EPL

Premier League Review: Liverpool, Manchester City battle back on day of drama

By Sports Desk November 02, 2019

An incredible day of Premier League drama saw both leaders Liverpool and champions Manchester City rescue all three points with late fightbacks.

Liverpool trailed at Aston Villa while City were behind at home to Southampton, although Pep Guardiola's men looked set to profit when they turned their match around as the Reds continued to flounder.

Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane clinched a stunning away victory, though, and Liverpool remain six points clear of City at the top after both sides won 2-1.

Elsewhere, Bournemouth, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Brighton and Hove Albion all won, while Wolves held Arsenal.

 

INCREDIBLE DRAMA AT THE TOP

Villa away and Southampton at home - particularly after the Saints' horror show against Leicester City - looked like straightforward enough fixtures for Liverpool and City respectively.

However, it appeared for long spells on Saturday as though both would come away empty-handed.

At Villa Park, Trezeguet netted after 21 minutes and not until the 87th minute did Robertson level matters. Liverpool still appeared set to see their advantage cut, only for Mane to strike deep into stoppage time.

City were also given a scare as Southampton led through James Ward-Prowse early on.

But Sergio Aguero struck with 20 minutes remaining and then Kyle Walker, like Robertson an unlikely scorer, stole victory with just four minutes left on the clock.

 

BOOS FOR EMERY'S ARSENAL AGAIN

At Emirates Stadium, pressure continues to grow on Unai Emery after a third Premier League game without a win.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - captaining the Gunners in Granit Xhaka's absence - put them in front, the striker scoring his 50th Gunners goal in his 78th appearance.

But again Arsenal dropped points despite leading, Raul Jimenez heading home Joao Moutinho's cross with 14 minutes to go to extend Wolves' unbeaten run to six league games.

Although Emery had restored fan favourite Mesut Ozil to the XI, boos rang out at full-time.

 

UNITED BEATEN BY BOURNEMOUTH

An entertaining day of Premier League action had kicked off with Bournemouth beating Manchester United, ending the Red Devils' brief resurgence.

After three straight away wins looked to have turned United's season around, former Old Trafford youngster Joshua King grabbed the only goal of the game at Vitality Stadium.

King turned away from Aaron Wan-Bissaka late in the first half, before slamming past David De Gea acrobatically for what proved to be the decisive strike.

 

NEWCASTLE HOLD ON, BLADES WIN BIG

Even the games on the slate not involving 'big-six' teams were full of thrills and spills.

Newcastle won 3-2 at West Ham, ending the match clinging on after dominating for an hour. They scored through Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey, and the Magpies should have netted two or three more before the Hammers mounted something of a fightback, but ultimately fell short.

There was no such response from Burnley, as they went down 3-0 at Sheffield United, with John Lundstram on target twice as all three goals came in the first half.

Brighton ended the day all the way up in eighth after beating Norwich City 2-0.

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    Chelsea moved through to the Champions League knockout stage with a 2-1 win over a largely compliant Lille side at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

    Tammy Abraham and Cesar Azpilicueta scored first-half goals as Frank Lampard's men bounced back from their weekend defeat to Everton by sewing up second spot in Group H.

    The hosts knew three points would confirm their place in the last 16 and encountered little resistance until former Chelsea forward Loic Remy netted a 78th-minute consolation for the bottom-placed French side.

    Valencia's victory over Ajax in Amsterdam denied Chelsea top spot, but Lampard will be satisfied after becoming the first Englishman to oversee the entirety of a successful group-stage campaign since Harry Redknapp, his uncle, did so with Tottenham in 2010-11.

    Chelsea almost scored three times, with Christian Pulisic and Emerson Palmieri threatening, before Abraham notched his second European goal in the 19th minute.

    Willian darted past Lille left-back Jeremy Pied and squared for the unmarked striker to apply a simple finish.

    The lively Emerson tested Mike Maignan a second time and then supplied the corner that Azpilicueta headed home 10 minutes before half-time.

    Maignan needed attention following a collision with Kurt Zouma but his good form continued with a double save from Pulisic and Willian upon the resumption.

    The 24-year-old goalkeeper was eventually forced from the field with an ice pack applied to his knee in the 72nd minute.

    Leo Jardim, Maignan's replacement, saved from Mateo Kovacic, and it was at the other end that the next goal arrived, Remy firing in after substitute Jonathan Bamba found space in the box.

    It proved a minor hiccup for Chelsea, who held their nerve en route to a first Champions League home win in six matches.
     

    What does it mean? Blues a threat to Champions League challengers

    Chelsea will find it tougher against more qualified opponents in the next round but the team that draws them are unlikely to relish the challenge.

