Magpies earn 3 points late on at Selhurst Park
The matchweek kicked off on Friday night as Newcastle stole the points at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace had the better of the chances but was left to rue missed opportunities as two late goals from Callum Wilson and Joelinton earnt the points for the Magpies. Newcastle moves up to 10th as Palace slip down to 13th.
A game interrupted and decided by VAR
Saturday started at the Amex, with Brighton v Liverpool in the early kick-off, much to Jurgen Klopp’s dissatisfaction. Liverpool’s ‘Egyptian King’ had missed a great early chance after a lovely long pass from Fabinho, but for the rest of the first half, Brighton were the better team. Young Liverpool defender Neco Williams showed his inexperience to give away a first-half penalty but was relieved when Neal Maupay placed the spot-kick wide. Liverpool improved after the break, and Diogo Jota notched his 8th goal in 8 games to give the Reds the lead. A lead which looked to have been enough, until a late VAR decision gave Brighton a penalty. With no players appealing, apart from Danny Welbeck, this would have gone unnoticed before VAR, but replays showed that Welbeck did indeed get a touch on the ball before Andy Robertson swung, missed the ball and kicked Welbeck in the foot. The referee rightly awarded a penalty and Pascal Gross did what Neal Maupay could not, as he drove the ball into the net. The game finished 1-1 and two points dropped by Liverpool as they chase back-to-back titles.
City break 113-year record to beat Burnley by 5
Manchester City and Burnley were up next at the Etihad. The Etihad is not a happy hunting ground for the Clarets, they had lost their last three visits here by the same score 5-0. They couldn’t again, could they? Make that four times. The sky blues have been below their best this season, averaging far fewer goals and chances created than Guardiola’s previous seasons, but they were back to something like their best on Saturday. A first City hat-trick for the brilliant Riyad Mahrez, and a goal apiece for Mendy and Torres. It could have been worse for Burnley too, as Pep’s men had another two goals ruled out for offside. City is now the second team in Football League history to win four successive home games by five or more goals against the same opponent. They joined Notts County who did so against Port Vale between 1893-1907. Worrying signs for Burnley, who, make no mistake, are in a relegation fight this season. City closed the gap to the top to 6 points, with a game in hand.
Leeds get first league win at Goodison Park since 1990
To Goodison Park next, where Everton slipped to a fourth defeat in 5 games. Leeds had failed to win in their previous 13 visits here, but they were well worthy of the three points. 23 shots in total for Marcelo Bielsa’s men, six on target and that one, the all-important goal from Raphinha. Jack Harrison had hit the post early on and Jordan Pickford made several important saves, but Raphinha scored a brilliant goal from 20 yards out. Everton had chances too, eight on target as they kept Leeds keeper Meslier busy throughout. Everton are now 7th; Leeds move up to 12th.
Sheffield United lose again to relegation rivals
The final match on Saturday was an early relegation 6 pointer. Both West Brom and Sheffield United were winless and desperate for the three points. But it was a home win for the Baggies as Conor Gallagher netted the only goal of the game. Sheffield United created several chances, but their lack of quality finishing could well be their downfall this season. There were 39 shots in this game, the joint-most this season, showing just how desperate both teams were for the points. It’s Slaven Bilic’s team though that move onto 6 points, 5 clear of the Blades who are bottom with just one point.
Second-half substitute Cavani saves United in 90th min
The first match on Sunday was a thriller at St Mary’s Stadium. Southampton led Manchester United 2-0 at half time, but the red devils produced a stunning comeback with super-sub Edison Cavani scoring the winner in injury time. This was the Uruguayan’s breakthrough game as he scored two and set up Fernandes’s first. Remarkably, this was the first time that United have won eight consecutive away games in the top-flight. They are now just 5 points off the top with a game in hand. The saints stay 5th, 4 points off the top.
Stalemate at Stamford Bridge
The big match of the weekend was a meeting between Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, and Jose Mourinho’s Spurs. Though this was probably the most boring game of the weekend. Both teams were eager not to lose, though Chelsea showed a bit more ambition in trying to score a goal. It was a classic Mourinho performance, who said himself, this was a good point won. Spurs stay top, Chelsea stays 3rd, two points behind Spurs.
Wolves beat Arsenal but lose Jimenez to horror injury
Sunday’s final game was overshadowed by an injury to Wolves’ Raul Jimenez who suffered a fractured skull. We wish him a speedy recovery. Though he will be happy to know that his Wolves team got all three points at the Emirates. Arsenal looked like they had turned a corner this season, especially after their win at Old Trafford a few weeks ago. But this defeat condemned the gunners to their worst start to a season since 1981. Adama Traore helped set up the opener, he found Leander Dendonker who hit the bar, before Pedro Neto put in the rebound. Arsenal’s new signing Gabrial then headed in the equaliser just 3 minutes later. A classy second from Wolves Daniel Podence, after a sublime touch, to chip it over Gabriel 3 minutes before half time. The Gunners pushed for an equaliser, though you never felt they were going to score. Mikel Arteta now faces more criticism from fans after a run of poor performances.
Fulham’s penalty curse over as they beat Foxes
Fulham bagged a vital three points at the King Power on Monday. The impressive Ademola Lookman opened the scoring after beating Kaspar Schmeichel in a one v one after half an hour. Eight minutes later and the cottagers won a penalty through Decordova-Reid, with help from VAR. Going into this match they had missed 3 penalties in a row, with Ivan Cavaleiro one of the culprits, but he made no mistake this time, with a lovely side-foot finish, high enough to beat Schmeichel. Leicester had earlier struck the woodwork twice, and Barnes gave them hope with just 4 minutes remaining. Fulham though held on for a massive three points, a plan well executed by Scott Parker.
More VAR controversy as West Ham beat Villa
The London Stadium was the venue for the final match of the week. Angelo Ogbonna headed in the opener after only 2 minutes from a corner. Villa levelled after a brilliant run and goal from their main man, Jack Grealish. That’s now 10 goal involvements for the England star, putting him 3rd in the league this season, just behind Spurs duo Son (11) and Kane (16). Jarrod Bowen headed in the winner straight after half time for the Hammers. The controversy came in stoppage time as Ollie Watkins had a goal ruled out by VAR, despite the fact he was clearly being manhandled by Ogbonna. The former Brentford man also missed a penalty in the game when he struck the bar. In truth, Villa should have won this game, they had 10 more attempts on goal than the hammers, including 6 on target, compared to the Hammers’ 2.