The sun has set on the round 9 of English Premier League, which once again served us with 10 exciting fixtures that took place over the last weekend. In the spirit of the last weekend’s fixture, we again got to see a handful of surprising results, the most notable of which was Manchester United’s impressive draw against the league leaders, Liverpool, who saw their fairytale come to an end at Old Trafford, where Klopp’s men failed to win their 18th EPL fixture in a row.
Liverpool fail to reach EPL’s record
It was bound to happen sooner or later and while no one knew when exactly, Liverpool’s impressive 17-match winning streak in the Premier League ended this Sunday, October 20, then they drew (1:1) with Manchester United at Old Trafford. While by no means a terrible result in the grand scheme of things, it was a painful one for all Liverpool fans, who saw their favourite club ending their winning run one short of reaching Manchester City’s record 18-games winning streak which they reached in 2017/18 season.
It should not come off as a surprise Liverpool entered the said fixture as heavy favourites, seeing how they have been the most dominant team in the EPL this season, whereas Manchester United proved to be far from it. Holding onto a 1-4-3 record and only one win in the last five ahead of round nine, Red Devils had a disappointing start of the season, to say the least. That said, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men proved they are still relevant with a draw, which not only earned them a very important point, but also a huge morale boost; something the Manchester outfit desperately needed as they venture off into the remainder of the season.
The fixture started off with Liverpool taking the reins in their own hands and pressuring de Gea’s goal, but despite all the attempts, none saw the ball ending in the back of the net. Instead, it was the 36th-minute counterattack, following an attacking mistake from the Reds, which resulted in a shocking goal from Rashford, who received a spectacular pass inside the box from the youngster Daniel James. The crowd at Old Trafford went wild in anticipation of what their side can produce in the remaining 54 minutes. That said, Liverpool responded with a goal of their own only a few minutes later, only to be disallowed by VAR due to Mane’s handball.
The second half commenced and it was just as exciting as the first one. Manchester United produced a handful of chances of their own and Rashford even came close to scoring his second goal of the match, however, his shot went just by the net. A couple more attempts from Man United followed, but none resulted in a goal. Unfortunately for the home side, Liverpool took their chance(s) better, and scored an equalizer in the dying moments of the match (85th minute), when the 71st minute substitute Lallana snuck past the defence in the box, received a pass from Robertson and had the easiest job in the world, as he just pushed the ball behind de Gea to make it 1:1. The match ended at 1:1 which was a fair reflection of how the match went. While a very solid result for Man United, they surely hoped for more. That said, they got completely outplayed in the second half, where they managed to hold only 21% ball possession and shot the ball 0/3, whereas Liverpool held on the ball for 79% of the time and shot the ball 2/6. All in all, a spectacular night of football, which saw the “Red Rivalry” end in both sided sharing a point.
Manchester City on the rise, while Arsenal and Tottenham still search for their rhythm
It might not be viewed as entertaining as Man United v Liverpool fixture, but Manchester City managed to bounce back from their 0:2 defeat against Wolves last weekend and defeated Crystal Palace 2:0. With that, Pep Guardiola’s men won their sixth fixture of the season and added three more points to their total tally, which now shows 19 points.
While far from a perfect start of the season, the Sky Blues can be happy seeing Liverpool drop the ball against Man United, which means City are now “only” six points behind Klopp’s side in the title race. That said, City still have a huge hurdle to jump over, but we can expect Guardiola’s side to count on their consistency to bring them closer to Liverpool in the title race. While we talk about consistency, or better yet the lack of it, Tottenham dropped points for the sixth time this season last weekend, when they drew with Watford (1:1) in what was yet another disappointing display from Pochettino men.
That said, it was also Arsenal, who failed to impress with what they have shown this past weekend. While the Gunners remain in the top five, it’s hard to praise them too much for their 1:0 defeat against Sheffield United. Arsenal entered the fixture on an eight-game unbeaten run across all competitions, which could suggest they are enjoying a solid run this term. However, they haven’t yet proven their worth so far and the defeat against Sheffield Utd only proves that Emery’s men still have a lot of work left to be done to be considered a solid contender for a top-five finish.
With those results, there are not a lot of changes at the top. Liverpool remain first with an 8-1-0 record and 25 points, Man City are second with 6-1-2 record and 19 points, Leicester climbed to third with 17 points, where they sit tied with Chelsea who are fourth with 17 points, Arsenal are fifth with 15 points and Crystal Palace remain sixth with 14 points. Man United on the other side dropped down slightly and are now 14th in the league with a 2-4-3 record and 10 points, whereas Tottenham gained two spots and are now seventh in the league with 3-3-3 record and 12 points.