Handball Horrors & Vardy Closes in on 200 Goals

30th Sept 2020

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Jamie Vardy is 3 goals from scoring his 200th career one and goal number 195, 196 and 197 came in the most unlikely of places. The Etihad, against Manchester City, this Manchester City side, the team managed by one of the greatest coaches in world football, Pep Guardiola, the team who have accumulated 279 points in the past three seasons and the club who have won the Premier League title twice from the past four years. Vardy scored a hat trick against this high level bar of standard, true two of the goals were penalties but you still have to put them away. Vardy oversaw a quite incredible game that Leicester won 5-2, and there has to be a fall out.

Afterwards Guardiola's body language was angry, that is a natural reaction, he criticised his team but at the same time the media didn't get what they were looking for, which was Pep to completely lose it. Instead he noted that it was early in the season and that his team had played 2 games to Liverpool's three, the Reds are now six points ahead of their one and only expected rival this season. But hang on; isn't this playing out like last season? City dropped points especially in the first half and the run up to Christmas as Liverpool marched on. It is very early days granted but no one wants to see a club win the league without a challenge, if City can't do it this season who can?

Why not Leicester who sit proudly at the top of the league? Three wins from 3 games, 12 goals in that time and conceded 4. Forget they were the champions in 2016, after a very solid last season where they unfortunately fell at the last hurdle one could have read the script that Brendan Rodgers team were supposed to struggle ala Sheffield United this season, with no one quite putting the finger on why it's happening. But Leicester are an energetic fox, they have roared back more like a lion, and at this rate will be in the mix for a top 4 place. 

It feels like the clock has been rewound back to the mid 80s because in 3rd place only on goal difference to 1st position is Everton. The club have won all three of their opening games even getting a win over tricky Crystal Palace away from home who up to that point had not lost. It's been a real turnaround for the Toffees who have, for a generation had a poor away record, but they have already won 2 games on the road and we're not yet out of September.

Tottenham were involved in a very controversial moment, VAR again. Having dominated the play against Newcastle, Jose Mourinho's team were heading for a 1-0 victory, that is until a penalty deep into injury time for the visitors. Andy Carroll headed the ball onto Eric Dier's hand arm, Dier was looking the other way, so no intent. The referee had decided no penalty, the game continued, until it was called back, VAR had reviewed and it was a penalty. Why? Because the new rules, are the new rules. No one wants to blame VAR but if it wasn't there, it would be no penalty. At the same time, the new rules saved Newcastle, which one could say with conviction are quite pathetic, there was no obvious cheating to commit a penalty. Let's hope for the love of the game that the rules can be changed in quick time.

Controversy loomed over at Brighton too when the referee blew for the final whistle with the game at 2-2 but Neal Maupay had handballed at that moment, so United won the game with a penalty scored on the 99th minute, Fergie time is back! Tammy Abraham spared Chelsea's blushes as his last minute goal secured a 3-3 draw against West Bromwich Albion, who at one point were leading 3-0. And West Ham got a much needed win, demolishing Wolves 4-0, in a surprising score line.



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