Premier League Round-Up: Gameweek 13

Spurs tear Chelsea apart, United continue to struggle and Newcastle rocket up the table…

West Ham 0-4 Manchester City: At the start of each season, Manchester City must surely have West Ham away pencilled down as a certain three points. They’ve won all four of their games at the London Stadium since West Ham moved there in 2016, scoring 17 and conceding just one. Saturday’s meeting would be no different, and the game would be out of sight by the 40-minute mark. West Ham actually began quite positively, with Michail Antonio timing a perfect run to go in one-on-one with Ederson. However, this good start would be decimated shortly later. David Silva gave City the lead from Raheem Sterling’s cross after 11 minutes, before Sterling himself doubled the lead eight minutes later. The first two goals were fairly basic, but the third most certainly wasn’t. Raheem Sterling’s cross found Leroy Sane, who left Balbuena behind with his turn as he converted past Lukasz Fabianski. Aaron Cresswell came on in the second-half for Arthur Masuaku, who had one of his worst games in a West Ham shirt. The substitution stopped the rot, and the Hammers gave a good account of themselves in the second-half. However, Manchester City grabbed one more through Leroy Sane with the last kick off the game. The win keeps their unbeaten run intact and maintains their two-point lead over Manchester City.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Leicester City: Ten-man Leicester picked up what would turn out to be a good point on the road. Glenn Murray’s header gave Brighton the lead after 15 minutes, on his 100th Premier League appearance. James Maddison then earnt himself a yellow card, only to earn himself another a matter of seconds afterwards. The latter was for a supposed dive from Shane Duffy’s ‘challenge,’ although a review afterwards shows that it was indeed such from the Leicester man. Jamie Vardy came on 10 minutes into the second half, and arguably changed the rest of the game. He almost assisted Okazaki moments after coming on, but the Japanese international just couldn’t quite get a touch on it. However, Vardy would draw Leicester level with ten minutes to go, his penalty sending the Leicester away into delirium. Brighton, who are 12th, travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday. The Foxes meanwhile host Southampton in their rearranged EFL Cup tie, before they host Watford on Saturday afternoon.

Fulham 3-2 Southampton: Claudio Ranieri got off to a fantastic start in his new job as Fulham boss, in a match full of excitement. Stuart Armstrong gave the Saints the lead after 18 minutes, only for Mitrovic to get Fulham level 15 minutes later. On-loan Premier League legend Andre Schurrle then put the home side ahead on the stroke of half-time. The second-half began just as fast as the second, with Armstrong getting his second, drawing Fulham level. However, Mitrovic would have the final say, giving Fulham what would be the winner ten minutes later (63 mins). The result temporarily lifted Fulham off the foot of the table, although they unfortunately returned following Huddersfield’s win at Wolves. They do however go level on points with Cardiff City and Southampton, highlighting how close it is at the foot of the table. Storm clouds continue to gather over Mark Hughes, whose win percentage is shockingly bad. Surely the Southampton board can only persevere with this for so long?

Watford 0-3 Liverpool: An excellent final third from Liverpool stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games, matching that of Manchester City’s. Jurgen Klopp’s men dominated possession throughout the game, proving once again why they are the main challengers to Manchester City’s attempt at regaining their Premier League title. However, Watford had several chances in the first half, which they will no doubt be regretting now. Mohammed Salah gave the Reds the lead after 67 minutes, but it was Trent Alexander-Arnold who got the pick of the lot. The youngster placed his free-kick to utter perfection in the top corner, giving Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster no chance. Jordan Henderson got himself sent off just a few minutes, picking up a second yellow card, both of which were deserved. Any hope of a Watford fightback was dashed though, when Roberto Firmino put Liverpool 3-0 with just a minute of normal time left. Watford have now only picked up one point from their three last games, but still sit in the top half of the table. They face a trip to Leicester on Saturday, who are just a place below them in the table. Liverpool, however, face a huge week. On Wednesday, they travel to PSG in their penultimate Champions’ League group game, before the Merseyside Derby on Sunday with Everton.

Manchester United 0-0 Crystal Palace: Old Trafford witnessed yet another dull 90 minutes of football on Saturday afternoon, as Jose Mourinho’s side failed to overcome Crystal Palace, who recorded their first points here for 29 years. Anthony Martial wasn’t able to continue his impressive goal scoring streak, offering very little at crucial moments. Romelu Lukaku did have the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. His last league goal came on the 15th September, a truly miserable statistic to the Belgians name. Jesse Lingard was perhaps the standout attacking player for United, forcing Palace’s Wayne Hennessey into some crucial saves. The Eagles had a couple of chances which Cheikhou Kouyate squandered in the dying moments, but it was a solid point nonetheless for Roy Hodgson’s men. The result keeps Palace outside the drop zone, but by just a point. Their last league win was 10 weeks ago, when they won away at Huddersfield. They’ll be hoping to pick up what would be a significant three points when they take on fellow strugglers Burnley next week at Selhurst Park. Jose Mourinho’s side can perhaps redeem themselves by ensuring their Champions League Round of 16 qualification on Tuesday, when they host Young Boys. After that, they face a trip to Southampton on Saturday night. The 20-times Champions are a huge seven points behind fourth place already, so a win is desperately needed.

