Premier League Rewind: 15th-17th September 2017

Results: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton, Huddersfield Town 1-1 Leicester City, Liverpool FC 1-1 Burnley, Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City, Watford 0-6 Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City, Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal, Manchester United 4-0 Everton

The weekend of the 15th-17th September 2017 was the fifth round of fixtures in the 2017-2018 season and already, a pattern was starting to develop at the top of the table. The two Manchester clubs were dismissing their opponents with consummate ease. There was no change on this weekend.

Having thrashed 10-man Liverpool FC 5-0 on the previous Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Citizens went one better at Vicarage Road. Watford went into the match unbeaten with two wins and two draws to their name but they simply had no answer for the visitors who were in ruthless form. Sergio Aguero scored the first hat-trick of the season as he closed in on becoming the club’s record all-time goalscorer. The 6-0 final scoreline simply didn’t flatter Manchester City. Their goalscoring glut in September already had the other challengers quaking with fear.

Manchester United were doing their best to keep up though. Like West Ham United and Swansea City in August, Everton were on the wrong end of a 4-0 beating from Jose Mourinho’s men. It was Wayne Rooney’s first return to Old Trafford since his summer departure back to Merseyside and he was given a warm reception on his reunion with his former club. However, Everton fell behind early on to September’s Goal of the Month; a screamer from distance in the fourth minute by converted full-back Antonio Valencia. There was also a goal for Romelu Lukaku against his former club in the closing moments as Everton fell to a third successive heavy defeat in all competitions in just eight days. The pressure was growing on Ronald Koeman.

The weekend actually got underway with a Friday Night Football on the south coast and a local derby between AFC Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion. Bournemouth were pointless going into the match and trailed early in the second half to Solly March’s header. However, the Cherries rallied and goals from Andrew Surman and Jermain Defoe helped them defeat the Seagulls 2-1 in an enthralling contest. It was their first points and win of the season.

Bournemouth were off the mark but Crystal Palace remained on zero points and also, zero goals. Southampton left Selhurst Park with all three points in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off. Saints’ skipper Steven Davis scored the only goal in the opening five minutes to ensure a losing start for Roy Hodgson in his first managerial match since being in-charge on that fateful night in Nice when England were knocked out of the 2016 European Championships by Iceland.

Chelsea lost ground on the top two after being held to a goalless draw by a battling Arsenal side at Stamford Bridge, with David Luiz seeing red for the hosts. It was the first of four meetings between the sides during the season and Arsenal remained undefeated in all four encounters. This was one of three goalless draws during the weekend. Another took place at The Hawthorns, where Gareth Barry equalled Ryan Giggs’ all-time Premier League appearance record, levelling up on 632 appearances in the drab stalemate between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United.

The third game without a goal on the weekend was at Wembley Stadium as Swansea City held Tottenham Hotspur to keep Spurs’ winless streak at their temporary home going, whilst Newcastle United climbed into the dizzying heights of fourth spot in the table after beating Stoke City 2-1 to achieve a third successive victory. For the second successive match, it was skipper Jamaal Lascelles who powered home the winner from a set-piece.

What else happened in September 2017?

  • A blast and fire at Parsons Green train station is treated as a terrorist attack. This time, there are no fatalities, but 29 injuries in-total. It is the fourth attack on the UK in 2017 alone.
  • Kensington Palace announces that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child.
  • Weeks after Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma strikes The Caribbean and the United States. The Category 5 hurricane causes $64.2 billion in damage and claims the lives of 146 people.
  • In response to recent sanctions put in place by the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin expelled 755 diplomats from his country.
  • North Korea conducts its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
  • Paris and Los Angeles are chosen as the hosts of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games.
  • A new £10 polymer banknote enters circulation in the UK, with Jane Austen featured.
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Seasonal Records: 2017-2018

