Brighton 0-0 Burnley
These went head to head on Friday evening. I was expecting Brighton to continue their form but Burnley were as stubborn as they were negative. Both sides lacking a creative spark basically settled for a point apiece.
Southampton 2-0 Newcastle.
The Saints are on a roll that has sent them to the top of the table. With Che Adams coming out and saying they can win the league tells you confidence is high. Danny Ings keeps coming up with superb goals but it’s Ward-Prowse who is grabbing the headlines. He is coming of age with his performances and his set pieces are a huge plus for the team. They overwhelmed Newcastle and could have scored more.
Everton 1-3 Manchester United
This was the result of the day and perhaps the most important match for United off the back of a poor week. Everton taking the lead made the was an intriguing twist as they rarely looked likely. Pickford with the ball at his feet is now an Everton set piece. He launched a typical 70 yarder which was nodded down to Bernard. A move invented by Jack Charlton circa 1990.
It was the reaction though that caught the headlines. Firstly the move that got United into the game was always going to come from Luke Shaws wing with the United right flank badly lagging. Second it was no surprise that Fernandez was involved. Despite going AWOL last week he showed a keen finish with his head followed by a cross/shot that found the inside of the corner. Make no doubt about it this result has saved the position of Solskjaer. It shows what United are capable of though and makes you scratch your head at times when they can’t do this more regular. Everton were dreadful though and decided to pack the midfield with bruisers rather than players of substance. Rodriguez was given a free role but even he can only do so much when there is only 1 outlet.
Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds Utd
That’s both Palace and Leicester now that have done a real job on Leeds. Both sat back and countered. Both got rewarded with a glut of goals. This is the problem with Leeds and in fairness there are not many that play like them. It really is a do or die approach. They leave themselves open at the back when they press and suddenly teams are sussing them out. That said they conceded 2 set piece goals and 1 freak deflection.
All while Bamford had the ball in the net twice one of which VAR went a level above their normal stupidity to somehow dissallow. I’d still rather to watch Leeds play as they do though than be like a Sheffield United and accept defeat. Credit to Palace who are now becoming accustomed to holding onto a lead. All eyes on Bielsa now to see if he can tweak their system to get them back on track.
Chelsea 4-1 Sheffield Utd
Recently retired from International football, David McGoldrick pulsed the possibility of an incredible upset here. He finished with a beautiful flick to give Sheffield hope. Unfortunately this was no hard luck story and Chelsea flexed their muscles to simply blow them off the park. New signing Rhian Brewster touched the ball 4 times in the first half. Sheffield simply lack ambition and creativity. Chelsea were ruthless though and their final piece of the puzzle in Ziyech looked the part. 4 goals with 4 scorers is always a good sign and this Chelsea team are jam packed with them. Tough times ahead for Sheffield.
West Ham United 1-0 Fulham
An even game in stats but a game that the hammers would have been disgusted had they not won. They created and squandered plenty in this 90 mins that made a Tomas Soucek all the more sweeter. A point here would have been superb for Fulham. Their performance merited it even if they eventually shot themselves in the foot. We’ve seen some incredible Panenka penalties in our time. All the greats of the game from Ronaldo to Suarez. 2012 Pirlo lobbed Joe Harte in incredible pressure for Italy. This was not one of those moments. Ademola Lookman decided that he would make his own history and duly chipped the ball into the keepers hands. I wonder if he is in hiding.
West Brom 0-1 Spurs
Watching this game was like knowing the future but not being able to change it. West Brom took to their task with great gusto and in most games they would have at least nicked a point. But the more it dragged on. The more chances they missed. The more times the commentator bemused at their position. You felt that Spurs would take their chance when it came.
Harry Kane once more showed why he has 150 goals to his name by creating something out of nothing. The keeper perhaps should have done better but Spurs roll to the top of the league without ever looking likely. A position only familiar to Mourinho in that dressing room. Billic will be wondering how they ended up pointless. They simply lack the quality in the final third. Something that will inevitably cost them a place in the league.
Leicester 1-0 Wolves
Both of these teams basically could not be seperated. They both setup to play on the counter. An incredible VAR decision. Handball when it’s shot from a cannon less than 3 yards from you. Ruined this game. A shame it decided the final result. Harsh on Wolves. Leicester were good value for this win. They dominated the territory and were looking more dangerous throughout. 6 wins in a row is impressive from the foxes.
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool
The first 45mins of this game were of the highest quality. Liverpool sent out a 442 formation which included all 4 of their attacking forces. There’s not many times where City find themselves on the back foot like this. Liverpool dominated the first 30 mins and were good value for their lead. But as the game wore on City began to get a foothold on things. Jesus scored after a superb touch inside the box as he toed into the net. The second half was more of a game of chess with both sides happy to attack and rarely leave themselves open. De Bruyne pulled another handball penalty wide but aside from that both teams deserved a draw. Both of these sides will be dreading the international break.
Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa
Villa have taken some big scalps this season and after this win nobody can call it a flash in the pan. Clever recruitment most notably of striker Ollie Watkins has transformed them. This was the Grealish and Barkley show for Villa with both players combining superbly over the 90 mins. Both registered assists and both could have had a few themselves. Arsenal were dismal and even Arteta admitted it was a flat performance. What a contrast from last season from the Villains.