Yet another eventful weekend for Premier League soccer fans. (Are there any uneventful Premier League weekends?)
At the top of the table Liverpool continue to show why they’re Manchester City’s greatest threat this season. Sir Alex always said that the best clubs in the world were able to grind out those scrappy 1-0 wins. Those 1-0 wins are the difference between trophies and losers. Liverpool proved they’re more than just a free flowing attacking force this weekend. They also have the guts to go head-to-head with an energetic and committed Sheffield United. The Blades can be proud of their performance, pushing Liverpool all the way, and contributing their own attacking threat, but in the end it was Liverpool who left with all 3 points. Their perfect season remaining just that.
Nearby it was business as usual for Manchester City. They pushed Liverpool’s fierce rivals Everton aside without much hassle. Despite the goals coming later than Pep may have liked, the Citizens never looked like losing this one. Manchester City boast an attacking force that contains Aguero, Debruyne, the Silvas, Sane, Mahrez, Jesus & Sterling. It’s this shocking depth of talent that I believe is going to make the difference at the juicy end of the season. While Liverpool’s front 3 can match any on City’s squad, their legs have to tire eventually. I will reiterate this point until I’m blue in the face: Manchester City are better than Liverpool. “Defense wins championships” is the classic American adage. But in Soccer, as Brazil have proven and as Manchester City are proving now, goals win trophies, and Manchester City has them in abundance.
Tottenham showed that their season may not be completely lost after grinding out a 2-1 win against Southampton despite being a man down. Last week I talked about Tottenham’s right back Aurier being a continuing disappointment for fans and this week he gets himself sent off for 2 silly challenges in 4 minutes (I guess I do know what I’m talking about.) Harry Kane scored, again. He’s on my fantasy team for a reason.
Chelsea are looking more and more dangerous with each passing game. The legendary yet inexperienced Frank Lampard is showing he’s more than just a great player. A tidy 2-0 finish is exactly what his team needed. For the first time since I’ve been watching the Premier League Chelsea are showing that their academy is more than just a place for forgotten youngsters, it can actually churn out real talent. Mason Mount being king of the new batch. This transfer ban may be the best thing to happen to Chelsea since Roman Abramovich.
The wonderful, fantastical Leicester City had a rampant weekend. The team that won our hearts with their brilliant 9000-1 title winning season have remained a potent force in English soccer. Despite selling some of their best players after their winning run they have defied expectation by cementing their place as a team that will continually challenge for a European place. A 5-0 win against Newcastle is no easy task, but Leicester know a thing or two about difficult tasks. Jamie Vardy, the record breaking striker for Leicester city, continues to be one of the most effective number 9s on the planet. 2 more goals for him this weekend and for me he’s as valuable as Aguero and Kane.
Annoyingly for us U.S. based soccer fans, the biggest match of the weekend is actually not happening this weekend. Manchester United vs Arsenal will instead be played on Monday. What has famously been a clash of titanic proportions has this season been cheerfully dubbed ‘El Sackico’. Two under pressure managers, two under performing teams, but undoubtedly two giants of English and world soccer. I personally want to see the sparks of yesteryear. Tackles flying in, tricks, flicks and of course goals. I’ll be sneaking peeks at the score and the game on my phone as I pretend I’m thinking about work and not praying to the soccer gods for a good performance from my mighty Red Devils.
The Premier League standings as of Sunday 9/29 –
- Manchester City
- Leicester City
- West Ham United
Seeing West Ham in 4th, I can’t help but think of the old joke: It’s like seeing an elephant up a tree, you have no idea how it got there but you know it won’t stay there long.
Leicester City continue to impress and will seriously be contending for a top 4 spot this season. Tottenham and Chelsea join that battle for top 4. Arsenal and Manchester United, on current form, look like they’ll be competing for a Europa league spot with the likes of Bournemouth, Crystal Palace & Wolves.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
-Lloyd Edwards – (@lloyd.speaking)