Liverpool and Chelsea have thrown the English Premier League title race wide open.
Just a few short weeks ago, Manchester City were threatening to run away with the English Premier League title. However, since Pep Guardiola’s ill-fated trip to White Hart Lane, City are winless in their last three matches in all competitions.
Manchester City’s stuttering form has allowed four teams to catch them: Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, all have the chance to claim a Premier League title, which looked unlikely at the start of October.
Liverpool were the big winners over the weekend, downing West Brom 2-1 at Anfield. Liverpool’s win draws them level on points with top teams Manchester City and Arsenal; however, the Reds sit third due to goal difference.
Sadio Mane got Liverpool rolling in the 20th minute as he slotted home Roberto Firmino’s pass. Philippe Coutinho added a second 15 minutes later courtesy of Mane.
West Brom’s Gareth McAuley pulled one back for the Baggies nine minutes from time, but that was as close as they would get. Liverpool have only kept one clean sheet in the Premier League this season.
Chelsea thrashed Manchester United on Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge. United’s poor defending, a staple of this season, led to Chelsea’s Pedro scoring within the game’s first minute.
United’s defending failed to improve as the team gave up a second on 21 minutes thanks to their inability to clear a Chelsea corner. Gary Cahill gladly slotted home. As United failed to find any type of offence, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard put the match to bed with a sublime strike from 15-yards out.
N’Golo Kante finished things off in the 70th minute as he weaved between United defenders to slot home. Chelsea humiliated their former coach.
According to WhoScored.com’s ratings, United’s Marcus Rashford and Chris Smalling both scored the lowest of any Red Devil starting outfield player. Mourinho’s team have only won once in their last six, yet still sit six points off top spot.
Tottenham drop to fifth after picking up their second consecutive draw, this time away to Bournemouth. Spurs nearly took the lead on 16 minutes when Erik Lamela hit the woodwork. However, Spurs could not find their way through the Cherries’ defence from there.
The scoreless draw was Spurs’ fifth clean sheet of the season. The team’s defence have given up the fewest amount of goals in the Premier League this term (four).
Manchester City’s poor form continued over the weekend as the Blues had to come from behind to beat a stubborn Southampton. Saints’ striker Nathan Redmond put the southsiders on the board first. However, Kelechi Iheanacho cancelled out Redmond’s goal with his own in the 55th minute. Iheanacho now has three goals in seven matches.
Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the table after a nil-nil draw with Middlesbrough at the Emirates. Arsenal held 75% of the possession, yet Middlesbrough’s defence held firm.
Goalkeeper Victor Valdes picked up man of the match honours making six saves. Valdes’ play surprised several pundits, including former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. The draw ended the Gunners’ six game winning streak.
Everton are winless in their last four after losing away to Burnley. Sam Vokes opened the scoring for Burnley just before halftime. Romelu Lukaku set-up Yannick Bolasie just after the break to level things at one. However, Scott Arfield struck in the 90th minute to give Burnley all three points.
Stoke are out of the relegation zone for the first time this season and have traded places with Hull after beating the Tigers 2-0. Xherdan Shaqiri was the star of the show for Stoke as he struck twice. Joe Allen put in another quality performance and Stoke look to have put their struggles behind them. Stoke are undefeated in their last four.
Sunday Oct. 22, 2016
Bournemouth 0-0 Tottenham
Burnley 2-1 Everton
Swansea 0-0 Watford
West Ham 1-0 Sunderland
Hull City 0-2 Stoke City
Leicester 3-1 Crystal Palace
Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough
Liverpool 2-1 West Brom
Sunday October 23, 2016
Manchester City 1-1 Southampton
Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United