Last weekend’s Premier League talking point

Last weekend’s Premier League talking point
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Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (centre) celebrating scoring his team’s second goal in their 2-0 win over Everton. PHOTO: AFP

Missed opportunity for City against Reds

While Liverpool deserved credit for taming Manchester City’s attack in their 1-0 win at Anfield, Pep Guardiola’s side will see their defeat as a missed opportunity.

Champions City travelled to Merseyside in fine fettle, unbeaten in the Premier League, having scored 13 goals in their previous three league games.

Liverpool had suffered their worst start to a league season since 2012-13 after taking just 10 points from their first eight games coming into the blockbuster clash, trailing second-placed City by 13 points

But City never got going and even ultra-prolific Erling Haaland drew a blank, as the champions slipped to defeat, missing a real opportunity to hammer home their superiority in this new-found rivalry.

“At this level, we cannot concede the mistakes we have done,” Guardiola said. “But (we are) in October and it will be good for the future, to learn.”

Arsenal show fortitude to stay top

Arsenal’s trip to Leeds United was a litmus test for their title credentials in hostile territory, which Mikel Arteta’s side passed with a performance underlined by grit and determination in a nerve-wracking 1-0 victory.

The Arsenal of old have often capitulated in the face of relentless waves of attacks – the kind Leeds mustered at Elland Road – to fall to the sort of result that has prevented them from finishing in the top four in recent seasons.

But a young Arsenal side withstood pressure for 96 minutes and, with a little help from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), ensured the club made their best start to a top-flight season with nine wins from 10 to stay four points above second-placed Manchester City.

“We showed a lot of resilience and willingness to win, especially going back to Norway on a Thursday night (in the Europa League) and then coming here,” said Arteta, admitting they had “suffered” in the second half.

“I am so proud of the boys, that is how you have to win football matches.”

Spurs show they have depth to stay in race

Tottenham’s 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday kept them comfortably in third place in the Premier League and offered more evidence that they have the depth to stay there.

They have 23 points from their opening 10 games – the club’s best start to a top-flight campaign since 1963 – without even hitting the heights in terms of performances yet.

Having match-turning quality on the bench is the key for team’s with serious title ambitions and on Saturday the introduction of midfielder Yves Bissouma early in the second half helped Spurs find the key to break down Everton.

With games coming thick and fast, manager Antonio Conte knows he now has multiple options in key positions.

Leicester’s reliance on Maddison obvious

It was evident in Leicester City’s home goalless draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday just how reliant they are on James Maddison as an attacking presence in the team.

With England manager Gareth Southgate looking on, no doubt assessing Maddison’s form ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, the midfielder ran the show with some neat touches and a genuine threat in the box.

But a late yellow card means he will be suspended for Thursday’s home game against Leeds United, which is shaping up to be a must-win after the boos rang out from sections of the club’s support after the draw with Crystal Palace.

Many Foxes fans may have expected the side to pull away from the relegation zone by now after a poor start to the season, but there are no signs their troubles are over and the absence of Maddison will be keenly felt against Leeds.

O’Neil makes case for Bournemouth job

Caretaker manager Gary O’Neil continues to make a case to be given the Bournemouth job on a permanent basis after another mature display from his side saw them hold on for a 2-2 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Had Jefferson Lerma not fouled Aleksandar Mitrovic to give away a penalty, O’Neil’s side could easily have emerged with all three points and they look much more composed than they did when he took over in the wake of Scott Parker’s dismissal on Aug. 30.

Tenth in the table, the Cherries are unbeaten in the league since the 39-year-old took the reins and, if his team keep delivering points at the rate they currently are, his caretaker position may well be converted into a permanent role.

Reuters

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