Friday, 29 December 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 20

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 20

The 20th week of the Premier League action saw:

35 goals - most by Tottenham & Liverpool = 5 each
295 shots - most by Bournemouth & Chelsea = 25 each
103 on target - most by Bournemouth = 10
117 corners - most by Chelsea = 13
206 fouls - most by Southampton = 15
38 yellow cards - most by Burnley = 7
0 red cards
0 penalties

What a game! It didn't even take two minutes for Burnley to take the lead at Old Trafford, Ashley Barnes poking home the ball after a bit of ping pong in the box, messy, Manchester United shocked. Steven Defour doubled the Clarets' lead with a lovely curled unstoppable free-kick over the wall and into the top corner. Mourinwho?! Jesse Lingard pulled one back with a cheeky back-footer shortly after Nick Pope denied the substitute tipping the ball over excellently. But not long after the visitors had a goal disallowed, Fergie Time came, as the same sub netted the equaliser for the Red Devils in the 91st minute, sparing José's side from their first home defeat on Boxing Day in 39 years. Cruel. Lucky. Or both. Still doesn't hide all the negativity around a certain Portuguese...
Arsène Wenger's 810th Premier League match as Arsenal manager equalled Sir Alex Ferguson's total of games at Manchester United and was sweetened by Alexis Sánchez's double to secure three points at hard-fighting Crystal Palace. It was an entertaining derby on Thursday night at Selhurst Park, end-to-end stuff, both sides at each other. Shkodran Mustafi opened the scoring in the first half before Andros Townsend levelled the score shortly after the break. The Chilean Gunner scored two goals in four minutes with just over an hour gone, but James Tomkins' late header set up a tense finish to the game, Roy Hodgson's men not going down easily. The win pushes Arsenal within a point of fourth-placed Liverpool, level with Tottenham in fifth, whilst the Eagles drop to 16th, just one point separating them from the drop zone.

What a team! Liverpool thrashed managerless bottom side Swansea 5-0 at Anfield in the late kick-off on Boxing Day, a dominant home victory that consolidated their place in the top four. Click here for my full LFC match report.
Manchester City less than impressed at Newcastle on Wednesday, the one time I put money on them, Sergio Agüero and co dominated but struggled and just about scraped out a 0-1 win thanks to Raheem Sterling's scruffy goal. Rafael Benítez's tactics showed but didn't bare any fruit, tight tight tight, cover cover cover, but no points to show for it. That's what champions are made of, not always nice, but wins wins wins, their 18th consecutive league win to be exact, moving them 15 points clear at the top, whilst the Magpies are moving closer and closer to the drop zone after recording their fifth consecutive home defeat for the first time since October 1953.

What a man! Harry Kane made it eight hat-tricks and 39 Premier League goals in 2017, a new record, smashing Alan Shearer's 1995 tally, helping Spurs smash aside a poor Southampton side 5-2 at Wembley in the early kick-off on Boxing Day. The Tottenham striker is the first player to score six Premier League hat-tricks in a calendar year, bringing his goals total in all competitions in 2017 to 56, surpassing Lionel Messi (54), Cristiano Ronaldo (53), Edinson Cavani (53) and Robert Lewandowski (53). And it won't get any easier for Mauricio Pellegrino's men with Manchester United next on the fixture list at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Who needs Virgil van Dijk, ey?!

What a goal! It was all about the misses (and howlers) on Boxing Day afternoon. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting missed from two yards for Stoke at Huddersfield. Jamie Vardy tried to be too clever for Leicester at Watford, through on goal, but his cheeky chip went wide. Kasper Schmeichel will not have liked the one he let squirm through under him to make it 2-1, his own goal handing Watford their first win in six games even though the Hornets only got one shot on target themselves.
Salomón Rondón was through on goal but slipped for West Brom against Everton, stretching his side's winless run to 18 league games. And Asmir Begović's slip whilst trying to clear handed Marko Arnautović an easy equaliser for West Ham at Bournemouth before the Austrian forward netted a late winn... Nope. Bournemouth nicked a point with an injury time equaliser. But was it handball?! And/or offside?! It looked like both...

What the hell?! ... Hammers boss David Moyes was certainly not happy with the controversial equaliser for the Cherries in the 93rd minute, Callum Wilson diverting in Nathan Aké's header, which was disallowed before referee Bobby Madley gave it after speaking to the linesman. Confused? Me too!!! Replays showed it was a close call, a hint of handball and offside. And the linesman did raise his flag, but the referee overruled it. Either way, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was very happy with his side's spirit, not giving up and scoring for the first time in four league outings despite missing Jermain Defoe due to his ankle injury. The draw still keeps the Cherries in the drop zone and without a win in eight (D4, L4), one point behind West Ham in 17th. Tight.

My Predictions - Actual Results
Tottenham 2:1 Southampton - 5:2
Bournemouth 1:2 West Ham - 3:3
Chelsea 2:0 Brighton - 2:0
Huddersfield 1:0 Stoke City - 1:1
Man United 3:1 Burnley - 2:2
Watford 0:1 Leicester - 2:1
West Brom 0:1 Everton - 0:0
Liverpool 4:0 Swansea - 5:0 or my match report
Newcastle 0:3 Man City - 0:1
Crystal Palace 1:2 Arsenal - 2:3

Click here for my previous Picks Of The Week.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, Twitter and SFR coverage.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Liverpool Crush Sorry Swans 5-0

Sports - Football - Premier League - LFC 5:0 SCFC

Liverpool thrashed managerless bottom side Swansea 5-0 at Anfield in the late kick-off on Boxing Day, a dominant home victory that consolidated their place in the top four.

Philippe Coutinho captained the Reds in Jordan Henderson's absence.

The Brazilian Barcelona target opened the scoring with a perfectly timed whip, curled into the top corner from 20 yards out, with just six minutes gone.

Caretaker player-manager Leon Britton had organised the Welsh side well though to keep the home side at bay and cover cover cover, the lead staying just 1-0 at the break.

Liverpool had made four changes to the side that drew against Arsenal on Friday. It was a first Premier League start for Swansea frontman Oliver McBurnie.

But the home side soon took over and their opposition out, Roberto Firmino doubling the lead six minutes after the break, firing home Coutinho's free kick.

Scouse youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold made it three with his first Premier League goal for the club, smashing the ball in off the bar from close range, with his family watching.

Firmino tapped home the fourth a couple of minutes later, off Mohamed Salah's fine cut back, his fifth in four Premier League appearances against the Swans.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made it five in the final ten minutes, pouncing on a poor clearance by Jordan Ayew.

