Premier League Review - Matchday 14
Saturday 30th November, 2019
Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2
This was not the only surprise of the day, but it was a great result for Newcastle and their manager Steve Bruce after Monday night’s defeat at Villa Park. Newcastle had famously beaten City on their last visit to St. James’ Park in January.
Sterling gave the visitors the lead after 22 minutes. Newcastle had been defending desperately with that five-man set up, but David Silva entered the area before the ball ran to Sterling after a ricochet off a defender. The England international (and BBC Sports Personality contender) made no mistake with his right footed shot. Willems responded almost immediately for the “Magpies”, taking a return pass from Almiron as he entered City’s box and scored with his right foot. Almiron still hasn't scored for hius new club, but this was his first assist!
City had been the pressing team in the second half, but they didn’t break the Newcastle resistance until the 82nd minute when Mendy’s cross was half-cleared and de Bruyne hit an unstoppable right foot shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. Newcastle equalised again two minutes from time. Fernandinho, who had already been booked, escaped a second yellow for another foul just outside the area. Atsu took the free kick, passing to Shelvey lurking 22 yards out and he hit an unbeatable right foot shot inside Ederson’s right post.
Sterling had a great chance to seal the points as he picked up de Bruyne’s cross, but Dubravka held the weak shot. The home fans were happy, and there were almost 50,000 in the ground for this game.
Burnley 0 Crystal Palace 2
Palace joined Burnley on 18 points with this first win in 6 games. That had been an away win too – at West Ham’s ground. Ayew had the ball in the net in the first half, but this was correctly ruled offside (Van Aanholt). Zaha did give the away side the lead in first half added time with a shot that went through goalkeeper Nick Pope who will be disappointed.
Both Barnes in the first half, and Wood in the second had missed opportunities when they had failed to find their usual quite lethal touch in front of goal. Wood had a header following a corner which Palace cleared in front of their goal-line. Ben Mee inexplicably hit a high ball towards his area which presented Schlupp with a chance to score which he did not turn down, making it 2-0 to Palace after 78 minutes.
Burnley come to Tottenham next Saturday, but first they have a home game against Manchester City.
Chelsea 0 West Ham 1
This was surely the big surprise of the day. Another son of Alvin Martin, goalkeeper David, made his West Ham debut. His brother Joe was a West Ham and then Spurs junior and currently plays for Northampton. Both are in their thirties. Chelsea were missing Abraham who has a hip injury and Giroud took his place.
Martin’s first test came after 8 minutes when Mason Mount hit a shot straight at the goalkeeper making his Premier League debut in front of the travelling fans. A deflected cross by Reece James hit the outside of Martin’s left post. Zouma had a free header from the corner but put it wide. West Ham’s first threat came after 24 minutes when Arrizabalaga saved Antonio’s header from a Snodgrass cross. Martin could only parry Kovacic’s shot and then managed to smother Giroud’s attempt to follow up and prevented Pedro’s shot. One or both of these Chelsea players were offside anyway.
West Ham’s goal was scored after 48 minutes in front of their ecstatic fans. The “Hammers” had moved the ball across the field from right to left before Cresswell entered the Chelsea area on the left-hand side and beat the goalkeeper with a right footed shot. It’s a funny old game. Spurs have only ever beaten Chelsea once at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. West Ham have done it 4 times now, but the last was in 2002, when Jermain Defoe put them on their way. The “Hammers” came back from 2-0 down that day too.
West Ham had their first corner of the game after their goal and Arrizabalaga was required to make a good save from Balbuena’s header. Balbuena headed down the follow-up corner and Antonio tried to force the ball home, but the keeper came out with the ball. Antonio did subsequently have the ball in the net at the back post, but VAR ruled he had handled.
Manuel Pellegrini’s job was safe – for now!
Liverpool 2 Brighton 1
Liverpool maintained their winning form and took an eleven-point overnight lead, but once again the “Reds” did not find it at all easy. They will now have to cope without Fabinho for as much as 8 weeks due to injury, but he was suspended anyway from this game.
Ryan made a very good low right-handed save from Firmino after 16 minutes, before Virgil van Dijk headed home a free kick by Alexander-Arnold two minutes later. Ryan made another save from Firmino, this time from the left-hand side of his goal. Mane had been the provider for both of Firmino’s chances. Oxlade-Chamberlain had a shot blocked and then Ryan saved again - this time from Mane himself. Van Dijk scored again in the 24th minute. This time he headed home from an Alexander-Arnold corner taken in front of the Brighton fans.
