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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premier League Season
for 2020-21 - Matchday 5

Premier League Review – Matchday 5

Saturday 17th October, 2020

Everton 2 Liverpool 2

Everton were back to full strength. Liverpool were still missing Alisson, but included Matip next to Van Dijk, along with Thiago Alcantara making his first Premier League start, and Salah, Firmino and Mane up front. Jordan Henderson also returned.

The first goal came after only two minutes. Salah's ball reached Robertson on the left who cut into the area and was able to tee up Mane, who fired into the roof of the net. Liverpool were looking sharp. Henderson didn't make good enough contact on a header, and Pickford clobbered Van Dijk in a challenge which would surely have led to a penalty, had Van Dijk not been offside. The Liverpool centre-back needed lengthy treatment and had to be replaced by Gomez after only 10 minutes.

The Pickford challenge upon Van Dijk incident led to plenty of post-match furore from Liverpool fans who wanted the goalkeeper banned for as long as Van Dijk will be injured (with an ACL injury this will be a considerable time). Pickford was not subject to any official post-match sanction, but he and Richarlison were the targets of plenty of social media abuse from the red half of Liverpool.

Everton had a couple of opportunities, but players were offside, before Adrian had to save from Calvert-Lewin's shot conceding a corner taken by James and headed home by Michael Keane. Adrian got his hands to the ball, but they were not strong enough to prevent the equaliser.

Liverpool had a free kick after 24 minutes, given for a high boot by Gomes. Alexander-Arnold took the kick and Pickford did well to push this one round the corner to his right.

Seamus Coleman withdrew after half an hour with a hamstring strain and was replaced by recent signing (from Norwich) Ben Godfrey. Thiago had a shot go wide, and Mane pushed a good opportunity wide after he had once again received from Robertson.

Godfrey made a good strong run down the right and came inside before giving Richarlison a chance from outside the area. The Brazilian's shot was wide.

Calvert-Lewin missed a good chance at the near post after James Rodriguez collected a long cross-field pass before offering the Everton striker a low cross. Robertson and Allan clashed in midfield and Robertson came off worse but was able to carry on. After 58 minutes James Rodriguez hit a left-foot cross from the right, which was met by Richarlison, whose header rebounded off the Liverpool post.

Liverpool took the lead in the 72nd minute when Henderson crossed from the right and Mina's poor attempt at a clearance put the ball to Salah's left foot. Salah made no mistake. It was his 100th Liverpool goal. Liverpool had another chance after a corner, but Pickford made another excellent save diving to his right to claw out Matip's header. Pickford had to make another good two-handed save after Salah hit a good shot following Thiago's pass.

It was 2-2 after 80 minutes. James pushed the ball forward to Digne who lifted a cross from the left. Calvert-Lewin rose to head into the net back across Adrian. Pickford had to save again from Mane at the other end. Richarlison injured himself with a rash high challenge upon Thiago. Referee Michael Oliver had the red card ready and Richarlison had to go. Thiago has not suffered as badly as Van Dijk.

It looked as if Everton had paid another price in added time when Mane crossed, and Pickford failed to hold Henderson's shot. VAR decreed that Mane had been offside by a very narrow margin. The points were therefore shared. Liverpool asked the Premier League to review both this decision and the one not to review Pickford's rash challenge upon their ace central defender.

Chelsea 3 Southampton 3

Timo Werner finally broke his Premier League scoring duck for Chelsea with two goals in the first half-hour. It looked as though they would storm to a convincing victory, but defensive failings and a determined fightback by Southampton put paid to that idea. Kepa Arrizabalaga was back in goal due to an injury to Mendy. Theo Walcott (on loan from Everton) made his first appearance in Southampton colours since January 2006.

Chilwell had a shot saved by McCarthy, who then saved Havertz’s shot from the other side of the area. Arrizabalaga made a right-handed save from Che Adams at the other end after Walcott’s final pass at the edge of the area. Only 8 minutes had gone.

