The Premier League returned after the international break with a host of massive talking points in a significant weekend at the top and bottom of the division.
There was also a return to the dugout for a certain Jose Mourinho, while it could have been the last time in the manager’s chair for a host of other top-flight bosses.
Manchester City 2 X 1 Chelsea
Manchester City showcased the form of champions on Saturday evening. They battled back from a goal down to claim all three points against Frank Lampard’s exciting Chelsea side.
The Blues came into the game in excellent form having won their previous six in the Premier League. That form saw them go into the game at the Etihad above the current champions.
City needed a win to remove the memories from their recent defeat at Anfield, and also close the gap back to nine points. However, they couldn’t count with starlet Bernardo Silva as the young Portuguese winger was punished by the FA with a game, due to a controversial tweet.
Chelsea started the better and deservedly took the lead after 21 minutes. N’Golo Kante, in his 150th Chelsea appearance, squeezed through the middle of the City defense before seeing his deflected effort trickled over the line.
De Bruyne and Mahrez to the rescue
However, City responded quickly and was level before the half-hour mark. Kevin De Bruyne swept the Chelsea defense, before cheekily tricking Kepa in a remarkable finish.
City would get their noses in front before the break as they would score their second less than ten minutes later. Riyad Mahrez got the goal, against a passive Chelsea defense, to reward the confidence that was placed in him by Pep Guardiola.
The Citizens would hang on to the three points in a pulsating second period, and even had a third goal disallowed by a tight VAR offside decision.
Regardless, the three points were all City wanted. Chelsea end their streak of consecutive wins and they get defeated once again, after already failing in the test against Liverpool.
Crystal Palace 1 X 2 Liverpool
City went into their fixture 12 points behind the runaway leaders Liverpool after they increased their lead with another late winner away from home.
There was more than a layer of fortune about the Reds win, however, as Palace had an opener disallowed for the slightest push on Dejan Lovren.
Sadio Mane put the traveling side ahead just after half time with his tenth goal of the season and his fifth in succession against the Eagles.
Wilfried Zaha equalized with eight minutes remaining before Roberto Firmino ensured the win for the Reds with five minutes left to play.
Zaha missed an excellent chance in the final stages, and few would have complained if the Eagles would have got the point. However, the Reds continue to put their foot down on the accelerator as they speed away from the chasing pack.
Sheffield United 3 X 3 Manchester United
The game of the weekend came from Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon. The Blades would have been wondering how they didn’t get all three points.
The Red Devils were inept for 70 minutes as Sheffield raced into a two-goal lead. John Fleck scored the opener before Lys Mousset got the second, eight minutes into the second half.
However, a crazy ten minutes saw United turn the game on its head. Brandon Williams pulled one back after 72 minutes before substitute Mason Greenwood leveled the scored five minutes later.
Marcus Rashford then put United in front 120 seconds later. However, the Blades came back again and deservedly got their equalizer in the final second, when Oli McBurnie fired past David De Gea.
Sheffield United continue their impressive form, as the newly-promoted side arrives in matchday 13 in the 6th place. Meanwhile, Manchester United is 9th and Wilder’s team showed against the fragilities of the Red Devils’ defense.
Arsenal 2 X 2 Southampton
The pressure continued to mount on Unai Emery as the Gunners needed a last gasp equalizer to get a point against the struggling Saints.
The visitors twice went ahead through Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse. Yet, Alexandre Lacazette was in inspired form, as he spared Emery’s blushes in the sixth minute of injury time.
The French forward also levelled the scores in the first half, but the Gunners didn’t deserve maximum points and were hugely fortunate to have gotten one.
As supporters keep asking for #EmeryOut, how long will the Spanish coach keep his job in charge of the Gunners?
West Ham United 2 X 3 Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho’s return to the Premier League went to plan, as Tottenham won their first game on the road since January.
Spurs were 2-0 up at the break after goals from Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura. Harry Kane got his first goal under the new regime early in the second half with a trademark header.
Kane’s goal means that he is now up to third in the record for the most goals for Spurs.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the visitors as late goals from Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna threatened to ruin Mourinho’s return. The Portuguese manager was seen fuming in the sidelines and he will be likely eager to address the defensive issues of his team.
Spurs host Olympiakos this Tuesday in the Champions League group stages and they can book their tickets to the knockout phase.
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 X 2 Leicester City
Leicester City is looking every inch like a side that could potentially challenge for the title this season, as they looked unfazed on their trip to Brighton.
The Foxes were ruthless in front of goal and composed in defense. Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy’s goals ensured that the side from the East Midlands remains above Manchester City in the Premier League table standings.
Vardy also consolidates himself as the top scorer of Premier League, with 12 goals so far.
It was their fifth straight Premier League win and Leicester have actually more points after 13 matches than in their title-winning season.
Their next 4 matches in the Premier League schedule are against teams in the bottom side of the table (Everton, Watford, Norwich and Aston Villa). So do not be surprised to see the Foxes extend their run to 9 straight wins.
Their fire test will come at Christmas, as they will have two consecutive matches against Man. City and Liverpool.
Everton 0 X 2 Norwich City
Marco Silva’s job looks to be hanging by the last thread as they were handed a seventh defeat of the season by Norwich City. After Pochettino, the manager of the Toffees seems to be the next one leading the sack race.
The Canaries began the day at the bottom of the league table but moved up to 18th with an important win on the road. The goals for the traveling side were scored by Todd Cantwell and Dennis Srbeny.
Norwich did not win a game since September when they defeated Manchester City. Everton is in 16th, dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Watford 0 X 3 Burnley
Another manager that looks to be teetering towards the edge is Quique Sanches Flores. He watched on as his Watford side were humbled at Vicarage Road by an impressive Burnley side.
Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes put the Clarets in complete control before a late James Tarkowski finish put the gloss on the result.
Watford had won for the first time in matchday 12, against Norwich. However, this defeat means that the Hornets now sit again rock bottom of the Premier League and are yet to win at home this campaign.
Bournemouth 1 X 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves are quietly going about their business this season, as they moved up to fifth with a hard-fought win over ten-men Bournemouth.
Joao Moutinho scored a wonderful free-kick to put the traveling side ahead. Then, they doubled the lead after 31 minutes, in a set-piece masterclass, with Moutinho giving the first kick and Adama Traore assisting Jimenez.
Things went from bad to worse for the Cherries when Simon Francis was sent off before the break. However, Eddie Howe’s side scored a consolation through Steve Cook, but Wolves were deserved winners.
The Wolves are now in 5th place, overtaking Sheffield’s place. Will they get another season of Europa League football?
Aston Villa 2 x 0 Newcastle United
The last match of this weekend was played on Monday night and it was a classic fixture between two historical crests of English football. Newcastle traveled to Villa Park trying to get 3 wins on the bounce for Steve Bruce, as the Magpies had beaten West Ham and Bournemouth in the last 2 fixtures.
Meanwhile, Villa came from 3 defeats in a row, although those 3 were against City, Liverpool and Wolves.
Conor Hourihane put the Villains in front after half-hour in the clock, scoring an irreprehensible free-kick from the edge of the box. Yedlin must be blamed, as his clumsy and unnecessary foul led to such a dangerous set-piece.
4 minutes later, another set-piece and this time Conor squared it up for El Ghazi to finish it.
Villa can take some appreciation on Tom Heaton for keeping a clean sheet, as he denied twice Newcastle’s goal with two fine saves. Aston Villa leaves the danger zone, as they climb to 15th, Newcastle is 14th.