Liverpool beat title rivals Manchester City 3-1 today, keeping Pep’s men at bay and opening a 9 point gap between the two teams. Leicester City and Chelsea continued their good form and are second and third respectively. Leicester’s good fortune came at the expense of Arsenal who lost again, while Spurs drew. Manchester United managed to score three and beat Brighton, a rarity in the Premier League, and are now seventh, one point behind 5th placed Sheffield United, whom they face next.
Advantage Liverpool in the title race
Jurgen Klopp will be happy with his team’s performance today while Guardiola will rue their poor start. City were down 2-0 after 14 minutes. They did rally after that and probably deserved a couple of goals but you don’t just go down by three goals at Anfield and expect to come back. Liverpool’s defense held tight while Mane, Salah and co kept pressuring the City defense on the other side.
It’s starting to look like Liverpool might just win the English Premier League after a 29 year wait! But Liverpool has taken such leads before, only to disappoint fans in the second part of the season. They also have to navigate a tricky end of the year with the Club World Cup and a very unreasonable fixture list.
Leicester City and Chelsea mean business
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City convincingly beat Arsenal 2-0, maybe leaving the Gunners’ fans to think why their club did not go for Brendan instead of Emery, who looks doomed to be fired by the end of the season.
James Maddison and Jamie Vardy have been instrumental in Leicester’s wins but one of the team’s unsung heroes in certainly Soyuncu, who had big shoes to fill after Harry Maguire left for United. The Turkish defender has been impeccable so far.
After a false start to the season, Frank Lampard’s young team have been on fire. They deservedly are in third place, separated by goal difference from Leicester City. Tammy Abraham has been scoring goals for fun while the defense has also now stabilized for Lampard. Expect greater things from them in the second part of the season.
United turning a corner?
Solskjaer started the season with a false positive against Chelsea, then proceeded to continue on the bad form from the end of last season. Now it seems United are turning a corner. After the Liverpool draw, where they arguably deserved to win, United have beaten Partizan twice, Norwich, Chelsea away from home and finally Brighton today. The only blip since the Liverpool game was the defeat at Bournemouth last week.
What is more interesting from United is they have scored two goals in the first half in their last two games, following through with a third in the second half against both Partizan on Thursday and today. Anthony Martial’s return is helping his teammates thrive around him. Had Rashford been more clinical, United would surely have scored six today.
Soskjaer will be happy with his young team. Starting with the youngest lineup in the Premier League this season, his team did well. Brandon Williams was rock solid at left back. McTominay marshalled the midfield as usual. James and Rashford were lively on the wings – Pereira conducted from the middle. Anthony Martial was pure class when he was involved but needs to be more present, consistently. Even the often maligned Fred stepped up today, bossing the midfield and troubling the Brighton goalie with his powerful shots.
Arsenal and Spurs Stagnate
The two London rivals have not quite yet hit top gear this season. Arsenal are not playing well, with all the controversy surrounding ex-captain Xhaka not helping Emery. Rumors that Lacazette and Aubameyang are not signing new contracts because they want to play Champions League football are making matters worse for their fans.
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Spurs look like they are still hangover from the Champions League final and disappointing transfer window. Pochettino is having trouble continuing to motivate troops who might have already reached their maximum. I am sure they will come around but it is starting to look like another trophy-less season is coming for Tottenham.
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