The Premier League returned after the international break with a high-quality weekend full of twists and turns. Liverpool’s winning run was ended at Old Trafford, and they failed to match the 18-match winning run set by Manchester City in the 2017-18 season.
Pep Guardiola’s side narrowed the gap at the top of the table with a convincing win at Selhurst Park on Saturday, while there was more misery for Mauricio Pochettino at the hands of Watford.
If you missed any of the action from the weekend, then this is the best place to catch up on what you may have missed.
Manchester United 1 X 1 Liverpool
Liverpool had been hugely backed to end their recent bad form at Old Trafford by beating a lackluster Manchester United side on Sunday. However, the game itself didn’t exactly play out that way.
The Anfield Reds looked overwhelmed by the occasion, and the pressure began to affect their performance on the pitch.
Jurgen Klopp was annoyed on the sidelines as United took the lead in the first half. A sweeping counter-attack by Daniel James was brilliantly finished off by Marcus Rashford.
However, the German manager felt that VAR should have overturned the goal as Divock Origi was fouled in the build-up. However, the referee was in communication with the VAR, but they believed the Belgian went down too easily.
It might have been the correct call since Origi was holding the wrong leg while he laid on the turf.
More VAR drama and Lallana to the rescue
The Merseyside team also had a goal disallowed by VAR before the half time. Sadio Mane used his hand to get past Victor Lindelof before tucking the ball past David De Gea. Replays showed that the ball clearly touched the Liverpool man’s hand, and the goal was correctly chalked off.
The Red Devils had chances to kill the game off in the second period with both Rashford and Fred firing shots wide. However, Liverpool would rescue a point with five minutes remaining as Andrew Robertson’s cross somehow managed to trickle across the box to an unmarked Adam Lallana.
This was Lallana’s first goal in two years for Liverpool and it came at the right time.
Klopp was ultimately happy with a point, but the result wasn’t good enough to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. They still have 6 though, but they will face Spurs next weekend and need to be fully focused.
Crystal Palace 0 x 2 Manchester City
The gap now stands at six following Manchester City’s excellent performance on Saturday evening. It was seen by most as a potential banana skin, but a makeshift City backline looked unfazed at Selhurst Park, against Crystal Palace.
The defensive partnership of Fernandinho and record signing Rodri performed excellently, giving the Citizens a foundation to attack the Eagles.
All of the damage was done in the first half by City. Gabriel Jesus scored a brilliant header after 31 minutes after Bernardo Silva set up a cross.
Then, David Silva capped a wonderful sweeping move with a half-volley past Wayne Hennessey two minutes later. The game finished 0x2 and Manchester City are two points closer to the top.
Manchester City is back in action this Tuesday, against Atalanta in Champions League group stages.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 X 1 Watford
Spurs were made to work hard to rescue a point at the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday. There was more than a little good fortune about their equalizer.
In a very bad weekend for VAR, the technology was the talking point again. The ball looked to have hit the arm of Dele Ali before the Englishman fired past Ben Foster late in the game to secure a point.
Watford had been a good value for their lead and would have counted themselves unfortunate that they didn’t get all three points. Abdoulaye Doucoure had given the Hornets the lead after six minutes, but they remain the only side in the league not to have recorded a win thus far.
They have changed managers already, with Quique Flores replacing Javi Gracia. Yet, they will probably keep facing a tough battle over relegation this season.
Spurs, on the other hand, continue to cast doubts on their form. Pochettino might get the sack soon and his head will be on the line in their Champions League match this Tuesday.
Sheffield United 1 x 0 Arsenal
In the match that ended the Premier League weekend, played this Monday evening, Arsenal traveled to Sheffield to face the newly-promoted side. It seemed like an easy fixture, but once again the ‘Gunners’ proved they still have a lot of amateur behavior both defending and finishing.
The Blades were confident after securing a win over Everton in the last matchday and a win would catapult them to the top 10 of the table. They stunned Unai Emery’s defense opening the deadlock after half an hour on the clock.
Lys Mousset enjoyed a loose ball after a corner kick in the area and, finished it thanks to the passivity of Arsenal’s defense.
Henderson saves the Blades again
Sheffield enjoyed another fine exhibition from Dean Henderson, who kept another clean sheet, making some stunning saves. The most remarkable one was a flying stop to a thunderbolt kick from Xhaka.
