It must be said, a Monday night football game featuring Burnley and Newcastle was never going to be the greatest climax to last weekend’s fixtures. I could hardly bring myself to sit down and watch the predictable tedious outcome that turned out, or even Manchester United vs Spurs. You just knew how Jose was going to set up his side, whether it’s effective or not it besides the point.
Spurs went into the clash missing Harry Kane, paving the way for their only other fit striker to come in, Fernando Llorente. Nope, he was still filling up space on the bench. He must have been wondering where his career was heading when, as talented as Son-Heung Min is, he’s no number 9. The Reds eventually took the game to Spurs with limited time remaining, and Anthony Martial became the match-winner. Full time prompted a ‘ssh’ gesture from Jose Mourinho in true Jose Mourinho fashion. Just another jibe to his supporters for the collection.
Yet despite United winning again in the Champions League against Benfica three days later, it was Spurs who went on to have a more fruitful week, taking down Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley in the Champions League. Coming off the back of a defeat at Girona in La Liga, recently named coach of the year Zinedine Zidane’s managerial credentials are probably already getting questioned in the Spanish press. Take no shine off the Spurs win mind, as much as Cristiano Ronaldo wants to with his wild claims Madrid were the better team.
Why is it so common that managers win their first game in charge? Claude Puel’s Leicester City players were all eager to impress in their 3-0 win over the once deceptively good Everton. Also, how is it that Everton are more than happy to keep several of their summer signings on the bench? Granted not one of those substitutes has really shown their worth since arriving, however many of those keeping them out of the starting XI have been absolutely shocking.
Now all like footballers want to take the glory for a goal-saving tackle or becoming the match-winner, but West Ham took it too far at Crystal Palace. Leading 2-1 in the seventh minute of stoppage time, Michail Antonio gave the ball away with two team-mates in the Palace box. None of them really busted a gut to get back, obviously just in case the ball came back soon enough where they could get another goal. So what happens? Wilfried Zaha punishes them, not long after the West Ham fans directed chants of “Too **** for England” at him. Whoops.
It wasn’t even the worst bit of defending of the week. Antonio Conte, who prides hmself as a stereotypical Italian where Italian led teams are tough to beat, watched three Chelsea defenders attempt to retrieve the ball of Edin Dzeko deep in their own half. There wasn’t a single Roma teammate in sight, and he found himself with a clear sight at goal. It was like watching three Dejan Lovren’s.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City very nearly came close to getting ‘Pulised, only just holding onto the 3-2 win at West Brom. Raheem Sterling has always had a knack for some truly god awful finishing, only this season he seems to be getting a goal every other game= Pep effect. I’d be surprised if there’s a better team in Europe right no than Man City, seeing off fancy Napoli a few days later 4-2. Fancy that, English teams dominating Europe.