    Willian, Abraham and Pulisic can be a real handful going forward, while Antonio Rudiger's return from a lengthy groin injury brought stability at the back.

    Creative Willian leads way for Chelsea

    No player has more assists in European competitions since the start of last season than Willian, who registered an eighth when he set up Abraham and was deserving of a goal himself.

    Maia goes missing for Lille

    Lille lost the battle in midfield, giving up almost 65 per cent of possession, and got little help from Thiago Maia, an ineffectual figure as he lost each of his six duels and completed just six passes in over an hour on the pitch.

    What's next?

    Chelsea will discover their last-16 opponents when the draw takes place in Nyon on Monday.

    Before then comes Saturday's Premier League home game against Bournemouth, while Lille must regroup ahead of their Ligue 1 meeting with Montpellier.

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    Rodrigo Moreno scored the only goal in the first half as Albert Celades' men secured a surprise victory that means they finish top of the group, ahead of Chelsea in second spot, despite Gabriel's late red card.

    Ajax reached the semi-finals last season, knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus during a thrilling run, but they were edged out by the LaLiga side at the Johan Cruijff Arena on Wednesday.

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    Ferran Torres shaped to shoot from outside the box but instead played a clever disguised pass into the feet of Rodrigo, who fired into the roof of the net.

    Jaume Domenech reacted well to keep out a cross-shot from Hakim Ziyech that looked to be curling inside the far post, then Andre Onana denied Rodrigo at the other end.

    Rodrigo continued to offer Valencia's main threat and went close again in the 55th minute, and Ziyech wasted a clear chance from six yards as Ajax grew increasingly nervous.

    Noa Lang's acrobatic effort flew wide before Erik ten Hag sent on Klaas Jan Huntelaar, and Domenech had to save from Lisandro Martinez and Ziyech at the death.

    Gabriel then saw red for appearing to headbutt Ajax captain Dusan Tadic in added time, but the 10 men held on to qualify.


    What does it mean? Europa League beckons for Ajax

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    The sales of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt to Barcelona and Juventus respectively sapped the Eredivisie giants of their star power, with Valencia recovering from their 3-0 home loss in the reverse fixture to squeeze through.


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    Spain striker Rodrigo hit the only goal in a 1-0 win away to Chelsea at the start of the group stage, and his strike on Tuesday again made the difference for Valencia.


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    Few clear chances were created by the hosts, with the best of them falling to Ziyech midway through the second half. Set up by Donny van de Beek, Ziyech did not even hit the target from eight yards out, slicing his first-time shot wide of the post.


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    Real Madrid visit Valencia in LaLiga on Sunday, the same day Eredivisie leaders Ajax go to AZ.

  • Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Slavia Prague: Sancho and Brandt seal last-16 spot Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Slavia Prague: Sancho and Brandt seal last-16 spot

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    Inter's 2-1 loss to Barcelona means Lucien Favre's side finished three points above the Italians in Group F and will be in the hat for the knockout draw, which takes place in Nyon on Monday.

    The impressive Jadon Sancho opened the scoring in the 10th minute before Tomas Soucek scored a deserved equaliser for the Czech side shortly before half-time.

    However, Julian Brandt sealed the win with a powerful strike shortly after the hour mark, although Dortmund had Roman Burki to thank for their progression after a string of stunning saves either side of Julian Weigl's dismissal for a second yellow card with 13 minutes remaining.

    Sancho and Mats Hummels went close inside the opening five minutes for the hosts, while at the other end Burki did well to keep out Peter Olayinka's close-range header.

    Winger Sancho was not to be denied in the 10th minute, the England international slotting home from 10 yards after being teed up by Marco Reus, who saw a low effort repelled by the outstretched foot of Ondrej Kolar soon after.

    Kolar again denied a clean-through Reus soon after before Burki superbly pushed over Lukas Masopust's deflected effort.

    There was little the Dortmund goalkeeper could do to stop Soucek equalising two minutes before the interval, the midfielder sweeping home after Masopust's lofted ball had ripped open the home defence.

    Brandt fizzed narrowly over and Raphael Guerreiro forced Kolar into a low save as Dortmund started the second half on top.

    Sancho turned provider as Dortmund regained the lead in the 61st minute, Brandt latching onto his precise pass and lashing past Kolar from a tight angle.

    Slavia continued to press, though, with Burki forced into a flying save to deny Milan Skoda while Ondrej Kudela inexplicably heading wide from point-blank range at the back post.

    Weigl received his marching orders for a second bookable offence before Burki made another magnificent save to keep out Abdulla Yusuf Helal's header as Dortmund advanced.

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