Minute 1, Minute 21, Minute 62, Minute 70
Each club’s ninth game has now been played in the Premier League with Chelsea’s 4-0 win against Manchester United bringing the curtain down on the weekend.
A week early, Sky had bored us all rigid with its ‘Red Monday’ pushing of the game between Liverpool and United. That one turned out to be a bore as Jose Mourinho’s tactics stifled the game to a point where there was more fun watching cars crashing all over the Yorkshire Dales in Emmerdale or even seeing David Platt lose the plot over on Coronation Street.
This time it was billed as ‘The Return’ but Mourinho didn’t get the return he would have wanted when he walked back into Stamford Bridge. He saw his team mauled by the home side, literally if you take a close look at the David Luiz challenge, and left him struggling at the end to find any comfort other than to berate the over excitable Chelsea boss Antonio Conte for trying to get the crowd going; my only problem being that they didn’t use a second camera to close in on the Portuguese while he was doing it.
Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen tweeted after the game: “Jose still knows how to get the best out of Chelsea.” My thoughts were on referee Mr Atkinson, as Mourinho likes to call him. He was in charge when Mourinho lost the plot against us in February last year because we had the audacity to take a point. He started pulling out incidents, those he chose to and ignoring those when it suited him, to tell us what the game was all about.
With that in mind, and given he looked very confused at the end yesterday, believing he could tell the Chelsea manager what he could and couldn’t do, I thought I’d help him in collecting his thoughts from the game.
All he needs to know is:
Minute 1: Pedro (1-0)
Minute 21: Cahill (2-0)
Minute 62: Hazard (3-0)
Minute 70: Kanté (4-0)
They play Manchester City this week in the League Cup and then it is our turn. I’m sure he will make us want to pay for what happened yesterday. We may well do, but it won’t take away my delight at watching him suffer yesterday. I’m no fan of Chelsea, but I loved every minute of it.
As for City, they are apparently in a bit of a crisis because they’ve gone a few games without winning. It’s Pep Guardiola’s longest run without a win for years it’s reported. That’s hardly a surprise given he’s previously been at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. I still don’t think the John Stones’ goal should have been ruled out to be honest and that might have seen them go on and win the game. Crisis? They’re top of the league; I wouldn’t mind a crisis like that.
They are above Arsenal and Liverpool on goal difference. Arsenal could only draw against Middlesbrough and the barmy Aitor Karanka while Liverpool recorded another win, this time beating West Brom 2-1.
The two Liverpool clubs have only lost three Premier League games between them so far this season. Everton lost at Bournemouth while both, I seem to recall, have lost at Turf Moor.
Middlesbrough’s point has kept them out of the bottom three on goal difference ahead of Hull who are there with Swansea, another team to draw 0-0, and Sunderland who did what they do best and lost. To be fair, they were a bit unfortunate this time with the goal going in four minutes into stoppage time at West Ham where, for once, there were no reports of it all kicking off among the fans. We know all about that, the late goals that is, not the kicking off.
I have to say I was surprised when I read that we hadn’t moved up a place in the league, despite the win. I think most will be reasonably pleased to have reached the ten points though. It doesn’t mean too much yet; two seasons ago Hull were in the top half after nine games and they went down.
On the subject of Hull, having finally confirmed Micky Phelan as manager last week, they’ve really pushed the boat out this week and given him an assistant. Neil McDonald, former assistant manager under Sam Allardyce at West Ham and last season’s Blackpool boss, has been appointed as assistant head coach.
Game Week Ten Fixtures
Saturday 29th October
Sunderland v Arsenal (kick off 12:30 p.m.)
Manchester United v Burnley
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth
Tottenham v Leicester
Watford v Hull
West Brom v Manchester City
Crystal Palace v Liverpool (kick off 5:30 p.m.)
Sunday 30th October
Everton v West Ham (kick off 1:30 p.m.)
Southampton v Chelsea (kick off 4 p.m.)
Monday 31st October
Stoke v Swansea (kick off 8 p.m.)