Musical chairs at the top of the Premier League

12th November 2020

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Unlike last season when Liverpool led for almost every week of the Premier League campaign, this one has seen multiple changes. Indeed 1st place changed three times from the Friday to Sunday.

As the new batch of games took hold Liverpool were in the lead but on Saturday Southampton won their 3rd game in a row and went top, then it was Tottenham and by Sunday it was the 2016 champions Leicester that were sitting pretty. In a season so striking without any fans present the pure excitement and entertainment of football has not thankfully deserted us. 

So let's start at the top and Leicester have made their own mini comeback after losing back to back games in October against West Ham and Aston Villa. One could have thought that Brendan Rodgers side would start slipping down the table but since then they have won 3 consecutive matches. The recovery took place at Arsenal with a 1-0 win that was followed up by smashing Leeds 4-1 at Elland Road and then at home they beat Wolves 1-0. All along the key player has been Jamie Vardy who scored a goal in each of their games and he is the joint top goalscorer with 8 so far.

Some media have been suggesting that Tottenham can win the league, although given how close the standings are that does seem quite premature. Still Jose Mourinho's team are in form and they beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the weekend to go 2nd. Tottenham have lost just once, which was on the opening weekend of the season to Everton. The Toffeemen need a pick me up and fast as they recorded their 3rd defeat in a row. Manager Carlo Ancelotti has not lost 3 games in a row since his days at AC Milan going back to 2004. This time it was at home against an under confident Manchester United side. The game finished 3-1 although Everton were going for an equaliser at the end when United broke clear and Edinson Cavani scored - that is the Uruguayan's debut goal in the Premier League.

As for United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, that win kept mutterings of 'you're getting the sack' at bay. Though United are still in 14th place their immediate future may look bright given that their next game is at home to West Brom.

In the big clash Manchester City and Liverpool played out a tense and often dire 1-1 draw at the Etihad. Liverpool scored first, another theatrical reaction to a chanllenge, and another penalty, which Mohamed Salah converted and the returning Gabriel Jesus scored a very good equaliser. Both sides had chances to win it but Jurgen Klopp will be the happier of the two managers, earning a point away via a suspect penalty. The gap between the clubs remains at 5 points though City do have a game in hand. 

It looks like everything is clicking for Chelsea who demolished Sheffield United 4-1 despite going a goal down. The Blues have spent heavy in the summer and have gone their last 9 games in all competitions undefeated. They have scored the most goals so far in the league with 20 and have moved up to 5th place just 3 points from the top.

Finally Arsenal, where art thou? It was a largely toothless display from the Gunners who lost at home again, this time to Aston Villa by 3-0. Like Leicester, Villa had started the season so well only to lose back to back games and it seemed rather predictable that Dean Smith's side were going to slip down the table, not so. Jack Grealish who has been one of the outstanding players in the league so far led the way as an inept Arsenal side were brushed away by a more hungry and passionate side. Just what is going on with Mikel Arteta's side? One week they are taking two steps forward the next it is two steps backwards.

It's international football now as domestic leagues take a break with the Premier League returning on November 21st.

 

Premier League: Team of the week: Martinez; Doherty, Dier, Fuchs, Mings; Armstrong, Barkley, Grealish, Fernandes; Jesus, Kane



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