Premier League Game of the Week: West Ham United 3-3 Arsenal

31 goal attempts, 12 shots on target, six goals and a point apiece this London derby between West Ham United and Arsenal had everything, and was quite possibly the most enjoyable Premier League game so far this season.

In an odd season which is still reeling from the effects of Covid-19, the missing link remains with no fans. However something’s never change. In one corner West Ham forever in the shadow of their London neighbours, the highly successful Arsenal and a team who the Hammers have a poor record against with just 1 win over the Gunners in the league in the past decade. Then there is Arsenal who player for player are a better side than West Ham, but find themselves below them in the league and trailing David Moyes side by seven points and with the same games played.

If one was to take just this season as a measure of greatness then West Ham are a few miles ahead of Arsenal, that doesn’t mean the superiority has been switched to the extent of how Chelsea have surpassed Arsenal, but it is getting there. This was underlined by the 32nd minute of this match when West Ham were leading  3-0. But Arsenal dug deep, they showed their old self and the harm they can inflict on West Ham by means of Alexlandre Lacazette and the ever impressive Martin Odegaard who reminded one of the great Dennis Bergkamp with his slick and professional timing on the ball.

Arsenal have been a poor side domestically this season, but against West Ham and indeed in the last few weeks they have showed a bright glimmer of the future under Mikel Arteta.

Jesse Lingard has been one of West Ham’s smartest moves in years, the other was the purchase of Tomas Soucek and both players influenced the game early on. Lingard scored his 5th goal in the league for the Hammers and then two minutes later assisted for the young Jarrod Bowen to add a second. There was a moment of disbelief that West Ham were 2 goals up against a side they found so hard to beat for decades. But here we were. Just past the half hour mark Soucek, arguably West Ham’s best player of the past 10 years made it 3-0. These felt like crazy times and the picture painted on Arteta’s face said it all.

But don’t let a sleeping tiger relax too much and when Arsenal got a goal back just before half time there shot a warning sign. The goal looked to have been scored by Lacazette, the player on the best form for Arsenal currently but replays showed that it took a wicked and quick deflection from Soucek who was unfortunately awarded the goal.

The next goal would win the game for West Ham or for Arsenal get them right back into the mix and it went Arsenal’s way. It happened just after the hour mark when West Ham defender Craig Dawson who has had a very good season put the ball into his own net. It was actually a great finish by Dawson, comical because of the end result, but a finish indeed. With half an hour to go this was feeling like the perfect set up for Arsenal as the game remained end to end stuff. Both teams had their gloves off and any type of managerial tactics were not going to suffice here. Also without the fans it was nice to see how an atmosphere can still be built up when there is all to play for and both sets of teams are playing well, and playing to win.

Arsenal’s third goal arrived from the creation of Nicolas Pepe and the head of Lacazette, there were just eight minutes remaining. The result started to look inevitable, that Arsenal were going to come back from 3 down and win the game 4-3. That never materialised, had it West Ham would have been crushed. Without it they were deflated but a point was a point at the end of the day. Even so Moyes’ side almost won it with what would have been one of the most spectacular goals in Premier League history.

Declan Rice, the defender, took the ball from his own half and went past a few players looking for the pass. He didn’t find it as he advanced on the Arsenal goal and within that fleeting moment decided to take a shot, why not? It would have been a goal for the ages, for the Gods and most certainly for You Tube. However it came to nothing and every neutral watching the game sighed as the dream goal became just a well worked chance, to be forgotten in time.

The match ended 3-3 and did little for Arsenal, although with that point they did move up to 9th place. The damage was more inflicted on West Ham who remain in 5th place and are 2 points behind Chelsea but now have no games in hand.

The Hammers Champions League place has been dented, but hasn’t been denied.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 29

Because it was FA Cup weekend only 4 of the scheduled 10 Premier League games took place over the weekend but there were still some very significant results.

Tottenham bounced back after a nightmare week as they stepped up their top 4 hopes with victory over Aston Villa. The most thrilling game though involved Tottenham north London neighbours in another London derby as Arsenal came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against West Ham.

Brighton won their 2nd game in a row and they have pushed 6 points clear of the bottom three as a result.