At last Brighton had an attack of note and Propper’s shot was saved by Alisson. Dunk might have scored from a cross which followed the corner, but he might also have been offside. He missed his effort in any case.
In the second half Brighton’s Troussard was onto a long ball and Alisson was two yards outside his area. Troussard had tried to chip the goalie who put both his arms up and was sent off by referee Martin Atkinson. Adrian came on and Oxlade-Chamberlain was sacrificed. Lewis Dunk hit a quick and low free kick that caught Adrian and his defence unawares and hit the net inside his right post (79 mins). Mooy had a good right footed shot well saved by Adrian three minutes from the end of the game, and the keeper then fumbled but recovered when saving Gross’s header from an Alzate cross. Liverpool fans were screaming for the final whistle after 5 minutes of added time.
Spurs 3 Bournemouth 2
If you haven't read it yet, follow the link above for the full match report. Dele Alli was your man of the match and you can check out the spursometer in full. Look out for the Spurs Odyssey review of our eventful November tomorrow!
Southampton 2 Watford 1
Southampton won the “battle at the bottom” to keep them within reach of the teams above them, while Watford are six points (at least) from safety. Troy Deeney made the 18 but didn’t get off the bench. Ismaila Sarr, signed from Rennes in summer made only his second Premier League start and scored his first league goal for Watford in the 24th minute after he was allowed to advance from the right and beat McCarthy with his shot. McCarthy subsequently made a reaction save with his right leg when Sarr hit a shot from a long cross very sweetly.
In the second half Watford keeper Ben Foster was in a tangle with Danny Ings. Ings claimed he was fouled, but Foster got the referee’s decision. Foster then made a great save from substitute Shane Long, just managing to tip Long’s shot onto the bar. Long then had a close-range shot cleared off the line by Cathcart. Ings did score from close range after 78 minutes following Djenepo’s short cross from the right. Hojbjerg was fouled just outside the Watford area and specialist James Ward-Prowse stepped up to beat Foster with the kick in the 83rd minute, although Foster did get a touch on the ball.
This was a precious first win in 8 games for Southampton. St Mary’s did have a few empty seats. The sacking of Watford manager Quique Flores who was only re-appointed in September was announced on Sunday. His term in office this time lasted just 85 days, which ranks as one of the shortest terms of office in the Premier League.
Sunday 1st December, 2019
Norwich 2 Arsenal 2
On Friday morning, after a run of seven games without a win in any competition, and specifically after a poorly attended home defeat in the Europa League to Eintracht Frankfurt, Arsenal took the decision to sack manager Unai Emery. His assistant, and former Arsenal player Freddie Ljungberg was appointed on a temporary basis. I wonder when, if ever, both Spurs and Arsenal have sacked their managers within such a short space of time (10 days)?
Mustafi had a header cleared off the line by Hernandez after a corner on the right. Pukki gave the “Canaries” a 21st minute lead after receiving from McLean before beating Leno with a deflected shot. Arsenal were awarded a penalty after handball by Zimmerman. Tim Krul saved Aubameyang’s first effort, but there had been encroachment and the Arsenal captain made no mistake at the second time of asking (29 minutes). Krul got booked for his efforts to psyche Aubameyang before his first kick. Norwich regained the lead in first half added time. Hernandez offered the ball to Cantwell, who beat Leno with a shot that was well placed to the keeper’s left.
Aubameyang had an easy finish at the back post after Ozil’s corner in the 57th minute. Leno had to make several saves including a fingertip save from McLean’s shot, and Cantwell put a shot just wide, but the scores remained level.
Spurs are above Arsenal for the first time since Matchday five. Let’s hope we can stay there!
Wolves 1 Sheffield United 1
Lys Mousset gave Sheffield United a second minute lead when he fired home after Baldock had crossed from the right. Only 62 seconds were on the official clock. Henderson made a great save from a close-range header by Jiminez. Mousset passed inside to Fleck, whose shot was well saved by the outstretched leg of goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
The Wolves keeper saved twice early in the second half from McGoldrick. Doherty levelled the scores in the 64th minute with a back-post header after a good cross by Jiminez from the right. Wolves have only lost two league games so far, and they were in consecutive games in September.
