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Football

Premier League match week 13: the thrilling moments.

West Ham players celebrate after Arthur Masuaku scored the winner against Chelsea on Saturday. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

With match week 13 of the Premier League now over with the last match played on Monday night between Everton and Arsenal, we take a look at the stunning moments of the match week.

Chelsea backslid from first to third in the Premier League over the weekend after a costly defeat at West Ham, which included a staggering late winner for the hosts.

Divock Origi was told to “Be Divock” by Jurgen Klopp, so duly went and scored a 94th-minute winner for Liverpool at Wolves, while Ralf Rangnick achieved something his fellow German didn’t in his first game as interim boss at Manchester United.

New Sheriffs in town Antonio Conte and Steven Gerrard also continued their positive starts to respective gigs at Tottenham and Aston Villa in a sentence that feels like it’s straight from your favourite football management simulation game rather than real life.

With all that and more, here are some of the weekend’s thrilling stats from the Premier League…

Chelsea Hammered by the Hammers

No one knows if he was actually hitting the target or not. Arthur Masuaku says no but your West Ham supporting mates say yes.

Masuaku’s kick of the ball in the 87th minute at the London Stadium flew past Edouard Mendy to inflict Chelsea’s only second league defeat of the season, toppling them from the summit of the Premier League in what is a tight race on top of the log.

Arthur Masuaku

West Ham United players Michail Antonio and Arthur Masuaku celebrate after the latter scored the winner in a thrilling way in Premier League match week 13 against Chelsea on Saturday, 4 December 2021 at London Stadium. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

It was the Frenchman’s first Premier League goal in his 96th appearance for the Hammers, from his 29th attempt at goal, if you can even call it that.

The 3-2 defeat was Chelsea’s first in the Premier League after leading at half-time since December 2018 against Wolves under Maurizio Sarri – they had been unbeaten in 48 league games when ahead at half-time before Saturday winning 40 and drawing only eight.

It is no time to panic for Blues fans, though. The future looks bright with all their talented young players, accompanied by Brazil’s captain at the heart of their defence.

Aged 37 years and 73 days, Thiago Silva became the oldest player to score for Chelsea in the Premier League, breaking Didier Drogba’s record from April 2015 against Leicester City (37 years, 49 days).

The Late Late Show with Divock Origi

You could say there was an air of inevitability about it as Divock Origi arrived on the Molineux pitch in the 68th minute on Saturday.

The Belgian is a man who arguably deserves a statue more than a starting place at Anfield, having scored just once in the league prior to this game since the last day of the 2019-20 season, but who has famously bagged late goals just when his team has needed them.

Premier League match week 13, His dramatic strike in the closing seconds of this game was Liverpool’s 39th winner scored in 90+ minutes in the Premier League, at least 13 more than any other side. It was also his 10th as a substitute in the Premier League for the Reds, with no player having netted more from the bench for the club in the competition.

It felt harsh on Wolves, though they had hardly done much to bother their opponents at the other end of the pitch, having just three shots in this game, their fewest in a Premier League match since March 2019 (two vs Chelsea).

One particularly sore loser will have been skipper Conor Coady. Although a former Liverpool player, he will have been hoping his heroic goal-line block of Diogo Jota’s effort, with an xG of 0.604, would have at least secured a point for his team, particularly as the ball hit him square in the Divocks.

Ralf welcomed to Old Trafford by Fred

United’s interim gaffer Ralf Rangnick became the sixth German to manage in the Premier League as he stood in the Old Trafford dugout to see his new team beat Crystal Palace 1-0, and he was the first to win his debut game in charge in the competition (Felix Magath, Klopp, Jan Siewert, Daniel Farke and Thomas Tuchel all failing to do so before him).

Following the 1-0 success, six of the last seven managers (including caretakers) have won their first game in charge of the Red Devils in all competitions, with Louis van Gaal being the only exception (he suffered a 2-1 loss against Swansea City at Old Trafford in August 2014).

Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick oversaw his first match as Manchester United interim manager in the Premier League match week 13 in what was a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

United also kept their first clean sheet at home in all competitions since April against Granada in the Europa League, having conceded in 15 consecutive home matches prior to Sunday.

Fred’s staggering winner was his second goal of the season in 12 Premier League matches, as many as he scored in 76 appearances in his first three seasons in the competition prior to this season.

More problems for Norwich

After their 3-0 defeat at Tottenham, Norwich City have now lost 12 of their last 13 Premier League games in London winning one, conceding 29 goals and scoring just three.

Antonio Conte became the third Spurs manager to win his first three Premier League home games, after Ryan Mason and Harry Redknapp but will be hoping that Kane will start to find the net again soon, with the England captain having only scored once in 13 league games this season.

Norwich manager Dean Smith felt his team were hard done by, and perhaps he had a point when you consider how close the xG of the contest ended, with Norwich’s 1.33 only just behind Spurs’ 1.52.

Spurs forward Son Heung-Min assisted one and scored one and has been directly involved in 50 per cent of Tottenham’s league goals this season scoring six and assisting two, with only Teemu Pukki (63 per cent) and Emmanuel Dennis (55 per cent) being involved in a higher share of their side’s tally.

Steve Gerrard, enjoying his comeback to the Premier League

Doing a stellar job at Rangers is one thing, but Steven Gerrard’s management capability was really going to come under the microscope when he moved south to the Premier League.

It is still early days of course, but so far, the former Liverpool and England midfielder must be wondering what all the fuss was about as he saw his Aston Villa side win again with a 2-1 victory against Leicester City and his former boss Brendan Rodgers.

Having only won three of their first 11 Premier League games of the season under Dean Smith (D1 L7), Villa has since won three of their first four under Gerrard, with the only failure coming in the narrow 2-1 defeat at home to champions Manchester City.

Gerrard emphasised on his arrival that he wanted to improve the defence, but Ezri Konsa must have thought he meant at the other end as he bagged a brace on Sunday. In his 216th professional appearance in all competitions, Konsa scored twice in a game for the first time. In doing so, he was the first defender to score a brace for Aston Villa in a Premier League match since Ciaran Clark against Arsenal in November 2010.

Leicester, meanwhile, is now the first side to both score and concede a goal in 15 consecutive away games in England’s top flight since Burnley from April 1961 to March 1962 (16 in a row).

Matchweek 14 comes up in the weekend starting on Friday night when Brentford host Watford. A keen one to watch is when Liverpool hosts Aston Villa at Anfield, a team led by their very own Steven Gerrard, not forgetting last season’s horror when Villa hammered Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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