Gbamm! EPL Game Week 11 Match Reviews
We review this week's Sunday games in the EPL. It was a landmark day, as the Premier League clocked its 25,000th goal. And all changed at the top of the table, on the day that witnessed the 179th North London Derby...
Arsenal 1 VS Tottenham 1
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Harry Kane returned from an injury lay-off, slotting immediately into the Tottenham line-up and securing a point for his side by netting a penalty in the traditionally fierce North London derby. Spurs shared a piece of the spoils in an encounter the Gunners might have felt they should have walked away with all three points.
In the build-up to the game, Dele Alli was reported injured in training, while Harry Kane was passed fit to make a long awaited return to the first team. Mauricio Pochettino opted to go with a back three, apparently to contain the attacking threat of the Gunners. The hosts took the lead in somewhat controversial fashion, when Mesut Ozil’s free-kick was turned in by Kevin Wimmer into his own goal. Replays suggested a raft of Arsenal players were offside when the ball was swung in.
A rather clumsy challenge from the usually dependable Laurent Koscielny gifted Tottenham a penalty. Harry Kane confidently stepped up to slam the ball down the middle. Despite several opportunities afterwards a winner didn’t come for either side, despite Spurs hitting a post in the dying minutes. The result saw Arsenal slip down to 4th on the table, while Tottenham remain unbeaten, firmly placed in 5th place without a league win in over a month.
Liverpool 6 VS Watford 1
Liverpool’s title ambitions received a major boost as they hit Watford for 6 at Anfield to go top of the league table for the first time under Jurgen Klopp’s management. Despite failing to keep a clean sheet once again. After a series of missed chances, the Reds finally took the lead thanks to Sadio Mane’s acrobatic header. Philippe Coutinho doubled the lead three minutes later with a cracker from 20 yards. For the second game running, Emre Can scored a goal netting the third of the game just before half-time, meeting Adam Lallana’s cross with his head.
The whipping continued for the Hornets in the second half, as Liverpool weren’t done yet in dishing out a rude lesson to Walter Mazzarri. Roberto Firmino tapped in the impressive Lallana’s cutback to score a fourth before the Brazilian himself turned provider finding Mane to score the fifth. Watford pulled a goal back through Dutch wing-back, Daryl Janmaat but compatriot Georgino Wijnaldum ensured the scoring wasn’t over by netting a sixth for the Reds.
It is the fifth time Liverpool has scored four goals or more this season, making them the league’s top goals scorers with 30 goals, added to the top position on the table heading into a 2-week international break.
Hull City 2 VS Southampton 1
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Hull City ended their joint worst record in the Premier League, thanks to an inspired Robert Snodgrass performance to give Mike Phelan a long awaited first victory since his elevation to the role of permanent manager. It seemed to be business as usual when Charlie Austin converted a sixth minute penalty to put the Saints ahead, as Southampton appeared to be in cruise control to inflict a seventh consecutive loss on Hull City.
The Tigers woes were further compounded following the loss of Abel Hernandez and Will Keane to injuries in the first half, but all that changed within two second-half minutes. First substitute, Snodgrass profited from Clucas’s cross before the Scotland international turned from scorer to provider setting up Michael Dawson to head past Fraser Forster. Southampton desperately pushed for the equaliser but resolute Hull defending ensured the Tigers remain in 18th place with 10 points, getting a win which hopefully they can build on moving forward.
Swansea City 1 VS Manchester United 3
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Manchester United ended a two-month winless Premier League run, comfortably defeating Swansea City 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium to relieve some pressure off the team, as the league heads into an international break. Swansea were not up for the fight in this encounter, deservedly going 3-0 down at half-time thanks to a stunning Paul Pogba drive and a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic - including a landmark 25000th Premier League goal - ending a two month goal drought in the league.
Mike van der Hoorn atoned for his own goal in the last game, by heading in midway through the second half to reduce the deficit for the Swans. There was no immediate danger for Manchester United throughout the game, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney all rediscovering their form in an embarrassingly one sided performance. The win saw United climb up to sixth in the table, while a fourth game without a league win for Bob Bradley expectedly prompted boos from the home support.
Leicester City 1 VS West Brom 2
Venue: King Power Stadium
Leicester City’s invincibility at home was ended no thanks to Matt Philips punishing a horrendous and uncharacteristic mistake by Danny Drinkwater to score what proved to be the winner at the King Power Stadium, a result that leaves them in 14th place, only two points above the relegation zone. The dull encounter was livened up when James Morrison, making only his first Premier League start since January headed home Philips cross. A few moments later, poster boy Riyad Mahrez found country man and club record signing, Islam Slimani with an intelligent ball which saw the big striker nod home his fourth league goal to level scores.
The game winner arrived with 18 minutes to play, when Philips capitalised on Drinkwater’s mistake to dink a shot over Ron-Robert Zieler. Contrasting fortunes for the Foxes, as the reverse fixture last season produced a 3-2 win which saw them climb to third in the table.
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