Footy Focus - November 11

Chelsea sure look like the team to beat!

The Blues are one of just three teams in the five major European leagues (England, France, Italy, Spain and Germany) to still be unbeaten in league competition! Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich are the others. In 11 games, Chelsea have won 9 and drawn 2.

The most recent was Liverpool at Anfield early Sunday morning. Liverpool had a narrow loss to Real Madrid midweek where they rested the likes of Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling. It started well for the Reds with Emre Can scoring off a massive deflection off Gary Cahill. Chelsea equalised five minutes later as Cahill put in a scrambled ball which Simon Mignolet could not quite keep from crossing the line, Goal Line Technology confirming the goal.

Liverpool dominated possession but had trouble creating chances against a superbly rehearsed Chelsea defence. Jose Mourinho reckons Nemanja Matic is as good as anyone. Just when a draw started to seem a real possibility, Diego Costa slammed home a loose ball in the second half. His tussle with Martin Skrtel was a lot of fun all game as they tussled and argued and battled away. Costa got the final laugh as his goal proved to be the winner. He did have to swap shirts though, after Skrtel got a handful and ripped it as Costa went for a bicycle kick!

It was already a good week for Chelsea and it got better when Arsenal lost 2-1 to Swansea and Manchester City only drew 2-2 with QPR. Arsenal were 1-0 up with 20 minutes left, thanks to Danny Welbeck cutting inside on the counter and laying the ball off to Alexis Sanchez for the Chilean’s eighth goal in ten Premier League games. But Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a wonderful free kick to equalise and then Bafétimbi Gomis headed in a winning goal a few minutes later.

City, meanwhile, had to equalise twice – both through the brilliant Sergio Aguero – after Charlie Austin scored first and Martin Demichelis had an own goal.

Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 1-0. Juan Mata came off the bench to score just as it looked like they might fail to score after dominating in a game they really needed to win. It could well have been different if childhood United fan Frazier Campbell had been able to score after some defensive miscommunication. United climb to seventh at the international break.

Southampton are still second. Shane Long scored twice as a substitute to see off Leicester City, while West Ham couldn’t find the back of the net in Andy Carroll’s return against Aston Villa. They had the chances, though. That one ended 0-0, keeping the Hammers in fourth.

Burnley are still dead last, but at least they have a win now. Ashley Barnes scored the only goal in a 1-0 home victory over Hull City. Newcastle had been down in the drop zone for a while but after beating West Brom 2-0, they’re now up to eighth with four wins on the trot. An incredible turnaround! Sunderland managed to earn a point at home to Everton, Seb Larsson scoring midway through the second half before a Leighton Baines penalty levelled. And Tottenham could not salvage anything against Stoke, despite a powerful Nacer Chadli volley pulling it back to 2-1, which is how it finished.