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2017-2018 Premier League campaign. It was a season Manchester City completely dominated, breaking a host of records on their way to a third Premier League title.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester City 38 32 4 2 106 27 +79 100
2 Manchester United 38 25 6 7 68 28 +40 81
3 Tottenham Hotspur 38 23 8 7 74 36 +38 77
4 Liverpool FC 38 21 12 5 84 38 +46 75
5 Chelsea 38 21 7 10 62 38 +24 70
6 Arsenal 38 19 6 13 74 51 +23 63
7 Burnley 38 14 12 12 36 39 -3 54
8 Everton 38 13 10 15 44 58 -14 49
9 Leicester City 38 12 11 15 56 60 -4 47
10 Newcastle United 38 12 8 18 39 47 -8 44
11 Crystal Palace 38 11 11 16 45 55 -10 44
12 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 11 16 45 61 -16 44
13 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 48 68 -20 42
14 Watford 38 11 8 19 44 64 -20 41
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 9 13 16 34 54 -20 40
16 Huddersfield Town 38 9 10 19 28 58 -30 37
17 Southampton 38 7 15 16 37 56 -19 36
18 Swansea City 38 8 9 21 28 56 -28 33
19 Stoke City 38 7 12 19 35 68 -33 33
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 6 13 19 31 56 -25 31

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1018
European qualifiers Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Europa League)

Arsenal (UEFA Europa League)

Burnley (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 18 games (Manchester City)
Longest unbeaten run 22 games (Manchester City)
Longest winless run 20 games (West Bromwich Albion)
Longest losing run 8 games (West Bromwich Albion)
Highest attendance 83,222 (Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal)
Lowest attendance 10,242 (AFC Bournemouth vs. West Bromwich Albion)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Mohamed Salah (Liverpool FC)
PFA Young Player of the Year Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
Football Writers’ Award Mohamed Salah (Liverpool FC)
PFA Team of the Year David de Gea, Marcos Alonso, Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah
Manager of the Year Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Premier League Goal of the Season Sofiane Boufal (SOUTHAMPTON vs. West Bromwich Albion)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Sergio Aguero Watford vs. Manchester City 0-6 16th September 2017
Alvaro Morata Stoke City vs. Chelsea 0-4 23rd September 2017
Callum Wilson AFC Bournemouth vs. Huddersfield Town 4-0 18th November 2017
Wayne Rooney Everton vs. West Ham United 4-0 29th November 2017
Harry Kane Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 23rd December 2017
Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton 5-2 26th December 2017
Sergio Aguero Manchester City vs. Newcastle United 3-1 20th January 2018
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal vs. Everton 5-1 3rd February 2018
Sergio Aguero (4) Manchester City vs. Leicester City 5-1 10th February 2018
Mohamed Salah (4) Liverpool FC vs. Watford 5-0 17th March 2018

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Mohamed Salah Liverpool FC 32
2 Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur 30
3 Sergio Aguero Manchester City 21
4 Jamie Vardy Leicester City 20
5 Raheem Sterling Manchester City 18
6 Romelu Lukaku Manchester United 16
7 Roberto Firmino Liverpool FC 15
8 Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal 14
9 Gabriel Jesus Manchester City 13
10= Heung-Min Son Tottenham Hotspur 12
10= Eden Hazard Chelsea 12
10= Riyad Mahrez Leicester City 12
10= Glenn Murray Brighton & Hove Albion 12
14= Alvaro Morata Chelsea 11
14= Marko Arnautovic West Ham United 11
16= Leroy Sane Manchester City 10
16= Christian Eriksen Tottenham Hotspur 10
16= Sadio Mane Liverpool FC 10
16= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 10
16= Chris Wood Burnley 10
16= Wayne Rooney Everton 10
16= Luka Milivojevic Crystal Palace 10
23= David Silva Manchester City 9
23= Anthony Martial Manchester United 9
23= Dele Alli Tottenham Hotspur 9

 

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Watford 0-6 Manchester City 16th September 2017
Manchester City 7-2 Stoke City 14th October 2017
Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool FC 9th September 2017
Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace 23rd September 2017
Manchester City 5-0 Swansea City 22nd April 2018
Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 26th December 2017
Liverpool FC 5-0 Watford 17th March 2018
Chelsea 5-0 Stoke City 30th December 2017
Arsenal 5-0 Huddersfield Town 29th November 2017
Arsenal 5-0 Burnley 6th May 2018

