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Premier League Matchweek 12 Review

Leicester 0-3 Chelsea

In the early kickoff this weekend, a highly anticipated matchup between brendan rodgers’ foxes and Thomas Tuchel’s blues ended up not being that much of a contest. Chelsea seemed in cruise control for the majority of the game, taking advantage of a timid leicester performance in the midfield, exacerbated by the absence of youri tielemans.

Chelsea, playing their third league game in a row in the absence of a recognised centre forward, opened the scoring on the 14 minute mark when a corner from Ben Chilwell met Antonio Rüdiger at the near post. They added a second before the half hour mark with N’golo Kante effortlessly running through the midfield and delivering a finish from outside the box that Lionel Messi would be proud of.

Midway through the second half, substitutes Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic combined for the third, a simple tap in finish for Pulisic on his return from injury. They could easily have had more goals, with 3 strikes correctly being ruled offside following the third goal.

A dominant display from Tuchel’s men sees them maintain their 3 point lead at the top of the top of the table, while Rogers’ men will still have worries about their inconsistency this season in their chase of a Champions League place, they now sit in 12th, 8 points behind West Ham in 4th.

Newcastle 3-3 Brentford

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle reign got off to a rather entertaining start as 19th placed Newcastle took on surprise package Brentford.

The first half got off to an electric start with Jamaal Lascelles scoring an opener on 10 minutes, and in almost identical fashion to Harvey Barnes’ equaliser last matchday, Ivan Toney equalised for Brentford within seconds.

Brentford took the lead through a Rico Henry strike, which saw Sergi Canós’ second assist of the game. to cap off a frantic first half, a rare Joelinton goal was the second equaliser of the match, drawing Newcastle level. Having been the creator of the lead, Lascelles put his team behind by putting into his own net before once again Allain Saint-Maximin rescued Newcastle with a 75th minute equaliser.

Newcastle fans should be glad with this performance, all things considered, they last scored more than 2 goals in the Premier League in May following a thrilling 4-2 classic with Leicester.

The cry from the geordie faithful had been for offensive, expansive football, something Eddie Howe is very capable of as showcased in his first match back in the Premier League.

Interestingly enough as well, the former Bournemouth boys Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie found themselves amongst the assists for the magpies, Howe may succeed in getting the best out of his old boys, especially the recently misfiring Callum Wilson.

However, haemorrhaging three goals at home can’t be seen as ideal for his team, especially considering their failure to win this weekend means they are now bottom of the league table having failed to win a singular game this season. Brentford are continuing to provide fantastic entertainment everywhere they go, however they will look at their form with some concerns. Though this draw sees them arrest a slide of 4 league losses in a row, it still leaves them winless in the league since their last gasp away win at west ham at the beginning of october.

Norwich 2-1 Southampton

NORWICH, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Dean Smith, Manager of Norwich City acknowledges the fans following the Premier League match between Norwich City and Southampton at Carrow Road on November 20, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Dean Smith made his premier league return very shortly after his departure from aston villa and was able to guide norwich to their second win of the season as well as back to back Premier League wins, lifting them off the foot of the table.

Southampton took a very early lead, Che Adams finishing coolly into the bottom corner.

Norwich would provide an immediate riposte, Teemu Pukki’s near post header getting the best of Alex Mccarthy. Norwich would complete their comeback by continuing to take advantage of their aerial dominance of Southampton, Grant Hanley heading in a Billy Gilmour corner on the 79th minute to secure the points. Tim Krul’s performance in goal aided the Norwich endeavour, and an all round team effort sees the side secure victory and revitalise their ambitions of staying up this season.

Watford 4-1 Man United

In what was considered a do or die match for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Manchester United, Watford picked up the second win of the Claudio Ranieri era with relative ease, much to mancunian dismay.

The game got off to an electric start from a Watford point of view, winning an early penalty via pressing the shoddy Man United defence. Ismaila Sarr’s initial poor effort from the spot was struck from the record for an encroachment on the line by Kiko Femenia , but his second effort was just as poor as the first, providing David de Gea with back to back penalty saves.

