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Match Of The Day 2 a few late thoughts

  • Yes this may be late but the reasons are two fold
  • 1. I’ve only just got round to watching Match Of The Day 2
  • 2. It’s international week so I’m struggling for content
  • You can read my full rundown of Arsenal vs Tottenham here – http://realfootballman.com/football/arsenal-vs-tottenham-quick-thoughts-2/
  • But now let’s focus on the other four matches that took place on Sunday
  • Arsenal’s failure to win at home meant that it was Liverpool who have now taken top spot
  • They started the weekend third but with both Manchester City and Arsenal only picking up a solitary point it gave Jurgen Klopp’s side the perfect opportunity to go top
  • And they took it in some style
  • A blsitering 6-1 win against a Watford side who were made to look very ordinary against the now league leaders
  • The attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho grabbed all the plaudits as they gave Walter Mazzari his heaviest defeat since taking charge of Watford
  • The trio scored 4 of their sides 6 goals and in fairness they could have almost wracked up double figures
  • It may have taken 27 minutes to finally break the deadlock but once Sadio Mane did they never looked back
  • Watford’s afternoon would go from bad to worse when Huerelho Gomes had to come off injured
  • And a flurry of goals past repalcement Costel Pantillimon made it an afternoon to forget to Watford
  • Daryl Janmaat’s strike late on to make it 5-1 was scant consolation but Georginio Wijnaldum completed the scoring in the 91st minute with his first goal for the club to once again restore Liverpool’s 5 goal advantage
  • Defeat sees Watford slip a place to 8th
  • While Liverpool go into the international break top and a point clear of Chelsea
  • Manchester United returned to winning ways with a comfortable win over struggling side Swansea
  • Bob Bradley is still looking for his first win as Swansea boss having only taken 1 point from his first 4 matches
  • United were never really troubled as they raced into a three nil lead before the break
  • Paul Pogba showed great technique to open the scoring while Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a welcome brace to break his goal drought which hasn’t seen him find the net since September 10th
  • Swansea had to be careful that they didn’t lose 4-0 as they would have then fallen to the bottom of the table
  • But they did show some spirit to claw a goal back through Mike Van Der Hoorn it still makes grim reading for Swansea
  • They are now 5 points from safety and Sunderland are now on their coat tails
  • The only hope now is that The Swans don’t give too much ground to the teams above them and can hopefully add some quality in January
  • The reason that gap now stands at 5 points is the fact that Hull surprised many by recording their first win in 7 matches
  • The writing seemed once again on the wall when Charlie Austin’s early penalty put Southampton ahead at The KCom Stadium
  • With then Will Keane and Abel Hernandez going off injured early on a difficult task looked near impossible
  • But Southampton failed to take their chances and were punished for it in the second half
  • Substitute Robert Snodgrass who came on for Hernandez played a key part in his side’s turn around
  • First he nestled home The Tigers first effort on goal and leveled the scores just after the hour
  • And two minutes later he would send in the free kick for Michael Dawson to nod home and give Hull a victory from the jaws of defeat
  • For Southampton it bought them crashing back down to Earth after their fantastic win over Inter Milan last week
  • That defeat means Southampton are now 10th, while for Hull although they are still in the bottom three there is only a point separating them and Middlesbrough in 15th
  • A huge win for Mike Phelan, his first since getting the job as Hull manager full time
  • It was also a big win for West Brom as they moved up from 17th to 11th in the table thanks to a win over champions Leicester
  • That win also sees them subsequently move above Claudio Ranieri’s side
  • It shows how congested the bottom half of the table is right now
  • It also now means that The Foxes are now just two points clear of the drop
  • For all their Champions League exploits they can’t just forget about league matters
  • Then again it could only take a couple of wins to see them in the top half, everyone from 6th onwards is taking points off each other and therefore teams are struggling to really get a real run of form going.
  • For West Brom it was the first win in 6 matches. They took the lead through James Morrison only for record signing Islam Slimani to level soon after.
  • But it would be a game to forget for Danny Drinkwater as his misplaced pass allowed Matty Phillips to latch on to the ball and slot the ball past Ron-Robert Ziegler to give The Baggies all three points.
  • Jamie Vardy once again had to make do with the bench, he looks a shell of the player that scored 24 Premier League goals last season
  • Claudio Ranieri is going to have to a long hard think how he sets up his Leicester side after the international break as if they are not careful they may have to look over the shoulder and make sure they aren’t on the wrong side of the bottom three.

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