- Mustafi and Alexis score as Arsenal gun down Tottenham
- Hazard hits brace in West Brom drubbing
- Mohammed Salah becomes top scorer after win over Southampton and more….
The Cityzens maintained their healthy 8 point lead after the round of fixtures were played last weekend. The advantage looks set to last until at least after the Christmas festivities. Can they carry on? Will we see Manchester United or Chelsea usurping a team that has been described as out of this planet recently? Let us take you through the results in the last match day.
Bournemouth 4-0 Huddersfield
Eddie Howe’s side outclassed Huddersfield in their encounter at the Vitality stadium on Saturday.
A header from Callum Wilson inside 26 minutes sent the hosts on their way to victory. Wilson then found his way past the opposition defense’s offside trap to make it two goals to the good.
Bournemouth’s hopes of claiming a victory took a blow after Simon Francis was shown a second yellow card for fouling Rajiv van La Parra few moments before the half time whistle.
That incident did not discourage them and they went ahead to get a third through Harry Arter in the 70th minute. Callum Wilson rounded off an excellent performance with a drilled finish to complete his hat trick in the 84th minute.
The home side were efficient in the end, converting 4 of their 5 shots on target with just 31% of the possession. Eddie Howe will be delighted with that result. Bournemouth places 13th and Huddersfield places 10th.
Crystal Palace 2-2 Everton
The encounter between two struggling sides in the form of Palace and Everton ended with points shared at Selhurst Park on Saturday. James McArthur set the tone with a well-executed finish thanks to an excellent work from Loftus Cheek in the 1st minute.
Leighton Baines gave the perfect response from 12 yards out after a penalty shout was given in the 6th minute. Wilfried Zaha managed to put the Eagles back in the driving seat with a close range finish inside 35 minutes.
Oumar Niasse showed great composure to equalize in first half stoppage time after Gyilfi Sigurdsson’s pass put him through on goal. Palace places 20th and Everton places 16th after the result.
Leicester City 0-2 Manchester City
The Cityzens maintained their amazing run of form with a fairly convincing result against the Foxes at the King Power Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side had to wait until the 45th minute to break the deadlock and it was Gabriel Jesus’ close range finish that did the job.
Gabriel Jesus is one player to watch in the coming weeks having scored 15 and assisted a further 5 in 21 league outings for City. Kevin De Bruyne powered one home four minutes later after Harry Maguire’s effort hit the post at the other end.
Vincent Kompany got away with a red card decision which might have changed the course of the tie but Manchester City reigned supreme until the final whistle.
The dominance of the Cityzens in this fixture was undeniable after claiming 75% of the possession and managing 12 attempts in total with 4 of them being on target.
Pep Guardiola will hope that this scintillating form goes on till the season comes to a close. Manchester City places 1st and Leicester places 12th on the standings.
West Bromwich Albion 0-4 Chelsea
The collective brilliance of the Blues proved to be the deciding factor in their fixture against the Baggies at the Hawthorns last weekend.
Eden Hazard saw his initial effort parried by Foster and Alvaro Morata was there to convert the rebound in the 17th minute.
The Belgian winger then rounded the West Brom goalkeeper to give his side a two goal cushion after he was put through by Morata six minutes later.
Marcos Alonso made it three for the defending champions with the help of a delivery from Cesc Fabregas in the 38th minute.
Eden Hazard made further impact on the game with a curled effort from the edge of the area to put the match beyond doubt in the 62nd minute. Chelsea places 3rd after the win and West Brom is now one place above the relegation zone.
Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
The Reds continued their recently impressive run of form with a win over Southampton at Anfield last Saturday. Liverpool got off to a bright start with Mohammed Salah curling one in from 18 yards out in the 31st minute.
The Egyptian slid his close range effort past Frazer Forster to make it two on the day 10 minutes later.
Philippe Coutinho rebounded Firmino’s initial effort to ensure maximum points for his side in the 68th minute. The Saints never looked like getting back into a game Liverpool dominated from start to finish.
Southampton ended up with no shot on target, the last time that happened was against the same opponent on the same ground last season. Liverpool places 5th and Southampton now places 14th.
Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United
The Red Devils got back to winning ways after their disappointing performance against Chelsea last time out. The visitors gave Mourinho’s side an early scare inside 14 minutes.
