Premier League Review – Matchday 12
Saturday 20th November, 2021
Leicester City 0 Chelsea 3
Leicester fell to a fifth defeat, three of which have been at home. “Foxes” fans booed their players, but they were beaten by the better team. Chelsea march on and have a three-point lead at the top of the table.
Former Leicester man Ben Chilwell hit the bar in the fourth minute after Jorginho was fouled and hit a quick long free kick down the left channel for his left wing-back. Chelsea had a corner after Leicester passed a free kick backwards, then failed to play the ball out. Chilwell provided the corner, and Rudiger rose to head home across goal in the 14th minute. Chilwell had been roundly abused by his former fans and was happy to celebrate the goal with enthusiasm. Lookman had the ball in the net for Leicester but had clearly been offside.
Kante is another former Leicester man, of course, and he added to the home fans’ woes by taking on a ball from Reece James before making a bee-line for goal, beating Schmeichel with his well-placed left foot shot. (28 mins) Leicester just abut avoided conceding a third goal after a poor pass out by Schmeichel.
Early in the second half, Hudson-Odoi delivered a short pass from inside the area to Chilwell, whose low shot was saved by the Leicester keeper at his left-hand post. Hudson-Odoi wasn’t far off target with his own right foot shot in the 61st minute. Mendy made a good diving save with his up-stretched right hand from a long shot by Amartey. Vardy was off target with a headed attempt following Maddison’s cross.
It was 3-0 in the 71st minute after Chalobah brought the ball out of his own half and passed forward to Ziyech, who crossed from inside the area and gave Havertz a chance which he converted, firing through Schmeichel’s legs from close range.
Aston Villa 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0
Steven Gerrard’s won his first game in charge at Villa Park but had to wait till late in the game for both goals. Brighton have now failed to win of their last seven league games. This was Graham Potter’s 100th match in charge of “The Seagulls” who had 31-year-old Jason Steele in goal in place of the suspended Sanchez. Steele made a good save after 12 minutes when one full-back (Cash) headed down the other full-back’s cross (Targett). Villa keeper Martinez saved from Trossard after half an hour in front of The Holte Stand.
In first half added time Moder raced away down the left wing and after he crossed, Lamptey had a shot well saved by Martinez. Steele made a great one-handed save early in the second half from a Mings header, following a Villa free kick. Watkins scored the first goal in the 84th minute after taking a pass from substitute Ashley Young. Watkins entered the Brighton area on the left but moved across and scored with a right foot shot inside Steele’s left post. Goal number two came five minutes later. McGinn had crossed from the right and that was blocked by Webster, but Tyrone Mings followed up with a powerful instinctive right-footed shot. Mings had been forward for a corner which preceded this move.
In added time, Steele made another save, this time from Villa sub Leon Bailey.
Burnley 3 Crystal Palace 3
Crystal Palace have drawn more games than any other team (7) this season, and Burnley are only one behind. Both scored three goals for the second time in league games this season.
Palace took the lead after 8 minutes through a left foot deflected shot by Benteke, after Gallagher’s deep cross and Andersen’s pass from the back of the Burnley area. Ten minutes later Taylor won a corner on the left, which was swung in by Westwood and headed home by skipper Ben Mee. Burnley had the lead in the 27th minute after a free kick was headed towards the left of the area by Tarkowski and met by Wood, whose header crept inside Guaita’s right post.
Benteke had a good chance to equalise a minute later but headed Gallagher’s cross wide. Benteke did level the scores in the 36th minute with a right foot shot inside the box, after Gallagher again was his provider. Five minutes before the break, Palace had the lead again, following a corner on the right and a cross by Jordan Ayew. Andersen had a header parried by Pope, but Guehi followed up and scored at close range.
Cornet equalised four minutes into the second half with a super rising left foot volley from the left of goal after Tarkowski had headed Westwood’s cross further across the area. Zaha hit the top of the Burnley bar with a powerful shot, and Vydra should have scored in added time, but pushed his shot wide.
