Premier League Review – Matchday Five
Friday 17th September, 2021
Newcastle United 1 Leeds United 1
Newcastle made one change and that was at the goalkeeper position. Karl Darlow took over from Woodman. Daniel James made his first Leeds start, replacing Jack Harrison. Mateusz Klich replaced Llorente but played in midfield, with Ayling at centre-back. Both teams were seeking a first win. Leeds played in a fetching light purple strip.
Raphinha had just had a chance in front of goal when Rodrigo got into the area on the left and hit a low ball to Raphinha, whose effort was saved by Darlow. Then, in the 13th minute Raphinha hit a long cross from deep on the right which made it all the way to the far corner after Rodrigo effectively dummied Darlow by leaving the ball to beat the keeper.
The Gallowgate End goal was coming under a little pressure and Raphinha again brought a save from Darlow. Almiron finally provided a threat for the home side but hit a shot wide of the post. Leeds were denied a penalty by referee Mike Dean when James seemed to be clattered inside the box. After 23 minutes, Saint-Maximin advanced to the bye-line on the right and cut the ball back into the centre of goal. Almiron miscued and Joelinton fired straight at Meslier, who saved with his leg. After a slow start the game was opening up and Rodrigo hit a shot just wide of Darlow's right post.
Leeds fans (seven levels up at the other end) thought they had gone two up when Phillips hit a shot just wide after Rodrigo teed him up after 28 minutes. Rodrigo was the provider again for another pop at goal by Klich which Darlow just managed to save. Almost immediately Matt Ritchie hit the post with a shot with his "wrong" (right) foot.
Newcastle scored an excellent equaliser in the 44th minute when Joelinton turned the ball into the box from the left. Saint-Maximin took the ball across further before beating Meslier with a well-placed reverse right foot shot. In the last minute of added time, both Raphinha and Firpo had chances to regain the lead. Darlow blocked Raphinha’s shot and Firpo's shot was hopelessly off target.
Darlow made a brilliant save from his own player (Lascelles) after 53 minutes to prevent an own goal, after a cross from the left. Saint-Maximin threatened five minutes later at the other end, getting the rebound when his first shot was blocked, then hitting the side netting with a second shot from an angle on the left.
Raphinha was replaced after 67 minutes by 19-year-old Crysencio Summerville, a signing from Feyenoord last year for whom this was a Leeds senior debut. Newcastle had a few shots at goal, but generally from distance and off target. Rodrigo found Bamford with a good pass into the Newcastle area, but Darlow was equal to the shot.
Saint-Maximin hit a good low shot after Willock managed to keep the ball in play, but Meslier saved cleanly. Saint-Maximin was gifted the ball after 83 minutes and allowed a run at goal. His left foot shot was well saved by Meslier, but it was hit straight at the keeper.
The second half generally lacked the energy of the first and both teams still seek a Premier League win.
Saturday 18th September, 2021
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Brentford 2
Wolves complained about Brentford’s time-wasting tactics but as manager Thomas Frank said in reply to Bruno Lage:-
“I can ask him back ‘what would he have done if he was leading a newly-promoted team – a bus stop in Hounslow – with a budget 10 times less, when you’re leading 2-0 and you’re 10 against 11, I think his players would have time-wasted,” said Frank. Brentford’s win came despite the 64th minute sending-off of Shandon Baptiste for a second yellow card.
Toney had the ball in the net after 8 minutes, but his strike partner Mbeumo had clearly been offside before receiving a previous pass. There were a couple of corners for Brentford with plenty of physicality in the middle, and after the second corner, referee Darren England awarded a penalty for Marcal’s holding of Toney. Toney accepted and scored the penalty in the 28th minute, sending Sa the wrong way. Toney soon had the ball in the net again, this time from close range, turning with his back to goal before “scoring”. The offside flag was raised, but VAR decreed Tony had in fact handled the ball.
