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5 talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action

| 11.12.2017

Man City now 11 points clear at the top

Is the Premier League title race over? It may well be after Manchester City’s win over Manchester United.

Pep Guardiola’s side now have an 11-point lead at the top of the table. They’re huge 1/16 favourites to finish the season in top spot.

That wasn’t all that happened in the top flight this weekend. There was plenty of drama at both ends of the table. Here’s the Coral News Team with five of the big talking points…

How costly could Christian Benteke’s selfishness be for Crystal Palace?

Crystal Palace’s performances have improved in recent weeks but they haven’t got the results they need. They won’t get many better chances to get a crucial win than they had against Bournemouth.

They won a penalty deep into injury time with the score at 2-2. Luka Milivojevic had smashed one spot-kick in earlier in the game. But Christan Benteke grabbed the ball this time and insisted he take it.

The striker’s tame effort was easily saved, much to the fury of the home fans, his teammates and his manager. Benteke hasn’t scored in the league yet this season. He needs to start firing soon to make amends. Palace are bottom and 6/5 to go down.

Lovren’s mistake costs Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp was furious with Craig Pawson’s decision to give a penalty to Everton in Sunday’s Merseyside derby.  But his anger should have been directed at Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool were well in control of the game and Everton had barely threatened. The Reds were 1-0 up when Dominic Calvert-Lewin had the ball and was heading away from goal.

All Lovren had to do was shepherd the young forward out of the penalty area. Instead, the centre-back made a rash decision to push Calvert-Lewin and needlessly gave a foul away. Wayne Rooney scored from the spot and Liverpool drew a game they should have won comfortably.

Have West Ham turned the corner?      

West Ham United’s impressive win over Chelsea on Saturday could turn their season around. The Hammers were well-organised and resilient, while Marko Arnautovic finally began to justify his club-record fee with the winning goal.

David Moyes’ side also looked solid against Manchester City in their previous match, when they lost to a late goal. If they can perform like this every week, they should steer well clear of the relegation battle.

Can Burnley keep it up?

It’s almost the halfway mark of the season and Burnley are in seventh place. They’re level on points with Tottenham Hotspur and only two points off the Champions League places.

The Clarets have maintained their impressive home form from last year and made them more dangerous on the road. They’re playing better football this term too, with less focus on going direct.

As it stands, Sean Dyche may be Pep Guardiola’s only competition for the Manager of the Year award.

Is it time for Arsenal to return to a back four?

Before the 1-1 draw with Southampton, Arsene Wenger revealed that his preference is still to set up with a back four, rather than a back three.

The Gunners have conceded poor goals to United and Southampton within the first five minutes of their last two league games. In both games, they’ve looked more effective when a midfielder has replaced one of the centre-backs.

Arsenal are now 11/8 to finish in the top four. Wenger may be tempted to revert to his preferred system soon.

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Daniel Anwar

Daniel has written about sport for Coral, Squawka, FourFourTwo and the Premier League, among others.