Newcastle United 3 Brentford 3
Eddie Howe was isolating regarding Covid, so could not be present for his first Newcastle game as manager. There were goals galore, but the points were shared. Brentford had lost their previous four league games. Both sides played in a 3-4-3 formation.
Joelinton recovered from an error near the corner flag on the right and then delivered a cross for Wilson, who headed just wide. Joelinton won a corner after 10 minutes, which was taken by Ritchie and headed in by Lascelles. Newcastle’s joy was stopped within a minute when Toney hit a shot which should have been saved by Darlow but went through and hit the net inside his right post.
Brentford might have had the lead after 19 minutes when Mbeumo’s cross/shot rebounded off the post and Toney followed up, but he had been offside. Henry did give the visitors a 31st minute lead after Canos crossed from the right and Henry ghosted in at the back post. Parity was restored after 39 minutes when Saint-Maximin’s shot was blocked, but Joelinton snapped up the rebound to score with a left foot shot. It was Toney who was on the Brentford line to get his body on the way and prevent Wilson ‘s effort from going over the line.
Brentford took the lead again in the 61st minute when substitute Onyeka’s shot was deflected into his own goal by the unfortunate Lascelles. Fifteen minutes from time Saint-Maximin made it 3-3. He had received Darlow’s long thrown clearance and passed to substitute Ryan Fraser on the right, before racing forward to receive the returned cross and scoring with his right foot shot at the back post. The exciting Saint-Maximin made a mazy run from his own half nine minutes from time and teed up Joelinton, who lost his footing, and with it the excellent chance to score in front of The Gallowgate Stand.
Newcastle still seek their first league win of the season, and as a result of Norwich winning a second game, “The Toon” slipped to the bottom of the table.
Norwich City 2 Southampton 1
Two weeks ago, Dean Smith’s Aston Villa lost a fifth consecutive league game to Southampton. Today, Dean Smith’s Norwich City won their second league game and gained Smith his revenge. Smith’s Norwich were in a 4-3-3 formation and included Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour and Todd Cantwell who had missed Norwich’s last six games.
Southampton took a fourth minute lead through Che Adams who picked up a short forward ball by Adam Armstrong before hitting his shot inside Krul’s left post. Pukki equalised three minutes later with a glanced header from a cross by Max Aarons. Kyle Walker-Peters thought he had been fouled by Rashica in the Norwich half, but referee Martin Atkinson saw no offence as Norwich countered to good effect. Two minutes before the break, Southampton attacked following a mistake by Hanley, but Krul saved Adams’ shot well, pushing the ball around his right-hand post.
Gilmour sent Pukki away early in the second half and Pukki reached the Southampton area hitting a shot towards McCarthy’s left post which was saved by the keeper. Grant Hanley scored the winner in the 79th minute, heading in Gilmour’s corner at the back post. Norwich had a precious win which took them off the bottom of the table.
Watford 4 Manchester United 1
United provided the headline story of the weekend, following a humiliating defeat against Watford, who recorded a brilliant fourth win of the season. It took a day or more to finalise, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked. Michael Carrick was appointed as an interim coach, with the club apparently seeking another interim appointment to complete the season. Rumours are rife that Mauricio Pochettino will ultimately leave PSG to go to United. Time will tell. You can find various offers at https://bonuscodeindia.com/betway/ if you want to speculate on who will be the next full time manager of Manchester United.
The drama began after 6 minutes when Fernandes hit a high looping ball back towards his own area and McTominay brought down Josh King in the box. Sarr took a poor spot kick which De Gea saved, and Feminia converted, but there had been encroachment, so the kick was retaken. Sarr took the penalty again, and hit it harder, but De Gea saved again, diving to his left. Watford did take the lead in the 28th minute after Dennis got inside the box on the left and cut the ball back to Josh King who scored with a low left foot shot.
Sarr, Dennis and King were giving the United defence problems and King had a header well saved by De Gea after 40 minutes. Sissoko put the follow-up wide. It was 2-0 a minute before half-time. The United defence might as well not have been there as Feminia crossed from the right and Sarr received inside the box, before taking a moment to consider his shot which beat De Gea inside his right post.
