ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 9 ROUND UP

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

MANCHESTER UNITED 1 v 1 LIVERPOOL

Adam Lallana’s late equaliser rescued a point for Liverpool at Old Trafford as Manchester United ended the leaders flawless start to the Premier League season.

Liverpool were in search of their 18th successive league win to equal Manchester City’s top-flight record set between August and December 2017 but had to settle for a point after a scrappy encounter.

Marcus Rashford’s hotly-contested first-half goal, allowed after a video assistant referee check for a foul by Victor Lindelof on Divock Origi, looked to be condemning Liverpool to their first league loss since they went down at Manchester City in January.

Rashford finished neatly from Daniel James cross in the 36th minute but Liverpool, who saw a first-half strike from Sadio Mane ruled out by VAR for handball, struck back when substitute Lallana arrived unmarked at the far post to score from Andy Robertson’s cross five minutes from time.

The draw means Liverpool’s advantage at the top of the table has been cut to six points.

EVERTON 2 v 0 WEST HAM UNITED

Marci Da Silva, got a reprieve after the fierce scrutiny that he has been under after four successive Premier League losses put Everton into the relegation places.

Silva made five changes from the side that lost at Burnley and was rewarded as recalled Brazilian Bernard set Everton on their way with a brilliant individual first-half goal and record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was dropped from the starting line-up, wrapped up the win with a spectacular strike in injury time.

This Everton team have underachieved so far this season and the Toffee fans will be hoping that this game kick starts their season

ASTON VILLA 2 v 1 BRIGHTON

Matt Targett scored a dramatic winner with Aston Villa coming from behind to beat 10-man Brighton as Dean Smith celebrated his one-year anniversary in charge.

The result lifts Villa, who were mid-table in the Championship when Smith took over, up to 11th in the Premier League.

Brighton, who last won consecutive Premier League games in March, had started brightly and carved out several goalscoring opportunities before going ahead with Adam Webster heading Pascal’s Gros’ free-kick into the bottom right corner from close range.

But Villa, who had a Conor Hourihane goal ruled out after VAR deemed forward Wesley had fouled Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan in the build-up, levelled after Aaron Mooy was sent off for the Seagulls.

Grealish then took centre stage to play a central role in Villa’s comeback as he tapped in Frederic Guilbert’s cross from close range to equalise.

The midfielder then laid on Targett’s late winner, his pass releasing the full-back on the left of the Brighton penalty area. Targett’s shot found the bottom right corner to secure Villa’s first back-to-back Premier League wins since May 2015 and leave Brighton 16th in the table, with Villa in 11th.

BOURNEMOUTH 0 v 0 NORWICH CITY

The bore draw of the week came on the South coast, where struggling Norwich put in an organised defensive display to keep Bournemouth at bay while maintaining an attacking threat at the other end.

Teemu Pukki had the Canaries’ best chance when he was denied by a fine Aaron Ramsdale save in the second half.

Bournemouth’s best chance fell to Dominic Solanke, but Tim Krul was equal to his first-half effort.

Norwich remains 19th following this result, however, the improved defensive display will give manager Farke cautious cause for optimism for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, the point means Bournemouth climb to ninth.

CHELSEA 1 v 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED

Marcos Alonso’s second-half strike broke Newcastle’s resistance as Chelsea moved into the top four in the Premier League with their fifth successive win in all competitions. Chelsea seemed set for another frustrating day at Stamford Bridge after Tammy Abraham saw his header hit the bar and Martin Dubravka denied Christian Pulisic, but they finally got their reward for relentless second-half pressure when Spanish left-back Alonso drove in a firm, angled shot in the 73rd minute.

The defeat means Newcastle drop into the relegation zone.

LEICESTER CITY 2 v 1 BURNLEY

Leicester got the win they craved over Burnley to mark the anniversary of former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s death on an emotional day at the King Power Stadium, Burnley thought they had equalised through Chris Wood eight minutes from time but his effort was controversially ruled out by the video assistant referee (VAR), which ruled the striker had accidentally tripped Jonny Evans before the ball entered the net.

It meant Leicester were able to celebrate victory after goals from Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans had overturned Wood’s 26th-minute header.

TOTTENHAM 1 v 1 WATFORD

I was at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium for this game, where Spurs once again failed to hit top form, a poor first-half performance allowed struggling Watford to take the lead, Watford, who lost Danny Welbeck to an early hamstring injury, took the lead when Abdoulaye Doucoure swept home Daryl Janmaat’s cross. With the out-of-form hosts desperately seeking a way back into the game, Hornets keeper Ben Foster flapped at an 86th-minute cross, with Alli controlling with his shoulder before turning the ball into the net.

For large periods before Alli’s intervention, it had looked as though Mauricio Pochettino’s side were going to suffer a fifth defeat in six games.

Watford had a strong penalty appeal turned down by referee Chris Kavanagh – and the VAR -when Jan Vertonghen brought down Gerard Deulofeu.

But, leading for 80 minutes, their wait for a first Premier League win continues and Watford remains bottom.

SHEFFIELD UNITED 1 v 0 ARSENAL

Sheffield United produced the shock of the week by claiming a stunning win over Arsenal to move into the top half of the Premier League.

Lys Mousset marked his first start for the Blades with the decisive goal in the first half, turning in Jack O’Connell’s knockdown from close range.  Arsenal’s £72m signing Nicolas Pepe had earlier skewed a golden chance wide from six yards.

Granit Xhaka forced Dean Henderson into an excellent save but the Blades closed the game out superbly for a famous win. The victory was Sheffield United’s biggest result since their return to the Premier League as they moved up to ninth, four points clear of the relegation zone.

Defeat for Arsenal, meanwhile, means they missed the chance to move back into the top four. They are fifth, two points behind Chelsea in fourth.

In my predictions, I got four correct results and two scores spot on, a slight improvement.

Please see my predictions for week 10

Southampton 1 v 2 Leicester City

Manchester City 3 v 1 Aston Villa

Brighton 1 v 2 Everton

Watford 2 v 1 Bournemouth

West Ham United 2 v 1 Sheffield United

Burnley 1 v 2 Chelsea

Newcastle 2 v 1 Wolves

Arsenal 2 v 1 Crystal Palace

Liverpool 1 v 2 Tottenham

Norwich 2 v 1 Manchester United

Have a good week,

Gary

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