Traore had a blistering shot deflected and hit the underside of the bar, but the ball rebounded well clear of danger. Toney made ground down the left flank before crossing into the 6-yard zone where Mbeumo scored. These two are a powerful combination. (34 mins)
Baptiste’s first yellow was in the second half for a foul on Marcal. His second was for a rugby tackle on Trincao. Wolves did not get as close to goal again as that first half Traore shot, but Jimenez headed wide at the back post with minutes to go. Jimenez had been seen without his head protection before kick-off; wore it when he headed wide; then seemed to discard the protection. There was still time for Mbeumo to hit the wood work with an even later shot.
Burnley 0 Arsenal 1
Arsenal won their second consecutive game 1-0 and could be level on points or even perhaps above us on goal difference or goals scored on Sunday. Let’s not dwell on that. Burnley have one solitary point from their opening five games. The home side was unchanged. Mikel Arteta maintained his faith in Ramsdale in goal. Partey was playing his first game of the season.
Arsenal’s goal came on the half-hour and was scored direct from a free kick 22 yards out by Odegaard after Saka had been fouled by Westwood. Westwood’s booking was not Burnley’s only punishment. The ball hit the net to the right of Pope. Smith-Rowe went close with a right-footer just before the break.
Burnley showed more endeavour in the second half without success and the closest they came to a goal was when substitute Cornet’s right-footed shot was pushed over by Ramsdale. Referee Anthony Taylor awarded Burnley a penalty when Vydra went down over Ramsdale’s challenge when Ben White had sold his goalkeeper shot with an intended back-pass. VAR asked the referee to review the incident on the monitor, and the decision was reversed. Naturally Sean Dyche and the home crowd were incensed. Rodriguez headed over Burnley’s last chance in the fourth minute of added time.
Liverpool 3 Crystal Palace 0
With the games available to them, Match of the Day was always going to start at Anfield. The team that beat Spurs 3-0 last week lost by the same margin today. Liverpool went top of the table overnight. One of their goals was scored by Sadio Mane, and it was his 100th club goal. Jurgen Klopp made changes with James Milner playing at right back for Alexander-Arnold. Summer signing Ibrahima Konate made a debut at centre-back. Palace were unchanged.
Palace had a free kick after only one minute when Zaha was fouled and in the ensuing play Zaha was furthest forward in the box and reached the ball before Alisson, chipping the ball goalward. The goalkeeper managed to recover and punch clear – just, because it went off the outside of his post! Guaita made a good save from Henderson who met a cross after 16 minutes. Benteke wanted a penalty when he tried to reach a Zaha cross but got no response from the officials. Jota missed an open goal after the Palace keeper had made another great save from Thiago Alcantara’s header but could not push the ball clear.
Mane’s goal was scored two minutes from half-time from short range at the back post after a corner taken by Tsimikas. Salah’s header was saved by Guaita but parried to Mane’s feet. Mane has scored in his last 9 Premier League games against Palace.
Guaita was busy again after 68 minutes, saving a 20-yard shot by substitute Keita and also salah’s follow-up. Four minutes later Alisson was required to save at the feet of Palace’s hero of last week – Edouard, who had once again come off the bench. Salah made it 2-0 in the 78th minute, in front of The Kop. Liverpool had a free kick from the right which led to a corner on the other side. That reached Salah at the back post, and he beat Guaita with a powerful finish from 10 yards.
Edouard got a shot at goal despite the attentions of Konate and Alisson had to push that effort out for a corner. The scoring was completed by a stunning 20-yarder by Keita following a corner in the 89th minute. This came after Guaita had punched clear to the midfielder’s feet. The keeper did get a touch to the shot.
Manchester City 0 Southampton 0
Manchester City had scored 5 (or more) goals in their previous four home games, but Southampton surprised all with this result. When were City involved in the last Saturday game to be shown on Match of the Day? Kyle Walker-Peters was at left back for “The Saints”.
City dominated the stats in terms of possession and the number of shots, but Southampton had two of those on target to City’s mere one. The first half was dominated by the defences, particularly that of Southampton. In the second half after a mistake by Walker, Adam Armstrong headed for the penalty area where he went down after Walker’s attempted recovery. Referee Jon Moss (not Spurs’ favourite after last week) pointed to the spot and sent off Walker but reversed both decisions after viewing the monitor.
The most severe test for either keeper was when McCarthy saved Foden’s header and Sterling followed-up to “score”, but Foden had been offside in the first place.
