Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Over the last week there has been a flurry of Premier League matches, with goals galore. There were matches on the weekend followed by more on Wednesday and Thursday, meaning Arsenal fans got a mid-week match, something they have been missing since they are not playing in Europe this season. Although it was not a fun trip to Manchester for the Gunners, despite starting strong with Emile Smith Rowe scoring in the 13th minute, the lead did not last the first half. Bruno Fernandes scored just before the stroke of half time in the 44th minute after a skilful play including Jadon Sancho and Fred.
Then Arsenals old nemesis reared his head as Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 52nd minute to take the red devils into the lead. After a sweeping cross from Marcus Rashford, Ronaldo flicked the ball into the bottom left corner of the Arsenal goal, marking his 800th career goal. There was some hope for the Gunners as Martin Ødegaard put them 2-2 with a goal from just inside the penalty box after being picked out by Gabriel Martinelli. Although that was not enough in the end after a second VAR call of the match Manchester United were give a penalty.
The first VAR call came when Smith Rowe had scored and David De Gea had been lying on the ground, unable to defend his goal. VAR showed that this was a result of an incident with his own teammate and so allowed the goal. Referee Martin Atkinson initially thought there was nothing in Ødegaard’s tackle on Fred but using VAR reversed his decision and Ronaldo calmy put the ball past Aaron Ramsdale and straight down the middle. A special mention must go to Michael Carrick who had a good spell as interim manager and a great career at the club.
Liverpool were in flying form on Wednesday as they faced their local rivals in the Merseyside derby. Everton hosted the Reds at Goodison Park (quite a journey for them from the other side of Stanley Park!) and did not enjoy the start of the match; Jordan Henderson buried the ball in the back of the net after 9 minutes with Mo Salah doubling Liverpool’s lead just 10 minutes later. Everton managed to get one back in the 38th minute after a throw in offered them an opportunity to run through the Liverpool defence and Damarai Gray chipped the keeper.
The second half did not bring anymore joy for the Toffees, Salah was back with another goal in the 64th minute after a solo run towards the goal while Séamus Coleman was closing him down. Liverpool then added salt to the wounds of their neighbours with Diogo Jota’s 79th minute goal which he put into the top right corner from a very narrow angle. Liverpool have had quite a few high scoring games recently and this win put them in 3rd on the table, just 2 points off top place Chelsea and 1 of 2nd place Manchester City.
Last weekend had action all over the country, except in Burnley, where their match against Tottenham Hotspur was postponed due to heavy snow. Down in London it was frosty but no snow to stop play as leaders Chelsea hosted Manchester United in Sunday’s afternoon match. The first half was entertaining despite the 0-0 score line, the ball was moving up and down the pitch with Chelsea having significantly more possession and shots. It was not until the 50th minute that a goal was scored, visitors Manchester United got the first one, with Jadon Sancho’s shot.
After a clearance from a United defender, Chelsea defender Jorginho accidently nudged the ball into the path of Sancho, who ran towards the goal, finding himself one-on-one with Edouard Mendy and was given both time and space to put the ball past him. There was an incident in the box during a United corner which lead to a Chelsea penalty in the 69th minute.
Jorginho redeemed his earlier mistake by calmly slotting the ball past De Gea and taking the blues level. The match ended with each team taking home a point, despite Chelsea being a more dominant force throughout the match. By the end Chelsea had had 6 shots on target meanwhile united had only had 2, proving no matter how many shots you have, it’s the execution that needs to be on point.
There was some great goal action at the King Power Stadium, with Leicester hosting Watford, and their legendary old manager Claudio Ranieri who was in the visiting teams dugout for the first time since leaving Leicester. James Maddison opened the scoring in the 16th minute after William Ekong mistimed an attempt to head the ball away and left Maddison one-on-one with the keeper whom he slotted the ball past.
After Wilfred Ndidi’s clumsy challenge on Emmanuel Dennis Watford were awarded a penalty and a chance to equalise. Joshua King expertly executed the penalty, firing the ball into the left side of the goal. Leicester were quick to respond, with Jamie Vardy’s stunning 34thminute goal taking them back into the lead. He flicked the ball over the keeper at slotted the ball in the net from a narrow angle. He then added to the lead with a goal just before half time in the 42nd minute, Maddison’s corner found Vardy who then headed the ball into the goal.
Half time brought not only a change in weather with almost blizzard like conditions and snow carpeting the pitch, but Watford began to fight back scoring the 61st minute. Dennis picked the pocket of Timothy Castagne and calmly put the ball past Kasper Schmeichel. Ademola Lookman made it 4-2 for Leicester when he tapped the ball in the after Harvey Barnes couldn’t manage the tight angle and his shot on goal became an assist. This win took Leicester up to 10th position and Watford remained in 16th.