Werner thought he had scored after 13 minutes when he headed in Chilwell’s short ball, but the offside flag had been correctly raised. His first goal did come two minutes later when he received Chilwell’s pass down the left channel, turned and raced away from Bednarek, before moving across the rest of the Southampton defence and planting a right-footed shot past McCarthy. Werner got behind Bednarek again, this time converting Jorginho’s long ball with three touches – one with his head and two with his feet. The goal was a header.

McCarthy saved Zouma’s header following a corner. Southampton had a goal back two minutes before the break after Havertz was dispossessed and Adams sent Ings clear. Ings made no mistake. Danny Ings had already had a decent effort go wide before the "Saints" levelled the scores in the 57th minute. The goal followed a mix-up between Zouma and Arrizabalaga with the Chelsea defender passing back short and Adams taking advantage. After some desperate defending at the left-hand post Adams finally scored from close range. Two minutes later Chelsea responded in the best fashion with Pulisic and Werner advancing down the right channel before Werner teed up Havertz for an easy finish.

Southampton still managed to open up the Chelsea defence at times with Walcott prominent. Arrizabalaga made a decent save from Ings. Southampton had a free kick in added time, taken from the left by Bertrand. The ball reached Walcott towards the right of the area and his shot was deflected into the net by Vestergaard. Chelsea conceded three goals at home in the Premier League for the first time since April 1st 2018. That was against Spurs.

Manchester City 1 Arsenal 0

Sergio Aguero returned for City and has been the focus of some social media attention for laying his hand upon the neck and shoulder of assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis. That incident followed a disputed throw-in decision.

City’s goal came after 23 minutes following a move across the field from Mahrez, through Aguero to Foden. Foden’s shot was saved by Leno, but Sterling swept up the rebound with his left foot. Pepe put a shot wide at the other end before Leno did save from Mahrez at his left-hand post. Leno was also out well to save from the feet of Foden. Ederson saved well from Saka as Arsenal attacked inside the left of City’s box.

Ederson saved cleanly from Pepe’s early second half header which followed Aubameyang’s cross. City came closest to scoring in this half through David Luiz’s inadvertent interception of a Cancelo cross, but the ball passed the far post for a corner. The game did not offer the degree of excitement that might have been anticipated.

Newcastle 1 Manchester United 4

It looked like Manchester United might suffer another bad day including a rare Bruno Fernandes penalty failure until a late flurry of goals gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team a convincing win. Since the start of last season Manchester United have been awarded more penalties than any other Premier League team. Fernandes alone has scored 9 from the spot in all competitions for United since his arrival. Solskjaer did make five changes to the team which had been so well beaten by Spurs two weeks ago. Paul Pogba was one of those dropped.

The match started badly within two minutes for the visitors. Newcastle broke out of their half down the left flank in a move which ended in Shelvey passing to Matt Ritchie on the right. Ritchie’s intended cross was deflected past De Gea by Luke Shaw. United thought they had levelled through Fernandes’ right foot shot after 19 minutes, but VAR decreed that Mata had been offside in the build-up. Three minutes later Mata forced a save from Darlow and won a corner. Mata took the corner from the left and Harry Maguire headed home to lift some of his personal gloom and that of his club.

Newcastle’s best response was a right-footer by Saint-Maximin which De Gea parried clear. Marcus Rashford (MBE) had a 20-yard shot saved by Darlow before the interval. De Gea made a great left-handed save from Callum Wilson soon after the break when Saint-Maximin crossed from the bye-line on the left and Wilson hit a close-range right footed shot.

Fernandes sent Mata away and his ball was met by Rashford who got just inside the area, going down under a challenge by Jamal Lewis. Referee Craig Pawson was advised to view the replay on the pitch-side monitor and awarded a penalty, but Fernandes' (skipless) penalty was saved by Darlow, who did not have to move far to his right. United did have a corner and Maguire’s header was cleared off the line by Jonjo Shelvey. De Gea fisted away a Shelvey shot at the other end.

The late flurry of away goals began in the 86th minute and the first was scored by Fernandes, courtesy of his run to the left of Rashford who was already in the area to tee up Fernandes to fire across Darlow with his right foot shot. Additional goals came from Wan-Bissaka, scoring his first United goal from the right of the area receiving Rashford’s pass, and in the sixth minute of added time Rashford was sent clear by a Fernandes pass and also scored across Darlow with his right foot.