Arsenal drops to 5th place, out of the Champions League places. They will hope for better luck this Thursday when they face Vitoria SC in the Europa League group stages.
Leicester City 2 X 1 Burnley
On the anniversary of the tragic death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, an emotional King Power Stadium saw the Foxes briefly go into second place. Leicester continues to play great football and has given a proper tribute to the chairman behind their title-winning season.
Still, it was Chris Wood who had put the Clarets ahead, scoring his 4th goal this season. Nonetheless, Leicester has shown power and heart and they struck back. First through Jamie Vardy, who enjoyed a cross from Harvey Barnes, after the young Leicester midfielder danced past Burnley’s defense.
In the second half, Tielemans would seal the win, with a clinical finish inside the box. Barnes was once again involved, with a cheeky dummy pass that left the Belgian unmarked.
VAR was once again in use, as the technology overturned what Wood thought was a late equalizer for a foul on Jonny Evans. It was extremely harsh on Burnley, but Brendan Rodgers didn’t care.
They are now 3rd in the league, tied in points with Chelsea. Will the Foxes get back to Champions League next season?
Chelsea 1 X 0 Newcastle United
Frank Lampard’s side was made to work extremely hard to break down a resolute Newcastle defense at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Still, the Blues made it 3 wins in a row in the league and 5 in all competitions.
Premier League top scorer Tammy Abraham – tied currently with Aguero with 8 goals – was close to putting another one on the sheet for him. His headed effort went a bit over the crossbar.
The ‘Magpies’ might be thankful to Martin Dubravka as he kept Steve Bruce’s men in the game. Nonetheless, he finally was beaten by a fierce strike from Marcos Alonso. A combination with Hudson-Odoi was the recipe for success.
The Blues were good value for the three points in Stamford Bridge. They are now 4th, tied with Leicester in points. It seems like Frank Lampard has finally set his team at his own pace.
Aston Villa 2 X 1 Brighton & Hove Albion
VAR was once again the talking point at Villa Park, but it didn’t stop the Villa from getting all three points.
Adam Webster fired Brighton in front after 21 minutes. However, Aaron Mooy’s red card changed the course of the game.
Conor Hourihane had thought he had pulled the home side level, but VAR overturned the goal. However, Villa did get themselves level when Jack Grealish raced unmarked into the box for a tap in.
Grealish was at the centre of everything good that the home side did, and set up Matt Targett for the winning goal four minutes into injury time.
With this win, Villa jumps to 12th place, while Brighton drops to 16th.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 X 1 Southampton
Another game marred by VAR drama was at Molineux. Wolves had two goals disallowed by the technology before being awarded a soft penalty in the second period to rescue a point.
Matt Doherty went down in the box to win the spot-kick, but the decision was extremely harsh on the Saints.
Raul Jimenez made no mistake from 12-yards to earn a point after, Danny Ings had put the traveling side ahead six minutes into the second half.
Wolves continue to show they are the ‘Robin Hood’ of the league, giving away points to the bottom sides and taking from the top ones. After their victory in the Etihad, we would expect them to do more against a Saints team that is in the 17th position.
Everton 2 X 0 West Ham United
It is known that Marco Silva has his head on the line as we emphazised last week. The pressure on the manager was eased somewhat in the early game on Saturday, against West Ham.
His Toffees side stopped the rot by winning their first game in four.
West Ham were disappointing in the game and threatened very rarely. Bernard fired the home side into the lead after poor defending by the Hammers. It was a brilliant play by the Brazilian, however, who dazzled the opposition defenders, before putting it past the goalkeeper Roberto.
In the second half, Gylfi Sigurdsson wrapped up the three points with an excellent curling finish from 18-yards out. One of the goals of the season so far.
Everton is now 15th and West Ham drops to 11th.
Bournemouth 0 X 0 Norwich City
A match between two sides that were free-scoring and had failed to keep a clean sheet all season ended in an unlikely goalless draw.
The result would have been a welcome sight for Norwich fans. Still, the Cherries were made to pay for not taking one of their clear cut opportunities.
However, the Canaries remain the only promoted side in the drop zone. Meanwhile, Bournemouth drops to 10th.
More football action will come next weekend in the Premier League schedule as Liverpool hosts Spurs, in the Champions League final rematch. Stay tuned for more.