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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2020-21 - Matchday 10

Premier League Review – Matchday 10

All Premier League games this weekend were preceded by applause for Diego Maradona, who died aged 60 this week. Players also wore black armbands.

Friday 27th November, 2020

Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2

Palace were once again without Wilfried Zaha and a game that would not have enhanced Amazon prime’s subscription rates was won by two very late Newcastle goals. Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey returned for Newcastle, but the "Magpies" were missing their captain Jamaal Lascelles.

Eze hit a good shot on target from outside the area, but Darlow was able to push the ball away. Schlupp was playing up front for Palace in place of Batshuayi and he hit a powerful shot from inside the box but Darlow was equal to the effort. Joelinton was unable to capitalise upon a gift ball from Scott Dann, hitting a weak shot at the keeper.

Wilson hit a header just outside the target after 66 minutes. At the other end, Darlow saved a powerful downward header by Christian Benteke who had replaced Jordan Ayew. Just when it looked like ending goalless Newcastle scored two goals in quick succession. In the 88th minute Joelinton put in Wilson who scored beneath Guaita. A minute later, after Palace went forward from their kick-off, Shelvey passed out to Wilson who sent Joelinton away on a run down the right channel. Joelinton cut in to his left before hitting a shot which beat the keeper with a cruel deflection by Gary Cahill.

Saturday 28th November, 2020

Brighton 1 Liverpool 1

With Lamptey suspended Joel Veltman returned to the Brighton side. Former Liverpool man Adam Lallana was on the bench. Jurgen Klopp fielded a much stronger side than that which had been beaten at home by Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday night. However, he still rested Matip, and held Henderson and Mane on the bench. Mo Salah returned to Premier League action after his Covid absence. The Liverpool side did still include centre back Nat Phillips and Neco Williams at right back.

Liverpool made early threats on goal through Jota and Salah, and were generally forcing Brighton onto the back foot, but only in the first few minutes. Connolly had the best chance of the first 9 minutes when Maupay sent him away. Connolly pushed his shot wide of Alisson's left post.

Bissouma put a ball through to Connolly who got into the area on the left going down under the challenge of Williams. Referee Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot, but Maupay pushed his shot wide with Alisson having gone the wrong way. It wasn't long before Maupay felt he had to go off with an apparent hamstring problem, so he was replaced by Trossard. Trossard had a shot go wide across the goal after 32 minutes.

Mo Salah had the ball in the net after 33 minutes, but VAR found him offside when he received Firmino's header before running towards the goal. Minamino was playing behind the Liverpool front line and hit a shot from 20 yards after 41 minutes which was held by Ryan.

Henderson replaced Williams at half-time, so James Milner took over at right back.

Danny Welbeck got away from Fabinho after 53 minutes and hit a shot at Alisson after 53 minutes. A better option might have been to pass inside for Connolly or Trossard.

Jota gave Liverpool a 60th minute lead after a good move where Robertson passed inside to Salah on the edge of the area. Salah's quick touch gave Jota a chance and he beat Ryan with a well-placed shot inside the right post. It looked as if the referee was going to give a penalty against Fabinho when he handled Trossard's cross, but Liverpool were rescued by an offside flag. Lallana then replaced Connolly, and Mo Salah was replaced by Mane. Jurgen Klopp clearly has his eyes on Tuesday's important Champions League game against Ajax.

Lallana had only been on the pitch for 8 minutes and had to be replaced by Jahanbakhsh. Lallana went straight to the dressing room. Milner was also crocked, probably his hamstring, and Curtis Jones took his place.

Brighton had a free kick, taken by Solly March, but Alisson saved comfortably to his right. With 10 minutes to go Jahanbakhsh missed a header when March crossed from the left and Robertson was lucky to shin the ball over the bar. Mane headed home a Robertson free kick, but that was ruled out for offside.

There was a late VAR review of an incident when Welbeck was kicked by Andy Robertson as he missed the ball. The referee looked at the monitor and gave the penalty which was converted by Gross in the third minute of added time. Jurgen Klopp was incensed with BT’s Des Kelly in the post-match interview, bemoaning the 12.20 kick-off after Liverpool’s Wednesday night Champions League game.

