Every once in a while there is a Premier League weekend that etches its way into the history books, and this weekend will be remembered for just that. However, it will also be a weekend that one specific team will want to forget in a hurry.
Leicester City were the biggest winners this weekend, as they created history by equaling Manchester United’s record of 9 goals and being the first to do it away from home. Meanwhile, Liverpool maintained their lead at the top of the table, after coming back over Spurs.
Southampton 0 X 9 Leicester City
History was made on Friday night as Leicester City matched the biggest ever win in the Premier League table on their visit to St Mary’s. Not just that, but it was also the biggest away win in the history of the game since records began in the 1800s.
The game was already pretty much an emotional one since on Sunday it marked one year since Leicester’s chairman died in a tragic helicopter accident.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was the man who took the Foxes from the Championship to their Premier League greatness and it was a proper tribute from the ‘boys’ to make such a confident exhibition.
The pattern for the game was set after 12 minutes when Ben Chilwell fired the Foxes ahead after an incomplete save from Angus Gunn. It got worse because Ryan Bertrand was sent off for his high tackle in the build-up for the goal.
Within 35 minutes the game was completely put out of reach from the Saints. Strikes from Youri Tielemans, two for Ayoze Perez and one for Jamie Vardy ensured Leicester went into the break 5-0 ahead.
Two hat-tricks in one game
Things only got worse in the second half, as Perez rounded off his hat-trick. Then Vardy added his second of the game less than a minute later.
James Maddison got in on the act with a brilliant free-kick five minutes from time. The Premier League record was equaled with the final kick of the ball by Vardy from the penalty spot, making it the second hat trick of the game. He also took the lead as the EPL top scorer.
The victory means that the Foxes now have two more points than they did in their title-winning season, although a title success this season wouldn’t be nearly as shocking for Leicester. If competing with Liverpool and City right now sounds unrealistic, Brendan Rodgers men can dream about going back to Champions League next season.
Liverpool 2 X 1 Tottenham Hotspur
However, if Leicester is to mount a title challenge, they are going to have to keep up with the ferocious speed being set by Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The Reds lost their 100% record last time out, and once again started slowly as Harry Kane’s smart header gave Spurs the lead inside 47 seconds.
The game changed in the space of two minutes. Just one minute after Heung-Min Son rattled the bar, Liverpool were level. Jordan Henderson was given the time to drive into the box before firing his effort past Paulo Gazzaniga.
Liverpool pushed for the winner and was handed a perfect opportunity when the sloppy Serge Aurier slashed down Sadio Mane. Mohamed Salah stepped up and smashed his spot-kick past the flat-footed Argentine keeper.
It wasn’t the prettiest of performances from the home side, but it was effective. With this win, Liverpool cements their lead and keep the 6 points distance to Manchester City.
Manchester City 3 X 0 Aston Villa
Saturday’s action got underway with a comfortable home success for the reigning champions. The traveling Villa side defended excellently in the opening 45 minutes but was made to pay for a sloppy bit of play less than a minute into the second half.
Tyrone Mings’ misguided header fell into the path of Raheem Sterling, who made no mistake. After a midweek exhibition against Atalanta that saw the Englishman bag a hat trick, Sterling keeps his fine finishing form.
There was a sense of bad fortune for Villa on the second as Kevin De Bruyne’s cross was guided in by David Silva. The referee didn’t believe Silva touched the ball, as Sterling was claimed to have been inactive in the goal without the touch. VAR looked at the decision but didn’t spot a clear error.
Ilkay Gundogan wrapped up the win five minutes later, and even a late red card to Fernandinho couldn’t take the gloss off a solid afternoon for the Citizens. Guardiola’s men keep chasing Liverpool to revalidate their title.
As for Villa, they will play Liverpool next, so they might be in for two consecutive defeats. Unlucky calendar.
Burnley 2 X 4 Chelsea
It has been another good week for Frank Lampard as his Chelsea side won on the road for the second game in a row.
Christian Pulisic did all the damage with a hat-trick. In doing so, he became only the second American to score three in a single match in the Premier League.
After a couple of weeks of doubts over the American’s adapt to the English league schedule and his relationship with Frank, Pulisic cleared all doubts.
Willian added a fourth before Jay Rodriguez, and Dwight McNeil scored two late consolations for Burnley.
Counting with their late winner over Ajax, this is Chelsea’s 7th win in a row. A remarkable achievement for the ‘Blues’ that would probably make them title contenders in previous seasons. Right now, however, they are still in 4th, behind Leicester.
