EPL

Premier League Review: Mourinho starts with a Spurs victory, City end Chelsea's winning run

By Sports Desk November 23, 2019

Jose Mourinho marked his first game as Tottenham head coach with a 3-2 victory at West Ham on Saturday, while Manchester City returned to winning ways with a 2-1 success against in-form Chelsea.

Spurs scored freely for 49 minutes in the lunchtime game at London Stadium but were pegged back by West Ham as errors crept in. Later in the day, City recovered from a goal behind to end Chelsea's winning run, which spanned six league matches heading into the early-evening kick-off.

Arsenal laboured in a 2-2 home draw against lowly Southampton, a late Alexandre Lacazette goal sparing Unai Emery's blushes at the Emirates Stadium.

Crystal Palace were sunk by a late goal in a 2-1 defeat to leaders Liverpool. Brighton and Hove Albion lost to Leicester City and Everton were beaten by Norwich City, both at home by 2-0 scorelines.

Wolves extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a 2-1 win at Bournemouth, and Burnley beat Watford 3-0 to clinch back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.

SPURS FIRE FOR JOSE BUT DEFENSIVE QUESTIONS LINGER

Three goals in 13 minutes put Spurs on course for a resounding result against West Ham but Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna took the sheen off the Mourinho era curtain-raiser.

The visitors were marginally the better side of a tepid first half until the 36th minute when Dele Alli played in Son Heung-min whose angled drive from the corner of the six-yard box beat the flailing Roberto Jimenez for power.

Alli released Son down the left and he sent over a low cross that Lucas Moura bundled into the net at the far post to double Tottenham's advantage two minutes from half-time.

West Ham's defensive frailties came to the fore once again four minutes into the second half when Serge Aurier's cross picked out Harry Kane, who was given an easy ride by Issa Diop as he sent a header past Roberto's outstretched hand.

But when Spurs needed to close out the win, they allowed Antonio to pull one back from close range and Declan Rice had another ruled out for offside before Ogbonna converted from Robert Snodgrass' cross deep into stoppage time.

FIRMINO FIRES WINNER FOR RELENTLESS REDS

Liverpool's three-game winning streak was under threat when Wilfried Zaha scored for Crystal Palace in the 82nd minute to make it 1-1 at Selhurst Park, but the Eagles failed to keep Roberto Firmino at bay late on.

The Brazilian striker poked home in during an 85th-minute penalty box scramble amid heavy Reds pressure, typical of the never-say-die attitude that makes the Premier League front-runners so difficult to stop.

Sadio Mane's eighth league goal of the season had put Liverpool 1-0 in front, the Senegal international advancing into the box four minutes after half-time before unleashing a shot that hit both posts before finding the net.

Zaha's low, angled drive from 12 yards put Palace on course for a point their battling performance would have merited but Roy Hodgson's men failed to park the bus when a Liverpool onslaught was inevitable.

CITY SHOW FIGHTING SPIRIT

Manchester City lost 3-1 at Anfield before the international break to fall nine points adrift of Liverpool, and the Reds' lead over last season's champions was briefly extended on Saturday following their dramatic victory in south London.

Pep Guardiola's side welcomed goalkeeper Ederson back from injury, but the slender win over Chelsea was somewhat soured by Rodri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero all hobbling off.

Kicking off around 40 minutes after full-time at Selhurst Park, City's dwindling title hopes looked set to take another dent when N'Golo Kante marked his 150th Chelsea appearance with a deserved opening goal.

But Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez struck before half-time to give the hosts the lead and, despite Raheem Sterling having a late strike ruled out by VAR, City held on to deny Chelsea a club record of eight straight victories away from home in all competitions.

LACAZETTE BRACE KEEPS EMERY ERA HANGING BY A THREAD

Arsenal looked like a side taking victory for granted before Danny Ings opened the scoring for Southampton after eight minutes at Emirates Stadium.

It was only by virtue of Alexandre Lacazette's work rate and quality that the Gunners gave the home support anything to cheer, and the France international equalised after 18 minutes following scrappy Southampton defending.

The goal should have put the wind in Arsenal's sails, but Emery's men lacked cohesion and consistency, allowing Southampton to break repeatedly. The visitors restored their lead 19 minutes from time through James Ward-Prowse who scored at the second attempt after Bernd Leno saved his penalty.

Again it fell to Lacazette to spare Arsenal's embarrassment and he duly obliged, succeeding where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil failed by converting a late chance at close range, rifling home from Gabriel Martinelli's cross to clinch his side a point they barely deserved.


Burnley, meanwhile, won 3-0 for the second game in a row with second-half strikes from Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and James Tarkowski earning a victory at bottom side Watford that lifted the Clarets to sixth in the table.

 

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    Jose Mourinho says the form of Giovani Lo Celso is giving Tottenham "an easy decision" to sign him on a permanent basis.

    A superb individual run from Lo Celso helped to set up Spurs' goal as Son Heung-min struck in the 1-1 FA Cup fourth-round draw against Southampton on Saturday.

    The 23-year-old also had a goal disallowed and Mourinho is sure he has done enough to earn a permanent place at Spurs, having initially joined on a season-long loan from Real Betis, with an option to buy.

    Mourinho said: "It's not an obligation, it's an option. I think the boy is earning the decision. 

    "He's making an easy decision for the club to execute the option. Incredible evolution since I arrived.

    "Barely played a game [before I arrived], I think he played against Red Star Belgrade and with me it was a little bit difficult to come in the first few weeks.

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    Son, meanwhile, has netted in back-to-back matches at a time where star striker Harry Kane is out injured.

    Mourinho, whose side will now play an FA Cup replay against Saints, added of Son: "All of the attacking players need this happiness of scoring goals. 

    "In the first half he had one easier than the goal he scored, facing the keeper the angle was good, the shot was good but for inches he missed. 

    "It is a good goal, an important goal, so it is good for him.

    "Playing a replay will affect [our mid-season break] a little bit. There is one more match we have to play. It is not a personal situation, Ralph Hasenhuttl was telling me the same, we don't need one more match. 

    "But I think both me and him prefer to play again than to be out. No drama, let's go."

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    "And it is not Tottenham's fault that on the 25th of January we are in the situation.

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    Danny Rose was also not included by Mourinho for the match against Saints, which ended level after Sofiane Boufal equalised with three minutes to go following Son Heung-min's opener.

    Asked if Rose, who has been linked with Bournemouth, Newcastle United and Watford, would still be a Spurs player after next Friday's transfer deadline, Mourinho said: "I don't know. 

    "He was not injured, my decision [to leave him out]. My decision is based on performance and based on my analysis. Nothing else really. 

    "We have Ben Davies at left-back injured for a long time. We have Danny, Japhet [Tanganga], who is not a left-back but is very solid and very concentrated - very difficult for him to make a mistake, even when playing against opposition in a position that is not his position.

    "And Ryan [Sessegnon] is a 19-year-old kid who is learning how to defend and of course his natural appetite is to be offensive. So we have four options and it's my decision.

    "We did good things. It is a result that keeps us alive, that keeps us in the draw. It is a result we don't need, we don't need to play one more match, but it is better to play than not to play.

    "We were very close to win. We are in the competition. The fantastic supporters that were here are going to be at home, with another 50,000 for sure who will come to support the team. That is OK."

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