The final Premier League weekend before the international break could prove to be a pivotal one. Liverpool has taken a stranglehold on the title race by opening up an eight-point gap at the summit.
They enjoyed the fact that City got their second loss of the season, against Wolves, to get 8 points clear. Meanwhile, shocking defeats for United and Spurs might mean their respective coaches will not see Christmas as PL managers.
Get acquainted with all the action as it happened this weekend.
Liverpool 2 x 1 Leicester City
Liverpool opened up the lead on Saturday afternoon, as they held off a resurgent Leicester City side to record an important three points. Brendan Rodgers, who already coached the Kop before, has taken Leicester to a 3rd place and the Foxes were nearly into making history in Anfield.
The Reds thought they had done enough to get all three points after Sadio Mane put them into the lead five minutes before the break. A brilliant pass from Milner, to leave the Senegalese with an open road for goal for his 50th PL goal.
However, it would seem that Jurgen Klopp’s side had to settle for a point and end to their 17-match winning run. James Maddison fired past Adrian to level the scores after 80 minutes.
The match was a clear indication of how far the Foxes have come under Brendan Rodgers. It highlighted exactly why many believe that they could achieve a top-four finish this season.
The Reds weren’t about to give up, however and showed their championship credentials by battling for a winner. They finally got their chance in the final seconds of the match. Mane was brought down in a reckless challenge by Albrighton.
Some may have said it was a soft decision by the referee, but regardless James Milner stepped up.
Milner has only missed one penalty in his Liverpool career. The Englishman took his spot-kick with as much calmness as you would expect from a player with that record. He fired it home, to crown a man of the match performance, and Anfield went crazy.
Klopp was quick to downplay the significance of the gap at the top, but he would have secretly been thinking that they now have a wonderful chance to win their first top-flight title in 30 years.
Wolves cost City 3 more points
Manchester City entered their game at the Etihad against Wolverhampton Wanderers knowing that only a win would do. However, Pep Guardiola would have been aware of the record that Wolves have against the Premier League’s big boys.
City was wasteful throughout, and Wolves played on the hosts’ defensive issues to break through at ease. The visitors should have been in the lead at half time, but Raul Jimenez and Patrick Cutrone both missed glorious chances.
However, City didn’t learn from their mistakes and continued to offer Wolves chances. They were made to rue this as Adama Traore scored twice in the final ten minutes.
Firstly after a tremendous solo play by Raul Jimenez, that made Otamedi drop into the floor. The Mexican assisted Traore, who scored a brilliant goal.
In the dying minutes, another pass from Jimenez left the pacey winger again in the face of Ederson. He did not hesitate to double their lead.
The Citizens pulled back Liverpool from an eight-point lead last season, but on this form, they may struggle to repeat that. Their two defeats against Norwich and Wolves exhibit the weaknesses of Guardiola’s side.
Meanwhile, Wolves started the season without being able to get a win, but now they got two on the bounce. Plus, add the midweek win in Istambul over Besiktas and it looks like Nuno is putting the pieces together.
Newcastle United 1 x 0 Manchester United
Ole Solskjaer is under intense pressure, following another home defeat for Manchester United. They visited Newcastle and, although the Magpies are in the lower places of the Premier League table, they were able to damage United’s ambitions.
There were already waves of disappointment flowing amongst the supporters, after their Europa League match on Thursday. Manchester United faced AZ Alkmaar and drew 0-0. Yet, for the first time in the competition, they failed to get a single shot on target.
. Manchester United faced AZ Alkmaar and drew 0-0. Yet, for the first time in the competition, they failed to get a single shot on target.
In the St. James Park, Manchester United continued to passive throughout the 90 minutes. Steve Bruce gave a start to Matthew Longstaff as he aligned with his older brother Sean on the starting XI. And it was the debut boy who scored the only goal of the game, after a pass from Willems.
Steve Bruce recorded a first-ever win over his former club. Manchester United is now 12th and just 2 points away from the relegation zone.
Brighton & Hove Albion 3 x 0 Tottenham Hotspurs
The Premier League opened with Tottenham Hotspur hoping to end their week from hell. Elimination from the Carabao Cup at the hands of Colchester, a 4th division team and a home thrashing in the Champions League to Bayern Munich was the sum of a week to forget.