Brighton 3 X 2 Everton
Marco Silva might have relieved himself after Everton win over West Ham last weekend. However, the Portuguese manager once again saw his team trailing against Brighton and he might be again back in the ‘sacking’ race.
The Seagulls were ahead early in the game as Pascal Gross scored a free kick after 15 minutes. An own goal from Adam Webster leveled the scores before Dominic Calvert-Lewin put the Toffees ahead.
VAR was once again the center of attention at the Amex Stadium, as a sloppy challenge from Michael Keane saw Brighton awarded a penalty in the final ten minutes.
The decision was soft, but Neal Maupay made no mistake from the spot to set up a grandstand finish with ten minutes remaining. A late Lucas Digne own goal ensured Brighton took maximum points.
Silva was very critical of the referee criteria but it does not take away the fact that Everton is now in a relegation battle (16th).
Arsenal 2 X 2 Crystal Palace
In the closing game of the weekend, Arsenal once again disappointed at home. Unai Emery’s side threw away a two-goal lead, before having a late winner disallowed through VAR in a hotly contested game at the Emirates.
The Gunners went two ahead through goals from the defending duo: Sokratis and David Luiz. However, they were pegged back after Luka Milivojevic scored from the penalty kick still in the first half.
Jordan Ayew‘s goal leveled the game in the second half and the Gunners fans were furious. So much they booed their own captain, Granit Xhaka after he was being subbed off, as the Swiss midfielder threw away his Arsenal shirt in anger.
However, Arsenal thought they had won it late in the game, but Sokratis’ effort was ruled out by VAR.
Emery might be another name getting into the sacking race after a series of unfortunate results. Arsenal almost lost to Vitoria SC at the Emirates on Thursday in Europa League (they won 3-2, with two late free-kicks from Pepe).
The embarrassing exhibitions make #EmeryOut chants get louder. To add up, Lacazette official Instagram account liked a post claiming for the manager to get fired. What is happening at the Emirates?
Norwich City 1 X 3 Manchester United
It was another afternoon of missed penalties for United, but this time it didn’t matter. Thought, the Red Devils have now missed four of six spot-kicks this season now. Luckily this time, Ole’s men were able to clinch the 3 points.
Scott McTominay put United ahead, which was also saw the Red Devils become the first Premier League side to reach 2,000 goals in the top flight.
Marcus Rashford then doubled the lead after 30 minutes. His goal came just two minutes after missing from the spot.
Before the end of the first half, Martial had also a chance for a penalty kick. However, Krul once again defended the attempt.
History repeated itself, as Anthony Martial was able to get his goal and seal the three points with 17 minutes remaining on the clock.
Onel Hernandez scored a late consolation, but it was too little too late for the Canaries. Norwich is now on the 19th, while United gets some breathing space climbing to 7th.
Newcastle 1 X 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Two teams with inconsistent season start faced each other this weekend, with both Newcastle and Wolverhampton being again unable to get the 3 points. The Magpies were pegged back late in the game and made to settle for a point.
Jamaal Lascelles opened the scoring before half time. However, Johnny Otto struck back for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining. Sean Longstaff saw red with ten minutes to go and will be missed by the club for their next three league games.
Meanwhile, Wolves, who had a tough trip to Bratislava on Thursday, might be showing off some signs of fatigue in the league that might be costing them points. Yet, on the bright side, they are now 8 games unbeaten.
West Ham 1 X 1 Sheffield United
Following their embarrassing defeat at the hands of Everton, West Ham had to pick up the pieces and show they are stronger than what they showed at Goodison Park. They hosted Sheffield United in London, but the Blades demonstrated why they are the best defense in the league.
The Hammers were made to settle for a point as they squandered a lead. Robert Snodgrass put West Ham ahead before the break.
However, Lys Mousset scored his second goal in two games, after his winning goal against Arsenal, to level the scores with 20 minutes remaining.
We pointed Dean Henderson recently as one of the players to watch this season and weekend in, weekend out, the keeper shows we were right.
Sheffield, who has just got promoted and has the lowest budget in the league, is now 8th. They got only 8 goals conceded, the same numbers as leaders Liverpool and Leicester: remarkable.
Watford 0 X 0 Bournemouth
Watford remains the only side in the top-flight yet to record a win as they were held to a goalless draw by Bournemouth.
The home fans let their feeling be known at the full-time whistle as they booed off the home side. Javi Gracia was already fired, but it seems his successor, Quique Flores, will not have much time in charge if he keeps this record.
The Premier League Schedule returns next Saturday, with Wolves visiting Arsenal. It might be a match point for Emery as a loss in this game, might mean he will not see Christmas at the Emirates.