Some amazing games this week, with some great individual and team performances, but the main talking point once again is VAR, as I predicted at the start of the season, VAR is dictating the game of football to a degree that is going to destroy the spirit of the great game of Football.
SOUTHAMPTON 0 v 9 (yes, nine) LEICESTER CITY
Leicester City equalled the 24-year-old record for the biggest ever Premier League victory and established a record of having the biggest ever away victory in the 134 years of the Football League, quite some achievement for them and a disgrace for Southampton.
The result, which matches Manchester United’s 9-0 win against Ipswich in 1995, was only confirmed in stoppage time thanks to Jamie Vardy’s penalty.
Both Vardy and Ayoze Perez scored hat-tricks, with the visitors aided by Ryan Bertrand’s red card for a reckless challenge on Perez in the build-up to Ben Chilwell’s opener.
Youri Tielemans also scored his third goal of the campaign and James Maddison added a superb free-kick on a miserable evening for Southampton, who drop into the bottom three.
MANCHESTER CITY 3 v 0 ASTON VILLA
Manchester City, who are in second place in the Premier League, scored three second-half goals to see off a determined Villa side, to keep the pressure on Liverpool at the top.
Villa’s resolute first-half performance saw half time arrive with no goals scored, but that soon changed after After Villa squandered possession from their own kick-off, Ederson’s long punt forward was flicked on by Gabriel Jesus and into the path of Sterling, who made no mistake.
Jesus should have made it 2-0 soon afterwards when a mistake by Bjorn Engels left him clean through, but a combination of a Tom Heaton save and a brilliant goal-line clearance by Tyrone Mings denied him.
City had to wait until the 65th minute for their second goal, which confusingly was eventually awarded to David Silva, after a long delay for a VAR decision that had concluded it was Kevin de Bruyne’s goal.
Nonetheless, Ilkay Gundogan made absolutely sure of the points a few moments later, when Fernandinho’s shot was cleared into his path, and he expertly adjusted his body to put away a fine first-time finish.
The hosts finished the game with 10 men after Fernandinho was shown a second yellow card.
BRIGHTON 3 v 2 EVERTON
VAR once more was the factor that decided this game, using its strange interpretation of fairness to ruin a spirited Everton display.
Pascal Gross had put the Seagulls ahead with a thunderbolt of a free-kick early in the first half, but Everton was level just minutes later through Adam Webster’s own goal.
Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored within minutes of coming on to send Everton towards their first away win of the season.
But, just three minutes later, the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled Aaron Connolly had been fouled in the box by Michael Keane, Neal Maupay making no mistake from the penalty spot to level the score once again.
It was the first penalty awarded in the Premier League by VAR that the referee had not initially given, and Everton’s frustrations were made even worse through captain Digne’s mistake deep into added time.
Lucas Digne scored a dramatic own goal in injury time turning in from Trossard’s cross to consign Everton to their sixth defeat of the season. and provoked jubilant scenes at Amex Stadium with Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan sprinting the length of the pitch to celebrate with his team-mates.
The win was only Brighton’s third of the season and seals successive home Premier League victories for the first time since October 2018.
WATFORD 0 v 0 BOURNEMOUTH
The bore draw of the week came at Watford, enough said! Despite manager Flores claiming that Watford is getting closer to their first victory of the season and closer to relegation, after ten games without a victory.
The draw is Watford’s third in a row but they remain without a league win since April.
WEST HAM UNITED 1 v 1 SHEFFIELD UNITED
West Ham took the lead just before half time when Robert Snodgrass fired low past Dean Henderson after the Blades failed to deal with Jimenez’s long hopeful punt upfield. Sheffield equalised when Lys Mousset who was brought on in the 63rd minute found the net six minutes later when his side-footed volley bobbled past the reach of keeper Roberto Jimenez.
West Ham and the Blades now both have 13 points from 10 games, with the Yorkshire side two places higher thanks to goal difference.
BURNLEY 2 v 4 CHELSEA
Christian Pulisic scored a hat-trick to announce his arrival in English football in sensational style as Chelsea beat Burnley for a seventh consecutive win in all competitions. The 21-year-old American winger scored a ‘perfect’ hat-trick with a left foot, right foot and headed effort. He was the difference in an even first half, first of all winning the ball on the halfway line before running all the way and slotting home. His second was also a break from midfield after Willian won possession. Burnley was in the game until that stage but Chelsea ran away with it in the second half. Pulisic headed in from Mason Mount’s cross for his first career treble, before Willian blasted home a fourth moments later. Jay Rodriguez’s long-range strike and Dwight McNeil’s deflected effort brought huge roars from the Turf Moor faithful but they had left their comeback far too late.
