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5 Good and 5 Bad things from this Weekend’s Football

The Good

  1. Again where else to start but Jamie Vardy. The England International scored in his 11th consecutive game to have the outright Premier League record and surpass Ruud Van Nisterlooy who only managed 10. His goal came early in the first half as Leicester launched a counter attack from a Manchester United corner, a perfect ball was whipped in Christian Fuchs and Vardy was coolness personified as he lashed the ball past David De Gea. Leicester will no doubt be disappointed that they couldn’t win the game and stay top of the table as United’s tactics were definitely setup to stifle The Foxes. This is the first of Leicester’s difficult 6 matches if they play like this in the next 5 they won’t have too many problems
  2. Manchester City returned to the top of the table with a relatively comfortable win over Southampton on Saturday. After being 2-0 up after goals from Kevin De Bruyne and a first City goal from Fabian Delph they looked home and hosed but Southampton did manage to get back into the game after a Shane Long 2nd half goal and did offer a sustained period of pressure. But it was all in vain as Alexsandar Kolorov scored a 3rd to wrap up the points. Manuel Pellegrini will be sweating on the fitness of Sergio Aguero who came off on the 65th minute, the Chilean said it was only a precaution and he better hope it is and Wilfried Bony is nowhere near the same level of replacement.
  3. Sunderland wrapped up a good week with a maximum 6 points after wins against Crystal Palace and Stoke. They now find themselves outside of the drop zone and it seems the Big Sam great escape is making slow steps. After Stoke went down to 10 men it took Sunderland quite a while to break them down but thanks to goals from Patrick Van Aanholt and Duncan Watmore they did exactly that to bring a rare afternoon of joy to the Sunderland faithful. Another thing Big Sam can point to is the fact that they’ve kept 2 clean sheets in a row, it may be small steps but right now all the fans will care about is the fact they a) are above Newcastle and b) aren’t in the bottom 3
  4. Bournemouth. Last week they gave away a 2 nil lead away to Swansea but this week it was the opposite as they came from 2-0 down against Everton to get back into the game. Only that wasn’t the end of it, after looking dead and buried once Ross Barkley scored in the 95th minute they amazingly scored a 98th minute equaliser from Junior Stanislaus. A goal so late I though the game was then set to be decided by a Penalty shoot out. Credit to Eddie Howe as he hasn’t changed his philosophy this season when it would have been very easy to when results weren’t going there way, they may not stay up this season but they’ll certainly win many friends along the way.
  5. Tottenham. They may feel frustrated that they only came away with a draw at Home to Chelsea yesterday but that draw did enable them to create a record of 13 Premier League games unbeaten. The club sit only 2 points off Top 4 and with managing to keep the gap to Chelsea at 10 points a Champions League position does look like a realistic prospect, they just have to make sure they kick on now and make sure this early form isn’t for nothing.

The Bad:

  1. In this case the very bad. Aston Villa, surely they are done for already?. No team has ever stayed up after scoring so few points at this stage of the season. After a decent point against Manchester City in Remi Garde’s first game in charge it has been two miserable defeats with them shipping 7 goals in the process. For all of Micah Richards’ efforts to whip the crowd and his teammates into life after scoring the equalizer on Saturday, the second half performance was incredibly abject and was summed up by Alan Hutton’s own goal. A late Jordan Ayew consolation wasn’t enough and Aston Villa now must know that they are in real trouble of not just relegation but even a Premier League all time low points tally.
  2. Newcastle. They were good for 10 minutes when Papiss Cisse put them in front but that was a good as it good for the Toon Army as Crystal Palace gave a 5 star performance as Selhurst Park. Do the Newcastle players have enough desire and fight as they are most definitely in a relegation battle now, you could make a case that it’s only Aston Villa that are currently a worse outfit in the Premier League. If results continue like this you have to wonder if Mike Ashley will consider sacking Steve McClaren and get someone else in to stem the tide. But I think the terminal decline has gone too far. January is going to be a massive transfer window for the club, if they get that wrong they are done for.
  3. Arsenal. Slipped up at Carrow Road and dropped two points after going in front through a Mezut Ozil goal. That’s now no win in 3 league matches and for all the talk of a Championship challenge a few weeks ago, the Autumn injury jinx has struck again with two new injuries to Laurent Koscielny and more importantly a hamstring injury to Alexis Sanchez. Arsene Wenger decided against resting him and how that decision has come back to haunt him. All Arsenal can hope is they stay just about in the hunt for the title before January and hope for some reinforcements in the transfer window otherwise it’s going to be plus ca change for The Gunners
  4. Swansea. It’s now just 1 win in the last 10 matches which came against basement side Aston Villa. Their performance wasn’t too bad yesterday and Garry Monk will no doubt feel aggrieved at the Neil Taylor handball decision which led to Liverpool’s Penalty and resultant James Milner goal. But this is a side bereft of confidence at the moment and the fact that the form of key players such as Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis who could only make the bench yesterday has fallen off a cliff must be a massive concern for Garry Monk, another greater concern is whether he can keep his job. If this dogged run of form doesn’t end soon then I can see him unemployed for Christmas. With the next two matches being the top two of Leicester and Manchester City for the Swans it could be that Christmas in cancelled in the Monk household
  5. Chelsea and Manchester United. Two massive clubs world renown for exciting attacking Football and top class players and they were both set up not to lose over the weekend. Yes it may be pragmatic and get results but it’s incredibly boring to watch. If United keep playing like this, even the Top 4 might elude them. As for Chelsea the best they can hope for is winning the Champions League in May.

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