Premier League Review – Matchday 33
Saturday 4th July, 2020
Norwich City 0 Brighton 1
Daniel Farke demoted his two top scorers - Pukki and Cantwell - to the bench. Between them they had scored only one goal in the last eleven games, and that was Cantwell. Pukki's last goal was in a league defeat at Tottenham in January.
Norwich had the best of the early possession, and the first chance after 12 minutes when Hernandez got into the box and had an on target shot blocked and cleared. That shot had been on the left of the box. Six minutes later Hernandez entered the right side of the area and had a shot to over the target.
After the drinks break Brighton attacked down the right side with Maupay sending Mooy away. Mooy crossed and Trossard met the ball at the near post, scoring across Krul's right hand.
Hernandez had a third chance after 33 minutes. This was a right foot shot from inside the left of the area. The chance was pulled wide.
Brighton seemed to have more potency going forward with Mooy, Maupay and Trossard to the fore, picking their moments to try and pounce.
After good footwork by Buendia, and a pass to Hernandez on the left of the area, another shot by Hernandez was blocked and looped into Ryan's hands.
Ten minutes into the second half Aarons crossed from the right and Buendia's shot was blocked by Dunk. Ryan at last had a shot to save when Drmic drove the ball straight at the keeper after Buendia's pass. Cantwell, Pukki and Idah came off the bench just before the drinks break.
Brighton's Bissouma had a powerful strike held by Krul after that break. In added time Idah got up to a cross from the left beating Ryan with a header which hit the inside of the post before being cleared.
In the latter stages Norwich made plenty of effort, but (Idah's header excluded) could not get through the barrage of the Brighton defence. For Brighton, safety is almost assured now they have reached 36 points. Norwich's fate is surely sealed.
Leicester 3 Crystal Palace 0
Leicester got their first win since “Project Re-start” and Jamie Vardy scored his much-awaited 100th Premier League goal, followed by the 101st. The win was much-needed in order to maintain the “Foxes” hold on third place.
22-year-old right back James Justin rattled the crossbar with a right-footed shot from just inside the area after Chilwell stumbled and Tielemans managed to pass to his right for Justin to run onto the ball and shoot. Palace had a free kick about 20 yards out after 32 minutes but Milivojevic pulled the shot wide.
Leicester’s first goal came in the 49th minute. Tielemans crossed from the left and Iheanacho met the ball to score from close range. Schmeichel saved well when Gary Cahill headed down McArthur’s cross which followed a set-piece situation.
Vardy had several opportunities over the course of the game and sometimes was frustrated with his failure to take advantage. The milestone was reached in the 7th minute when Palace tried to play the ball out from the back, Sakho tripped, gifting the ball to substitute Barnes, who crossed to leave Vardy one of the easiest finishes of the 100.
Zaha scooped a shot over the bar after Townsend’s pass before Vardy scored his second goal of the day. The ball was deep in Leicester’s half, moved forward by Fuchs and Barnes, before Vardy took it on near the half-way line and finished nicely with a right footed shot around Guaita.
Manchester United 5 Bournemouth 2
The United team was unchanged for the third consecutive league game. Bournemouth had three changes and included two goalkeepers on their bench.
United were keen to play out from the back. In the tenth minute Bruno Fernandes had a good chance in the middle receiving a long ball from Rashford on the left. Bruno lifted his shot well over from 20 yards.
Junior Stanislas had offered a little threat from the left. In the fifteenth minute he had a cross blocked which rebounded to him. Stanislas embarrassed Harry Maguire near the bye-line before beating De Gea from a sharp angle. It was Stanislas's first goal of the season.
Pogba was fouled outside the Bournemouth area and Rashford's free kick was saved by Ramsdale just outside his right post. It was only a matter of time before United got back on terms. Fernandes provided a pass from the right side of the box to Greenwood to his left. Greenwood smashed the shot home. (28 mins)
After 32 minutes, referee Mike Dean blew for a penalty after a handball offence by former Spur Adam Smith. VAR confirmed the penalty and Rashford shuffled, before slotting inside the keeper's left post. (35 mins) Two minutes into added time Martial received Fernandes' ball outside the left of the area. Martial came inside before unleashing an unbeatable right footed shot into Ramsdale's left corner.
United had a chaotic start to the second half. Firstly, Harry Maguire gave the ball away to Solanke who ran at goal but was intercepted. Cook's shot was saved by De Gea before substitute Danjuma hit the outside of the post. Then Maguire hit a high ball back to his area where United sub Bailly inexplicably handled the ball and was penalised. The offence was at the edge of the area and VAR Lee Mason took a long time over his decision. Another element to that was the ball struck the top of Bailly's arm, possibly his shoulder. The penalty stood and Josh King converted the penalty inside the 49th minute to make the score 3-2.
Bournemouth even had the ball in the net again through Danjuma, but he had strayed offside before King's pass.
Greenwood restored some semblance of order after 54 minutes, receiving on the right of the area before beating the goalkeeper with a powerful right footed shot. Ramsdale did get a fingertip touch on the ball.