Sunday 18th October, 2020

Sheffield United 1 Fulham 1

Both sides desperately wanted a first win of the season but had to settle for a point apiece. Cairney brought a save from Ramsdale after 7 minutes with a 20-yard shot and at the other end Lundstram had a 25-yarder pushed over the bar by Areola. Areola also made a good reaction save from McBurnie’s near post header after a cross from the right.

Fulham had a penalty following a corner on 55 minutes when Robinson’s arm was raised high and hit the ball as he challenged Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the air. Mitrovic uncharacteristically skied his spot-kick, hitting the top of the bar. Lookman did give Fulham the lead after 77 minutes with a stunning left foot shot from inside the left of the box after Cairney’s pass. Cairney was himself denied by Ramsdale diving to his left post to push around the shot. However, referee Andre Marriner’s attention was drawn to an incident at the other end where Robinson had been the victim of a high boot and foul by Mitrovic in the Fulham area, so a penalty was awarded to the home side. Billy Sharp took advantage and fired home in the 85th minute.

Mitrovic could have done better with a near post header from Lookman’s cross, and he had another header wide in the fourth minute of added time. The scores remained level.

Crystal Palace 1 Brighton 1

Brighton were the team forging the early chances with Adam Lallana firing wide and Tariq Lamptey just failing to make the best of an opportunity. Lamptey did win a corner with another cross/shot, after which Bissouma hit the side netting with a left-foot shot. Ben White had another chance, firing wide after Palace left back Mitchell surrendered possession.

Referee Stuart Atwell awarded Palace a penalty for a foul on Batshuayi as he tried to reach Townsend's cross. VAR confirmed the foul, which did look a soft decision and Zaha accepted the gift of a penalty after 18 minutes.

Lamptey hit a deep cross after 26 minutes which was met by March beyond the far post. Maupay did well to have a decent pop at goal, but his reaction shot was over the target. Brighton were dominating possession again, but the Palace defence was resilient.

Maupay had a weak shot at goal early in the second half and Batshuayi hit a rasping right-footer high into the net at the other end, after which the assistant raised his flag and VAR confirmed the offside decision. Trossard hit a left-footed shot just over the bar at the other end. Lallana put Maupay in, but the striker took too long to hit a shot and the opportunity was quelled by three defenders.

Brighton were again dominating possession but did not produce enough end product. Three minutes from time March was fouled by Townsend. Guaita managed to hold onto the ball at the foot of his right post at the second attempt with a crowd of players struggling to reach the ball. Brighton did have an equaliser in the last minute when substitute Mac Allister ran onto a ball following Maupay’s pass and fired past Guaita from 20 yards.

There were seven minutes of added time and Brighton were desperate for another goal. Lewis Dunk was shown a red card for a high challenge upon Cahill inside the area after a Brighton corner.

Spurs 3 West Ham 3

The post-match survey comment of the week comes from regular contributor Peter Coton, who wrote the following:-

"Well, they (Ed: West Ham) weren't the pushover that the first 15 minutes hinted at. An hour's comfortable coasting followed by an early Xmas present to West Ham.

First West Ham goal was down to Sissoko making a silly foul. Second was Sanchez's og which wasn't necessary and the third was Aurier conceding another free kick which he didn't have to. So for the second home game running, we let two points go in injury time, making 7 out of 9 points lost at home

Other than that, Reguilon continues to show some form and Kane/Son continue to be impressive. But I think that Mourinho handled his substitutes poorly. I would have given Kane a rest and Bale a bit longer. He was off the pace but managed to engineer a good chance for himself which he put wide"

Harry Kane was the clear man of the match and has scored 8.4, 8.7 and 8.4 in his last three games. His total of 12 goal involvements in five matches this campaign is the most by any player at this stage of a Premier League season.

Declan Mulcahy also sent me the following match facts following this game:-

· First time we have failed to win first three PL home games since 2017-18. The previous occasion was 2008-09.

· Spurs have not kept a clean sheet in last ten games and have conceded 14 goals.

· Last time we gave up a 3-0 lead was in February 2004 at home to Manchester City in the FA Cup when we lost 4-3.