Let’s look at the players that made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris- Tottenham 7pts

After a disappointing week for the club the captain would have been happy to have secured his 10th clean sheet of the season as Tottenham got back to winning ways to beat Aston Villa 2-0 away from home. Lloris now has 48 points.

Defender: – Sergio Reguilon Tottenham 5pts

Sergio Reguilon has been one of the best defenders in the league this season and he was alert and focused as Tottenham beat Aston Villa 2-0. He has now helped to keep six clean sheets.

Defender: Lewis Dunk- Brighton 5pts

Lewis Dunk really stood out for Brighton as they achieved a fantastic and much needed 3 points at the weekend by beating Newcastle 3-0. Dunk helped to keep a clean sheet and his value is is 7m and he is rated as the best Brighton defender.

Defender: Ben Davies- Tottenham 5pts

Ben Davies had a solid game for Tottenham when he came on for Reguilon in the 2nd half. Davies could be called upon and was so effective that Aston Villa were not able to come back into the game when he was brought on.

Defender: Joel Veltman- Brighton 7pts

Joel Veltman was at the heart of Brighton’s team performance. The defender helped to keep a clean sheet as he saw his side beat Newcastle 3-0. He also assisted in the first goal which got the ball rolling. Veltman now has 27 points and his value is 7.5m.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 6pts

Neal Maupay scored his 8th goal of the season as his goal helped Brighton on their way to beat Newcastle. It was a huge win for the club who with that victory have been able to move six points clear of the bottom three.

Midfielder: Jesse Lingard- West Ham 6pts

Jesse Lingard has had a very positive start to his career as a West Ham player. Lingard opened the scoring against Arsenal and then assisted two minutes later for the 2nd goal. Lingard has already since January, been involved in seven goals and scored 5 of them.

Midfielder: Lucas Moura- Tottenham 4pts

Lucas Moura assisted in Tottenham’s opening goal and that was the midfielder’s third of the season so far. Moura with 38 points is ranked as the best midfielder for the club and pulled 8 points clear of Tanguy NDombele.

Midfielder: Raphinha- Leeds United 4pts

Many expected Fulham to pull together another win as they are battling hard in relegation but Leeds pulled off a great victory by beating Fulham 2-1.Raphinha scored the winning goal and he now has six goals so far this season.

Striker: Patrick Bamford- Leeds United 5pts

Patrick Bamford scored the other goal for Leeds as they beat Fulham 2-1. That was Bamford’s 14th goal of the season and he has also assisted six times in what has been a superb season for the player so far. Bamford now has 68 points overall.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

Harry Kane was back to his best as he converted a penalty for Tottenham which secured their win and ended up being the winning goal as they bounced back to beat Aston Villa 2-1 after a miserable week for the club. That was Kane’s 17th goal of the season.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 26

Manchester City have now won 20 games in a row in all competitions as they beat West Ham 2-1 at the weekend. City are 12 points clear from their rivals Manchester United as they could only draw 0-0 away to Chelsea. The Blues are still unbeaten under new manager Thomas Tuchel and West Ham stay in 4th place in their incredible quest for a Champions League spot.

Gareth Bale scored 2 goals in perhaps his best game for Tottenham since his loan switch from Real Madrid as the London club walloped Burnley 4-0. It was a welcome win for Jose Mourinho.

At the bottom things are getting more exciting as Fulham claimed a draw and they are just 3 points behind Newcastle and Brighton in what could end up being quite a relegation battle.

Let’s check out the 11 players who made the difference in the Premier League this past week.

Goalkeeper: David de Gea- Manchester United 7pts

A whole host of other goalkeepers kept clean sheets and were able to also earn seven points. But the nod goes to de Gea as Manchester United claimed a 0-0 result at Chelsea. The Blues have been brilliant under new manager Thomas Tuchel and they had six shots on target and de Gea really had to be at his best. He has kept 9 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Kyle Bartley- West Bromwich Albion 9pts

