Friday, October 21, 2022

Match Week 12 (Midweek) Results: Manchester United Wins, Ronaldo Pouts; Alisson Saves Liverpool; Villa Sacks Gerrard After Loss To Fulham; Bournemouth Streak Ends; Brighton Futility Continues; Almiron Leads Newcastle; Foxes Exit Basement; Eagles Overtake Wolves

Manchester United posted one of its best efforts of the season in defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 on Wednesday. Headlines for the victory, however, needed to be shared with the petulant actions of club legend Cristiano Ronaldo. Once ascertaining he would not be entering the contest as a substitute, the Portuguese striker headed for the tunnel before match end. Ronaldo’s childish display detracted from the Red Devil performance which saw goals by Bruno Fernandes and Fred ensure the second loss of the season for Spurs. United moved to within one point of the Champions League qualification places with the win. Ronaldo, meanwhile, will not be part of the squad facing Chelsea this weekend and will likely face a hefty fine as well. The situation is becoming untenable for club and player but there are few options until the next transfer window and potentially few options even then.

Steven Gerrard also made a noteworthy exit this week as the Aston Villa manager was sacked after a crushing 3-0 loss to Fulham, a tenth consecutive league match in which Gerrard’s club failed to score more than a goal. Aston Villa has scored but seven goals in its eleven matches, an unacceptable tally for a club with proven scorers and creative talents on its roster. No Villa player has more than one league goal for the 17th place Villans this season. Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a penalty on Thursday to give him one more goal for the season than the entire Villa team.

Liverpool needed just a single goal for a second consecutive league victory. The Reds survived 1-0 versus West Ham as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson stopped a penalty kick by the Hammers’ Jarrod Bowen. Liverpool’s second consecutive clean sheet came despite a clumsy foul by center back Joe Gomez which provided Bowen the opportunity to equalize after Darwin Nunez had scored his first Anfield goal for Liverpool.

Newcastle was also a 1-0 winner as Miguel Almiron scored his fifth goal of the season to defeat a punch less Everton side. Almiron has scored in three of his last four matches, all victories for the Magpies. Everton, meanwhile, lost a third consecutive match and the Toffees are just a point above the relegation places. The Toffees have failed to register a shot on target in two consecutive matches as an anemic attack has betrayed a formidable defense.

Brighton and Hove Albion remain winless in four matches under Manager Roberto De Zerbi after a goalless draw with Nottingham Forest. The Seagulls have failed to score in three consecutive matches after a promising 3-3 draw in De Zerbi’s debut.

Forest fell into the league’s basement despite the point as Leicester won for only the second time this season. The Foxes defeated spiraling Leeds 2-0. Leeds Manager Jesse Marsch is under pressure after his side lost to the feeble Foxes for Leeds’s third consecutive loss and fifth in the club’s last seven matches.

The potential rewards of managerial change was demonstrated by Bournemouth’s six match unbeaten run under interim manager Gary O’Neil following the sacking of Scott Parker. That streak ended Wednesday when the Cherries lost 1-0 to Southampton. The victory moved the Saints to within two points of 12th place Bournemouth.

Graham Potter is still undefeated as Chelsea manager after a goalless draw at Brentford. Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizbalaga notched his fifth consecutive clean sheet across all competitions.

Crystal Palace won in comeback fashion for a third time at home this season as the Eagles scored twice in the second half to erase an early Wolves lead. Michael Olise crossed to Eberechi Eze for the equalizer and then Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha delivered the victory with his fifth goal of the season. Palace moved to 11th place in the table with their second consecutive win at Selhurst Park. Wolves are in the relegation zone after a fourth loss in five matches.

The originally scheduled match for midweek between Arsenal and Manchester City was postponed as Arsenal played a rescheduled Europa League match versus PSV Eindhoven. The Gunners prevailed in their European contest when Granit Xhaka scored the only goal of Thursday’s match between the sides. 

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