Premier League Matchday 10 Review
Kyle Campbell takes a look back at the tenth round of Premier League action, which included a huge away win for Crystal Palace, a damning defeat for Nuno Espírito Santo and an impressive comeback from Brighton.
Red Redemption in London – Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Manchester United
Saturday’s meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United was a fixture being dubbed as the “El Sackio.” Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Nuno Espírito Santo have both come under fire following their teams’ poor performances in recent weeks and the pair were desperate to turn the tide.
Ole’s switch in tactics and turn to experience ensured he came out on top as Tottenham went another week firing blanks.
United’s switch in tactics found themselves playing a rather unconventional 3-5-2 (a 5-3-2 out of possession) with Raphaël Varane at the heart of the defence and a lethal strike partnership of Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.
United took time to settle into the new system and Spurs dominated much of the ball in the first half but were unable to penetrate United’s compact shape.
United’s first real chance fell to the right man as Ronaldo was able to break his goal-scoring drought with a phenomenal first-time volley. Ronaldo’s compatriot, Bruno Fernandes, picked the ball up on the edge of the area and was able to clip the ball over the Tottenham defence to perfection. United’s number seven didn’t take his eyes off the ball for a second and was able to smash the ball across Hugo Lloris and give the visitors a much needed goal before half-time.
In the 64th minute, Fernandes caught Oliver Skipp in possession, instigating a devastating counterattack for the Red Devils. Ronaldo was at the heart of things again as he chopped inside and slipped a wonderfully weighted pass through to Cavani, who expertly dinked the ball over the onrushing Lloris and doubled United’s lead.
Tottenham had difficulty creating any goal scoring opportunities and, once again, Harry Kane found himself isolated from the game.
Solskjær was happy to pack the midfield and see the game out as he desperately needed to take three points back to Manchester.
With a few minutes remaining, Marcus Rashford capped off a fine performance with an accomplished finish and ensured Ole was kept in the manager’s office for another week.
The switch to the 3-5-2 made United a much more solid unit and allowed them to play to their strengths. The return of Varane made a huge impact on the back line as David De Gea left the Tottenham Hotspur stadium with a well-deserved clean sheet.
Tottenham failed to threaten United as they failed to have a shot on target in a game for the first time since 2013.
Serious question marks were raised over Nuno’s future following the result, despite only being in charge for four months. Reports released on Sunday indicated that his future at the club was in serious doubt, with the confirmation of his departure being announced on Monday morning.
Palace Shut Out 10-Man City – Manchester City 0-2 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace visited The Etihad Stadium with a ton of belief and intensity, securing a famous victory away from home.
Palace’s attacking prowess has surprised many supporters this season as new manager, Patrick Viera, looks to implement a completely new style on the club.
The Eagles were rewarded for the high pressing within six minutes as Aymeric Laporte’s stray pass was picked up by Wilfried Zaha. Zaha burst into the box and his finish across Ederson bobbled into the far corner, giving Palace an early lead.
Laporte’s day went from bad to worse when he was deemed to deny Zaha a goal scoring opportunity on the cusp of half-time and was given his marching orders.
Despite being down to 10-men, City continued to play their passing game and dominated the ball.
Gabriel Jesus looked to have brought the home side level after tapping in Phil Foden’s floated cross, but the goal was chopped off after VAR deemed Foden to be offside in the build-up.
Crystal Palace were resolute in their defending and made sure City had to work extremely hard to create any chances.
Palace’s strong defensive effort was rewarded in the 88th minute when Conor Gallagher sealed the game on the counterattack.
Michael Olise broke down the right-hand side at pace whilst City were seeking an equaliser. The late-arriving Gallagher put the game to bed with a first-time finish into the top right. The Chelsea loanee has been in unbelievable form since his arrival in the summer and will be a key player in Palace’s pursuit of a top half finish.
City struggled to break down the robust Palace defence and have dropped three big points at home. Laporte has struggled in his return to the starting line-up and with a three-game ban to come, John Stones will look to reclaim his starting spot.
Brighton Salvage a Point at Anfield – Liverpool 2-2 Brighton
Brighton’s great start to the season took a dent last weekend following their heavy defeat against Manchester City, but the Seagulls travelled up to Anfield hoping to bounce back and steal something against Liverpool.
The game started poorly for Brighton as Liverpool’s skipper, Jordan Henderson, opened the scoring with a spectacular effort within four minutes.
Brighton were fearing the worst after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s measured cross was met by Sadio Mané as he headed home Liverpool’s second in the 24th minute.
Despite Liverpool’s fast start, Brighton found their feet and brought themselves back into the game.
A long-distance effort from Enock Mwepu got the better off Alisson as it flew into the top corner on the brink of half-time.
Brighton took control in the second half and their quick passing and movement had Liverpool worried.
Ex-Liverpool player Adam Lallana had a fantastic opportunity to bring the visitors level, but his strike was matched by Alisson.
Moments later, Lallana found himself in space driving towards Liverpool’s back line. Lallana slipped in Leandro Trossard who kept composed and equalised for the Seagulls.
Brighton kept pushing and Trossard looked to have bagged the winner, but his excellent finish was chopped off for offside.
A point apiece was a fair result as Brighton clawed their way back into the game.
Liverpool will be disappointed with giving away a two-goal lead, but Jürgen Klopp’s men will be focusing on their Champions League fixture with Atlético Madrid to come in the week.
Best of the Rest
- West Ham’s stellar start to the season continued with a 4-1 away win at Aston Villa. Villa have struggled to get used to life without Jack Grealish as pressure mounts on Dean Smith.
- Reece James kept up his fine form with two goals at St. James’ Park as Chelsea saw off Newcastle with a 3-0 win in the second half. Newcastle look weak and will hope to appoint a new manager within the next week to steady the ship.
- Arsenal’s improvement continued with a 2-0 away win at Leicester. Aaron Ramsdale was unbeatable as he kept Leicester’s danger men out all afternoon.
- Burnley picked up their first win of the season with an impressive 3-1 victory over Brentford. Maxwel Cornet kept up his form and has now scored four goals in his first five Premier League games.
- Wolves picked up an impressive 2-1 home win over Everton with Raúl Jiménez scoring his second of the season.
- Leeds jumped out of the relegation zone following their 2-1 victory over bottom of the table Norwich, whilst Southampton came out victorious with a 1-0 win over Claudio Ranieri’s Watford.
Player of the Week – Cristiano Ronaldo
Following Manchester United’s embarrassing defeat to their biggest rivals Liverpool, United looked to their main man to pull them out of a crisis. Ronaldo rose to the challenge and scored a sublime goal and assisted his new strike partner, Edinson Cavani. Ronaldo will look to carry United out of their struggles and his marvellous performance has earned him this week’s ENRG Sport ‘Player of the Week.’