Two Shocks and a Wondergoal

Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool

Henderson’s brilliant long-ranger has sealed Chelsea’s fate on Friday.

As Jürgen Klopp summed up the game in his typical, chaotic-style comment: “The beginning was brilliant – brilliant – for my side and, and, we played football like hell, it was really nice to watch and we scored a goal in other moment. We were quick in mind, after set pieces – well, we didn’t do too often, but it was wonderful and – oh! – what can I say? Second half of course, it’s a little bit more difficult, with less power, it was getting tense… We had a lot of ball in the first half, Chelsea came back in the second half – that’s not too fair, but it’s normal. And they scored their goal and after the goal then we managed it again – it was absolutely not at all chances for them.”

Exactly, Kloppo – exactly…

✰✰✰

Hull 1-4 Arsenal

The honeymoon is over: Hull have picked up only one point out of their last three games and are now descending towards the relegation zone. Once again, the one to sink them has turned out to be Alexis Sánchez. The Chilean took part in six goalscoring actions during his previous four games against The Tigers and he delivered again – even though he missed a penalty and ‘hijacked’ Alex Iwobi’s goal in the process. For now, the Arsenal youngster must satisfy himself with two assists and potentially, a solid starting spot in Gunners’ XI – as both Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck remain unfit and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to have fallen into disfavour.

Next opposition – Chelsea. Oh, this is going to be so goood!

✰✰✰

Leicester 3-0 Burnley

When you watch a game like this, you just have to ask yourself: how the fuck has Liverpool managed to lose to The Clarets? During the 90 minutes against reigning champions, Sean Dyche’s lads have only amassed 2 shots on target and 1 corner. They’ve even allowed Foxes to retain a 59% possession – something almost unheard of, considering the playstyle Claudio Ranieri’s team prefers. Islam Slimani has scored his maiden LFC goal seconds before the halftime – and the game was pretty much decided. The visitors, lined up in a 4-5-1 formation, were only prepared to hold on to a 0-0 draw – and after that possibility was out of the window, they’ve more or less collapsed.

Burnley will now host a high-flying Watford, high-flying Arsenal, go to Southampton, host high-flying Everton and then visit Old Trafford. Relegation before Christmas??

✰✰✰

Man City 4-0 Bournemouth

It was kind from Nolito to get a straight red and finally give Leroy Sané a chance for a debut.


No surprises here: it’s been a straight-up execution of Eddie Howe’s lads. Playing 4-5-1 didn’t help – and neither did Jack Wilshere in the starting XI. Arsenal loanee might’ve won 2 tackles, 2 dribbles and accomplished a perfect, 100% pass accuracy – but it hardly mattered, as he only had 22 touches and 10 passes to make during his 69-minute long shift! Meanwhile, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho were eating Cherries for dinner, securing goal after goal and treating the match as if it was a light Sunday warm-up. Too bad that Nolito did not follow their example – by the end of the game, the Spaniard fell victim of a cunning provocation by Adam Smith, gave him a gentle headbutt and saw a red card.

It’s a 5th straight win for Guardiola. Rest of the league, are you even trying??

 

✰✰✰

West Brom 4-2 West Ham

The football comedy of West Ham continues. After losing a 2-0 lead at home to Watford, they went to Baggies to regain some pride. Fifty six minutes and five shots at Adrián’s goal later, they were trailing 0-4 against Tony Pulis’ team – the first time West Bromwich have ever score so many league goals in a single match under their current manager. Arthur Masuaku gifted the first goal to the hosts by handballing a rather harmless cross in the penalty area. Soon enough, Angelo Ogbonna lost possession in his own half which led to Rondón’s goal and McClean scored by deflecting Chadli’s shot into the gaping net. After the break, Chadli and Rondón hit Hammers on the counter again – and the disaster was complete.

So far, WHUFC have conceded 17 goals in just nine competitive games this season (including Europa League). Amusing – but it’s slowly getting less and less funny.

✰✰✰

Everton 3-1 Middlesbrough

I’d really like to see positives in this match because it was a good, exciting battle fought by two pretty decent teams – but I can’t. Unfortunately, the entire joy of watching football at Goodison Park has been spoiled by a clamped named Lee Mason. That absolute impostor of a referee has given two unfair goals to each side. In both cases, he has decided to completely ignore blatant – blatant! – fouls on Maarten Stekelenburg and Victor Valdés. And even though, at the end of the day, those awful decisions did not change the games’ outcome – still, two wrongs don’t make one right, as they say. So even when Seamus Coleman scored a neat, composed finish to settle the score and celebrate his comeback – I was unfazed.