The oft-ignored Donny van de Beek came on at half-time and put United back in the game after Sancho crossed and Ronaldo headed the ball back across goal for Van de Beek to score from close range in the 50th minute. It was only his second Premier League goal and his first since September last year. Van de Beek has only ever been given four league starts. Fernandes, who hasn’t scored for United since September 11th, put a shot wide five minutes later.
Harry Maguire was booked for bundling down Sarr just outside the area, and when he lost the ball just outside his area, bringing down Cleverley, referee Jon Moss showed the hapless United man (but England International) a second yellow card, so he went off in the 69th minute. Fernandes was teed up by Ronaldo but put another shot over the target from just outside the Watford area.
The misery for United and their fans was completed in added time. Firstly, sub Joao Pedro hit a shot straight at De Gea, but he scored from a far more difficult position from a tight angle on the right through the United goalkeeper. Dennis had been Joao Pedro’s provider, and he scored from a similar position in the sixth minute of added time.
Solskjaer held his hands up in apology to travelling fans who booed and jeered. It is a personal tragedy that United’s champions League hero of Barcelona in 1999 has left the club in this fashion.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 West Ham United 0
West Ham fell to their first away league defeat of the season. Wolves, who lost just one of their last seven games, are in good form. Angelo Ogbonna will miss a significant chunk of West Ham’s season after the 33-year-old Italy defender sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee during the 3-2 win over Liverpool on 7th November.
Tributes were paid before kick-off for Wolves legend Ron Flowers, who died recently. Flowers was a non-playing member of England’s 1966 World Cup squad.
“The Hammers” went close after 12 minutes when Bowen met Cresswell’s cross but headed wide. Jimenez beat Fabianksi with his dinked shot after a long ball by Neves, but his shot passed wide of the far post. Moutinho had a long range shot pushed over the bar by the West Ham keeper. Fabianski made a fairly comfortable save early in the second half from a shot by Podence, diving low to his left. Fabianski had a tougher save to make from a later shot by Podence, hit with his right foot and going towards the top right corner. The keeper managed the push the ball away.
Jimenez scored the winner in the 58th minute with a lovely right foot shot from 20 yards after Podence had returned the ball. Semedo, Podence and the scorer had been involved a good move down the right channel.
Liverpool 4 Arsenal 0
Arsenal were doing more than just holding out, but when Liverpool took a 39th minute lead the “Reds” tails were up, and they went on to a convincing win. Liverpool had a good chance after 29 minutes when Alexander-Arnold crossed, and Thiago’s shot was saved by the Arsenal keeper before he thwarted Mane despite two close range attempts. Ramsdale made a number of vital saves and interventions. Both managers were booked after Arteta protested about Mane’s aerial challenge upon Tomiyasu. Ultimately this led Klopp to urge the home fans to raucously support their team and might have led to Arsenal’s downfall.
Ramsdale made a good save from Salah after good work by both Mane and then left back Tsimikas on the left. Partey completed by clearing the ball for a corner. The first goal was scored by Mane after Alexander-Arnold floated in a free kick and the striker headed back across the keeper.
Five minutes into the second half, Arsenal gave the ball away to their former player Oxlade-Chamberlain whose shot was just outside the left post. Two minutes later Arsenal’s Tavares kindly passed the ball inside to Jota who left two players (including the keeper) on the floor before slotting the ball into the net in front of a happy Kop Stand. Jota had another shot on goal after 68 minutes, but Ramsdale managed to parry this one. It was 3-0 after 73 minutes when Mane was sent clear by Jota’s header. Mane crossed and this time Salah scored. Salah leads the Premier League score chart by four, with 11 goals to his name.
