Premier League Review – Matchday 11
Friday 5th November, 2021
Southampton 1 Aston Villa 0
Dean Smith was desperate to bring an end to Villa's run of four consecutive defeats. Southampton made one change with Stuart Armstrong replacing Redmond. Thus "The Saints" had two Armstrongs- Stuart and summer signing Adam. This was Stuart’s first league start of the season. Smith made three changes, reinstating Tyrone Mings, Tuanzebe and also including El Ghazi at the expense of Hause, Ramsey and the suspended Konsa.
It was Adam Armstrong who gave Southampton a third minute lead after Matty Cash had his back turned to a lofted ball. The ball rebounded off his back to the feet of Armstrong, who scored with a swiftly taken left foot shot. McGinn and Buendia went close with efforts for Villa soon after. Southampton were well on top for the first half of the game. Referee Andy Madley had already booked El Ghazi, but ignored a second bookable offence, other than to give the foul. Southampton might have been punished soon after when El Ghazi fired over from inside the area.
James Ward-Prowse hit a terrific 20-yard shot after 33 minutes which Martinez pushed around his right post for a corner. Southampton repeatedly exploited Villa's right flank with Cash getting no assistance from Bailey. Kyle Walker-Peters was Southampton’s most advanced player down the left wing. Elyounoussi was also a threat. After one such advance, Romeu hit a powerful shot just over the bar.
Villa started the second half better with Buendia involved in a cross and a couple of shots. Hasenhuttl took off Stuart Armstrong and replaced him with a defender - Lyanco. Watkins hit the side netting with a shot from a sharp angle on the left.
Southampton had a free kick after 65 minutes, taken by Ward-Prowse and headed by Adams towards Martinez's top right corner. The keeper pushed the ball around the corner. Watkins's shot passed wide five minutes from the end. Villa were pressing but getting no return.
There were seven added minutes. Southampton defended stoutly and managed the game very well. Villa couldn’t break through, and Dean Smith suffered consecutive defeat number five. On Sunday, Smith paid the penalty for recent failures and was sacked.
On Thursday 11th November, Villa announced the appointment of Rangers' Steven Gerrard as their new manager.
Saturday 6th November, 2021
Manchester United 0 Manchester City 2
United are now missing Varane again due to injury and Pogba was still suspended. Bailly was installed in a back three. City had Laporte missing through suspension and played Stones beside Dias. Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez were on the bench. Pep Guardiola chose a front three of Gabriel Jesus, De Bruyne and Foden.
United were the first to go close after a Shaw free kick from the left when Maguire headed just off target. City then went close after a Walker cross from the right and Gundogan hit the ball wide across the area. The ball soon came back from the other side through Cancelo and Eric Bailly skewed the ball into his own net. (7mins)
United had made little headway, but finally after 25 minutes Ronaldo met Shaw's cross with a left foot shot which was well saved by Ederson. Three minutes later Foden broke forward down the left wing with Wan-Bissaka stranded. After a cross, De Bruyne's shot was blocked by Shaw. Jesus's follow-up was very well saved by De Gea, who soon had to make another save, this time from a Cancelo shot from outside the area. De Gea's next save was from Lindelof, who deflected another Foden cross towards his own goal.
De Gea was so busy, saving again from De Bruyne and then Cancelo after the corner. It was a wonder that City only led by one goal. That changed in the 45th minute when Cancelo crossed from the left and Bernardo Silva crept in at the back post behind Shaw to beat De Gea with a toe poke. De Gea was not blameless here.
Solskjaer introduced Sancho for Bailly at half-time, giving up on his back three formation. United did have more possession but still struggled to forge good chances. Rashford replaced Greenwood for the last quarter of the game. Luke Shaw tried to continue after a heavy blow to his head but had to be replaced by Telles. Shaw must have been a "concussion" substitution because Van de Beek also came on for Fred.
Foden hit the outside of the post with less than 10 minutes remaining. After a City corner John Stones managed to swivel in the area and to hit a shot, but it was just wide. A Cancelo cross from the bye-line went through De Gea and passed clear. De Bruyne then needed treatment following a twin-pronged attack upon the Belgian by Fernandes and Ronaldo. The latter was booked.
Stones made a good defensive interception just before the final whistle to preserve City's clean sheet. City had been convincing and deserved winners, moving six points above United who have won just one of their last six Premier League games. We know who they beat!
