Firmino stars as champions Liverpool scale Premiership summit
For the first time this 29th Premiership season and with the League having concluded a third of its engagements, Brazilian Roberto Firmino, helped champions Liverpool climb on top of the points table under dramatic circumstances, placing a perfectly headed winner off a corner, in the very last minute of regulation time against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspurs.
That 2-1 result on Wednesday night at Anfield, was part of the season’s first mid-week league action, and ended a four week run at the top for Mourniho’s side, as well as an 11-game unbeaten run after their first day loss to Everton.
For helping his team achieve the ultimate goal, Firmino is easily our Star of the Week for Matchday 13.
Earlier Mo Salah had given the champions the lead in the first half which was neutralized within seven minutes, by the Spurs’ mercurial Korean striker Son Heung-Min.
Three-way tie at the top of the Scorers charts
Someone from Spurs did end at the top therefore, with Son’s equalizer taking him yet again to the top of the scorers charts. So did Salah’s strike and both these strikers now join Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton in a three-way tie with 11 goals each, with Lewin missing out in Everton’s 2-0 win over Leicester on the same day at the King Power stadium.
Manchester United back in business
13-time champions Manchester United won 3-2 against struggling Sheffield United, in the final game of the mid-week schedule on Thursday night, picking up their seventh win in the League from 12 games.
After beginning with three losses, they now stand at sixth on the table with a game in hand, and their campaign now looks back on course. What will please Ole Gunnar Solksjaer even more is the flowing and pleasing football displayed by his side at Brammal Lane.
Anthony Martial scored his first of this league season on either side of two strikes by Marcus Rashford, the first of which in particular, was sublime.
Wolves stun Chelsea, Leeds outgun Newcastle
Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United continued their blow-hot, blow-cold season, beating Chelsea and Newcastle respectively in contrasting fashion.
The Wolves, played true to their reputation of being a second-half side, picking up momentum as the match progressed, and finally, not only neutralizing Chelsea’s initial dominance but also going past them.
Pedro Neto struck a stunning winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time after Daniel Podence had shown similar brilliance in the 66th minute of the game to draw level. Olivier Giroud had given Chelsea the lead early into the second half.
Leeds too as is their wont, kept running throughout the game, pulling away in the final quarter of a 7-goal thriller at Elland Road.
They first equalized through Patrick Bamford’s 10th of the League, then took the lead through Rodrigo at about the hour mark and then again through Stuart Dallas with just over 12 minutes to go, before Alioski and Jack Harrison put the game beyond the Magpies in the last five minutes of regulation time, for an emphatic 5-2 verdict.
It was the Wolves 6th win and the newly promoted Leeds’ fifth in 13 games, and they would be happy at where they find themselves at the moment. Wolves in-fact in the top half of the League at the moment and Leeds just outside.
The week also saw the highest number of drawn games of this league season. Two of chdaythem between Brighton and Fulham and Aston Villa v Burnely, ended goalless.
Aston Villa will be particularly disappointed, with the result leaving them outside the top-half, after dominating the game and having no less than 25-attempts at goal. Jack Grealish the star again for them, but his returns now need to improve considerably.
West Bromwich Albion pulled off the result of the week, holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad stadium. Ilkay Gundogan had put the Citizens ahead on the half-hour mark but a Ruben Dias own-goal just before the break, got the Baggies level and they held on admirably in the second, to frustrate Pep Guardiola’s side.
Arsenal’s poor season also got extended at the Emirates, where their game against Southampton finished 1-1. Theo Walcott had given The Saints the lead before Gunners skipper Aubameyang equalized, in a goal which would give Mikel Arteta some hope for the future.
But what would deeply disappoint him would be the childish red-card picked up by defender Gabriel, in what is becoming a worrying discipline problem for them. Something that a Premiership manager can do without.
As stated earlier, there is only a day’s break between Matchday’s 13& 14, with Crystal Palace taking on the Champions this coming Saturday afternoon at Selhurst Park to kick-start proceedings. That is followed by another possibly exciting game between Southampton and Manchester City with The Saints looking to extend their dream run till now.
Fantastic matchups all through the three-day game week though, with Manchester United v Leeds, Arsenal v Everton, Tottenham v Leicester all lined up and finishing with Chelsea v West Ham on Monday, which should be equally thrilling given the form that the two sides are in at the moment.