Leicester 2 Everton 1
Everton manager Marco Silva’s job is on the line after this last-minute defeat, confirmed cruelly by VAR and celebrated wildly on the touchline by the Leicester squad and management team. You’d think that Leicester had won the league. They might be in second place but the Leicester fans chant of “We’re all going on a European tour” is a bit premature surely? I personally hope that is the case. This is the only club in the Premier League who ritually abuse the opposition keeper every time he takes a kick. It’s a chant that belongs in the lower echelons of football.
Silva adopted a defensive style with a back three and his team got off to a great start when they took the lead after 23 minutes. Iwobi pushed the ball out to right back Sidibe who crossed. Richarlison met the ball with a perfect and powerful unstoppable header. There was a prolonged VAR consideration of a challenge by Holgate upon Chilwell just inside the Everton area. Referee Graham Scott had given a penalty but eventually VAR overruled him. Leicester fans were then duly wound up because they were allowed to see a replay of an incident where they felt they were the victims.
Everton held on till the 68th minute. Brendan Rodgers (who has been able to field an unchanged side for 6 games) had switched Iheanacho for Perez. Iheanacho hit a cross to the back post where Jamie Vardy pounced to score his thirteenth league goal of the season, levelling the scores. Pickford made a close range save from Maddison after Vardy had passed from the left. Vardy had a close-range header go just over the bar, and the home side were looking the likely winners.
That last-ditch winner came when Ricardo put a ball through to Iheanacho who turned to his left and fired home with his left foot. He had been flagged offside, but agonisingly for Silva and his team, VAR allowed the goal.
Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 2
Jack Grealish surprised Old Trafford with a superb 11th minute goal. A Villa cross from the right had reached the Villa captain on the left-hand side of the United area and he beat De Gea with a lovely curled right-footed shot inside his left post. Villa thought they had gone two up after half an hour when Grealish crossed from close range on the left and near the bye-line for substitute Trezeguet to score, but the offside flag had been correctly raised against Grealish when the ball had initially hit forward.
United equalised after 42 minutes. It looked as if Rashford had headed home Pereira’s deep cross, but the unfortunate Tom Heaton had the last touch and it was an own goal. Trezeguet hit a powerful shot against De Gea’s bar just before the break. Grealish missed a great chance to give Villa the lead again in the second half when Trezeguet fed him the ball, and the Villa players were looking for an offside flag to ameliorate their miss, but that didn’t come.
Lindelof gave United the lead with a back-post header following a deep cross from the right. The ball was headed back past Heaton across the goal at The Stretford End. United might have thought they would claim fifth place with a win, but Villa equalised after a corner. Targett lifted a ball over the United defence, most of whom were rushing out, but Tyrone Mings had been played onside and he slammed the ball home (66 minutes).
Fixtures & Results 30.11-01.12.19
Newcastle 2-2 Man City
Burnley 0-2 C. Palace
Chelsea 0-1 West Ham
Liverpool 2-1 Brighton
Spurs 3-2 Bournemouth
S'hampton 2-1 Watford
Norwich 2-2 Arsenal
Wolves 1-1 Sheff Utd
Leicester 2-1 Everton
Man Utd 2-2 A. Villa
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Liverpool 14 13 1 0 32-12 20 40
2. Leicester 14 10 2 2 33-9 24 32
3. Man City 14 9 2 3 39-16 23 29
4. Chelsea 14 8 2 4 28-20 8 26
5. Spurs 14 5 5 4 24-21 3 20
6. Wolves 14 4 8 2 19-17 2 20
7. Sheff Utd 14 4 7 3 17-13 4 19
8. Arsenal 14 4 7 3 20-21 -1 19
9. Man Utd 14 4 6 4 21-17 4 18
10. Burnley 14 5 3 6 20-20 0 18
11. C. Palace 14 5 3 6 13-18 -5 18
12. B'mouth 14 4 4 6 18-20 -2 16
13. West Ham 14 4 4 6 17-23 -6 16
14. Newcastle 14 4 4 6 13-22 -9 16
15. A. Villa 14 4 3 7 21-22 -1 15
16. Brighton 14 4 3 7 16-21 -5 15
17. Everton 14 4 2 8 14-22 -8 14
18. S'hampton 14 3 3 8 15-32 -17 12
19. Norwich 14 3 2 9 15-30 -15 11
20. Watford 14 1 5 8 9-28 -19 8