Our very biased claim that the Premier League is the best league in the world was not supported last weekend when there were absolutely no results that raised eyebrows, or even the mono brow of Marouane Fellaini. In fact, the most surprising event was the sight of Arsene Wenger giving an interview after a game and admitting he DID see an incident on the pitch that would have benefited the opposing team (West Brom).
To St Mary’s stadium where the pitch is always in impeccable condition, downright stunning I might add. The ball fizzes gracefully across the turf and it obviously helps when Southampton play some good football. So much so, they have failed to treat their loyal supporters to a goal in 8 of their last 9 home games. Is possession imperative? Don’t ask Neil Warnock that. When he was interviewed for a job at Norwich, he was asked if fans would accept ‘The Warnock Way’. To which Neil replied ‘what, winning?’
Good ol’ Neil. Before going slightly off topic, the Saints couldn’t convert their possession into goals which was a familiar story for Mauricio Pellegrino. They lost 1-0 to Manchester United, who reverted to what Jose Mourinho is notorious for, parking the bus. The old cliché ‘it’s a sign of champions when you could win and not be at your best’ was evident here, though they did adequately look like a club belonging in the Champions League in their 4-1 drubbing of CSKA Moscow in midweek. Pep’s Man City Globetrotters (The name works) mauled Woy Hodgson’s Palace five to nothing before taking out the frustration of losing left back Benjamin Mendy for nine months, by taking out their frustrations on the Brazilian filled Shaktar Donetsk a few days later.
Chelsea flop Alvaro Morata displayed once again what a disastrous signing he is, by scoring his seventh goal in eight games for the club. The twenty-four-year-old more accustomed to the searing climate of Spain, proved he’s also unfazed at the prospect of playing on a wet and windy day in Stoke, chalking up 2 goals including one beautiful solo goal. Boss Antonio Conte then proceeded to rub salt in the wounds of Diego Costa, forcing Costa to question his move to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night. The impressive Blues came out 2-1 winners, due to Morata and Michy Batshuayi’s 93rd minute winner in the last kick of the game.
It was also a good few days for their rivals Spurs and striker Harry Kane. The free scoring Kane consigned the Hammers to a 3-2 defeat in their own backyard, and then went one step further by bagging a hat trick in Cyprus against Apoel Nicosia. His hankering for scoring has already began to draw comparisons between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo (Impossible to write that down with a straight face). Liverpool’s incompetence in defence was on show in abundance at Leicester (It’s perfectly fine to Jurgen Klopp mind you), giving away 2 soft goals at Leicester but holding out for a 3-2 win. They also suffered incompetence in attack in the Champions League, squandering a glut of chances to draw 1-1 at Spartak Moscow.
Elsewhere for the teams in the top flight representing English football in Europe, Arsene Wenger’s nonchalance for the Europa League payed dividends defeating Bate 4-2 despite taking an almost unrecognisable squad, and Everton dropped points at home to Apollon Limassol to pile further pressure on Ronald Koeman.
Onto next week.