Everton 1-0 Cardiff City: Everton moved above both AFC Bournemouth and Manchester United with an impressive display at Goodison Park. They dominated the game in terms of possession but were uninspiring in front of goal in the first half. Sol Bamba was a rock at the heart of the Cardiff defence, keeping Marco Silva’s men at bay. However, the defensive line was only solid for so long. Gylfi Sigurdsson finally put Everton ahead on the hour, tapping in after Neil Etheridge had stopped Theo Walcott’s effort. The win puts the Toffees into sixth place, whilst Cardiff remain in the bottom three. With so much other excitement at both the top and the bottom of the table, they’ve quietly accumulated a solid number of points and crept up the table seemingly unnoticed. Marco Silva appears to be proving his doubters wrong once again. Neil Warnock’s men were unlikely to take anything from their visit to Merseyside, but the manner of their performance is a cause for concern. They had very little of the ball, and the chances they did have came to nothing. Victor Camarasa’s shot was the best of the few, comfortably pushed away by Jordan Pickford. The Bluebirds next three fixtures are all against teams in the bottom-half, so they’ll be desperate to find a win somewhere. Everton, meanwhile, prepare for their huge Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Chelsea: Stellar. Supreme. Spurs. Tottenham showed a ridiculous level of maturity and quality that hadn’t been seen at all in what has been a very testing season for the Lilywhites. Chelsea were unable to cope with them from the very first minute, and when Dele Alli headed in from a free kick on seven minutes, the Blues’ fate was sealed in stone. Tottenham absolutely ran Chelsea ragged with a clear superiority in every department. Harry Kane deceived the goalkeeper and everybody else watching on with a 25 yard strike to the bottom left corner which was reminiscent of his genuine breakthrough goal in the famous 5-3 win against Chelsea when people started to sit up and take notice of his god-like quality. Tottenham had an incredible number of chances over the duration of the game, Heung-Min Son having the chance to net at least four. He only grabbed one however, but what a goal it was, picking up the ball on the halfway line before skinning Jorginho and David Luiz with ease, stroking the ball effortlessly past Kepa to score one of the goals of the season so far. Chelsea stole one back late on through Olivier Giroud, which was entirely undeserved. On another day, and perhaps on a non-NFL ravaged pitch, this would have been at least 8-0 to the mighty Spurs. If only the stadium had been ready… Now Spurs face Inter in a crucial Champions League showdown before visiting their noisy neighbours Arsenal next weekend. COYS!

AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal: Unai Emery’s team visited the South Coast desperate for a win, having drawn four of their previous games. Fortunately, they would return to winning ways. Jefferson Lerma’s own goal put the Gunners in front after thirty minutes, only for Josh King to get the Cherries back on level terms as the half-time whistle blew. Once again, Aubameyang would prove to be the hero for Arsenal, putting them in front with just over twenty minutes to go. The Gabonese international has now been involved in 23 of Arsenal’s last 26 goals. Bournemouth have now lost three games on the spin, but thanks to their excellent start to the season, they still remain in the top half. However, a disastrous December and they could tumble down the table. They face an almost impossible task on Saturday when they visit Manchester City. Arsenal travel to Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on Thursday, before their important North London Derby with Tottenham at the Emirates on Sunday.

Wolves 0-2 Huddersfield Town: Huddersfield got themselves an enormous victory at Molineux on Sunday evening. Aaron Mooy scored both of the goals in a game that sees them rocket up the table. The Terriers got off to a fantastic start, with Mooy putting them ahead after six minutes. It came from a lovely move down the left side, with Billing, Durm and Mooy all combining for the early goal. They should really have been further ahead when the half-time whistle came. Wolves didn’t seem at the races, and Huddersfield had plenty of chances to cement a bigger advantage. Nuno Espirito Santo described it as one of the worst performances he’d seen as Wolves manager, whilst David Wagner was understandably delighted. This was their first win on the road with a clean-sheet since their 3-0 victory at Selhurst Park on the opening day of last season. Mooy doubled the visitors lead with 16 minutes left to play, placing the ball perfectly in the bottom left corner from 20 yards out. Huddersfield now sit 15th, two points clear of the drop zone. Wolves remain 11th, but they’ve now lost four of their last five. They travel to struggling Cardiff on Friday night, whilst Huddersfield host Brighton.

Burnley 1-2 Newcastle United: Rafael Benitez went to bed a delighted man last night (Monday 27th November) as Newcastle recorded their third consecutive win. Sean Dyche, on the other hand, will be desperately searching for the Burnley team who managed to secure Europa League qualification last season. They appear not to be present at Turf Moor this year, as the Lancashire side now sit just one place above the relegation zone. Newcastle were in-front after just four minutes, when Federico Fernandez’s shot took a deflection off Ben Mee. They doubled their lead soon after, with Matt Ritchie’s cross finished off by Ciaran Clarke. Burnley got themselves back in the game just before half-time when Sam Vokes looped the ball over Martin Dubravka, but it wouldn’t be enough. The win rockets Newcastle up to 13th place. They take on West Ham on Saturday, and a win could put them some seven points clear of the dreaded bottom three. Burnley travel to Selhurst Park, as they look to kick-off a huge December with a win over Palace.