However, it was to get worse. Neal Maupay scored after three minutes, in a blunder from Hugo Lloris, who got injured in the aftermath.
Gazzaniga was called to replace him in the Amex, but the keeper would allow two more goals. Aaron Connolly scored a brace in either half to cement a famous 3-0 win for Brighton & Hove Albion.
The 19-year-old Irish starlet had a game to remember, has he netted his two first Premier League goals.
Tottenham drop to 9th place and Pochettino might soon get his job on the line if the unfortunate series of bad results continues.
Southampton 1 x 4 Chelsea
Chelsea recorded another big win on the road, as Lampard’s young squad keeps growing in confidence. Motivated after their midweek Champions League victory over Lille, the Blues started quicker in their game against Southampton.
They raced to the lead with Tammy Abraham again on the scoresheet. With 8 goals in 8 games, he is now joint top scorer with Sergio Aguero. Mason Mount also put his name on the scoresheet for the 4th time this season.
After half time, Danny Ings pulled one back. However, N’golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi ensured the early-season problems for Frank Lampard are a thing of the past.
Arsenal 1 x 0 Bournemouth
Arsenal moved up to third in the league with a hard-fought win over Bournemouth at the Emirates. After the stalemate classic on Monday and a confident 4×0 win on Thursday for Europa League, the ‘Gunners’ are showing improvements under Emery.
Premier League deadline day signing David Luiz scored his first goal for Arsenal, after just nine minutes. A corner struck by Nicolas Pepe and the Brazilian center-back heading it into Bournemouth’s goal.
It was a hard-fought win, as the team from Dorset showed spirit, but Arsenal was solid at the back. Martinelli was given some minutes too, after his two goals in the Europa League, that crowned him as Player of the Week.
Burnley 1 x 0 Everton
Besides Ole and Pochettino, there is another manager with a job on the line. Everton has 4 straight defeats and is in the relegation places of the Premier League. Especially after their Summer spending spree, their campaign is massively disappointing and Marco Silva might get the sack earlier than expected.
This time, the Merseyside Blues visited Burnley and the game turned sour when Seamus Coleman saw red ten minutes into the second half.
The Clarets took full advantage of their situation 15 minutes later as Jeff Hendrick fired in after the Toffees couldn’t clear their lines from a corner.
As Everton drops to 18th place, Burnley, on the other hand, climbs to 7th.
West Ham 1 x 2 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace will be thankful for the introduction of VAR this season. The technology overruled the assistant to award Jordan Ayew’s late winner. Palace moved to 6th place and Roy Hogdson keeps proving his merits for a solid reign at Crystal Palace helms.
In a London derby, Palace visited West Ham in the East side of the city. Sebastien Haller put the Hammers ahead, nutmegging Palace’s keeper Guaita.
However, after Declan Rice touched with his hand in the box, the ref pointed to the spot. Patrick van Aanholt equalized for the visitors and the game was open.
The winning goal would come from Ayew in the 86 minute, after a pass from Kelly, that was correctly ruled as legal by the referee.
Watford 0 x 0 Sheffield United
Watford failed to kickstart their Premier League season. They were held to a 0-0 draw by Sheffield United on Saturday at Vicarage Road.
Neither side deserved maximum points, even though Watford could have opened the scoresheet with 8 minutes on the clock. Andre Gray missed a sitter after Pereyra set the ball to him on a silver platter.
Despite having changed managers, Watford continues the bottom of the league. 0 wins in 8 matches and only 3 points puts the Hornets in need of a miracle.
Norwich City 1 x 5 Aston Villa
It was an enjoyable afternoon for Aston Villa at Norwich as they ran rampant. In a match between two newly promoted sides, the Villains triumphed in style.
Wesley scored twice, while there was a first Premier League goal for Jack Grealish. Conor Hourihane and Douglas Luiz added goals later in the second half. Norwich scored a late consolation through Josip Drmic.
After a brilliant season start that saw them edge a win over champions Manchester City, Norwich seems to have lost their flair. 3 defeats in a row and they are now 19th.
The Premier League schedule will be on a break for International duty. They will return on the 19th of October.