01 Oct Jason Pettigrove’s Top 5 ‘Make it Count’ Premier League moments
Hammers blowing bubbles after win over United
Though all of the pre and post-match narrative centred on Jose Mourinho’s toxic relationship with Paul Pogba, it really should’ve concentrated on the turnaround at West Ham.
After four games with no points, the Hammers looked dead and buried, but an away victory at Everton, where they always struggle, a well-deserved draw against Chelsea, who until that stage hadn’t dropped a point, and a win over Man Utd has seen the mood completely change at the London Stadium.
An 8-0 Carabao Cup win in midweek against Macclesfield was also their biggest since the 10-0 trouncing of Bury in 1983 in the same competition.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were better in all facets of the game than their expensively assembled opponents, with veteran, Pablo Zabaleta, arguably one of the best players on the pitch and certainly overshadowing the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Pogba et al.
Within their next seven games in all competitions, West Ham face Brighton, Leicester, Burnley, Huddersfield and Newcastle, so there’s a real opportunity, with respect to those other teams, for the east Londoners to push themselves up into the European places.
Seventh heaven for Arsenal
The memory of Arsene Wenger has well and truly been banished from the Emirates Stadium.
After a slow start for Unai Emery, his Arsenal team have now won seven in a row in all competitions, the latest being a 2-0 home win over high-flying Watford.
The Spaniard has made major changes at the club in a short space of time, and far from showing reticence towards his practices, the players have taken everything on board – with superb and immediate results.
For a start, Mesut Ozil looks like a totally different player. Though the German will never be the best defender in the team, that he’s getting back and helping at all is a sea change from how he performed in the last months of Wenger’s tenure.
Alexandre Lacazette is fit and firing, and his partnership with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been one of the joys of the early part of the season for the Gunners.
With barely a weak link to speak of, this could end up being a great season for the north Londoners… and not before time.
Sturridge lights up the Bridge
Eden Hazard just can’t stop scoring against Liverpool and, after a world-class strike in the week during the Carabao Cup tie at Anfield, he dispatched the opener at Stamford Bridge with aplomb.
It looked to have earned Chelsea all three points and ended Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season, but Daniel Sturridge, against his old club, had something to say about that.
With just three minutes left of the 90, Sturridge received the ball outside of the Chelsea area and there appeared to be little danger.
However, he bought himself a yard of space and then unleashed a dipping, curling shot that beat Kepa all ends up.
It was an astonishing strike and a game saver. No wonder Jurgen Klopp and the team were dancing in the dressing room afterwards.
From being the forgotten man, Sturridge is now playing his way back into contention, and that can only be good news for player and club.
Sigurdsson helps Everton back to winning ways
Although he missed a penalty against Fulham, Everton’s Gylffi Sigurdsson was still the main man for the Toffees as they got back to winning ways against the Londoners.
A super second-half show by the Toffees put paid to any aspirations Fulham had of taking a point or more back to Craven Cottage.
Sigurdsson’s first on 56 was worth the price of admission alone, curling a shot around the outside of a number of defenders and into the far corner beyond the keeper’s reach.
It forced Fulham to push forward more than they perhaps would’ve liked, and it wasn’t long before Cenk Tosun added his first of the season for the club to take the game out of the visitors’ reach.
The game drifted for the final 25 minutes before Sigurdsson grabbed his second and put the seal on a fine victory.
Kane goes 5th on Spurs’ all-time goal scorers list
Say what you like about Harry Kane, but fifth on the all-time scorers’ list at Tottenham is a magnificent feat in itself. The striker won’t be happy until he tops it mind.
His two goals in the space of nine first-half minutes knocked the stuffing out of a sprightly Huddersfield side who had more possession than the visitors, played more passes and had only one less shot on target.
No wonder David Wagner wasn’t too critical of his men, who now prop up the table.
Spurs have quietly moved into fourth, in a clutch of four London clubs that are separated by just four points.
Mauricio Pochettino will be delighted that his side has managed to stay under the radar as they build up a head of steam with Kane at the forefront.
His goal scoring prowess is good news for England too, with another Nations League break just around the corner.