Premier League Roundup: Newcastle Resurgence, Bielsa Under Threat and Welcome Eriksen
With no Premier League action for Arsenal, I spent the entire Saturday as a neutral watching Premier League games and hoping our fellow Top Four hopefuls would falter. Without further ado, here’s a quick review of Saturday’s Premier League action.
Lunch Time Premier League Fixture – Leeds 0-4 Tottenham
Once upon a time, Marcelo Bielsa was lauded for his side’s attacking play, when it was quite evident that they have always been careless at the back. This season has taken a surprise turn for the Whites with wins hard to come by and defeats the order of the day. Prior to the lunchtime fixture with Antonio Conte’s Tottenham, Leeds had an unwanted record of four straight Premier League defeats while conceding three or more goals. The record holders are Sunderland with five games.
The game itself wasn’t that exciting, with Tottenham donning one of the ugliest jerseys you’d ever see, but the opener came Ryan Sessegnon drilled a cut back that crept past the entire Leeds defense before it was finished aplomb by Matt Doherty. Seems the defender is back in favor, having lost his place to Emerson Royal. The second goal was comedic to say the least as a moment arrived when Leed’s Diego Llorente should have challenged for the ball, but he just ran past it because he was more interested in tracking his marker. The intelligent Serie A signing, Dejan Kulusevski, fired a near-post drive that found its way past Illan Meslier in the Leeds goal. The third goal showcased more shambolic defending when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had all time in the world to pick his spot and loft a threaded overhead pass to Harry Kane that showed up his great technique to fire the ball to the far post.
The icing on the cake arrived when Kane sent in a sumptuous pass to Heung-Min Son that controlled the ball before slotting it past Meslier. Apparently, that Son goal turned out to be a Premier League record as it was the 37th time Kane and Son assisted each other for a goal in the league. The previous Premier League record was held by Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba with 36 goal contributions between them.
The current top five are
|Harry Kane / Heung-Min Son||37 goal contributions|
|Didier Drogba / Frank Lampard||36 goal contributions|
|Thierry Henry / Robert Pires||29 goal contributions|
|Sergio Aguero / David Silva||29 goal contributions|
|Darren Anderton / Teddy Sheringham||27 goal contributions|
This result has put Marcelo Bielsa’s position under huge threat with former RB Leipzig and Salzburg manager, Jesse Marsch, currently earmarked to take over from the Argentine boss. I will certainly miss his press conferences with his translator, as the wily old manager blatantly refused to learn any English.
Goal Rush Premier League Fixtures
After the lunch time fixture, it’s always fun waiting for the ‘goal rush’ fixtures with so much Premier League action happening at the same time.
Brentford 0-2 Newcastle
It what was proving to be a relegation dog fight, Newcastle’s cause was helped early on when a VAR check saw Josh Da Silva brandished a red card for his stamp at Matt Targett at the edge of the area.
Newcastle opened the scoring when the diminutive Ryan Fraser swung a cross with his left foot and the ball was headed home by Joelinton. That was the Brazilian’s first goal since when Man started walking on the Moon, so you could see how much it meant to him. The match winner was scored by the former Gunner, Joe Willock, after he latched onto Fabian Schar’s through ball and dispatched the ball with all authority. One major highlight of the game was the arrival of Christian Eriksen to the pitch, after the events that surrounded him in Euro 2020. He didn’t offer much from an attacking perspective but it was really good seeing him strut his stuff on the pitch doing what he loves. The result also saw Newcastle soar high to 14th place, which aligns with their current hopes to remain safe in the Premier League.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Burnley
It is always good seeing former Gunners do well, and that can be said of Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace, but the inconsistency of the team leaves a lot to be desired. Fresh from their pummeling of Watford, one expected the Eagles to have enough in the tank to see out the Clarets, but in the end, but teams shared the spoils of battle. The match opener arrived when the exciting Michael Olise showed off some good footwork on the right hand side before swinging in a cross that was finished confidently by Jeffery Schlupp. The visitors got their equalizer when Luva Milivojevic slid in to score an unfortunate own goal from an Aaron Lennon cut back.
Manchester United 0-0 Watford
The game was dominated by the decision of the interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, to drop Harry Maguire to the bench ahead of the visit of Watford to Old Trafford. Early on, Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post and latched on to a cross that saw him beat Ben Foster in goal, but the offside flag spared the Watford goalie’s blushes. The game was marred with miss after miss from the home side and some heroic defending from the away side as both teams ended in a stalemate. Awesome result for Arsenal by the way.
Brighton 0-2 Aston Villa
Steven Gerrard’s side arrived at this game in woeful form, winning just one out of their last seven fixtures, but Brighton was in equally poor form, losing three of their last five. The opening goal came from an unlikely source when Matty Cash controlled a defensive clearance and blasted the ball through a crowd of bodies that entered the net with some assistance from the post. The game clincher was pretty much Route One stuff as Tyrone Mings received a throw from Emi Martinez before launching the ball over the top to Ollie Watkins path. The forward had the difficult part of shoving off the challenge from the defender but he executed a calm finish under pressure to give his side all three points.
The Late Kickoff – Everton 0-1 Manchester City
The Citizens now have it all to do with their fellow title rivals, Liverpool, cutting the gap to just three points. With the Reds in Carabao Cup final action today, Pep Guardiola’s side had the opportunity to extend the lead to six points, but had the threat of a former player, Frank Lampard, now handling the reins in Goodison Park. It was a tight affair with City dominating the proceedings from start to finish, but the clincher came through when Bernardo Silva’s cut back ricocheted off Ben Godfrey, and with Michael Keane unable to reach the ball, it fell nicely to Phil Foden who wasted no time in sidefooting the ball past Jordan Pickford.
After a good Saturday’s Premier League action, the changes were evident on the table with Manchester City on 66 points, six clear of Liverpool, while Manchester United are stuck on 47 points, with Arsenal two points behind and three games in hand. Tottenham’s win put them on 42 with West Ham, keeping their European hopes alive as well, while the biggest movers up the table were Newcastle on 14th place and 25 points. For the droppers, Brighton’s current slump has seen them stay at 10th place, while Leeds United is floating above relegation waters with yet another defeat with a meagre 23 points. Everton has 22 and Burnley has 21 but both teams have two games in hand, that could see them usurp Leeds. Further down the table, things are looking precarious for the Hornets and Canaries, with Championship football around the corner.
Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily.
Visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page.
Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List