And it could have been more, substitute Dominic Solanke coming close a few times,keeping stopper Lukasz Fabianski stretched left, right and centre.

Salah was not on the scoreboard for a change, wasting a few good chances but providing a couple.

The Welsh side had crumbled to bits after working oh so hard, Britton crying out for help and changes, quickly.

LFC manager Jürgen Klopp was a very happy man, but pointed out the hard work of the first 55 minutes.

And then the fun started for the Reds, "the last half an hour was fantastic, a joy to watch, a deserved win." Indeed.

It was the 10th time Liverpool have scored 5+ goals in 128 matches in all competitions under their German boss (6th time in the Premier League, 4th at home)

Keeper Simon Mignolet can also be very happy, keeping a clean sheet on his 200th Liverpool appearance after making a great fingertip save denying Tammy Abraham with the last touch of the game.

Since getting thrashed by Tottenham on the 22nd October, the Reds have been unbeaten in 14 games (9W, 5D), scored 45 goals and conceded 10.

Klopp's men have scored 72 goals in all competitions this season, way ahead of the likes of Barcelona (67), Manchester United (63), Chelsea (60) and Real Madrid (59).

The Brazilian duo have 43 goal involvements between them this season, man of the match Firmino with 15 goals and 7 assists, Coutinho 13 and 8 respectively.

And at home, Liverpool have only been behind for three minutes all season, conceding just three goals in the league at Anfield this season, the best defensive record in the Premier League.

But somehow it still feels like there is room for improvement, too many times the Reds have been shaken and dropped points disappointingly.

And with the January transfer window moving closer and closer, the rumours and talks are heating up once again.

But first things first, next on the fixture list are Leicester at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool Goals: Coutinho 6', Firmino 52', Alexander-Arnold 65', Firmino 66', Oxlade-Chamberlain 82'.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 26 Robertson (7 Milner 75'), 17 Klavan, 32 Matip, 66 Alexander-Arnold; 5 Wijnaldum, 23 Can, 21 Oxlade-Chamberlain; 10 Coutinho, 9 Firmino (29 Solanke 68'), 11 Salah (20 Lallana 69'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 6 Lovren, 12 Gomez, 19 Mané.

Swansea Team: 1 Fabianski; 16 Olsson (booked 56'), 6 Mawson, 33 Fernandez, 26 Naughton; 14 Carroll, 51 Mesa (17 Clucas 65'), 8 Fer (35 Renato Sanches 78'); 62 McBurnie (10 Abraham 62'), 18 Ayew, 15 Routledge. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 5 van der Hoorn, 12 Dyer, 13 Nordfeldt, 22 Rangel.

HT Stats: LFC 1-0 SCFC
Possession: 52%-48%
Shots: 8-3
On target: 2-2
Corners: 1-0
Fouls: 3-4
Yellow cards: 0-0

FT Stats: LFC 5-0 SCFC
Possession: 55%-45%
Shots: 22-7
On target: 9-4
Corners: 4-2
Fouls: 5-8
Yellow cards: 0-1

Referee: Kevin Friend
Man of the match: Roberto Firmino
Ground: Anfield
Attendance: 52,850

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, stats and facts were taken from the BBC match report, Twitter and SFR coverage.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 19

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 19

The 19th week of the Premier League action saw:

31 goals - most by Man City = 4
250 shots - most by Chelsea = 25
86 on target - most by Liverpool = 9
102 corners - most by West Brom = 11
203 fouls - most by Leicester = 19
23 yellow cards - most by Everton & Crystal Palace = 3 each
1 red card - Daniel Amartey for Leicester
3 penalties - 2 scored (Newcastle's Rob Elliot denied West Ham's Andre Ayew, Luka Milivojevic scored for Crystal Palace, Harry Kane for Tottenham)

What a game! Defenders seemed to have already gone on their Christmas break! Three goals in 388 crazy seconds saw Arsenal come back from two goals down, but Liverpool grabbed a third to make it 3-3 and a point each in a gob-smacking encounter at the Emirates on Friday Night Football. Click here for my full match report.
The first win in ten games for Newcastle came against West Ham, a five-goal thriller at the London Stadium, and it could have been many more, the woodwork was hit twice, a penalty saved, is that Rafael Benítez's job saved after two miserable winless months? The three points have moved the Magpies out of the relegation zone.
And the late and last kick-off of a very busy Saturday definitely had it in it. Leicester produced some class to take the lead, top stuff by Jamie Vardy, but Manchester United came back thanks to Juan Mata's double. The Fox mascot and Santa Clause ended up celebrating in the King Power crowd when Harry Maguire found the late late equaliser beating the Red Devils bus after playing just over 20 minutes down to ten men thanks to substitute Daniel Amartey's sending off after being just 16:09 minutes on the pitch. Even Claude Puel had a big fat smile on his face when the final whistle blew! José Mourinho less so. But that's nothing new.

What a team! Manchester City cruised to victory against Bournemouth, their 17th win on the trot, which ended up looking like a training game. Sergio Agüero netted his 100th at the Etihad, followed by City's 100th Premier League goal in 2017. They are the first English top-flight team to score 100 goals in a calendar year since Liverpool in 1982 (106). Raheem Sterling and sub Danilo added a couple more in-between and after the great Argentine respectively, the match ending 4-0, if I kept count correctly. Who can the way Pep Guardiola's men are going?! On fire! Unstoppable! Halfway through the season now, the Citizens are 13 points clear of United after their draw mentioned above, the biggest points gap between first and second place at Christmas in English top-flight history! It's the same gap (of 13 points) between Everton in ninth to Swansea at the bottom!!! Unbelievable!

What a man! Everton boss Sam Allardyce was once again scary to watch on the sideline at Goodison Park, shouting his face off and going mental watching his side put ten men back to frustrate the hell out of Chelsea and earn a point, keeping his unbeaten run going. Skipper Phil Jagielka cleared the ball off the line twice within seconds to make sure the game remained goalless! The Toffees failed to have a shot on target in a Premier League home game for the first time since December 2011, 2211 days ago, against Stoke. The Big Sam effect?
Stoke City boss Mark Hughes was a relieved man after seeing his side beat West Brom 3-1, only their second win in nine Premier League games, avoiding the drop into the relegation zone. The Baggies meanwhile are on their worst run, 18 games without a win in all competitions, 17 in the league (D8, L9), worst run since Aston Villa in 2016 (19 games without a win) and we all know what happened with them... Alan Pardew's side remain 19th, three points from safety.

