Crystal drop

Premier League | Saturday, October 30, 2021

Manchester City were the subject of the biggest surprise of the afternoon, when Crystal Palace claimed a 2-0 victory at the Etihad. Wilfired Zaha became the first Eagles player to reach 50 Premier League goals just five minutes into the game. Aymeric Laporte was sent off in the first half timeout, leaving City with everything to do.

He nearly doubled his total when a second-half goal was scored for offside. City were next to wave the flag from the linesman, when Gabriel Jesus appeared to have equalized. Phil Foden provided the assist but was ruled offside in preparation. Chelsea player Conor Gallagher added a second late, to cap off a magnificent display from former City midfielder Patrick Vieira’s men.

On another day Brighton & Hove Albion managing to keep Liverpool to a 2-2 draw would have been the remarkable result. It felt like a straightforward afternoon of work for Liverpool when Jordan Henderson advanced them in four minutes. When Sadio Mane scored the follow-up twenty minutes later, the mood suggested a rout was imminent.

Graham Potter’s men bravely retaliated, Enock Mwepu handed them a lifeline just before half-time. Former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana then teamed up with Leandro Trossard to draw the level on the away side. This well-earned point will certainly bolster Brighton’s claim to be the surprise package this season.

Graham Potter, Director of Brighton

The unlikely meeting of two of the richest clubs in the world underlined the long road ahead for Newcastle United. Chelsea lost 3-0, but were less comfortable than the score suggests.

Thomas Tuchel’s courageous selection lacked a number of big names, including Romelu Lukaku. They finally managed to break the deadlock thanks to an unexpected scorer in Reece James. The full-back added another as the floodgates opened, before Jorginho made Newcastle’s misery worse with a late penalty.

Burnley has had a tough season, while Brentford has emerged as the neutral favorite with stunning performances. So of course Sean Dyche’s men won and broke a record in the process. The 3-0 halftime score was the first time Burnley has scored three times in the first half of a Premier League game. Saman Ghoddos added late consolation, but Burnley saw the game to win three vital points.

Watford couldn’t replicate their incredible return to Everton, as Southampton won 1-0 at Vicarage Road. Claudio Ranieri’s side stumbled upon a goal from Che Adams in the first half and couldn’t call the same festival of late goals they gathered at Goodison Park a week ago.

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