Dwight Gayle found the net with the help of the woodwork to put the Magpies ahead. Anthony Martial headed home Paul Pogba’s cross to make things all square in the 37th minute.
Chris Smalling nodded in Ashley Young’s brilliant cross to turn things around in first half stoppage time. Paul Pogba marked his return to the side from injury with a well taken goal in the 54th minute.
Romelu Lukaku finally ended his barren run in front of goal after he blasted the ball high into the net in the 70th minute. The return of a key figure in the form of Paul Pogba helped the hosts to dominate proceedings.
Zlatan and Rojo have also returned and that will make Manchester United a more dangerous team in the weeks to come. The Red Devils are now in 2nd place and the Magpies place 11th on the log.
MATCH OF THE WEEK
Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur: The North London Derby showdown
The fans in the Premier League and the world witnessed the broadcast of one of the fiercest derbies in England and world football today. The Gunners hosted Tottenham at the Emirates on Saturday at early kick off.
The rivalry had seen 193 matches before the one on Saturday. The results read 62 wins for Tottenham, 51 stalemates and 80 wins for Arsenal. Arsenal had Shkodran Mustafi back in the side after suffering a thigh problem on international duty in October.
Tottenham also welcomed Harry Kane from his knee injury before the international break and Dele Alli who missed the fixture against Crystal Palace due to a hamstring scare.
Hugo Lloris and Harry Winks were also deemed fit to face Arsenal after the absences for their respective countries due to injuries of their own.
Their setback was their inability to call on Toby Alderweireld due to the Belgian’s hamstring injury which is expected to keep him out until after Christmas and the destructive Victor Wanyama, also nursing a hamstring injury.
The game saw Arsenal take all three points thanks to goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez. The Gunners came into the match with a lot more intensity and desire than their rivals, pressing them constantly from start to finish and attacking as a unit.
The wingbacks, Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac teamed up with Sanchez and Ozil to cause havoc to Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies at the opposition end.
Mesut Ozil in particular produced a man of the match performance with his constant pressing and superb link up play with his attacking counterparts. The first goal was scored by Shkodran Mustafi.
The German defender headed in Mesut Ozil’s free kick from the right side of Tottenham’s half after Mike Dean controversially blew the whistle signaling an infringement on Alexis Sanchez.
Mustafi was deemed to be marginally offside after replays were shown but the referee failed to spot that and Arsenal had the lead inside 36 minutes.
An attack on the left side of Tottenham’s half saw Alexandre Lacazette pass the ball to Alexis Sanchez who converts from close range with ease to make it 2-0 for the home team. Sanchez was also marginally offside according to replays but the goal stood.
The defensive lineup picked by Mauricio Pochettino did not do well enough against the attacking trio of Lacazette, Sanchez and Ozil. Ben Davies in particular had a bad day at the office.
The Englishman lost his battle with Hector Bellerin and saw his side constantly used by the Gunners particularly in the first half. Pochettino’s decision to leave Danny Rose out of a game of this magnitude was baffling.
Spurs also showed that they missed the services of Toby Alderweireld and may struggle to cope without him in the coming weeks against tough opposition.
Moussa Dembele and Moussa Sissoko couldn’t find their rhythm in the match and found themselves behind Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka in the performance charts.
The absence of Wanyama to pair with Dembele is perhaps one of the reasons for the performance. Arsenal’s defense, led by Shkodran Mustafi were tasked to keep the likes of Kane, Eriksen and Dele Alli quiet and they did that well from start to finish.
Harry Kane goal scoring threat was reduced to the barest minimum by Mustafi, Koscielny and Nacho Monreal.
Alli and Eriksen couldn’t find enough space to create clear cut chances and that can be attributed to the collective pressing from the home team. Eric Dier’s header was their biggest chance in the fixture and that brought out a smart save from Petr Cech.
The Emirates is gradually becoming a fortress for Arsene Wenger’s men as they now have 11 consecutive Premier League victories there. Tottenham are failing to replicate their solidity from the previous campaign with three losses in the league this season already.
They had one more defeat in the whole of last season and that will no doubt give Mauricio Pochettino a cause for concern. Arsenal now places 6th and Tottenham places 4th.