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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2020-21 - Matchday 4

Premier League Review - Matchday 4

Saturday 3rd October, 2020

Chelsea 4 Crystal Palace 0

It took until the second half for Chelsea to break down Palace’s resistance, but when they did, the floodgates opened for a convincing win. Timo Werner is still looking for his first Premier League goal. Two of Chelsea’s goals were Jorginho penalties, although Tammy Abraham wanted to take the second. Captain Cesar Azpilicueta stepped in and let another "skipper" Jorginho take the spot-kick. Mendy made his league debut for Chelsea. The goalkeeper will play (if selected) against his old club Rennes in Chelsea’s forthcoming Champions League programme. Ben Chilwell also made his Premier League debut for his new club.

It was Chilwell who gave Chelsea the lead after 50 minutes, following a move from the right. Azpilicueta’s shot was blocked; Abraham’s header fell to Chilwell who smashed home a shot from the back of the area. Chilwell had the assist for the second goal after 66 minutes when, following a corner, Chilwell’s cross was headed home by Zouma. Abraham’s frustrations perhaps began when he met Azpilicueta’s cross but headed just wide. The first penalty came after 77 minutes when left back Mitchell caught Abraham inside the (Chelsea’s) right of the area. Jorginho sent the keeper the wrong way and scored to his left. The second penalty followed Sakho’s rash challenge on Havertz. Jorginho scored a similar penalty to his first in the 82nd minute.

Everton 4 Brighton 2

Brighton have played some spirited football this season but didn’t get going until near the end of this game when it was too late. They’ve now lost three of their four games and have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Manchester United, who had been lucky to beat them in last week’s league game. Everton’s marvellous start continues with Calvert-Lewin on the scoresheet for the fourth consecutive Premier League game. He got a hat-trick against West Ham midweek in the league cup, which was his second hat-trick of the season already. James Rodriguez scored two as well.

The "Toffees" were without Allan and Gomes, so Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Davies stepped up for their first league starts this season. Bissouma returned for Brighton having served his suspension following a sending-off against Newcastle. Two League Cup ties enabled a quick three-match absence. Calvert-Lewin had an early shot saved by Ryan following a mistake by Bissouma. Coleman also tested Ryan and only three minutes were on the clock.

Calvert-Lewin’s goal was a 17th minute header after a corner was quickly taken on the left and a cross was lifted to the back post by Sigurdsson. Maupay scored an equaliser four minutes before the break after Pickford failed to hold Trossard’s shot which hit the ground and bounced up, allowing Maupay to pounce. It wasn’t the best of days for England keepers with Nick Pope having a bit of a mare later at St. James’ Park. As the persistent rain became heavier, there was time for Everton to regain the lead two minutes into added time when Yerry Mina rose to head home James’ free kick taken on the right of the area. It was the first Premier League assist and goal by a Columbian duo.

James Rodriguez made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute after a mistake in midfield by Trossard led to an Everton attack and a cross from the left by substitute Iwobi who had replaced the injured Richarlison in the first half. Pickford punched out a cross by March to the feet of Maupay, but the keeper was rescued by his defence. Rodriguez dinked in his second goal, this one with his right foot after another run by Iwobi and a final pass by Doucoure. (70 mins). Bissouma made it 4-2 with a cracking right foot shot from 22 yards which beat Pickford inside his right post.

Leeds United 1 Manchester City 1

Somewhat inexplicably, Leeds tried (and failed) to play defensively in the early stages against a Manchester City team determined to bounce back from last week’s set-back. Leeds paid the penalty too, going one down after 17 minutes. Pep Guardiola was able to introduce his latest (£60 million plus) signing Ruben Dias, but he also gave another signing 20-year-old winger Ferran Torres his first Premier League start. Marcelo Bielsa has brought an exciting and often frantic blend of football to the Premier League and Leeds will be entertaining to watch all season. Bielsa was unable to play Jack Harrison who is a loan player from Manchester City. Alioski stepped in for his first Premier League start. This game was played in a deluge throughout proceedings.

