Liverpool stung by the Hornets
So, the unbeaten run is finally over for Liverpool. Invincibles they shall not be.
Nor did they deserve to be on this showing.
Jurgen Klopp’s side weren’t at the races and Watford, scrapping for their lives at the foot of the table, fully justified their three points.
Two goals in six second half minutes from Ismaila Sarr did the damage, with Troy Deeney adding a third on 72.
The way in which Nigel Pearson had his side drilled against the European champions and Premier League winners-elect was a joy to watch.
Defending in numbers, the double threat of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold was completely neutralised.
And with no supply line, the front men were non-existent as an attacking entity.
In truth, this defeat has been coming for a while for Liverpool, but now the monkey is off of their back, they can get back to winning the four games they need to be absolutely assured of the title.
Alonso at the double!
When Frank Lampard analyses this match, not only will he be thankful for his left-back turning up in the right place at the right time – twice – but he’ll rue the chance conversion of his team.
The Blues had 23 shots in total against Bournemouth, but just six were on target. That’s only one more than the Cherries managed from a measly total of nine.
With three quarters of the possession and more than double the passes of Eddie Howe’s side, who are normally no slouches themselves in that department, the west Londoners really needed to do better.
Particularly when you consider that a win would’ve brought them to within three points of Leicester in third place.
Marcos Alonso was their hero with the opener and then a late equaliser, with Jefferson Lerma and Josh King replying for the hosts.
First win in nine for the Hammers
When David Moyes returned to the West Ham hot-seat, he famously said in his opening press conference that “winning is what I do.”
After going eight games without a victory, those sentiments were beginning to look a little hollow, so the win against Southampton was long overdue.
The hosts were good value for it too.
Although Michael Obafemi equalised Jarrod Bowen’s 15th minute opener on the half-hour, the Hammers always looked comfortable.
Sebastien Haller’s persistence paid off as he slid in a second just before half-time, and another hard-working performance from Michail Antonio was capped with West Ham’s third goal.
Haller looked much more threatening with Bowen alongside, and maybe playing two up front instead of one will give Moyes food for thought as we hurtle into the business end of the campaign.
The Canaries take flight against the Foxes
In another surprise result this weekend, rock-bottom Norwich City put a dent in Leicester’s Champions League aspirations with a slender 1-0 victory.
Although there’s still a five-point gap between the Foxes and nearest pursuers, Chelsea, that can be bridged in the coming games if Brendan Rodgers’ side can’t put a decent winning run together.
Norwich are still six points from safety after Watford’s heroics and West Ham’s win, but Daniel Farke’s side are playing well enough to claw back the points.
Whether they’ve enough time to mount a late-season escape is anybody’s guess at this point, but at least the manager clearly still has all of his players with him and believing that it is possible.
Jamal Lewis’ 70th-minute winner was exquisite, as he cut across the ball to put enough bend on it from outside the box that it was completely out of Kasper Schmeichel’s reach.
Bruno banishes De Gea’s blushes
After only three minutes of this Everton v Man Utd clash, David De Gea had gifted the hosts the lead in ridiculous circumstances.
Dilly-dallying with the ball in his own area, as he attempted his clearance, Dominic Calvert-Lewin managed to kung-fu kick his way onto the ball’s trajectory and sent it straight into the net.
The Spaniard gave a rueful smile, but it’s the latest in a long line of errors and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must seriously think about replacing him as No.1 keeper now.
Fortunately for De Gea, Bruno Fernandes gave another excellent account of himself, smashing home a 25-yard equaliser just after the half hour.
Though that was the extent of the scoring, the game remained lively and it could’ve gone either way.
As it is, the draw doesn’t help United as they push hard to try and finish in third or fourth place.