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Both Manchester clubs take losses, Chelsea beats Southampton and Arsenal win at home: EPL Gameweek 8 roundup | Premier League 2019-20

Nnanna
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:41 IST

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League
Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League

Gameweek 8 ended in stunning fashion as fans had to watch their big teams lose to 'lower quality' clubs. Stadiums went silent suddenly as away teams stunned thousands at home and Liverpool now sit eight strong points far from second place.

Southampton-Chelsea clash saw five goals, but not in the Saints' favour

It's looking like Frank Lampard's magic is beginning to work, even without the services of Chelsea's Player of the Year Eden Hazard. The St. Mary's Stadium was stunned into silence - if you exclude the overjoyed away fans in blue - as Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount scored two goals within eight minutes of each other.

Tammy scored an incisive chip that Yoshida cleared off the line, but goal-line technology ruled in Chelsea's favour. Mount's goal, minutes later, was thanks to lazy passing within Southampton's ranks that allowed Chelsea to pick up the ball suddenly and drive into the final third. Willian played a pass through an unresponsive Southampton defence to Mount, who sent a composed shot beyond the keeper's reach into the net.

Danny Ings pulled one back 30 minutes into the game, and it looked to the Saints' fans as though a comeback had just begun. However, hopes were dashed ten minutes later as N'Golo Kante scored a long shot thanks to a deflection that left Angus Gunn too stunned to dive.

In the second half, Southampton struggled to find channels through Chelsea's defence, and even when they did, they were unable to put the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the back of the net. Chelsea substitutes, Christian Pulisic and Michy Batshuayi, rounded off Chelsea's rout with a defence-splitting pass from Pulisic and a goal through the keeper's legs from Batshuayi.

The game saw Chelsea pick their second win in a row, as they now sit in 5th position. For Southampton, on the other hand, this will be the third loss in a row as they teeter towards the relegation cliff in 17th place.

Manchester City takes their second loss of the season

At the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City had the chance to keep Liverpool's lead at an easy-to-reach five-point gap, but they were unable to conquer Wolverhampton Wanderers. Two goals by Adama Traore were enough to see off the hosts who had maintained much pressure throughout the game.

Wolves will certainly be proud of their defensive work which forced City to take some of their opportunities from long range, but they will be even prouder of their counter-attacking quality. Both goals came after the 79th minute when the Cityzens had driven most of their men forward in a bid to hound Wolves' final third in search for a goal. City will rue their high defence line that made it easy for Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore to fashion the chances that led to the goals.

The first goal saw Jimenez surge in towards the final third from the half-way line, dribbling Nicolas Otamendi along the way. He sighted Traore running parallel to him and laid on the pass for Traore to place the ball into the net. The second goal was another pass from Jimenez to Traore at the half-way line. Traore drove solo into the final third, got one-on-one with the keeper, and placed another shot beyond Ederson and into the goal.

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Wolves have picked their second win in a row at Manchester City's expense, and they now sit in 11th place, just above Manchester United.

Arsenal pick up three points, thanks to David Luiz

In North London, Arsenal managed to put aside their defensive woes and hold on to their winning position against Bournemouth, thanks to an early goal. The Gunners now sit proudly in third place, one point behind the Cityzens. While fans hoped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would continue his top form in front of goal, especially against a lesser team, but it was not to be. However, the reward of three points and a place in the top three will be good enough for the Gunners.

Nine minutes in, a corner from Nicolas Pepe led to the lone goal of the game. The ball met David Luiz's head just outside the six-yard box, and the former Chelsea man put the ball into the far post, beyond the reach of Aaron Ramsdale, and opened the scoring in Arsenal's behalf.

Bournemouth found their rhythm in the second half, pressuring the Arsenal backline for reasonable periods, but it did not yield any rewards. Luiz's goal proved to be enough for the Gunners to take their win, as well as a good run of five games without defeat.

While Arsenal sit in third, Bournemouth remain in the mid-table, now in 10th place. Before their loss at the Emirates, they had gone three games without a loss, and could perhaps go back to winning ways soon.

Newcastle United beat another 'big' team this season

The final match of the Gameweek took place at St. James Park, where Newcastle held off Manchester United and scored a single goal to take all three points.

The Red Devils, to be honest, held nearly all the cards. They sourced out chance after chance, looking for a way past Newcastle's five-man defence line, but they were unlucky. It was a game that brought back memories of Tottenham's loss in Newcastle's hands some weeks back. The Magpies defended deep, keeping numbers back, and biding their time in search for counter-attacking opportunities.

Their moment came 72 minutes in, just after they defended a corner. Dashing forward in numbers, the ball got to Jethro Willems who drove into the final third, cut back to free himself from two defenders, and laid it on for Matthew Longstaff. The midfielder powered a one-time shot past David de Gea and into the back of the net to seal United's fate. The Red Devils sought an equalizer in those dying minutes, but to no avail. They remained unable to get past Newcastle's defence, and they've picked up another away loss.

The Magpies are now out of the relegation stronghold, and their fans will remain hopeful that that isn't just temporary. Manchester United, meanwhile, remain in midfield obscurity, unable to find their way into the echelons of the English Premier League.

Published 07 Oct 2019, 06:51 IST
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