By Neil Leverett
- Manchester United lose again at West Ham United, whilst City rivals demolish Watford 8-0 at the Etihad Stadium
- Arsenal again put fans through ringer, as ten-men Gunners come from behind to beat Aston Villa
- Leicester City beat Spurs, Burnley win at home to champion conquerors Norwich, as Wolves scrape another away point
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – On the heels of yet another roller-coaster Premier League weekend, what did we learn from Gameweek 6 of the 2019/20 campaign?
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Beware the angered Citizens
Following Manchester City’s shock defeat to Norwich City last weekend, Gameweek 6 was always likely to see a scorned Citizens bite back, but perhaps not in the fashion they did as City demolished Watford 8-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
After the champions racked up a five-goal advantage after just 18 minutes, the Premier League’s all-time winning result record was threatened, as Manchester United’s 9-0 win versus Ipswich Town is 1995 began to look as it might be usurped.
Running somewhat out of steam in the second period, Pep Guardiola‘s men had the chances to reach double figures, but as Bernardo Silva notched a hat-trick, the clearly ruffled hosts had gone out of their way to prove a point.
Liverpool’s win at Chelsea keeps the Reds five points clear of the chasing pack, but after a Saturday afternoon that saw the Blue Moon rise once more, an angry Manchester City is something for all sides – even the Merseysiders – to beware of.
Leicester genuine top-six challengers
At the beginning of the season, Leicester City were among three or four teams that could, realistically, challenge the stronghold of what now is the Premier League top six.
Having seen Everton’s troubles multiply in defeat to Sheffield United and Wolves struggling in their second season, the Foxes now stand perhaps alone as one in remaining in that category, after a resurgent display to beat Spurs from a goal down at the King Power Stadium.
As the initial victims of another debatable VAR call, Brendan Rodgers‘ men then took advantage of the Video Assistant Referee’s decision to rule out Serge Aurier‘s second – with Son Heung-min‘s extremely marginal offside call – to bounce back courtesy of James Maddison‘s long-range winner at the weekend.
Despite the loss of Harry Maguire to Manchester United, the rise of Caglar Soyuncu in the Foxes’ defence has ably filled the void of the England defender, but from an attacking point of view, to have gotten the better of Spurs takes some doing – especially in arrears.
Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy may not be firing on all cylinders just yet also, but when Leicester’s dynamic duo hit top form, the former league winners are without a doubt now serious contenders to break into the top six monopoly come May.
Arsenal remain Box Office
Before Gameweek 6 began, few were in any doubt of Arsenal’s continuing frailties and after another roller-coaster ride embarked on by the North Londoner’s increasingly frazzled fans – and as we have already seen this season – the Gunners remain absolute box office.
Coming from a goal down on two occasions against Aston Villa and with ten men following Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ dismissal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in his fourth successive outing from a free-kick to send the Emirates into raptures, as Unai Emery‘s men survived a huge scare.
Like them or loathe them, Arsenal are this season’s must-watch team with the sheer unpredictability their games bring; One week two goals down to draw, the next two up to be held 2-2. The then nerve-shredding and hugely improbable 3-2 win against the Villans, only further served to portray the Gunners as the ultimate show club this term.
With a trip to Old Trafford next Monday night, the Gunners will hardly be relishing the task to go to Manchester and pick up a win, but whatever the case, with both sides having their own problems – United arguably in the greater strife – Gameweek 7 and Arsenal are sure to bring all the fun of the fair with them. Again.
Wolves already scrapping in Gameweek 6
Six weeks into the new season and already the picture is looking troubled for Wolves, after scoring yet another 95th equaliser at Selhurst Park, as Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men again snatched a point on the road in the final seconds, for the second game this season.
With Leander Dendoncker‘s own-goal looking to have settled matters, Diogo Jota‘s effort five minutes into stoppage time saw the Black Country outfit take a point back to the Midlands, but their position in the Premier League table still does not make for good reading.
Having played six games, Wolves are only better off to the hapless Watford who prop up the table and amassed just four points and negative goal difference of equal value, the coming weeks are going to be vital.
Losing to lowly Sporting Braga in the Europa League last Thursday night also, Wolves’ only major crumb of comfort this term also let them down, but could it be that their progress in the that very competition determines the fate of their top flight survival this season?
Turf Moor again a fortress
As the Canaries rolled up to Turf Moor fresh from an odds-shattering defeat to City, Daniel Farke‘s men were given a wake-up call, as Norwich became the victim of the return of fortress Turf Moor for Burnley.
Perched in ninth and in the top half of the table – a far cry from last season’s tribulations, the Clarets shook off their 3-0 loss to Liverpool in their last home game to again pick up a win and a second clean sheet in three.
Netting now five goals in three home league game on home soil, Turf Moor is now returning to its’ once self-dubbed status as one of the hardest places to visit in the Premier League, as Chris Wood‘s brace underlined.
With their away form also having Sean Dyche’s men notch in each of their away trips this campaign, the upwardly mobile fortunes of the Clarets continue this season, and their own back yard is playing a large part in that once again. How they have missed that.
Premier League Gameweek 7 begins on Saturday lunchtime, as Sheffield United host league leaders Liverpool, kick-off 12.30pm UK time.
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