Kyle Bartley has had a poor campaign for West Bromwich Albion and his 9 incredible points at the weekend only take the defender up to +1 point. Never mind as Bartley had a weekend to remember as he scored what would turn out to be the winning goal as the Baggies beat Brighton 1-0. 
Defender: Cesar Azilpilicutea- Chelsea 5pts
The talented defender and veteran now at Chelsea made some brilliant decisions in a huge game with Manchester United to keep Chelsea’s unbeaten run under their new coach in tact. The defender has now helped to keep 9 clean sheets.
Defender: Davinson Sanchez- Tottenham 5pts
Davinson Sanchez had an assured game as Tottenham ran out 4-0 winners against Burnley, in what felt like a must win game for the London club. Sanchez earned 5 points for the clean sheet and he now has 2 for the side though he has played less games than the other defenders. His value is 6.5m.
Defender: Luke Shaw- Manchester United 5pts
Luke Shaw is having a solid season and again he showed his qualities as Manchester United were able to take a point from Chelsea away from home. Shaw has helped to keep 8 clean sheets for the Red Devils and is valued at just 6m, he has 32 points so far.
Midfielder: Gareth Bale-Tottenham 12pts
This is the version of Gareth Bale that Tottenham fans have perhaps been missing since he arrived back from Real Madrid. Bale scored 2 good goals as Tottenham crushed Burnley 4-0 and played well throughout. He had an aura about him and looked super confident and the club will hope he can keep this up. Bale has 20 points so far for the club.
Midfielder: Michail Antonio- West Ham 4pts
Michail Antonio has been one of West Ham’s best players this season and he scored his 7th goal of the season as Manchester City beat the Hammers 2-1. Though on the losing side scoring away to the champions-elect would have given him a good boost and his value is 7m.
Midfielder: Lucas Moura- Tottenham 6pts
Lucas Moura scored his 3rd goal of the season as Tottenham easily overcame Burnley by 4-0. Moura had a good game and was very assured in midfield and he now has 30 points.
Midfielder: Ruben Neves- Wolves 4pts
Ruben Neves scored the all important equaliser as Wolves came back from 1-0 down away to Newcastle. That was Neves 5th goal of the season and he is ranked 2nd best in Wolves’ fantasy midfield so far this season.
Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts
Harry Kane was there again to notch in his 14th goal of the season as he was on fire and his team beat Burnley 4-0. Kane is having another terrific season and he will hope that his goals can fire Tottenham into a top 4 place. Kane’s value is 14.5m and he has 77 points so far and is 4th in the Premier League player rankings overall.
Striker: Nicolas Pepe- Arsenal 4pts
And from the other half of north London is Nicolas Pepe and Arsenal. Pepe has looked more impressive as the season goes on and he scored as the Gunners came back from 1-0 down to beat Leicester away from home 3-1. This could be a real turnaround for the club. Pepe now has five goals so far.
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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 25

Everton beat Liverpool for the first time in 11 years and the first time at Anfield since 1999 as they won 2-0 against a very odd looking Liverpool side who seem to have imploded and they could well struggle to finish in a top 4 place this season.

Tottenham have lost 4 out of the last five games and their latest defeat came against the impressive West Ham  who have climbed to 4th as a result. The chase for a top 4 spot is on and it’s looking very exciting, let’s see which players dazzled the league this week and made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford- Everton 7pts

Jordan Pickford has been missing for a few weeks with a rib injury but England’s Number 1 was back to his best as he kept a clean sheet at the champion Liverpool and Everton won an historic match 2-0.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Ruben Dias has been superb this season and he kept yet another clean sheet his 14th of the season as Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 away from home. Dias now has 66 points and his 3rd in the defenders list in the fantasy points for the Premier League.

Defender: James Tarkowski- Burnley 5pts

James Tarkowski has now kept 9 clean sheets and has had a solid season especially when you consider that Burnley have struggled this season and the player earned another 5 great points at the weekend.

Defender: Michael Keane- Everton 5pts

Michael Keane was arguably the man of the match as Everton beat Liverpool 2-0. Keane has had a solid season and was rock solid in defence for Everton making numerous great tackles. Keane’s value is 6.5m.

Defender: Lucas Digne- Everton 5pts

When Lucas Digne defends like he did at the weekend v Liverpool in the classic Merseyside derby then his switch from Barcelona to Everton makes perfect sense for the Premier League side. Digne’s value is 7m.

