In six of the ten Premier League matches played this weekend each had an odds-on favourite with the bookmakers….and all won.
So it was a triumphant weekend for the humble punter and a brilliant one for the big boys of English football, with Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and both Manchester clubs winning. Suddenly the pressure on Arsenal, who host West Brom on Monday evening, to get a result is mounting.
For every set of winners there is an equal number of losers, of course, so here’s the view from both sides of the fence after another action-packed Premier League weekend.
Winner: Harry Kane
The stats suggest that Harry Kane endures something of a nightmare in front of goal in August, and so when his alarm clock flickers over to the ‘9’ in the month section he becomes like a man reborn.
The England frontman has blasted eight goals in just six games for club and country in September after failing to net in three during August.
The latest recipients of Kane’s autumnal burst were West Ham, who provided turgid resistance to Spurs in Saturday’s lunchtime kick off. But they were no match for Tottenham’s number nine, who bagged a crucial brace that kept his side marching on ahead of another Champions League gameweek.
Winner: Burnley’s Caterers
On the face of it, Burnley vs Huddersfield didn’t appear to be the most exciting fixture in Premier League history, and so it proved in an insipid first half that witnessed zero shots on target and left even the most-hardened of football fan questioning their love of the beautiful game. The queues for the beer and hot food stands at Turf Moor would have been lengthy at half time.
The second half was fractionally better with both teams creating half chances, but this one had 0-0 written all over it almost from the first whistle.
Loser: Eddie Howe
After being touted as the next manager of England and Arsenal at various points during the past couple of years, it is his present employment that Eddie Howe will be most concerned about.
Bournemouth perhaps deserved more from their 1-2 defeat at Everton, and no doubt would have got it had Jermain Defoe not shot straight at Jordan Pickford when his side were 1-0 up.
But the numbers speak volumes for the Cherries, with just three points taken from a possible eighteen. They are conceding at nearly two goals per game and have created fewer goalscoring chances than any other side in the Premier League bar Swansea, and that’s not a healthy recipe.
Loser: Crystal Palace’s Fans
Four goals in 1080 minutes….that’s all Crystal Palace have managed in the Premier League dating back to last season, and that for maths fans everywhere is just one every 270 minutes.
That’s the kind of run that makes football fans turn their backs on their team, unfortunately, and so Roy Hodgson must find a winning formula….and fast.
Palace’s performances have improved since the former England manager took charge, but they still haven’t put the ball in the net in the league since May. And with Christian Benteke suffering knee ligament damage against Manchester City on Saturday, Hodgson’s task is not made any easier.
Winner: Alvaro Morata
Antonio Conte came out this week and said that Alvaro Morata is the kind of young man ‘you’d like your daughter to marry’, and the Italian might even have been tempted to walk his young striker down the aisle himself after a fantastic hat-trick at Stoke on Saturday.
Morata took his Premier League tally to six in six in the Potteries, and once again it was his clever movement off the ball that created the space through which he and his colleagues could prosper.
In a week when it was confirmed Diego Costa would finally be leaving the club to join Atletico Madrid, Conte can take great heart from the performances of his replacement.
Winner: Marco Silva
When your team loses 0-6, you never quite know how they are going to react next time out.
So massive credit must go to Marco Silva, who managed to cajole his troops into delivering an excellent performance to claim all three points at Swansea on Saturday.
Even more pleasing for Silva must have been the fact that both goals were scored by two of his summer signings, Andre Gray and Richarlison, and it’s a result which takes the Hornets back into the top six of the Premier League table.