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Premier League Round-Up: Gameweek 12

In the last Gameweek before the next International break, the Manchester Derby and Cardiff's huge win stand out...

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Cardiff 2-1 Brighton: Saturday's early kick-off was in South Wales, with Neil Warnock's side yearning for a win, something they'd only experienced once before this match. It certainly didn't start brightly for them though, as Lewis Dunk put Brighton ahead after just six minutes. A lucky deflected cross gifted the ball into Callum Paterson's path midway through the first half though, putting Cardiff back on level terms. Things got worse for Brighton just a few minutes later, when Dale Stephens was sent off for a poor tackle on Greg Cunningham. Chris Hughton's men hung on and on for as long as they could, and it looked as though they would somehow return to the South Coast with a point. However, in the dying moments, fan-favourite Sol Bamba fired off a powerful bicycle kick onto the Brighton post. The rebound was kept out, but Bamba found himself in a perfect position to finally slot the ball home and give the Bluebirds an enormous three points. Credit really must be given to the Cardiff fans so far this season. Even though they've seen their team outplayed on several occasions, they've consistently turned out in vast numbers and made a fantastic noise. The win puts them 18th, in the relegation zone only as a consequence of their goal difference. Brighton remain 12th.

Southampton 1-1 Watford: Southampton hosted Watford at St Mary's on Saturday afternoon, desperate to put their 6-1 defeat to Manchester City behind them with a win. It looked as though this could be on the cards midway through the first half, when Manolo Gabbidadini gave the Saints a massive, massive lead. The game continued to provide plenty of chances of both sides, with Watford coming close to an equaliser when Robert Pereyra's shot from the edge of the areas was saved. Not long into the second half, the home side were convinced they'd doubled their lead through Charlie Austin, but after an entire minute's delay, the officials ruled it offside. This has proved extremely controversial since the game ended, and Austin may well face a ban for his furious rant in the post-match press conference. The disallowed goal would prove even more frustrating for Southampton, when a deflected shot from Jose Holebas beat Alex McCarthy to put the Hornets level with just eight minutes of normal time to go. Southampton now sit in 17th place, only out of the bottom three on goal difference. Mark Hughes will be seriously fearing for his job, as it's now just five wins from twenty-four. His winning percentage is worse than the clubs previous five managers. Watford remain in the top half of the table, with manager Javi Gracia on the verge of signing a new long-term deal.

Huddersfield Town 1-1 West Ham: Huddersfield were hoping to build on their huge win against Fulham as they entertained West Ham, who'd scored four last-weekend. It seemed to be the ideal start for David Wagner's men, who took the lead after seven minutes. Alex Pritchard got the goal, which came as a consequence of some poor West Ham defending. The home side should probably have been further ahead when the half-time whistle was blown and were also angry that a supposed penalty wasn't given in their favour. It was clear when they came out for the second half that defending would be the emphasis of their play, desperate to push themselves out of the relegation zone where they've been all season. Despite keeping West Ham at bay for so long, Felipe Anderson cruelly denied Huddersfield three points with his equaliser 15 minutes from time. It was his third goal in two games, as he seems to be beginning to find the form his lofty transfer fee demands of him. West Ham remain 13th, and Huddersfield remain in the dreaded bottom three, with a trip to Molineux and Wolves next.

Leicester 0-0 Burnley: In the first game at the King Power since the tragic death of Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanprabha and four other people in a helicopter crash in the King Power Stadium car park, Leicester faced Burnley, in a game that paled into insignificance given the poignancy of the occasion. Leicester had a few chances, Jamie Vardy having a shot cleared from the line, Rachid Ghezzal striking the bar with a headed effort and man of the match Joe Hart saving Burnley's clean sheet by denying Demarai Gray. Burnley had one clear cut chance which was spurned by Chris Wood as he sent an effort over the bar. Of course, the final score meant nothing on a day like this, but both Burnley and Leicester will be happy with a point.