Paul Pogba is now facing six to eight weeks out after suffering an injury to the quadriceps in his right thigh on international duty with France on Monday 8th November. The 28-year-old will be free to talk to foreign suitors from January 1 as he enters the final six months of his £290,000-a-week contract with United.
Brentford 1 Norwich City 2
Despite leading his team to their first Premier League win of the season, Norwich manager Daniel Farke was sacked within hours of this result. The win was not enough to lift “The Canaries” off the bottom of the table.
Normann opened the scoring for “The Canaries” in only the sixth minute. The Brentford defence failed to deal with Rashica’s cross from the left and Normann scored with a left foot shot from just inside the area. His shot was well placed inside Fernandez’s left post. It was the first time Norwich had taken a lead in the league this season. Brentford have a couple of long-throw merchants, and these gave Norwich problems. Krul made a good close range save from Norgaard after substitute Goode’s throw from the left.
After 28 minutes, Normann released Pukki who was brought down by Goode inside the area. Goode was booked and Norwich had a penalty, which was converted by Pukki. Goalkeeper Fernandez went the wrong way anyway. Pukki had an excellent chance to make it 3-0 early in the second half but fired just wide. Mbeumo thought he had got one back when he raced forward following a header by Toney, but he had been offside. Krul made another instinctive close range save following Brentford corner when Norgaard met the ball with another close range effort.
Brentford’s goal came on the hour after a cross from the right by Ghoddos which was met at the back post by Henry, who scored. Krul made another low save from a shot by Canos following a Mbeumo cross. Norwich held onto their lead and precious first league win of the season.
Norwich acted swiftly and appointed former Villa manager Dean Smith on 15th November during the International break. This was in time for "The Canaries"' next game at home to Southampton, to whom Smith had lost his last game in charge of "The Villans"!
Chelsea 1 Burnley 1
Sean Dyche’s men snatched a point off league leaders Chelsea with a 79th minute goal by substitute Matej Vydra. Burnley remain in the bottom three.
Hudson-Odoi had one early shot well saved by Pope’s right hand, and then the Chelsea man put his follow-up shot wide. Burnley’s goal came under continuing early pressure with a couple of inaccurate efforts before a good save by Pope when Jorginho headed James’ cross goalward. Ross Barkley was making his first Premier League start of the season and he curled a nice right-footed effort just wide, after James’ pass from his right. James was the provider again in the 33rd minute when Havertz scored with a header across Pope.
Thiago met another good James cross early in the second half, but the ball passed wide, probably off the shoulder rather than the head. Chelsea might be most disappointed at a Havertz miss in front of goal when he scooped over Hudson-Odoi’s cross. Pope saved from Hudson-Odoi with an outstretched foot, before Barkley did the same as Havertz, again following Hudson-Odoi’s pass.
Vydra had come on for Gudmundsson and made sure Chelsea paid for their poor conversion record. The goal followed a good passing move and a lofted ball into the box by Brownhill before Rodriguez headed across to Vydra who had the freedom of the 6-yard area before scoring. Vydra came close deep into added time when Pope’s long clearance reached him near the Chelsea area and the substitute lifted a shot just wide of the post.
Crystal Palace 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Wolves had a good home win against Everton last Monday, but they had to eat humble pie today as Patrick Vieira’s men got out of their home drawing habit. The first half was goalless with Edouard and Jimenez going close at either end.
When Zaha beat Sa with a shot across him and into the net after McArthur’s pass in the 61st minute the offside flag was raised, but VAR reversed that decision, so Palace were one up. Referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot when Ait-Nouri went down under Ward’s challenge, but VAR reversed that decision too, so Wolves had a free kick, which came to nought.
Edouard is having a good season and came close for a second time in the game with Sa blocking his shot. Following a free kick awarded for a foul on Benteke, Gallagher scored with a deflected shot as he ran into the area following a defensive clearance when Benteke was challenging for the ball.(78 mins)
Guaita saved well low to his left from a Moutinho free kick, driven low from 25 yards
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Newcastle United 1
Eddie Howe sat next to Newcastle executive Amanda Staveley at The Amex Stadium, in advance of his appointment. There was high drama at the end when Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez was sent off for “preventing a goal-scoring opportunity” when he clipped Callum Wilson outside his area. Brighton survived the free kick and the remainder of added time with defender Lewis Dunk taking over as emergency keeper. Sanchez watched anxiously from the tunnel. Newcastle are now the only team in the Premier League without a win.