Leeds didn’t help themselves after three minutes when goalkeeper Meslier hit a poor ball within his own half and Leeds gave away a free kick. De Bruyne took the kick and hit the post from 25 yards. Leeds were unsuccessfully trying to play out from the back and De Bruyne had another shot blocked after 11 minutes. Torres had a shot blocked in front of goal by Dallas after a Sterling cross from the left of goal. Sterling opened the scoring after 17 minutes. The goal followed poor play by Leeds, losing a ball they had played backwards allowing Mendy to feed the ball to Sterling who moved to his right and scored with his right foot. Dallas got into the box at the other end, but his shot was smothered by Ederson. Ederson rescued Mendy after a bad error inside his area allowing Ayling to get a shot in first half added time.

Leeds’ record signing Rodrigo came on for Roberts after 56 minutes and very quickly made an impact, hitting a left-footed shot which rose to the woodwork high above Ederson and won a corner with a deflection. Ederson failed to hold the corner and Rodrigo scored from close range. (59 mins) The rest of the game featured breathless end to end football, which would have kept any crowd on the edge of their seats. Ederson tipped a Rodrigo header onto the top of his bar. Sterling looked as if he was going to break clear for a shot on goal, but his effort stuttered and Meslier got the ball. City had a couple of penalty appeals turned down. The match of the day highlights didn’t really do justice to the second half of this game.

Newcastle United 3 Burnley 1

It was still raining on Saturday evening at Newcastle! The home side took the lead inside 14 minutes with a fine solo goal by Saint-Maximin. He picked up the ball some 40 yards out and advanced upon the Burnley area, turning three defenders left and right before planting his right-footed shot inside Pope’s left post. It was Newcastle’s fourth goal from their fourth shot on target so far this season! Burnley thought they had levelled the scores after 35 minutes when Ashley Barnes seized upon McNeil’s deflected shot, but Barnes had been offside.

Wood had a near post header beaten away by Darlow in the second half, but Burnley did have an equaliser after 61 minutes following a couple of corners at the end of which Westwood hammered a right-footed shot into the net to Darlow’s left. Newcastle regained the lead four minutes later when Saint-Maximin crossed hard and low from the right and Callum Wilson scored at the back post for his third goal of the season. Pope conceded a penalty when he caught Ryan Fraser, whose shot hit the post. Wilson had his fourth goal and second penalty of the season in the 77th minute.

Sunday 4th October, 2020

Leicester City 0 West Ham United 3

Leicester lost their 100% record in surprising circumstances. The team that last week beat Manchester City 5-2 away lost to a side that had lost their first two games. David Moyes was still at home (self-isolating), but his team have won two successive league games in his absence. The "Hammers" gave a debut to their one new signing – right back Vladimir Coufal - signed this week for just over £5 million from Slavia Prague.

West Ham took the lead after 14 minutes. The goal followed a free kick on the right which was sent to Cresswell on the left of midfield. His deep cross was headed back across goal, past Schmeichel, by Antonio, who has surely been West Ham’s best player in recent years. This was his 38th Premier League goal in 137 appearances. Bowen took a pass from Fornals and would have added a second had it not been for Soyuncu’s deflection over the bar. Fornals made it 2-0 after 34 minutes. West Ham had a throw deep in their own half and Fornals beat Leicester’s high line and any offside decision when Cresswell hit a speculative long ball for Fornals to chase and score across Schmeichel.

In the second half Declan Rice made a great run from his own half before hitting the bar with his left-footed shot. Bowen completed the scoring in the 83rd minute with a left-footed shot from the right of the area after Fornals had sent him clear with a good pass. Vardy pushed a shot wide from Iheanacho’s pass and Harvey Barnes thought he had scored in added time, but he was correctly called offside. West Ham will come to Tottenham on 18th October in their usual ebullient mood.