Manchester City 5 Burnley 0

Goalkeeper Nick Pope was injured so Bailey Peacock-Farrell made his Premier League debut. Burnley had another debutant in midfield. This was 20-year-old Josh Benson, who replaced the injured Brownhill. Ashley Barnes returned alongside Chris Wood, with Jay Rodriguez also in the side.

John Stones started for City in the Premier League for the first time since 21st September.

Burnley had lost their previous three games at The Etihad by an aggregate of 15-0. Each game had ended 5-0!

City were one up in the sixth minute following a good passing move from left to right with De Bruyne making the final pass for Mahrez to score inside the area. Mahrez scored again in the 22nd minute. This was too easy, as Mahrez collected Walker's throw-in inside the area and simply moved into a shooting position before scoring off the inside of the far post.

City had the ball in the net again after a corner from the left after 25 minutes when Mahrez crossed and Gundogan rose to head the ball, but it came off Torres who was in front of Gundogan and therefore offside. The header had looped beyond the keeper into the net. Goal number 3 came in the 41st minute when De Bruyne lifted the ball over the defence where it reached Benjamin Mendy beyond the back post, who scored with a cushioned volley across the goalkeeper. This was Mendy's first City goal.

Pep Guardiola put on Fernandinho at half-time for Rodri. City had to wait until the 66th minute for their fourth goal. It came at the end of another fast passing move with Walker to Mahrez in front of him before a cut back to Jesus who teed up Torres, who scored. Torres was then replaced by Foden. Three minutes later it was 5-0 (par for a City-Burnley game). De Bruyne sent a long ball to Foden who quickly crossed from the left and Mahrez powered in a header at the back post for his first City hat-trick.

Peacock-Farrell made a good save at the feet of Jesus after a move from the right involving Mahrez and De Bruyne. However, the ball ran backwards from his arms and body into the net, but he was rescued by a VAR decision that Jesus had been offside.

With a minute of normal time to play, Mahrez fed the ball to De Bruyne at an angle on the right. De Bruyne's shot rebounded off the far post.

Everton 0 Leeds 1

Everton suffered a significant player loss this week when left back Lucas Digne suffered ankle ligament damage during training and has to undergo surgery. Digne will be out for three months. Digne was replaced by Tom Davies, although Davies played on the right of midfield. Yerry Mina made way for Mason Holgate at centre-back, with Everton playing a back three. Leeds were unchanged after last week’s 0-0 draw against Arsenal.

Bamford had a shot go just wide but was called offside before, after 6 minutes, Davies crossed and Doucoure's shot was saved by Meslier, pushing the ball to his right. Harrison had a good chance from close in at Pickford’s right post but put his shot just wide. Raphinha had made a good run and made the pass. Without a recognised left back, Everton looked as if they might struggle.

Bamford was denied by Pickford's outstretched foot after Klich's pass from the left and a low shot. James Rodriguez had the ball in the net after 23 minutes after he collected a Richarlison cross near the bye-line to the right of goal before firing home from a sharp angle. Unfortunately, he had been just offside.

Leeds had two chances after 28 minutes. Firstly, Ayling crossed from the right and Pickford saved but could not hold the header by Raphinha. Harrison's follow-up shot was somehow put over the crossbar by Godfrey with Pickford at full stretch.

James took an Everton free kick after 38 minutes which was met on the volley by Holgate, but Meslier saved. Richarlison hit a shot from the edge of the area after 41 minutes. Meslier saved, diving to his left. Richarlison had the ball in the net a minute later but Godfrey had been in front of the keeper and tried to get a touch and was called offside. Harrison had a header rebound off the post at the other end, with Pickford beaten. Ayling had a shot blocked which fell to Klich, who pushed his shot wide.

It was amazing that the game remained goalless at half-time. After the break there were half-chances at either end before Meslier gifted the ball to James Rodriguez six minutes into the second half. Rodriguez lifted a shot towards goal, but the keeper recovered and held the ball out just in front of his line.

Harrison hit a low shot which was saved by Pickford at his left post after a move involving Klich and Bamford. Bamford had been hoping for a return pass.

After 59 minutes Allan went on a powerful run from halfway and hit a shot which was deflected just wide for a corner. Leeds had the ball in the net after 65 minutes, but the offside flag was raised and confirmed by VAR. There was a debate as to whether Alioski had managed to keep the ball in play as he crossed, Harrison returned the ball and Bamford stabbed it home, all to no avail. Alioski had been offside before he collected the ball in the first place.

