Liverpool manage to not throw away a three-goal lead, “Arsenal are the worst team ever” says pundit who played for one of the worst teams ever and Pardew wins playing PulisBall

Premier League Roundup

There’s nothing like backing a goalkeeper as your new first choice to see him let one in at his near-post. King Kloppo picked Loris, something that Tales actually knew from an insider the day before and was well prepared for the clanger as a result, and was probably right to think that the late Tommy Lawrence would have done a better job of saving Leroy Sane’s shot. It didn’t really matter too much though as Bobby Firmino put to bed any notion that he couldn’t play football without his bessie mate Phil alongside him. A five-minute spell early in the second half saw Liverpool score, hit the post and then score again leading most of us to think, “OK, 30 minutes left and Liverpool lead 3-1. We’ve been here before, right?” Well, they knocked that one on the head a few minutes later when Mohamed Salah latched on to Ederson’s pass to feet and chipped it into an open goal. But, it’s not two-goal leads that are dangerous for Liverpool. Oh no, it is three-goal leads. When Gundogan made it 4-3 in the 91st minute you had to wonder what the final three minutes of injury time would bring. What it brought was a diving header from Aguero that rippled the side netting and had the majority of Anfield realising that that big thing in their mouth was their heart. The best thing about the result? It might just might open the door to something other than a Manchester City title parade starting in February. The worst thing about the result? Knowing full well that you have to put up with Liverpool fans until the next time they throw away a good position.

It tells you something about Arsenal’s season when their travelling fans broke into a song letting Bournemouth followers know exactly how rare it was for the Gunners to be winning away from home. The day started with Alexis Sanchez being left at home because he so desperately wants to move to Manchester he is now at the point where he doesn’t even care if it is for City or United. Eddie Howe did exactly what we all expected Eddie Howe to do and sent his side out to play open, attacking football against a team who, when they can be bothered to put it together for half-an-hour, can play better open, attacking football than most. Mind you, Arsenal didn’t really bother with too much of that and it was a Hector Bellerin goal that put them ahead. Do you remember all that fuss that was made when Arsenal finally signed a world-class goalkeeper? It didn’t really make that much difference and now Petr Cech is barely Premier League class let alone world class. It was his error that gifted Callum Wilson yet another goal even if you could argue that the Arsenal back three were all looking at each other assuming someone else was marking the Bournemouth striker. They were still trying to work out whose job it was when he found space again, this time setting up Jordan Ibe who never, ever, ever scores. Alright, Eddie, you were right. I’m sorry. And Arsenal fans, all that chat about how you’d probably be better off without Alexis and Ozil? Hmmm. Jamie Redknapp, bless him, said that “Arsenal are the worst team I have ever seen”. Jamie, Jamie. You played in Graeme Souness’ Liverpool team. Don’t pull that one on us.

Cast your mind back to late 2017 when Alan Pardew, sporting a goatee, rocked up at the Hawthorns suggesting it was time for the Albion lads to be “let off the leash”. Fast forward to January 13th, 2018 and Pards is finally celebrating a Premier League victory having decided to not fall into that “new manager bounce” claptrap which is not exactly scientifically proven. Anyway, back to that win. Guess how WBA beat Brighton? From two headers from corners. Yes, that’s right. Pardew has already gone through his entire coaching manual and thought, “stuff this, I wonder if Tony left any notes lying around?” Next week you can probably expect to see five centre-backs lining up and Pardew in a baseball cap.

Who am I to say David Moyes isn’t the messiah? Admittedly, Huddersfield Town didn’t exactly help themselves, in fact, I can imagine David Wagner’s pre-match team talk would have included the words, “nothing silly at the back”. Imagine his joy when Mark Noble opened the scoring thanks to Huddersfield doing something very silly at the back. No matter though, the Terriers went into half-time level so Wagner will have rolled out the old, “next goal wins this lads, whatever you do don’t concede early” cliche. Once again, imagine his joy when Marko Arnautovic scored after about 13 seconds of the second half. I might have suggested Marko was the biggest flop West Ham have signed since they announced the deals taking Chicarito and Joe Hart to the Athletics Stadium but he is very quickly becoming Moyseh’s brand new Steven Pienaar or Tim Cahill. He was unplayable against Huddersfield, scoring once and creating the two goals for Lanzini which will, no doubt, catch Jurgen Klopp’s eye.

