Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Premier League Review Match Week 8: Blues Swat Bees; Foxes Flummox Devils; Liverpool Pummels Watford; Wolves Chase Down Villa; Kane Scores In Spurs Win; Arsenal Leave it Late To Salvage Point

Chelsea remained atop the Premier League table with a 1-0 win at Brentford. A lined volley by Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell was the difference as Thomas Tuchel’s squad posted a fifth clean sheet of the league season. For Chilwell it was a third goal in as many recent matches for club and country.

The Bees were valiant in defeat, launching 12 shots in the final 11 minutes as they swarmed the Chelsea end in pursuit of a tying goal only to be thwarted by the play of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and the efforts of defenders such as Trevoh Chalobah who had a late goal saving clearance.

Leicester stunned Manchester United to end the Red Devils’ 29 match away unbeaten run and knock Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men from the Top Four. Jamie Vardy scored the deciding tally with his joint league leading seventh goal of the season just a minute after Marcus Rashford’s second half goal had tied the match for United.

Patson Daka provided insurance in stoppage time with his first Premier League goal for the Foxes. Leicester, which remains outside the top half of the table despite the win, won for a first time in five matches.

Second place Liverpool rudely welcomed Claudio Ranieri back to the Premier League as the Reds stirred up the Hornets’ nest with a 5-0 away romp over Watford and their new manager. Bobby Firmino struck for a hat trick while linemates Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah completed the scoresheet for Liverpool. Salah’s seventh league goal of the season kept him tied with Jamie Vardy for the league lead. Unbeaten Liverpool remained a point behind Chelsea for the league’s top spot while the stinging loss for the Hornets dropped them to 16th.

Brighton and Hove Albion cracked the Top Four, replacing Manchester United, with the point captured by the Seagulls in a goalless draw away at Norwich. Brighton is now residing in the Champions League places despite scoring fewer goals than any club in the top eight. The Canary scoring difficulties, however, are at a whole different level as Norwich, which saw wasted opportunities on Saturday by forwards Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki, has scored but twice all season. The bottom dwelling Canaries take some solace in posting a second consecutive clean sheet to put them within four points of safety.

West Ham won for a fourth time this season as an Angelo Ogbonna header delivered a hard fought 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.

West Ham moved past Everton to seventh in the table, on goal differential, as David Moyes found joy at his old Goodison Park stomping grounds. Moyes spent 11 years at Everton, often facing off in Merseyside derbies against current Everton manager Rafa Benitez when the Spaniard managed Liverpool.

Manchester City strolled to a 2-0 victory over Burnley to maintain third position in the table, two points behind league leading Chelsea. The Citizens controlled 71% of the possession in limiting the 18th place Clarets to but two shots on goal as Burnley failed to score for a fourth time this season.

Wolverhampton moved into the top half of the table as a stoppage time goal by Reuben Neves completed a Wolves comeback from a two-goal deficit in a 3-2 defeat of Aston Villa. It was Wolves’ third consecutive victory and fourth win in their last five matches. Aston Villa, meanwhile, fell to 13th in the table with the gut-wrenching loss.

Newcastle’s first match under their new Saudi  ownership highlighted how much work needs to be done as the Magpies were overmatched in a 3-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane scored his first goal of the season for Spurs in a match which was paused in the first half by a fan medical emergency at Newcastle’s St. James Park. Spurs players Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier were instrumental in flagging the difficulty to officials and ensuring a defibrillator was rushed to the fan’s location. Spurs move to fifth in the table with a second consecutive victory while winless Newcastle sit just a point above dreadful Norwich.

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette scored with just seconds left in stoppage time to break Crystal Palace hearts and spoil the return of former Arsenal playing legend and current Eagles manager Patrick Vieira. The exciting end could not mask another frustrating performance by the Gunners as they struggled against their smaller London rival. Vieira has Crystal Palace playing well but not closing out wins when offered. 

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