Meslier managed to grab a Rodriguez shot at the second time of asking, pushing the shot to the right of his post initially. The deadlock was finally broken in the 79th minute by Raphinha, receiving the ball outside the area from Harrison on the right. He was looking for a pass, but opted for a shot with his left foot, which beat Pickford's dive to his left. It was Raphinha's first Leeds goal.

Pickford made ground to his right across goal to make a great close range save from Leeds substitute Helder Costa in the last minute of added time. Leeds had their first Premier League away win against Everton, who have now lost 4 of their last 5 games.

West Bromwich Albion 1 Sheffield United 0

Slaven Bilic’s men dragged themselves out of the bottom three with this win, whilst Chris Wilder’s team have the ignominious record of making the worst ever 10-game start to a Premier league season. No team has previously managed to stay up after such a start to a Premier League season.

It was Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher who scored what turned out to be the decisive goal in the 13th minute. His chance followed a corner from the right which reached him standing 22 yards out. Gallagher hit a shot which was well placed inside Ramsdale’s left post. In all there were 39 shots on goal which equals the highest figure for any Premier League game up to this point. There were no more goals.

Sam Johnstone made a very good save pushing Burke’s header over his bar after United’s debutant Bryan had crossed from the left. Ramsdale denied Grant at close range after Furlong had headed on a corner to the back post. Ramsdale made another good save getting low down to his right to parry a powerful header by Bartley after a corner.

The “Blades” made plenty of effort towards the end of the game to get back on terms. Johnstone parried a shot by McBurnie away from danger and Ramsdale saved from Robson-Kanu at the other end. In added time Johnstone saved again, this time from substitute Rhian Brewster, whose shot came from over 20 yards. Brewster had another effort from close range blocked and Mousset’s reactive follow-up was scooped over.

Sunday 29th November, 2020

Southampton 2 Manchester United 3

Southampton were unchanged, with Danny Ings still absent. He could be available next week. Mason Greenwood was selected to start alongside Rashford. Penalty king Bruno Fernandes was behind them, with Fred, Matic and Van de Beek in a midfield three. Effectively, United were playing a diamond formation. They were looking for an eighth consecutive away win in the Premier League.

Mason Greenwood gave the "Saints" a scare after 6 minutes when he left Vestergaard flat-footed and beat him to a long pass by Matic. Greenwood hit the side netting with his shot. Fernandes hit the outside of McCarthy's right post after 16 minutes.

It was Southampton who took the lead from a corner in the 23rd minute. Ward-Prowse curled the ball in and Bednarek got the headed touch to beat De Gea. Kyle Walker-Peters hit a shot which took a deflection and hit the outside of the United post three minutes later. This time United defended the corner but conceded another when Djenepo got to the bye-line.

McCarthy gifted the ball to Greenwood and then saved the striker's shot. Fernandes followed up to the right of McCarthy, who saved again to redeem his mistake. Djenepo was fouled just outside the area and Ward-Prowse scored with a superbly placed free kick just inside De Gea's right post. De Gea got so close but was disappointed. (33 minutes) Having made a good start, United were suffering. De Gea had to save from Djenepo and then needed treatment for an injury sustained in trying to keep out Ward-Prowse's free kick.

Such was De Gea's discomfort that Dean Henderson took his place at the start of the second half. Cavani replaced Greenwood too. Henderson was called into action within two minutes as Djenepo passed to Walcott who hit a powerful shot from the right of the box which Henderson saved low to his right. Walcott had another shot on target a minute later. This one was comfortable for the keeper who had two good seasons with Sheffield United.

Fernandes released Marcus Rashford who got into the left of Southampton’s area. McCarthy saved his shot well. After a Fernandes cross from the right, Van de Beek passed to Cavani to his right. Cavani's shot took a very slight deflection but went well over the bar for a corner. Fernandes scored with his right foot just inside the 59th minute from Cavani's cross.

Cavani had a good header go just wide of the far post when he met a cross by Wan-Bissaka. Cavani scored in the 74th minute, following a corner taken from the left and deflected shot by Fernandes. Cavani dived to head into the net.

