10 talking points from the weekend’s football

Chelsea draw another blank

The Blues were fortunate to draw against Leicester. Claude Puel’s men were by far the better side and they had more than enough chances to win the match.

Somehow Chelsea managed to hang on for the draw, failing to score in the last 22 minutes when Leicester were down to 10 men. For the first time in their history, Chelsea have drawn three consecutive games 0-0 in all competitions. All is not well at the Bridge.

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Sako tops the scoring charts for Palace

Crystal Palace’s resurgence under Roy Hodgson is remarkable. They were the nailed on favourites for relegation when Hodgson was appointed in September but they have come on leaps and bounds since then. Sako is one of many players to thrive under Hodgson’s management.

He scored the winner against Burnley to give Palace a well earned three points. In doing so, Sako is now Palace’s outright top scorer in all competitions this season with six goals. This is incredible considering he only made his fifth start of the 2017/18 campaign against Burnley.

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Arnautovic continues to shine

Marko Arnautovic has become the sixth Hammers player to score in three consecutive Premier League away matches, most recently Diafra Sakho in October 2014. In his last seven appearances, Arnautovic has scored six goals and created three assists. For the first time in his career, Arnautovic had a hand in three goals in a single Premier League game (one goal, two assists).

The forward has been completely revitalised under Moyes’ management and is starting to show why West Ham paid a club-record £20m for him in the summer. West Ham went on to beat Huddersfield 4-1 ensuring that David Moyes recorded his 200th Premier League win as a manager in style.

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St James’ Park remains an unhappy hunting ground for Newcastle

Newcastle are just three points above the relegation zone. The club is seemingly in limbo with Mike Ashley still in charge despite a rumoured takeover by Amanda Staveley. Benitez has made it very clear that he needs new players but there have been no incomings thus far.

The St James’ Park faithful have not had much to shout about lately. Newcastle have failed to win any of their past seven home Premier League games (drew two, lost five) – their longest winless run since April 2009 under Joe Kinnear and then Alan Shearer (eight games). This is Benitez’s longest winless run on home soil in the Premier League as manager.

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Southampton were robbed

After two James Ward-Prowse goals in the first half, it seemed that Southampton were heading for their first victory in 10 games. Andre Gray got one back for Watford in the second half and then, right at the death, Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a 90th-minute equaliser.

The problem is that he clearly bundled it in with his hand. This was missed by referee Roger East and the goal stood. If only there was something that could help referees with these decisions. VAR anybody?

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West Brom remember how to win a football match

For the first time since August, West Brom came away from a match with three points. As expected, both goals came from set pieces as headers from Jonny Evans and Craig Dawson gave Alan Pardew his first win since taking charge of the Baggies.

Each of West Brom’s four goals at The Hawthorns under Pardew have come from set-pieces (three from corners and one from the penalty spot). The Baggies are still in the relegation zone but at least they have finally ended their 20-match winless streak.

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New year, new record broken for Kane

There isn’t much to say about Harry Kane that hasn’t already been said. He’s a fantastic striker who scores goals for fun. Goodness knows how much he’s worth in the current market. 2018 has begun very well for Kane. He became Spurs’ leading Premier League goalscorer with 98 goals in 135 appearances.

As if that wasn’t enough, he also became just the third player to score at least 20 goals in four consecutive Premier League campaigns. If Kane continues this red-hot form at Spurs, he might not be there for much longer.

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Son on song

While Kane is phenomenal, Son Heung-min’s efforts often go unnoticed. However, this was not the case against Everton. Son produced a fantastic assist for Kane’s first goal as well as scoring one himself.

Son has now scored in five consecutive home games in the Premier League, the first Tottenham player to do that since Jermain Defoe between November and December 2004. Son’s performance was worthy of the man of the match award he received.

 

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Historic victory for Bournemouth

For the first time, Bournemouth took three points from Arsenal. This was their sixth attempt against the Gunners. Before this game, Bournemouth had not taken any points from a top six side this season.  Callum Wilson marked his 100th Bournemouth appearance with his third goal in three Premier League games against Arsenal.

Jordon Ibe scored Bournemouth’s other goal, his first for Bournemouth in his 52nd appearance. The Cherries deserved their win against Arsenal and they are now 13th, four points clear of the relegation zone.

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Klopp comes up trumps against Guardiola again

Liverpool became the first team to defeat Manchester City in the league this season with a thrilling 4-3 win at Anfield. This was the game of the season and it had some spectacular goals. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who scored Liverpool’s first goal has scored three goals this season.

That is as many in 20 Premier League appearances for Liverpool as he scored in his last 71 appearances for Arsenal. Liverpool’s win over Man City marked the fifth time that Jurgen Klopp has defeated Pep Guardiola in all competitions; more than any other manager.

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