The Derby weekend in the Premier League brought a surprise in London, a standoff at Merseyside and Sovereignty at Manchester. The title is in Pep’s grasp and his grip is tight. The defending champions Chelsea are clicking the tag of former champions once again.
The lower half of the table saw West Brom failing to win again and Tyneside losing its tenacity with the third successive home defeat. Palace took the bottom spot missing the opportunity to rise above nerves.
Biggest Winners: Manchester City
The blues have launched their Rocket into the sky after inflicting another demoralizing blow to their neighbors on derby day. The lead now stretches to 11 points and it was another scrappy game in which they were able to yield a positive result. The victory is sweeter when it comes inside the enemy territory on a decisive day earning delight for the first class citizens.
Biggest Losers: Chelsea
Chelsea are very much done and dusted as far as title aspirations are concerned. East vs West London derby hammered their chances of securing the supreme silverware this season. Conte has lost his grittiness which brought calculated consistency at Chelsea that ultimately made them champions. 14 points adrift is a ‘Bridge too Far’.
Best Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs put on a show at Wembley stating that torrid times are behind Tottenham with their Talisman Harry Kane scoring two good finishes and inserting much-needed confidence to the management and the fans. Son has to start games for Spurs. He is that silent guardian with a bundle of energy operating left, right and center providing runs that can create space in the middle. Spurs need to remain in sight.
|Total Shots (on target)||Accurate Passes||Accurate Pass%||Shots Conceded (on target)|
|20 (11)||579||88%||4 (3)|
Best Player: Ederson
It ‘s an odd choice but it is also ironic that a goalkeeper from the Blue half of Manchester will get all the praises and limelight for his miraculous double save in a derby to seal the deal for Manchester City. He wasn’t asked to do much throughout the match when it mattered thought he answered spectacularly putting his body on the line to deny both Lukaku and Mata in a matter of seconds. These are the triumphant moments that win you titles.
Honorable Mention: Aaron Cresswell
Cresswell was instrumental in the surprise result of the week with his tackles, blocks, and interceptions to shield an important win for West Ham. Especially starting out as a left back and then shifting into a back three, the Englishman showed his ability as well as versatility for the Hammers.
Worst Player: Romelu Lukaku
The lies of Lukaku have been difficult to hide in recent matches where he has resented to passivity. Mistakes on both defensive and offensive fronts won’t sit pretty with the fans who were hoping to see Lukaku make that elusive step into stardom for Manchester United. His error in clearance led to City’s second goal. The poor finish on an important chance from a pinpoint range late in the game frustrated the fans even further. The passing accuracy of 37.5% states that only goal scoring can shield his flaws.
Best Manager: David Moyes
The forgotten one comes back to throw some festivity in the Olympic stadium instilling new life at West Ham. The hammers have self-destructed in recent times with lack of organization and structure. Moyes went back to the basics providing proper ideology and shape to the back line bringing out heroic performances from Winston Reid and Cresswell. Moyes has a lot to prove and I believe he has the personnel and the management at West Ham that can help him redeem his lost reputation.
Best match: Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth (2-2)
The top half of the table will get all the attention for the right reason but another feisty contest contested by two lower ranked teams resulted in late confusion and drama with a penalty miss from Belgian center forward Christian Benteke. The result left Palace fans heartbroken as they had a chance to climb out of the relegation zone this week.
The first half provided the high points in the game with Jermain Defoe in full flow coming up with two high-quality finishes, especially the second goal which was pure striker’s instinct accompanied by inch-perfect execution.
Palace scored twice in between through a devastating penalty from Milivojevic and a striker-mold anticipation from the central defender Scott Dann. Palace came to life late in the second half but the miss from the spot puts the Eagles in a tough spot at the bottom.