5 things we learned from the Premier League this weekend
Man City could be the real deal
The Premier League takes a break this week for the final round of World Cup qualifiers, with Manchester City top of the table on goal difference.
City beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the biggest game of the weekend, while Manchester United comfortably won against Crystal Palace to keep up the pressure on their local rivals.
There are plenty of big talking points from this weekend’s action. Here are the top five from the Coral News Team…
Man City look like a proper Guardiola team
City’s defence was often exposed last season, but one of the key issues was that they weren’t using the ball well enough.
Pep Guardiola sees possession as an attacking and defensive weapon – the other team can’t score without the ball. Last year, they didn’t fully grasp Guardiola’s system and left huge gaps to be exploited when they lost the ball.
This time around, the team have a much better understanding of what the manager demands. They have the best attack and joint-best defence in the top flight so far, with 22 goals scored and just two conceded.
City were dominant in their 1-0 win at Chelsea on Saturday. They controlled the game and pressed intelligently from the front, which meant the champions struggled to get out of their own half.
Everton need to step up
The failure to replace Romelu Lukaku is one reason for Everton’s struggles this season, but they’re also literally inviting pressure on themselves.
The defence sits incredibly deep, with Ashley Williams particularly at fault. It leaves plenty of space for the opposition to break into and run at the backline.
Williams was almost stepping on Jordan Pickford’s toes when Jeff Hendrick scored the only goal of the game for Burnley at Goodison Park.
Everton have been too easy to play against. Ronald Koeman has plenty of issues to address but he should start at the back.
Liverpool’s familiar problems cost them
Liverpool have a very good record against the top teams under Jurgen Klopp. However, failings at both ends of the pitch continue to cost them against weaker sides. They’ve now won just one of their last seven games in all competitions.
The Reds’ defensive issues mean teams will always have a chance to get a result against them. Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring against Newcastle United with a superb strike from distance. Seven minutes later, comical defending gifted Joselu an equaliser.
Liverpool still had enough chances to win the game but they weren’t clinical enough. Klopp’s side need to sharpen up in both boxes if they’re going to win major honours.
Michy Batshuayi was Chelsea’s hero with a late winner against Atletico Madrid. After a difficult first year at the club, his dramatic goal seemed like it could be a turning point for the Belgium international.
When Alvaro Morata picked up an injury during the first-half against City, Batshuayi was the obvious candidate to come on.
However, Antonio Conte sent on Willian instead, leaving Chelsea without a recognised striker. It seems Conte still doesn’t entirely trust the former Marseille forward, which means any serious injury to Morata could cause major problems.
Ben Davies is increasingly important for Spurs
Harry Kane stole the headlines for Tottenham Hotspur with another two goals against Huddersfield Town. But Ben Davies was also instrumental in the win.
The left-back has spent most of his time at Spurs as an understudy to Danny Rose. Rose’s injury has given him a chance to play regularly this season and he’s coming into his own.
He scored one, set up another and helped the team to keep a clean sheet at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Wales international’s impressive form means that Mauricio Pochettino will have a very tough call to make when Rose returns to fitness.
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