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El tormenta Strikes for Conte’s Men
A brilliant second half header from Alvaro Morata was enough for Chelsea to claim all three points against Manchester United on Sunday.
The unmarked Morata rose highest to head home César Azpilicueta’s brilliant cross which condemned Jose Mourinho to his third loss in three visits to Stamford Bridge since taking charge of the Red Devils.
A lot of talk before the game was focusing on the relationship between Conte and Mourinho after a war of words erupted throughout the week surrounding the sale of Nemanja Matic and Conte’s behaviour in this fixture last season.
Mourinho slated Conte for his behaviour with the crowd as he watched his side slump to a 4-0 hammering at the hands of an Eden Hazard inspired performance last season.
Mourinho took a dig at Conte claiming he is constantly bemoaning injuries that saw Morata and Kante miss an extended period. However, his per-game mind games had no real affect, as Fabregas, Hazard and Kante put in a superb, controlled performance to move to within a point of their Manchester rivals.
Chelsea dominated the opening exchanges and were unlucky not to go ahead as Phil Jones diverted the ball into his own net. The referee, Anthony Taylor, adjudged that Morata had pushed Jones which led to goal.
Replays later showed that there was minimal contact and that the goal should have stood. Once again, Romelu Lukaku had a poor day in front of goal.
The big Belgian, who hasn’t scored in the league since September, was heavily criticised after the game for his poor hold up play and his inability to contribute in the big games. The back three of Azpilicueta, Christensen and Cahill had the former Everton man well under control.
This win gives Conte and his Chelsea players a massive boast as a couple of indifferent performances of late has led to many questioning whether Conte has full control over his dressing room.
City still have a Pep in their step!
Kevin de Bruyne was the star of the show as Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
The magic Belgian scored a wonderful goal to open the scoring for Pep Guardiola’s side. Further goals from Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus really showed the gulf in class between the two sides.
Alexandre Lacazette’s clever finish had brought Arsenal back into the game but David Silva’s decisive pass gave Jesus the simplest of finishes to seal the game and the three points. Arsene Wenger’s post-match press conference was classic Wenger.
Bemoaning the penalty that City were awarded when Nacho Monreal clearly brought down Raheem Sterling. Wenger went as far as to call Sterling a “diver” which was out of line and his comments have been condemned by many pundits.
It was a typical Arsenal performance away to one of the top teams in England. No steel in midfield with Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin often bypassed by the skill and the range of passing from Silva, Fernandinho and de Bruyne.
Bizarrely, Wenger decided to leave his record signing, Lacazette, on the bench. The prolific Frenchman was brought at 2-0 and made an immediate impact. It seems to be the same old Arsenal that we have all got so used to watching.
Moyes is back in business!
On Monday morning, the West Ham board of directors decided to relieve Slaven Bilic of his managerial duties.
The Hammers have had a poor season thus far as they are languishing in 18th positon and have only won once in the last five games.
It seems certain that former Manchester United and Everton boss, David Moyes, is set to take charge of the Hammers. If this is the case, it is a questionable appointment.
Moyes, who has had a fairly disastrous time since leaving Everton, seems like a boring decision. The board has a chance to headhunt someone from another club such as Sean Dyche, but they decided to hire a man who has failed in his last three jobs.
Time will tell whether this decision will be a correct one. There are a lot of players in that West Ham squad that have been brought in for big money that haven’t performed. Marko Arnautović is the perfect example.
A £20M signing from Stoke has seen the big Austrian put in a string of average performances and a needless red card in the opening couple of weeks.
Moyes’ first and toughest task will be trying to get these players on song and playing with the right attitude.