Leicester City v Arsenal (3-1)
The sever angles of Mikel Arteta’s face will be looking deservedly softer come morning. Indeed the Gunners’ boss can loosen his tie and smirk it up as his side have secured a crucial away win against Leicester City, ending in a spirit-boosting 3-1 result.
While Leicester’s Tielmans was the first to get on the score sheet within six minutes, Arsenal didn’t let the early threat throw them off their game and responded fiercely.
David Luiz re-routed the game in Arsenal’s favour at the 39th minute as he headed his team’s first goal of the night from a free-kick.
Next, in the extra time of the first half, an outstretched arm from Wilfred Ndidi in the box caught the attention of VAR, and as a result Alexandre Lacazette got his name on the scoresheet with s successful penalty.
Finally, Nicolas Pepe wrapped up the trio of goals with plenty of time to spare.
Arsenal have now found themselves bang centre at 10th place on the table — and Arteta seems cautiously optimistic.
“The team is clearly improving. It’s taking a direction I like,” said the Spanish boss.
Sheffield United v Liverpool (2-0)
After four consecutive league losses, Liverpool bagged a much-needed win against Sheffield United on Sunday night. Both on and off the pitch, the Reds have suffered.
Last month, both Jurgen Klopp and goal keeper Alisson Becker endured massive personal losses; the German manager lost his mum at the age of 81, while Becker last week lost his father to a drowning accident in Brazil at the age of 57.
(Understandably, Becker was absent from the squad on ‘compassionate grounds’, with Adrian filling in for him.)
As such, Liverpool’s away win should serve to uplift the squad, even if fleetingly, because it was bigger than just a 2-0 result — it was also the Reds’ 7000th goal in the English Premier League. There’s only one other team who’s surpassed that number — their Merseyside rivals Everton, who stand at 7,108.
As for Klopp, he’s brushing off the haters as his side prepare to face off with Chelsea.
“Plenty of people have written us off. That’s fine. With all the problems we have had we’re still around the exciting places. This was about us showing we’re still there. We play Chelsea on Thursday, we have to show it again,” he said.
Chelsea v Man United (0-0)
Chelsea and Man United’s goalless draw was a slog to watch, despite a few desperate last-minute attempts that showed promise.
However, as per usual, VAR is the star of the show as the Red Devils’ manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels his side was “100%” denied a prime goal-scoring opportunity in the form of a spot-kick.
“From here you can see it’s handball, they’re shouting handball against our player. It’s taken two points away from us,” said the Norwegian boss.
Solskjaer also felt that previous talk of Harry Maguire — and undeserved penalties — was subliminally influencing referees not to award penalties in United’s favour.
“You can read what they’re saying about Harry Maguire and putting pressure on referees to give penalties against us,” said the boss.
“We’ve seen there was a manager, was it Frank [Lampard], that started it. Loads of talk about us getting penalties when there’s no doubt, and of course today we should’ve had a penalty,” he continued.
VAR or not, the result remains the same — tied and unexciting, as both clubs walk away with one point each.
Tottenham v Burnley (4-0)
Don’t call it a comeback — but Gareth Bale would like to remind you he’s still a threat. The Spurs player, for the third time this EPL season, started against Burnley on Sunday. And boy was it a start, as Bale netted the first goal within two minutes of the opening whistle.
The 31-year-old winger bookended the match with the final goal, too. After a goal from Kane at the 15th minute and another from Lucas Moura (also assisted by Bale) at the 31st minute, Bale sealed the deal at the 55th minute with the fourth and final goal.
But it was Son Heung-min who was touted as Man of the Match, as he set up both of Bale’s goals beautifully, helping secure them a crucial home win and another three points, moving them to eighth on the table.
Crystal Palace v Fulham (0-0)
Fulham’s fate hangs precariously in the balance, teetering on the edge of relegation as they sit three from the bottom. That’s why it’s even more frustrating for fans that Roy Hodgson’s side was by far the stronger one on Sunday night. Their away form was top-notch against Crystal Palace, but the match ended in a goalless draw.
This is Fulham’s fifth fixture unbeaten (three draws, two victories), but they still walked away with only one point to help keep them in England’s top domestic league next season.