Football Features

Trademark Tottenham win, Toney’s England message: Premier League action you might have missed

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 20:15, 12 November 2022

The final Premier League weekend before temporarily shutting down for the upcoming World Cup finals commenced with eight matches being played across Saturday.

Today’s early kick-off saw champions Manchester City entertain Brentford; once that was concluded five 3 pm games took centre stage, among those in action were Liverpool, Tottenham, Leicester City and struggling Nottingham Forest. In the late matches, Arsenal visited Wolves while a resurgent Newcastle United knocked off Chelsea at St. James’ Park.

With so many things happening, it’s only natural if you miss an important or memorable event. But don’t worry – Squawka is here, with six things you might have missed.

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1. England’s loss is Brentford’s game

A fascinating statistic from Pep Guardiola’s starting lineup against Brentford: ten of the names are Qatar-bound with Erling Haaland remaining at home. Despite boasting this incredible prowess champions Manchester City fell to a 2-1 defeat, ending a run of 20 games unbeaten at home in all competitions (winning each of the last 16), in fact, each of the last five teams to win on the road at City have been London clubs (Chelsea and Fulham against Liverpool in March 2021, and Crystal Palace and Tottenham against Man City last season).

Brentford’s success was their first away league win of the season. Playing an integral role was Ivan Toney, many observers had tipped him to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad, but alas the Northampton-born marksman will not be representing England in the following weeks much to Reece James’ apparent chagrin.

Following the game, Toney posted an image of himself with his fingers in his ears as he celebrated his opener. Chelsea defender James commented on the Instagram post, replying: “If I speak I’m in big trouble”, with a laughing emoji next to it. A reference to Jose Mourinho’s infamous rant. Phil Foden cancelled out that effort, but he was on cue to register a 97:16 minute winner. The latest winning Premier League goal scored against City since the 2006/07 season. Indeed, it’s the third latest winning goal overall in the competition since then. Each of the last four 90th-minute winning goals scored against them in the Premier League has come at home.

Toney would also register his 21st and 22nd Premier League goals, more than double the amount of any other Brentford player (Yoane Wissa, 10). Even more impressive, against the odds even, was the fact Brentford maintained their record of never losing a Premier League game when scoring first, winning 13 and drawing three of the 16 occasions they’ve opened the scoring.

2. Madders is A-OK

The break could not come at a better time for West Ham as David Moyes’ men endured their seventh blank across 15 games which are more than any other Premier League side this season. Consequently, the Foxes registered a clean sheet in six of their 15 matches with only Newcastle United (seven) producing more to date. Brendan Rodgers’ team also returned home with all three points courtesy of Harvey Barnes and James Maddison who broke the deadlock. It was a great week for the Leicester midfielder as he was named in England’s World Cup squad.

Maddison, though, would not complete the game as he was taken off in the 25th minute due to a precaution after sustaining a supposed knee injury. “He’s fine,” Rodgers told BBC Sport. “It was just precautionary, a little soreness on the side of the knee. He hasn’t trained a lot this week. He’s OK.” His effort meant he’s been directly involved in 23 Premier League goals in 2022 (14 goals and nine assists), with only Harry Kane (34), Kevin De Bruyne (29) and Son Heung-Min (25) managing more.

3. Resilience and vulnerability

A well-known Portuguese manager would describe this result as a ‘hockey score’. Antonio Conte after breathing a big sigh of relief would be proud to know his side has won 13 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other team. By contrast, Leeds United have lost 11 points from winning positions; only Leicester City (14) and Nottingham Forest (12) have lost more. Things started promisingly when Crysencio Summerville put the visitors in front subsequently becoming the youngest Leeds player to score in four straight Premier League games (21 years and 13 days old).

Rodrigo also got on the scoresheet meaning he and Summerville became the first pair of teammates to both score in four consecutive Premier League games for a specific team. For the hosts, Harry Kane and Ben Davies would equalise on separate occasions. Regarding the former, Spurs have scored 10 goals from corners in the Premier League this season – the most of any team. Six of those have been netted by Kane. Rodrigo felt he grabbed the winner, but a brace in the span of three minutes by his namesake Rodrigo Bentancur — the first time he’s scored as this many goals in a top-flight game — ensured all three points stayed in North London.

4. Sterile domination?

Patrick Vieira’s former boss Arsene Wenger once coined the phrase ‘sterile domination’ as a reference to dominating through possession and nothing meaningful comes from it. Crystal Palace at the City Ground attempted 624 passes in this game, their highest total in a single Premier League match this season. Joachim Andersen, in particular, attempted 130 passes in this game, the highest total for a player in the Premier League this season.

All of that possession to lose 1-0 which means Nottingham Forest remains unbeaten against Palace in the Premier League (five games – three wins and two draws), their best 100% unbeaten record against any side in the competition. Morgan Gibbs-White, the match-winner, has scored in each of his last two Premier League appearances (one goal in each), after managing just one goal in total in his previous 59 in the competition. Success also saw Forest off the bottom spot

5. Soon to be ‘assist’ king (of defenders)

It’s been an up-and-down season for Liverpool and Andrew Robertson but the pair at least go into the break on a high. Jurgen Klopp’s men bagged a 3-1 success over Southampton with two of those efforts created by the aforementioned Robertson, a landmark moment for the Scottish left-back. With his two assists, he equalled Leighton Baines as the defender with the most assists in Premier League history (53). Roberto Firmino benefited from the first, his opener was his 18th headed goal in the Premier League, the outright second most for Liverpool in the competition after Robbie Fowler (21).

Things could have been different if not for Allison, arguably the Reds’ most outstanding performer this season. The shot-stopper on his 150th appearance made a number of critical saves, including an unreal effort in the 77th minute. “One was a set-piece but the other two goals, sensational passes, so I liked it a lot. But we have to be honest, our second half we obviously didn’t win the football Oscar, no chance. Maybe Ali [Alisson],” an honest Klopp reflected afterwards.

“We won the game today because of the first half and because of Ali, that’s how it is. We gave them too much space in decisive areas, dropped too deep, counter-pressing not really there. We didn’t really have direction anymore. The first pass in the second half was a ball in behind, it didn’t work out. From then on in we didn’t play it anymore.”

6. Tavernier traumatises Toffees

Bournemouth is reportedly in talks with ex-Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa to become the club’s next manager. It would be curious to see if he accepts before getting more from Marcus Tavernier who became the first-ever Cherries player to both score and assist in back-to-back Premier League appearances.

As for Everton, who suffered a 3-0 defeat, they have earned fewer away points than any other ever-present side in the Premier League (16), winning just three of their 27 games on the road (seven draws and 17 losses). Furthermore, they are winless in their last eight league games against promoted sides (three draws and five losses), their longest such run in the competition. At full-time Everton’s travelling support made their feeling known with Alex Iwobi, after gifting a fan his jersey, seeing it hurled back towards him.