At this point, whenever we look at the EPL standings following a game week, it’s the same old story. Liverpool wins yet another fixture, while the remaining teams in the league exchange blow and try to find a way that would lead them to the top of the league. Most of the coaches already recognised Liverpool as 2019/20 EPL champions, yet there are other teams who still firmly believe there is a chance. And while there might be a slim chance Liverpool ends up dropping the ball this season, it’s hard to count on that happening based on what they are showing us. Now let’s take a look at what exactly Liverpool and the rest of the league mustered up in round 17 and what does that mean for the so-called title race.
Liverpool cruise towards EPL title with their 16th win of the season
It’s not surprising anymore at this point, but it’s worth noting Liverpool won their 16th EPL fixture of the season against Watford last Saturday when they saw their star player Salah score twice to earn his squad a well-deserved win. The match was fairly one-sided from the start, with Liverpool proving to be the alpha dogs since minute one. That being said, Liverpool were visibly holding back a bit in the first half, when they produced only four-goal attempts and one shot on goal with 71% ball possession. Nonetheless, even one shot was enough for Salah to score the opener in the 38th minute. In the second half, Liverpool turned on their jets and shot the ball 5/12 with 65% ball possession, while keeping Watford at only 35% ball possession, which they used to produce four goal attempts and two shots on goal. That unfortunately for the visitors was not enough to equalize the match. Instead, it was Salah who scored his second in the 90th minute to seal the deal at 2:0. All in all, it was not a very dominant display from Liverpool, yet good enough to secure a comfortable win.
Manchester City win their 11th against the struggling Gunners
As far as their Premier League results are concerned, Manchester City have found themselves in a spot where their results are fluctuating from good to bad, which ultimately got them into a position where they are 14 points adrift of Liverpool in the EPL title race. Last round, City disappointed with a 1:2 defeat against Manchester United but managed to bounce back with confidence as they crushed the struggling Arsenal in round 17. In regards to that match, Manchester City did not hold back from minute one, which ultimately earned them a goal only two minutes in, when De Bruyne found his way to the net and scores his first of the night. Sterling followed only 13 minutes later to push the visitors two goals up only 15 minutes in. After some back and forth, De Bruyne scored his second in 40th minute to secure Manchester City a commanding 3:0 lead before the second half. While the second half was much calmer, it was still Manchester City who were setting the pace. With 64% ball possession, they produced eight goal attempts and three shots on goal, while Arsenal managed to put up only three-goal attempts and zero shots on goal. The match ended with a comfortable 3:0 win for Manchester City, who did all of their work in the opening 40 minutes and simply played out the match in the remaining 50 minutes.
Tottenham continue their climb
Tottenham Hotspurs have had a fairly successful run since Mourinho took over the head coach position. While they did suffer a devastating 1:2 defeat against Manchester United in round 15, Spurs bounced back last weekend, when they defeated Wolverhampton (2:1) to climb their way to fifth place in the league. Although it was not a very convincing performance from Spurs, they managed to get the job done thanks to an early eighth-minute goal from Lucas who got them into the lead. That was also the only goal of the first half, despite teams combining a grand total of 14 goal attempts.
The second half was Wolves show more, as they managed to score a goal in the 67th minute to tie the match at 1:1. It all seemed like the match will end in another draw for Spurs, but Vertonghen had other plans and scored a goal in 90’+1 to seal the deal and earn Mourinho his fourth EPL win since his arrival last month. Throughout the match, Wolves had 58% ball possession, which they used to produce 18 goal attempts and five shots on goal. Tottenham on the other side had nine goal attempts and five shots on goal with 42% ball possession. Suffice to say, Mourinho and his men can count themselves lucky to have won that match, nonetheless, a win is a win and Tottenham are finally where they should have been from the start of the season – among the top five teams in the league.
With round 17 of English Premier League behind us, there are no significant movements at the top of the league standings. Liverpool (16-1-0) remain at the top, where they will most likely remain for a while. Leicester (12-3-2) are second, despite their slight hiccup in round 17 when they drew with Norwich (1:1), Manchester City (11-2-4) are third, 14 points short of reaching Liverpool and four points short of Leicester, while Chelsea (9-2-6) remain fourth despite their less than impressive 1-0-4 run in last five. As mentioned Tottenham (7-5-5) climbed their way to fifth, while Man United (6-7-4) dropped down to sixth after playing a draw against Everton. While the top of the league takes its shape, Arsenal are slowly drifting down the standings, as they are now 10th in the league with 5-7-5 record and only 22 points to their name, which sits them seven points short of reaching top four and seven points above the relegation zone. Where will the road take Arsenal is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for sure; changes are imminent.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.