a right foot finish.
West Ham are one point above the relegation zone. They have won just one of their last six games (at Chelsea) but lost the other five, including three consecutive home games. The last two home defeats have been to Spurs and Arsenal. That West Ham win at Chelsea was the only win in their last 11 games in all competitions.
Fixtures & Results 07-09.12.19
Everton 3-1 Chelsea
B'mouth 0-3 Liverpool
Spurs 5-0 Burnley
Watford 0-0 C. Palace
Man City 1-2 Man United
A. Villa 1-4 Leicester
Newcastle 2-1 S'hampton
Norwich 1-2 Sheff Utd
Brighton 2-2 Wolves
West Ham v Arsenal
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 16 15 1 0 40-14 26 46
2. Leicester 15 12 2 2 39-10 29 38
3. Man City 16 10 2 4 44-19 25 32
4. Chelsea 16 9 2 5 31-24 7 29
5. Man Utd 16 6 6 4 25-19 6 24
6. Wolves 16 5 9 2 23-19 4 24
7. Spurs 16 6 5 5 30-23 7 23
8. Sheff Utd 16 5 7 4 19-16 3 22
9. Arsenal 16 5 7 4 24-24 0 22
10. C. Palace 16 6 4 6 14-18 -4 22
11. Newcastle 16 6 4 6 17-23 -6 22
12. Brighton 16 5 4 7 20-24 -4 19
13. Burnley 16 5 3 8 21-29 -8 18
14. Everton 16 5 2 9 19-28 -9 17
15. B'mouth 16 4 4 8 18-24 -6 16
16. West Ham 16 4 4 8 18-28 -10 16
17. A. Villa 16 4 3 9 23-28 -5 15
18. S'hampton 16 4 3 9 18-35 -17 15
19. Norwich 16 3 2 11 17-34 -17 11
20. Watford 16 1 6 9 9-30 -21 9