Man United seemed tactically disjointed once again, and Watford’s first half dominance paid of with a goal for Joshua King, who continues his hot run of form following Claudio Ranieri’s appointment.

Ismaila Sarr would earn reparations for his penalty misses, finding the far corner in the box just before half time. Solksjaer would make a double substitution at the break, introducing Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial. Martial was involved in the buildup to Man United’s goal shortly after the break, Cristiano Ronaldo headed the ball across the box to find Van de Beek, who nodded in to put Man United back within touching distance. The introduction of Martial saw Ronaldo become less isolated up front, and allowed Man United to create more chances in the second half. None of these would come to fruition, and their task was made even more difficult with the dismissal of captain Harry Maguire who made an error and tried to recover but instead fouled Tom Cleverly for his second yellow card of the game.

Watford made the most of the man advantage, Emmanuel Dennis found Joao Pedro who lashed between De Gea’s legs for his first Watford goal. shortly thereafter, Dennis capped off a world class performance with a goal of his own, Ben Foster launching a route one ball that found the nigerian in the box, who finished coolly into the far corner. The defeat saw Ole Gunnar Solksjaer lose his job after a horrendous run of form in the last few weeks. From a Watford point of view, the first home win of the Claudio Ranieri tenure sees them climb the table into 16th. Their performance in this match suggests that they might still be a team to watch for the rest of the season.

Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal

Jurgen Klopp’s liverpool returned to normalcy following their defeat to west ham just before the international break with a 4-0 rout of Mikel Arteta’s young Arsenal side.

The atmosphere of the contest was highlighted by a confrontation between the two managers following a contentious aerial duel between Takehiro Tomiyasu and Sadio Mané. A rather impressive first half performance from Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal goal saw Arsenal hang on to the deadlock, however another brilliant delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold found Sadio Mané’s head around the half hour mark to give liverpool a much deserved lead.

After the break, poor decision making from Sambi Lokonga gifted Diogo Jota the ball in the Arsenal box, and he expertly navigated the entire arsenal defence, Ramsdale included, to make it 2-0 to the home side. The floodgates opened for Liverpool shortly thereafter, scoring two more trademark counterattacking goals; Sadio Mane found his wing counterpart Mohammed Salah for the third, and Trent Alexander-Arnold picked up his second assist of the night after squaring it to Takumi Minamino.

Liverpool’s response to defeat sees them retain the 4 point deficit between themselves and Chelsea, but Jurgen Klopp will be satisfied with another domination of a top 6 side following their mediocre performance last matchweek. Arsenal should not take this defeat to heart, as they showed their defensive solidarity before inexperience weighed in. this young Arsenal side has potential and could still secure a European spot come may, but this defeat and the manner in which it happened highlight the fact that Mikel Arteta is still only just getting started with this squad. they remain in 5th, only 3 points behind West Ham in 4th.

Burnley 3-3 Crystal Palace

Burnley and Crystal Palace played out an entertaining draw at Turf Moor, with both teams having found form before this fixture it promised to be an entertaining contest and did not disappoint.

Burnley had to fight for the draw, coming from behind twice in this match; making 3 of the last 4 goals they have scored in the league equalisers. Christian Benteke put Patrick Viera’s men ahead on the 8th minute, before a trademark Burnley set piece header from Ben Mee put the hosts back on terms. another headed goal, this time from Chris Wood pulled the hosts into the lead, before 2 goals before half time, Benteke’s second and a first Palace goal for Marc Guehi put the eagles ahead at the break.

5 minutes after the restart, a flick on header from James Tarkowski met Maxwell Cornet, who leathered in a beautiful left footed strike into the top left corner. Cornet’s arrival from Olympique Lyonnais has truly added a much needed air of unpredictability in the Burnley offence, and the winger once again showed his class.

Both teams will be happy to share the spoils following a thrilling encounter though burnley will probably be the happier of the two as they are now within two points of escaping the relegation zone.

Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 20: Steven Gerrard celebrates after Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa (not pictured) scores their team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on November 20, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Steven Gerrard’s appointment at Aston Villa was greeted with a 2-0 home win over Brighton. The game was mostly laborous and hotly contested, and for all their toil Gerrard’s men finally jumped in front five minutes from the end following a fantastic solo effort from Ollie Watkins, who looks likely to recapture last season’s form under the new boss after an impressive performance.

Riding high on the energy following the goal, Aston Villa were able to add a second through captain Tyrone Mings, who lashed home after the ball ping-balled a bit in the box following a corner. If nothing else, the display from Gerrard’s men was solid, a clean sheet allowing them to arrest their slide of 5 consecutive defeats. With the attacking talent at Villa’s disposal, the fact that the defence is looking solid again will be welcome news for Villa fans.

Graham Potter and Brighton might begin to take caution following this result, they are now winless in 7 having drawn 5 of those games.

Wolves 1-0 West Ham

West Ham failed to continue their four game winning streak and apply pressure at the top of the table as Bruno Lage’s wolves put in a stoic defensive performance against David Moyes’ dynamic hammers. West ham put in a lacklustre performance all round, being heavily reliant on Lukasz Fabianski who couldn’t keep out Raul Jiménez’s low driven shot into the bottom left corner early on in the second half; the only goal of the game.

On the other hand, Wolves put in an energetic and inspired performance led by Ruben Neves in midfield and were full value for the three points. Following a troubling start to the season, Wolves have recovered well and find themselves 6th after this victory, only 4 points outside the champions league places. To do so after beating West Ham, one of the league’s in form teams can be seen as a statement of intent from Bruno Lage’s men. West Ham will look to sober up quickly before their next match, a massive encounter with Man City.

Man City 3-0 Everton

Man City welcomed Everton to the Etihad following their walk of the Manchester Derby before the international break. Everton came to the Etihad out of form, having failed to win any of their last 5 matches. After a first half of utter city dominance, Joao Cancelo unlocked the Everton defence with a beautiful ball over the top that Raheem Sterling controlled well and tucked away for the opener right before the break.

On the 57 minute mark, the ball found Rodri around 30 yards out from goal and he unleashed a first time strike so pure and venomous that it nearly took the roof off the net, and definitely took the roof off the stadium. Late on, Bernardo Silva, who’s enjoying a much better season than last year, found himself in the box for an easy tap in to wrap up another easy victory for Man City.

3 points see Pep Guardiola’s men remain 3 points behind leaders Chelsea, and after that hiccup at home against Crystal Palace, they seem to be back in serious business. On the other hand, Rafa Benitez’s Everton have gone under the radar for just how poor they’ve been in recent games. 1 point from their last 5 games and only 3 goals scored; questions will soon be asked about everton’s european ambitions this season.

Spurs 2-1 Leeds

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 21: Antonio Conte manager of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates the win during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 21, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Antonio Conte was able to collect the first premier league win of his Tottenham career having had to come from behind against Leeds at home. It was a first half of half chances for tottenham who put in a rather lacklustre performance, often conceding possession to the “murderball” press of Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

They only managed to generate 2 shots on goal and none on target in the opening period. At the end of the first half, Dan James arrived in the box to convert Jack Harrison’s driven cross for leeds to take a deserved lead into the break.

After the break, Conte’s spurs seemed revitalised managing to hit the post twice within the first 6 minutes of the second half. Their energy was rewarded on the 58th minute with Pierre-Emile Højbjerg bundling in an equaliser after slick Spurs move.

The pressure would toll for leeds as Spurs would go on to take the lead via Sergio Reguilón’s awareness in the box as he rebounded Eric Dier’s deflected free kick that initially hit the post. Spurs came away with the three points, though points of concern for Conte will be the dismal first half performance and the performances of his star players Harry Kane and Son Heung Min, who seemed to have lost that magic they had last season. nonetheless, they will be happy with climbing into 7th, only one point behind north london rivals arsenal in 5th.

For Leeds, though they can take some encouragement from the impressive performance of the young Geldhart, this loss sees them drop to 17th and only 2 points ahead of burnley in the relegation zone.

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Main Image Credits- Embed from Getty Images

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