EPL Week 9 Review
After another weekend of unpredictable results this is shaping up to be the most exciting title race in years. Of the top eight only Liverpool and Chelsea were able to take all three points from their respective fixtures.
Jurgen Klopp’s side continued their fine run of form with a narrow victory over West Brom. Having been held to a draw vs Bourinho’s United last Monday the title talk around Anfield had somewhat evaporated, at least temporarily. Saturday’s victory which ultimately drew them level on points with both City and Arsenal has set the Liverpool band wagon rolling once again.
Are Liverpool EPL Title Contenders?
Any team joint at the top of the EPL must be considered as contenders. However, let’s not forget it is only October and so if I was a Liverpool fan I wouldn’t be getting carried away just yet. Sorry Liverpool fans but I just can’t see you going the distance for a number of reasons. Two dodgy keepers, the inability to defend any form of set piece and a lack of strength in depth will ultimately cost you.
The Return of the Special One…
Jose returned to the bridge this weekend and prior to kick off it was all about him, just the way he likes it. Having gone to Anfield last week and parked the bus it was pretty obvious he was going to try and do the same thing in the hope of avoiding defeat.
I’m a huge critic of his ‘anti-football’ approach especially when you are the manager of such a prestigious club and spending hundreds of millions of pounds on ‘top players’.
Nothing pleased me more than to see his game plan go out of the window inside a minute and their vulnerability was clear for all to see. Chelsea continued to stick the knife in on their old boss and were far superior in every department.
“I know you sold me the wrong Pogba”
In a poor attempt to deflect the headlines away from his teams awful performance Jose reportedly whispered in the ears of Conte something to the effect of “you don’t celebrate like that at 4-0. You can do it at 1-0, otherwise it’s humiliating for us.”
Despite his side being horrendous and Chelsea completely out playing them he still had to make it all about him come the end of the game. He had an issue with the current Chelsea manager celebrating? That’s rich coming from this man…
Jose slides on his knee’s in celebration during his Real Madrid days.
City without a win in five…
Once again individual errors cost Pep Guardiola’s side dearly and John Stones’ decision making doesn’t seem to have improved just yet.
City were held at home by an in-form, well organised and resolute Southampton side. Credit to the Saints but there’s no doubt the blue half of Manchester will be somewhat disappointed with the nature of the goal they conceded.
It appeared to be a mix up between Stones and Vincent Kompany but none the less a goal that could have been avoided had a bit of common sense been applied. It wasn’t to be City’s day in the end but the results around them gave them some breathing space, a draw this weekend wasn’t as damaging as it could have been.
A constantly changing formation and a lack of confidence are certainly contributing to City’s bad run but there’s no need for an over reaction, they are top of the EPL!
Arsenal & Spurs stutter…
Neither North London club were able to take all three points this weekend and I would put it down to both suffering from a Champions League hangover. It’s been years since Spurs have been able to use that excuse!
Spurs failed to dazzle at the vitality stadium and Bournemouth could have nicked it late on. Perhaps the biggest talking point was the moment of madness from Moussa Sissoko where he appeared to throw an elbow at Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter. The Frenchman was lucky not to see red and I expect him to face retrospective action in the coming days.
I was at the Emirates on Saturday and the Gunners were simply off the boil. A leggy Arsenal side struggled to create as many openings as they would have liked against a stubborn and well organised Boro side.
The absence of Santi Cazorla in the middle of the park was a big miss for the Gunners. He plays a vital role in Arsenal’s midfield, a player who is so good at both collecting the ball from the defence and play making from deep was always going to be missed. The man who normally makes us tick wasn’t in the side and it disrupted our fluency in possession.
Arsenal missed their deep lying playmaker on Saturday.
It’s worth noting had it not been for Petr Cech Arsenal could have ended up losing that one. Adana Traore was a constant threat down the right hand side and its hard to believe that he spent last season sitting on Aston Villa’s bench!
Boro were good value for the point. Both North London clubs suffered a minor stutter but it’s nothing to worry about at this stage, I expect both to be there or thereabouts come May.
Bournemouth 0-0 Spurs, West Ham 1-0 Sunderland, Swansea 0-0 Watford, Leicester City 3-1 Crystal Palace, Hull City 0-2 Stoke, Burnley 2-1 Everton, Arsenal 0-0 Boro, Man City 1-1 Southampton, Chelsea 4-0 Man Utd.
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