Premier League Review – Matchday 14
Tuesday 30th November, 2021
Newcastle 1 Norwich 1
Eddie Howe was making his first appearance in the St. James' Park dugout and opted for an attacking 4-4-2 formation with Wilson and Joelinton up front.
Newcastle started brightly and after 5 minutes, Saint-Maximin passed inside for Shelvey to have a pop at goal from 22 yards. The ball passed a yard over the bar.
Eddie Howe's game plan was ruined after only 9 minutes when Ciaran Clark's error let Pukki head goalward behind him. Clark tugged Pukki's shirt and was shown an easy red card by referee Andy Madley. Gilmour's free kick was saved by Dubravka, who pushed the ball around his right post.
Ryan Fraser was sacrificed to allow Newcastle to put a replacement defender (Fernandez) on. After 19 minutes Joelinton was given a chance by Saint-Maximin but put his shot over the target. Newcastle had adjusted to 4-4-1, with Joelinton falling back.
Sargent couldn’t quite reach McLean's cross at the back post. Understandably Norwich were getting more possession without offering too much threat to Dubravka. Callum Wilson had a chance after good work by Willock to his left, but once again Newcastle's shot was off target.
Newcastle fans (and Joelinton) were aggrieved when the player was denied a penalty, but VAR agreed with Mr. Madley. Joelinton had been somewhat theatrical in going to ground. At the other end Sargent tried to find Pukki with a cross, but the ball was too high. Newcastle then wanted a penalty after a corner when the ball was headed towards goal by Fernandez and hit the raised arm of Gilmour. After a lengthy VAR review and a view of the monitor Mr. Madley awarded the penalty, which was taken and scored by Callum Wilson, despite Krul's valiant effort to save in front of his former fans at The Gallowgate End. (61 mins)
Saint-Maximin excited when he raced goalward after receiving a pass from Wilson , but his shot was skyward. Norwich had an equaliser in the 79th minute. Dubravka could not hold Gilmour's lofted ball, probably intended as a cross. Giannoulis returned the ball to the middle and Pukki beat Dubravka with a powerful left foot volley.
There were 6 minutes of added time. Norwich were nearly gifted a winner when Schar's mistake gave Lees-Melou a run at goal. Dubravka got enough on the shot to push it over his bar for a corner. After a free kick swung in by Gilmour, Rupp had a shot blocked and Lees-Melou's effort was saved.
Norwich climbed above Burnley overnight with their point gained, whilst Newcastle remain bottom, with no wins from 14 games. No team has managed to survive in the Premier League after such a start. Dean Smith remains unbeaten in his three games in charge of Norwich.
Leeds 1 Crystal Palace 0
A late penalty was enough to give Leeds a welcome win in this game. A day later Leeds fans were in the news for the wrong reasons, singing an embarrassing homophobic chant at Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher in a game which was part of this week’s "Rainbow Laces" campaign.
Kalvin Phillips was restored to midfield for Leeds after a couple of games in the back four. Forshaw went close for Leeds after 15 minutes and Ayew was denied a penalty two minutes later when he went down with Struijk on his back.
In the second half Raphinha hit a long crossfield ball from the deep to James who passed into the danger zone for Rodrigo whose shot was off target. Benteke came on for Edouard after 68 minutes. The Palace striker headed wide at the back post when presented with a good chance by Zaha. Meslier just managed to hold the ball in front of his line after Benteke had prodded an Ayew cross goalward.
The Leeds penalty followed a corner as added time was looming when Guehi had his arm raised hitting the ball. The penalty was awarded after a full VAR and referee review. Raphinha included a hop in his run-up and beat Guaita, despite his dive correctly to the left. (90+3)
Wednesday 1st December, 2021
Southampton 2 Leicester City 2
Two years ago, Southampton suffered an embarrassing 9-0 defeat in this fixture. They got a draw last season and were hoping for full revenge tonight, especially after Bednarek gave them such a good start. Leicester equalised twice though to share the points.
The first goal came in only the third minute, following a corner won by the determined run into the Leicester box by "Saints"' skipper James Ward-Prowse. Tella took a short corner and after an exchange with his captain, Tella hit the ball into the packed area where Salisu’s shot was saved but parried by Schmeichel leaving Bednarek to snap up the loose ball. Jonny Evans equalised in the 22nd minute following a Leicester corner which led to a short cross by Maddison and a blocked shot by Ndidi with Evans snapping up this rebound.
