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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2018-19 - Matchday Four

Pondering on Dier

Leicester 1 Liverpool 2

This was a meeting between the one-time Premier League winners and the one-time record holder of 18 League title wins, none of which were in the Premier League. Jordan Henderson made his first start of the season for Liverpool. Leicester were missing the suspended Jamie Vardy.

Liverpool should have taken the lead after three minutes. Henderson passed to Salah on the right. The Egyptian set up Firmino, who should have scored, but saw Schmeichel save his weak shot. Salah should have put away the follow-up, but even he pushed his shot wide. Liverpool did score in the tenth minute when left back Robertson got the better of Leicester's defence, feeding Mane, who pushed the ball a little too far in front, but still scored with his left foot.

Alisson saved well from Demarai Gray midway through the first half, after the Vardy stand-in had been put in by a good pass from new signing Rachid Ghezzal.

Leicester enjoyed some good possession before Salah's late first half shot was saved by Schmeichel, but from a second ensuing corner Firmino headed home his first goal of the season.

Maddison had one shot saved by Alisson and another well blocked by Gomez early in the second half. Leicester should have scored following a corner but centre back Wes Morgan could not get his feet right to score at close range.

In the 63rd minute there was £67 million pounds' worth of failure as goalkeeper Alisson failed to clear and had the ball snatched off his feet by substitute Iheanacho, who set up Ghezzal for the first Premier League goal Liverpool have conceded this season.

Liverpool were never comfortable in the second half, but they held on for a 2-1 win and to stay at the top of the Premier League. We all know which of these two teams is more likely to challenge Man City for the Premier League title, but Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will have seen vulnerability at the back in his next opponents after the break.

Brighton 2 Fulham 2

Chris Hughton's side made an excellent comeback in this game after Fulham had gone two up. Brighton were awarded an early penalty when Murray was brought down just inside the box, but Pascal Gross's spot kick was saved by Bettinelli diving to his right. The shot had not been strong enough. Murray glanced a header wide from the resulting corner.

Schurrle gave Fulham a 43rd minute goal after a well-worked passing move, with Seri providing the final ball. March missed a good opportunity to equalise but Mitrovic scored Fulham's second goal in the 62nd minute. That's 4 goals in 3 games for the big striker.

Glenn Murray had too much space on the left of the area, and made it 2-1 after Knockaert had been presented with the ball. With 8 minutes of the game remaining Mitrovic needlessly handled the ball inside the area from a Brighton free kick, and this time Murray stepped up to take a superb penalty kick to make it 2-2. Perhaps he has a policy of not taking the kicks when he has been fouled. If so, it's a policy the 34 year old should end.

Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 0

Chelsea matched Liverpool's 4-win start with this win, but Bournemouth were seeking their own unbeaten start for four games for the first time in 20 years. Calum Wilson had a great chance after half an hour but fired too high. Alonso hit the post when he was teed up by Hazard, but the game remained scoreless at the break.

It was Alonso who came closest again for Chelsea early in the second half, but Begovic made a good save. The "Cherries" were giving the home side a good test, with former Chelsea man Ake coming close to scoring from a corner.

Sarri was getting twitchy, but substitute Pedro gave his side the lead in the 72nd minute with a shot inside Begovic's right post. Hazard made it 2-0 in the 85th minute after receiving a short pass from Alonso inside the box.

Crystal Palace 0 Southampton 2

Mark Hughes got his first win as a manager at Selhurst Park. Palace missed Zaha, who had been injured in training. Right back Cedric's pass was allowed to run all the way to Danny Ings, who prodded the ball home in the 47th minute.

McArthur hit the post with a right footed shot for Palace, and Benteke had a close range shot saved after an hour before the "Saints" managed to clear from a goal out scramble. Wan-Bissaka handled the ball inside the box and might have been lucky to only get a yellow card, after Austin's close range shot. Austin had won the penalty and took the kick, but Hennessy anticipated correctly and saved well, diving to his right. Perhaps Austin should give the job to someone else!

Elyounoussi hit the bar for Southampton, and Palace put the pressure on with shots by Kouyate, McArthur and a close range header by Benteke, which was saved by McCarthy. Southampton broke away in added time and Hojbjerg secured the points. It was "Saints"'s first win of the season.

Everton 1 Huddersfield 1

Everton were missing the suspended Richarlison and also several injured players, including Walcott, Jagielka, Keane and Gueye plus new signing Yerry Mina. Billing gave Huddersfield a surprise lead, heading home from a corner at the Gwladys Street End, but Calvert-Lewin quickly equalised with a header across the "Terriers"'s keeper. This was a precious away point for Huddersfield, but a disappointing result for the home side, who had dominated possession.

West Ham 0 Wolves 1

I had fancied Wolves to win this game, so the result did not surprise me. The last time West Ham lost their first four games was 8 years ago, and ultimately they were relegated. Their next three league games are at Goodison Park and at home to Chelsea and Man Utd. I certainly can't see a first win there!

The main chances in the first half came from Anderson for the "Hammers" and Doherty for Wolves. Antonio had a looping header saved by Rui Patricio. At the other end Jiminez headed goalward from a free kick, but Fabianski saved - literally on the line. Fabianski had to save well again, this time from substitute Bonatini. Jiminez tripped over his own feet in front of the West Ham goal, before Arnautovic had a good chance well saved by the Wolves' keeper.

Another Wolves substitute - record signing Adama Traore scored the winning goal in the 93rd minute making a run to latch onto Bonatini's pass. West Ham are the only team in the top four divisions yet to win a point.

Manchester City 2 Newcastle 1

There has been a lot of fuss this week about City's 10 years with Sheik Mansour's money, and Vincent Kompany, who has been there for those 10 years received a framed set of photographs to mark his 10th anniversary at the club too. Newcastle made this win difficult for the home side, with a formation similar to that which Rafa Benitez chose against Chelsea.

