WITH many more fixtures to be played on Sunday night, FocusM takes a look at the results of the games that have taken place thus far.
Crystal Palace 1 v Tottenham Hotspurs 2
With both sides not involved in European competition, Spurs had the chance to stretch their lead at the top with a Friday night kick-off at Selhurst Park. After some very stubborn defending by the Eagles, Spurs finally managed to break their resistance with well-worked goals.
Deadlock was broken courtesy of Joel Ward’s own goal before captain Son Heung-Min sealed all three points. Jordan Ayew’s goal came a little too late to be anything more than a consolation.
Chelsea 0 v Brentford 2
Chelsea’s woes continue with another home defeat, compounding their inability to finish off chances. Mauricio Pochettino will be tearing his hair out as the Blues put in another disjointed home performance. To highlight the extent of the problem, Chelsea have only won three league games this calendar year—against Crystal Palace, Luton Town and Leeds United.
If this continues, Pochettino will be under increasing pressure, and the whole managerial merry-go-round will start again. Ironically, Brentford’s highly rated Danish boss Thomas Frank is being touted as a possible replacement.
AFC Bournemouth 2 v Burnley 1
Adoni Iraola’s palpable relief at the end of the game was there for everyone to see as he celebrated in the pouring rain with his players as The Cherries finally registered their first win of the season. Brought in to instill a more attacking and entertaining brand of football, this game was all about getting off the mark.
After Burnley took an early lead through Charlie Taylor, Iraola must have feared the worst. Burnley will be sore that they had a goal chalked off for what appears to be a marginal offside while a last-minute handball by Bournemouth was not punished by VAR.
Arsenal 5 v Sheffield United 0
Eddy Nketiah’s hattrick underlined the Gunners’ title credentials while also serving notice to the Blades that a quick return to the Championship is very much on the cards. Sheffield United players seem out of their depth, as they were bamboozled by Arsenal’s slick passing moves, which pulled their defence apart time and again.
Mikael Arteta will be pleased at the gathering momentum of Arsenal’s title challenge after securing a morale boosting win over Sevilla in midweek. The Gunners are playing like they have learned hard lessons from last season and are keen to shed the ‘bottlers’ tag after blowing an eight point lead.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 v Newcastle United 2
Hee-Chan Hwang was both a hero and a dunce for Wolverhampton Wanderers in a game played in wet and slippery conditions. His poor touch in his own box led to a foul with Callum Wilson coolly dispatching the ensuing penalty kick.
However, the South Korean international redeemed himself with a decisive finish late on to give the Wolves a share of the spoils. Eddie Howe will rue the opportunity for a quick pick-me-up after the disappointment of losing to Borussia Dortmund in Europe in midweek. – Oct 29, 2023
Main photo credit: BBC