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Premier League Round-Up: Everyone’s a Bottle-job?

Premier League Round-Up: Everyone’s a Bottle-job?

Fresh off their latest accusation of “bottling it” (against Juventus), Tottenham overcame adversity in the shape of an injured Harry Kane to beat Bournemouth 1-4 on Sunday, thanks to goals from Heung Min-Son, Dele Alli and Serge Aurier. Surely this proves Pochettino’s side have a strong mentality? Probably not, as far as social media is concerned; anything but perfection from Tottenham is considered another example of them losing their nerve.

Dele Alli 2017 by Dom Fellowes is licensed by CC 2.0

Yes, Son got two goals, but why didn’t he score a hattrick? Sure, Dele Alli was booed from the first minute then scored and celebrated with a cupped ear to the home fans, but why didn’t he leap into the crowd and shove one of them over like Mark Noble would have? And is Harry Kane really injured, or is he just bottling the World Cup already? At least with Kane missing, certain sections of the media can move onto asking if Spurs can keep Son from leaving for Madrid.

Swansea vs Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup) is showing live at Topgolf on 17/03/2018 at 12:15

Perhaps the only other club criticised more than Spurs for a perceived weak mind-set is Arsenal. And nobody has been harsher on them then Hornets striker Troy Deeney, who earlier in the season gleefully declared the Gunners were missing “cojones,” and of course, mocked Hector Bellerin’s long hair. After seeing his side go 2-0 down, Deeney had the perfect chance to show the jeering Arsenal fans just how colossal his own cojones were, when Watford were awarded a penalty in the 2nd half.

Troy Deeney 141028 by Franziska is licensed by CC 2.0

Facing a goalkeeper in Petr Cech who prior to Sunday afternoon, had failed to save a single penalty for Arsenal, Deeney promptly stepped up and bottled it. The cheer from the Arsenal fans was the loudest of the afternoon. Hector Bellerin, who was presumably rested so he could respond to such possibilities as quickly as possible on twitter, was quicker to get in on the act then he has been closing down most wingers this season.

Arsenal vs AC Milan (Europa League) is showing live at Topgolf on 15/03/2018 at 20:05

If Bellerin had been watching Manchester United vs Liverpool on Saturday, he would no doubt have empathised with Trent Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool were expected by many to overpower a suspect United defence but it was Alex Hunter Marcus Rashford who grabbed the headlines, outwitting the young Liverpool right-back to bag a 1st half brace.

Rashford finished powerfully and then precisely into the far corner of Loris Karius’ net to put the game beyond Liverpool before half-time, with Arnold arguably at fault in the lead-up to both goals. The sight of Jose Mourinho frantically scribbling into a notepad prior to the first suggested a masterplan at work, but really, the goals were a simple combination of long ball to Lukaku, followed by ruthlessness from Rashford.

Liverpool vs Watford (Premier League) is showing live at Topgolf on 17/03/2018 at 17:30

Manchester United vs Brighton (Premier League) is showing live at Topgolf on 17/03/2018 at 19:45

Such old-school tactics have long disappeared from the cliché that is Stoke away on a cold Monday night, and so it was that Manchester City travelled to the Britannia with no fears of long-range hoofs or towel-dried throw-ins. They did however, have to face up to the most self-pitying fans in the Premier League, who once booed Aaron Ramsey for having his leg broken.

Stoke City FC V Arsenal 69 is licensed by CC 2.0

Such bitter hostility held no anxiety for City, even if local paper 'the Stoke Sentinel' did publish a matchday guide on which of Guardiola’s specific players to boo before, during and after the contest. Despite the Potters fans carrying out their jeering duties with admirable persistence throughout the game, City cruised to a 0-2 victory with goals from David Silva either side of half-time. Not that Stoke can be accused of bottling it; sometimes, the opposition are just far too good.

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