Everton are the real deal, though. If only Ronald Koeman could somehow transform Ross Barkley the same way Pep has transformed Raheem Sterling…

✰✰✰

Watford 3-1 Manchester United

Talk about instant impact; Zúñiga scored faster than Adam Johnson in elementary school.

The entire Watford starting eleven costed £38.7 million – which is about 43% of Paul Pogba’s record-breaking transfer fee. Alas, it wasn’t the money that decided the Sunday clash at Vicarage Road. Right from the kickoff, the aggressive, physical challenge The Hornets have issued to Manchester United led the visitors to an unexpected amount of trouble. Ighalo, the supposed super-marksman missed one of the easiest chances of his career as early as 13 minutes into the match. And even though the actual goal, scored by on-fire Etienne Capoue was preceded by Britos’ foul on Martial – there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that Watford deserved that lead.

At the other end of the pitch, the visitors were putting new meaning to the word ‘struggling’. Heurelho Gomes remained jobless until the 78th minute, when he brilliantly parried Ibrahimović’s header. Seconds later, Walter Mazzarri has introduced Juan Camilo Zúñiga. The Colombian winger needed about thirteen seconds and exactly two touches to get on the scoresheet – and later on, he was the one to win a penalty and indirectly secure the 3-1 win. Before that happened, the game largely resembled last season endeavours under Louis van Gaal: ten very static United players and Marcus Rashford between them, trying to create something by himself. But that was 160 million pounds ago!

Sad but true: for the first time since 2002, United have lost three games in a row. And next weekend, against Leicester, they won’t necessarily be favourites – even at Old Trafford…

✰✰✰

Crystal Palace 4-1 Stoke

The Potters are sinking faster than the Sun behind clouds over their city. At Palace, they marked their rivals during set pieces so well that Eagles’ centre-backs each had goals to their names well before 15 minutes passed. Later, following another corner, Bojan needed to clear another Scott Dann’s header off the goal line and McArthur scored a lucky, deflected goal… as usual, by hitting the ball passed to him from a corner. New signing Andros Townsend has completed the rout with a brilliant, long-range placed shot that capped the counterattack – and the visitors could’ve as well packed their bags and departed back from where they came. Marko Arnautović might’ve bagged one in the dying minutes, but it was irrelevant.

Where are Mark Hughes’ lads going? Without Jack Butland to save them, with 14 goals conceded already and Xherdan Shaqiri still struggling with fitness following his calf injury – the prospects for the future are looking bleak. Maybe West Brom at home on Saturday can become a bit of a turnaround?

✰✰✰

Southampton 1-0 Swansea

Easily the closest game of the entire weekend. Despite being on the back foot for the most of the game, Swansea looked like a team that might just barely, barely scrape a draw at St. Mary’s. Łukasz Fabiański had yet another very good game and so did Kyle Naughton and Jordi Amat – which, combined with a goalscoring impotence of Shane Long (only 1 shot on target) and Nathan Redmond (missed a sitter just before half-time) could’ve resulted with a 0-0 draw. However, in the second half, it was Saint’s super-sub, Charlie Austin, who took the matter into his own legs. A lucky deflection of Tadić’s awkward cross fell right onto his chest, so he controlled the ball with it and then smashed it into top corner. A heartbreak for Swans – but, considering the run of play (19-9 in shots; 7-1 in corners; 16-8 in key passes) – this was a deserved win for Saints.

 

✰✰✰

Tottenham 1-0 Sunderland

At the moment, Mackems are hands down the most pointless Premier League club. Every single thing about that team is mediocre: mediocre players, mediocre tactics, mediocre manager (sorry Moyes), mediocre transfers, mediocre performances and mediocre results. Last Sunday, Jordan Pickford, 22 years-old goalkeeping prodigy right from Sunderland’s academy, tried as hard as he could to break the pattern of mediocrity. He valiantly held off Spurs’ multiple assaults by himself – up to the point that I started wondering whether he can secure a priceless one point for his team. In the end, he couldn’t – he was betrayed by Papy Djilobodji’s abysmal decision to control the loose ball in SAFC’s penalty area rather than to just clear it. But nevertheless – that was a brilliant effort from the goalie.

Sort it out, Black Cats. 31 shots conceded in a single game? Pathetic.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s