The English Premier League resumed this weekend for the 14th round of games in the 2017/2018 season.
The meeting between Manchester United and Arsenal had been billed as the weekend’s game to watch and the 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium lived to expectation.
Elsewhere, City and Chelsea continued their assault on the title with wins at Newcastle and West Ham respectively. Tottenham continued to stumble with a lacklustre performance at Watford.
Here are the five things we learned from the Premier League this season;
(1) Manchester City are heading for the Title:
Pep Guardiola’s men went into the game against West Ham hoping to equal Chelsea’s record of 13 straight wins from last season. The game was not as easy as they would have hoped.
David Silva’s acrobatic effort in the final minutes guided the Citizens to a 2–1 victory. The win puts City on 43 points; eight points away from second-placed United.
With a slew of wins and impressive squad depth, it seems Guardiola’s side might steamroll their way to the Premier League title with little opposition
2) … but Chelsea are not giving up:
After dropping valuable points against Burnley and Crystal Palace, Chelsea’s defence of their title has not been as smooth and direct as many of their fans would expect.
Saturday’s game against Newcastle was a must win; and despite going down in the opening 15 minutes, Antonio Conte’s side showed resilience to win 3–1 in a game that they completely dominated.
As it stands, they have 32 points from 15 games. They may be 11 points off leaders Manchester City but Chelsea do not look like they’re willing to give up the battle for the Premier League title.
(3) Liverpool can’t stop scoring:
Liverpool’s strength in attack has reflected this season in their counter-attacking play and their goal-scoring. With 33 goals, they are third only to leaders Manchester United and second-placed Manchester City.
At Brighton, they continued the momentum with a 5–1 drubbing of the newly promoted side. Despite not playing with a traditional striker, the trio of Roberto Firmino, Coutinho and Salah have been too much for EPL defences.
The talismanic Mo’ Salah leads the team’s scoring charts. He was not among the goals this weekend but his two assists were more than enough to help his team to a resounding win.
(4) Watford knows how to hold the pretenders:
Marco Silva’s work with Watford has earned him praise and this weekend, his side grabbed a draw at Tottenham to effectively put their title chances to rest.
Silva’s record against bigger teams is worth noting; his best results have come against sides we would typically term “pretenders”. Watford were beaten in definitive fashion by Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City this season.
Against pretenders, they have enjoyed a better record, winning at Watford and holding Spurs to a draw. watford are looking like the team that separates the wheat from the chaff.
(5) Arsenal’s defence lets them down again:
Arsenal’s game against Manchester United was one that they’d rather quickly forget. The Gunners recorded 33 shots, 15 of them on goal.
Their wastefulness was a major reason why they lost; but if the defence had been a tad better, it would so easily have been a different result. Koscielny was the culprit in his team’s horror show.
After his teammates had given the ball away in front of goal on more than one occasion, the France defender was turned and left for dead by Paul Pogba who passed on to Lingard for Manchester United’s third.