Jamie Vardy leads Leicester back to the top of the Premiership standings
Jamie Vardy converted from the spot to lead his Leicester City back to the top of the 29th Premiership standings, even as more controversial VAR decisions and injuries to key players continued to make headlines as the League headed for a second International break, after eight rounds of matches.
If one ever thought converting a penalty was “easy”, Vardy also missed another minutes later, as the Foxes held on gamely to their 15th minute lead against an off-color Wolverhampton Wanderers, at the King Power stadium on Sunday afternoon.
So did Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, against the Champions Liverpool, denying Pep Guardiola’s side yet another win at home at the Eitihad. The Liverpool keeper Allison Becker was excellent on the day, having denied Raheem Sterling earlier with his sheer giant presence, and one got the feeling that it was playing on De Bruyne’s mind as he pulled his spot-kick just wide, probably searching for tad bit more perfection in placement.
That game ended 1-1, slotting the Champions down to third on the table, but what would worry Jeurgen Klopp more than losing the top spot, would be the injury picked up by key wing-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, forcing him off in the second half.
Star of the Week
The week also saw Bruno Fernandez score two and assist one as Manchester United got back to winning ways, Harry Kane score his seventh to go with eight assists as Tottenham picked up a fifth win to move up a spot to second, and an Olly Watkins double for Aston Villa helping outplay Arsenal, but for his sheer efforts, coming back from a niggle, his goal, and the importance of the win, Vardy pips all to take the Star of the Week, yet again.
Four head scorers chart
The top scorers chart though, got very crowded at the top with previous week leaders Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Son Heung Min, being joined by Vardy and Mo Salah, the latter two scoring their eighth goals this Matchday 8. Patrick Bamford also scored yet again, albeit in a losing cause against Crystal Palace, to join Harry Kane in second place with seven goals each.
Chelsea classy, Southampton and Hammers Win
The Palace-Leeds game was the second 4-1 result of the week, with the one following on Saturday between Chelsea and Sheffield United at Satmford Bridge, also producing the same result. Chelsea were simply too classy for The Blades and that game sounded warnings on both extremes- from Chelsea to the other teams as title contenders and from Sheffield unfortunately, in the exact opposite direction.
There were two other winners in the Game Week as Southampton and West Ham won on Friday and Saturday respectively.
The Saints putting two past Newcastle without Danny Ings, also out injured, and continuing to be the most pleasing to the eye squad this season. They go fourth on the table and aiming to go even higher looks very realistic at the moment. The Hammers on the other hand had to wait till a stoppage time winner from Tomas Soucek to put it across a struggling Fulham.
In all, 24-goals in the week, yet again a down from the 33 scored last week, but considering it started with a dour 0-0 draw between Brighton and last but one placed Burnley and a couple of 1-0 games, it seems par for the course.
VAR now beyond annoyance
What is increasingly beginning to frustrate and irritate a lot of the fans though is the increasing impact VAR is having on the outcome of games. To be fair, that is what it was the designed to do, but its fallout on the game and players due to the language and interpretation of some of the newly written VAR-inspired laws, is what is killing the game, for me.
Two clear issues have emerged. What kind of contact inside the box can be deemed a penalty while deciding through VAR. In the same vein, when can it exactly be called penalty for a handball inside the box.
Even this week, players going down to the slightest of non-cynical contacts or finding it impossible to withdraw their arms in course of natural movement, led to disappointing outcomes for the neutral. In contrast, the off-side call through VAR, while also at times leading to similar cruel outcomes, is far more clear and consistently interpreted.
Therefore, the sooner the authorities bring clarity on these two specific aspects as cited above, the better for world football.
Time to find new Stars of the League
The 29th Premiership now returns on November 21, 2020, and it will be the prefect time to reflect on some of the exciting and hot new stars who are likely to dominate this season of the League, with what we have seen so far. Look out for that piece coming up next week