Adams’ 34th minute goal for Southampton followed another corner, but his diving header was hit from a subsequent cross by Redmond.
There was a medical emergency in the crowd here and the second half was delayed. James Maddison levelled the scores four minutes into the half hitting a low shot just inside McCarthy’s right post. The goal followed a good passing move in and around the left side of the box after Maddison had carried the ball from deep inside his own half. Vardy met a Leicester free kick but turned the ball over the target, and Harvey Barnes had a good shot fingertipped around his post by McCarthy. Vardy uncharacteristically hit a shot over the bar with only the keeper to beat.
Leicester looked the more likely winners and Southampton will have to wait for revenge on their own turf, although they did win at The King Power Stadium in January 2020.
Watford 1 Chelsea 2
Thomas Tuchel made 6 changes to his side which included Saul Niguez in midfield, making a second Premier league start. Saul didn’t come out for the second half though. Lukaku started on the bench. Joao Pedro had a couple of early chances for Watford. The first was a shot, which was cleared by Chalobah. The second was also a shot, saved well by Mendy inside his right post.
There was a break in play due to a medical emergency in the crowd. Play resumed 25 minutes later. A Watford fan had been stabilised and taken to hospital. Mason Mount hit the outside of the post with a powerful shot inside the area after 19 minutes of play. Mount gave Chelsea the lead ten minutes later after Alonso and Havertz moved the ball across the Watford area from left to right, where Mount fired home.
Danny Rose had a chance with a low shot on goal, which Mendy saved. Moussa Sissoko created Watford’s equaliser two minutes before the break. Sissoko picked up the ball after Loftus-Cheek’s error in the middle, before sending a good pass to Dennis who scored with a well-placed shot inside Mendy’s right post. The shot went through the legs of Rudiger. Sissoko even had a chance himself after an exchange with Dennis, but the former Spurs man scuffed his shot.
Mendy was way outside his area, but successfully blocked Cleverley in the second half. Ziyech made it 2-1 in the 72nd minute, receiving a low cross from Mount from the left before hitting a left foot shot into the roof of the Watford net in front of The Rookery Stand. Goalkeeper Bachmann could only help the ball on its way. Watford gave a good account of themselves and substitute Kucka had a long range free kick pushed over the bar by Mendy. Chelsea took the spoils and remain top of the league in a tough three-way competition.
West Ham United 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
West Ham are still in the top four, but they are seven points behind third placed Liverpool, and nobody is really on the same street as the top three. Here "The Hammers" took an early lead, but Brighton upset most of the London Stadium crowd with a late equaliser.
West Ham were missing Cresswell, who had been injured in the Manchester City game. 19-year-old Ecuadorian Jeremy Sarmiento made his first Premier League start for Brighton. Maupay wanted a corner when his early shot passed just wide of Fabianski’s right post, but goal kick was the decision. West Ham took the lead in the fifth minute from a corner which was swung in by Fornals and headed in from very close range for Soucek. West Ham have been lethal from dead ball situations all season.
Sarmiento was injured early on and replaced by Solly March. Fornals had the keeper well beaten but his shot hit the woodwork in the keeper’s top right corner after Coufal’s cross had been headed back by Antonio. Sanchez was looking uncomfortable in the Brighton goal at this stage. Fabianski made a very good save from Moder who probably should have done better with Maupay’s pass.
West Ham had the ball in the net three minutes into the second half, but VAR decreed that Antonio had the final touch and had been offside. Brighton were not happy about Dawson’s contribution either where there might have been a foul. Bowen hit a right foot shot inches wide across the goal, and Sanchez did make a good save from Rice, diving to his right.
Maupay’s equaliser came in the 89th minute and was an excellent overhead shot after Lamptey’s cross from the right. Sanchez saved from Bowen in added time and then Cucurella blocked Zouma’s header from the corner. Brighton fans went home happiest.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Burnley 0
After the postponed game on Sunday, Burnley’s Tarkowski and Westwood had to serve their suspensions and therefore missed this game. Sean Dyche repeated his selection for the postponed game. Neither goalkeeper had been severely tested and after a Burnley corner Wolves cleared the ball with Traore on the end of the move, making a run from his own half before smacking a shot against the bar from inside the area.
