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Premier League Matchday 13: The Good, Bad and Bizarre

(Andy Thompson/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire)

Throughout the Premier League season, Sebastian Noren will provide analysis from the week of games, talking about the good, bad and bizarre.

The 13th week of Premier League action is over and fans were treated to another round of some great games, some bad games and some bizarre situations. Top teams Manchester City and Arsenal both lost, which resulted in Leicester City overtaking the top spot in the league.


Costa Goal Secures Chelsea Win Over Norwich

What Happened: Chelsea finally won a game as Diego Costa scored the lone goal against newcomers Norwich City on Saturday at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea played a solid game and dominated both possession and scoring chances. If you take a critical view on the performance, Chelsea should have won this game by a wider margin, but the main thing for Jose Mourinho and his men was getting the three points.

Seb’s Take: Chelsea still has a long way to climb if they are to salvage the season and get back into contention for a European cup spot. The Blues are in 15th place with 14 points, and will need to put a string of victories together to get back on track.


Man United Win In Stoppage Time

What Happened: Manchester United climb to second place in the standings after a 2-1 road win over Watford. Memphis Depay started up top for United, who are struggling with several injuries. The Dutch international has had a difficult start to his United career, but on Saturday he got back on the scoresheet as he gave United the lead in the 11th minute.

United dominated possession, but were unable to extend their lead. Instead it looked like Watford would end up stealing a point as Troy Deeney tied the game up from the penalty spot in the 87th minute. But in stoppage time, Bastian Schweinsteiger took a shot from a very narrow angle inside the penalty area. The ball went off of Deeney and into the back of the net, securing the win for the Red Devils.

Seb’s Take: The talks about the defensive approach of manager Louis van Gaal won’t go away after a game like this. United dominated possession once again, but there’s not enough creativity going forward. They were lucky to end up getting the win, and they will have to score more goals if they are to be able to mount a title challenge.


Leicester Go Top Of The Table With Win Over Newcastle

What Happened: Leicester City keeps on being the big surprise of the season. The Foxes overtook the lead in the Premier League after beating Newcastle United 3-0 at St. James’ Park on Saturday. Jamie Vardy scored for the 10th consecutive game this season, tying Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record from his days at Manchester United.

Vardy gave Leicester the lead in stoppage time in the first half, and Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki both found the back of the net in the second half. Newcastle’s struggles continue, but they are still above the relegation zone in 17th place with 10 points.

Seb’s Take: Leicester keeps on winning and now they sit in first place as both City and Arsenal lost. Last season, the Foxes were dead last after 13 games and only had 10 points. Now they top the league with 28 points after 13 games. Vardy keeps on scoring and Riyad Mahrez keeps on trucking.


Everton Pound Aston Villa 4-0

What Happened: Everton dominated Aston Villa in the 4-0 win at Goodison Park on Saturday. Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley both scored twice in the win, as they continue to prove how much they mean to this Everton side. The game was already over at halftime as Everton held a 3-0 lead. Barkley scored twice in the opening 45 minutes and Lukaku had one in each half. Lukaku is now second behind Jamie Vardy in the Premier League scoring race. The Belgian international has scored nine goals in 13 games.

Seb’s Take: Everton is still in the hunt for a European cup spot, as they sit in seventh place with 20 points. They are very dependent on Lukaku and Barkley, but as long as they keep producing the goods, Everton will be competitive. Tim Howard won the battle of the American goalies, going up against Brad Guzan. Howard had a fairly easy night, only needing to make three saves. Villa is still dead last and there’s a lot of work to do for new manager Remi Garde if he’s to save the club from relegation.  


Krkic The Hero For Stoke In Win Over Saints

What Happened: Stoke City were able to grab a 1-0 victory on the road against Southampton after a goal by Bojan Krkic. The former Barcelona player scored the lone goal of the game in the 10th minute. Southampton dominated possession, but had a tough time creating any scoring chances. The win saw Stoke jump up to 11th place with 19 points, as they now won two straight games.

Seb’s Take: Stoke has some quality players and are not just about punishing you physically. Players like Krkic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic add a lot of creativity to the side. They still have some grit in the lineup with Charlie Adam and Glenn Whelan at the center of midfield.


Bournemouth Drops Points To Swansea Despite 2-0 Lead

What Happened: Bournemouth is crippled by injuries to several key players, but the Cherries got off to a great start on the road against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium. Joshua King gave Bournemouth the lead in the 10th minute with his first league goal of the season. Dan Gosling then made it 2-0 in the 26th minute.

But Swansea came back. Andre Ayew put Swansea on the board two minutes after Gosling’s goal, and Jonjo Shelvey tied the game up from the penalty spot in the 39th minute. Neither team managed to get a winning goal and left the game with a point each.

