Monday, November 9, 2020

Week 8 Review: Foxes First; Jesus Saves Citizens; Spurs Bag Second; Saints March into Top Four; Everton Needs A Break


Top of the Table

Leicester – The Foxes clawed back to the top spot as they defeated a toothless Wolves side 1-0.   A first half Jamie Vardy penalty, his eighth goal of the season, was the difference for a Leicester side which now has three consecutive victories and six wins from its eight matches this season. Eighteen points after eight games is a best top division start for the Foxes.

Tottenham Hotspur – Harry Kane delivered the winner in a 1-0 victory for Spurs against the Baggies of West Brom.  Kane’s goal was his 150th in Premier League competition.  He is third quickest to that mark after Alan Shearer and Sergio Aguero.  Spurs continue a seven-game unbeaten string, winning six of those games, including the last three. 

Liverpool Liverpool drew 1-1 with Manchester City to fall to third in the table.  Despite starting four up front to accommodate the in-form Diogo Jota in the line-up, the Reds managed only a first half penalty by Mohamed Salah.  Salah’s goal was his eighth of the season.  The Reds have now won only three of their last ten away games in league competition.

Southampton – The Saints were temporarily top of the table for the first time since 1988 following Friday’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle.  By weekend’s end the Saints retained a top four position whereas a year ago they were in the relegation places. Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong provided the goals in the absence of the inured Danny Ings.  The ascendant Saints are unbeaten in six matches, winning five.

Chelsea – Chelsea rolled to a 4-1 victory over Sheffield United after the Blades enjoyed a brief lead on an early penalty kick.  Chelsea enjoyed 70% possession with seven different players contributing either a goal or assist. Chelsea is unbeaten in six games with four victories in that stretch. Timo Werner now has four goals in his last four Premier League games.

Aston Villa Ollie Watkins scored a brace in Aston Villa’s 3-0 win over Arsenal and now has six goals in his seven games as a Villan.  Jack Grealish and Russ Barkley controlled the midfield for Villa, and each had an assist in the victory.  Villa has yet to concede a goal in its three away matches this season.  Manager Dean Smith’s team is now three points from the top of the table with a game in hand after breaking a two-game losing skid.  

Mid Table

Everton – Everton lost its third consecutive game with a 3-1 loss to Manchester United.  Manager Carlo Ancelotti had not lost three consecutive league games since his tenure at AC Milan in 2006. The team continues to sorely miss suspended forward Richarlison, without whom the team has never won a match since his 2018 arrival.  James Rodriguez was ineffective in attack and his defensive shortcomings were on display against the Red Devils.

Crystal Palace – Crystal Palace scored four goals for the first time in 46 Premier League games in defeating Leeds 4-1.  The Eagles have now scored three or more goals twice this season after failing to score that many in any league game last season. Roy Hodson adjusted his starting line-up with the insertion of forward Jordan Ayew and winger Ebereche Eze, and each responded with a goal for the soaring Eagle attack.

Wolverhampton Wanderers – Wolves’ 1-0 loss to Leicester marked the sixth game in eight that the team has scored one or fewer goals. The loss continued a streak in which the Wolves have never scored in four Premier League visits to Leicester.  The Wolves’ packed defense was again effective, conceding only a disputed penalty goal versus the Foxes.  Rue Patricio saved a second penalty opportunity, his third stop of 10 penalties he has faced in the Premier League.   

Manchester City – Gabriel Jesus scored the tying goal for Manchester City in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.  Kevin De Bruyne missed a penalty for the Citizens.  Manchester City improved to 10th in the table with the draw and are six points behind league leader Leicester with a game in hand.  The draw was City’s third 1-1 score line in their last five games

Arsenal – Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Aston Villa marked a fourth straight game without a goal from open play.  Alexandre Lacazette was again guilty of misfires for the Gunners while Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains on just two goals for the season.  A defense which had been playing well was exposed against Aston Villa.  

West Ham – An added time strike by Tomas Soucek enabled a 1-0 West Ham victory when Fulham missed an even later penalty try.  West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski recorded his seventh penalty save since the start of the 2016/17 season, three more than any other goalkeeper during that time.  The Hammers have lost only to Liverpool in their last six games.

Newcastle – Newcastle suffered their first away loss of the season with a 2-0 defeat to Southampton.  The Magpies generated little in attack and suffered defensive lapses in conceding both Saints goals.  Newcastle has failed to post a clean sheet in their last seven league matches.  Striker Callum Wilson suffered a second half hamstring injury for the Magpies.

Manchester United – Manchester United continued its unpredictable season with a 3-1 defeat of Everton, the Red Devils’ third Premier League win of the season against three losses and a draw.  A seventh consecutive Premier League road win equaled a club record.  Bruno Fernandes had two goals for ManU which also saw striker Edinson Cavani score his first Premier League goal.  Fernandes has now been involved in 22 goals in 21 Premier League appearances.

Bottom of the Table

Leeds – Leeds falls to 15th in the table following its 4-1 loss to Crystal Place, a second consecutive defeat by that score for the Whites and their third loss in the last four matches.  Leeds’s 17 goals allowed on the season is now joint highest with fellow promoted side West Brom.  Patrick Bamford scored his seventh goal of the season.

Brighton & Hove Albion – Brighton remained winless at home this season with its goalless draw versus Burnley.  The Seagulls, having taken more shots than all but Liverpool this season, continue to struggle in converting their opportunities.  Brighton’s nineteen shots versus Burnley were the most in the Premier League this season by a team failing to score a goal.

Fulham – Fulham’s Ademola Lookman botched a penalty opportunity in extra time as Fulham fell 1-0 to West Ham.  The forward’s Panenka-style attempt on the penalty chance was widely panned by supporters of a team which will need every possible point in its relegation fight.  Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, on loan from PSG, had a strong game in net for the Cottagers.  

West Bromwich Albion – West Brom remained relegation bound with its 1-0 loss to Spurs.  The Baggies have now failed to score in four of their last five games. Baggie hopes for valuable point to be earned from a determined defensive effort were dashed by Harry Kane’s 88th minute goal.

Burnley – Burnley’s scoreless draw with Brighton marked a fourth straight Premier League game in which the Clarets have failed to score.  The draw doubled their season point total to two which is the joint lowest for a Burnley team at any level of league competition after seven games.  Burnley did exit the cellar, exchanging places with Sheffield United.

Sheffield United - Sheffield United was no match for Chelsea in a 4-1 loss at Stamford Bridge. An early lead on a David McGoldrick penalty goal quickly evaporated in the face of Chelsea's relentless attack. The Blades had only 30% possession in the game and allowed twenty shots, nine on target. United's one point is joint lowest in history for a Premier League team after eight matches.

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