Manuel Lanzini wondergoal stuns London
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur side was heading to this London Derby buoyant after thrashing giants Manchester United 6-1. And they started this game no differently, scoring three quick-fire goals in the first half, Heung min Son and Harry Kane combining brilliantly. And Jose still had a 'joker' on the bench - the maverick superstar Gareth Bale. But as luck would have it, after Bale came on in the second half, West Ham stunned them, scoring three goals towards the end to level the game. The last goal of the game will be forever remembered by whoever watched it live, such was the sheer brilliance of the hit by Manuel Lanzini. He celebrated the wondergoal by taking his shirt off and jumping in joy with his teammates. His boss David Moyes was found doing the same near the touchline, the joy on his face unparalleled.
Peter Drury, the commentator in the game, and arguably the greatest in his field, summed up this London Derby with his magical words:
"Never pre-judge a football match. Never think you know. Never think it’s over. Never write a script before it’s written for you.
"This was meant to be Bale’s game. It was Kane’s game. It was Son’s game. It was Tottenham’s game. Rip all of that up. It’s Lanzini’s game."
Juan Mata of Old
Manchester United have had a terrible start to the season and was heading into their match against Newcastle United on the back of the aforementioned drubbing by Spurs. Confidence was ground bottom, with no silver lining in sight. To make things worse, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was feeling the heat, with rumours linking him with the sack before Christmas.
The Norwegian took a risk with his starting line up, bringing back underperforming Daniel James and Juan Mata, and linking up Scott McTominay and Fred in midfield. The game started terribly for the Reds, with Luke Shaw conceding an own goal early on, increasing pressure on him in the face of competition from Portuguese recruit Alex Telles.
But Juan Mata, who had enthralled audiences while plying his trade for Chelsea, was in the mood to make this match his own. He ran the show from the midfield, pulling the strings along with Bruno Fernandes. These two magicians were all over the pitch as United scored four to drown the Magpies at St. James Park.
If Solskjaer is to claim a strong challenge for the league this season, the Mata of Old will come in very handy, who looks refreshed and raring to go after rejecting lucrative offers from Turkey and Saudi Arabia to continue at Old Trafford. No wonder he is a fan favourite of the Red Devils faithful.
Can Liverpool keep a clean sheet without Virgil van Dijk?
This is the million-dollar question in everyone’s lips after their talismanic defender Virgil van Dijk suffered a terrible knee injury after a ridiculous tackle by England and Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside Derby.
The match ended 2 -2, but Jurgen Klopp will be massively concerned of his backline in the long run, more so with them kicking off their Champions League campaign against a tough-to-beat Ajax Amsterdam side.
Goalkeeper Alisson is out for a month with a shoulder injury, Trent Alexander-Arnold is yet to re-discover the form that made him one of Europe’s top right-backs last season, and with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip expected to link up at the heart of the defence, oppositions teams will be very confident of ensuring they don’t leave the pitch without scoring past no.2 goalkeeper Adrian.
If Klopp and Liverpool don’t sort out their backline soon enough, it has the potential to derail their entire 2020-21 campaign, across all competitions.
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