City back to their best – Premier League Review 29/30th Oct
Manchester City, after a recent drop in form, returned to their scintillating best on Saturday as they dismantled West Brom at the Hawthorns with considerable ease, winning 4-0. This was followed by Tuesday night’s hugely 3-1 impressive victory over Barcelona. This week could well have been a huge turning point in defining Manchester City’s season and their title/European ambitions. One thing is key to all this: Aguero is definitely the main man and without him City are much worse. Guardiola would be a fool to even consider letting him leave. Chelsea meanwhile continued their great form of late by beating Southampton 2-0 and are now only one point behind Guardiola’s side and are in the top four. Conte is indeed building a strong side, and it is showing in the performances. The reigning champions Leicester managed a draw away at Tottenham Hotspurs. Arsenal, meanwhile, won 4-1 away at Sunderland.
This weekend sees the extremely important North-London derby between Spurs and Arsenal, with Arsenal ahead of their rivals by only two points, despite their good form of late, and despite the fact that Tottenham have not won any of their last six matches, with Manchester City being the last team they beat, in the first weekend of October. More misery came for Swansea City as they lost 3-1 away at Stoke City on Monday night, meaning they are now five points behind West Ham who are in 17th place.
Two goals from former Swan Wilfried Bony – and both assisted by Swansea academy graduate Joe Allen – only served to plunge the Welsh side into more emotional despair. A long season for Bob Bradley’s outfit is surely ahead, meanwhile Stoke City’s fortunes might be turning around. Liverpool won again to keep the pressure on City, but critics will point to their defending as proof that this could cost them dearly at the end of the season; Klopp’s men have conceded more goals (13) than any of the top seven teams, with Tottenham, as a complete contrast, only having conceded five goals thus far. Going forward the reds are nonetheless exceptional.
The match finished Crystal Palace 2-4 Liverpool and was a brilliant advert for the Premier League. Everton ended their four match winless streak by beating a poor West Ham side. Ronald Koeman’s side are back on track regarding their European ambitions whilst Slaven Bilić’s side are hovering dangerously in 17th place: certainly not where they thought they would be in the table at this point of the season and with more controversy gaining momentum surrounding the London Stadium, the Hammers are struggling both on and off the pitch. Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough followed on from their draw against Arsenal last week by beating Bournemouth 2-0 with goals from Gaston Ramirez and Steward Downing. Eddie Howe’s side are currently in 10th place and would no doubt take that at the end of the season. For them they will hope that this performance and result was just a blip to an otherwise impressive start to the season.
Manchester United only managed a scoreless draw against Burnley which has heaped on even more pressure on Jose Mourinho and has seen the one-time outstanding English side slide down to eighth place. Next up for them is a trip to Swansea, a venue where they have not always had the best of times. Both sides need a victory from Sunday’s game, even at this early stage of the season, such has been the bad start of the campaign for both sides. Finally, Watford defeated Hull 1-0 to leapfrog Manchester United into 7th place. Hull are still yet to win since Mike Phelan was officially appointed as the manager. Another interesting week in the Premier League has come upon us. There is an intriguing round of fixtures this weekend, before another international break which sees England take on Scotland at Wembley amidst the Poppy row with FIFA.
Photo Credit: Premier League