Traore made another wonderful run after 69 minutes, delivering for Jimenez who was unable to deliver a shot on goal. Hwang had a shorter run, followed by shot that went just wide of the post, and Sa saved a McNeil shot at the other end. Traore hit a low shot after exchanging passes with Semedo. The shot lacked power but was well placed and Pope was happy to push the ball outside his post.
Traore’s first half shot against the bar was the closest either team came to scoring.
Aston Villa 1 Manchester City 2
Steve Gerrard came up against the formidable obstacle of Manchester City who prevented the former Liverpool player and Rangers’ manager from gaining a third consecutive win. Jack Grealish was on the bench for City. Prince William was in the stadium to watch his favourite team.
City were missing some key players and fielded Nathan Ake at the back, and veteran Fernandinho in midfield. They still made a strong start with Cancelo having a shot cleared and Rodri forcing a save from Martinez. Ruben Dias gave City the lead after 27 minutes at the Holte End. Sterling had cut the ball back from the left and Dias scored from outside the area with a left foot shot. It was 2-0 in the 43rd minute after City broke out from the back with a long ball (I think by Fernandinho) to Gabriel Jesus down the right. He crossed, and Bernardo Silva scored with a first-time strike from the centre of the area. It was an excellent goal.
Watkins scored a goal two minutes into the second half, meeting former City man Douglas Luiz’s corner with a very good right foot shot swept into the net. Substitute Ashley Young had won the corner, much to Zinchenko’s distain. He wanted but was not awarded a free kick. The royal guest was happy!
Substitute Chukwuemeka had an excellent chance 15 minutes from time collecting the ball inside the area after approach play by Douglas Luiz and Watkins. Ederson saved. Grealish was given a mixed reception by his former fans when he came on late in the game, but he helped his new side hold onto their win.
Everton 1 Liverpool 4
Everton had Richarlison back, and he played beside Rondon. Both Doucoure and Demarai Gray were in midfield. Liverpool’s front three was Salah, Jota and Mane. Van Dijk played at the scene of his season-ending injury last season.
There was a mix-up between Pickford and Coleman within the first minute and from the resulting corner Matip headed wide when he should have scored. Townsend soon gave the ball away to Jota who crossed, and Salah lifted a shot over the bar.
Liverpool made a fast start, and after seven minutes Mane played a clever low pass from the left into the box where Salah hit a left foot shot saved by Pickford at his right post. It was 1-0 inside 9 minutes after Robertson cut the ball back from near the bye-line to the centre of the outside of the area where Henderson placed a nice left-footer inside Pickford’s right post.
Jota teed up Alexander-Arnold for a left foot shot from the centre of the area at the edge. Pickford saved. Everton had a couple of corners, but they were being out-classed and went two down after 19 minutes when Henderson sent Salah clear down the right channel. Salah had the time and space to curl his shot around Pickford at the Gwladys Street End. Some home fans were already leaving.
Pickford saved a long distance shot by Mane after 25 minutes. Everton had a goal back in the 38th minute. Richarlison fed a ball to Gray who was in space between two defenders and scored despite Alisson getting a touch. There had been plenty of needle in the match and two bookings on either side in the first 40 minutes. Booking number five was for simulation by Gray.
As the game entered first half added time, Henderson crossed from the right and Mane's header was punched away by Pickford. Doucoure had a good chance, in space towards the right of the area after Digne's cross, but his shot was cleared.
Everton were certainly more competitive towards the end of the first half and maintained that commitment after the break.
Liverpool had been under pressure after an Everton free kick and a corner, but after the ball was cleared, Coleman lost out near the halfway line to Salah who headed for goal and beat Pickford with an accurate shot inside the far post. (64 mins) Jota added to Everton's woe with an excellent 79th minute goal. He took a pass inside by Robertson and then left Allan behind as he beat Pickford with a rising shot from an angle on the left. Now the exodus of Everton fans was in full swing.
Everton have now played 8 games without a win. Their next game is at home to Arsenal on Monday, followed by Crystal Palace and Chelsea away.
Thursday 2nd December, 2021
Spurs 2 Brentford 0
Oliver Skipp was your man of the match for the second consecutive game and for the fourth time this season. Only three players (Lloris, Son and Lucas Moura) are ahead of Skipp in our accumulated ratings for the season so far. The difference between second and fourth placed players is extremely narrow.
Here are three of the comments made by Spurs Odyssey readers:-
"Some small signs of progress, but I was holding my breath until the belated second. But, some good moves and some signs of better understanding. Surprised only one foul throw was given against Goode - most of them looked suspect to me."