· Harry Kane has scored 5 goals and contributed 7 assists in 5 games. 12 goal involvements in the first 5 games is a PL record.

· Spurs have scored 15 goals in the Premier League this season which is the most by any team.

· Ten years ago (on Tuesday 20 October) Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick against Inter Milan at San Siro.

· Jose Mourinho has never lost a game against Moyes, winning nine and drawing six times.

· Spurs have scored 11 first half goals in their last three games.

Leicester 0 Aston Villa 1

Leicester have lost two consecutive home games (three if you include an EFL Cup defeat to Arsenal) and Villa have won all four of their opening Premier League games. Who would have thought it? The last time Villa visited the King Power Stadium they were beaten 4-0. this was also the last occasion that fans were allowed to attend games.

Both Soyuncu and Vardy were absent for Leicester, who gave 19-year-old Wesley Fofana (signed from Saint-Etienne) aa debut at centre-back.

Castagne was denied by Martinez at his left post in the early stages, and midway through the half the Villa keeper held a shot by Iheanacho. Grealish laid a pass back for Trezeguet, whose shot passed just outside the post. Konsa went close with a header from a Grealish corner in the second half, and on the hour, Martinez dived to his left to save Tielemans’ 20 yards shot.

The game was looking as if it would provide the first 0-0 draw of this Premier League season, but in added time McGinn fed a ball to Ross Barkley who was on the advance in the middle. Barkley hit a 25-yard shot that beat Schmeichel inside his right-hand post to give Villa the points.

Monday 19th October, 2020

West Brom 0 Burnley 0

I doubt that any but the most ardent of fans of the two teams involved paid for this match. I certainly didn’t and as there are no highlights, I cannot offer any comment other than to say 36-year-old Branislav Ivanovic made his West Brom debut, helping them to a clean sheet and a point. Burnley play on Monday again next week, but at least fans won’t need to pay per view for their game at home to Spurs, although they will need a Sky subscription.

This was the first goal-less draw of the Premier League season.

Leeds 0 Wolves 1

Leeds had the brighter start, and they did have the ball in the net following a seventh minute corner. However, Patrick Bamford had been offside. Soon after, Leeds were playing some slick passing football around the box before Helder Costa (formerly of Wolves) went down on the bye-line inside the Wolves area. He rightfully got no reward for his easy fall to the ground.

Neither goalkeeper had been tested. Neto was looking most impressive for Wolves down the right flank. Conor Coady made a vital interception of Harrison's pass intended for Bamford. Rodrigo had a left foot shot directly at Rui Patricio following a corner after 39 minutes.

The best chance of the game so far fell in first half added time to Daniel Podence after a short cross from the left by Saiss. Podence hit a shot with power but Meslier made a strong reaction save.

Wolves had the ball in the net in the 53rd minute following an excellent ball when Coady pinged a ball out to Podence on the right. Podence's cross was cleared only as far as Saiss who hit the net with a cracking shot. VAR decreed that Podence had been marginally offside when receiving the initial ball. Meslier subsequently made a good save from the lively Podence.

Raul Jimenez gave Wolves a 70th minute lead with a heavily deflected shot. Jimenez had got the better of Struijk who had literally slipped before the Wolves man moved across the area and hit a right-footed shot. Meslier was wrong-footed as Phillips' attempted headed clearance went into the net.

Leeds went all out for an equaliser at least and had a couple of on-target shots deflected away from danger. Jimenez was somewhat fortunate not to suffer sanction over a kick at a Leeds player following a challenge upon him.

Wolves had defended well throughout the game and held onto their win, which took them a point above Spurs.

   
Fixtures/results 17-19.10.20

Saturday 17th October, 2020

Everton    2-2  Liverpool
Chelsea    3-3  S'hampton
Man City   1-0  Arsenal
Newcastle  1-4  Man Utd

Sunday 18th October, 2020

Sheff Utd  1-1  Fulham
C. Palace  1-1  Brighton
Spurs      3-3  West Ham
Leicester  0-1  A. Villa

Monday 19th October, 2020

West Brom  0-0  Burnley
Leeds      0-1  Wolves

  Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

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

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