The not-so-good day for the London clubs began with an early kick-off when Spurs visited the resurgent Watford. The Hornets, under new manager, have been on the rise after a difficult start to the league but they have won 3 straight league matches and have been undefeated in 5 matches in all competitions. Tottenham, on the other hand, is still winless in her last 3 league matches and was without the “irreplaceable Harry Kane” (in Mourinho’s word) due to injury and the striker’s absence was evident at Vicarage Road as stand-in striker Lucas Moura fired straight at Ben Foster when put through on goal in a one-on-one with the Watford goalkeeper.
It could have been worse for Spurs as they conceded a 69th-minute spot-kick when defender Jan Vertonghen was adjudged to have handled in the box, however, Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga saved the resulting kick to earn his side a share of the spoils. The afternoon got frustrating for Spurs when Erik Lamela goal-bound effort was chopped off the line by Ignacio Pussetto at stoppage time to keep the scoreline at 0-0 after regulation time.
It’s now 4 straight league draws for Spurs and still 8th on the league table with 31 points, while Watford is momentarily out of the relegation zone on 17th with 23 points.
It doesn’t get better for Spurs’ London rivals Arsenal as the Gunners were held 1 all by the impressive Sheffield United at the Emirate Stadium. The Gunners, just like Spurs, are playing without their captain and usual goal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who served the 1st of his 3-match ban on the day.
Teenage Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli, standing-in in place of Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead on the stroke of half-time when he scored from close range after a square play from left-back Bukayo Saka.
However, as it has always been all season and over the past years, Arsenals weakness in defence let them down as Sheffield United got an 83rd-minute equalizer when John Fleck also scored from close range. The home side would feel hard done by when VAR denied them a spot-kick after Nicolas Pepe was brought down in the box, however, it wasn’t meant to be as the match ended 1-1.
Arsenal remains in 10th place on the log table with 29 points, 10 points adrift of 4th place and last UCL spot while Sheffield United is on 7th position with 33 points.
Best London performer of the day belongs to Crystal Palace as the Eagles threw more spanners into Manchester City wheel, Palace pegged back the champions to drew 2 all at the Etihad Stadium. The Eagles, who emerged victorious in this fixture last season, took a shock lead when on-loan Everton striker Cenk Tosun headed home at the back post in the 39th minute. VAR in play again to overturn a penalty kick called in favour of City. Nevertheless, City fought back and thought they’ve completed the comeback when they scored twice in the space of 5 minutes through you-know-who in the 82nd and 87th minute to give his side the lead. However, City’s defensive frailty cost them yet again, as make-shift centre-back Fernandinho conceded a late own-goal from Wilfred Zaha pressure to level score at 2-2 at full-time, as his side slipped further away from defending the league title for the 3rd season running.
Manchester City with 48 points is now 13 points adrift of the runaway leader Liverpool who has 2 games at hand. Crystal Palace retained her 9th place on the league table with 30 points.
East Londoner, West Ham were not left out in the disappointing afternoon after she relinquished her 1 nil lead to Everton to earn just a point. The Hammers under new manager David Moyes were hoping to make 3 wins in a row in all competitions, took the lead in the 40th minute when Issa Diop headed home Robert Snodgrass freekick, however, just 4 minutes later, it was all square as Dominic Calvert-Lewin replied for Everton with a header at the far post. A drab 2nd half followed as it ended 1-1 at the London Stadium.
Both team’s resurgence under new managers David Moyes and Carlo Ancelotti respectively continued as both managers were contented with the points shared. While Everton moved up to 11th on the table with 29 points, the same cannot be said of West Ham who is living dangerously close to the drop zone on 16th place with 23 points.
Chelsea will be the most aggrieved of all the London clubs as they could not make the most of their rivals slip off to consolidate on top 4 spots. The Blues, despite their control and possession of the game, left St James’ Park empty-handed, having conceded a late, deep-into-stoppage time header from Isaac Hayden, to lose the game 0-1 to Newcastle United.
With 70% possession of the ball, 10 corners and 19 total shots, Chelsea only managed 4 shots on target and they were made to rue their sloppiness in front of goal. Newcastle will feel fortunate with the win having seen so many players out on the treatment table. Few could have predicted a win for the Toon but with luck, a Tammy Abraham goal-bound effort was cleared off the goal line by Matt Ritchie just few moments before their winning goal came.
Newcastle has now moved up to 12th position on the log table with 29 points while Chelsea retained her 4th position with 39 points but dropped further ground on Leicester and City.
Other EPL results of the day include;
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 – 1 Aston Villa
Norwich City 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth
Southampton 2 – 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
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