Martial was fouled on the edge of the box by Lloyd Kelly, and the triumvirate of Rashford, Pogba and Bruno stood over the ball. Bruno executed a fine free kick to make it 5-2 in the 59th minute. There was a consideration by VAR of a possible offside, but the goal stood.
Rashford had the ball in the net from Wan-Bissaka's cross, but he was just offside. United continued to press and made a raft of substitutions which included Ighalo who put a chance wide after yet another Fernandes set-up. In added time James was fouled just outside the area. Pogba took this kick and Ramsdale dived to his left to save well. Ramsdale also had to save well from Fred's shot from the edge of the box.
Wolves 0 Arsenal 2
There was no significant action for the first half-hour of this game, and the first real chance fell to Nketiah, whose low driven shot was saved by Rui Patricio's legs. Arsenal did take the leaad in the 43rd minute through Saka, who collected a deflected cross from the left by Tierney, before scoring with a good left-footed strike. It was Saka's first Premier League goal.
Wolves started the second half with more energy and one or two crosses from the right by Traore, with no end result. Jota had started on the bench for this game but replaced Dendoncker in the 55th minute.
Jota worked his way across the Arsenal area from right to left after 62 minutes and it was David Luiz who blocked his shot. A minute later Traore missed a chance putting his shot too high from the right of the box. Arsenal keeper Martinez had closed down the Wolves man well.
Arsenal scored a second goal in the 86th minute. Two substitutes were responsible. Willock crossed low from the right. Lacazette took a touch before firing across the goalkeeper to score. Then Aubameyang passed to Willock in space, but his shot was cleared off the line by Neves.
Arsenal have moved beyond Tottenham's reach for the moment. Next week's derby match will be crucial.
Chelsea 3 Watford 0
Watford were offering a stiff and deep defence, causing Chelsea difficulty to break through. They succeeded though after the drinks break in the 28th minute when Barkley pushed forward a short pass inside the area and Giroud scored with a clever shot across the goal into the far corner.
Pulisic went down in the box under Capoue's body check after 41 minutes and the referee had no hesitation awarding a penalty which Willian converted. (43 minutes) Nigel Pearson's strategy was not working.
Chelsea were dominating again, but not creating enough chances. Willian did force a save from Foster with his shot after Barkley's pass, and from the corner Zouma headed down, but Foster held the ball.
Watford had a shot on target after 73 minutes when Masina tried from distance. The shot was straight at Arrizabalaga. The Hornets created another chance when Chalobah fed Welbeck towards the left and the Chelsea keeper had to make a harder save this time. Time was running out though.
Watford had shown more fight in the latter stages, with Hughes going close after Welbeck's short cross from the bye-line, but Barkley made it 3-0 in added time with a left footed shot into the roof of the net after Azpilicueta had crossed from the left.
Chelsea regained their top four place which had earlier been taken by Manchester United, whilst Watford remain very much in danger of relegation.
Sunday 5th July, 2020
Burnley 1 Sheffield United 1
The game was played in windy conditions. Ben Mee was an absentee for Burnley who might have gone one down in the first minute when McBurnie's shot was straight at Pope after United had a throw on the left. Burnley had a good move in the 9th minute involving Rodriguez, Pieters and finally Vydra, who hit his shot the wrong side of Henderson's left post.
Stevens won a corner midway through the first half with a shot that hit the side netting after taking a slight deflection. Egan headed over after 34 minutes from an inswinging corner taken on the left by Stevens.
At the other end, Henderson could not hold Bardsley's 25-yard shot, but the ball was cleared. McBurnie met Robinson's ball from the left on the nearside of goal and turned a useful shot just over the bar.
Burnley took the lead in the 43rd minute after a long free kick from the left was flicked on and Tarkowski prodded the ball home. VAR wanted a look at a possible offside, but McBurnie was just goalside of the scorer.
Billy Sharp and Jack O'Connell came off the bench after 54 minutes. It was O'Connell's first start since the lockdown after a training ground collision injury. Norwood and Robinson went off and Sharp took the armband off Norwood.
A cross from the left by O'Connell after 61 minutes took an awkward deflection which gave Pope difficulty, but nothing came of the danger, with McGoldrick unable to reach the ball at the back post.
Chris Wood made a welcome return for Burnley after the drinks break, replacing Vydra. Rodriguez was just wide with a snap shot taken from just outside the area. Jack Rodwell entered the arena for "The Blades", making his first Premier League appearance for his new club and for over three years.
Rodriguez hit a long shot after 76 minutes which Henderson could only parry. Dwight McNeil should have scored from the rebound but put his shot outside the post.
Sheffield United equalised with ten minutes remaining. The goal came after a corner on the right, taken short by Osborn to McGoldrick before being turned into the area by Osborn after a return pass from Berge. The ball was flicked on by Sharp to Egan in space at the back of the area. Egan crashed the ball home for his first Premier League goal.
Pope held a free kick from 20 yards by Sander Berge after 88 minutes. The game ended in pouring rain. Burnley's point put them above Spurs, who would be fighting to keep a place in the top half in their maatch against Everton.
Newcastle 2 West Ham 2
West Ham were looking for a win to put them 6 points clear of the relegation zone. They were given a gift start in the fourth minute when Bowen's innocuous cross was missed by Lascelles and gave Antonio an easy finish in front of goal.
