By Niall Clarke
- Five lessons learned from match-week nine of the Premier League season
- Full weekend results
It was a Premier League weekend that blew the title race wide open. That is just one of the five lessons we learned from Premier League match-week nine.
It was not a happy return for Jose Mourinho
The return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge did not go exactly to plan for the Manchester United manager as his side were beaten 4-0 by Chelsea.
The Portuguese stepped onto the hallow turf of his former employers with a smile, but within 30 seconds of the kick off it was turned upside down. Sloppy Manchester United defending allowed Pedro to score the fastest goal of the season so far to give Chelsea an early lead. The Blues rode the wave of momentum for much of the half and added a second through Gary Cahill after more sloppy defending from the visitors.
Chelsea were content to sit back and counter from that point on, and it was through a counter attack in which Eden Hazard was able to add a third to all but seal the victory. They were not done there though as N’Golo Kante scored his first Chelsea goal to make it four.
Once again Antonio Conte deployed three at the back and once against it yielded the desired result. Chelsea are now well back into the title race as Manchester United fall further behind.
Manchester City are in a mini rut
With Tottenham and Arsenal only managing to draw, City had the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League with a win against Southampton. The Citizens put in a sloppy performance however in a 1-1 draw, and their winless run has extended to five games in all competitions.
Did the draw at Celtic knock the confidence from them, or was it the Spurs defeat? Either way Pep Guardiola has work to do in order to turn things around. Games such as this should be certain victories for title contenders, and City failed to look convincing on many levels.
West Brom away is next and that is also a potential banana skin. It will be interesting to see how City respond to their recent poor form.
The pressure is mounting on David Moyes
Sunderland remain the only side in the league without a win this season after a 1-0 defeat at West Ham, and as a result remain bottom of the table.
The pressure is now on the manager David Moyes to turn things around before it is too late. In this day and age, clubs are very quick to dismiss managers during a poor spell, and this is more than just a spell for Sunderland.
If things do not change soon then the Scot could find himself without a club again in the near future. The Black Cats host Arsenal next weekend, and any result there could serve as a confidence booster.
The title race is wide open
Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City could only manage a point in their respective games, and the victories for Chelsea and Liverpool have made the title race wide open again.
In the early stages of the season, it looked like City were going to run away with it. But a good response from Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool coupled with the Citizens’ dip in form has blown it wide open. Three sides sit on 20 points with Chelsea and Spurs just a point behind, and Manchester United are not too far behind themselves.
It is all looking very open and exciting which is only good news for the millions of fans who tune in every week. It is shaping up to be one of the best seasons yet.
What happened elsewhere?
Turf Moor is turning out to be quite the fortress for Burnley as they beat Everton 2-1 on Saturday. It is becoming clear that their home form will be key to their survival in the Premier League, and a win against European contenders Everton will do no harm.
Speaking of survival, it seems like Stoke City have found a spark and a 2-0 win at Hull has pulled them out of the relegation zone. The Tigers themselves are in big trouble however after suffering a fifth straight defeat. Swansea could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to Watford so remain in the relegation zone.
Leicester looked more like Champions as they dispatched Crystal Palace 3-1 at the King Power Stadium. Christian Fuchs’ volley was the pick of the goals as the Foxes recovered from their defeat at Chelsea last week.
Full Premier League results
Bournemouth 0-0 Tottenham
Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough
Burnley 2-1 Everton
Hull 0-2 Stoke
Leicester 3-1 Crystal Palace
Swansea 0-0 Watford
West Ham 1-0 Sunderland
Liverpool 2-1 West Brom
Man City 1-1 Southampton
Chelsea 4-0 Man United
The Premier League returns on the weekend of October 29-30
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