It was an eventful weekend of Premier League football. Here are the Winners and Losers from Matchweek 18. Bet on football here.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard went into Sunday's London derby against Tottenham under pressure, after a run of four defeats from five Premier League games. At the end of an eventful affair, Lampard and the Blues outfoxed and outplayed his former manager Jose Mourinho. His team earn a deserved three points and a first away clean sheet in the league. The victory saw Lampard’s side move six points ahead of Tottenham in the table. Mourinho has now lost two matches against the so-called big six, but this one was more humiliating considering it was against his former player.
The Saints moved out of the relegation zone with an impressive 3-1 win over Aston Villa away from home. The win sees Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side move up a place to 17th, leapfrogging Villa who drop to 18th after a fourth consecutive defeat. The Saints have been in the bottom three in seven of the last eight weeks. They travel to Chelsea on Boxing Day then host Crystal Palace two days later.
Eleven months after joining Newcastle, 25-year-old Paraguayan forward Miguel Almiron finally scored his first goal for his club after a 1-0 victory over Palace. The win sent the Magpies above the Eagles to ninth in the table. Steve Bruce’s side travel to Manchester United on Boxing Day and they can leapfrog the Red Devils with a win.
Watford picked up their first home Premier League win of the season, defeating Manchester United 2-0 at Vicarage Road. This was also just their second win this season. Since Nigel Pearson's appointment as Watford manager in early December, the Hornets have taken four points from three fixtures. Their only defeat came against runaway leaders Liverpool. The Hornets have a chance to going some ground when they play Sheffield United and Villa in their next two matches.
Goalkeepers in big games
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham stopper Paulo Gazzaniga both made errors that proved costly for their sides on Sunday. De Gea failed to deal with Ismaïla Sarr’s shot which slipped through his fingers leading to Watford opening the scoring. The Spain international has now made six errors leading to goals since the start of the 2018/19 season, which is more than any other player. Gazzaniga also endured an evening to forget during Tottenham's 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea. With Mourinho’s side already 1-0 down, the Argentine came flying out of his goal lunging on Marcos Alonso. The referee initially awarded Spurs a free-kick but VAR awarded the Blues a penalty which eventually sealed the three points for the Lampard’s men.
It was a night to forget for Mourinho as his Spurs side were outplayed and outthought by Lampard. This was Mourinho’s second loss against top-six opposition since being appointed as manager. This was Mourinho’s first home defeat against a team he had previously managed, having won 12 and drawn one of the previous 13 across all competitions. It was a tactical masterclass from Lampard who outfoxed his teacher.
Villa dropped into the relegation zone after suffering a fourth straight defeat at home to Southampton. The hosts were lethargic lacking the penetration and adventure. Lackluster defending was punished by Danny Ings and Shane Long who wreaked havoc throughout the match. Considering the amount of money they spent in the summer, Dean Smith’s side should be doing much more.
Over 2.5 Goals bettors
It was a bad weekend for attackers and a good weekend for defenders in the Premier League this weekend. Of the eight games played this weekend, only three saw three or more goals scored. Manchester City beat Leicester 3-1, Southampton won away at Villa 3-1, while Wolves came from behind to win 2-1 at Norwich City.