Tottenham Head Home Feeling Blue: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham’s visit to Stamford Bridge ended in a predictable defeat as Spurs lined up with a very depleted squad. Six defenders and two holding midfielders in the starting XI left Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn isolated up top and allowed Chelsea took take full control of the game.
Tuchel’s side found themselves with acres of room to play in and freedom of movement in the wide areas. Mason Mount was caused havoc down the right wing as Hakim Ziyech floated in-and-around dangerous positions, creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Harry Kane looked to have opened the scoring before halftime, but the Englishman’s push on Thiago Silva gave the referee the opportunity to rule the goal out for a foul.
Despite their dominance throughout the first half, Chelsea were unable to break the deadlock until straight after the break.
A slick move down the left-hand side gave Calum Hudson-Odoi plenty of time to find Hakim Ziyech on the right side of the pitch. Ziyech evaluated his options, before to shifting onto his left foot and curling his effort into the top left corner. The bend on the ball gave Hugo Lloris no chance to make a save and the home side took a well-deserved lead.
Chelsea doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Thiago Silva flicked the ball into the far post from a well-whipped free kick. That was the Brazilian’s third league goal of the season, with one of his previous two coming against Spurs in the reverse fixture.
Chelsea were comfortable for the remainder of the second half as Spurs struggled to maintain possession with the majority of their attacking options out of the squad.
Antonio Conte will be pleading with Daniel Levy for some new signings before the end of the month, with Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele both looking to secure a move away from Tottenham.
A routine victory for Chelsea boosts their confidence heading into the winter break.
Eagles Unlucky as Liverpool Take All 3 Points: Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool
Crystal Palace’s spirited second half performance inevitably led to nothing as a dubious penalty decision wrapped up three points for Liverpool.
Liverpool dominated the opening 45 minutes as Palace struggled to get up to speed with the visitors. Andy Robertson caused problems down the left-hand side and his corner was powerfully headed home by Virgil van Dijk in the opening eight minutes.
Liverpool kept piling on the pressure with Andy Robertson creating the second goal of the game just past the 30-minute mark. A wonderfully floated cross found Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with time to bring the ball down at the back post, and slot it away comfortably with his weaker left foot.
Despite a poor first half showing, Palace came out in the second half and really took the game to Liverpool.
High intensity pressing from the front had Liverpool rocked and Palace were rewarded for their efforts in the 55th minute. A well-timed through ball found Jean-Philippe Mateta clean through on goal, but the Frenchman was unselfish and rolled the ball across to his compatriot Odsonne Édouard to slot the ball into an empty net.
Crystal Palace kept pushing for the equalizer and were the better side throughput the second half, but a questionable coming together between Diogo Jota and Vincente Guaita gave Fabinho the opportunity to seal the game from the penalty spot.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 23, 2022
A tough win for Liverpool keeps them on the heels of Manchester City with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané due to return from the Africa Cup of Nations at the beginning of February.
A sore one to take for Patrick Viera and his men is a clear indicator of just how far this young Palace side have come in a matter of months as they continue to push for a top half finish.
Reds Leave it Late: Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United
Ralf Rangnick’s rollercoaster start to life at Old Trafford continued this weekend as his side left it till the very last kick of the ball.
Both sides created opportunities, but the resoluteness of the defensive lines made life difficult for both sides attacking threats.
A few half chances between them looked to be the best of the bunch as both managers looked to go for a winner. Rangnick adopted an unconventional 4-2-4 in a hope to get a chance for one of his four strikers as West Ham were reluctant to go home with a point.
As West Ham pushed up field with seconds left on the clock, Manchester United stole the ball and created their very own counter-attack.
All three attacking substitutes linked up as Anthony Martial slipped in Edinson Cavani, giving the Uruguayan time to see Marcus Rashford bursting in at the back post to seal three vital points for Manchester United.
A VAR check to ensure Cavani was onside left a nervous feeling in the air, but the full-time whistle left the Old Trafford faithful jumping for joy as they reclaim 4th in the table.
A hard pill to swallow for David Moyes as he will feel as if it is an important point lost at one of the most difficult grounds in the league.
Best of the Rest
Norwich City climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time this season thanks to a wonderful performance from Josh Sargent. Two fine goals from the American led the Canaries to a 3-0 win over Watford. Another defeat for Watford has led to the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.
Goals from midfield maestros João Moutinho and Rúben Neves led Wolves to a 2-1 win at home to Brentford.
Newcastle picked up their second win of the season with a 1-0 victory coming away at Leeds.
Duncan Ferguson’s first game in charge of Everton following the sacking of Rafa Benítez ended in a 1-0 defeat to Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw away at Southampton.
Brighton, who have become specialists in earning a point, picked up another one with their 1-1 draw away at Leicester whilst Arsenal were unable to get the better of Nick Pope in their 0-0 draw with Burnley.
Player of the Week – Hakim Ziyech
Hakim Ziyech’s Chelsea career finally looks to be underway with another fine performance at the weekend. Ziyech was instrumental throughout the game, creating chances and providing moments of quality. An extraordinary goal that left Lloris with no chance capped off his performance and earns him the Genius Sports Report Player of the Week.