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Premier League Review

We assess how all twenty Premier League clubs got on in their Gameweek 11 fixtures, as FPL fanatics and Premier League addicts alike voice a collective drone, as we now face yet another daunting two weeks without Premier League action.

Inevitably, again we were treated to an action-packed, thrilling weekend with a total of 34 goals slamming into the back of the net throughout the 10 fixtures. We were treated to an engaging North London Derby and were given a timely reminder of how to play football, by two sides both led by larger than life, charismatic characters. Meanwhile, a certain Swede grabbed the 25,000th Premier League goal.

Bournemouth 1-2 Sunderland

What a massive, massive win for David Moyes and his men. I said they had to win this game one way or another, and they certainly did just that. When Dan Gosling bundled the ball over the line in the 11th minute to reward the Cherries for their early dominance, you had to fear the worst for Sunderland. Yet, from the stands, Moyes orchestrated a remarkable comeback. Spearheaded by the engine that was Duncan Watmore, who covered 11.17km throughout, the gamble to play Victor Anichebe, who hadn’t scored in 546 days, paid off. He was fed the ball by the ever involved Jermain Defoe, with his back to goal, and showed real strength to turn his man and thunder the ball past the helpless Artur Boruc. When Steven Pienaar was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the 59th minute, it seemed a certainty that the south coast club would make their dominance pay. However, they didn’t capitalise on a host of chances, 70% possession, 22 shots – yet when Anichebe went over in the 74th minute the only stat that mattered was the goals. Duly, unsurprisingly Defoe stood up and calmly dispatched it. Just three players have scored a goal for them this season, yet somehow they held on to secure three points. Moyes said he had taken his side to a factory in midweek – ‘to show playing football was a better job’. And boy, were his side fired up for this one – and boy, were they rewarded.

MOTM –  Victor Anichebe
Scorers  – Gosling – Anichebe, Defoe

Manchester City 1-1 Middlesbrough

I said City would struggle of the back of such a monumental win against Barca. And they did. At times Boro were the better side – and a draw was a fair reflection. Sergio Aguero missed chances he’d usually slot away for fun. Take nothing away from Boro, Victor Valdes was immense and they defended as if their livelihood depended on it. That’s a point at the Etihad and the Emirates for Aitor Karanka’s army! City just can’t seem to finish off sides at the Etihad, that’s three 1-1 draws there already this season. Whilst on their day they can beat anyone, that will all drift into insignificance if they fail to put away the lesser sides. I’d like to pick out Ilkay Gundagon who I think has been sensational for Man City in the last month or so, and he impressed once again at the weekend. Boro should be proud of a valiant, heroic display in which they made a City side that has a plethora of stars amongst its ranks, appear as if they were the Man City of the pre-Arab investment era.

MOTM – Victor Valdes
Scorers – Aguero – De Roon

West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City

A drab, drab match. I’ll keep this short. Few chances, few talking points, but one moment of genius from Slaven Bilic. His tactical tweak on the hour mark paid immediate dividends as the switch to stick Michail Antonio upfront ultimately resulted in Glenn Whelan inadvertently giving the Hammers the lead. It would have been a much needed three points for West Ham, until an Adrian error allowed Bojan Krkic to salvage a point for the Potters, and mean they left London unbeaten in six Premier League games. It’s a familiar story for Dimitri Payet and co. They just can’t find their rhythm, the winning formula, the cutting edge. They’ve failed to settle in at their new found home, and the move has doubtless cost them countless points this season. Having said that, I think both sides will be content with sharing the spoils.

MOTM – Pedro Obiang
Scorers – Whelan(OG) – Bojan

Burnley 3-2 Crystal Palace

Thriller! At 2-0 down Palace could have shut up shop and let the game peter out and subsequently drift out of their reach. Yet they didn’t. In fact, they showed immense character and resolve to battle back to two goals apiece. I almost felt sorry for Alan Pardew when Ashley Barnes charged upfield to hand Burnley a last gasp win. Almost. They have to sort it out at the back. That’s seven goals conceded in two games, on the flip side, offensively they have scored the fifth most amount of goals this season with 16. That’s an impressive haul. This game was end to end, so much so by the end, I was left perplexed as to whether I was engaged in a tennis or football match, such was the continuous nature of vigorous head motion I found myself adopting. Turf Moor has become somewhat of a fortress, and I wait in anticipation for the next clash at this historic ground. A pulsating affair, emphasised by Andros Townsend crashing a booming effort into Tom Heaton’s woodwork even after Barnes assumed he had won the game.

MOTM – Johann Gudmundsson
Scorers – Vokes, Gudmundsson, Barnes – Wickham, Benteke

Chelsea 5-0 Everton

This game scared me. The Toffees weren’t even that bad, yet they were simply ripped to shreds. It could have easily been six, seven or even eight. Ronald Koeman’s men had only conceded eight in the league prior to Saturday, extraordinarily they shipped five in what truly was a footballing masterclass by Antonio Conte and Chelsea. Since switching to the 3-4-3, Chelsea have won five out of five, scored sixteen and conceded none. They have suddenly catapulted themselves back into the title race, and it only adds to the fierce nature of this year’s competition. Any one of six teams genuinely could be lifting that trophy in eight months time. My favourite moment was Victor Moses smashing the post, after getting on the end of a cross from, you guessed it their other wing back! It just shows the dominance and flexibility Chelsea had. And it is certainly a complement to the newly adopted formation to which they have all adapted to frighteningly and remarkably quickly. Eden Hazard looks the player of old, perhaps even better. Diego Costa was once again clinical. It’s good to see them back.

