Premier League Matchday 13 Review
Kyle Campbell rounds up the best of the action from the last set of fixtures in England’s top flight, which saw Liverpool run riot against Southampton and United pick up a solid point away in London.
Saints Stunned by Ruthless Reds – Liverpool 4-0 Southampton
Liverpool’s goal-scoring form continued this weekend with a spectacular 4-0 win over Southampton. The Saints were left helpless against a rampant Liverpool side who easily brushed past them.
Jürgen Klopp’s side were out of the blocks from the first whistle and opened the scoring within the first minute.
A well worked move down the left-hand side between Sadio Mané and Andy Robertson found the Scottish full back with time and space in the box. Robertson delivered a low driven cross, leaving Diogo Jota with a simple tap in to give the home side the early lead.
Liverpool kept on applying the pressure and Jota doubled the lead just past the half hour mark.
Slick passing from Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson down the right-hand side this time allowed Salah to slip the ball across the six-yard box and give Jota his second tap in of the game. Jota has now scored seven goals this campaign and has cemented his place in the starting XI.
Five minutes after Jota’s second, Thiago Alcântara got his second goal in a week thanks to a huge deflection.
The Spaniard controlled the ball on the edge of the box, rolled it onto his weaker left foot and fired a shot goalwards. A major deflection sent Alex McCarthy in the opposite direction and sealed the game for Klopp’s men before half time.
Southampton had chances throughout the game but a lack of clinical finishing and some excellent goalkeeping from Allison kept the Saints from making it a competitive matchup.
Liverpool added a fourth seven minutes into the second half when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner was met by Virgil van Dijk. Van Dijk kept his volley low, leaving McCarthy with no chance.
Liverpool had more opportunities to add to their lead throughout but were unable to finish good chances.
The Reds’ home form this season has been extraordinary, and they have now scored two or more goals in their last 16 matches.
Southampton lacked intensity and were unable to match Liverpool’s ruthless nature, leaving The Saints with a long, unhappy journey home.
Ranieri Returns as Leicester Score Four – Leicester City 4-2 Watford
Claudio Ranieri’s return to The King Power Stadium as Watford manager ended in defeat as his side were unravelled by the Foxes.
James Maddison kicked off the eventful afternoon when William Troost-Ekong left a flighted ball over the top for Ben Foster in The Hornets’ goal. The Watford defender was unaware of Maddison’s presence, leaving Leicester’s number 10 with time to pick his spot.
Despite The Foxes’ fast start, Watford were able to pull themselves level thanks to a well taken penalty from Josh King in the 30th minute.
Despite their leveller, Watford couldn’t keep up with Leicester’s pace and were down 3-1 as they headed into half time after two fine finishes from Jamie Vardy.
A snowy second half slowed the game tremendously and Watford looked to fight their way back into the match.
Emmanuel Dennis found the back of the net for the second week in a row after catching Timothy Castagne in possession, and neatly dinking the ball over Kasper Schmeichel.
The visitors couldn’t maintain the pressure however, and Ademola Lookman wrapped the game up with a simple tap in with 20 minutes remaining.
Ranieri’s start to life in London has been mixed, with stunning wins against Manchester United and Everton, and difficult defeats against Liverpool and Leicester. The Italian has steadied things at Vicarage Road and safety from the drop looks much more likely in his capable hands.
Leicester’s start to this year’s campaign has been difficult, with European fixtures to think about along the way. A fit and firing Jamie Vardy will be the key to unlocking Leicester’s potential this season as they look to climb back into the European spots.
United Escape the Bridge with a Point – Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United
Manchester United’s daunting trip to Stamford Bridge ended in a draw as United’s counter attacking strategy worked to perfection.
United fielded a makeshift backline following Harry Maguire’s recent suspension and injuries to Luke Shaw and Raphaël Varane, but Chelsea were unable to capitalise and left Stamford Bridge frustrated.
The league leaders looked to punish a nervous-looking United early on with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech forcing David De Gea into action within the opening five minutes.
Antonio Rüdiger came closest to opening the scoring when his long-range effort caught De Gea out, but his powerful strike crashed off the bar.
United failed to get a hold of the ball and spent much of the first 45 minutes camped in their own half.
Despite a disappointing first 45, The Red Devils came out in the second half with much more threat and were rewarded for their intense start in the 50th minute.
Jorginho failed to control a high ball on the halfway line following a Bruno Fernandes clearance. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were hunting Jorginho down hoping for a mistake and Sancho’s pressure affected the Chelsea captain’s composure, enabling Sancho to nick the ball from his toes.
United’s man in form had plenty of time to size up the opportunity and kept level-headed to slip the ball past Edouard Mendy, giving the visitors an unlikely lead.
Chelsea kept on top following the goal and finally got the equaliser from the penalty spot.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was unaware of his surroundings and kicked through Thiago Silva in an attempt to clear the ball from a corner. Anthony Taylor had no doubts and pointed straight to the spot.
Jorginho stepped up and sent De Gea in the wrong direction, redeeming his earlier mistake.
Chelsea had a glorious opportunity to take three well deserved points with the last kick of the game, but Rüdiger’s first time volley flew over the bar and ensured United took an important point home.
Thomas Tuchel will be frustrated with his side’s inability to take clear chances, with the draw allowing Liverpool and Manchester City to get within touching distance at the top of the table.
Michael Carrick’s week in charge has been reasonably successful, with Ralf Rangnick being confirmed as the interim manager early on Monday morning.
Best of the Rest
- Arsenal’s fine form continued with a 2-0 win over Newcastle. Eddie Howe was on the touch line for the first time since taking the reins at Newcastle, but another defeat leaves them bottom of the table.
- Manchester City came out as 2-1 winners in a clash with West Ham thanks to goals from İlkay Gündoğan and Fernandinho.
- Steven Gerrard’s start to life in the Premier League has been excellent as Aston Villa picked up three points in a 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace.
- Brentford sealed a 1-0 win over a struggling Everton side thanks to Ivan Toney’s first half penalty.
- Wolves played out a 0-0 draw with Norwich, whilst Brighton were unable to get the best of Leeds, as the game also ended in a stalemate.
- Burnley’s fixture with Tottenham was postponed due to heavy snow fall at Turf Moor.
Player of the Week – Thiago Alcântara
Thiago has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League since his arrival last summer, but the midfield maestro has looked to be getting into his stride in recent weeks. A sublime performance where he controlled the game with his intelligence and movement alongside another goal in front of the home fans earns him this week’s ENRG Sport ‘Player of the Week.’