Midfielder: Raheem Sterling- Manchester City 6pts

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0. Sterling scored early on and that was 9th goal of the season. The player seems to get better every season and is having a solid campaign.

Midfielder: James Rodriguez- Everton 4pts

James Rodriguez earned another 4 points in midfield and he has a total of 29 points and is ranked as Everton’s best midfielder of the season so far. His value is 9.5m.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 5pts

Manchester United were given a scare by Newcastle by eventually powered through and Bruno Fernandes sealed the winner as the Red Devils won 3-1. That was Fernandes 15th goal of the season and he has been involved in a total of 25 league goals so far, in an incredible season for the Portuguese.

Midfielder: Jesse Lingard- West Ham 4pts

Jesse Lingard has been brilliant for West Ham after his switch in the winter transfer window from Manchester United. Lingard scored again for the Hammers as they surprised Tottenham to win the game 2-1.

Striker: Richarlison- Everton- 4pts

Richarlison has started the season slow but he is scoring goals for Everton now and he got one of the most important of his Everton career as he opened the scoring against Liverpool in the derby. Richarlison now has 4 goals and 17 points this season.

Striker: Takumi Minamino- Southampton 4pts

Takumi Minamino became the first player to score against Chelsea with Thomas Tuchel as manager as he put Southampton in the lead early on. The game finished 1-1 but Minamino played a very good match and his switch from Liverpool looks like a good one for the Saints.

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Cheating in football led to Mike Dean’s bizarre decision to send off West Ham’s Tomas Soucek

One of the biggest stories that came out of the Premier League this past weekend had to do with VAR, which isn’t a surprise but also the English referee Mike Dean who made an error in sending off West Ham’s Tomas Soucek.

The incident was during the Fulham vs West Ham game which ended 0-0 and the game was so dire that the red card, in a way elevated it to the back pages and all over the internet.

The moment happened in the final minute when Soucek and the Fulham player Aleksanader Mitrovic seemed to collide. What had happened is that Soucek and Mitrovic were near one another and anticipating when the ball was going to be crossed in. Instead of getting caught up with Mitrovic, Soucek attempted to get clear and raise his arm intending not to hit Mitrovic but to raise it over Mitrovic’s head. He failed in doing that as Mitrovic of course moved at the same time and his elbow hit Mitrovic in the face.

This is where it gets interesting.

Replays show that Mike Dean had a view of what had happened but the game was going to carry on, then of course VAR stopped the game and asked Dean to go to his monitor, which he did. It was there that Dean reportedly viewed the incident 21 times, at least according to most media pundits he did. This is where, for most, the confusion sets in.

Dean had that opportunity to keep watching the replay, now if you are going to watch 21 times or at least he did watch many many times you must have a doubt. Were we not told at the beginning of the season that the incident had to be clear and obvious? So even if Dean did think an elbow was intentionally involved why did he hesitate?, he must have had his doubts.

Let’s make it very clear Dean made an error, a really poor mistake for a referee who has overseen over 500 Premier League games. But he isn’t fully to blame. Other factors were involved which the media have decided to ignore.

The first being that Soucek’s other hand was clenched like a fist when he struck Mitrovic. The second is that Mitrovic when struck went down too easy like he had been struck badly. The third is that cheating in football has got to such a level that we have seen the Soucek incident happen in every country that plays football where the elbow was very much intended. This incident is not as clear cut as it sounds, and West Ham manager David Moyes was emphatically wrong to say that VAR should not have brought it to the attention of Dean in the first place. Isn’t that what the tech is there for to look into incidents.

The bottom line is that Dean made an error and the FA have rescinded Soucek’s red card. The problem for Dean is that it is his 2nd rescinded card in a row after he sent off Southampton’s Jan Bednarek by mistake. These are errors despite his experience that are building up and one wouldn’t be surprised if he quit his job soon. The eyes and cameras will be burning up every time he officiates a game now.

Criticism from fans is fair enough and the pressure will now be on Dean at every incident he looks over and every card he gives out, even a booking will be questioned. However some ‘fans’ have crossed the line and Dean has reported to the police that death threats have been made against him. This goes too far and whilst most of the threats are simply being made by keyboard warriors, there needs to be a zero tolerance attitude to such behaviour. It is after all just a game of football. Of course nothing has been affected by it either as the sending off happened in the final seconds of the game, changed nothing and Soucek has been rescued by the FA.

