Premier League: Non-scoring Burnley double their lead! And it makes for grim viewing for Roy Hodgson: in a desperately crowded box, Jay Rodriguez meets an inswinging corner to head home from close range. As simple as it gets. Dyche’s goal-dodgers hadn’t scored twice away from home since September – they’ve scored two in the first 10 minutes today. More please!
Championship: Watford lead Bristol City via a very flukey own-goal, Taylor Moore the unlucky man.
And in the Bundesliga, That Man Jadon Sancho has scored for Dortmund, who are currently being held 1-1 by Hoffenheim and languishing down in lowly sixth.
Premier League: Non-scoring Burnley take the lead! Erik Pieters swings in a cross from deep, and when it’s only half-cleared Johann Gudmunsson picks up a half-cleared corss, swivels and curls a beauty inside the far post. Poor defending but a lovely finish. One-nil Burnley.
Atletico Madrid have beaten Granada 2-1, Angel Correa with the winner 15 minutes from time to send his side eight points clear at La Liga’s summit.
David Wall writes: “Alisson seems to have suffered a David de Gea-sized plummet in form in the past few games, going from almost unbeatable to a liability. When do you think the same questions start being asked about him as have been asked about De Gea so often over the last couple of years?”
A fair question? I’d say a two-game clownish streak (as his team implodes around him) after two years of near-flawless brilliance is very much a blip that can be written off as ‘one of those’. But let’s see where we stand in a week’s time…
So how about Liverpool, eh? I can’t remember a worse run from a proven great since Steven Spielberg made Indiana Jones 4, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse one after the other. He of course turned it around the following year, directing the Oscar-winning Lincoln and reminding the world of his genius. Can Jürgen Klopp do the same? Does this tenuous metaphor even work? All feedback welcome. In the meantime, here’s your match report:
Simon McMahon writes in to keep us on top of the situation in Scotland “Afternoon Alex. Four games go ahead in the Scottish Premier today, including at Tannadice where Micky Mellon’s Dundee United will be looking to build on last week’s much needed three points at Ross County by beating high-flying Livingston. A win could see United move back into the top six, depending on how St. Mirren do at Aberdeen. Stevie G’s champions elect welcome Kilmarnock to Ibrox, and there’s a Lanarkshire derby as Hamilton visit Motherwell. Only one game survives the weather in the Scottish Championship, but it should be a cracker as Alloa, in bottom place, host second bottom Arbroath.”
In Spain, Atletico Madrid were leading against Granada but have just conceded – 1-1. A draw would leave Diego Simeone’s leaders six points above second-place Real Madrid having played a game more. But there’s still 20 minutes left…
Little to get excited about in the Championship’s early kickoff, where Bournemouth are grinding out a goalless draw at “Notts Forest”, in the Keegan parlance (happy birthday for tomorrow, Kev). Meanwhile, the absurdity continues at the King Power: it’s 3-1 Leicester, and that’s the final, miserable embers of Liverpool’s title defence comprehensively extinguished by King Brendan.
Some VAR fun at Leicester, where
the hosts have flipped the game on it’s head – 2-1, and Alisson Becker has performed comedics and heroics in the space of a minute. More from Scott Murray here:
Team news from Selhurst Park, where Roy Hodgson has come out with all guns blazing – three non-scoring strikers up front.
Crystal Palace: Guaita; Clyne, Kouyate, Dann, Van Aanholt; Ayew, Milivojevic, Riedewald, Eze, Batshuayi, Benteke. Subs: Butland, Ward, Cahill, Kelly, Mitchell, Townsend, Mateta.
Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; McNeil, Westwood, Cork, Gudmundsson; Rodriguez, Barnes. Peacock-Farrell, Long, Glennon, Dunne, Bardsley, Brownhill, Stephens, Mumbongo, Brady.
We’ve had a goal in the east Midlands – scored by Mo Salah and set up in frankly indecent style by Roberto Firmino. Read all about it here:
Could this be the year the magic runs out for Sean Dyche’s gravity-defiers? The manager with a taste for lookylikeys will have noticed that this season is starting to appear worryingly different to the four that came before. For a start his team – never the division’s most free-scoring unit – have forgotten where the goal is: one goal is four matches does not augur well for a side hovering precariously above the relegation places. On top of it all, Dyche has a new boss to impress – a Wall Street maverick whose early dealings have an ominous feel. And we all know how things ended for Gordon Gekko.
Speaking of forgetting where the goal is, their opponents today will be the team of Christian Benteke, Michy Batshuayi and Jonathan Ayew. And before that, Alexander Sorloth, Cenk Tosun, Loic Remy, Connor Wickham, Emmanuel Adebayor, Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh. Is Selhurst Park built on some sort of ancient centre-forwards’ burial ground? Very possibly.
But as determinedly goal-shy as their strikers may be, Palace are not without attacking threat, namely Eberechi Eze and Wilfried Zaha, two of the (if not the two) most exciting players in the Premier League. The latter is injured today, meaning Eze – one of the outright players of the season so far – will need to step up once more. Burnley meanwhile are, true to form, surviving on the doggedness of their defence – the second-best in the bottom half. This meeting in south London isn’t exactly an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, but it’s certainly a force meeting an object. Stay tuned!
Plus we’ll keep you updated with all seven games in the Championship, where promotion-chasing Norwich host promotion-adjacent Stoke, as well events in Leicester, Germany, team news from Manchester and plenty more.