By Chris Hall
⦁ Liverpool swept Crystal Palace 7-0.
⦁ Manchester City climb the table after beating Saints 1-0.
⦁ Arsenal suffer there eighth defeat of the season.
⦁ Man United thrash Leeds to go third.
⦁ Spurs lose again to high flying foxes.
⦁ Big Sam gets off to worst possible start as West Brom manager.
⦁ Chelsea cruise past West Ham to end mini slump.
CRYSTAL PALACE 0 – 7 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool go 6 points clear at the top of the table after thrashing Crystal Palace a whopping 7-0 at Selhurst Park. The reds were scheduled with another 12.30 kick off much to Jurgen Klopp’s distaste, but the players didn’t seem to mind as they swept eagles aside. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both scored twice as Liverpool hit seven past Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to go six points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Firmino, Salah, Takumi Minamino, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson were all on the scoresheet as the champions overwhelmed Roy Hodgson’s side with a fantastic away performance. Liverpool raced into the lead in the third minute as Mane set up Minamino, who calmly found the bottom corner. The Senegal international then doubled the advantage in the 35th minute after a superb turn, before Firminio tapped home to round off a brilliant counter attack on the stroke of half time. Captain Jordan Henderson curled in a fourth just after the restart before Firminio added his second after good work from Salah. The Egyptian then made a goal for himself after heading in a sixth, before doubling his goal tally with a brilliant individual effort moments later. The Egyptian rounded off a perfect team performance, as a scintillating Liverpool ensured they would be top of the table at Christmas for the third season running.
SOUTHAMPTON 0 – 1 MANCHESTER CITY
Manchester City went back to winning ways after a narrow 1-0 win over high flying Saints. Raheem Sterling got the only goal for Guardiola’s men as they are slowly starting to close the gap onto the top four. Southampton, who began the day in third responded well but their efforts to draw level were hampered by the loss of striker Danny Ings through injury. Saints keeper Alex McCarthy put in a great effort to keep Southampton in the game, but City were defensively brilliant.
In a tightly contested second half, Bernardo Silva miscued his shot after being played in by Kevin De Bruyne, while the hosts had appeals for a penalty for handball against Sterling dismissed by VAR. Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy kept his side’s hopes of salvaging a result alive with a good save from Ikay Gundogan’s curled shot, but Sterling’s finish proved decisive for a City side who had drawn their past two games.
So a win for City puts them one point behind fourth placed Southampton and eight adrift of leaders Liverpool, having played one game fewer than both.
EVERTON 2 – 1 ARSENAL
Arsenal suffered their eighth defeat of the season as Ancelotti’s Everton beat them 2-1 at Goodinson Park. The Toffees moved into second place, a great way to celebrate the managers first anniversary in charge of the club. Yet, Arsenal manager Arteta’s woes continue and says his side needs to generate more to win games in the future.
The Blues took the lead after 22 minutes, when Rob Holding deflected Dominic Calvert Lewin’s flick past Bernd Leno. But Arsenal were level 10 minutes before the break, when Nicholas Pepe scored from the spot after Tom Davies fouled Ainsley Maitland – Niles. But yet again, Arsenal could not break down the opposition, and Everton regained the lead just before half time with a Mina header. The gunners now lie 15th in the table, and are only four points above the relegation zone. I think Arsenal will stay up, but whether that will be with Arteta remains to be seen.
MANCHESTER UNITED EASE PAST LEEDS!
Manchester United stormed past Leeds United in an eight goal thriller at Old Trafford. It was the first time these two side have met in the top flight for 14 years, but boy did they make up for it.
Scott McTominay became the first player to score twice within the first three minutes of a Premier League game as Manchester United climbed to third in the table. The midfielder found the bottom corner with a ferocious drive just after 67 seconds before finishing again moments later from a clever pass from Anthony Martial. Leeds went for their usual all guns blazing attacking approach, but it cost them due to United’s brilliant counter attacking play. Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof increased the home side’s lead, with Liam Cooper’s header reducing the deficit just before half time.
Daniel James went on a blistering run in the early stages of the second half to restore the hosts four goal advantage 20 minutes into the second half before Fernandes added his second to the game from the penalty spot after a foul from Pascal Struijk. Stuart Dallas scored a wonderful consolation goal, curling his effort into the top corner, a fitting end to one of the games of the season that included 43 shots.
SPURS 0 – 2 LEICESTER
Brendan Rodgers Leicester got over their defeat to Everton in mid-week quickly after beating Tottenham 2-0 yesterday to move second in the table. Jamie Vardy scoring a penalty and a Toby Alderweireld own goal gave the away side all three points, and are now only four points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Tottenham who were once the pace makers, find themselves outside the top four, after two consecutive league defeats, six points adrift of Liverpool. Rodgers praised his team, saying “The players have done great. A European campaign, lots of injuries, but they have kept the enthusiasm, spirit and quality, so it is a very pleasing opening third of the season”.
BAD START FOR BIG SAM!
Sam Allardyce got off to the worst possible start against Aston Villa as they lost 3-0 at the Hawthorns. Baggies midfielder Jack Livermore was sent off in the 37th minute when Martin Atkinson consulted his pitch side monitor and decided to dismiss Livermore for a studs up lunge on Jack Grealish before half time. Anwar El Ghazi improvised a close range finish to give Villa the lead that was one sided before West From were confined to 10 men. Dean Smith said it was the perfect performance from his side, as they scored two goals late on in the second half. Jack Grealish set up Bertrand Traore’s cool side footer, who then won the penalty converted by El Ghazi for the Dutchman’s second. It was the worst possible start for Sam Allardyce, who has a hell of a job on his hands to keep the Baggies up this season.
CHELSEA 3 – 0 WEST HAM
Chelsea ended their recent mid slump after beating West Ham 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to go fifth in the table. Tammy Abraham scored twice in the second half after veteran defender Thiago Silva opened the scoring with a belting header from a corner. Timo Werner spurned a good couple of chances to add to the hosts lead but he played his part in his side’s second goal, after his scuffed shot was turned in by Abraham.
The Chelsea striker back in place over Olivier Giroud then netted in another barely two minutes later when he was in the right place to pick up the loose ball and curl home after Christian Pulisic had missed a simple header from a cross. The score line somewhat flattered Chelsea as West Ham were in control for large periods of the game, but didn’t have that cutting edge as they finished the game without a shot on target.