What a goal! It was a great finish by Pascal Groß for Brighton to finally record a win again, their first in eight, and only their second goal in seven, at Watford's cost, their fourth league defeat in a row and fifth in their last six games, keeping Marco Silva's side stuck in tenth, whilst the Seagulls have gone up to 12th. Huddersfield manager David Wagner's double change immediately payed off when Laurent Depoitre headed in the equaliser at Southampton, Tommy Smith the provider seconds after coming on. Another super sub was Jordan Ayew for managerless Swansea, levelling out Crystal Palace's penalty by Luka Milivojević to make it 1-1 moments after replacing Luciano Narsingh. Temporary player-manager Leon Britton will celebrate that point for sure after Paul Clement was sacked during the week... Roy Hodgson meanwhile could celebrate his club's eighth unbeaten Premier League game, their longest run in the top-flight since October 1990!

What the hell?! Tottenham's Dele Alli got booked within the opening four minutes for a reckless challenge, to go on and win one of the softest of the soft penalties just a couple of minutes later, for Harry Kane to give Mauricio Pochettino's side the lead at Burnley. Double ARGH for Sean Dyche and every other neutral watching! But the top striker finished off the hard-fighting Clarets with a hat-trick, his seventh in 2017, equalling Alan Shearer's record of most Premier League goals in a calendar year (36 in 1995), and moving to the top of the league scoring list this season, level with Mohamed Salah on 15. Only Lionel Messi has scored more goals this year, 54 in all games played, just one more than the Spurs forward. The Argentine has no games left to play this year, whilst Kane has Southampton at home on Boxing Day. ⚽️👊🏻⚽️👊🏻⚽️

My Predictions - Actual Results
Arsenal 2:2 Liverpool - 3:3 or click here for my match report
Everton 1:1 Chelsea - 0:0
Brighton 1:1 Watford - 1:0
Man City 4:0 Bournemouth - 4:0
Southampton 3:2 Huddersfield - 1:1
Stoke City 1:1 West Brom - 3:1
Swansea 1:1 Crystal Palace - 1:1
West Ham 1:0 Newcastle - 2:3
Burnley 1:1 Tottenham - 0:3
Leicester 1:2 Man United - 2:2

Click here for my previous Premier League Picks.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, Twitter and SFR live coverage.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Crazy Six-Goal Draw At Arsenal

Sports - Football - Premier League - AFC 3:3 LFC

Three goals in 388 crazy second-half seconds saw Arsenal come back from two goals down, but Liverpool grabbed a third to make it 3-3 and a point each in a gob-smacking encounter at the Emirates on Friday Night Football.

The Reds bossed the Gunners around in the first half and could have been three or four goals up at the break.

Despite losing captain Jordan Henderson early on due to a suspected hamstring injury, James Milner replacing him, the visitors dominated.

But only Philippe Coutinho's first headed goal for the club separated the two sides at half time, both Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah missing a couple of sitters.

The great Egyptian doubled the visitors' lead after the interval with a deflected strike after another one of his great individual runs, recording his 15th league goal of the season.

It looked like Jürgen Klopp's side were going to crush the home side, such was their command.

But suddenly Arsène Wenger's men woke up!

Alexis Sánchez headed in Hector Bellerin's cross from close range before Simon Mignolet failed to save Granit Xhaka's powerful strike from 25 yards.

A couple of minutes later Mesut Özil clipped the ball over Mignolet off Alexandre Lacazette's cheeky back heel to make it 3-2 and turn the game on its head.

Liverpool were gob-smacked. Frozen, zoned-out defence + slow, insecure keeper = three goals conceded in 388 seconds, their confident two-goal lead out the window.

It was end-to-end stuff after that goal-rush, both sides looking to add more to the scoreboard.

The Reds had the final say thanks to man of the match Roberto Firmino's powerful finish, Arsenal keeper Petr Cech could only slow it down but not stop it from bouncing over the line.

So, 3-3 it ended, the point keeping Liverpool in fourth and Arsenal in fifth, a point between the two.

Under Klopp, the Reds have lost 43 points in the league from winning positions, the most of any team in Europe.

There is no doubt in their strike force, the "Fab Four", but it's the back that crumbled and leaked too much once again.

But hey, we're used to goals galore between these two sides!

There have been 27 goals scored in the past five Premier League meetings (10 for Arsenal, 17 for Liverpool), an average of 5.4 goals per game!

Liverpool have scored 54 away goals in all competitions in 2017, their most in a calendar year since 1982 (66).

And since Klopp's first Premier League game in October 2015, the Reds have seen 279 goals in their games (174 scored, 105 conceded), more than any other side.

I don't know whether to cheer or cry or both, because we're so awesome and useless at the same time (front and back respectively, contrast).

Something/someone has to change in January to make sure these insecurities don't end up costing and make us drop out of the top four!

Arsenal Goals: Sánchez 53', Xhaka 56', Özil 58'.

Liverpool Goals: Coutinho 26', Salah 52', Firmino 71'.

Arsenal Team: 33 Cech; 24 Bellerin, 6 Koscielny (c), 18 Monreal (20 Mustafi 45'), 30 Maitland-Niles; 10 Wilshere, 29 Xhaka; 17 Iwobi (booked 58') (23 Welbeck 78'), 11 Özil, 7 Sánchez (14 Walcott 89'); 9 Lacazette. 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 13 Ospina, 31 Kolasinac, 34 Coquelin, 35 Elneny.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 12 Gomez, 6 Lovren, 17 Klavan, 26 Robertson; 14 Henderson (c) (7 Milner 13'), 23 Can; 11 Salah, 10 Coutinho (21 Oxlade-Chamberlain 84'), 19 Mané (5 Wijnaldum 80'); 9 Firmino. 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 20 Lallana, 29 Solanke, 66 Alexander-Arnold.

