Premier League Review - Matchday 9
Saturday 19th October, 2019
Everton 2 West Ham 0
Everton ended a miserable run of four consecutive defeats with this win over West Ham, who even managed to slip below out of form Spurs by the end of the day.
West Ham had Roberto Jimenez in goal, playing in his third Premier League game following a summer move from Espanyol. He made a good early save from Tom Davies. Bernard gave Everton a 17th minute lead, after a short ball from Walcott inside the Hammers' area. It looked as if Bernard had lost the ball through over-elaboration, but he did manage to squeeze the ball into the net from a tight angle on the right. Richarlison then hit the post with a right foot shot.
Walcott hit the post with a shot from 25 yards in the second half, and Roberto managed to save from Iwobi when the former Arsenal man should have scored. Pickford had to make an excellent reaction save from a corner that should not have been awarded to West Ham (it was their first of the game). Roberto made a good save from substitute Sigurdsson's shot, before 'Siggy' did seal the points with his first goal of the season in added time. It was an excellent right foot shot from just outside the area at the Gwladys Street End.
Aston Villa 2 Brighton 1
Brighton started this game brightly and took a 21st minute lead following a free kick which was met by Webster who headed back across the goal past Heaton. Hourihane had a free kick well saved by Ryan in front of the Holte End. Heaton saved well from Connolly, who had done so well against Spurs in Brighton's last game.
Brighton lost Mooy after 35 minutes when he was shown a second yellow card. Hourihane had the ball in the net before half time, but this was ruled out by VAR for a foul on goalkeeper Ryan in the build-up to the goal. Villa were allowed an equaliser in added time when Grealish converted Guilbert's cross from close range.
Villa's winner came in the last moments of second half added time when Grealish was the creator and Targett scored inside the left of Brighton's area.
Bournemouth 0 Norwich 0
These were the only two teams yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season, and guess what happened. Like London buses, two appeared at the same time!
Norwich welcomed back goalkeeper Tim Krul after injury, and he made an early save from Solanke. Ramsdale made a decent save from Pukki midway through the second half. This had been Norwich's first shot on target.
Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0
Chelsea had to wait till the 73rd minute for the winning goal. Mason Mount had had a good first half effort saved, and Tammy Abraham's header hit the bar off the head of Ciaran Clark. Dubravka saved well from Pulisic in the second half after Hudson-Odoi's effort was deflected across the Newcastle area.
Dubravka made another save from Willian before Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi fed the ball across the area and Marcus Alonso scored with a shot from the left of the area.
Leicester 2 Burnley 1
There was an emotional commemoration before this game regarding the forthcoming one year anniversary (27th October) of the death of Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and of course those who perished with him in the disastrous helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers' Leicester side are beginning to look at home in the top four of the Premier League, although it was Burnley who took the lead after 26 minutes when Woods headed home McNeil's cross. Vardy equalised just before the break with a header from Harvey Barnes's cross. Tielemans made it 2-1 in the 74th minute when he rifled Gray's cross into the roof of the net. Burnley thought they had an equaliser when Schmiechel saved at close range from Woods and the loose ball went into the net off Johnny Evans. VAR decreed that Woods had made unlawful contact with Evans enabling the disallowed goal.
Spurs 1 Watford 1
In my September review I referred to "some positive signs", hoping for maximum points from our games against Brighton and Watford. So far, October has been an unmitigated disaster and I have to tell you that the marks being given to our players are worse than those awarded in the early stages of the 2008-09 season when we had "two points from eight games".
After three games played by the team so far this month, only Son and Dele Alli average more than 5 out of 10, and then only just. I cannot recall such consistently low grades for players and manager. Second half substitute Son was deemed our best player on Saturday. Analyse the spursometer if you dare!
Wolves 1 Southampton 1
Southampton matched Wolves' 3-5-2 formation. Jimenez was denied two first half goals. Firstly he was shown a yellow card for handball before he put the ball in the net after collecting a long clearance by Boly. The assistant referee had signalled an offence before Jimenez put the ball in the net, and that decision was confirmed by VAR. Then, just before the break, what looked like a good goal after a three man move involving Jimenez, Dendoncker and Cutrone was denied by VAR for offside against Cutrone.
Southampton took the lead on 53 minutes when Danny Ings was gifted the ball and made no mistake. Doherty won a penalty with a determined run inside the Southampton area which was unfairly brought to an end, and Jimenez finally had a goal from the spot on 63 minutes.
Rui Patricio made a good diving save to his left from a late James Ward-Prowse free kick.
