In the aftermath of a hectic print week…with first Premier League wins of the season…crazy European atmospheres…incredible combacks…Nouse Sport takes a look at a brilliant few days of football. Firstly, we take a look at a massive Matchday 11, which saw some real changes down at the bottom of the table. Then, we analyse the 4 Champions league matches which Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United respectively took part in.
Matchday 11 brought us 33 goals, some thrashings, and some massive points for teams at the bottom end of the table.
AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United: Saturday’s early kick-off saw in-form Bournemouth host Manchester United. Callum Wilson’s early goal was cancelled out by Anthony Martial’s equaliser after 35 minutes. The hosts will no doubt be regretting the number of chances they squandered in the first half. United came out flying in the 2nd half, with Ashley Young’s free-kick rattling back off the crossbar, and Nathan Ake somehow keeping Rashford’s follow-up out of the net. Eddie Howe’s men would eventually be broken down though, in typical, late, United fashion. Marcus Rashford sealed all three points for the Reds in the 92nd minute, bundling home Paul Pogba’s cross. The result puts both sides on 20 points with matching numbers of wins, but Bournemouth remain above with their superior goal difference.
Cardiff 0-1 Leicester City: Leicester’s game in South Wales with Cardiff was about so much more than football. The tragic death of owner Vichai Srviaddhanaprabha a week earlier utterly shocked the sporting world. With such an outpouring of emotion and remembrance, of a fantastic Chairman who helped them achieve a Premier League title, it seemed fitting that they would go on to win this match. Demari Gray got the only goal of the match ten minutes into the 2nd half. It was to be Cardiff’s 8th defeat of the season already and keeps them in the bottom three. As soon as the game ended, the Leicester team and staff travelled to Thailand to attend Srviaddhanaprabha’s funeral and pay further respects.
Everton 3-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Everton took on a Brighton side who have made a solid start to the season, already putting four wins on the board. However, it wouldn’t be another for Chris Hughton’s men, who were convincingly beaten on Merseyside. Richarlison gave the home side the lead half-way through the opening 45 minutes, but Lewis Dunk put Brighton back in it just eight minutes after. However, the second half would be extremely one-sided. Seamus Coleman restored Everton’s lead early on, before Richarlison grabbed his second of the game 13 minutes from time to wrap all three points up. Brighton drop down to 12th place but still eight points clear of the bottom three, whilst Everton sit 9th.
West Ham 4-2 Burnley: West Ham earned themselves a huge three points against Sean Dyche’s Burnley. Star-man Marco Arnautovic put the Hammers in front early on, only for Berg Gudmundsson to slot home as the half-time whistle blew. The second-half would see a further four goals. Felipe Anderson, who was criticised last week by manager Manuel Pellegrini for his poor form, put the home side back in front. A lovely curled shot had the beating of Joe Hart, who spent last season at the London Stadium on loan. Burnley certainly didn’t give up though, and Chris Wood got them back on level-terms once again with a bullet header. However, Felipe Anderson got his second of the game six minutes from time, before Javier Hernandez got a fourth in the dying moments. West Ham remain 13th, and Burnley remain 15th.
Newcastle 1-0 Watford: Rafa Benitez and Newcastle earned themselves got themselves an absolutely huge three points at home to Watford. Despite Watford having much more of the possession in the game, Newcastle preserved to get their first win of the season. Ayoze Perez put the Magpies ahead after 65 minutes, ensuring a torturous remaining 25 minutes for the home faithful. It was certainly an improvement, following their previous fixture away to Southampton in which they didn’t register a single shot on target. The win puts Newcastle 17th and somehow outside the relegation zone, perhaps showing just how poor the teams at the bottom of the table are this season. This disappointing result puts Watford down to 8th, although they will still surely be delighted with this position almost a third of the way through the season.
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool: Arsenal were given a chance to prove themselves against a top-side on Saturday evening, as they hosted high-flying Liverpool. Bernd Leno’s clearance was not enough, bouncing off Rob Holding to gift James Milner a perfect opportunity. Unsurprisingly, the 32-year old capitalised on this and gave Liverpool the lead after an hour. Arsenal persisted to frustrate Liverpool though, and their dominance in possession would eventually pay off in the latter stages. Alexandre Lacazette earned the Gunners a point eight minutes from time, with an impressive finished and his sixth goal of the season. Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league all season, whilst Arsenal haven’t lost since their visit to Stamford Bridge in mid-August. Liverpool and Arsenal both face tough European opponents next – a trip to terrifying Crvena Zvezda and a tricky home tie with Sporting CP respectively.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Tottenham visited Molineux on Saturday night, facing a Wolves side who have given a great account of themselves so far this year. However, they struggled to impress in this fixture, with Spurs comfortably 2-0 up at the break. Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura scored two goals in the space of three minutes to completely shock the Wolves defence. Harry Kane grabbed a third on the hour mark, ending his mini drought of five weeks without a league goal. Wolves were gifted two chances to come back into the game which they took, with Spurs seemingly wanting to make it as difficult as possible for themselves. Hugo Lloris couldn’t keep out two penalties – firstly from Neves and then ten minutes later from Jimenez. Fortunately for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, they held on to take all three points. Next up for them is an enormous Champions League tie with PSV Eindhoven at Wembley. Wolves drop just outside the top 10 and face a tough trip to Arsenal on Sunday.