Seb’s Take: Bournemouth are still in the relegation zone, and will continue to struggle unless they can bolster the squad in the January transfer window. The injured players that they have are just too far away from being able to have an impact this season, so look for Bournemouth to try to loan in a player or two. Swansea’s form has been dwindling after a good start to the season. They now sit in 14th place with 14 points.


West Bromwich Stuns Arsenal

What Happened: West Bromwich Albion took an impressive 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Hawthorns on Saturday. WBA came back from a 1-0 deficit to grab the three points. Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal the lead in the 28th minute with a header. The goal was Giroud’s seventh league goal of the season.

James Morrison tied the game up in the 35th minute, and an own goal by Mikel Arteta saw WBA take the lead in the 40th minute. Arsenal got a golden opportunity to tie the game in the 84th minute as they were awarded a penalty, but Santi Cazorla slipped and blasted the ball over the crossbar.

Seb’s Take: Tough loss for Arsenal, who saw themselves drop down to fourth place as Leicester City and Manchester United both won. Another worrying thing for the Gunners were that Francis Coquelin and Arteta both went off injured during the match, making an already long Arsenal injury list even longer.


Liverpool Dominate City

What Happened: Liverpool stood for one of the most impressive displays of the weekend as they defeated Manchester City 4-1 at Anfield in the late game on Saturday. City got off to a rough start as an own goal by Eliaquim Mangala gave Liverpool the lead in the seventh minute. Philippe Coutinho made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute and Roberto Firmino made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute.

Sergio Aguero finally got City on the scoresheet in the 44th minute, but the game was already over at that point, as Liverpool dominated the visitors. Martin Skrtel finished up the scoring in the 81st minute as City suffered their third loss of the season.

Seb’s Take: This was by far the most impressive Liverpool has been since Jurgen Klopp took over as manager, and if they can keep this level of play then the fans will have much to cheer about in the future. City slipped down to third place as Leicester City and Manchester United both won. City are now two points behind leaders Leicester.


Spurs Impress In Derby Win Over West Ham

What Happened: The London derbies have provided some excellent soccer throughout the season, and that continued on Sunday as Tottenham Hotspur took a 4-1 at home at White Hart Lane against West Ham United. Harry Kane is back in scoring form and the English international gave Spurs the lead in the 23rd minute. Toby Alderweireld made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute. Kane netted his second of the game early in the second half to extend the lead to three, and Kyle Walker made it 4-0 in the 83rd minute.

West Ham got a conciliation goal through Manuel Lanzini in the 87th minute, but this game was all about the pace and creativity of the Spurs.  

Seb’s Take: Tottenham outpaced a fast West Ham side and counter attacked West Ham’s counter attacks. It was one of the fastest games we have seen this season, and Tottenham did an excellent job of transporting the ball up the field and created a lot of quality scoring chances.


Sunderland Upsets Crystal Palace

What Happened: Sunderland took their second win of the season thanks to a late Jermain Defoe goal on the road against Crystal Palace. Fans at Selhurst Park had come to see the home team dominate lowly Sunderland and climb up the standings.

With a win, Palace would have gone up to sixth place, but instead they saw themselves defeated. Palace dominated possession and had several shots on goal, but it was Sunderland that snuck away with the win.

Seb’s Take: Sam Allardyce took over a Sunderland side that had been dreadful to start the season. They’re not looking like a totally different side, but the win will give some confidence to the players as they try to get out of the relegation zone.


The Good: Leicester City

Leicester City leads the Premier League after 13 games. No, I’m not kidding, the Foxes are top of the league and has played some of the most entertaining soccer so far this season. Last year they were at the bottom of the table after 13 games and only had 10 points. Now they sit at the top with 28 points and leads the league in scoring.

For more on Leicester’s transformation, click here.


The Bad: Manchester City’s Defense

City were just destroyed by Liverpool, and it was clear that the defense was struggling without captain Vincent Kompany. The Belgian central defender is such an important piece, and it’s obvious that Martin Demichelis is not good enough to play in the Premier League anymore. The 34-year-old Argentine is too slow and is a security risk. With Demichelis in the lineup, the whole back four feels a lot more nervous, and it’s not ideal for a younger player like Mangala to play next to an inferior player.


The Bizarre: Santi Cazorla’s Penalty

Cazorla’s penalty attempt against West Bromwich Albion was truly bizarre as the Arsenal midfielder lost his footing right before striking the ball and as he slipped he sent the ball flying over the bar.


The miss cost Arsenal at least a point as a goal would have tied the game. Manager Arsene Wenger didn’t want to criticize Cazorla after the game since the miss was a result of an unfortunate accident.

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