HT Stats: AFC 0-1 LFC
Possession: 52%-48%
Shots: 4-8
On target: 0-4
Corners: 3-3
Fouls: 4-4

FT Stats: AFC 3-3 LFC
Possession: 54%-46%
Shots: 11-14
On target: 4-9
Corners: 7-8
Fouls: 9-11
Yellow cards: 1-0

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the match: Roberto Firmino
Ground: Emirates
Attendance: 59,409

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match report, Twitter and SFR coverage.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 18

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 18

The 18th week of the Premier League action saw:

29 goals - most by Huddersfield, Man City & Liverpool = 4 each
263 shots - most by Chelsea = 24
93 on target - most by Man City = 11
104 corners - most by West Ham = 9
234 fouls - most by Tottenham = 20
40 bookings - most by Brighton & Tottenham = 4 each
3 red cards - Ndidi for Leicester, Deeney for Watford, Hogg for Huddersfield
6 penalties - 3 scored (Mooy for Huddersfield, Noble for West Ham, Rooney for Everton)

What a game! Huddersfield ended their goalless and winless away run in style thrashing Watford 1-4 at Vicarage Road, the first top-flight meeting between the two. It was the Terriers' first away win and goal since 12th August when they started the Premier League campaign with a convincing 0-3 win at Crystal Palace. Elias Kachunga scored his first Premier League goal, Aaron Mooy doubled the lead from close range. The Hornets' poor discipline showed again, captain Troy Deeney shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle with just over half an hour gone, the third successive game and fourth time this season Marco Silva's men were reduced to ten men. Laurent Depoitre made it three after the break smashing the ball in after José Holebas slipped. Huddersfield skipper and former Hornet Jonathan Hogg was then sent off, second yellow, and Abdoulaye Doucouré pulled a goal back for Watford with a superb half-volley from 25 yards out. But Mooy made it two for him and four for the visitors, sealing the win from the spot, taking David Wagner's side up to 11th on 21 points, one point behind Watford in 10th. Sehr gut!

What a team! Newcastle have lost eight of their last nine Premier League games (D1, L8) after Arsenal's Mesut Özil's brilliant volley was enough to beat the Magpies at the Emirates, their longest winless run in the league since May 2015 (10). Their fourth straight defeat saw Rafael Benítez's men drop into the relegation zone and the Spanish boss crying out for "something in January". It is sad when there is more happening off the pitch than on the pitch. Gunners boss Arsène Wenger meanwhile has Özil to thank, the German's moment of magic was the only thing that brightened up a dull afternoon in London.
At the other end of the table, Manchester City outclassed Tottenham, beating the London side 4-1 at the Etihad, recording their 16th successive Premier League victory, topping and bossing the table eleven points ahead of local rivals Manchester United. The Red Devils won 1-2 at West Brom on Sunday to avoid the gap getting even bigger. It was not the most convincing win though... ZzZ

What a man! Man of the match Kevin De Bruyne bossed the show at the Etihad, scoring City's second, winning the (missed) penalty and making six key passes. In contrast to the top Belgian, Dele Alli was nowhere to be seen for Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino's men lucky to end the game with eleven men after some reckless challnges. Spurs are now without a win in 10 away games against the "big six" (4D, 6L).
Man of the match at the Vitality Stadium was Mohamed Salah,becoming the first Liverpool player to score at least 20 league and cup goals in a single season since Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge in 2013-14, and the first to score 20 goals before Christmas since the great legend Ian Rush in 1986-7. The extraordinary Egyptian touched the ball 48 times with an 80% pass success rate, scored a fine individual goal and put in four crosses in Liverpool's 0-4 win at Bournemouth, keeping the Reds unbeaten in the last 12 matches in all competitions. Click here for my full match report.
And last but not least, Wayne Rooney has made it ten goals in his last nine Premier League games for Everton, missing one but netting the other spot kick to seal the comeback and 3-1 win against bottom side Swansea on Monday Night Football. The Toffees are continuing their revival under Big Sam, having now won four of their past five games, which has taken them up to ninth in the table. What crises?!

What a goal! Crystal Palace hadn't scored in their last ten league games on the road before downing Leicester 0-3 in convincing fashion at the King Power Stadium Saturday lunch time. I certainly didn't predict that! Their last away goals were on their 1-2 win at Anfield under Big Sam in April, the longest such goalless away run by any top-flight side since 1949-50. Under fire Christian Benteke certainly made up for his penalty screw-up last weekend, scoring the opener and setting up man of the match Wilfried Zaha to double the lead with a lovely stepover move and shot. Birthday boy Wilfred Ndidi's second yellow for simulation hit the Foxes and threw away any chance of a comeback, Bakary Sako making it three goals and three points for the visitors in the final seconds of the game. Roy Hodgson has worked wonders, his side unbeaten in the last seven league games (3W, 4D), with three consecutive away clean sheets for the first time in the league, rising up from the bottom dumps to 14th. Claude Puel's men remain eighth in the table, nowhere near as impressive as in the midweek thrashing of his former club Southampton.

What the hell?! There were plenty of penalties this week (some mentioned above)! Glenn Murray missed from the spot for Brighton, the goalless draw against fifth-placed Burnley taking his side's winless run to seven matches, the last win was their 1-0 victory at Swansea on 4th November, keeping the south-coast club in 13th. Stoke boss Mark Hughes wasn't happy with referee Graham Scott after he pointed to the spot for West Ham's Manuel Lanzini's dramatic tumble. Hammers boss David Moyes blamed fatigue. Either way, the game ended 0-3 to the visitors at the Bet365 Stadium after kick-off was delayed for an hour due to a power outage. This defeat means the Potters have now lost five out of their last six and conceded the most goals in the Premier League, leaving just one point and one place above the relegation zone. All that can't come from refereeing decisions, the "Hughes out" shouts getting louder and louder...
Romelu Lukaku and José Mourinho have issues! The United forward opened the scoring against his former side West Brom, celebrations muted again like last time, his boss showing no reaction whatsoever, sitting stone cold frozen in the dugout. Your team just scored ffs! It is well known that the Portuguese has been flirting with PSG, mark my words, I've got the feeling his days in Manchester are counted! He doesn't seem to like or enjoy it there much! Depressing!

My Predictions - Actual Results
Leicester 2:0 Crystal Palace - 0:3
Arsenal 4:2 Newcastle - 1:0
Brighton 0:1 Burnley - 0:0
Chelsea 3:1 Southampton - 1:0
Stoke City 2:2 West Ham - 0:3
Watford 2:0 Huddersfield - 1:4
Man City 2:1 Tottenham - 4:1
West Brom 1:1 Man United - 1:2
Bournemouth 1:2 Liverpool - 0:4 or my match report
Everton 2:1 Swansea - 3:1

Click here for my previous Premier League Picks.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, Twitter and Sky Sports coverage.

Liverpool Boss It 0-4 At Bournemouth

Sports - Football - Premier League - AFCB 0:4 Liverpool

Liverpool bossed the show and cruised to a 0-4 win at Bournemouth to move up to fourth in the Premier League table on Super Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a bit of magic after hitting the post with a free-kick earlier on.

