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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2021-22 - Matchday 18

Premier League Review – Matchday 18

Only four of the scheduled 10 games were played. All remaining games were called off due to Covid. There has been a meeting of the Premier League Board, who have decided to try and fulfil all scheduled fixtures over the Christmas period.

Saturday 18th December, 2021

Manchester Utd v Brighton & Hove Albion (Match Postponed)

Aston Villa v Burnley (Match Postponed)

This match was called off only two hours before kick-off, causing inconvenience to many fans who had already travelled.

Southampton v Brentford (Match Postponed)

Watford v Crystal Palace (Match Postponed)

West Ham United v Norwich City (Match Postponed)

Leeds United 1 Arsenal 4

Arsenal opened up a four point gap between fourth and fifth place with this win and all the Covid postponements. Leeds are five points clear of the bottom three, but they have played all 18 of their games. Their goal difference is also a concern. Marcelo Bielsa played 20-year-old Cody Drameh at right back and moved the versatile Dallas to left back. Gelhardt led the line. The Leeds bench included 15-year-old Archie Gray, whose birthday was last March. Arsenal were unchanged for a fourth consecutive game.

After only two minutes Odegaard put Lacazette through, but Meslier saved his shot. Saka followed up but missed. Meslier then had to save from Partey. Arsenal opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Xhaka had been denied a foul near the edge of the area by Andre Marriner and as play continued Martinelli had a chance towards the left of the area, scoring across Meslier’s left hand. Meslier was under siege and had to save again near his right post from Tierney. Raphinha had a chance from a counter-attack, but when he got to the Arsenal area, he pulled his shot wide.

Martinelli scored a second goal in the 28th minute after a midfield pass by Dallas did not find Klich. Xhaka raced forward and fed the ball to Martinelli, who carried the ball into the box before lifting his shot over the keeper. Meslier was required to rescue his leaky defence again when he saved from Lacazette ten minutes before half time. Saka made it 3-0 three minutes from the break with a deflected shot inside Meslier’s right post.

Early in the second half Xhaka got away with treading on Raphinha’s ankle, but he was one of the first to protest when Gelhardt saw yellow over a similar challenge. Saka hit a shot across goal from the left after 67 minutes, but the ball passed just in front of the far post. Leeds got one back from a penalty when Gelhardt was fouled by Ben White, once a Leeds United loan player when on Brighton’s books. Raphinha fired high inro the net to the left of Ramsdale. (75 mins)

Smith-Rowe replaced Saka and got on the score-sheet with 6 minutes remaining. Odegaard passed into the box where the Arsenal substitute scored for a third consecutive game.

Sunday 19th December, 2021

Everton v Leicester (Match Postponed)

Wolves 0 Chelsea 0

Thomas Tuchel said that Chelsea were upset that the game was not postponed. His team could only field four outfield players on the bench, but their starting line-up was strong enough. Tuchel’s central midfield pairing was Chalobah and Kante.

Podence thought he had scored in the first fifteen minutes at misty Molineux, but he was denied by a late showing of the offside flag which was supported by VAR. Moutinho had raced away down the middle, passing to Marcal who crossed from the left. Podence provided a deep cross from the left late in the first half, but Dendoncker’s downward header was well saved by Mendy.

Sa made a better save in the 78th minute from Pulisic’s shot as he raced onto Alonso’s pass.

Newcastle 0-4 Man City

Phil Foden and Jack Grealish were left out of the City side (but still on the bench) as they had upset Pep Guardiola with a party outing. City won 4-0 and opened up a three point gap at the top over Liverpool, whilst levelling up the goal difference. Callum Wilson was one of Eddie Howe’s changes, whilst Sant-Maximin was on the bench.

City had the lead inside five minutes. The goal followed a corner, poorly conceded by Dubravka, after which Cancelo lifted a ball past a hesitant defence allowing Ruben Dias to take advantage and head in from close range near the back post. Joelinton had a left foot shot pass just wide of Ederson’s right post. Cancelo (returning after suspension) scored a cracking goal in the 27th minute. He waltzed past Willock before unleashing an unstoppable right-footed shot from outside the penalty area at the Gallowgate End.

Ederson somehow got away with diving at Fraser’s feet and bringing the player down inside the area with the ball not at the player’s feet, but in play. Referee Andre Marriner was not interested, and either was VAR. This is one of the decisions that Eddie Howe has mentioned in a subsequent representation to the Premier League about recent refereeing incidents in Newcastle games.

Saint-Maximin replaced Willock at the start of the second half. Dubravka made a super save from a close-range Jesus effort after Bernardo Silva’s short cross from the left. Mahrez initially had a 64th minute goal disallowed for offside when he converted Zinchenko’s cross, but VAR found him to have been onside, so the goal counted. Ederson made a superb save from a Callum Wilson header ten minutes from time. It was Newcastle’s first attempt on target. Sterling completed the scoring inn the 86th minute after Gabriel Jesus got into the box on the left side too easily and set up Sterling to score from close range.

Spurs 2 Liverpool 2

Spurs v Liverpool, 19.12.21

Hugo Lloris, Eric Dier and Harry Winks share your man of the match vote. It is Harry Winks' first such accolade since 18th September, 2019 against Olympiacos. This was also Harry's best mark since April 2019 against Manchester City. Both Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris shared the award in our recent game against Leeds.

Here are three of your comments received:-

"Winks cannily exploiting! Dele rolled back years! Wonderful goals from Harry and my Son! Best PL game of season. Klopp (similar to Ferguson) having a go at officials showed that he was rattled that Spurs had upper hand! Fantastic Christmas treat!

Very good performance against formidable pressing by Liverpool. Yet I think we created more and better chances, just lacking composure. Now we must build on this.

Best performance of the season. Had Harry been more clinical with his finishing, we would have won easily. Encouraging displays by Dele, Ryan & Winks. Great team effort against a very good Liverpool side. Team now taking shape under Conte.

 
Fixtures and results - 18-19.12.21

Saturday 18th December, 2021

Man Utd     P   Brighton
A. Villa    P   Burnley
S'hampton   P   Brentford
Watford     P   C. Palace
West Ham    P   Norwich
Leeds      1-4  Arsenal

Sunday 19th December, 2021

Everton     P   Leicester
Wolves     0-0  Chelsea
Newcastle  0-4  Man City
Spurs      2-2  Liverpool  

            Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Man City  18 14  2  2  44-9   35   44 
 2. Liverpool 18 12  5  1  50-15  35   41
 3. Chelsea   18 11  5  2  39-12  27   38
 4. Arsenal   18 10  2  6  27-23   4   32
==========================================
 5. West Ham  17  8  4  5  28-21   7   28
==========================================
 6. Man Utd   16  8  3  5  26-24   2   27 
 7. Spurs     15  8  2  5  18-19  -1   26 
 8. Wolves    18  7  4  7  13-14  -1   25
 9. Leicester 16  6  4  6  27-27   0   22
10. A. Villa  17  7  1  9  23-25  -2   22
11. C. Palace 17  4  8  5  24-24   0   20
12. Brentford 16  5  5  6  21-22  -1   20
13. Brighton  16  4  8  4  14-17  -3   20
14. Everton   17  5  4  8  21-29  -8   19
15. S'hampton 17  3  8  6  16-26 -10   17
16. Leeds     18  3  7  8  18-36 -18   16
17. Watford   16  4  1 11  21-31 -10   13
=========================================
18. Burnley   15  1  8  6  14-21  -7   11
19. Newcastle 18  1  7 10  18-41 -23   10
20. Norwich   17  2  4 11   8-34 -26   10

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