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Manchester City 7-2 Stoke City 14th October 2017
9 Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 Leicester City 13th May 2018
7 Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 Southampton 26th December 2017
7 Everton 2-5 Arsenal 22nd October 2017
7 Liverpool FC 4-3 Manchester City 14th January 2018
7 Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City 11th August 2017
6 Watford 0-6 Manchester City 16th September 2017
6 Manchester City 5-1 Leicester City 10th February 2018
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Stoke City 9th December 2017
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 1-5 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2017
6 Arsenal 5-1 Everton 3rd February 2018
6 Watford 2-4 Manchester United 28th November 2017
6 Chelsea 4-2 Watford 21st October 2017
6 Watford 3-3 Liverpool FC 12th August 2017
6 Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool FC 22nd December 2017
6 AFC Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham United 26th December 2017
5 Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool FC 9th September 2017
5 Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace 23rd September 2017
5 Manchester City 5-0 Swansea City 22nd April 2018
5 Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 26th December 2017

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea 0-3 AFC Bournemouth 17 years, 2 months, 24 days 31st January 2018
Ethan Ampadu Huddersfield Town 1-3 Chelsea 17 years, 2 months, 28 days 12th December 2017
Rekeem Harper West Bromwich Albion 1-0 AFC Bournemouth 17 years, 5 months, 4 days 12th August 2017
Michael Obafemi Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 6 months, 15 days 21st January 2018
Phil Foden Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 6 months, 18 days 16th December 2017
Reiss Nelson Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace 18 years, 1 month, 10 days 20th January 2018
Tyrese Campbell Leicester City 1-1 Stoke City 18 years, 1 month, 27 days 24th February 2018
Brahim Diaz Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle United 18 years, 5 months, 17 days 20th January 2018
Dwight McNeil Burnley 1-2 AFC Bournemouth 18 years, 5 months, 21 days 13th May 2018
Lasse Sorensen Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City 18 years, 6 months, 22 days 13th May 2018

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Julian Speroni Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal 38 years, 7 months, 10 days 28th December 2017
Gareth McAuley West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Southampton 38 years, 1 month, 29 days 3rd February 2018
Bruno Manchester City 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion 37 years, 7 months, 8 days 9th May 2018
Peter Crouch Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City 37 years, 3 months, 13 days 13th May 2018
Heurelho Gomes Manchester United 1-0 Watford 37 years, 2 months, 28 days 13th May 2018
Gareth Barry West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Huddersfield Town 37 years, 1 day 24th February 2018
Patrice Evra Leicester City 0-2 West Ham United 36 years, 11 months, 20 days 5th May 2018
Michael Carrick Manchester United 1-0 Watford 36 years, 9 months, 15 days 13th May 2018
Willy Caballero Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield Town 36 years, 7 months, 11 days 9th May 2018
Damien Delaney Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur 36 years, 7 months, 5 days 25th February 2018

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 David de Gea Manchester United 18
2 Ederson Manchester City 16
3= Hugo Lloris Tottenham Hotspur 15
3= Thibaut Courtois Chelsea 15
5 Petr Cech Arsenal 11
5= Nick Pope Burnley 11
7= Loris Karius Liverpool FC 10
7= Jordan Pickford Everton 10
7= Mathew Ryan Brighton & Hove Albion 10
7= Jonas Lossl Huddersfield Town 10

Great Goals: Pedro Obiang – Tottenham Hotspur vs. WEST HAM UNITED (January 2018)

Delayed by four days because of the traditional New Year celebrations, the match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United on 4th January 2018 was not a classic. Both sides had played less than 48 hours earlier and it was clear that the hectic festive schedule had taking its toll on the players.

However, the game burst into life with a blockbuster strike from an unlikely source. West Ham’s defensive midfielder Pedro Obiang had only scored twice in his Hammers career before this incredible shot in the 69th minute. Collecting possession around 30-yards from goal, Obiang wasn’t closed down quickly by Tottenham players, who were almost daring him to shoot. So, he took the opportunity and with the visitors first shot on-target in the match, he fired a stunner into the top corner of Hugo Lloris’ goal.