LIVERPOOL 2 v 1 SPURS
Spurs were a little unlucky to not to have got something from this game as
Harry Kane scored within 48 seconds of kick-off and keeper Paulo Gazzaniga pulled off a number of impressive saves to give Spurs a 1-0 lead at half-time. Henderson equalised six minutes after the break before Mo Salah thumped the winner from the penalty spot. Liverpool has dropped just two points in the Premier League this season and is unbeaten at home in 45 league games.
Liverpool was made to work for the victory as Spurs defended their lead, they had several big chances to score before Henderson eventually slotted his half-volley into the far corner early in the second half.
That came moments after Son Heung-min had smacked the crossbar for the second time in the match his first effort was nodded in by Kane from seven yards out for the opener, if Son’s shot had gone, then a 2-0 deficit would have been a huge mountain for Liverpool to climb back from.
But Liverpool’s pressure eventually took its toll when Serge Aurier caught the back of Sadio Mane’s leg and gave away a penalty, which Salah smashed past a stationary Gazzaniga with 15 minutes left.
NEWCASTLE 1 v 1 WOLVES
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles gave Newcastle the lead, scoring the opener with a powerful near-post header from Federico Fernandez’s cross to light up what had been a poor first half.
A close-range finish from Jonny ensured Wolves fought back to earn a battling point, Spaniard Jonny volleyed home from six yards after goalkeeper Martin Dubravka had fumbled Matt Doherty’s cross into his path to cap a much-improved second-half display from Wolves.
Newcastle ended the game with 10 men when midfielder Sean Longstaff was sent off late on for a high challenge on Ruben Neves.
Doherty very nearly secured all three points for Wolves in stoppage time, but his header across goal from Raul Jimenez’s cross flashed just wide.
ARSENAL 2 v 2 CRYSTAL PALACE
Arsenal took a deserved two-goal lead but squandered the opportunity to take the three points, with a woeful performance following taking the lead.
Palace pulled one back before half-time when Luka Milivojevic scored from the spot following a VAR intervention after referee Martin Atkinson had initially shown Wilfried Zaha a yellow card for diving in a tangle with Calum Chambers.
And Palace was level seven minutes after the break when Jordan Ayew headed in James McArthur’s cross at the far post.
Xhala, the Arsenal captain (a very strange choice in my opinion to lead the team) was substituted to roars of delight from the Arsenal fans, the newly appointed captain reacting angrily to jeers at his slow departure by waving and cupping his ear sarcastically to the home support, exchanging words before taking off his shirt and disappearing down the tunnel, a completely unacceptable reaction from the captain and if Emery does not change his captain then the teams poor form will rest on the managers shoulders.
NORWICH 1 v 3 MANCHESTER UNITED
Despite conceding three goals, Norwich keeper was the hero saving two penAlties and saving at least some respect. United’s two first-half goals came moments after outstanding Krul’s penalty saves.
Scott McTominay slammed home the opener seconds after a stunning reaction saves from the Canaries keeper to deny Anthony Martial from close range.
The video assistant referee (VAR) then controversially awarded United a penalty for a Ben Godfrey foul on Daniel James with Krul stopping Marcus Rashford’s kick. But Rashford scored with United’s next attack as he was left in acres of space by the Norwich defence.
United who moves up to seventh in the Premier League were awarded a second penalty by VAR for a Todd Cantwell handball. This time Martial took it and went the other way, and again Krul guessed correctly.
The Canaries, who remain in the relegation zone, had a couple of chances but United wrapped the game up when Martial clipped the ball over Krul after a good passing move with Rashford.
Norwich scored a late consolation through substitute Onel Hernandez, who took the ball off McTominay before running at United’s defence and shooting past David de Gea to becoming the first Cuban born player to score a Premier League goal.
I got three correct results this week, at least Southampton was in worse form than me 🙂
Please see my predictions for Week 10
Bournemouth 1 v 2 Manchester United
Arsenal 2 v 1 Wolves
Aston Villa 1 v 2 Liverpool
Brighton 2 v 1 Norwich
Manchester City 3 v 1 Southampton
Sheffield United 2 v 1 Burnley
West Ham United 2 v 1 Newcastle
Watford 1 v 3 Chelsea
Crystal Palace 1 v 2 Leicester City
Everton 1 v 2 Spurs
Have a good week,