Such has been the pressure on Dean that he has requested to the FA not to referee any Premier League games this weekend and the request has been granted. However all eyes will be on the Leicester and Brighton FA Cup match which takes place tonight- the referee, Mike Dean.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 23

The Premier League title looks like it is returning to Manchester City after they beat the champions 4-1 at Anfield. It was a crushing victory and a huge statement and City have gone 5 points clear of Manchester United at the top and have a game in hand. Pep Guardiola’s side have gone 10 points clear of Liverpool, and their title hopes look over.

Chelsea have looked like a different team under new manager Thomas Tuchel and they have climbed to 5th place after winning 3 games in a row. Everton made an incredible comeback against Manchester United. At one point Everton were losing the game 2-0 but it ended 3-3.

Let’s take a look below at which players made the final 11 cut for this week

Goalkeeper: Damien Martinez- Aston Villa 7pts

Martinez kept yet another clean sheet his 11th of the season as Aston Villa beat Arsenal 1-0. It was a week that saw only 4 other goalkeepers in contention but Martinez made some fine saves and against a very difficult team.

Defender: Thiago Silva- Chelsea 5pts

Thiago Silva has been one of the Chelsea players who has really thrived under new manager Thomas Tuchel and Silva was solid in his performance. Chelsea beat Tottenham and Sheffield United this past week and the club have only conceded 1 goal in the 4 games that Tuchel has been in charge and even that was an own goal.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell- West Ham 5pts

Aaron Cresswell is having a fantastic season with West Ham. The player has really come of his own and is leading the defence superbly and that is key as to why the Hammers are doing so well this season. Cresswell has managed to keep 8 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Serge Aurier- Tottenham 5pts

Serge Aurier has had to prove himself once again under Jose Mourinho and it hasn’t always been easy. But Aurier was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet against West Bromwich Albion as Tottenham won a must win game 2-0 at the weekend.

Defender: Reece James- Chelsea 5pts

Reece James has maybe been an unsung hero at the back for Chelsea this season. But the player has amassed 26 points already and has helped the club to keep six clean sheets.

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan- Manchester City 6pts

Ilkay Gundogan was the key to unlocking Liverpool as Manchester City ran out 4-1 winners in one of the biggest games of the season. Gundogan had an eventful match as he missed an earlier penalty but then opened the scoring with a scorching goal and added a 2nd.

Midfielder: Mason Mount- Chelsea 6pts

It’s been a good week for Mason Mount who scored a vital goal for Chelsea to open up the scoring as they beat Sheffield United away from home 2-1. Chelsea have now moved into 5th and are suddenly Champions League qualification contenders.

Midfielder: Jorginho- Chelsea 10pts

Jorginho has had a fantastic few days, he is certainly the penalty king right now. Jorginho scored the only goal of the game to beat Tottenham 1-0 and then scored the winner against Sheffield United to win that game 2-1. He has collected 10 points over those games.

Midfielder: Abdoulaye Doucoure- Everton 6pts

Abdoulaye Doucoure earned 6 points as Everton came back from a losing game and drew 3-3 with Manchester United at Old Trafford in a very exciting spectacle. Doucoure was brilliant as he was the key man to bring the club back into the game making it 1-2 and then assisting for James to score the 2nd to equalise. He has 17 point so far.

Striker: Dominic Calvert-Lewin- Everton 4pts

There were plenty of strikers who managed to earn 4 points for their goals, however Calvert-Lewin’s felt more special. The scene was set as Manchester United were winning 3-2 with just moments left and Calvert-Lewin was able to prod the ball home from an Everton chance. The game finished 3-3, it was a draw but would have felt like victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s team

Striker: Phil Foden- Manchester City 6pts

Phil Foden was absolutely brilliant as he stepped up in the biggest game of the season and helped his side Manchester City beat Liverpool by an incredible 4-1. Foden assisted in the 2nd goal to put City back in the lead and then scored a goal himself. Foden now has 5 goals and his value is 7m.