Obiang’s season would end later in the month with injury in an FA Cup tie against Wigan Athletic but he had made his impact on the season with this effort at the home of English football and it earned David Moyes’ side a creditable draw.

Iconic Moments: Brighton’s brilliant Friday night (October 2017)

Throughout every Premier League season, there are always some pivotal matches that can define a club’s season. Newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion turned up at The London Stadium on Friday 20th October 2017 still looking for their first away win at this level.

Chris Hughton’s side had recorded seven points from their last three home matches but had already lost on their travels to Leicester City and Arsenal without scoring and conceded a lead to lose a South Coast Derby with AFC Bournemouth on a previous Friday night excursion.

Outsiders before kick-off, the Seagulls put in a devastating performance full of class, hunger and panache. From the moment Glenn Murray headed them infront after just 12 minutes from a free-kick, West Ham United looked a beaten team. Jose Izquierdo scored his first goal in English football with a curling shot that beat Joe Hart far too easily. West Ham’s players completely froze and Brighton took them apart with a performance that made them look like seasoned campaigners. Murray scored his second of the evening from the penalty spot to complete a resounding 3-0 victory.

For the embattled West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, the end was near. The popular Croatian was looking like a man on borrowed time with every passing week. Despite receiving a vote of confidence from the board before this match, opinions change quickly in this game. Two weeks later, Bilic was sacked by owners David Gold and David Sullivan and replaced on a short-term basis by David Moyes.

This performance from Brighton forced the Hammers hierarchy into a change of thinking and it would work out for them. They finished 13th and two places above Brighton in the final table. However, the Seagulls did complete their first-ever Premier League double against the Hammers with a 3-1 home victory in February 2018.

 

Shock Results: Manchester United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion (April 2018)

Goalscorer: Jay Rodriguez 73

Teams:

Manchester United: David de Gea, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young (Marcus Rashford 75), Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera (Jesse Lingard 45), Paul Pogba (Anthony Martial 58), Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez

West Bromwich Albion: Ben Foster, Craig Dawson, Ahmed Hegazi, Kieran Gibbs, Allan Nyom, Chris Brunt (Claudio Yacob 90), Jake Livermore, James McClean, Matt Phillips (Grzegorz Krychowiak 77), Jay Rodriguez, Salomon Rondon (Daniel Sturridge 85)

Referee: Paul Tierney, Attendance: 75,095

Since their Manchester Derby victory at Old Trafford in December 2017, there had been little doubt that Manchester City were going to claim their third Premier League title. However, Jose Mourinho’s men had delayed the inevitable a week earlier, coming from 2-0 down to defeat City 3-2 at The Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola’s side had bounced back less than 24 hours earlier, dismissing Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 at Wembley Stadium. They knew they would become champions if Manchester United failed to beat West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford. The chances of that happening seemed slim. West Brom were bottom of the table, destined for relegation and had won only three league matches all season. The Baggies were now being guided by former player Darren Moore, who had replaced Alan Pardew in the job 13 days earlier.

Mourinho’s side should have been full of confidence after their Derby heroics eight days previously but as the rain started to fall at The Theatre of Dreams, they put in a tepid first half display that was systematic to some of their performances in the top head-to-head matches. Paul Pogba, who had been behind the caviller fightback at Eastlands, was completely anonymous against the bottom club and sacrificed for Anthony Martial after 58 minutes. The home side simply couldn’t get themselves going.

In fact, it was the visitors who created the best opening of the first half. Jake Livermore broke through but was denied by smart goalkeeping from the ever-reliable David de Gea. De Gea would be outdone though by his opposite number. Ben Foster pulled off one of the saves of the season midway through the second half, flying to his left-hand side to push away a powerful Romelu Lukaku header.

As the game wore on, West Brom simply grew in confidence and with 17 minutes left, they took the lead from their classic route of scoring; via a set-piece delivery. Chris Brunt’s delivery wasn’t cleared by the home defenders and Jay Rodriguez was in the right place to tuck the ball into the back of De Gea’s net from close-range.

Foster made another important save from Lukaku shortly afterwards and although they enjoyed 70% possession, West Brom matched United’s total for shots on-target. They fully merited this victory. Paul Tierney’s full-time whistle confirmed Manchester City officially as Premier League champions and they would finish a massive 19 points clear at the end of the season.

