The final two unbroken records in the 2023-24 Premier League season were broken in game week 11, when nine-man Tottenham Hotspur were knocked off top spot in the table by Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea.
Arsenal fans could afford a few chuckles on Monday, but their pristine streak was interrupted in a 1-0 loss to Newcastle United, allowing Manchester City to take the lead with a 6-1 thrashing of Bournemouth.
Liverpool are still in third place despite being beaten to a 1-1 draw by newly promoted Luton Town, while Aston Villa’s Champions League hopes were also dashed in a 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
Brighton & Hove Albion were also held to a 1-1 draw at Everton, while Manchester United got back on track with a tense 1-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
In other results, Sheffield United defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 in controversial circumstances, Burnley suffered a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, and Brentford defeated West Ham United 3-2 in a five-goal London derby.
Sports Mole picks its Team of the Week for the 11th round of Premier League games, which was chaotic and fraught with controversy.
Tottenham number one Guglielmo Vicario superbly kept his nine men in the game on Monday, but with another clean sheet and five saves, Palace number one Sam Johnstone gets the nod after playing a critical role in holding Burnley at bay.
Forest also won by two goals when Villa came to the City Ground, with a wonderful opener from Ola Aina, whose exquisite first-time side-footed strike soared into the bottom corner, while also contributing three tackles and four clearances to the cause.
Aina’s first Tricky Trees goal was set up by Harry Toffolo, who doubled his second-half assist total by laying off Orel Mangala’s unintentional effort, and both of Steve Cooper’s full-backs have played their way into our selection this week.
Jamaal Lascelles’ performance against Arsenal went under the radar as Mikel Arteta’s officiating rant made headlines, but the Magpies skipper’s six clearances, three blocks, and two tackles were crucial in quelling the Gunners’ previously effervescent attacking forces at St James’ Park.
After being controversially cleared to play despite taking a blow to the head, Harry Maguire was as dominant as ever aerially during Man United’s rout of Fulham, winning eight of his ten aerial battles and also making two blocks to continue his unexpected revival in the Red Devils’ backline.
Brentford’s Nathan Collins made some crucial aerial contributions of his own during West Ham’s visit, albeit in both areas of the field, as the ex-Wolves centre-back made a staggering 13 clearances, completed 91% of his passes, and – more importantly – denied the Irons a share of the spoils with a powerful header to complete a brilliant Bees fightback.
Jeremy Doku of Manchester City has already smashed two Premier League records thanks to an offensive masterclass during the champions’ thrashing of Bournemouth.
By scoring in the corner and then setting up four more, the 21-year-old became the youngest player in Premier League history to have five goal involvements and four assists in a single game, more than making up for Erling Haaland’s forced exit.
At the Etihad, Bernardo Silva was the recipient of two of Doku’s assists, but the Portugal international still had enough to do on both times, as a cool finish into the bottom corner preceded a magnificent touch to elude the in-demand Lloyd Kelly, and his beautiful dink barely bounced over the line to complete his two-goal haul for the day.
The full-time talk of Liverpool’s draw with Luton was understandably dominated by Luis Diaz’s last-gasp equalizer amid the terrible situation with his parents in Colombia, but the Hatters were on the verge of a famous triumph thanks in no small part to a dynamic midfield display from Ross Barkley, who drove forward at every opportunity with three successful dribbles from four attempts, while also making three tackles and four clearances in a merited draw for his side.
While Chelsea pretended to deceive for long stretches against a depleted and injury-plagued Tottenham, Cole Palmer continued to justify his £40 million price tag, drawing the Blues level with a somewhat fortunate penalty – Vicario pushed his effort onto the post and into the side of the net – before adding an eleventh-hour assist for his hat-trick hero.
For a brief moment, it appeared that Nicolas Jackson, Chelsea’s new signing, might have another one of those evenings when he was penalized for being in an offside position as Moises Caicedo scored in the first half.
However, as Spurs bravely – or foolishly – stuck to their high line after two red cards, the Senegal striker left the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with the match ball under his arm, courtesy of his first Premier League hat-trick, which Blues fans will hope will spark a consistent scoring run for the hit-and-miss marksman.
Premier League Team of the Week (5-4-1): Johnstone; Aina, Lascelles, Maguire, Collins, Toffolo; Doku, Barkley, Silva, Palmer; Jackson.