Norwich City 1 Watford 3
Norwich are danger of having the worst ever start to a Premier League season and have so far lost five games. Manager Daniel Farke is the first to lose 15 consecutive top flight games. Both Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko started for “The Hornets”. Watford’s first goal was simple, but well-executed with Dennis meeting Femenia’s cross from the right to powerfully head into the net. (17 mins) Pukki equalised ten minutes before the break with a good finish from the right after picking up Normann’s ball. It was Norwich’s second goal of the season and their first from open play. Both have been scored by the Finnish International. It was Pukki’s first such goal in 24 Premier league games. Krul made a good save from Sarr who had received an excellent long pass from the left touchline just before the break.
Ngakia replaced Femenia and he pushed a ball forward to Josh King who cut it back for Sarr to score with a low shot in the 63rd minute. 38-year-old Ben Foster was in goal, and he made a good save to deny Rashica. Watford had a third goal initially disallowed for offside but reviewed and allowed by VAR. Josh King had been the offside suspect when he received Cleverley’s pass. His shot was parried by Krul and returned into the net from 15 yards by Sarr, who thus had a second goal. (80 mins)
Aston Villa 3 Everton 0
Everton lost their unbeaten record after a brilliant spell of nine minutes in which Villa scored all three goals. Everton had injury problems with Begovic in goal for Pickford. Seamus Coleman and Richarlison were also missing, along with Calvert-Lewin. Rondon made his first Everton start and Andros Townsend, who had been man of the match against Burnley kept his place. James Rodriguez does not have Benitez’s favour and is apparently looking for a new club.
Rondon’s touch evaded him at the near post when Godfrey crossed from the right, but Begovic was required to make a good save from a Mings header following a corner at the other end.
In the second half Demarai Gray fired just wide across goal after he received the ball from Townsend. The 9-minute blitz began soon after. Goal number one was in the 66th minute and a great left-footed finish by Matty Cash after a slick passing move and Douglas Luiz’s final pass. This was Cash’s first Villa goal. Goal number two came three minutes later when Digne got a glancing headed touch on a corner from the right and beat his own keeper. Villa were rampant and The Holte End ecstatic. Jacob Ramsey put a shot just wide before Ings sent Bailly away with a cross-field pass and the summer signing from Bayer Leverkusen hit the net to the left of Begovic with a rising shot. (75 minutes). The game was over.
Sunday 19th September, 2021
Thanks to Gary Parker for this image
Match of the Day 2 began with generous and affectionate tributes to Jimmy Greaves whose passing was announced today. Each of the three games played were preceded by a minute’s applause. Jimmy had of course graced three of the clubs involved.
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Leicester City 1
Brighton are in the top four with four wins out of five, but few people would back them to be there for much longer. Perhaps you do fancy them for the top four in which case you can check out these Premier League betting odds. “The Seagulls” certainly put Leicester under some pressure in the first half-hour boosted by some promising wing play by Spanish signing Cucurella. They were eventually awarded a penalty by referee Stuart Attwell after a corner when Vestergaard jumped with his arm stretched high. Maupay scored from the spot in the 35th minute, sending Schmeichel the wrong way.
Vardy hit a shot wide cross the face of goal early in the second half, but it was 2-0 in the 50th minute when Welbeck headed in from a free kick by Trossard. Vardy did score in the 61st minute following Tielemans well-directed short cross to the back post where Leicester’s number nine did not fail. It was Vardy’s 150th Leicester goal on his 250th appearance. Leicester thought they had an equaliser following a corner, but Harvey Barnes was offside in front of the keeper when Lookman had “scored”. A deflected dipping shot by Barnes was pushed over the bar by Sanchez. Leicester were denied again from another corner when Ndidi headed into the net, but again Barnes had been caught offside. The “Foxes” were well and truly aggrieved.
West Ham United 1 Manchester United 2
“The Hammers” lost their unbeaten record and Manchester United’s 89th minute winner was scored by Jesse Lingard who had been such an impactive loanee for West Ham last season. There was a touch of farce about the end of the game as club captain Mark Noble came off the bench on added time to take a penalty, only to see it saved by De Gea! West Ham were without the suspended Antonio.
