The European adventure of Monaco in last season’s Champions League brought a plethora of admiring glances from afar. That side contained Kylian Mbappe, the best talent in European football. Bernardo Silva, who is now beginning to find his feet at Man City. Thomas Lemar, another talent still there because he wouldn’t want a draw with West Brom on his CV, which is so highly regarded by Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
And then we have Tiemoue Bakayoko. He was the dogged midfielder that allowed the aforementioned front three to do what they do, cause mayhem. Dubbed better than Nemanka Matic, he was brought in to replicate that with the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. His latest call to action was getting sent off at Vicarage Road when Watford, i repeat Watford, slaughtered Chelsea 4-1 to intensify the calls for the Premier League winning manager Antonio Conte to be sacked. Not exaggerated at all. They’re still in the FA Cup, the top 4 and the Champions League. But when Dave from Surrey says he has to go, that’s final.
I’m not saying he’s been a flop, but Chelsea should consider appealing his one-match ban and increasing it to six games. Troy Deeney clearly had a good night judging by his middle finger gesture towards the Chelsea fans. However, accusations of Deeney being impertinent were bang out of order. He was only paying tribute to the great Robin Friday.
Little less than 24 hours earlier, much occurred at Anfield during Liverpool’s controversial draw with Spurs. Within three minutes, Eric Dier used more than the 10% human brain capacity to see what we all didn’t see. Which was Sadio Mane with open space and available to latch onto his pass to put Liverpool ahead. When spaghetti enthusiast Victor Wanyama came on in the second half, I must confess that I did not see it as an attacking change by Mauricio Pochettino. Yet it turned out he didn’t even have to step foot in or around the penalty box. For Victor possesses a strong bastard of a right foot, and made darn sure we all knew it when he hit the top corner from about 30 yards.
And that’s when the real talking points began. With keeper Karius alleged to have taken down Harry Kane, the referee Jon Moss conferred with the linesman for two or three minutes (which felt like much longer) until the referee decided to give the penalty. What makes this quite comical was that the whole exchange was picked up on television. The ref had asked the linesman if he had heard anything from TV, only the VAR system was not in operation.
The crowd were bemused by what was happening, as would have been the case if VAR was actually in use. Hane Kane promptly missed the pen before another opportunity from the spot arose, in which he later tucked away to draw the game. And that goal meant he joined ‘The 100’ club, becoming the 27th man to score 100 goals in the Premier League. The second penalty was awarded because of a knee to the back of Eric Lamela, who despite there not being enough force to bring him down, went down anyway. Before this ends up being an extensive match report on the game, I’ll stop there and leave with this. Mo Salah thought he won it in the 91st minute before the equaliser. They didn’t win.
When Aaron Ramsey got his first career hat trick against Everton, I felt like a proud father. He came through the ranks at Cardiff, and now he’s taking the limelight from £60m signing Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang. He’s done alright since then. After the match, Everton boss Sam Allardyce announced he based his gameplan on Swansea, a team sitting in the relegation zone. Basing your formation on Swansea is never a good idea Big Sam. Anyway, Arsenal swept them aside 5-1 in front of the watching Rihanna, with Aubameyang grabbing a goal on his debut and Henrikh Mkhitaryan getting three assists to his name. I suppose you could say, Everton need a little extra “Work, work, work, work, work”. I’m afraid the song may now be stuck in your heads for the rest of the day, as it is in mine.
Sticking to the theme of corkers, there were some meaty strikes from Southampton’s Mario Lemina and Brighton’s Jose Izquierdo. A superb game at West Brom saw a late Saints hold on to win 3-2 at the expense of the the silver haired fox Alan Pardew. And Brighton’s loss of form was halted as they easily ripped apart a depleted West Ham 3-1, with Izquierdo’s long range curler being my personal favourite goal of the weekend.
Pep Guardiola could only field 6 subs at Burnley in their 1-1 draw because apparently his squad isn’t big enough, and their youth are unable to gain first team experience. The often inscrutable Reds boss Jose Mourinho saw his Pogbaless United side see off Huddersfield, with Romelu Lukaku getting his obligatory goal against the smaller clubs.
And there’s your weeks round up. Have a good week you lot.