Week 13 of the English Premier League sees Spurs end Chelsea’s unbeaten record, and both West Ham and Watford fail to do the same thing against Man City and Liverpool respectively.
Spurs 3 v 1 Chelsea
Maurizio Sarri is not a man to trifle with, stalking his technical area with a face like hardened tar, munching on a substitute fag with a stinger that doesn’t leave your body in a hurry.
After Spurs ripped his Chelsea team a new asshole at Wembley Stadium, Sarri told the press that his side had played very badly, in all directions – physically, mentally, technically and tactically, and when pressed on whether he was impressed with Ross Barkley’s performance when he came off the bench, the Italian said that he didn’t like anybody.
To the point.
Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the season against a sizzling Spurs side who have now spanked the team in Blue in three of their previous four outings and registered back-to-back wins for the first time since 1987.
As a reward, Spurs move above Chelsea into third place, five points behind the leaders Man City, with a point haul of 30 the best start in a Premier League campaign since 2011.
Spurs didn’t take long to warm up the 55k Wembley fans.
Sideshow Bob fouled Harry Kane on the right-hand side of the penalty area, Christian Eriksen planted the accompanying free-kick onto the head of Delle Ali, and the England international scored his sixth goal in his last five appearances against Sarri’s men.
Son Heung-min., who was a threat all afternoon, should have doubled Spurs’ lead after an intricate one-two with Eriksen, only for the South Korean to sky his shot from six yards, and then minutes later he burst through on goal only for Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep out his shot.
Then a critical moment in the match when Juan Foyth tackled Eden Hazard from behind in the penalty area. The Argentinean youngster took the ball, but as Hazard tumbled to the ground, you wondered if the man in the middle would point to the spot.
Spurs reacted by racing up the other end of the field; Harry Kane picked the ball up with his back 30-yards from goal, he turned and rifled a shot home from long distance. From a Chelsea perspective, Kane’s seventh league goal of the season was as soft as they come with David Luiz turning his back on the ball, leaving the keeper unable to see anything.
Heung-min could have and should have made it four-nil by half time, flicking a shot wide from a corner, and seeing a volley stopped by Arrizabalaga.
Ten minutes after the half time break, and Heung-min got his just rewards for an excellent display. Alli sent him scurrying down the right flank, and Heung-min left Jorginho for dead, before cutting inside of a useless tackle from Luiz to score with a low shot.
Kane and Alli both missed golden opportunities to add to Spurs’ tally before Chelsea sub, Olivier Giroud, scored a late consolation goal, his 20th from the bench, and only Jermaine Defoe has scored more in the Premier League (24).
“It’s clear that we have problems to solve.” Said Sarri after the match.
The timing of the Spurs win was perfect with a must-win Champions League game against Inter Milan at Wembley coming up in midweek. Chelsea welcome PAOK Salonika to Stamford Bridge in the Europa League.
West Ham 0 v 4 Man City
Man City recorded an eighth consecutive win in all competitions and maintained a 19-match unbeaten league record with a comfortable win away to West Ham. The four-goal stuffing means City has now fired 17-goals into the back of London Stadium nets in the past four games.
As is typical in City matches these days, the boys in blue scored early. David Silva scored his fourth goal in four outings against West Ham as soon as the 11th-minute after getting on the end of a sweeping move that included Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling. That’s eight league goals for the scintillating Spaniard.
City doubled the lead on 19-minutes after Leroy Sane set up Sterling to score his customary sitter at the far post, and the roles were reversed on 34-minutes when Ferdandinho found Sterling with a beautiful cross ball; Sterling volleyed across the box to Sané, and the German made Fabian Balbuena look like a mug before sending the ball into an empty net.
West Ham wasn’t as bad as the scoreline suggested, and Michail Antonio nearly pulled one back before the break when he struck the bottom of the post, but Manuel Pellegrini will be disappointed to see Marko Arnautovic limp off late into the match.
Man of the Match, Sané finished things on 93-minutes when he appeared at the far stick to volley home a Gabriel Jesus lob.
City travel to Lyon for a midweek Champions League tie and West Ham travel to Newcastle on the weekend, hoping to end their run of a single win in seven games.
Watford 0 v 3 Liverpool
As great as City is, you have to tip your baseball cap to Jürgen Klopp and his Liverpool team for keeping pace with the leaders. Liverpool won 3-0 at Vicarage Road, despite going down to ten men after Jonathan Moss dismissed Jordan Henderson for two bookable offences.
The goals came late.
Mohamed Salah scored his seventh league goal of the season after getting on the end of a move involving Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané in the 67th minute. Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a David Beckhamesque pearler of a free-kick in the 76th minute. And Firmino ended a run of seven league games without a goal, heading home from close range after Ben Foster had done brilliantly to save Sané’s powerful shot with time ticking away.
Liverpool moves within two points of City, and now have more points at this stage of the season than ever before. The five goals that Allison has conceded this season is another club record.
Liverpool head to Paris to take on Neymar and co., in midweek before the Merseyside derby on the weekend. Watford visits Leicester.
Here are the results in full.
West Ham 0 v 4 Man City
Everton 1 v 0 Cardiff
Brighton 1 v 1 Leicester
Man Utd 0 v 0 Crystal Palace
Watford 0 v 3 Liverpool
Spurs 3 v 1 Chelsea
To Be Played
Wolves v Huddersfield (Sun)
Bournemouth v Arsenal (Sun)
Burnley v Newcastle (Mon)
Premier League Table
1. Man City – 35
2. Liverpool – 33
3. Spurs – 30
4. Chelsea – 28
5. Arsenal – 24
6. Everton – 22
7. Man Utd – 21
8. Bournemouth – 20
9. Watford – 20
10. Leicester – 18
11. Wolves – 16
12. Brighton – 15
13. West Ham – 12
14. Newcastle – 9
15. Crystal Palace – 9
16. Burnley – 9
17. Southampton – 8
18. Cardiff – 8
19. Fulham – 8
20. Huddersfield – 7
Premier League Winner Odds
Man City 2/9
Liverpool – 4/1
Premier League Relegation Odds
Top 4 Finish
Man City 1/1000
Man Utd 4/1
Harry Kane (7 goals) – 11/4
Sergio Agüero (8 goals) – 5/2
Mohamed Salah (7 goals) – 4/1
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (7 goals) – 9/1
Eden Hazard (7 goals) – 10/1
Next Manager to Leave His Position
Mark Hughes – 1/2
Jose Mourinho – 15/2
Neil Warnock – 11/1
Roy Hodgson – 12/1