Crystal Palace 0 Manchester City 2
Pep Guardiola played Fernandinho and Rodri as his centre-backs in this game. City played in a yellow and orange away strip which made me think of Opal Fruits, or Starbursts as they are called these days!
Like their strip, City were the brighter of the two teams and took the lead after 39 minutes when Jesus headed in Bernardo Silva's cross. It was 2-0 two minutes later as City countered a Palace attack with a good team goal scored by David Silva from Sterling's clever chipped pass.
De Bruyne was denied a penalty both by referee Anthony Taylor and VAR, before Hennessy made a fine save with his right hand from Gabriel Jesus's shot. Benteke came off the bench and hit a powerful header from a corner which Ederson tipped onto the bar. Hennessy saved again from Jesus at the other end, before a De Bruyne header rebounded off the post after Gundogan's cross. Ederson also saved well from Zaha in the closing stages.
Sunday 20th October 2019
Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1
Liverpool were without Mo Salah, who was no doubt missed. De Gea made the United line up after all, and Alisson returned for Liverpool. Pogba was out, and apparently seen in the stadium with a walking stick.
This was the only Premier League game of the day, and Sky put all their "big guns" into a fixture that gets all the hype in the world. To be honest, the game came nowhere near living up to the publicity, although United did manage to bring an end to Liverpool's 17 match winning run.
At half-time Sky commentator Martin Tyler gave the score as Manchester United 1 Liverpool 0, VAR 2. Rashford had given United the lead in the 36th minute after a cross by James who had been able to race away down the right wing after Lindelof had got away with a foul on Origi in the United half. VAR backed up referee Martin Atkinson, who ignored the foul, so the goal stood.
Minutes later, Mane used his strength (and his arm) to bring down a high ball and score past De Gea. The referee gave the goal, but VAR reversed that decision. Jurgen Klopp was twice livid. The Old Trafford crowd was ecstatic.
Chances I recall in the second half fell to Fred, who hit a left foot shot just outside the post, and another opportunity for Rashford - also wide. Klopp used substitutes Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, and Lallana, and it was the latter who crept in at the back post to convert Robertson's deep cross at the back post. It was Lallana's first goal since May 2017.
Liverpool remain on top. United remain in the bottom half of the table, but will draw hope from this result and their more determined performance.
Monday 21st October, 2019
Sheffield United 1 Arsenal 0
Generally, I do not permit myself to watch Arsenal, but I tuned in just before half-time and was delighted to find that they were 1-0 down at Bramall Lane. Half-time replays indicated that Mousset had been left unmarked in the middle of the box with only Leno to beat after McConnell headed back a corner to the centre of goal. (30 mins)
Over the course of the game, Arsenal were denied two penalty claims by referee Mike Dean (and of course VAR). Xhaka had a good shot well saved by Henderson diving to his left, and Aubameyang was denied even a shot on goal. Arsenal dominated possession but The "Blades" defended feverishly, but in a well organised fashion. Both Pepe and substitute Ceballos failed to score with chances in each half.
Manager Chris Wilder is a Sheffield hero and United joined Spurs on 12 points in very compacted Premier League mid-table.
Fixtures & Results 19-21.10.19
Everton 2-0 West Ham
A. Villa 2-1 Brighton
B'mouth 0-0 Norwich
Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle
Leicester 2-1 Burnley
Spurs 1-1 Watford
Wolves 1-1 S'hampton
C. Palace 0-2 Man City
Man Utd 1-1 Liverpool
Sheff Utd 1-0 Arsenal
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 9 8 1 0 21-7 14 25
2. Man City 9 6 1 2 29-9 20 19
3. Leicester 9 5 2 2 16-8 8 17
4. Chelsea 9 5 2 2 19-14 5 17
5. Arsenal 9 4 3 2 13-12 1 15
6. C. Palace 9 4 2 3 8-10 -2 14
7. Spurs 9 3 3 3 15-13 2 12
8. Burnley 9 3 3 3 12-11 1 12
9. Sheff Utd 9 3 3 3 8-7 1 12
10. B'mouth 9 3 3 3 13-13 0 12
11. West Ham 9 3 3 3 11-13 -2 12
12. A. Villa 9 3 2 4 15-13 2 11
13. Wolves 9 2 5 2 12-12 0 11
14. Man Utd 9 2 4 3 10-9 1 10
15. Everton 9 3 1 5 8-13 -5 10
16. Brighton 9 2 3 4 9-12 -3 9
17. S'hampton 9 2 2 5 9-16 -7 8
18. Newcastle 9 2 2 5 5-14 -9 8
19. Norwich 9 2 1 6 10-21 -11 7
20. Watford 9 0 4 5 5-21 -16 4