Each weekend the Premier League delivers us a fascinating round of fixtures and the latest action proved no different, the highlights including Gareth Bale’s first Tottenham goal in seven years and a free-kick masterclass from Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse.
Liverpool moved top of the division with a comeback victory over West Ham, whilst high-flying Everton suffered a shock defeat at Newcastle and Arsenal won at Manchester United in the league for the first time in over a decade.
As with every round of fixtures there are winners and losers, and we’ve decided to look at some of the weekend’s poorer Premier League performers.
Here are six Premier League players who ‘had a mare’ this weekend:
Andres Gomes has been somewhat of an odd one out during Everton’s impressive start to the season, struggling to really impress despite receiving plenty of opportunities in a thriving side.
The Portugal international has played much of the season as the most advanced member of a midfield three, but was shunted out onto the left-hand side during the weekend defeat at Newcastle and proved hugely ineffective.
Gomes came inside all too often and an underwhelming performance was compounded by his conceding of a penalty, the 27-year-old completely unaware of his surroundings as he caught the alert – and perhaps cunning – Callum Wilson with an attempted clearance.
The midfielder’s swung his left book and made contact with the back of Wilson who had darted across the front of him, the forward dusting himself off to convert the spot-kick and send Newcastle on their way to victory.
A miserable afternoon for Gomes was completed with his substitution on the hour.
Arthur Masuaku was amongst West Ham’s finer performers during last weekend’s draw with Manchester City, but the wing-back contributed to the halting of the Hammers’ momentum as they were beaten at Liverpool on Saturday evening.
David Moyes’ side headed to Merseyside full of confidence following a recent renaissance and a series of improved performances, their belief increasing further after taking an early lead against the champions through Pablo Fornals.
Liverpool were largely void of ideas and imagination in the first half as the visitors frustrated Jurgen Klopp’s side, though they were handed a gift on the stroke of half-time courtesy of Masuaku.
— Arthur Masuaku (@ArthurMasuaku) October 31, 2020
The defender appeared to be in control with Mohamed Salah facing away from the West Ham goal, only to needlessly kick through the back of the Egyptian to concede a penalty, which the fouled forward duly converted.
Salah undoubtedly made the most of the challenge with a theatrical tumble, though Masuaku – who later said he was ‘mad’ at himself for the challenge via social media – was clumsy at best.
Sunday League players are rightfully derided for the unforgivable act of a foul throw, but for it to happen to a Premier League player – on more than one occasion – is downright criminal.
Hector Bellerin was the culprit once again during Arsenal‘s 1-0 victory at Manchester United, following on from two penalised foul throw efforts against Liverpool earlier this season.
It’s the ultimate faux pas for a full-back at any level and an issue that Bellerin needs to address and quickly, the Spaniard having caused international embarrassment for both Arsenal and the full-back union.
It’s really not that hard, Hector.
It’s getting harder and harder to defend Paul Pogba, a player who seemingly possesses all the talent in the world but infuriatingly contrives to exhibit virtually none of it on a consistent basis in a Manchester United shirt.
This weekend’s performance against Arsenal was the worst of the France international encapsulated, Pogba overpowered, outplayed and outfought by a Gunners midfield bossed by the hugely impressive Thomas Partey.
The 27-year-old was ponderous in possession was dispossessed on more occasions than any other player, whilst he won just one of five challenges made throughout the clash.
His nadir came with an idiotic challenge on Hector Bellerin to concede a penalty for the game’s only goal, a needless foul after being caught on the wrong side of the Spaniard and one that cost his side dearly.
Pogba fronted up to his ‘stupid mistake’ in his post-match interview, but his words are likely to ring hollow with a frustrated United fanbase who have seen their record-signing and side flatter to deceive all too often.
West Ham were dealt a huge blow ahead of this weekend’s trip to Liverpool with the news that Michail Antonio would miss the trip to the champions with a hamstring injury, the star having been rejuvenated as the focal point of David Moyes’ side in recent months.
Deputising for Antonio in attack was Sebastien Haller, a player who arrived amid much fanfare in a club-record deal last summer but has struggled to make much of an impact at the London Stadium.
The Frenchman scored seven league goals in his debut season after a £45m move from Eintracht Frankfurt and has impressed in cup competition this term, but he failed his audition to reclaim a first-team place with a sub-standard display at Anfield.
Haller was dominated by Liverpool debutant Nat Phillips and looked short on confidence and fitness, whilst his languid style has hardly endeared him to supporters accustomed to the all-action Antonio.
Antonio is capable of occupying a backline singlehandedly with his pace, power and work-ethic, his style in stark contrast to Haller whose limited movement often makes him an isolated figure and one who appears unlikely to win over his doubters any time soon.
This feature is usually only about the players but with the lack of candidates from regular contributors in Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, we’ve decided to make a special inclusion for referee Graham Scott.
The allowing of referees to view the pitch-side monitor has largely looked cosmetic given the 100% track record in officials overturning their decision on second glance, only for Scott to buck that trend in a surprising scene at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Scott had deemed Solly March’s lunge on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as no foul despite there appearing to be minimal contact with the ball and the Danish midfielder, who would clearly have run onwards in possession, being upended. March’s tackle took place at the start of a sequence of play that led to Tariq Lamptey scoring an equaliser for Brighton.
Spurs – enraged by the decision – were handed a lifeline as VAR recommended Scott reviewed his decision on the pitch-side screen, only for the referee to staggeringly agree with his initial assessment.
It was a truly baffling decision and one that Spurs were right to feel aggrieved by, their complaints likely to have been a whole lot louder had substitute Gareth Bale not scored a late winner for the north London side.