Results: AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Sunderland, Burnley 3-2 Crystal Palace, Manchester City 1-1 Middlesbrough, West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City, Chelsea 5-0 Everton, Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC 6-1 Watford, Hull City 2-1 Southampton, Swansea City 1-3 Manchester United, Leicester City 1-2 West Bromwich Albion
At the start of November 2016, the top five in the table were covered by just three points. Title favourites Manchester City led the standings but had Arsenal, Liverpool FC, a revitalised Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur right on their coattails. By the end of this particular weekend, we had new leaders again and another special Premier League goalscoring milestone had been reached.
Manchester City had wobbled recently at The Etihad Stadium, having dropped points at home to Southampton and Everton and that trend continued against Middlesbrough. Just days after sweeping aside Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League group stages, it looked like the home side were on their way to a routine victory when Sergio Aguero scored two minutes before half-time. However, despite having 25 shots on-goal, they were wasteful and were punished in the first minute of stoppage-time. George Friend’s cross was met by midfielder Marten de Roon, whose header was too powerful to be stopped by Claudio Bravo, earning Boro a fourth away draw of the season. It was now just one win in five Premier League matches for Pep Guardiola.
Chelsea had the opportunity to go top following this result at Eastlands and Eden Hazard put in an exemplary performance as Everton were crushed 5-0 at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian was in masterful form, scoring twice, whilst Pedro ably assisted with a goal of his own and two assists too. Since a half-time change of formation in defeat at Arsenal at the end of September, Chelsea hadn’t conceded a goal and had now chalked up five successive victories.
On the Sunday, Arsenal had the opportunity to take over at the summit of the table as they hosted local rivals Tottenham in the latest edition of the hotly-contested North London Derby rivalry. It seemed like they were going to inflict a first defeat of the season on Mauricio Pochettino’s side when Kevin Wimmer headed the ball into his own net from a Mesut Ozil free-kick. However, Tottenham were given a penalty by Mark Clattenburg when Mousa Dembele was tripped in the penalty area by Laurent Koscielny. On his return to the starting XI following six weeks out with injury, Harry Kane made an immediate impact on his return, converting the spot-kick as Spurs extended their unbeaten run. However, they had now drawn four successive matches since beating Manchester City a month earlier.
Ultimately, it was Liverpool FC who would end the weekend as new league leaders. Jurgen Klopp’s side produced a sparkling display against a Watford side that caved in spectacularly at Anfield. Sadio Mane scored twice and Georginio Wijnaldum struck his first Reds goal as the Hornets lost 6-1 at Anfield. Liverpool were top scorers in the division with 30 goals in just 11 matches.
There was a piece of goalscoring history at The Liberty Stadium. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the 25,000th goal in Premier League history as Manchester United strolled to a 3-1 win at Swansea and moved back into the top six. It was only their second win in eight matches and left the Swans second-bottom and only above Sunderland on goal difference. There was finally some joy for the Black Cats supporters, as they came from behind to defeat AFC Bournemouth 2-1 and record their first victory of the season at the 11th attempt of asking.
The cracks were beginning to show at Leicester City. The reigning champions were performing dreadfully on their travels but at home, they were still unbeaten until West Bromwich Albion outfought and outplayed them. Matt Phillips scored the winning goal as the Baggies made the short trip back across the Midlands with all three points following a 2-1 win and left Claudio Ranieri’s side just two points above the relegation zone.
What else happened in November 2016?
- Republican candidate Donald Trump defeats Hilary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States.
- Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who spent 32 years in office, dies aged 90.
- 71 people are killed in Colombia on-board LaMia Flight 2933 which include many of the Brazilian Chapecoense football team.
- Thomas Mair is found guilty of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox in West Yorkshire and is sentenced to life imprisonment at The Old Bailey.
- UKIP has a new leader as Paul Nuttall is elected.
- BBC Television celebrates its 80th anniversary.
- Britain’s Andy Murray becomes ATP Men’s Singles World no.1, becoming the first British player to reach no.1 in the tennis rankings in the modern era.