Che Adams turned and hit a decent effort just wide of Henderson's right post. Southampton were on the defensive for most of the closing stages, and in added time Cavani scored again, meeting Rashford's cross with a well-placed header to beat McCarthy to his right. That turned out to be a super substitution and United had that eighth consecutive away win in the Premier League. That is a new club record.

Chelsea 0 Spurs 0

Hugo Lloris was voted the Spurs Odyssey man of the match. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t vote that way, as I thought the only time Hugo was really tested was by Mount’s shot from outside the area when he dived to his left. In my case it was hard to pick one outstanding performer, as it was another good all-round team performance. I particularly admired Hojbjerg’s efforts as always, and Ndombele’s close-quarter skills had me gasping with pleasure several times. It is great to be top of the league for a second week at this stage of the season!

Arsenal 1 Wolves 2

There was a horrific clash of heads between Arsenal’s David Luiz and Wolves’ Raul Jimenez early in this game. This was clearly a major incident which required prolonged on-field treatment to Jimenez, who was conveyed to hospital and had surgery on a fractured skull. Jimenez was subsequently reported to be “comfortable”. David Luiz had his head bandaged and carried on but was replaced by Holding at half-time. Arsenal said Luiz had passed concussion tests, but blood could be seen seeping through his heavy bandaging during the first half.

Arsenal suffered a third consecutive home defeat in the Premier League and have slumped to their worst start since 1981. Let’s hope that continues at New White Hart Lane next Sunday!

Fabio Silva replaced the injured Jimenez after a 10 minute delay for the treatment of the striker. Wolves took the lead in the 27th minute after Traore reached the bye-line on the right and lifted a cross which was headed against the bar by Dendoncker. Pedro Neto swept up the rebound and scored via couple of Arsenal deflections as defenders attempted and failed to clear. Conor Coady was back in the Wolves side and he made an important interception to take the ball off Aubameyang’s feet in the goalmouth. After the corner Gabriel powered home a header to equalise. (30 mins)

Wolves regained the lead in the 42nd minute in a great move which began with Coady’s accurate clearing pass to the feet of Traore towards the right near the halfway mark. Traore beat two defenders with great power and skill before he managed to send the ball as he fell to Neto. Neto hit a shot which Leno saved with his legs, but the ball ran out and Podence collected before skipping over Gabriel before nonchalantly placing his shot past Leno into the net. Traore hit the side netting with a shot in first half added time.

Wolves resisted Arsenal’s attempts to equalise which didn’t amount to much, as they could not hit the target.

Monday 30th November, 2020

Leicester 1 Fulham 2

Fulham surprised everybody and Leicester in particular with a welcome away win. Scott Parker's side even scored a penalty after their recent woes from the spot.

Leicester hit the woodwork twice after 19 minutes following a free kick awarded for a foul at the end of a good run by Justin. Maddison's kick hit the wall and the ball fell to Tielemans, whose shot hit the post. Fofana then had a chance but his effort crashed against the crossbar. Areola saved a Vardy flick after the ball had been crossed by Praet.

It was Fulham though who took a surprise lead in the 30th minute. Anguissa carried the ball some 50 yards from his own half before passing to Lookman, who had the space and time to side-foot a shot past Schmeichel. Fulham celebrated that goal by holding up a Senegal shirt in memory of Papa Boupa Diop, whose death was announced on Sunday. Known affectionately as "The Wardrobe", Papa Diop had played more games for Fulham than he did for West Ham and Portsmouth. He was just 42 years of age.

Fulham were awarded a penalty following a VAR review after Decordova-Reid was fouled by Fuchs. Cavaleiro took and scored this one with a good shot high to the left of Schmeichel. (38 mins) Fulham had failed to convert three previous penalties in other games.

Brendan Rodgers made two half-time changes with Harvey Barnes and Cengiz Under replacing Praet and Thomas.

Leicester continued to dominate possession but had no end product. The "Foxes" got a goal back in the 86th minute when Vardy headed a cross to Harvey Barnes who chested the ball down before scoring.

Despite Leicester pressure, Fulham held on and climbed out of the bottom three.

West Ham United 2 Aston Villa 1

West Ham welcomed Michail Antonio back after injury, replacing Haller. Villa were missing the injured Ross Barkley and Conor Hourihane was recalled.