Bowen, who was up top in the absence of Antonio, hit a shot on target after 21 minutes which De Gea saved with his legs. Soucek’s follow-up went over the target. Later in the half Bruno Fernandes hit a shot from the back of the area after a corner which Fabianski pushed onto the outside of his left post for another corner. Benrahma gave the home side a 30th minute lead with a fortunate deflected shot from 20 yards after receiving the ball from Bowen. The deflection was considerable and came off Varane. Ronaldo equalised five minutes later, when he received a ball from Fred and hit his first shot at Fabianski before collecting the parried shot and scoring from close range. Ronaldo was kept onside by Cresswell’s out-stretched leg.
Lingard was applauded by home and away fans when he replaced Pogba after 73 minutes. The home fans would have other thoughts later! Ronaldo was denied a penalty by Martin Atkinson and VAR when the Portuguese star went down as Coufal’s leg made contact. Ronaldo was of course astounded! Lingard’s winner was a right-footed shot from the left of the area after a pass by Matic. The shot beat Fabianski to his left and the scorer graciously tried not to celebrate in front of the fans of the club that had borrowed him for a few months last season!
Ronaldo had a third penalty appeal denied in added time, but this time Zouma did not get the ball. There was a penalty though when Yarmolenko hit Luke Shaw’s arm from short range. Mr Atkinson was happy to indicate a corner, but after being called to the monitor he changed his mind. Declan Rice was getting ready to take the spot-kick, but on came Noble (for Bowen) who fired to the left of De Gea who saved!
Spurs 0 Chelsea 3
Skipper Hugo Lloris, who prevented Chelsea knocking up an even more devastating score was your Spurs Odyssey man of the match, but there were some moderate scores to say the least. Most distressing was Harry Kane's third consecutive sub-par grade. I am absolutely positive this has never happened before in Harry's career.
Here are some of the comments received:-
"Half time I was thinking of 8s or 9s then after after 10 minutes of the second I was thinking ''where is the midfield? Ndombele in particular. Funny old game."
"Difficult to rate Game of two halves. Best performance of the season 1H just missing a goal! 2H totally outplayed tactically outmanoeuvred? Inadequate bench? Chelsea just far superior? Positive 1H to build on!"
"Probably have said this before, but apart from individual skills [e.g. Son's ability to score freakish goals] as a collective we look like a very ordinary team, Chelsea clearly outplayed us even in the first half when we actually showed a lot of fight."
Thanks for all your comments and votes in the survey.
Fixtures and results - 17-19.09.21
Friday 17th September, 2021
Newcastle 1-1 Leeds
Saturday 18th September, 2021
Wolves 0-2 Brentford
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
Liverpool 3-0 C. Palace
Man City 0-0 S'hampton
Norwich 1-3 Watford
A. Villa 3-0 Everton
Sunday 19th September, 2021
Brighton 2-1 Leicester
West Ham 1-2 Man Utd
Spurs 0-3 Chelsea
Premier League Table
P W D L F-A GD Pts
1. Chelsea 5 4 1 0 12-1 11 13
2. Liverpool 5 4 1 0 12-1 11 13
3. Man Utd 5 4 1 0 13-4 9 13
4. Brighton 5 4 0 1 7-4 3 12
5. Man City 5 3 1 1 11-1 10 10
6. Everton 5 3 1 1 10-7 3 10
7. Spurs 5 3 0 2 3-6 -3 9
8. West Ham 5 2 2 1 11-7 4 8
9. Brentford 5 2 2 1 5-2 3 8
10. A. Villa 5 2 1 2 8-7 1 7
11. Watford 5 2 0 3 6-8 -2 6
12. Leicester 5 2 0 3 5-8 -3 6
13. Arsenal 5 2 0 3 2-9 -7 6
14. C. Palace 5 1 2 2 5-8 -3 5
15. S'hampton 5 0 4 1 4-6 -2 4
16. Wolves 5 1 0 4 2-5 -3 3
17. Leeds 5 0 3 2 5-12 -7 3
18. Newcastle 5 0 2 3 6-13 -7 2
19. Burnley 5 0 1 4 3-9 -6 1
20. Norwich 5 0 0 5 2-14 -12 0