Week 10 of the Premier League continued to show the strength and superiority of the pack-leaders, with some decisive home and away wins for the big-dogs of the league.
Manchester United 1 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur
Considering the defensive stability of both sides, it was taken for granted that this would be a hard-fought match with few goals. It ended up being just that, despite United coming out of the gates quite enthusiastically, building up a few good attacks in the first 15 minutes before Spurs kept some possession for themselves and imposed themselves on the game. Without the talents of Harry Kane at their disposal, it was always going to be difficult for them to break down United’s resilient defence, although there were a couple of scares. Ultimately, the decisive moment in the match fell to Anthony Martial after a brilliant flick by Romelu Lukaku, and despite a scuffed shot, Martial still managed to find the back of the net. This puts United 5 points behind rivals City, but now 3 ahead of Spurs who sit in third with Chelsea breathing down their necks.
Arsenal 2 – 1 Swansea
Arsenal continued their recent vein of decent form by grabbing a win against Swansea, although they fell behind initially in the 21st minute to a deft Sam Clucas finish. Arsenal took control of the game after that but had to wait until six minutes into the second half before they found an equaliser. Left back Kolasinac got lucky when a blocked shot from Ozil fell to him within shooting range of the goal and he rocketed a low shot through a full box to draw the Gunners level. Shortly after that, Kolasinac turned provider after some good wing work and picked out Aaron Ramsey who slipped a low, close range finish past the Swansea keeper to put Arsenal level on points with 4th place Chelsea.
Liverpool 3 – 0 Huddersfield
Huddersfield were likely hoping to claim another giant’s scalp against Liverpool after they recently shocked Manchester United, but Liverpool utilised their impressive attacking-talent to put the minnows to the sword. Sturridge was welcomed back into the fold and rewarded his boss’ faith by opening Liverpool’s scoring with a cool chip in the 50th minute after a Huddersfield defensive error, rapidly followed by Firmino doubling the lead from a corner with his head. Wijnaldum finished the confident performance with a close-range effort after he weaved his way through the box and smashed a shot into the top corner, leaving the Reds three points off 5th placed Arsenal.
West Brom 2 – 3 Manchester City
City was made to work a little harder for this victory than they were in a few of their previous matches, but they threatened the West Brom goal from the first whistle. They didn’t need to wait long for the opener either, as Sané found himself in open space on the left side of the box and lashed a powerful shot straight past Foster. The Baggies immediately replied 3 minutes later after confusion in City’s defence and the keeper coming off his line allowed Jay Rodriguez to chip the ball into an empty net, but Fernandinho restored City’s lead directly afterward with a low shot in an action-packed opening 15 minutes. It took until the 64 minute for City to get their third through Sterling, and the saw the game out relatively easily despite West Brom nabbing a late consolation goal in the 93rd minute.
Leicester 2 – 0 Everton
After Ronald Koeman’s sacking, Everton are now helmed by Koeman’s assistant David Unsworth, who was thrown straight into the hot seat. Leicester’s pace up front kept cutting Everton apart in the early minutes, and they managed their opener in the 17th minute after a low, smooth cross from Mahrez on the right found the always speedy Vardy at the far post. It took another 12 minutes for their next goal to come, Demarai Gray doing well on the left flank this time and whipping a cross into the box that may have troubled the keeper, but centre-back Jonjoe Kenny attempted a clearance but slashed the ball backwards and into his own net. Everton weren’t completely without any attacks of their own, but their struggling front line never managed to find any cutting-edge. Everton now sit in 18th place, last of the relegation candidates, and in desperate need of a change in their fortunes to claw themselves out of this crisis.
City have continued their dominance and United have kept City’s heels in sight, but with a tough match away at Chelsea coming up this weekend, the Red Devils are going to need another impressive performance to stay in the race. Can Mourinho outplay his old team, or will Conte’s Chelsea haunt Manchester United the same way he did last season?
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