Southampton 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

West Brom couldn’t match their first half performance of last week’s 3-3 draw against Chelsea. Johnstone had to make an early save from Ryan Bertrand. Despite pressure from the "Baggies" it was Southampton who came closest to opening the scoring when Walker-Peters set up Ings, whose shot was saved, with Che Adams’ attempted follow-up also being blocked. Johnstone made a good low save to his right from Ings’ header following a free kick by Ward-Prowse. Djenepo gave the home side the lead after 41 minutes turning right and left before planting his shot beyond the keeper with his left foot.

In the second half McCarthy had a tricky save to make when Diangana’s shot took a nasty deflection off Walker-Peters. It was 2-0 in the 69th minute following a well-worked Southampton move ending in Armstrong’s neat touch to Romeu who met the ball perfectly to fire home from just inside the area with his right foot. It was a rare goal for the "Saints"' midfielder and his first since February 2019. Sam Johnstone didn’t seem to know too much about his two handed save from Bednarek’s close-range downward header, but it worked!

Arsenal 2 Sheffield United 1

Chris Wilding’s side are still without a point, but at least they scored their first league goal of the season. A fine tribute was paid for Police Sergeant Matt Ratana, recently shot dead whilst on duty, with a minute’s silence. Matt was an Arsenal fan and his Police Helmet and Arsenal regalia bearing his name was positioned around his seat.

David Luiz got away with a foul (shirt-tugging) on Oliver Burke after only four minutes, which might have been a goal-scoring opportunity. Goalkeeper Leno was out of his area to clear. Aubameyang had a shot from at least 25 yards tipped over by Ramsdale, but that was the closest anyone came to scoring in the first half.

Aubameyang just failed to make contact with Ceballos’s pass from the left channel, but Arsenal did have the lead in the 61st minute when Saka headed home Bellerin’s shot cross. Bellerin slipped a pass to Pepe three minutes later. Pepe was on the advance and scored with a shot that hit the inside of Ramsdale’s right post. McGoldrick scored with a nicely placed left-footed shot from 20 yards. McGoldrick had another chance in added time, winning a corner. Ramsdale had already come up to try and help his side get an equaliser, but that was all to no avail. The "Blades"' next game is at home to Fulham, with matches against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea to follow.

Wolves 1 Fulham 0

Wolves made heavy weather of beating a struggling Fulham side. Fulham keeper Areola made a good double save midway through the first half from Neto’s right footed shot and Semedo’s follow-up. Jimenez had a header go just over the bar, but that was as close as Wolves came to scoring in the first half.

Neves had a good right footed shot from 20 yards go wide early in the second half before Jimenez was onto a long clearance by Kilman forcing another decent save from the Fulham keeper, who held Dendoncker’s follow-up. Neto scored the only goal of the game a minute later (56) after a Dendoncker shot was blocked and fell to Neto who scored from the edge of the area with his left foot shot.

Substitute Kamara hit a shot straight at Rui Patricio after a good move started by another sub – Lookman – and a final pass by Mitrovic to the unmarked Kamara. Another Fulham substitute Kebano hit a late shot over the bar.

Manchester United 1 Spurs 6 (SIX!)

There are loads of record facts and figures at the end of the match report for this game. Heung-min Son just edged out Harry Kane in our man of the match vote, but of course there were excellent performances all round. Spurs Odyssey voters’ assessment of Jose Mourinho’s performance was the best for a Spurs manager/coach since that of Mauricio Pochettino at Ajax in May 2019.

Comment of the week:- "…I thought Aurier had arguably his best game in a Spurs shirt, a couple of days after Ben Davies had his best game in a Spurs shirt for a long time also. Behold the benefits of COMPETITION for places! Also Dele in his Maccabi Haifa cameo and again yesterday played with more purpose and desire than in recent months also. Overall a great team performance…."

Alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Heung-min Son leads the early Premier League scorers' chart with 6 goals.