The result was the same though. Sterling gave City an early lead with a right foot shot, but Newcastle surprisingly levelled the scores after half an hour with a goal by ex-Spur DeAndre Yedlin who made an amazing run to score at the back post from Rondon's pass.

It was another ex-Spur (Kyle Walker) who secured the points for City with his first goal for the club, and it was a sensational drive, similar to a goal he once scored for us against Arsenal in October 2011. Dubravka made a couple of good reaction saves, and a late save at the feet of Aguero to keep the scoreline respectable.

Cardiff 2 Arsenal 3

The last thing Cardiff fans would have expected was to score two goals against Arsenal. Sadly, that was not enough for them.

Petr Cech and his team seem to be struggling with the modern-day ethos of playing the ball out from the back, and after 7 minutes, the Arsenal keeper gifted the ball to Arter, who fired over.

Arsenal took the lead from an 11th minute corner headed home by Mustafi. Cardiff then had their chances, but Arsenal came closest to scoring when Lacazette hit the post. Cardiff got an equaliser in first half added time by Camarasa. It was the "Bluebirds"' first Premier League goal of the season.

The first of three second half goals was scored by Aubameyang in the 62nd minute, before Ward equalised for Cardiff 8 minutes later. Lacazette scored with a powerful rising shot on the right of goal in the 81st minute, and Cardiff's hopes had been dashed.

Burnley 0 Manchester United 2

Burnley have paid dearly for their failed attempt to reach the Europa League Group phase, as their energy levels have clearly been affected. Jose Mourinho was in celebratory and effusive mood after Romelu Lukaku scored both of the United goals.

Burnley legend Jimmy McIlroy, who died in August, was remembered before this game.

United fans lauded Mourinho throughout and an anti-Woodward banner had been flown over the ground during the match. Jose was generous to the United chief executive in his post-match comments.

Those Lukaku goals came in the 27th and 44th minutes. The first was a header from a Sanchez cross. The second was from a loose ball after a Lingard shot had been blocked only to the feet of the Belgian striker. Joe Hart had also saved at Lukaku's feet between his goals.

Substitute Marcus Rashford was brought down in the box by Aaron Lennon, but Hart saved Pogba's penalty. Rashford was then sent off only ten minutes after he had come on, for head butting Phil Bardsley. Hart saved again from Lukaku, who had been sent away by Pogba's pass.

Lukaku had two more chances. One he put wide after rounding Joe Hart but Mee made a good recovery to put off the striker. Mee fell on the ball (and handled it) just outside the area when it had looked like Lukaku would score again.

United got their second win of the season, whilst Burnley remain in the bottom three.

Watford 2 Spurs 1

Not only was this Watford's first Premier League win over Spurs, it was actually their first league win over us since May 1987. That was a 1-0 thanks to a Kenny Jackett penalty. Mark Falco was in the Watford side which featured John Barnes playing his last game for the "Hornets". Spurs had a Cup Final to look forward to but did field a strong team. Of course, that was not a Cup Final to look back upon!

I have been pondering on Mauricico Pochettino's decision to leave Eric Dier on the bench since the game. I think Dierís absence meant a lack of solidarity for us in the middle. He is a much under-appreciated player. Maybe Poch is already ďmanaging the minutesĒ, knowing of Dierís England commitment (although he isnít always starting these days). I am sure Eric will in the team both against Liverpool, and Inter after this International break.

Spurs Odyssey survey comment of the week:- "This was always a game on which method of play would stand out. 1 - Would Watford (e.g Capoue) kick s**t out of opponents, e.g the tackle on Zaha in previous game. The refereeing was poor. 2 - Would there be good play by Spurs, as against United? It was the former as Moura, Kane and Davies got hammered. We did not help by slow passage of the ball and a lack of aggression and energy."

Lucas Moura was voted our best player for the third consecutive game and you can see the spursometer here


           Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Liverpool  4  4  0  0   9-1    8   12
 2. Chelsea    4  4  0  0  10-3    7   12
 3. Watford    4  4  0  0   9-3    6   12
 4. Man City   4  3  1  0  11-3    8   10
=========================================
 5. Spurs      4  3  0  1   9-4    5    9  
=========================================
 6. B'mouth    4  2  1  1   6-5    1    7
 7. Everton    4  1  3  0   7-6    1    6 
 8. Leicester  4  2  0  2   6-5    1    6
 9. Arsenal    4  2  0  2   8-8    0    6
10. Man Utd    4  2  0  2   6-7   -1    6
11. Wolves     4  1  2  1   4-5   -1    5 
12. S'hampton  4  1  1  2   4-4    0    4
13. Fulham     4  1  1  2   7-9   -2    4
14. Brighton   4  1  1  2   5-7   -2    4
15. C. Palace  4  1  0  3   3-6   -3    3
16. Cardiff    4  0  2  2   2-5   -3    2
17. H'dsfield  4  0  2  2   2-9   -7    2
=========================================
18. Newcastle  4  0  1  3   3-6   -3    1
19. Burnley    4  0  1  3   3-9   -6    1
20. West Ham   4  0  0  4   2-10  -8    0

Fixtures/Results 01-02.09.18

Leicester    1-2    Liverpool
Brighton     2-2    Fulham
Chelsea      2-0    Bournemouth
C. Palace    0-2    Southampton
Everton      1-1    Huddersfield
West Ham     0-1    Wolves
Man City     2-1    Huddersfield

Sunday

Cardiff      2-3    Arsenal
Burnley      0-2    Man Utd
Watford      2-1    Spurs

All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

This week last year

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