Brighton had the early chances and were initially denied a penalty by referee David Coote when Trossard was caught by Ciaran Clark. A review on the monitor reversed the decision, and Trossard scored from the spot. (24 mins) Trossard had a shot saved by Darlow early in the second half and Cucurella hit a shot wide across the Newcastle goal after Trossard’s cross from inside the right of the area.
Little had been seen of Newcastle on the attack, but they had a free kick after 65 minutes, following which Ritchie crossed from deep on the left; Clark headed down and Hayden scored with right foot shot. Eddie Howe smiled. The travelling fans were overjoyed. It took a VAR call to the monitor for Mr. Coote to finally decide Sanchez had clipped Callum Wilson, but I don’t think Lewis Dunk had to even touch the ball as Brighton held on to the draw which was the least they deserved.
Eddie Howe was formally announced as the new manager of Newcastle on Monday 8th November, with a contract expiring in June 2024.
Sunday 7th November, 2021
Arsenal 1 Watford 0
Claudio Ranieri was upset about Arsenal’s goal which followed an incident where Watford had put the ball out of play for an injury, but Arsenal did not follow convention and pass the ball back.
Saka thought he had given Arsenal an early lead, but he was adjudged offside. Goalkeeper Ben Foster had advanced and there was only one defender between Saka and the goal. Late in the first half, referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot after Danny Rose barged into Lacazette. Rose was rescued by Foster’s save from Aubameyang as he dived to his right. This was Foster’s 500th career club game. I remember back in 2009, Foster had been in goal for Manchester United against Spurs in a League Cup Final which we lost on penalties after a 0-0. Foster was man of the match in that game. Foster made another good save, this time after an Arsenal corner, when Gabriel headed down towards the keeper’s right-hand post.
The Watford goalkeeper made a clean and really quite comfortable save from Balogun early in the second half. The goal controversy came after Danny Rose put the ball out near his corner flag after one of his team-mates (Ozan Tufan) had been tackled and was seemingly injured in midfield. Tufan got up without treatment and Arsenal ignored the Watford appeals to be given the ball. There had been several passes before Ben White was tackled and the ball ran to Smith-Rowe who scored with a shot just inside Foster’s left post. Odegaard might have scored from his shot from an angle on the right, but Aubameyang stabbed in the ball at the back post and had been offside.
Josh King hit the side netting after a mix up by the Arsenal goalkeeper and a defender late in the game. Kucka was sent off for a second yellow a minute from time, but the Arsenal free kick was blocked. After the corner, Foster saved again, this time from Lokonga’s 20-yard shot.
Everton 0 Spurs 0
This was our first league draw of the season. Our last league draw was 2-2 in April at Goodison Park! Our last goalless game was in November last year at Stamford Bridge.
We still only have 9 goals from our eleven games. Only Norwich have scored less goals this season. Our goal difference remains -7, and only Newcastle and Norwich have worse figures.
Harry Kane has not scored for 518 minutes (plus added time in his last five games).
Oliver Skipp was booked for the fifth time this season in a domestic game and will miss the Leeds game on 21st November. This was Skipp's 12th booking in all games so far this calendar year. On the plus side, Ollie edged out both Hugo Lloris and Emerson Royal for our man of the match vote.
Leeds United 1 Leicester City 1
Leeds included 30-year-old Adam Forshaw in midfield, making his first Premier league start of the season. He had had been absent for the whole of last season through injury. Ndidi was back for Leicester and Harvey Barnes started a Premier League game for the first time since 3rd October.
Schmeichel slapped away Harrison’s shot across his goal after five minutes. He also saved from Phillips at close range after Raphinha’s corner. Penalties were denied at each end when Raphinha and Ricardo tussled, and when Vardy was called offside when he thought he had received the ball off a defender. Raphinha scored direct from a free kick after he had been fouled by Soumare. The kick had been taken from the right corner of Schmeichel’s area and beat everybody including the keeper who was beaten inside his right post. Someone should have stopped the kick which did not have great power. (26 mins) Raphinha took off his shirt revealing what was presumably a significant message but still got booked.
Leicester’s reply was immediate. Harvey Barnes collected Soumare’s long clearance following the kick-off. Barnes turned inside to his right and beat Meslier with a curled right-footed shot inside the keeper’s top left corner.