"I’m pretty much sure that it was their best performance of the season (excluding Harry Kane)!"
"Much more energy and a clear plan of how to play, kept a good tempo overall. Good to see Davies getting forward! Stiffer tests to come though against better teams."
Manchester United 3 Arsenal 2
Ralf Rangnick was in the stadium to watch the game, which became not only Michael Carrick's last match in charge, but also his farewell to the club.
Harry Maguire was back after his suspension, and Cristiano Ronaldo also started. Arsenal held Saka on the bench, so Martinelli started. Arsenal had three early corners, following an Aubameyang shot being blocked. A Ben White header caused most worry in the United area.
Dalot was making his first Premier League start for two years at right back and he had a shot held by Ramsdale after seven minutes. Aubameyang had a weak shot held at one end before Ronaldo hit one wide of Ramsdale’s left post.
Arsenal took the lead in controversial circumstances after a corner when De Gea was laying injured on the ground when Smith-Rowe fired into the net from the edge of the box. The goal stood. There is a debate about convention, but Arsenal didn’t follow convention on Matchday 11 against Watford. Arteta was happy to celebrate the goal when it was awarded after several minutes delay whilst De Gea recovered.
United were gaining more control of the game and more possession, with no reward. After 37 minutes Odegaard slipped a clever ball to Martinelli inside the United areas on the right, but Martinelli pulled his shot wide. United equalised in the 44th minute after good play from the left flank when Sancho passed inside and Fred skilfully pulled the ball back into the path of Fernandes, who scored his first Premier League goal in eleven games.
Arsenal had a corner early in the second half and De Gea made an excellent right-handed save when the ball was diverted goalward off the back of Gabriel’s head. Ramsdale stood up well to a Ronaldo shot at the other end.
Fernandes passed to Rashford on his right and Rashford hit a 25-yard shot straight at Ramsdale. In the 52nd minute Rashford was the provider with a short cross from the right which was swept in by Ronaldo for his 800th goal for clubs and country.
Arsenal levelled two minutes later with a similar goal. Martinelli offered the cross. Odegaard finished it off. Aubameyang tested the United keeper with a right footed shot after 64 minutes.
Fred went down under Odegaard's challenge and Martin Atkinson saw no foul, but he was called to the monitor and reversed his decision. Ronaldo scored goal number 801 from the spot in the 70th minute. Ramsdale went left. Ronaldo went high down the middle.
Aubameyang didn't make the most of a chance after 74 minutes, allowing De Gea to save quite easily to his left. De Gea saved again from the Arsenal captain, this time at close range, but Aubameyang was probably offside.
The game opened up as Arsenal sought an equaliser but the score line was unchanged.
Fixtures and results - 30.11-02.12.21
Tuesday 30th November, 2021
Newcastle 1-1 Norwich
Leeds 1-0 C. Palace
Wednesday 1st December, 2021
S'hampton 2-2 Leicester
Watford 1-2 Chelsea
West Ham 1-1 Brighton
Wolves 0-0 Burnley
A. Villa 1-2 Man City
Everton 1-4 Liverpool
Thursday 2nd December, 2021
Spurs 2-0 Brentford
Man Utd 3-2 Arsenal
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Chelsea 14 10 3 1 33-6 27 33
2. Man City 14 10 2 2 29-8 21 32
3. Liverpool 14 9 4 1 43-12 31 31
4. West Ham 14 7 3 4 25-17 8 24
5. Arsenal 14 7 2 5 17-20 -3 23
6. Spurs 13 7 1 5 13-17 -4 22
7. Man Utd 14 6 3 5 24-24 0 21
8. Wolves 14 6 3 5 12-12 0 21
9. Brighton 14 4 7 3 13-15 -2 19
10. Leicester 14 5 4 5 22-25 -3 19
11. C. Palace 14 3 7 4 19-20 -1 16
12. Brentford 14 4 4 6 17-19 -2 16
13. A. Villa 14 5 1 8 19-23 -4 16
14. Everton 14 4 3 7 17-24 -7 15
15. Leeds 14 3 6 5 13-20 -7 15
16. S'hampton 14 3 6 5 13-20 -7 15
17. Watford 14 4 1 9 19-26 -7 13
18. Burnley 13 1 7 5 14-20 -6 10
19. Norwich 14 2 4 8 8-28 -20 10
20. Newcastle 14 0 7 7 16-30 -14 7