Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Premier League Review: Matchday Eight

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 17 Oct 2017

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Matchday eight in the Premier League started with a stutter on Saturday afternoon with Liverpool and Manchester United playing out a goalless draw at Anfield.

The hosts had the better of the play firing nineteen shots at their opponents but a combination of poor finishing and an impressive performance from United keeper David De Gea kept them at bay.

The Spain number one was at his most impressive keeping Joel Matip out at point blank range in the first half – easily the best chance of the game for either side.

The result did see Jose Mourinho’s men keep a clean sheet for the ninth time from ten league games, though they have lost ground at the top of the table after their neighbours Manchester City stole the weekend’s headlines by putting seven past Stoke City.

Seventh heaven

Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and David Silva had put Pep Guardiola’s side three up inside half an hour though goals either side of half time from Mame Biram Diouff and an own-goal from Kyle Walker kept the Potters in the game.

However second half strikes from Jesus, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva secured the victory for the league leaders who now have a two point advantage at the summit.

Third place Tottenham Hotspur got their first home win of the season with Christian Eriksen’s forty-seventh minute strike enough to secure the points against Bournemouth who remain in nineteenth place, just a point above Crystal Palace who pulled off the shock of the weekend by beating champions Chelsea.

Off the mark

Having not scored in their opening seven games it was an own goal from Cesar Azpilicueta that broke the South London’s side’s duck.

Tiemoue Bakayoko leveled for Antonio Conte’s side before Wilfried Zaha sent the home fans into raptures with a second for the hosts on the stroke of half-time.

Watford moved into the top four after coming from behind to beat Arsenal, with Tom Cleverley the hero after firing in the winner in stoppage time.

Per Mertersacker had given the Gunners the lead six minutes before the break, only for Troy Deeneny to level from the spot after being awarded a controversial penalty.

Honors even

Elsewhere on Saturday, Burnley left it late to secure a share of the spoils against ten-men West Ha United while a Tammy Abraham double inspired Swansea City to victory over Huddersfield Town.

There were two stalemates on Sunday as Brighton and Hove Albion were denied all three points at home to Everton by a last-minute Wayne Rooney penalty while there were four goals shared between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary’s Stadium later in the day.

Finally, there was another draw as a late Riyad Mahrez goal spared Leicester City from another defeat as they faced West Bromwich Albion though the 2016 Premier League champions remain in the relegation zone.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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