The Brazilian made it five goals in five games after a fine run, moving too quick for the Bournemouth defenders, before slotting the ball past Asmir Begović.

Dejan Lovren doubled the score for the visitors at the Vitality Stadium soon after with a fine header.

Star man Mohamed Salah made it 0-3 before half-time after Jermain Defoe had hit the post for the home side.

The great Egyptian produced one of his excellent quick runs before netting his 11th goal in 11 games, and his 20th of the season.

The man of the match became the first Liverpool player to score at least 20 league and cup goals in a single season since Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge in 2013-14, and the first to score 20 goals before Christmas since the great legend Ian Rush in 1986-7.

Roberto Firmino got the deserved fourth with a diving header to seal the win 0-4 and extend the Reds' unbeaten run to 12 matches in all competitions.

The convincing victory was much needed after disappointing draws at home against Everton and West Brom and took Jürgen Klopp's men up to fourth, above Arsenal and Burnley, but still 18 points behind league leaders Manchester City.

Eddie Howe's side meanwhile, stay 16th in the table, only one point above the relegation zone, after their sixth game without a win (3D, 3L).

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last nine league games (6W, 3D), their best run since an 11-match run ended in November 2016.

They are the first team in top-flight history to win four consecutive away games by a margin of at least three goals.

Next for the Reds is a trip to London on Friday night, where they will face Arsenal at the Emirates.

One can only hope they keep the confidence from this win and if they play against the Gunners as they did in the reverse fixture or last season's stunning opener, they should be fine and able to extend that thrashing away record.

Liverpool Goals: Coutinho 20', Lovren 26', Salah 44', Firmino 66'.

Bournemouth Team: 27 Begovic; 15 Smith, 2 Francis (c), 5 Aké (booked 10'), 11 Daniels (3 S Cook 56'); 33 Ibe, 16 L Cook, 6 Surman, 7 Pugh (24 Fraser 45'); 17 King (19 Stanislas 31'); 18 Defoe. 4-4-1-1
Subs not used: 1 Boruc, 4 Gosling, 8 Arter, 9 Afobe.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 12 Gomez, 6 Lovren, 17 Klavan, 26 Robertson; 21 Oxlade-Chamberlain, 14 Henderson (c), 5 Wijnaldum; 11 Salah (20 Lallana 71' (booked 73')), 9 Firmino (29 Solanke 76'), 10 Coutinho (28 Ings 87'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 7 Milner, 10 Mané, 66 Alexander-Arnold.

HT Match Stats: AFCB 0-3 LFC
Possession: 45%-55%
Shots: 3-11
On target: 1-5
Corners: 1-2
Fouls: 4-3
Yellow cards: 1-0

FT Match Stats: AFCB 0-4 LFC
Possession: 44%-56%
Shots: 6-21
On target: 2-7
Corners: 2-3
Fouls: 5-10
Yellow cards: 1-1

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the match: Mohamed Salah
Ground: Vitality Stadium
Attendance: 10,780

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match report and Twitter.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 17

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 17

The 17th week of the Premier League action saw:

21 goals - most by Leicester & Man City = 4 each
238 shots - most by Tottenham = 25
88 on target - most by Leicester = 11
99 corners - most by Tottenham = 10
209 fouls - most by Watford = 18
15 yellow cards - most by Palace, Everton, Bournemouth & West Ham - 2 each
2 red cards - Cleverley for Watford, Shelvey for Newcastle
0 penalties - :-o

What a game! It was an easy record-breaking 15th consecutive Premier League win for Manchester City after beating Swansea 4-0 at the Etihad thanks to David Silva's double, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero with the other goals and some brilliant exemplary football - unstoppable top dogs!
West Ham saw their goal disallowed for offside after some woeful defending by Arsenal - lucky Gunners! Petr Čech nearly handed the Hammers the lead but was lucky to see his defender clear the ball off the line after the keeper was unable to punch it clear. Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernández hit the bar after some more poor defending with a poor clearance, the visitors lucky to see the ball bounce off the bar, off the line and away. It ended 0-0 and a point each at the London Stadium. Arséne Wenger was again a very fortunate man to see his side get anything at all after a useless performance, but still making it no win in the last three league games. David Moyes on the other hand can be and is "really enjoying" life in East London after beating champions Chelsea at the weekend and holding the Gunners to a point. Revival.

What a team! It was all late drama on Tuesday night! What a late turnaround for Crystal Palace, and what a resurrection by Roy Hodgson, undefeated in the last six! The dramatic 2-1 win against Watford at Selhurst Park took the London side out of the relegation zone for the first time this season, at least temporarily after Tuesday night, off the bottom at least and just goal difference separating them from safety after Wednesday's matches. Tom Cleverley's late sending off for a second yellow card started the downfall for Marco Silva's side (87'). The Hornets leaked two goals in the final minutes, Bakary Sako (89') and James McArthur (90'+2) turning the game on its head and three crucial points into the home side's bag, the only win in the bottom half of the table this week!
And Burnley are flying higher and higher. Sean Dyche's side broke into the top four, at least for the time being after their 1-0 win against Stoke City on Tuesday night thanks to Ashley Barnes' late match winner at Turf Moor. This is the highest position the Clarets have been in the top flight since 1975! And even after the Wednesday matches, only goal difference separates them from the Champions League. Just imagine that!!!
Much in contrast to the other two matches on Tuesday night, it was all too easy and no competition for Chelsea, 1-3 winners at Huddersfield, keeping up the pace with second-placed Manchester United. This defeat was the fifth in the last six matches for the Terriers, nicht gut for David Wagner.

What a man! Romelu Lukaku has been under fire to say the least for his dip in form, so, when he gave Manchester United the lead with a header against Bournemouth, the unexpected non-celebration was weird. Nearly rude. Spoilt. Or something's up. Attitude. It was enough to give the Red Devils the win and three points at Old Trafford, even though the Cherries made much more of the match, actually played, and had more chances against an average side. Yes average. Apart from man of the match David de Gea, no one really showed up, did their job. José Mourinho's side have been less than impressive lately - his antiques off the field and in front of the microphones and cameras have failed to distract from that. Me at least. Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. Where's the quality? For that you have to look to the blue side of Manchester. Full stop.

