Here are the five things we learned in the English Premier League over the weekend
By SportBrief Reporter
Arsenal win over Swansea but…
The Gunners recorded a come-from-behind 2-1 victor over Swansea to stay within touching distance of the Premier League top four but it must be said that they are not really looking like a Champions League team at the moment.
At home to the Swans, Arsene Wenger’s men found themselves a goal down when Sam Clucas gave the visitors a first-half lead with his maiden goal for the club. After that, the hosts through the attacking trio of Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette tried in vain to break down a resolute Swansea defence as the game went into half time 1-0.
Goals did come in the second half, however, courtesy of Kolasinac and Ramsey as Arsenal eventually won the match but it would be the form of Sanchez that would be slightly worrying for Wenger. The Chilean, though not particularly playing bad, has yet to reach top form this season and its having a direct effect on the team with him being the most threatening player in the squad (no offence Lacazette). If the Gunners are to have a successful league campaign, Wenger will need to figure out how to get Sanchez at his best again.
City remain resolute despite showing signs of complacency
Pep Guardoia’s men have been simply irresistible so far this season as they have made their best ever start to a Premier League season after 10 games, collecting 28 points with a frightening goal difference of plus 29. The Citizens’ 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion saw them maintain a healthy 5 point lead over second-placed rivals Manchester United but it is worth noting that they were a bit sloppy defensively at times during the match.
Poor defending for the second goal gave West Brom late hope, which made for a nervy finish to the game. If City is to go all the way, such complacency must not be entertained whatsoever.
Mourinho silences critics…for now
The Manchester United boss was heavily criticized after he set out his Man United side to contain Liverpool at Anfield earlier this month. Fans and pundits alike suggested that with the wealth of attacking talent that United have, he should have freed his attackers to probe Liverpool’s vulnerable defence instead of being satisfied with a 0-0 draw against the club’s fierce rivals.
And against Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday, it appeared Mourinho was up to his old tactics again, having deployed a three at the back defensive formation. But alas, the Portuguese was vindicated when United won 1-0 thanks to a late Anthony Martial strike. After the match, Mourinho gestured a sign of silence to the nearby camera as he looks to have silenced his critics for the time being.
Liverpool in rare clean sheet!
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool won 3-0 at home to Huddersfield but the result did little to allay fears that the club are treading water under the charismatic German as a title challenge looks a distant dream despite keeping a very rare clean sheet. For all his charm, Klopp talks a better game than his team can consistently deliver on the pitch. While blessed with attacking riches, the Anfield club have been found wanting defensively.
With his team already 12 points adrift of Manchester City, even the upbeat Klopp realises there is disquiet on the terraces and with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti presently out of a job he knows a top-class replacement is available. “It’s a big relief to be honest because the pressure was there,” Klopp said after the Huddersfield win. “There is no doubt about that. The second one (goal) after a set-piece felt like Christmas.” He will hope for many more Christmases before December 25, otherwise his present may not be one he wished for.
Premier League top six beginning to take shape
The Premier League table is taking a familiar shape with 10 games gone for most sides. The two Manchester clubs got off to flying starts and look pretty established in the top two spots but unfamiliar interlopers such as Watford muscled onto the scene in the early weeks of the season as Liverpool and Arsenal faltered. However, normal service appears to have been resumed with all the “Big Six” now occupying the top six places. With City in the form they’re in, the other five might be fighting among themselves for the scraps.