Updated: Nov 22, 2022
Last weekend marked 10 matches for all premier league teams, and the goals were flying, with only one draw, and it wasn’t 0-0! The weekend kicked off on Saturday afternoon with Arsenal away at Leicester City, and while it may not have been filled with goals, which is mainly down to the man of the match performance from Aaron Ramsdale, it delivered the entertainment. Arsenal were quick out the gates, with Gabriel scoring in the opening 5 minutes, from the back of his head! This was soon followed with Smith Rowe’s 18th minute goal, a great goal, from just inside the penalty box that settled nicely in the bottom left corner. One of the biggest and most entertaining moments of the match happened just before half time when Leicester won a free kick. James Maddison stepped up to take it, and he very nearly delivered, he lifted the ball over the wall and to most it looked like it would be a beautiful goal, until Ramsdale got in the way. The arsenal keeper pulled off a fantastic save, that even legendary keeper Peter Schmeichel said was one of the best saves he’d seen in years, which considering his son plays for Leicester is quite the compliment. This win had moved Arsenal into 6th, joint on points with 5th place Manchester United.
One of the most entertaining games of the weekend was Aston Villa vs West Ham United. The pressure was on Aston Villa, as West Ham scored in the first 10 minutes of the game with Declan Rice setting up Ben Johnson who drove the ball into the bottom left corner from 18 yards. Aston Villa managed to equalise in the 34th minute, however, this was a short-lived triumph as 4 minutes later, West Ham restored their lead after Rice put the ball in the bottom left corner himself. Aston Villa tried their best to get back some control of the game, although, 5 minutes into the second half Ezri Konsa saw a red card. This was a controversial decision, made by VAR, and not supported by Aston Villa manager Dean Smith. I personally think that he did deny a goal scoring opportunity, and therefore by the letter of the law, the red card is fair. I do understand that to some, especially Aston Villa fans it seems harsh, and had the same tackle happened elsewhere on the pitch it would’ve been a yellow, however, it happened in the box, denying a clear opportunity on goal and therefore must be a red card. It was a great day for West Ham who managed to push themselves into 4th place in the table.
Last week was the Carabao cup round of 16, and it was dramatic, with half the matches being decided by penalty shootouts! West Ham beat the holders Manchester City on penalties after a tense match. I wouldn’t normally describe a 0-0 draw as entertaining, but the game was end-to-end with City having 25 shots at goal. This was the first time since 2016 that City had lost a match in the cup, having won it every year since. West Ham were the first team to beat them in it in 1,827 days. West Ham have now knocked both Manchester teams out of the cup this year.
Chelsea vs Southampton also produced a dramatic penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw with goals coming either side of half time. Players from both teams missed penalties, but it was Reece James who stepped up to the plate and scored the decisive penalty.
Arsenal vs Leeds United was an anticipated match, and Calum Chambers earned the title super sub, scoring with his first touch just 23 seconds after coming on the pitch. After the ball went over the line, it was quickly parried away by the keeper and while VAR was not used in this match, the goal line technology seemed to take a while to register the goal. Eddie Nketiah tied up the match with a goal that looked for a moment to all as if it might miss the post. He flicked the ball over the keeper and had put just enough power on it to get it into the net.
Cricket World Cup
England played two matches in the T20 World Cup, the first was against old rivals Australia, who they annihilated. Australia batted first and set the bar relatively low at 125, after Chris Woakes caused some havoc with the ball. Their captain, Aaron Finch, only managed to get 44 runs off 49 balls, which would be impressive for test cricket, but this was white ball. England were up next to bat and they smashed it, both physically and metaphorically. Jos Butler proved his unparalleled batting ability with 71 (not out) off just 32 balls! The England team got to the 126 runs needed to win with 50 balls still left, and only two fallen wickets! Two days later they were back playing, this time against Sri Lanka and Jos Butler shone once again. England batted first and proved they can set a target for their opponents and defend it. England scored 164 runs, of which 101 were scored by Jos Butler in a masterclass batting performance. They then managed to defend their lead and win by 26 runs, continuing their winning streak in the World Cup.