Mixed fortunes for the Keane twins
There were certainly contrasting fortunes for Michael and Will Keane over the weekend even though both of their teams won. While Michael celebrated helping Burnley into the top half of the Premier League two days ago, Will’s game for Hull against Southampton yesterday came to an early end with what looks like a very serious knee injury.
Starting this week’s review at the bottom of the league there were wins for two of the sides in the relegation positions but an abject defeat for the other. Sunderland won at Bournemouth while Hull beat Southampton at home, both of them coming from behind despite disasters along the way. Swansea were just simply dreadful as they conceded three goals against Manchester United in the first half of the game.
It was a real against the odds win for Sunderland. Without a win all season, the writing looked to be on the wall when Dan Gosling gave Bournemouth the lead at Dean Court, but for once they fought back and this despite seeing Steven Pienaar sent off. By then they’d equalised through Victor Anichebe and then, with ten men, went on to win it with a Jermain Defoe penalty.
Defoe was once a popular figure at Bournemouth. He joined them on loan 16 years ago from West Ham and scored in each of his first ten league appearances and went on to score 18 in 29 league games for them. The first time he failed to score was in a 1-0 defeat at Millwall when a certain Sean Dyche was part of the side that kept a clean sheet.
A win, and they even had a remote chance of moving off the bottom but that would require Swansea to lose by four clear goals at home against a Manchester United side who are currently firing blanks. Not any longer they’re not; three goals in the first half with two from Zlatan Ibrahimovic who finally ended what for him was a long run without a league goal.
Swansea did pull one back so currently sit above Sunderland with a goal difference that is one better than that of the Wearside club. But there’s nothing to celebrate in South Wales, this Swansea side is rank bad but I’m sure Bob Bradley will have his finger on the pulse. He, like his players, looked lost yesterday.
Meanwhile Hull were winning against the odds. They took a gamble with Robert Snodgrass (pictured), naming him on the bench. Micky Phelan described him as a class act; he’s right and I wonder just how poor Hull would be without him. He came on probably much earlier than they might have wanted. They’d already lost Abel Hernandez to a groin injury within the first ten minutes but when Will Keane went down midway through the half he was forced on.
Charlie Austin had already given Southampton a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot but two goals in two second half minutes just past the hour gave the points to Hull with Snodgrass getting the first of them with a terrific finish.
Phelan reported that the two injuries are serious ones with Keane’s likely to be the worst of the two. I have to say, seeing it on television, it looked as though it could be a cruciate, an injury that he’s already had to fight back from on one previous occasion.
Hull are now just one point behind three other clubs which includes Crystal Palace, beaten at Burnley, and Middlesbrough whose late goal at the Etihad knocked Manchester City off the top of the league.
Incredibly City haven’t won a home game since September when they beat Bournemouth 4-0. They’ve since had three 1-1 draws against Everton and Southampton followed by this most recent one with Boro scoring right at the end.
The weekend had started with City above Arsenal and Liverpool on goal difference with Chelsea just one point behind, but it was Chelsea who took over at the top with a 5-0 win over Everton on Saturday evening.
Arsenal missed the chance to take over yesterday lunchtime with a 1-1 home draw in the North London derby against Spurs but Liverpool certainly didn’t pass up the opportunity, hitting Watford for six at Anfield to take them a point clear of Chelsea.
The league table looks quite encouraging just now with us in ninth place. The last time we were that high was after the superb home start in 2009 before the terminal decline set in. Two seasons ago we never went higher than 17th all season. So, it’s all good right now, but we must forget just how unforgiving this league can be.
We’ll certainly be there for the next ten days with yet another break for the internationals ahead of us, and when we do come back we’ll be last on at West Brom on the Monday night.
If you take a look at Goalscorers-Discipline-Attendances within Season Stats on the top menu you will find a list of the Premier League’s leading goalscorers and each club’s red and yellow card counts and average attendance.
Finally, an interesting take on the fortunes of two Premier League managers over the past two seasons. Taking in all games since the start of the 2015/16 season, Francesco Guidolin, during his time at Swansea, recorded 1.26 points per game. It got him the sack. Jose Mourinho, with Chelsea and Manchester United, has a record of 1.15 points per game. He’s still in work, and comes up against his old adversary Arsène Wenger next time out.
Game Week 12 Fixtures
Saturday 19th November
Manchester United v Arsenal (kick off 12:30 p.m. – live on Sky)
Crystal Palace v Manchester City
Everton v Swansea
Southampton v Liverpool
Stoke v Bournemouth
Sunderland v Hull
Watford v Leicester
Tottenham v West Ham (5:30 p.m. kick off – live on BT)
Sunday 20th November
Middlesbrough v Chelsea (4 p.m. kick off – live on Sky)
Monday 21st November
West Brom v Burnley (8 p.m. kick off – live on Sky)