What a goal! Top: Riyad Mahrez gave Leicester the lead at Southampton with a cheeky left-footer after a great individual run. Shinji Okazaki doubled the Foxes' lead and Andy King made it three, Claude Puel's men are in form and showing some of their good old fab football again we saw 2015-16. Maya Yoshida pulled one back for the Saints, but Okazaki sealed it making it four on the counter, 1-4 at St Mary's and four wins on the trot in the league. Too easy. Mauricio Pellegrino however, has not been questioned and under fire anywhere near as much as other bosses have been after such disappointing displays and results.
Flop: Wayne Rooney was on the spot for Everton after Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow spilled Aaron Lennon's header. Jonjo Shelvey's sending off just added to Rafael Benítez's misery. All the takeover malarkey off the field should not affect the play on the pitch and can definitely not be used as an excuse for such clumsy defending and just bad football.
Serge Aurier fooled the Brighton keeper too to give Tottenham the lead with a mishit cross from the right, similar to Willian's accidental equaliser for Chelsea against Liverpool in Week 13. Son Heung-min sealed the points for Spurs late on to make it 2-0 at Wembley, the Seagulls unable to form any kind of competition. Shame.

What the hell?! It's getting a little repetitive, oh what a surprise, oh shock, oh wow, Liverpool changes, rotation rotation rotation. As long as it brings results, boss Jürgen Klopp knows best... Or does he?! The Reds missed lots of chances and had a goal disallowed. Was it a goal? Nope, handball and booking for Dominic Solanke instead, obvious, replays confirmed, so, 0-0 it ended at Anfield, a point each. It was a deserved point for West Brom as they worked hard and stuck to their plan very well, bagging Alan Pardew's second point out of the three matches he has been in charge. Loris Karius made a couple of crucial top-quality saves to avoid a worse result for the Reds. The German manager was of course not happy, the post-match interviewer didn't get to feel the fumes this time though (unlike after the draw against Everton), no complaints, accepting the result, his side were just not good enough. Verdammt noch mal!

My Predictions - Actual Results
Burnley 1:1 Stoke City - 1:0
Crystal Palace 0:1 Watford - 2:1
Huddersfield 0:3 Chelsea - 1:3
Newcastle 1:1 Everton - 0:1
Southampton 1:2 Leicester - 1:4
Swansea 1:5 Man City - 0:4
Liverpool 3:1 West Brom - 0:0
Man United 3:1 Bournemouth - 1:0
Tottenham 2:1 Brighton - 2:0
West Ham 2:3 Arsenal - 0:0

Click here for my previous Premier League Picks.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, Twitter, Sky Sports News and SFR live match coverage.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 16

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 16

The 16th week of the Premier League action saw:

27 goals - most by Tottenham = 5
237 shots - most by Crystal Palace = 24
85 on target - most by Tottenham = 11
102 corners - most by Tottenham & Liverpool = 12 each
216 fouls - most by West Brom = 18
39 yellow cards - most by West Ham, Crystal Palace & West Brom = 5 each
1 red card - Zeegelaar for Watford
3 penalties - 2 scored (Milivojevic for Palace, Rooney for Everton)

What a game! Brilliant goals, breath-taking football, action-packed, entertaining, the game had everything at St James' Park. But Newcastle once against ended up on the losing side, 2-3 against Leicester this time, a late Ayoze Pérez own goal costing the Magpies dearly. Foxes boss Claude Puel is doing what Rafael Benítez is looking for, getting the team together and the best out of his players.  The Spaniard has seen his side slump down to 16th collecting just one point from the last seven matches, whilst the Frenchman can be very happy with 14 points taking them up to eighth.
After all the massive build-up all week to the Double Derby Super Sunday - both games weren't the thrillers of the century but certainly hard-fought and no love was lost between any of the sides, that's for sure. Everton got a lucky point at Anfield after utter dominance from Liverpool. Top scorer Mohamed Salah could and should have had a hat-trick, team mate Sadio Mané blew a handful of chances, too. And after all that, it had to be Wayne Rooney who grabbed the point netting his first ever goal against the Reds in the derby from the spot off a very controversial penalty, which both managers disagreed about, to say the least. Click here for my match notes, a lot happened!
League leaders City bossed the show at Old Trafford beating United 1-2 in the later kick-off. The Red Devils only had 35% possession, their lowest figure at home in the Premier League since 2003-4. Brazilian stopper Ederson's stunning double-save topped the lot for me. Everyone is always on about David de Gea, this time the other side stayed in the game and collected the points thanks to the top keeper. More below.

What a team! Tottenham have become the first side in English top-flight history to win four consecutive league games against the same opponent by four or more goals. They must love Stoke City for that, this time crushing their favourite opponent 5-1 at Wembley, including a Harry Kane double. Home sweet home, just when everyone thought Mauricio Pochettino's side were struggling.
City's win at Old Trafford took their winning run to 14 games which is the record best for the most consecutive wins in a single Premier League season and joint-best in the English top-flight alongside Arsenal's run between February and August 2002. United's first home defeat in 41 games takes Pep Guardiola's men 11 points clear at the top. Unstoppable? José Mourinho apparently/allegedly tried to stop the Citizens' party but failed...

What a player! West Ham keeper Joe Hart must have sank in his seat watching his replacement Adrián make some brilliant stops against the champions, more to that game below.
Huddersfield record signing Steve Mounié's double ended his side's run of four consecutive defeats with a 2-0 win against Brighton, leaving manager David Wagner full of praise and deservedly so.
And Wilfried Bony found a late winner to lift Swansea off the bottom of the table after beating West Brom to bank three precious points and ease the pressure on boss Paul Clement.
Charlie Austin made it eight in his last 11 league starts for Southampton, four in his last three, capitalising on Per Mertesacker's giveaway. Arsenal were shambles in the first half in the earliest kick-off on Sunday and could have been four or five goals down at the break. Oriol Romeu hit the bar in the second half. And then of course substitute Olivier Giroud levelled the score in the 88th minute with a superb header, equalling Red Devil Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's record for the most goals by a substitute in the Premier League. It ended 1-1 but could and should have been 6 or 7-1. Lucky lucky lucky Arsène Wenger.

What a goal! It was a sweet finish by Marko Arnautović that gave West Ham the lead against Chelsea and deserved as well. The Hammers stunned the Blues who were all over the place and the home side stayed strong when Antonio Conte's men did recover and form a threat. And unlike against Manchester City, David Moyes' men were able to hang on to their first win under the former Everton and United boss.
Jermain Defoe's equaliser for Bournemouth against Palace was something else. The angle, the distance, it all looked against him, but he tapped it up and in to make it two for him and 2-2 on the scoreboard.
Salah's opening goal for Liverpool was a cracker, his 13th league goal and 19th in all competitions, topping all charts and awards for the Reds, but it was not enough to win it for them as mentioned above. Manager Jürgen Klopp certainly thought Everton's equaliser should have never happened... The German failed to admit his side could and should have killed off the game way before that incident after dominating the derby through and through.