MOTM – Eden Hazard
Scorers – Hazard (2), Alonso, Costa, Pedro

Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Mesut Ozil got fed up of assisting his own teammates. So this time round he plonked one right on the forehead of the helpless Spurs man Kevin Wimmer. It was a game of such, defined by moments of individual brilliance. Harry Kane made his long awaited return to score in what is undoubtedly his favourite fixture – you could sense how much it meant to him. Losing Kyle Walker late on to injury will be a blow for Spurs, they’ll be praying it’s not too serious – he’s been their best player this season. Mousa Dembele also stood out for me, he was commanding in that holding role and broke up the advancing sea of red on many occasion. Spurs are still unbeaten, but this was their sixth draw already in just 11 games! They’ll be happy with coming away from a North London derby with a point, however, now they need to find the cutting edge to turn these draws into much needed three points. As for Arsenal it once again highlighted that with the players they have, even if they play badly, they have the quality to snatch a result. The question remains – can these two keep up the pace in an ever intensify title race?

MOTM – Mousa Dembele
Scorers – Wimmer (OG) – Kane

Liverpool 6-1 Watford

Whatever Chelsea can do, Liverpool can do better. My oh my that front four are electric – not even mentioning the options of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi sitting on the bench. Bear in mind the Hornets hadn’t conceded in three straight PL games, to then ship six was an extraordinary testament to the ruthless nature of Liverpool’s attacking quartet. Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino effortlessly glided in and around each other, gracefully intertwining to perplex the Watford defence. It truly was the Hornets who were stung this time around. Liverpool have had ten, yes TEN, different scorers this season in the Premier League, and it’s easy to see why. They looked like they were going to score every time they marauded forward. Watford’s goalkeeping change on the half hour mark made absolutely no difference to the utter domination Liverpool were showcasing on Sunday. There’s a buzz around Anfield at the moment, and being top of the league after taking their tally to 30 goals this season it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to comprehend why. Remarkably, Jurgen Klopp’s men registered 17 shots on target on Sunday, the most in a Premier League game since Opta stats began in 2003/2004!

MOTM – Phillipe Coutinho
Scorers – Mane (2), Coutinho, Can, Firmino, Wijnaldum

Hull City 2-1 Southampton

Perhaps the Saints were suffering from a similar problem to Man City? PFRD (Post Fantastic Result Disorder). Jokes aside, it appears European football is already taking its toll on Premier League clubs. Whether it be psychological, or a physical issue both Southampton and Man City produced fantastic displays in midweek, and then went on to underwhelm in their respective Premier League fixtures. When Charlie Austin slotted home from the spot six minutes in, I braced myself for the inevitable entourage of Saints goals. Yet it never came. Mike Phelan and his Tigers have been struggling, but they dug deep and fought for their manager. Robert Snodgrass changed the game, he provided a goal and assist for his side which ultimately decided the match. His return will be a welcome boost for the club, who have been struggling with such a small squad. Micheal Dawson proved an unexpected goalscorer, but Hull won’t care how or off who they went in – they got the three points.

MOTM – Robert Snodgrass
Scorers – Austin – Snodgrass, Dawson

Swansea City 1-3 Manchester United

It had to be Zlatan who grabbed the 25,000th goal of the Premier League era didn’t it. Of course, answered in the true Zlatan fashion he commented on his achievement – ‘Oh, I thought it was me alone who had 25,000’. Regardless, this was much improved from Jose Mourinho’s men. Granted, Swansea aren’t the stiffest of challenges of their title credentials, but when Paul Pogba is smashing in 25-yard volleys and Ibrahimovic is grabbing a brace, something is definitely right. Mike Van dear Hoorn’s consolation took a bit of gloss off what was overall a comfortable, routine win for the Red Devil’s, they’ll be hoping this can prove to be the springboard to start a run of results which will see them climb up the hotly contested table.

MOTM – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Scorers – Pogba, Ibrahimovic (2) – Van der Hoorn

Leicester City 1-2 West Bromwich Albion

PFRD strikes yet again! West Brom clinically ended Leicester’s applaudable run of 20 games unbeaten at the King Power stadium. The Foxes mustered a lowly two shots on target throughout the whole game and were lacking any real spark. This was a dull game, but West Brom were bullish and took the few chances they could create. Matt Phillips was a constant thorn in Leicester’s side, and it was he who provided the pinpoint cross for James Morrison to nod home. Islam Slimani equalised moments later from Riyad Mahrez’s peach of a cross. It looked to be wallowing out into a draw until a howler from Danny Drinkwater allowed Phillips into deservedly send the Baggies home with all three points. An impressive feat from Tony Pulis’ men, given top scorer Nacer Chadli was sidelined through injury.

MOTM – Matt Phillips
Scorers – Slimani – Morrison, Phillips

This article is written by James Clements, you can follow him on Twitter at @JamesClements55. What are your thoughts? Let us know by dropping a comment via our comments box below. Make sure you follow us on TwitterGoogle+, Instagram and like us on Facebook.