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Have David Gold and David Sullivan won West Ham fans over with David Moyes?

The tension filled relationship between West Ham’s owners David Gold and David Sullivan and the fans of the club is actually legendary. Hate is a strong word that really shouldn’t be used but in this case it feels that the Hammers fans really have no time for the clubs owners.

In the past games have been stopped because fans have wanted answers as to how the club is being run. Managers have been sacked good players have been sold and the final straw seemed to be when the owners decided to move stadium.

The new stadium was used of course for the London Olympics and whilst it is double the capacity of the clubs old stadium the Boleyn Ground fans have complained that it lacks the intimate atmosphere. They would be right. On the other side though change is good and usually is something that is inevitable especially in football.

Fans were outraged once more when at the end of 2019 David Moyes was announced as the new manager. This is the same manager that the same club had sacked just over a year previously. Inevitably life started bad under Moyes and the fans seemed very justified in berating the board for making obvious mistakes.

But slowly and surely towards the end of the season and when the pandemic hit West Ham went on a good run and finished the season quite strong. And yet this season was seen as the one where the club would return to the Championship.

West Ham were toothless in their first game of the season losing 2-0 at home to Newcastle United. However since then the club have largely been flawless. They have climbed up to 4th in the league and after 20 games already have 35 points. As a reference point last season the club finished in 16th position with 39 points from 38 games.

Moyes has worked tirelessy behind the scenes to make things better on the pitch. The Scotsman was once known for digging in deep and resting on his laurels but this West Ham team attack and they have upset many teams along the way. They have beaten the likes of Wolves, Leicester, Chelsea and drew with Manchester City, the improvement has been significant and for now West Ham seem to be going in the right direction.

Now how does this sit with the demanding fans? Well they seem to have gone quiet at the same time it’s hard to know the real scope of fans’ thought without scouring online club forums with fans of course not allowed to attend matches. But it seems that Gold and Sullivan as controversial owners as they have been have made the right choice in appointing Moyes again. It should have gone predictably wrong for the Hammers, but hard work pays dividends and one can say this has been the case for the Londoners.

Below we will take a look at the best players this season for West Ham and right now the club look like having their best season in the top flight since the 1986 season when they finished in 3rd place.

Aaron Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell has amassed an impressive 34 points playing in defence and has helped to keep seven clean sheets. He isn’t his job to score goals and since he has zero we can’t complain on that front but he has assisted in 5 goals which is very impressive.

Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio seems to be getting better by age and is a real quality striker on his day. So far this season he has scored 5 goals from 12 games. He does have a tendency to get injured and miss periods of the season but he holds the ball up well and isn’t just used as an out and out striker.

Angelo Ogbonna

Ogbonna now has 29 points and has helped to keep seven clean sheets at home. For a defender he has done well too as he has scored twice this season and overall he has been one of West Ham’s most important players.

Pablo Fornals

Let’s be honest Pablo Fornals debut season with the club was underwhelming, and much was expected. But he is working hard behind the scenes and that seems to be paying off for this season. He has 24 points and his value is 7m. He has been involved in 4 goals this season.

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West Ham 1-3 Man Utd: The Red Devils come from behind again to win the crucial points

After being recently defeated in their Champions League fixture at home to Paris Saint-Germain, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are back into winning ways as they picked up an important victory away from the home. The Red Devils travelled down South to face West Ham, a team that the side haven’t performed greatly against the last few years, especially at the London Stadium.

Looking at the match as a whole, the visitors had dominated the possession of the ball and for majority of the second half, but it was the hosts that had created the most big chances and also missed the most big chances too. Most importantly, it was David Moyes’ men that took the well-deserved lead in the 38th minute of the game through Tomas Soucek, as Pablo Fornals’ cross from the corner was met by the head of Declan Rice, followed by Soucek tapping it into an empty net.

However, Manchester United were able to turn the game around after the half-time break, with both Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford entering the match for Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek. As the goals came from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Rashford in the final 25 minutes of the game, the Red Devils showed how clinical and ruthless they can be when required.

