Premier League: Four things you might have missed from the 3pm kick-offs
VAR drama, a mocking celebration and a piece of set-piece mastery – here is what you might have missed
Bournemouth’s beautiful corner kick routine
While Newcastle emerged as the eventual winners and took a vital three points, the true moment of brilliance in this clash came from the visitors. Bournemouth took the lead at Newcastle with a moment of choreographed majesty, a corner routine with plenty of moving parts that left the Newcastle defence befuddled and beaten as Harry Wilson turned home.
The training ground move was executed to perfection: an interchange of passes between the taker and a front-post runner; lumbering runners for the would-be delivery to drag the markers back towards the goal; the threat of men on the edge to hold those guarding the ‘D’; a crisp pass to the feet of a peeling Wilson and a swept finish into the bottom corner from the winger.
Beauty in conception and execution, and a wonderful reaction from Newcastle as each and every player raised their arms in incomprehension, desperate to blame someone else. Magnificent stuff.
Silva staves off sack?
Another week, another disappointing Everton performance. The Toffees were well on top against a Southampton side that started awfully at St Mary’s, and should really have been out of sight before half-time.
But they weren’t, and when Danny Ings found an equaliser soon after the resumption, it appeared Marco Silva’s job was in real danger, with an international break (a perilous time for an under fire manager) looming, and Everton looking increasingly moribund.
Yet Richarlison’s winner seems to have kept Silva safe – for now, at least – as Everton secured their fourth win of the season.
VAR rocks Wood; Wood mocks VAR
That could perhaps read two goals, with the New Zealander twice putting the ball in the net, with the first chalked off for the most marginal of offsides after VAR intervention, with some doubt over the positioning of Ryan Fredericks’ foot at the moment the pass to him was delivered.
Wood took the opportunity to lampoon the technology with his celebration, feigning a referral of his own by replicating the actions of referee Kevin Friend with finger to the ear and arm outstretched. Fun for Burnley, not so much for West Ham, who are having a rather miserable time of things at the moment.
More VAR drama
You though the VAR drama was confined to the Burnley game? No – Sheffield United were the aggrieved party despite picking up a solid away point against Tottenham Hotspur.
If the point of VAR is to overturn the howler, then spending more than two minutes agonising over whether a shoulder or a toe or a hip or a fingernail is offside, then what are we even doing?
The Blades were on the wrong end of an offside decision that could be described as marginal-at-best, with David McGoldrick’s goal ruled out for an offside in the build-up. Was it even offside? That this question can be asked is an indictment in and of itself.