Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Premier League Week 11 Results: Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal Knocked From Ranks Of Undefeated; Manchester City Tops The Table After Doku Record Performance Smashes Cherries; Aston Villa and Liverpool Surprised On The Road; Blades Win!

There are no longer any undefeated teams left in the Premier League. Just two days after Newcastle defeated Arsenal on a controversial goal, an explosive London derby saw table leader Tottenham Hotspur reduced to nine men and beaten at home by Chelsea. Spurs Manger Ange Postecoglou remained true to his principles by continuing to play a high line despite a two-man disadvantage. Chelsea was unable to time their runs correctly until late in the match when Nicolas Jackson put together a hat trick with his first goal coming in the 75th minute. Tottenham Hotspur defenders Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie were long gone before Jackson’s initial goal, the defenders having been dismissed in the 33rd and 55th minute respectively. The physical and undisciplined match was epitomized by Romero’s red card which saw Chelsea tie the match on Cole Palmer’s penalty kick. Eight minutes of VAR review was required to dissect numerous collisions and a hand ball by Chelsea in a chaotic phase of play which included Romero’s dangerous foul on Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez. The officials were heavily involved in the frenetic back and forth play as five different goals were chalked off in addition to the five goals that stood. The match could mark a significant turning point for both teams. Chelsea can hopefully build on their win over previously undefeated Spurs as Manager Mauricio Pochettino returned to face his former club for the first time. The hat trick by Jackson could be enormously valuable should it instill some much needed confidence in the 22-year-old striker who has struggled to lead the line for Chelsea.

Spurs could face ramifications far beyond Monday’s match result. Key players James Maddison and Mickey Van de Ven both left the match with injuries. Van de Ven’s hamstring injury looked particularly serious and, combined with Romero’s suspension, will leave the club short on center backs in the next few weeks. Postecoglou was remarkably gracious in post-match comments despite seeing two of his players dismissed in a match where play was stopped for over twenty minutes of aggregate VAR review.

Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta provided quite a contrast after the Gunners’ 1-0 loss at Newcastle. A controversial Anthony Gordon goal in the 64th minute proved the difference as Newcastle blanked Arsenal 1-0 at St James Park. Gordon’s goal was reviewed by VAR for three potential concerns. Not only was there review for a possible offside call, but additional scrutiny focused on whether the ball was out of play in the buildup and also whether there was a possible foul in the sequence by Gordon’s Newcastle teammate Joelinton. All was found to be in order by the VAR official, however, much to the chagrin of an angry Arteta who referred to the officiating decision as an “embarrassment” and “an absolute disgrace.” Newcastle’s defense may have been just as influential as any officiating decisions in a match where the Gunners were held to only a single shot on target. Arsenal is fourth in the table after a rough week which also saw the Gunners eliminated from the Carabao Cup. Newcastle is four points back of Arsenal in sixth position.

Jeremy Doku equaled the Premier League single game assist mark and added a goal of his own as Manchester City trashed Bournemouth 6-1 to land the Citizens back on their accustomed perch at the top of the league. Two of Doku’s record four assists led to Bernardo Silva goals as the Citizens ran riot at the Etihad. Erling Haaland, however, was goalless and was removed after the first half due to an ankle injury. The injury could keep him out of Tuesday’s Champions League match but isn’t thought to be a long-term issue. Bournemouth, meanwhile, collapsed back into the relegation zone with the defeat, just one week after recording their first league victory of the season.

Liverpool was shockingly down a goal at Luton Town before Luis Diaz rescued a point for the Reds in the 95th minute of play. Following his goal, an emotional Diaz lifted his jersey to reveal a message calling for the release of his kidnapped father. The elder Diaz was to have been released by Colombian rebels last week but is yet to receive his freedom. Diaz’s heroics negated a gritty performance by Luton Town which had taken the lead with an 80th minute Tahith Chong goal. The Hatters kept Liverpool off the score sheet for 94 minutes despite conceding 74% of the possession. As consolation for the late disappointment, the Hatters moved out of the relegation zone, ahead of Bournemouth on goal differential, with Sunday’s point.

Perhaps an even greater surprise occurred at the home of another newly promoted side. Bramall Lane was the venue as Sheffield United won for the first time this season with a 2-1 defeat of Wolves. The Blades seemed well on their way to ending their miserable winless run on a 72nd minute goal by Cameron Archer. Wolves struck for the equalizer, however, when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde found the net with just a minute left in regulation time. Nine minutes of stoppage time elapsed before Wolverhampton’s Fabio Silva  fouled the Blades’ Geroge Baldock in the box. Blades’ captain Oliver Norwood then converted the penalty kick for the fourth latest winning goal in Premier League history, igniting bedlam at Bramall.

Sheffield United remains in the league basement on goal differential but drew level on four points with Burnley which lost a sixth consecutive match at Turf Moor in a 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace. Sam Johnstone, the Crystal Palace goalkeeper, made five saves to deliver his joint league high fifth clean sheet of the season for the Eagles.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the Yashin Trophy as the world’s best goalkeeper as part of last Monday’s Ballon d’or awards. The World Cup winner looked far from his best on Sunday, however, as the Argentine muffed a strike by Orel Mangala for Nottingham Forest’s second goal in a 2-0 win by the Tricky Trees. The defeat handed Aston Villa its first Premier League loss since September 3rd. Nottingham Forest benched American goalkeeper Matt Turner for the match at the City Ground after the American started each of the prior 10 league matches. His replacement, Odysseas Vlachodimos, posted a clean sheet against an Aston Villa side which entered the weekend as the league’s joint highest scoring club.

Everton extended Brighton’s winless run in the league to five matches in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park. The Seagulls were fortunate to salvage the point when an own goal by the Toffees’ Ashley Young in the 84th minute negated a 5th minute Vitaliy Mykolenko goal for Everton.

West Ham lost its third consecutive Premier League match in a 3-2 defeat at Brentford. Nathan Collins’ first goal in a  Brentford shirt proved the winner in a match which saw striker Neal Maupay open the scoring for Brentford with his first goal after a 45 match Premier League drought.

A Bruno Fernandes goal in the first minute of stoppage time gave Manchester United a much-needed win at Fulham. Despite a firestorm of criticism enveloping Manger Eric ten Hag, United are six points outside the top four after winning for the third time in their last four Premier League matches. 

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