Overall, when viewing the Premier League table, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently in fifth place, three points behind first-place Chelsea and with a game in hand. On the other hand, for the Hammers, they have now drop to seventh place and could drop further in the league, as the likes of Southampton and Wolves are yet to play this weekend and Aston Villa now have two games in hand.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s half-time changes proved to be influential

Manchester United were all over the place in the first half, as they failed to show consistency and composure on and off the ball, allowing West Ham to create enough chances and have no problems on the defensive side of the game. Though, the whole situation turned around with Solskjaer making two important substitutions at the half-time break, as the side began to benefit with the creativity and decision making of Bruno Fernandes as well as the directness and pace of Marcus Rashford.

Once both players had entered the pitch, West Ham were spending most of the second half defending in their own half and trying to keep up with the opposition’s midfield and attack. Given the amount of quality and depth that Solskjaer has available at his disposal, he is able to rotate around in the key areas, rather than draining out the important players like he has done this year.

Manchester United are unable to create and attack without Bruno Fernandes

In the first half of the match, United were absolutely limited to zero chances being created, three shots and with two of them being on target in 45 minutes of football. Not only that, but the side were having great difficulties in reaching into the final third of the pitch, despite the constant high pressure and the aggressive defending from West Ham. It was the first time that Bruno Fernandes had been rested since joining the club, and the side were very slow, lethargic and poor without him.

However, the Portuguese international came to the rescue just after the half-time break, as he went on to produce eight key passes as two big chances were created by the playmaker. With the influence he is proving to have on the team and how is he able to get the best out of his team-mates, it can easily be stated that he is the side’s best signings post the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Greenwood’s time has come, as both Cavani and Martial are faced with a setback

As Edinson Cavani went off at half-time with a knee injury and so did Anthony Martial just after the hour mark with a groin injury, it leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a rising problem given that the upcoming fixtures are against Leipzig, Manchester City and Sheffield United. However, the manager could have a short-term solution in Mason Greenwood, whose instincts and movement is very unique for a youngster whilst he continues to prove himself as the most clinic attacker at the club.

For sure, the 19-year-old hasn’t had the perfect start to the season, with personal issues he has had off the pitch and the English media being on his case since a mistake he made during the international break back in September. But, it looks like he has now put everything that’s happened the last few months behind him, as Greenwood has opened his account in the Champions League and now in the Premier League. Mason Greenwood can do anything he wants to, the world is his oyster.

Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 9

Tottenham are the new league leaders after they beat Manchester City 2-0 at home in a huge game for Jose Mourinho’s team. It was the 4th win in a row for Spurs and they lead on goal difference from Liverpool who overcame Leicester 3-0.

Chelsea are in 3rd place and just 2 points behind Tottenham as they remained undefeated for their 10th game in a row in all competitions and got a 2-0 victory over Newcastle. Everton won for the first time in four games against Fulham and Manchester United have crept up to 10th place after they got a narrow 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. It is a concern to see Manchester City so far down in 13th place though.

After another exciting weekend in the Premier League did any of your players make the team of week 9? Let’s take a look.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris- Tottenham 7pts

Given that Tottenham were playing Manchester City this was always going to be a busy time for Hugo Lloris and he made some good saves and communicated well with his defence to keep a clean sheet as Tottenham beat City 2-0.

Defender: Andrew Robertson-Liverpool 7pts

Andrew Robertson assisted in Liverpool’s 2nd goal for Jota and then helped to keep a clean sheet as Liverpool won a very important game against Leicester beating them 3-0. Robertson now has 3 assists already for the season.

Defender: Angelo Ogbanna- West Ham 5pts

West Ham have been putting together some impressive results lately and they kept another clean sheet at the weekend by beating Sheffield United 1-0. Angelo Ogbanna had a great game at the back and he has helped to keep four clean sheets this season.

Defender: Eric Dier- Tottenham 5pts

Huge game for Tottenham and Eric Dier shone through with a commanding display at the back as Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0. Dier earned another 5 points in the process and he is currently the highest ranked defender in the team in the fantasy points.

Defender: Hector Bellerin- Arsenal 5pts

Hector Bellerin arguably put in his best performance of the season in defence as Arsenal head on to a 0-0 draw away to Leeds. Arsenal were under a lot of pressure and Bellerin kept focused throughout the match.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 6pts

Bruno Fernandes keeps being the difference when Manchester United do win games and his cool head to convert the penalty won a narrow game 1-0. Fernandes has scored six goals already this season and has 30 points in the United midfield, 22 more than the 2nd placed player.