Aston Villa 7 Liverpool 2

This was a day of three freakish results, starting with West Ham’s count-attacking demolition of Leicester. We thought we’d seen the result of the weekend at Old Trafford (it will forever one of Spurs’ greatest results), but we were trumped by Aston Villa’s demolition of the League Champions. The last time Liverpool lost 7-2 was on Easter Monday 15 April 1963 at White Hart Lane. Jimmy Greaves scored four of those goals, Cliff Jones two and Frank Saul the other one.

Villa succeeded in this game by targeting Liverpool’s right flank – specifically the attack-minded right back Trent Alexander-Arnold and right-side centre-back Joe Gomez. Jack Grealish had a heyday, benefitting from the inclusion of new (loan) signing Ross Barkley making his debut. Ollie Watkins scored a first Premier League hat-trick. Liverpool were missing goalkeeper Alisson, who suffered an injury in training. Adrian stepped in. Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane are self-isolating following positive Covid-19 tests. Naby Keita and Diogo Jota took their places.

Liverpool’s nightmare began following a throw-in in the fourth minute, which they worked back to Adrian, who over-hit an intended pass which was snapped up by Grealish who teed up Watkins for his first goal of the game. Four minutes later Watkins and Grealish led an attack down the left channel. Grealish passed inside to Barkley, who pulled his shot wide. Martinez blocked a shot by Firmino, and Salah was denied a penalty in the follow-up play. Martinez saved again from Firmino after 21 minutes at his right-hand post, but after the corner Villa attacked down that left wing with Grealish sending Watkins away. Watkins cut inside and beat Adrian with a right-footed shot.

Martinez comfortably pushed over a dipping shot by Jota. Liverpool did get a goal back, through Salah after the ball had been worked across the area by Jota and Keita. (33 mins) Villa bounced back with Barkley forcing a save by Adrian at his near post. After Barkley’s corner was cleared to McGinn the Villa man scored with a heavily deflected shot from 22 yards. Van Dijk was booked for a late tackle on the advancing Barkley, and from the free kick Trezeguet returned the ball to the centre of the area from which Watkins got his hat-trick in only the 39th minute. Villa hadn’t scored more than one goal at home in 22 years against Liverpool, let alone four, and of course there were more to come!

It was 5-1 after 55 minutes. Barkley and Grealish exchanged passes outside the area towards the left before Barkley hit a shot (this was also deflected), beating Adrian’s dive and left hand. Salah got another goal back on the hour, taking his personal tally to 5. This was scant consolation to a team which won the league so convincingly last season, against a team which escaped relegation by one point.

The scoring wasn’t over and now it was time for another deflected goal when Watkins passed to Grealish, who was credited, but the shot took a massive deflection to leave Adrian dumbfounded. Adrian’s nightmare wasn’t over yet, but he did make a decent save from Watkins who was in the clear after a good ball by Trezeguet from deep on the right. Grealish completed the scoring fifteen minutes from time. The Villa captain timed his run perfectly to leave Alexander-Arnold struggling as McGinn passed from the Villa half. Grealish now had a clear run and beat Adrian cleanly this time. Watkins even hit the bar before the game was finished.

Liverpool have 9 points, but now have a goal difference of zero. Villa also have 9 points from their three games. That’s fractionally just over a quarter of their tally for the whole of last season! Jurgen Klopp graciously congratulated Dean Smith and his players personally. Villa had never before put seven goals past Liverpool. Apart from the 1963 beating by Spurs, I do remember Liverpool conceding 6 against Stoke on the last day of the 2014-15 season.

Fixtures/results 03-04.010.20

Saturday 3rd October, 2020

Chelsea    4-0  C.Palace
Everton    4-2  Brighton
Leeds      1-1  Man City
Newcastle  3-1  Burnley

Sunday 4th October, 2020

Leicester  0-3  West Ham
S'hampton  2-0  West Brom
Arsenal    2-1  Sheff Utd
Wolves     1-0  Fulham
Man Utd    1-6  Spurs
A. Villa   7-2  Liverpool

  Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

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

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