Chelsea 3-1 Crystal Palace: Chelsea hoped to keep the pressure up on Manchester City and take advantage of Liverpool’s draw as Crystal Palace made the short trip to Stamford Bridge. Alvaro Morata put Chelsea in front after 32 minutes, but Andros Townsend levelled Palace early in the second half. Eden Hazard returned for the home side, after missing the previous few fixtures with a back injury. He entered the field of play after 64 minutes, and after 65 minutes Chelsea were 2-1 up, when some sloppy defending from his free-kick allowed Morata to grab his 2nd of the game. Pedro ensured all three points five minutes later, as Maurizio Sarri’s men maintained their unbeaten record so far this season. With other results not particularly going their way, Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace are now only two points clear of the bottom three. They host Tottenham before a trip to Old Trafford and Manchester United, so could well begin that crucial month of December in a precarious position.
Manchester City 6-1 Southampton: Manchester City proved once again they have no problems at all scoring goals, destroying Southampton 6-1 on Sunday evening. Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane all got their names on the scoresheet. Guardiola’s men were 3-0 up after just 18 minutes. Danny Ings’ penalty on the half-hour mark restored a tiny, tiny glimmer of hope for the Saints, but this was dashed when Raheem Sterling got his first of the afternoon on the stroke of half time. He bagged another after 67 minutes, before Leroy Sane’s injury time goal ensured a demoralising victory for Mark Hughes and his side. City had eight shots on target to Southampton’s six, perhaps an indicator that the game should have been much closer than it was. The home sides unbeaten run continues, and they remain two points clear of Chelsea at the top of the table. Southampton, on the other hand, are finding themselves being dragged closer and closer to the bottom three. Watford at home and Fulham away are their next two fixtures – points are desperately needed.
Huddersfield Town 1-0 Fulham: Matchday 11’s final clash saw Huddersfield tackle Fulham on Monday night, in a game which was 20th v 19th. Slavisa Jokanovic will surely be mystified as to how his team are in this position, given that they spent over £100m in the summer transfer window. On-loan Timothy Fosu-Mensah wouldn’t help matters, as his unfortunate header ended up in his own net. It was the first time Terriers fans have witnessed a home goal since the 14th April. Fulham had several chances to equalise in the second half. Andre Schurrle had a goal ruled out as a consequence of Mitrovic being offside, and the German selfishly blew an equally as good opportunity later on. Huddersfield have now leapfrogged Fulham and Cardiff, and although they sit 18th, they’re level on points with Newcastle in 17th. Fulham, meanwhile, are now bottom of the table, in what is their worst ever start to a Premier League season. It doesn’t seem to get any easier for Slavisa Jokanovic either, with a visit to Anfield up next. Huddersfield have another home fixture against West Ham, where they could go as high as 15th.
Crvena Zvezda 2-0 Liverpool: Liverpool faced a terrifying trip to Crvena Zvezda, or Red Star Belgrade as they’re more commonly known. Even though they comfortably dispatched the Serbian Champions in their last matchday, Jurgen Klopp perhaps should have recognised that the away trip would be completely different. Zvezda are known for having one of the most terrifying atmospheres in the world, and it clearly got to Liverpool. The noise, beginning hours before kick-off, continued throughout the 90 minutes. Milan Pavkov bagged two first-half goals to really rattle the Reds, who offered little in the second half. Jurgen Klopp’s side sit 2nd in the group, which would put them through to the last 16. However, their two remaining games are a home tie next with Napoli, before rounding off the group stages in Paris. A win against Napoli should guarantee their progression, as they try to go somewhere close to their fantastic performance in the competition last season.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 PSV Eindhoven: Wembley hosted an enormous clash on Tuesday night, with Tottenham hosting PSV Eindhoven. With both sides on just one point, it seemed like this would be a game to decide who would finish third and gain a place in the Round of 32 for the Europa League. Spurs couldn’t have had got off to a worse start, as PSV took the lead after just 62 seconds. But they dominated the rest of the game, having 75% of possession and an incredible 30 shots. Their patience would eventually pay off, as Harry Kane got them level, before netting a winner in the 89th minute. Despite conceding early on, Paulo Gazzaniga had a solid performance as replacement for first choice pick Hugo Lloris. Spurs now sit 3rd on 4 points, 3 points behind Inter Milan, and with a belief that they could pull of a fantastic recovery to qualify.
Manchester City 6-0 Shakhtar Donetsk: Manchester City came into their home tie with Shakhtar Donetsk knowing that a win and other results going their way would see them through to the Round of 16. Although the other results didn’t work to their favour, Guardiola’s men arguably have one foot in the next round. They easily dispatched the Ukrainian side, scoring six. David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Riyadh Mahrez all got their names on the scoresheet, although Sterling is the main talking point. His dive (which he subsequently apologised to the referee for) gifted City a penalty. And yet, despite this apology from him, and the referee himself not picking it up, it is Sterling who is at the forefront of criticism. The media’s campaign against him seemingly continues.
Juventus 1-2 Manchester United: Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were in Turin to take on table-toppers Juventus, who are one of only a few teams to be unbeaten at home in Europe this season. However, to almost everyone’s surprise, this run would come to an end. United just about held Juventus off in the first half, but Cristiano Ronaldo would of course play some part, giving the Italians the lead with a stunning strike that De Gea got nowhere near. With the tie seemingly wrapped up, Juan Mata fired in a beautiful free-kick with four minutes to go to put the Reds level. Just three minutes later, Ashley Young’s cross wasn’t dealt with, and Sandro bundled the ball in, gifting United all three points. This was a massive result for them, and gives them an excellent chance of progression to the Round of 16.