Midfielder: Diogo Jota- Liverpool 6pts

Diojo Jota was arguably the best summer transfer in the Premier League, his switch from Wolves to Liverpool has added another layer for the champions. Jota was on hand to score Liverpool’s 2nd goal as they beat Leicester in a crunch encounter 3-0.

Midfielder: Roberto Firmino- Liverpool 6pts

Roberto Firmino rose to the occasion and had more chances in the game than usual possibly owing to the fact that Mohamed Salah was unable to play. Firmino put himself in more attacking options and his hard work paid off as he scored Liverpool’s 3rd goal as they eased to a 3-0 win over Leicester.

Midfielder: Giovani Lo Celso- Tottenham 6pts

Giovani Lo Celso was the unlikely hero as the ex Real Betis player scored Tottenham’s winning goal against Manchester City. That was Lo Celso’s first goal of the season and his value is 7m.

Striker: Dominic Calvert-Lewin- Everton 8pts

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is having the best season of his career so far and scored 2 goals as Everton beat Fulham 3-2. It was an important victory for the club who had lost their previous three games in a row. Calvert-Lewin took his goals well, scoring his first after just 42 seconds and has scored 10 goals this season already.

Striker: Sebastian Haller- West Ham 4pts

Sebastian Haller was the hero for West Ham as he scored the only goal of the game as the Hammers overcame Sheffield United 1-0 away from home. Haller has scored 2 goals in the league and his value is 7.5m.

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Did Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah really dive against West Ham and should he be punished?

The big controversy over the weekend in the Premier League was when Liverpool played West Ham. The Reds came back from a goal down to beat David Moyes side 2-1. But their equaliser came by the way of a penalty, which many media pundits and ex footballers believe should never have been given.

Inside the box Mohamed Salah tries to take hold off the ball but West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku clearly caught the striker on the sole of the foot and Salah went down. In theory this was always going to be straight forward and the referee awarded a penalty. The problem is how Salah went down.

Salah seemed to turn into a 180 degree angle and it looked like he almost threw himself to the ground. Was their contact? Yes, did it warrant a player to go down as Salah did? This is what is questionable.

At the end of the day whilst pundits and the media are saying that there was no penalty to be had- there actually was. Masuaku’s challenge was clumsy, one can’t even point to the fact that he was going for the ball as his foot was nowhere near it, it was a silly challenge and disputing whether it was a penalty or not does not seem correct, 100% in the rules of the game this was a penalty and Masuaku had clearly made an error. But that doesn’t make what happened right.

It doesn’t feel like a natural way to go to the ground and it could have been in Salah’s mind that he knows he has been touched but to make it 100% convincing to the referee he must go down in a ‘Hollywood’ style way. And he did. So yes Liverpool deserved the penalty but maybe Salah as a consequence of how he went to ground deserved a yellow card.

Salah has a history of going to ground quite easily, and it is not a good character strait of his. He is without doubt one of the best forwards in the Premier League and one of the best in Europe. His impact at Liverpool can’t be measured. And of course because of this he is seen as a role model. That is why the more you look at how he went down just feels wrong, Salah is a role model to many kids growing up who will undertake the game and say quite rightly that they were influenced by Salah.

But players do not seem to get cautioned if they have been fouled against- that seems to make sense, but there are cases like Salah where it could be an exception to the rule. As an example everyone remembers when Brazilian star Rivaldo feigned injury in their 2002 World Cup match against Turkey- it’s a long time ago but it is a great example. Rivaldo was technically fouled as the ball was shot on purpose at him. It actually hit him as he was about to take a corner on the arm and partial stomach, and yet Rivaldo touched his face, screaming and went down. A foul suddenly meant a sending off for Turkey because of Rivaldo’s overreaction. It was an anti football moment by such an incredible player.

Salah’s foul in the penalty box just felt the same way. Of course Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended the Egyptian and he said that he had marks to prove he was fouled. No one is denying this, because Salah was fouled. It is the reaction afterwards that feels that the game of football has been let down once more.

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