Although they would eventually experience the inevitability of relegation, West Brom finished their season in great form, beating Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur in the run-in. That form was enough for Moore, who played 104 times for the club during a five-season spell to land the job in late May on a permanent basis.

Iconic Moments: A Premier League record for Barry (September 2017)

It was a tough season for everyone connected with West Bromwich Albion but whilst it ended in relegation, Gareth Barry did claim a Premier League record. When he lined up for the Baggies in the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in September 2017, he made his 633rd top-flight appearance. This made him the highest appearance maker in Premier League history, succeeding Manchester United legend and current manager of Wales, Ryan Giggs.

The midfielder made his Premier League debut aged just 17 in May 1998 at Hillsborough, playing for Aston Villa against Sheffield Wednesday. He joined Manchester City in 2009 and three years later, won the Premier League title. After a four-year spell on Merseyside with Everton, Barry moved to West Brom in mid-August 2017 and helped himself to a goal later in the season in a home loss to Manchester United.

The ex-England international won’t add to his tally this season after extending his contract to stay at The Hawthorns. His aim this season will be to try and get WBA back to the top-flight at the first attempt. However, his current tally of 653 appearances is likely to stand for many years to come.

 

The Clubs: Huddersfield Town

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
38 9 10 19 28 58 -30 37 1

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen 38
Jonas Lossl 38
Christopher Schindler 37
Aaron Mooy 36
Laurent Depoitre 33
Tom Ince 33
Rajiv van La Parra 33
Jonathan Hogg 30
Steve Mounie 28
Collin Quaner 26

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Steve Mounie 7
Laurent Depoitre 6
Aaron Mooy 4
Rajiv van La Parra 3
Tom Ince 2
Elias Kachunga 1
Joe Lolley 1
Alex Pritchard 1

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Watford 1-4 Huddersfield Town 16th December 2017 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 4-1 AFC Bournemouth 11th February 2018 2017-2018
Crystal Palace 0-3 Huddersfield Town 12th August 2017 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion 9th December 2017 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 2-1 Manchester United 21st October 2017 2017-2018

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Arsenal 5-0 Huddersfield Town 29th November 2017 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur 30th September 2017 2017-2018
AFC Bournemouth 4-0 Huddersfield Town 18th November 2017 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 1-4 West Ham United 13th January 2018 2017-2018
Liverpool FC 3-0 Huddersfield Town 28th October 2017 2017-2018

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
David Wagner 3  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Huddersfield Town 2-1 Manchester United 21st October 2017 24,426 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 1-3 Chelsea 12th December 2017 24,169 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 1-0 West Bromwich Albion 4th November 2017 24,169 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur 30th September 2017 24,169 2017-2018
Huddersfield Town 1-1 Leicester City 16th September 2017 24,169 2017-2018

 

Intro

Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League was unexpected and it was a fairytale season for everyone connected with the club. The Terriers made a brilliant start, recording an unbelievable victory over Manchester United along the way and completed a great season by surviving in the top-flight.

Written off by many experts and neutrals before the season, David Wagner and his team proved a lot of people wrong. Huddersfield’s ability to stay in matches and produce unexpected victories gave them a fighting chance to avoid relegation and a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge confirmed their place among the elite for 2018-2019. It was a memorable moment in a season no-one connected with the club will ever forget.

 

2017-2018

Many expected Huddersfield to experience an immediate relegation after their play-off final success on penalties against Reading three months earlier. However, they made a brilliant start to the campaign and remained unbeaten at the end of August. One of many summer arrivals, Steve Mounie helped himself to a debut double at Selhurst Park as the Terriers won 3-0 away at Crystal Palace on the opening weekend.

A week later, Aaron Mooy’s terrific long-range effort defeated Newcastle United in Huddersfield’s first Premier League match on home soil and a goalless draw with Southampton kept them flying high at the end of August.