Leeds should have scored early in the second half following a corner taken by Raphinha and headed on by Phillips. The ball rebounded off Harrison’s knee and went over the bar from very close range. Rodrigo should have done better than hit the side netting from a Dallas cross. Lookman had the ball in the net following a Leicester corner which was flicked on by Vardy, but he had been offside. Leeds had an escape after Liam Cooper was caught out just outside his area. Tielemans chased the ball into the area, but Meslier managed to trap the ball between his legs.
West Ham United 3 Liverpool 2
West Ham not only ended Liverpool’s 25-game unbeaten run, but they also overtook them to claim third place. West Ham are on a run of 11 games during which they have lost just once (in all competitions). Understandably the bubbles are buoyant and being blown with force. David Moyes was able to field the same side for a fourth consecutive league game, whilst Jurgen Klopp was missing Firmino, Keita and Curtis Jones through injury.
West Ham had a corner after three minutes, won by Antonio and floated in by Fornals. Alisson rose with Ogbonna and after the game, Jurgen Klopp felt his goalkeeper had been fouled, but referee Craig Pawson and VAR agreed there had been no foul. The ball went into the net off Alisson’s hand. (4 mins). Klopp was aggrieved four minutes later when Henderson went down under Cresswell’s strong challenge, but no foul was awarded.
Ogbonna was injured and had to be replaced by Dawson after 22 minutes. Ogbonna will now miss a significant chunk of West Ham’s season after he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee.
Salah was awarded a foul just outside the West Ham area late in the first half and Alexander-Arnold scored from the free kick in the 41st minute after a touch by Salah. Van Dijk came to the rescue of his side deep into first half added time with a great tackle inside the box after Alexander-Arnold had been beaten at the other end.
Declan Rice headed against the top of the bar from a corner early in the second half. Fabianski made a good reflex save from Mane at the other end. West Ham went ahead in the 67th minute with a great goal. Bowen broke out of his own half with a run and sent Fornals away with his pass. Fornals’ shot got a touch off the keeper, but still hit the net. It was 3-1 in the 74th minute and once again “The Hammers” scored from a dead ball, from which they have proved deadly. Antonio won a corner which was taken by Bowen and Zouma headed in at the back post.
Substitute Origi scored an excellent left foot goal in the 83rd minute hitting his shot after a swivel turn. Liverpool had a free kick after 90 minutes, floated to the left of the area by Alexander-Arnold, but headed wide back across the goal by Mane, who should have scored.
This was West Ham’s first win over Liverpool since 2016 and their first such win at The London Stadium.
Fixtures and results - 05-07.11.21
Friday 5th November, 2021
S'hampton 1-0 A. Villa
Saturday 6th November, 2021
Man Utd 0-2 Man City
Brentford 1-2 Norwich
Chelsea 1-1 Burnley
C. Palace 2-0 Wolves
Brighton 1-1 Newcastle
Sunday 7th November, 2021
Arsenal 1-0 Watford
Everton 0-0 Spurs
Leeds 1-1 Leicester
West Ham 3-2 Liverpool
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Chelsea 11 8 2 1 27-4 23 26
2. Man City 11 7 2 2 22-6 16 23
3. West Ham 11 7 2 2 23-13 10 23
4. Liverpool 11 6 4 1 31-11 20 22
5. Arsenal 11 6 2 3 13-13 0 20
6. Man Utd 11 5 2 4 19-17 2 17
7. Brighton 11 4 5 2 12-12 0 17
8. Wolves 11 5 1 5 11-12 -1 16
9. Spurs 11 5 1 5 9-16 -7 16
10. C. Palace 11 3 6 2 15-14 1 15
11. Everton 11 4 3 4 16-16 0 15
12. Leicester 11 4 3 4 16-18 -2 15
13. S'hampton 11 3 5 3 10-12 -2 14
14. Brentford 11 3 3 5 13-14 -1 12
15. Leeds 11 2 5 4 11-18 -7 11
16. A. Villa 11 3 1 7 14-20 -6 10
17. Watford 11 3 1 7 12-19 -7 10
18. Burnley 11 1 5 5 11-17 -6 8
19. Newcastle 11 0 5 6 12-24 -12 5
20. Norwich 11 1 2 8 5-26 -21 5