2021/22 Premier League Review: Matchday 12
Ah, Newcastle. What could have been a clean sweep of wins for the Premier League’s three new managers, a COVID-ridden Eddie Howe led the Geordies to just a single point. This was a weekend that saw Norwich secure back-to-back wins. Norwich! Perhaps if a certain Dominick Solanke and Jordan Ibe were part of the Newcastle squad, Howe would have been able to take part in a historic weekend.
Failed to catch the action from the Premier League last weekend? No worries. Peep our preview of Premier League Predictions: Matchday 12.
Unconvinced by Pintsized’s mystical predicting powers? Take a look at our prediction success last week detailed in Premier League Statistics: Match Day 12.
Match of the Week
Burnley 3-3 Crystal Palace. Accumulating thirty-six goals, Matchday 12 was a freakish bonanza. It was a true pick-em for which match featured in the top spot this week. Wolves forcing Ole’s sacking, Liverpool humbling a rising Arsenal, Norwich climbing off the bottom of the table, and Newcastle/Brentford both falling on their swords. I have opted for Burnley and Palace’s six-goal thriller for the astounding fact that the Clarets managed to bag three. Brace yourselves for the next stat. Christian Benteke stuck two past Nick Pope. Vieira is the chosen one.
Player of the Week
Grant Hanley (1 Goal, 3 Clearances, 4 Blocked Shots, 2 Interceptions, 3 Tackles, 2 Dribbled Past, 4/6 Ground Duels, 3/3 Aerial Duels). Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In a season that looked dead and buried for the Canaries before Christmas, Grant Hanley played a vital role in picking Norwich off the bottom of the table. After allowing Che Adams to score a soft goal, the Scottish lump switched into terminator mode. A Ronaldo-esque leap to bang in the winner is a sure-fire way to win my heart.
Rodri (1 Goal, 110/117 Passes, 1 Key Pass, 7/10 Long Balls, 1/1 Dribbles, 3/3 Aerial Duels, 1 Clearance). Everton may lack any sort of bite without Dom Calvert-Lewin upfront, yet Rodri’s performance embarrassed the Scouse outfit. Keeping the City attack ticking in the middle of the park, Rodri’s vision is undeniably elite. Add on a 25yd rocket rifled into the top bins and it’s understandable why the Citizens still believe they can sweep the PL and CL.
Match To Forget
Wolves 2-1 West Ham. A very solid match that unfortunately occurred during a freak circus show of a week. The Hammers were never able to cleanly threaten Jose Sa, while Wolves continued in the typical fashion of creating regular chances but failing to capitalise. A Jiminez goal earned a well-deserved three points in a critical match, but the action won’t be noted in the history books.
Performance to Forget
Karl Darlow (1 Save, 1 Error Led to Goal). Eddie Howe has every right to stick Darlow in the reserves until New Year after his performance against Brentford. Ivan Toney may have Brentford’s first goal with immense power, but Darlow offered no resistance. Flapping at Rico Henry’s header was comically amateur as well, managing to contort himself as small as possible. Brentford’s third, to be fair, was a deflected mess that no one could have stopped – but the damage was already done.
Harry Maguire (1 Red Card, 4 Clearances, 1 Interception, 1 Tackle, 6 Times Possession Lost, 2 Fouls). A mixed bag from United and England’s main slab head. After silencing the critics with his celebrations against Albania and San Marino, it was always to be expected that he would be mercilessly tore apart if he failed to perform against Watford. The Sheffield man didn’t play horrendously, he has certainly notched worse stat lines before. A ridiculous second yellow and his reaction, throwing the captain’s armband away, was a stinker. A masterclass in how to lose any remaining fan support. I will say though, the abuse that Maguire has received the past couple of weeks is incredibly toxic. Betting agencies, football meme pages, notable fan accounts – all vying to lambast the man they backed through the World Cup and Euros.
Ryan (Man City 3-0 Everton). Bang on the money from the big lad.
Predictor of the Week
Ryan (7/10 Results, 2/10 Scores). Like a majestic phoenix, Ryan has started his run to the top.
Dunce of the Week
Pintsized (5/10 Results). Not a terrible week, and scored an extra result over Steviano, but Pint’s lack of scores let him down.
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