Having been ridiculed and dropped by Mainz after an underwhelming campaign in the Bundesliga, Jonas Lossl had a point to prove and the Dane became one of Huddersfield’s key figures throughout the season. Lossl became the final goalkeeper to be beaten in the season, when a deflected effort from Pedro Obiang of West Ham United ended his undefeated streak of 339 minutes without conceding. The 2-0 defeat at The London Stadium was Huddersfield’s first at Premier League level.

October brought about the club’s highest point of the season. Mooy put in an electrifying performance at the heart of the midfield and scored the opening goal at home to Manchester United. Laurent Depoitre added a second shortly afterwards and despite Marcus Rashford pulling a goal back in the second half, Huddersfield held on for a famous 2-1 victory in one of the shock results of the entire season.

Impressive 4-1 victories over Watford and AFC Bournemouth showed Huddersfield could turn on the style when everything clicked and Tom Ince’s dramatic late winner at home to the Hornets in mid-April seemed to have them on the cusp of safety. However, a 2-0 home defeat to Everton a fortnight later meant Huddersfield realistically needed points from their final three matches to survive. Trouble was they were against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal. Their survival chances looked bleak.

However, Wagner’s side continued to defy the critics. A battling defensive performance saw them earn an excellent point away at champions Manchester City. After Swansea’s home defeat to Southampton 24 hours earlier, just one point was needed in the club’s final two matches of the season. They achieved it at Stamford Bridge. Depoitre’s early goal in the second half and a breathtaking save by Lossl from international compatriot Andreas Christensen preserved Huddersfield’s point. They drew 1-1 and that meant safety was ensured.

Huddersfield supporters can look forward to a second campaign in the top-flight and will hope to create more amazing headlines in the 2018-2019 season.

Great Goals: Charlie Daniels – AFC BOURNEMOUTH vs. Manchester City (August 2017)

The match between AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City on the third weekend of the 2017-2018 season saw plenty of late drama and an early contender for Goal of the Season.

The home side had lost both of their first two matches against West Bromwich Albion and Watford without scoring, so what a way this was to score their first goal of the 2017-2018 season. After Dan Gosling’s cross had been headed away by Vincent Kompany, the ball dropped to left-back Charlie Daniels. From the corner of the penalty area, Daniels hit a delicious first-time volley that zipped into the back of the net giving Ederson absolutely no chance.

Pep Guardiola’s side came back to win 2-1 in stoppage-time but Charlie’s cracker was good enough to win him both Bournemouth’s Goal of the Season and the first Goal of the Month of the 2017-2018 campaign.

Iconic Moments: Palace’s gamble backfires (September 2017)

After guiding another club to survival in May 2017, Sam Allardyce elected to step down as Crystal Palace manager, insisting his time as a club manager was over. Of course, ‘Big Sam’ wouldn’t be finished just yet. Owner Steve Parish turned to Frank de Boer to fill the vacancy at Selhurst Park.

As a player, de Boer’s CV is really impressive. He won league championships with Barcelona and Ajax and was part of Louis van Gaal’s squad at the latter that won the UEFA Champions League in 1995. In management, he’d enjoyed title success at Ajax too but had a dismal time in Italy, lasting less than three months in the Inter Milan job in 2016.

His appointment at Selhurst Park was a gamble that spectacularly backfired. The Eagles were woeful on the opening day, being heavily beaten 3-0 by Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town. Further losses followed to Liverpool FC and Swansea City and the pressure was already on the Dutchman. His ambitious style of football he wanted his players to play wasn’t working. They had been used to Allardyce’s style and the methods between the pair were vast to say the least.

After the August international break, Crystal Palace tumbled to a 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor against Burnley. With four games played, no points and not even a single goal scored, Parish decided to admit to his error in judgement. De Boer was dismissed after just 10 weeks in the job. His reign is the shortest in Premier League history. Jose Mourinho later labelled him as “the worst manager in Premier League history.”

With statistics like de Boer achieved, it’s hard not to disagree with this sentiment but the story had a happy ending for Eagles supporters. Roy Hodgson came in and steered the club comfortably to safety. They finished a commendable 11th, considering they lost their first seven matches without scoring a single goal.

