Sunday’s match between Liverpool and Manchester City was set up as the highlight of the weekend, and though it failed to deliver in the way of goals, it was one of the tensest matches we’ve seen this term. Both Liverpool and Man City were reluctant to slip up in their meeting at Anfield, especially given City’s recent record here under Pep Guardiola. The Citizens missed the perfect chance to claim a win, with Riyad Mahrez ballooning his penalty attempt over the bar. Their 0-0 draw has left the title race looking wide open ahead of the international break.
The Reds were looking a little sluggish in their clash with the champions, something Jurgen Klopp addressed after the game. He said tiredness is a concern, but that is alarming at this early stage of the season. They have a packed schedule, international windows to manage and then Christmas just around the corner. While Klopp will have been glad to ultimately take a point after that penalty miss, his side could be struggling moving forward.
That draw left the pair each on 20 points at the top of the table, and they both remain unbeaten. However, Chelsea have edged ahead of Liverpool into third place. The Blues were 3-0 winners at Southampton at the weekend, with Ross Barkley putting in a starring display. The midfielder teed up Eden Hazard’s opener before scoring himself, and he seems to be growing into the Marek Hamsik-type which Maurizio Sarri needs. Barkley has a real chance to claim a central midfield berth going forward, after keeping the Blues in the title hunt.
Emery Delivering Classic Arsenal
It’s not just the top three which is tight. Arsenal find themselves just two points off the pinnacle, after a sixth straight Premier League win. They hammered Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang each hitting a brace. The Gunners were clinical in attack, and their fantastic display was capped off by one of the goals of the season from Aaron Ramsey, a strike not to be missed.
The dramatic Premier League weekend brought fireworks at Old Trafford of all places. Jose Mourinho’s side fell 2-0 behind after 10 minutes against Newcastle, but Alex Ferguson seemingly stepped back into the breach at half-time. United pulled off a Fergie-style comeback of years gone by, and the Red Devils managed to save Mourinho’s job as a result. Alexis Sanchez managed to score the winner to give United a 3-2 win. That came just after reports that Mourinho was being lined up for a dismissal, and replacements were being considered, so this comeback was crucial for the Portuguese boss.
United’s win wasn’t quite enough to get them into the top six, as Bournemouth compete that cluster, just four points shy of top spot. They have raced to 16 points in eight games, half the number of games it took to get to that total last season. The Cherries smashed Watford 4-0 at Vicarage Road this weekend, and that run has boosted their hopes of making a push to finish in the top half. This could be a great season for Eddie Howe and his side, who have incredible talent up front. Saturday’s win saw a brace for Josh King, while Callum Wilson’s strike wrapped up a crushing victory for the Cherries.
Shaky Victory for Tottenham
Tottenham are hot on the heels of Arsenal, as they sit fifth following a win over Cardiff. A 1-0 victory over the Welsh side has left Neil Warnock’s team bottom, and this is usually around the point when they kick the experienced promotion chaser back down to the second tier. Warnock can’t take too much stick for their loss at Wembely, with Eric Dier’s early goal the only difference between the pair. Cardiff managed to hang on even with 10 men, which is a worrying sign for Mauricio Pochettino and co.
Saturday brought the best and worst of Leicester, after we saw an incredible solo goal from Ricardo Perreira. The Portuguese full-back levelled the scores against Everton with his brilliant run, which came after Richarlison added yet another goal to his tally. The worst of the Foxes came after, with Wes Morgan sent off for the second time in three games. With a man advantage, Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson found the space to hit a wonderful goal, giving the Toffees all three points.
There was a huge missed opportunity at Turf Moor, as two struggling sides dropped points. Burnley hosted Huddersfield, with both sides desperate to turn around their terrible form. The Terriers cancelled out Sam Vokes’ opener for the Clarets, and the two sides departed with a point. While the visitors jumped off the bottom, they’re still winless so far this term. Meanwhile, Burnley’s recent momentum came to an end, and they are still in reach of the bottom three.
Wolves Continue Rise
Wolves continued a six game unbeaten run in a visit to Selhurst Park at the weekend, as Matt Doherty’s strike secured a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace. The Eagles will be worried about that defeat, which has left them down in 14th, despite making a promising start this season. Meanwhile, that victory keeps Wolves above Manchester United, something they’ve got to be delighted with. They’re in the top seven in their return to the top flight, and they’re making Premier League survival look pretty easy thus far.
The Friday night game brought more toil for West Ham, as they lost 1-0 at Brighton. The expensively assembled Hammers were supposed to kick on this season, but they’re hanging just above the drop zone after another defeat. Recent meetings with top sides have brought some respite in their poor fortunes, but their failure to show up in games like this represents a real concern. It seems like the Hammers have a few stars who are uninterested in the smaller games, which isn’t something they can afford if they’re truly going to kick on this season. Meanwhile, Brighton sit 13th after Glenn Murray’s winner, after ending their wait for a victory.