The Legend of Cavani strikes the Premiership
A proven global goal scorer for the better part of a decade and a half with over 300 goals in top-flight football can be discounted only at your peril. Uruguayan legend Edinson Cavani proved that yet again in imperious fashion, as he strode the second-half of a Matchday 10 clash in the 29th Premiership against Southampton at St.Mary’s, like a colossus.
After coming on in the second-half, a few minutes later than others because of a mix-up with his choice of footwear, the 33-year old Cavani setup the first and scored the second and third, including a stoppage time match-winner, to stitch together a remarkable Manchester United comeback almost singlehandedly, helping his side overturn a 0-2 first-half deficit to secure full three points.
For the impact he had on his team’s fortunes, for the turnaround he inspired in only one half of football, Edinson Cavani is easily the Star of the Week, in what was otherwise a crazy week of Premiership football.
Tottenham edge out Liverpool for top spot again
Maintaining overall sanity however, were the standings at the top, with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur holding on to their numero uno position on goal difference, despite being equal with Champions Liverpool on points. (21 each)
The Spurs played out a cagey and dour goalless draw at Stamford Bridge against their cross-city rivals Chelsea, but given Liverpool were also held 1-1 by Brighton & Hove Albion a day earlier on Saturday, avoiding defeat meant their top billing was secure for one more week at the very least.
The triumvirate of a brutal scheduling, injury-woes piling up by the day and the wrong-end of VAR decisions, all seem to be conspiring against the Champions, as they all did against Brighton as well, and Juergen Klopp will feel nothing short of a miracle, that his side still is second to none on points.
Fulham, West-Ham and Wolves punch above their weight
The upset of the week was registered by Scott Parker’s Fulham, who stunned Leicester City 2-1, at the King Power stadium on Monday, to register only their second win of the League season. The London side, resisted a late surge from The Foxes, to pull through, in what was probably their best performance in recent memory.
Ademola Lookman gave Fulham the lead half an hour into the first-half, finishing a speedy counter-attacking move after being put through in the clear by Anguissa. Ivan Cavaleiro then finally converted a penalty for Fulham in the 38thto double the lead. Substitute Harvey Barnes got one back for The Foxes in the 86th but it was too late.
West Ham and Wolverhampton Wanderers were the other two sides to register 2-1 victories in the week, both punching above their weight, although Wolves now not quite looking that underweight anymore.
The Hammers won a freak game against in-form Aston Villa, as a result finding themselves in a high fifth position on the table. They scored two early headers in the beginning of both halves- defender Angelo Ogbonna rising highest in the 2nd minute of the game from their first corner, and Jarrod Bowen flicking one from the top of the six-yard box in the 1st minute of the second, to bring home three points.
Jack Grealish was once again in tremendous form for Villa, scoring after a surging run from centre of midfield to outside the top of the box and a thunderous strike thereafter, which went further away from keeper Fabianski after a slight deflection, to lodge into the side netting. It was however not enough and Vila gaffer Dean Smith was left wondering what might have been, if their highest league goal-scorer Ollie Watkins had not missed a penalty in the second-half.
This was Grealish’s fifth of the campaign to go along with five assists, which means he has been involved actively in half of Vila’s league goals this season. Phenomenal by any standard!
The Wolves were the most impressive of the trio, beating an increasingly floundering Arsenal at home at the Emirates stadium, to condemn the Gunners to a third straight home defeat.
Spaniard Adama Traore was in his elements for The Wolves and his speed down the right-wing was too hot to handle for the Gunners’ defense. All goals came in the first-half of the game, with Gabriel equalizing for the Gunners in between goals from Neto and Daniel Podence for The Wolves. Traore was involved in setting up both Wolves’ goals.
Riyad Mahrez hattrick in 5-star City show
Over at the Etihad, Manchester City romped home 5-0 winners over Burnley, their fourth straight such score line against the same club, now indicating psychological dominance over and above footballing superiority.
Algerian Riyad Mahrez registered a second Premiership hat-trick, his first for City, as the The Sky Blues extended their dominance over their Lancashire rivals with consummate ease.
Callum Wilson, Raphinia and Conor Gallagher star-turns
If Newcastle United is happy and pleasantly surprised to find themselves as high up as 13th on the table, they can thank Callum Wilson for most part of it.
The 28-year old striker, has already scored seven, including the first against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Friday night, of the 12 goals that The Magpies have scored this season, as well as providing two assists.
He struck as late as the 88th minute against Palace, effectively sealing the deal, before Joelinton provided the icing on the cake two minutes later on an assist from Wilson.
At Goodison Park, Leeds United extended their impressive run upon return to the Premiership, with a 1-0 victory over Everton, thanks to a stunning Raphinia strike about 10 minutes from close. The talented Brazilian winger, in only his second full League start, made crisp contact with the ball with his left-boot from just outside the box, for a classy finish and a deserving tactical victory for Marcelo Bielsa over Carlo Ancelloti.
Conor Gallagher was the star at The Hawthorns, striking early for West Brom, to help them register their first win in 10 games and leave Sheffield United as the only side to not have won a single game till now.
Matchday 11: The Two Big Nights
Four Matchdays will again constitute Matchday 11 beginning Friday evening and going up to Monday night. The two final games on Saturday and Sunday, will be the ones to watch out for though from a League Leaders point of view.
A resurgent Manchester United coming up against a resilient Hammers side at Old Trafford followed by Chelsea v Leeds at Stamford Bridge, lined up for Saturday night, while The Spurs take on Arsenal on Sunday evening followed by the Champions against Wolves.