What the hell?! All the diving and whining and complaining by Chelsea at the London Stadium made me sick! The Blues were so lucky just to get away with one booking! Both Mancunian sides were just as bad as each other on Sunday as well being drama queens, and as mentioned above it continued after the match. And I was also annoyed by all the discussions and doubts about Watford's Marvin Zeegelaar's sending off, manager Marco Silva criticising the decision like blaming his side's defeat at Burnley on it. It was a two-footed, dangerous tackle! Accidental or not, it is a red.
Both penalties for Palace against Bournemouth were softer than soft, but what was Christian Benteke thinking?! His boss Roy Hodgson was not happy. First penalty taker and scorer Luka Milivojević and team mate Jeffrey Schlupp were wondering and questioning the striker's decision. Why did they let him take the injury-time spot kick? The Belgian striker has yet to score for the London side this season and it was his third miss out of five from the spot for Palace. And I hope and think it was the last as it cost them two crucial points in the relegation battle.

My Predictions - Actual Results
West Ham 1:4 Chelsea - 1:0
Burnley 1:0 Watford - 1:0
Crystal Palace 1:1 Bournemouth - 2:2
Huddersfield 2:1 Brighton - 2:0
Swansea 0:0 West Brom - 1:0
Tottenham 1:1 Stoke City - 5:1
Newcastle 1:1 Leicester - 2:3
Southampton 2:2 Arsenal - 1:1
Liverpool 4:0 Everton - 1:1 or here are my match notes
Man United 3:4 Man City - 1:2

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, MOTD, Twitter, SFR and Sky Sports live match coverage.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Rooney Grabs A Point From The Spot

Sports - Football - Premier League - LFC 1:1 EFC

Here are my live match notes, stats and facts:

Pre-match surprise: Coutinho and Firmino dropped to the bench, part of six changes for the Reds!!! (See the full line-ups at the bottom of these live match notes.)

15' 76%-24% possession, Reds pushing, Toffees leaving too much space at times, Big Sam going ballistic on the sideline, even Jürgen Klopp was taken aback next to the big raging boss.

23' 93%-46% passing accuracy, quality and dominance but still no real danger nor breakthrough.

29' 5-0 attempts, 0-0 on target, on top but somewhat disappointing so far for the Reds.

36' first BOOKING of the derby goes to Sigurdsson for a late tackle on Henderson, studs on ankle, ouch.

42' second BOOKING Gueye, late tackle from behind on Senegalese team mate Mané, free kick for the home side on the left -

GOAL - Salah fights his way through from the right, lifts and swerves a beauty up, away and into the left corner with his magical left foot, keeper no chance, 1-0!

Two minutes added on.

MISS - Mané skips past the last Toffee, runs in from the left, has three other Reds free in front of goal to choose from, but the Senegalese striker puts it wide instead. Should have been 2-0!

Possession: 80%-20%
Shots: 12-1
On target: 1-1
Corners: 3-0
Fouls: 4-6
Yellow cards: 0-2

Two CHANGES made by Big Sam after the break, Lennon and Schneiderlin on for Davies and Niasse. Rooney has gone from useless right-back to up front. Will it bring Everton into the game?

49' Salah header JUST wide, brilliant Milner cross. Liverpool continuing the way they were going, on top, dominant.

50' Sigurdsson puts the ball wide from the left, no real threat.

52' Fifth corner to the Reds, looking dangerous, Toffees struggling, crumbling, sixth corner, headed away, threat still not cleared, all Liverpool at the moment.

55' Seventh and eighth Liverpool corner, Salah fires it high from the edge of the box. 15-1 shots, but just 1-1 on target.

63' 77%-23% possession, I don't know how that has gone down, it's still all Red, one-way traffic. 35-2 touches in the opposition box.

65' Pickford was just watching there as Gomez headed the ball over off a free kick on the left, close one.

67' First CHANGE made by Klopp, Firmino replaces goal scorer Salah. Calculated gamble by the German boss, the commentators ask.

73' 11-1 corners, first one for the visitors, the fans cheer as if they've scored, nothing from it.

76' PENALTY TO EVERTON Lovren pushed down Calvert-Lewin in the box, no one else near, no threat as they were running towards the corner, clumsy one, soft one, a present. The visitors' first penalty at Anfield since 1988!!!

77' ROONEY EQUALISES from the spot, his first EVER goal in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool punished for their misses and clumsiness.

80' CHANGE Klopp brings on Coutinho for Oxlade-Chamberlain in response to that equaliser, Lovren had been booked for the penalty offence.

82' CHANGE Solanke is replaced by Ings, final dice thrown by Klopp.

82' Last CHANGE for Everton as well, Rooney handing the captain's armband over to Jagielka.

85' Schneiderlin BOOKED for felling down Milner. Coutinho to take the resulting free kick, Pickford saves and collects it to his top right. 22-3 shots, only 3-2 on target.

88' Lovren heads another Liverpool corner high. He will be kicking himself for giving away the win.

Four minutes added on, Firmino on the stretch, ball goes out for a goal kick. Henderson fires high late on, disappointing.

Full time whistle blows, Lovren still protesting to the officials, but he can moan as much as he likes, he has given the win away with the penalty foul. 1-1 and one point each, all the dominance and chances don't count for anything!

Positive note: Liverpool remain unbeaten in the last ten matches in all competitions and have equalled their longest-ever unbeaten run against the Toffees in all competitions = 15 games, set between March 1972 and April 1978.

Possession: 79%-21%
Shots: 23-3
On target: 3-2
Corners: 2-1
Fouls: 8-11
Yellow cards: 1-3

Klopp's post-match interview!!! Wow! The German normal and usually smiley one didn't take the questions about the spot kick lightly!!! No matter how angry he is about the referee, he can't ignore his side's weaknesses and how they couldn't take the game away from Big Sam's side. Next: West Brom at Anfield on Wednesday!

Liverpool team: 22 Mignolet, 12 Gomez, 6 Lovren (booked 76'), 17 Klavan, 26 Robertson, 14 Henderson (c), 7 Milner, 21 Oxlade-Chamberlain (10 Coutinho 78'), 19 Mané, 11 Salah (9 Firmino 67'), 29 Solanke (28 Ings 82'). 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 1 Karius, 5 Wijnaldum, 23 Can, 66 Alexander-Arnold.

