By Niall Clarke

  • Five lessons learned from Premier League match-week 10nine
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PREMIER LEAGUE – Manchester United got back on track in match-week 10 of the Premier League season as their City rivals remain undefeated. Here are five lessons learned from the weekend.

 

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Manchester United are back on track

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Manchester United returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Tottenham at old Trafford on Saturday. After their loss to Huddersfield last week, United fans were worried about facing an in-form Tottenham side and felt they could fall further behind Manchester City at the top of the table.

For large portions of the game, Spurs controlled the ball well and looked the more threatening side, but without Harry Kane they lacked the firepower up top that has helped them win so many games over the past few seasons.

After over 70 minutes of little action, the game suddenly opened up and Spurs created a big chance with Dele Alli missing from point blank range. Romelu Lukaku would hit the post moments later, but Anthony Martial would make no mistake in slotting the ball into the net and earning the win for Man United.

It was hardly a brilliant performance, but after a few difficult weeks it was a much welcomed result. Manchester City’s win means the gap between the two sides remains the same, but a result over an in-form Spurs will do nothing but good things for their confidence as they try to close the gap.

 

Manchester City still have defensive issues

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Manchester City continued their winning ways, but it was not made easy by a plucky West Brom side who were defeated 3-2 at the Hawthorns.

Leroy Sané’s goal scoring form continued as he gave City the lead after 10 minutes. Jay Rodriguez levelled for the hosts three minutes later, but Fernandinho’s goal just two minutes later restored City’s lead. Raheem Sterling made it 3-1 just after the hour mark, and they looked to be home and dry but Matt Phillips’ stoppage time goal made for a nervy final few minutes.

Overall it was very comfortable for Pep Guardiola’s side who had 78% possession and created 15 chances in total. They once again scored three goals, but it is the other end which gives them cause for concern.

Despite dominating the game, the Citizens conceded two goals against West Brom with one of them being down to a defensive mistake. They certainly looked more solid at the back than last season, but if their scoring shoes are not on, then it has been shown that they are vulnerable at the back.

 

Perfect start for Puell

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Claude Puell
started life as Leicester City manager with a much needed win as his side soundly defeated manager-less Everton 2-0 at the King Power stadium.

It took less than 20 minutes for the hosts to get the first goal. Jamie Vardy finished a counter attack, much like the Leicester that won the title. 11 minutes later they doubled their lead in a much more fortunate way. Demarai Gray benefited from a Jonjoe Kenny slice into his own net just before the half hour mark.

Everton had the majority of the ball, but Leicester were the more dangerous team on the counter. The Toffees lacked the attacking creativity needed to get back into the game, and as a result remain in the bottom three. It is still unclear who will take the reigns at Goodison Park.

As for Leicester, life under Puell has started in the best possible way. The Foxes were in need of the three points after a tough start to the season, and the Frenchman delivered in his first game in charge.

 

Pressure is still mounting on Bilic

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West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was in need of a win when his side met Crystal Palace on Saturday, and for a while the team responded.

The Hammers took a 2-0 lead thanks to Javier Hernandez and Jordan Ayew, and despite Luka Milivojevic halving the deficit from the penalty spot, it looked like West Ham would sustain the pressure and hang on for the win. Wilfried Zaha had other ideas though, and his 97th minute goal rescued a deserved point for the Eagles.

As if drawing against the bottom club whilst under so much pressure was bad enough, the fact that West Ham were 2-0 up makes it worse. The pressure continues to mount on Bilic, and he looks like he will be the next manager to be sacked unless something changes very soon.

 

What else happened?

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Chelsea made it two wins out of two with a 1-0 away win at Bournemouth thanks to Eden Hazard’s second half goal.

Liverpool recovered from their 4-1 loss to Spurs by defeating Huddersfield 3-0 at Anfield. Daniel Sturridge was on the score-sheet as the Reds ran out easy victors against the Terriers.

Arsenal came from behind to defeat Swansea 2-1 at the Emirates. The Gunners are now fifth, level on points with Chelsea and closing in on the top four.

Stoke notched up an impressive 1-0 win away at high flying Watford. It was a much needed win for the Potters after losing their last two matches. Brighton and Southampton shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

 

Predictions round-up

Niall (63)
Actual Score Neil (68)
Man United 1-2 Tottenham Man United 1-0 Tottenham Man United 1-1 Tottenham
Arsenal 3-0 Swansea (1) Arsenal 2-1 Swansea Arsenal 2-0 Swansea (1)
Crystal Palace 1-0 West Ham Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham Crystal Palace 1-2 West Ham
Liverpool 4-1 Huddersfield (1) Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield Liverpool 3-1 Huddersfield (1)
Watford 2-1 Stoke Watford 0-1 Stoke Watford 2-1 Stoke
West Brom 0-2 Man City (1) West Brom 2-3 Man City West Brom 1-3 Man City (1)
Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea (1) Bournemouth 0-1 Chelsea Bournemouth 0-2 Chelsea (1)
Brighton 1-0 Southampton Brighton 1-1 Southampton Brighton 1-1 Southampton (3)
Leicester 3-2 Everton (1) Leicester 2-0 Everton Leicester 2-0 Everton (3)
Burnley 2-0 Newcastle (1) Burnley 1-0 Newcastle Burnley 1-0 Newcastle (3)

For the first time this season, Neil has taken the lead in the prediction race with a very solid week where he got both Sunday’s matches and Monday’s match completely correct! It was a good effort from Neil who now sits on 68 points. If not for a few late goals he would have been even further ahead.

Niall was not quite as successful and is now behind for the first time in the predictions race. He got a few correct results, but the lack of correct scores is really beginning to hurt him.

Can Niall respond next week, or will Neil pull even further ahead?

The Premier League returns on November 4th

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