Dwight Gayle hit a tricky low free kick from just outside the "D" which Fabianski couldn't hold, but the ball ran clear. Antonio hit a shot from the right of the area, but this was a comfortable save for Dubravka. Newcastle were back on terms in the 17th minute. Saint-Maximin pushed the ball out to Krafth on the right. He crossed low and hard and Almiron scored from the near post.
Fabianski's handling looked suspect at a subsequent Newcastle corner, but West Ham cleared. Dubravka made a good reaction save from Bowen after he tried to turn in a low ball from Cresswell.
There was little significant action in the second half until West Ham took the lead in the 65th minute. They had a corner on the right and at the back post Declan Rice moved forward to head the ball onto the bar. Soucek headed in the rebound.
Newcastle responded immediately. Shelvey moved into the West Ham area, took a wall pass off Gayle, then slotted home past Fabianski in front of the empty Gallowgate Stand.
West Ham needed the win most and substitute Yarmolenko crossed from the right. Soucek's header went into Dubravka's arms though. The same players were involved in reverse order with Yarmolenko hammering a shot which Dubravka managed to stop, if not hold.
Liverpool 2 Aston Villa 0
Villa gave the Champions a guard of honour at their home. Among the Villa players was former Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina who replaced Nyland in the visitors' team today.
Jurgen Klopp made three changes with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita replacing Wijnaldum and Henderson, and Origi playing up front instead of Firmino.
Two of the most interesting things I can find to say about the first half are that Grealish needed treatment twice, and Jurgen Klopp seems to have had a good haircut!
Grealish did have a powerful shot well saved by Alisson after 50 minutes but an offside flag was raised. El Ghazi forced a save and a corner a minute later.
After an hour Jurgen Klopp introduced the three men he had retained on the bench (Firmino, Henderson and Wijnaldum) for Origi, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho. Liverpool finally took the lead in the 71st minute. Alexander-Arnold passed to Keita towards the left of the Villa area. Keita quickly passed diagonally inside, and Mane provided the killer touch.
Firmino took a return pass from Salah at the edge of the box and brought a good save from Reina in the Kop End goal. 19-year-old Curtis Jones was a late substitute for Liverpool, and he made it 2-0 in the 89th minute. Henderson pushed the ball out to the left from where Robertson crossed. Salah pulled the ball back for Jones who scored with a confident shot to the right of Reina.
Grealish had a late shot from a narrow angle, but Alisson was equal to that. Villa had put up a decent show against the Champions, who were under par until the introduction of three key men, but in the end the Liverpool quality showed and won.
Southampton 1 Manchester City 0
Pep Guardiola had made 6 changes from the starting line-up after Thursday night’s thrashing of Liverpool. 23-year-old Che Adams scored his first goal for Southampton at his 23rd (Premier League) attempt in his first season for “The Saints” after being signed from Birmingham for £15 million. Most of those appearances had been as substitute and this was his first league start since Boxing Day. It was certainly a goal to remember, hit over Ederson’s head from fully 40 yards 16 minutes into the game after a mistake by Zinchenko.
Thereafter it was a case of “The Saints” holding out against a City side which had 74% of the possession and 26 shots to Southampton’s 8. McCarthy saved well from Sterling, before Fernandinho hit the inside of the post from 22 yards. Then the Southampton goalie had to save again, this time from David Silva’s close-range header after the ball was quickly returned from the right. Danny Ings met a long ball from Kyle Walker-Peters but scooped his shot over after 44 minutes.
Five minutes into the second half Fernandinho crossed from the right and Laporte’s shot was blocked by Walker-Peters. Gabriel Jesus nearly seized a close-range headed chance, but McCarthy saved again. Zinchenko fed David Silva inside the “Saints”’ box, but the keeper saved yet again.
De Bruyne came off the bench and teed up Bernardo Silva, but his shot across goal was deflected out for a corner. Ederson was required to make a good save with his left foot from Armstrong fifteen minutes before the end.
Southampton now have 43 points are mathematically assured of Premier League football next season. They could yet finish above Spurs!
Mon 6th July, 2020
Spurs 1 Everton 0
The spursometer for this game has yet to be finalised as votes are still being cast, but Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier and Giovani Lo Celso are vying for your man of the match vote.
My very good friend Declan Mulcahy is a keen statistician as you know, and he posted these facts and figures after this game:-
This was Jose Mourinho's 200th PL win in his 326th match.
Everton have not beaten Spurs in 15 league meetings dating back to December 2012. This is Tottenham's longest run against one club in the PL without defeat.
Jose Mourinho has never lost a home game against Everton in his managerial career, winning eight and drawing two. He's only faced Manchester United more often at home without defeat.
Spurs have now kept five clean sheets in 30 matches under Mourinho.
The breakdown of Mourinho's wins is as follows:
M W %
Chelsea 2004-08 120 85 70.8
Chelsea 2013-15 92 55 59.8
Man Utd 2016-18 93 50 53.8
Spurs 2019-20 21 10 47.6
Total 326 200 61.4