Game Week Nine in the Premier League featured important games involving Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Arsenal, all fighting for a place at the top of the table.
Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool put four past hapless opponents – only goal difference now separates them at the top, all on 23 points.
Manchester City return to form in style with victory over West Brom – While Arsenal thrash lowly Sunderland
Manchester City thrashed West Brom at the Hawthorns to end Pep Guardiola’s worst run in management – without a win in six matches in all competitions.
Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan both got a brace.
Arsenal had an easy win away at Sunderland who remain bottom of the table and without a win this season, the worst performance after ten games in Premier League history.
Alexis Sanchez put the Gunners ahead but Jermain Defoe equalised from the spot after keeper Petr Cech had fouled Duncan Watmore. However, Arsenal then knocked in three in just over six minutes.
Little used this season, Olivier Giroud came off the bench to make a point to Arsene Wenger by scoring two with his first and second touches of the ball while Sanchez also banged in a second.
Klopp’s Liverpool side march on, winning six-goal thriller at Crystal Palace
Goals from Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino won the game at Crystal Palace for Liverpool.
Perhaps the pick was Firmino’s – a defence splitting pass through the Palace rear-guard by Jordon Henderson and the Brazilian dink’s it over the advancing goalkeeper. James McArthur got two back but Liverpool were in command.
And the Reds are playing thrilling, joyous attacking football. If only they could tighten up at the back – the philosophy seems to be that however many the opposition score Liverpool will get more.
Chelsea claim another three points; while Leicester frustrate
Chelsea are just a point adrift of the top three after winning 2-0 at Southampton. Eden Hazard, now seemingly back to his best, smashed a shot through the legs of keeper Fraser Forster. Diego Costa, also back on song, got the second with a curled effort from 22 yards.
Unlike Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, manager Antonio Conte seems to have settled on a formation which suits Chelsea, anchored by the use of three centre-backs.
Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Vincent Janssen gave the hosts the lead at White Hart Lane, scoring his first Premier League goal from the penalty spot after being fouled by Robert Huth. Spurs twice hit the crossbar through Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen but Ahmed Musa equalised from a Jamie Vardy cross. A deserved point for the Foxes.
Manchester United’s stuttering season continues against Burnley
Frustrated by the woodwork and denied a series of penalty appeals, anger boiled over with Mourinho and midfielder Ander Herrera sent off. A string of saves by former United man Tom Heaton kept the home side at bay.
United had 37 efforts at goal, all to no avail. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had 12 of those but the fading star, now 35, simply can’t find the back of the net.
You have to say they were unlucky but somehow it is just not happening for what the critics might describe as a bunch of expensively assembled misfits.
United now lie eighth, eight points adrift of the top. They can’t afford to let the gap widen and need to claw things back with a good run.
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