If David Moyes is the Messiah, what on earth does that make Roy Hodgson? Crystal Palace saw off Burnley 1-0 at Selhurst Park as Roy put his faith in the failed Wolves winger Bakaro Sako as his main man. And guess what, Sako scored yet another stunner to grab all three points. Palace, hilariously when you consider their comical start to the season, are now 12th just one point behind Watford and two behind Everton. That’s a little bit crazy.

A couple of weeks ago we were all having to put up with Sam Allardyce preaching about how his team were going to be tighter at the back, get back to basics and people would be smiling in training again. So Sam, please explain how “being tighter at the back” involves leaving Harry Kane of all people unmarked in the six-yard box twice? Post-match, Big Sam came out and said that his side needed to be “more boring”. Really, Sam? Really? Mate, we’ve seen you play against Liverpool and United and trust me, you’re getting a solid 9 out of 10 in the boring stakes. Even David Unsworth could have taken that side to Wembley and lost 4-0 to Tottenham Hotspur. Of course, there is no way Everton will be going down but it’s not going to be much fun at Goodison Park for the rest of the season and they don’t even have an FA Cup run to “enjoy”.

To be fair, Southampton looked as shocked as the rest of us when they went 2-0 up against Watford. The game had a certain feeling to it and that feeling was that if Watford lost this one then the noise you’d hear at the final whistle would be the odds of Marco Silva getting sacked quite soon being slashed. Yet, Watford found something (that I’d rather not let Troy Deeney describe) from somewhere and ended up equalising in the last minute. Well, at least it was entertaining for the Southampton fans because they are very picky, you know? What wasn’t apparent on the first watch of the goal was that Abdoulaye Doucouré knocked it in with the kind of hand-eye coordination that some English cricketers would do well to observe. Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino could have lost his head at this moment, given us a full Graham-Taylor-against-Holland-in-1993 moment on the anniversary of the former Watford and England manager’s passing, but no. He even showed empathy for the referee who was “under as much pressure as the rest of us”. Unfortunately for Mauricio, such a touch of class is unlikely to keep him in a job much longer.

The most entertaining thing about Chelsea at the moment is the ongoing spat between Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho. Other than that, it is very, very dull fare. Rather than missing three clear-cut one-on-ones, Alvaro Morata opted to be anonymous this weekend to save further inspection of his lack of skill when given time to think about what he should do next and Eden Hazard doesn’t seem to fancy doing 90 minutes at the moment, no matter how good people say he is. The most memorable thing about this fixture was the logical thinking going on in the Soccer Saturday studio at Sky Sports, where it was suggested that if Chelsea can flog Hazard to Real Madrid for silly money and have an already signed replacement in Ross Barkley for just £15m then Chelsea have pulled off a stroke of genius. All this sounds great until you realise that if Chelsea are genuinely thinking that Barkley is the natural heir to Eden Hazard then they are in bigger trouble than we have all realised.

Jonjo Shelvey is an interesting chap, no? You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because if you did Jonjo would probably be even less popular in Newcastle. The guy has caps for England but it all seems to depend on what mood he wakes up in. Saturday was definitely “dark and moody, if not a little bit grumpy” as he spent his time on the pitch looking for a scrap with anyone possible. Rafa finally gave up and subbed him which made Jonjo’s mood even worse, snubbing his manager angrily. Yes, the reason I am looking deep into this incident is mainly down to the fact it was a terrible match between two very poor teams that ended up 1-1. Swansea City stay bottom, Newcastle United continue to be sucked towards the drop zone.