Premier League Roundup: Major Talking Points From Matchweek 13
It wasn't the most exciting weekend we've seen in the Premier League this season, but match-week 13 still had its fair share of talking points, especially surrounding Tottenham and Chelsea's heavyweight clash. A few bottom-feeders picked up much needed 3 points, while the top 6 had an inconsistent weekend.
Chelsea implode while Spurs play out a masterclass.
Many were shocked when Spurs chose not to open up their chequebook whatsoever this summer, as even the best of sides could use a fine-tuning in the summer windows. Spurs manager Pochettino however, clearly trusts his group of players, as they currently sit 3rd in the league table. On Saturday against Chelsea, Pochettino's men did him proud, completely stifling Chelsea and restricting them to minimal space on the pitch. The pressing and cutting of passing angles performed by the Spurs midfield was marvelous. Christian Eriksen was on another level, creating chance after chance and making a fool of the Blues backline. It was a massive win for Spurs, who then leapfrogged their opponents in the league table.
For Chelsea on the other hand, it was a first loss of the season, and in horrific fashion. Nothing went well for the Blues from start to finish. Their major summer signings Jorginho and Kovacic were flat and weak all game, and Jorginho in particular was toyed with on numerous occasions. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea's shiny new goalkeeper, made a couple of clear mistakes on Spurs' opening 2 goals, as did Luiz. Alvaro Morata did not offer anything up front, as he was continuously caught offiside, as usual. Maurizio Sarri will have plenty to think about in the coming week or so, including reaffirming his preferred midfield 3, his centre-back pairing, and his striker.
Huddersfield, Newcastle, and Fulham pick up much needed wins.
It's been a tough season so far for a couple of the Premier League's more recent additions. Fulham, in their first season back in the top flight since 2014, splashed the cash throughout the summer to bolster themselves all over the pitch. Their most notable signing was Jean-Michael Seri, who was linked to none other than FC Barcelona themselves just the previous January. Life back in the Premier League has not gone to plan for Fulham though, who sat dead bottom of the division with by far the most goals conceded, resulting in Slavisa Jokanovic being sacked just last week. The man to replace him is a proven miracle worker - 2016 Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri. Fulham played out a thriller against Southampton in Ranieri's first match, coming out on top and earning a much needed 3 points.
Elsewhere, Huddersfield scored 1/4 of their total goals for the season in 1 brilliant afternoon at the Molyneux, upsetting Wolves massively. Huddersfield have struggled to find of the back of the net this season, but their talismanic midfielder Aaron Mooy came up with an unexpected brace.
Newcastle also picked up a big victory in a tough away atmosphere, Turf Moor. Rafa's men leapfrogged Burnley, who have been massively disappointing this season, as a result.
City, Arsenal, and Liverpool pick up expected wins, although it wasn't all that easy for the latter 2.
What a side Manchester City are. At this point, it's almost shocking when they don't beat their opposition by more than 2 goals, no matter who it is. Pep Guardiola has his side playing football at an arguably higher level than they were even at last year, where they became the first team in Premier League history to hit 100 points. In fact, City are on pace to break that record at the moment. They continued their momentum with a monumental 4-0 demolition of West Ham, who remain inconsistent and vulnerable, especially against equal or greater opposition. It was Leroy Sane who stole the show at the London Stadium, despite being reduced to a rotation option this season.
Arsenal on the other hand, grinded out a much-needed victory over impressive Bournemouth on Sunday. The Gunners weren't at their best, but they picked up their 4th away win of the season - equalling the amount of away wins they picked up all of last season. Just goes to show how well Unai Emery has done in his attempts to reverse Arsenal's infamous "weak mentality". Bournemouth were no easy test however, as Eddie Howe have them playing their best football in a long, long time. Their front 4 of Fraser, Wilson, King, and Brooks caused Arsenal problems all game long. Jefferson Lerma scored an unfortunate own goal, but was a bright spot regardless. In the end, Arsenal's club-record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dug out the 3 points for them, as you'd expect him to.
Liverpool's 3-0 scoreline over Watford may seem to have been an easy victory, but it actually wasn't quite. The first half was hard-fought, and Watford proved tough to break down for the Reds. Watford are no pushover team. Their quality in midfield with Capoue, Pereyra, and Doucoure can match up nicely with some of the better midfield's in the league, including Liverpool's to some extent. In the 2nd half however, Liverpool found some breathing room through Salah's goal and Trent Alexander-Arnold's brilliant free-kick. Jordan Henderson picked up a red card later in the match, making the finish a little nervier than Liverpool expected, but Robertson's brilliance led to a 3rd goal in the end.