Everton team: 1 Pickford, 43 Kenny, 15 Martina, 30 Holgate, 5 Williams, 17 Gueye (booked 42'), 29 Calvert-Lewin, 26 Davies (12 Lennon HT), 10 Rooney (c) (6 Jagielka 82'), 18 Sigurdsson (booked 36'), 19 Niasse (2 Schneiderlin HT, booked 85'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 33 Robles, 4 Keane, 27 Vlasic, 31 Lookman.

Referee: Craig Pawson
Man of the match: Jonjoe Kenny
Ground: Anfield
Attendance: 53,082

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All facts and stats were taken from the BBC match report, Twitter and Sky Sports live match coverage.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Premier League Picks Of The Week 15

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 15

The 15th week of the Premier League action saw:

27 goals - most by Liverpool = 5
257 shots - most by Arsenal = 33
91 on target - most by Arsenal = 16
106 corners - most by Arsenal = 12
189 fouls - most by Watford = 16
30 yellow cards - most by Watford = 4
2 red cards - Sanchez for Tottenham, Pogba for United
2 penalties - 2 scored (Hazard for Chelsea, Murray for Brighton)

What a game! Arsenal suffered their first home defeat at the Emirates since January, losing 1-3 against 10-man Manchester United. The Gunners fell two goals behind after 11 minutes and couldn't recover after those errors, no matter what they threw at the Red Devils. The defeat sees Arsène Wenger's men drop out of the Champions League qualification places to fifth. More to the fiery encounter below.
Watford were unlucky just to get a point against Tottenham, referee Martin Atkinson not making (m)any friends at Vicarage Road. Less than a minute after the home side felt Richarlison was fouled, but nothing was given, Son Heung-min levelled the score from the counter. Christian Kabasele had headed the Hornets ahead from a corner and the home side fought hard to stay in the match. Too hard and physical according to some, but the officials ignored all appeals and calls on both sides. Mauricio Pochettino felt it was long overdue for some decisions to go his side's way, avoiding any further word about Davinson Sánchez's red card for an elbow. Spurs have now gone four league matches without a win, unable to deal with Marco Silva's side's fighting spirit.

What a team! Man City are still topping the lot with an eight-point cushion - next weekend's derby is going to be interesting! The odds on an 8-0 win to the league leaders against West Ham were lower than the visitors nicking a 0-1 win at the Etihad, which said it all!!! But the Hammers started so well and worked so hard though and got a surprise lead in the first half thanks to Angelo Ogbonna's header. However, it was no surprise they got knackered and leaked the goals in the end, Nicolás Otamendi (57') and David Silva (83') handing the Citizens their record-equalling 13th PL win in a row in Pep time.
Crystal Palace have moved off the bottom of the table for the first time this season and have been replaced by Swansea after the Welsh side's 2-1 defeat at Stoke. Mark Hughes was a very relieved man seeing his side showing much more "courage and character" as he put it after the Potters recorded their first win since October, first home win since September. The pressure is up and going more and more against Paul Clement. Despite failing to score for the 10th away game in a row for the first time since Manchester City in 1950, the Eagles were happy with the point at West Brom, Alan Pardew full of praise for his side too.
Huddersfield are sliding down the table, Everton making it two wins and six goals in two games and Big Sam very happy after his first match in charge beating the Tigers 2-0 at Goodison Park.

What a man! Man of the match at the Emirates David de Gea made the most saves in a single match in Premier League history = 14, including a breathtaking double-save against Alexandre Lacazette and Alexis Sánchez. 33 attempts made by the home side, 16 on target, but just one goal to show for on the scoreboard. José Mourinho's side produced just 8 shots, 4 on target, but 3 goals meant 3 points. It was a thriller and a very harsh lesson to the London side, despite having the extra man for the last 15ish minutes after Paul Pogba was sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Man of the Match at Stamford Bridge Eden Hazard made a big difference for Chelsea as the Blues came back from a goal down to beat Newcastle 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. The former Premier League Player of the Year levelled the score with an angled strike and sealed the win from the spot after striker Álvaro Morata had given the Blues the lead. This result made it ten wins for Antonio Conte's side in the league, whilst Rafael Benítez's Magpies have seen no wins in the last six and been dragged down to 15th, 5 points from the drop zone.

What a goal! All FIVE Liverpool goals just over-rolled Brighton... Great team play, counter attacking, running, passing, smashing. Mohamed Salah wasn't on the scoreboard for a change but was more than involved. The Egyptian has played part in 15 goals in the first 15 PL games for Liverpool, more than any other player for the club (12 goals, 3 assists). Man of the match Philippe Coutinho's cheeky low free kick that went under the wall made it four and settled any nerves and fears of a comeback like Sevilla in the Champions League. And unlucky Lewis Dunk put the ball into his own net it sealed the deal 1-5 at the Amex Stadium. The Brighton defender is only one away from Martin Škrtel's record for the season (= 4 in 2013/14). The Reds meanwhile have moved into the top four of the Premier League for the first time since August after scoring 15 goals in their past four away games in all competitions. BOOM!

What the hell?! There were lots of questionable refereeing decisions once again, as (some) mentioned above... Penalties... Bookings... Red cards... The inconsistencies are just mad! I could fill books with all the errors (and arguments FOR video reviews and WHY THE HELL they still haven't been introduced)! Bournemouth defender Adam Smith said in the post-match interview referee Jonathan Moss admitted his booking for diving was a mistake instead of a giving a penalty - too little too late as the game against Southampton ended 1-1!!! And as it is Cherry's fifth yellow card of the season he will be suspended for the next game. It's ridiculous that it cannot be retracted. It is rare an official so openly concedes a mistake, so, something should be done!!!
And a little LOL to cheer up and finish things off: I loved Gary Lineker's MOTD running order prank on Twitter, LMAO!

My Predictions - Actual Results
Chelsea 4:1 Newcastle - 3:1
Brighton 1:3 Liverpool - 1:5
Everton 3:0 Huddersfield - 2:0
Leicester 1:1 Burnley - 1:0
Stoke City 2:1 Swansea - 2:1
Watford 2:1 Tottenham - 1:1
West Brom 0:0 Crystal Palace - 0:0
Arsenal 2:1 Man United - 1:3
Bournemouth 2:1 Southampton - 1:1
Man City 6:0 West Ham - 2:1

Click here for my previous Premier League Picks.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match reports, MOTD, Twitter and SFR live match coverage.