Newcastle 2-1 Bournemouth: Newcastle got their second win on the spin versus Bournemouth in a shock result for the Magpies. Salamon Rondon put the home side ahead after just seven minutes, going on to double the lead on the 39th. The Bournemouth goal came deep in first half injury time, which was prompted by a lengthy delay to give Bournemouth right back Adam Smith treatment. Jefferson Lerma headed a cross from surprise Fantasy Premier League star Ryan Fraser home to give the Cherries hope of continuing their amazing start to the season. It transpired that they would fail in their efforts however, with Newcastle holding on to see the game out and carry on their mini-revival.

Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham: Tottenham carried on their best ever start to a Premier League season (yeah I haven't got a clue how it is either but here we are Up The Spurs) against South London foes Crystal Palace. Tottenham were the better team for large swathes of the game, pressurising the Palace goal consistently, but lacking an edge that hasn't been present all season to take the lead. After the half-time break, a stroke of luck finally came for the Lilywhites when Harry Kane's header was deflected into the path of young centre back Juan Foyth, who nodded home his first ever Premier League goal. Crystal palace had the best of it late on, with James Tomkins and Alexander Sorloth missing simple chances that would have given the Eagles their first win in seven matches, but it was Tottenham who came away with the win, and me who came away feeling like I had just suffered a major heart attack...

Liverpool 2-0 Fulham: Following their terrifying trip to Belgrade earlier in the week, Liverpool returned to winning ways against a poor Fulham side. The away team were convinced they'd got a shock lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic's header, only for Paul Tierney to disallow the goal. The replay has divided opinion. However, what infuriated Fulham the most was that Mohammed Salah had the ball in the net for Liverpool just 15 seconds later. Slavisa Jokanovic accused the officials of 'disrespect' afterwards. Xherdan Shaqiri, who didn't feature midweek due to political fears, doubled the home sides lead early in the second half. The result means Liverpool remain unbeaten in second place, still keeping the pressure on Man City who are two points ahead. At the complete opposite end of the table though, Fulham remain rooted to the bottom. They have conceded a staggering 31 goals already this season, and more clouds seem to be gathering over the reign of Jokanovic. Next up for them after the International break is a home tie with Southampton, a game where three points could be absolutely huge. Liverpool face a tricky away match with Watford.

Chelsea 0-0 Everton: This was an extremely scrappy draw, neither side showing prowess in attack. Marcos Alonso came closest to breaking the deadlock with a sweetly struck cross goal volley that moved faster than his out of control BMW, which England keeper Jordan Pickford was more than equal to. Aside from this and a minor brawl in the first half, this game had very little to shout about, and as such Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said that Chelsea need to "change their approach" to games after a run of games in which their early season flair has vanished.

Arsenal 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: The Emirates Stadium seems to be beaming with positivity at the moment, with the new reign of Unai Emery really pleasing most fans. However, fans certainly won't have been impressed with the opening twenty or so minutes on Sunday. Ivan Cavaleiro gave Wolves the lead after thirteen minutes, as the away side capitalised on Granit Xhaka's total mix-up. The visitors had plenty more good chances throughout the game, and it really was surprising how they didn't manage to score more. Arsenal's perseverance did eventually get them an equaliser through Henrikh Mkhitaryan four minutes from time but players, the manager and fans will certainly have gone home with two less points than they expected. Unai Emery has now seen three consecutive draws with Arsenal, with plenty of errors across each of those games for him to ponder. They are fifth, three points adrift of North London rivals Tottenham in the Champions League spot. Nune Espirito Santo's men sit in 11th place, without a win in four games though.

Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United: The first Manchester Derby of the season was everything a neutral could have wanted. City were imperious and United were pedestrian, their goal only coming from the spot after the introduction of Romelu Lukaku when already two down. David Silva put the Champions ahead after just 12 minutes, a lead that was doubled by new member of the 150 goal club Sergio Aguero, who struck past David de Gea with a thumping strike at the near post. The highlight of the match, which was testament to the brilliance of this Manchester City side was Ilkay Gundogan's goal on 86 minutes, which came after a 44 pass passage of play that saw the previously "noisy neighbours" stamp their authority as the supreme force in Manchester. However, the 44-pass move is still only third in the longest sequence of play leading to a goal, with the mighty Spurs top of that tree after a 48-pass goal against QPR in 2014. One for the cabinet that...

 

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