West Ham took the lead in only the second minute when Ogbonna rose to meet and head home from a corner. Villa took a while to get a foothold in the game but won a corner after 18 minutes. When the ball was floated in from the left by Targett, Konsa headed the ball over the bar and onto the roof of the net. Villa had a free kick just outside the area after 22 minutes, taken by Hourihane and pushed around his right post by Fabianski.

Grealish picked up a ball from the right about 40 yards out and made a bee line for the West Ham area releasing a right-footed shot which took a deflection and beat Fabianski in the 25th minute. After some nice approach play through the middle by Villa, Watkins hit an instinctive shot which passed just outside Fabianski’s left post.

West Ham, in particular Antonio, were feeling aggrieved by the award of free kicks in favour of Grealish and McGinn, and after the latter offence, just outside the area, Hourihane hit a free kick into the side netting.

David Moyes made two half-time substitutions. Haller replaced Antonio, who had been wearing a strong thigh support bandage, whilst Benrahma replaced Masuaku. There was a benefit within a minute of kick-off when Benrahma crossed from the left of the area and Bowen headed into the net across the goal. Bowen had put the ball out to Benrahma as he made a run through the middle into the box.

After 62 minutes Grealish hit a long ball from the right which had Fabianski caught in two minds. The ball reached Watkins who teed up Trezeguet, who should have scored but allowed Fabianski to save with his right hand. Fabianski had to get low to save a shot by Konsa three minutes later after a Villa corner.

Referee Peter Bankes blew for a penalty after a McGinn cross and an apparent shirt pull by Rice upon Trezeguet. The penalty stood, following VAR. Trezeguet suffered a facial injury in the process and was bleeding profusely. Eventually Watkins took the spot kick after 73 minutes, but saw his shot rebound off the bar.

Villa substitute Bertrand Traore tested Fabianski with a left foot shot after 88 minutes. In the first minute of added time Watkins had the ball in the net from Targett's cross and after a lengthy VAR review the goal was denied by a marginal offside. VAR failed to review a clear foul on the striker by Ogbonna.

Despite Villa pressure the score remained 2-1 and the win lifted the "Hammers" into fifth place, with Villa aggrieved and consigned to mid-table. Villa's next scheduled game on Friday night at home to Newcastle has been postponed due to a Covid outbreak affecting the Newcastle squad.

   
Fixtures/results 27-30.11.20

Friday 27th November, 2020

C. Palace  0-2  Newcastle

Saturday 28th November, 2020

Brighton   1-1  Liverpool
Man City   5-0  Burnley
Everton    0-1  Leeds
West Brom  1-0  Sheff Utd

Sunday 29th November, 2020

S'hampton  2-3  Man Utd
Chelsea    0-0  Spurs
Arsenal    1-2  Wolves

Monday 30th November, 2020

Leicester  1-2  Fulham
West Ham   2-1  A. Villa

            Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts
 1. Spurs     10  6  3  1  21-9   12   21  
 2. Liverpool 10  6  3  1  22-17   5   21
 3. Chelsea   10  5  4  1  22-10  12   19
 4. Leicester 10  6  0  4  19-14   5   18 
==========================================
 5. West Ham  10  5  2  3  17-11   6   17
==========================================
 6. S'hampton 10  5  2  3  19-16   3   17 
 7. Wolves    10  5  2  3  11-11   0   17
 8. Everton   10  5  1  4  19-17   2   16
 9. Man Utd    9  5  1  3  16-16   0   16
10. A. Villa   9  5  0  4  20-13   7   15
11. Man City   9  4  3  2  15-11   4   15  
12. Leeds     10  4  2  4  15-17  -2   14
13. Newcastle 10  4  2  4  12-15  -3   14 
14. Arsenal   10  4  1  5  10-12  -2   13 
15. C. Palace 10  4  1  5  12-15  -3   13 
16. Brighton  10  2  4  4  14-16  -2   10
17. Fulham    10  2  1  7  11-19  -8    7
=========================================
18. West Brom 10  1  3  6   7-18 -11    6
19. Burnley    9  1  2  6   4-17 -13    5
20. Sheff Utd 10  0  1  9   4-16 -12    1    

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