Shock Results: Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea (October 2017)

Goalscorers: Cesar Azpilicueta 11 OG, Tiemoue Bakayoko 18, Wilfried Zaha 45

Teams:

Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Scott Dann, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt, Joel Ward, Yohan Cabaye (Jairo Riedewald 86), Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur (Timothy Fosu-Mensah 85), Jeff Schlupp (Jason Puncheon 75), Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha

Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Victor Moses (Davide Zappacosta 39), Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Willian (Charly Musonda 65), Michy Batshuayi (Pedro 57)

Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 25,480

Crystal Palace looked in dire straits at the start of October 2017. Seven games into their campaign and the Eagles had made the worst start ever in Premier League history. Seven defeats, no points earned and not even a goal scored. Their situation seemed hopeless already. Frank de Boer had been sacked just four games into his reign, replaced by Roy Hodgson. Hodgson had a reputation to repair himself. He had been out of work since England’s humiliating exit in the 2016 European Championships at the hands of Iceland. The chance to revive Palace’s fortunes and put himself back on the managerial map was too good to turn down.

After the October international break, Selhurst Park was packed to welcome the visit of league champions Chelsea. Antonio Conte’s side had recovered well from a shock opening day loss at home to Burnley and were boasting a 100% away record following fine victories away at Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Stoke City. The Blues were widely anticipated to keep that record going.

After 641 goalless minutes at the start of the season, Crystal Palace finally registered a goal to take a surprising early lead. Andros Townsend picked out Yohan Cabaye who showed great persistence in the penalty area, causing havoc which Chelsea’s defenders couldn’t deal with. David Luiz panicked and the ball eventually came off his teammate Cesar Azpilicueta and rebounded into the back of the net. It set the tone for an uncomfortable afternoon for the reigning champions.

Conte’s side were missing the energy of N’Golo Kante, who had been injured playing for France during the international break and it showed. However, his replacement did provide the equaliser. Tiemoue Bakayoko escaped his markers to guide home a corner from his central midfield partner, Cesc Fabregas. However, Chelsea’s front three of Michy Batshuayi, Willian and Eden Hazard failed to seriously test Julian Speroni on a regular basis.

It was another Palace returnee who would ultimately score the winner. Wilfried Zaha had been out of action since the opening day of the season but he returned with perfect timing. On the stroke of half-time, he escaped Azpilicueta’s challenge and slotted the ball beyond Thibaut Courtois.

Despite enjoying 60% of possession and piling the pressure on in the second half, Conte’s side couldn’t find a way through. He experienced back-to-back defeats for only the second time as a Premier League manager. Palace were finally off the mark for both goals and points. Their season finally had lift-off, thanks to the management guile of Hodgson and the skill of Zaha, who proved to be their integral matchwinner throughout the 2017-2018 season.

Premier League Rewind: 19th-21st August 2017

Results: Swansea City 0-4 Manchester United, AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Watford, Burnley 0-1 West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion, Liverpool FC 1-0 Crystal Palace, Southampton 3-2 West Ham United, Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal, Huddersfield Town 1-0 Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea, Manchester City 1-1 Everton

The second weekend of the 2017-2018 Premier League season saw Manchester United steal an early march on all of their prospective title rivals. By the conclusion of the second round of fixtures, the Red Devils were one of only three teams to hold a 100% record.

Having thrashed West Ham United 4-0 on the opening weekend, Jose Mourinho’s side repeated the scoreline on their first away trip of the season which was in South Wales against Swansea City. The final score might have flattered them slightly but it came about through a devastating spell of three goals in the final 10 minutes. New striker Romelu Lukaku made it three goals in two matches and delightful finishes by Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial added to the glee of the supporters. Two games, two wins, two clean sheets, six points and eight goals scored. It was the perfect start for Mourinho in his second season in the Old Trafford dugout.

The other two sides still with a perfect record were slightly more unexpected in the shape of Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion. Huddersfield had made a dream start to their Premier League life. After beating Crystal Palace 3-0 a week earlier, Aaron Mooy’s marvellous long-range effort was enough to defeat Newcastle United in the Terriers’ first home match in the top-flight. Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion recorded their second successive 1-0 success, this time at Turf Moor away at Burnley. Hal Robson-Kanu made a dramatic contribution off the substitutes’ bench. First, he scored the winning goal after 71 minutes. 12 minutes later, he caught Matthew Lowton with his elbow and was duly sent off by referee Martin Atkinson. Little did the Baggies supporters realise at the time but this would be their last victory in the top-flight until mid-January.

