Dear reader, the Premier League gave you some drama yesterday, didn’t it? There was something for everyone over the course of Tuesday night’s 90 minutes or so. And where there is a little bit of drama, there is bound to be some funny football news.
Where shall we start? It would be only right and just to head up to St James’ Park where Rafa Benitez masterminded a win for Newcastle over current Premier League champions Man City.
Liverpool fans have never stopped loving the Spanish waiter and with Newcastle choosing this match of all matches to get a rare home win he will live on in their hearts forever. It didn’t start well for Benitez, unless, of course, he wanted to be 1-0 down with barely a minute on the clock. But big Salomon Rondon, the number nine who will keep Newcastle up this season, equalised before their very, very makeshift left wing-back Matt Ritchie scored the winner from the spot.
City can now no longer get to 100 points, a statistic thrown out there post-defeat as if it were a given they would match it this season. More importantly, Peppy G understands that City ‘have to win a lot of games now’ to have any chance of catching Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
As his pat-on-the-back from owner Mike Ashley, Benitez is set to be given a new club record signing to play with. Yes, Michael Owen’s deal over a decade ago is finally going to be bested by Atlanta’s Miguel Almiron who will cost Ashley around the £20m mark. I will still believe it when I see it.
So far in his short Manchester United reign, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has talked like a United manager, got his players playing like United players, managed to find a club interested in buying Marouane Fellaini and hasn’t stopped smiling. Last night he put another big tick in his managerial box by completing the “very late comeback” challenge that Sir Alex Ferguson once made his own.
Burnley (who have never lost a Premier League game on a Tuesday night, randomly) let United 2-0 at Old Trafford with three minutes plus Solskjaer-time on the clock yet United left with a point. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
And, fittingly, it was two players who have remembered how to play professional football under the Norwegian who got them back in the match; Paul Pogba and Victor Lindelof.
But, for the first time since taking the gig Solskjaer should come in for a little bit of criticism; mainly, why did it take so long to hook Andreas Perreira who was having an absolute stinker?
Arsenal managed to edge past Cardiff City on an emotional night. A penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a second from Alexandre Lacazette was enough to get Unai Emery back to winning ways. And, it would appear, he will get one of the players he has been asking for. Barcelona’s Denis Suarez is likely to arrive on loan today. Just don’t worry about the defence, it’ll be fine.
One of the teams in the Premier League I wouldn’t back to throw away a 2-0 lead to Fulham is Chris Hughton’s Brighton. Yet, somehow, they did and boy did Fulham need that win. Aleksandar Mitrovic showed that Aboubaye Kamara picked on the wrong man last week by getting a double and even Luciano Vietto got a goal. Claudio Ranieri called it a ‘strange game’ and stranger things have happened than Fulham getting out of this relegation fight.
Don’t worry West Ham fans, Marko Arnautovic isn’t going anywhere. And he will be fully behind that decision after the Hammers were easily turned over by Wolves. Especially now he is on crutches and clubs rarely buy players on crutches. If West Ham were looking to put in some kind of performance after the FA Cup shocker against Wimbledon, this probably wasn’t the performance they aimed for.
Huddersfield may have the next David Wagner in charge now but the results are still very David Wagneresque. Everton won 1-0 at the John Smith’s thanks to an early Richarlison goal. Huddersfield need that bounce soon or they will be bouncing out of the Premier League.
On Monday, the Poch suggested that winning trophies was merely for ‘building egos’. Yesterday, he found himself needing to explain himself a little further considering the remark was made after Spurs had bombed out of two cup competitions in four days. The Poch still believes Tottenham are on the road to competing with Real Madrid, so we should believe him (and remember that Real Madrid are far from top of La Liga themselves right now).
Over at Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri has demanded that Callum Hudson-Odoi shows ‘respect’ to the club’s academy.
I don’t know about you, but every time an Italian starts demanding respect I get a little worried for someone’s life.