Alisson had to make a good save from a curling shot by Partey, but substitute Minamino made it 4-0 with his first touch after Alexander-Arnold delivered a low cross to the back post. (77 mins)
Sunday 21st November, 2021
Manchester City 3 Everton 0
Kevin de Bruyne tested positive for Covid-19 after International duty and will miss City's next three games. Everton have slipped into the bottom half of the table after 6 games without a win, four of which have been defeats. Pep Guardiola gave 19-year-old Cole Palmer his first Premier League start in the middle of a front three which included Raheem Sterling.
Foden headed over from an early Sterling cross. Foden returned the compliment after 27 minutes with a cross from the left, but Sterling was far more inaccurate with his attempted header. A minute later, after a concerted City attack, Gundogan hit the top of the bar with a header. Palmer had been involved in that attack and had a subsequent shot parried by Pickford who picked up Sterling’s follow-up effort. After 33 minutes, Sterling went down in the box under Keane’s challenge and referee Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot. VAR called the referee to the monitor, and he changed his decision. Sterling did score one minute before half-time picking up a superb pass by Cancelo before scoring with a first-time shot.
Rodri made it 2-0 in the 55th minute after Everton failed to clear Foden’s cross. Rodri scored with a rocket of a shot from 25 yards. Sterling missed a good chance in front of goal, but City went three up in the 86th minute when a Palmer shot was half-blocked and ran to Bernardo Silva towards the right. He made no mistake.
On the evidence of Match of the Day 2 Everton were toothless.
Spurs 2 Leeds United 1
This was Antonio Conte’s second Premier League game in charge of Spurs and yet already there are already three managers of Premier League clubs with less time in their current jobs! The sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes that four newer managers/coaches/caretakers!
Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier shared your man of the match vote with goalscorer Reguilon very close behind. Dier made a number of strong defensive interventions and also offered good passes in the opposition half. Eric's deflected free kick led to Reguilon's goal, of course. It was Sergio's first Spurs goal.
Thanks as always for your comments, which included the following:-
"The substitutions were interesting. They did not appear to be due to tactics, performance or injuries, but did appear to be due to lack of fitness. Reggy told Sky that he was "dead" after the weeks training and the match."
"Sanchez, Sessegnon and Alli all came on to impact game well. Intensity and speed much improved 2nd half.There was fight,energy and desire. Harry W driving forward. Harry K doing great hold up work. Conte was like a conductor in an orchestra, great!!!"
"The proverbial game of 2 halves.Shocking display by the players first half. No pressing, not playing high enough, no intensity. You’d have thought Leeds were the home team. We so desperately need a creative midfielder. 2nd half much better."
Fixtures and results - 20-21.11.21
Saturday 20th November, 2021
Leicester 0-3 Chelsea
A. Villa 2-0 Brighton
Burnley 3-3 C. Palace
Newcastle 3-3 Brentford
Norwich 2-1 S'hampton
Watford 4-1 Man Utd
Wolves 1-0 West Ham
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
Sunday 21st November, 2021
Man City 3-0 Everton
Spurs 2-1 Leeds
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Chelsea 12 9 2 1 30-4 26 29
2. Man City 12 8 2 2 25-6 19 26
3. Liverpool 12 7 4 1 35-11 24 25
4. West Ham 12 7 2 3 23-14 9 23
5. Arsenal 12 6 2 4 13-17 -4 20
6. Wolves 12 6 1 5 12-12 0 19
7. Spurs 12 6 1 5 11-17 -6 19
8. Man Utd 12 5 2 5 20-21 -1 17
9. Brighton 12 4 5 3 12-14 -2 17
10. C. Palace 12 3 7 2 18-17 1 16
11. Everton 12 4 3 5 16-19 -3 15
12. Leicester 12 4 3 5 16-21 -5 15
13. S'hampton 12 3 5 4 11-14 -3 14
14. Brentford 12 3 4 5 16-17 -1 13
15. A. Villa 12 4 1 7 16-20 -4 13
16. Watford 12 4 1 7 16-20 -4 13
17. Leeds 12 2 5 5 12-20 -8 11
18. Burnley 12 1 6 5 14-20 -6 9
19. Norwich 12 2 2 8 7-27 -20 8
20. Newcastle 12 0 6 6 15-27 -12 6