After a shocking home defeat to Burnley, the pressure was already on championship-winning manager Antonio Conte and his shell-shocked Chelsea side when they travelled to Wembley Stadium for the first-ever Premier League match at the home of English football. Tottenham Hotspur were playing at Wembley for the season whilst their normal home was being redeveloped but it wasn’t a good start. They were defeated 2-1 by the champions. The hero was left-back Marcos Alonso, who scored both goals including a majestic free-kick. It looked like Chelsea had rediscovered their mojo.

On the Monday Night Football, Manchester City and Everton played out a stormy encounter at The Etihad Stadium which ended with the points shared and both teams finishing with 10 men. Wayne Rooney became only the second player in Premier League history to reach the milestone of 200 goals when he opened the scoring on a clinical counter-attack 10 minutes before half-time. The Citizens had Kyle Walker sent off on his home debut before half-time but put the pressure on and eventually found a way through with eight minutes left through a Raheem Sterling equaliser. Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin was also given his marching orders before the end of the match. This draw would turn out to be City’s only dropped points until New Years’ Eve.

Arsenal were once again beaten at their bogey ground. Jese made an instant impact at Stoke City. On-loan from Paris Saint-Germain, the Spaniard scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal lost at Stoke for the fifth time in 10 seasons. Former champions Leicester City scored the fastest goal of the campaign when Shinji Okazaki found the net inside a minute. Harry Maguire headed home on his debut in the second half as the Foxes defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0.

What else happened in August 2017?

  • One of the giants of the UK TV industry, Sir Bruce Forsyth passes away at the age of 89. His career in showbiz spanned an extraordinary 75 years with shows such as The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing.
  • At the age of 96, The Duke of Edinburgh carries out his final official engagement before retiring from public duty.
  • A four-year Renovation begins on Big Ben, meaning the chimes of the famous clock fall silent.
  • Two legends of the athletics track & field era bow out at the World Athletics Championships in London. Usain Bolt and Mo Farah both retire after the championships, with Farah moving into marathon running and Bolt hanging up his spikes for good.
  • 15 people are killed in a terrorist attack in Barcelona; one is a seven-year old, with dual British-Australian nationality.
  • 108 people are killed in the United States as Hurricane Harvey strikes Houston. The total damage of the storm reaches $125 billion.
  • The UN Security Council unanimously approves fresh sanctions on North Korean trade and investment.

Great Goals: Sofiane Boufal – SOUTHAMPTON vs. West Bromwich Albion (October 2017)

In his two seasons with Southampton, Sofiane Boufal has only shown flashes of the promise he demonstrated whilst playing in France. The Moroccan though did produce this exceptional piece of solo brilliance in a fairly sterile game against West Bromwich Albion.

The game on the south coast looked like it was petering out towards a pretty ordinary 0-0 draw when Boufal took centre stage in the 85th minute. The tricky winger, who had only arrived into the contest as a substitute four minutes earlier, he twisted past Allan Nyom in his own half before using his speed to leave Jake Livermore trailing in his wake. As Boufal continued his surge towards goal, he bamboozled past Craig Dawson. Desperate to keep up having been the first man beaten, Nyom ran into Dawson and both hit the turf. Gareth McAuley was the next defender who backed off and was beaten and lastly, goalkeeper Ben Foster couldn’t stop his neatly-placed effort into the bottom corner.

It was a goal fitting to win a tight match between two sides who would ultimately spend the majority of the campaign at the wrong end of the table. It didn’t sparkle Boufal’s season into life though. He was left out of Morocco’s squad for the 2018 World Cup finals and was recently excluded from the Saints’ pre-season tour of China by new manager Mark Hughes. His future at the club looks bleak.

However, this tremendous solo goal was voted by fans as the Carling Goal of the Season for the 2017-2018 campaign.