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2019-20 English Premier League recap: Week 12 of 38


Liverpool strengthened their prospects in the Premier League title race when they came out victorious from an enthralling fare at Anfield on Sunday evening. Manchester City had most of the possession when the game began and was beginning to create chances but it were the hosts who opened the scoring when Fabinho speared one in past Bravo off a 25-yard drive. Manchester City still kept threatening the Liverpool goal, but Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling were not able to capitalize on the opportunities that came their way. But Jurgen Klopp’s team were ruthless in their counter-attacks as evident when Mohamed Salah doubled their lead in the 13th minute, heading in at the far post from a superb Andrew Robertson’s cross. Having gone 0-2 down at the interval, Pep Guardiola’s men started proceedings brightly in the second half and came close to scoring on two occasions, one when Raheem Sterling missed a headed chance and the other when Sergio Aguero saw a shot deflected on to the post.  But it was game-over for City in the 51st minute when Jordan Henderson’s pinpoint delivery lured Bravo into a critical moment of hesitation and Sadio Mane headed in to make it 3-0 for the Reds. Bernardo Silva pulled one back with 12 minutes left but it was too late for City. The Citizens will regret not making the most of the plentiful opportunities they got (18 attempts vs Liverpool’s 12) as they now lie 9 points behind Liverpool in 4ht place.

Leicester City stormed up to the second place beating Arsenal 2-0 at the King Power stadium. The game was a tight affair up to half-time with no sign of goals coming from either side, but Jamie Vardy finally broke the deadlock in the 68th minute as he finished off an excellent team move, firing in his 11th of the season after Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans cut open the Arsenal defence. James Maddison then took the game beyond the Gunners’ reach with a low strike through Hector Bellerin’s legs and into the back of the net in the 75th. Victory for the foxes means that they are on 26 points from 12 games, 5 behind leaders Liverpool but 9 clear of 5th placed Sheffield United. So, it looks like they may end the season comfortably in the Top Four, though with 26 games more to go, it’s still early days. Arsenal are now in the midst of their worst start in decades and have currently slipped to the 6th spot and are 8 points away from 4th placed Man City. 

Coach Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have punched far above their weight in one of their rare entries into the Premier League and are currently through a run of 5 unbeaten games. The Blades should have emerged victorious from the 1-1 draw against Tottenham in North London on Saturday. Son Heung-Min opened the scoring for the Spurs very much against the run of play in the 58th minute. David McGoldrick thought he had equalized just two minutes after Son’s opener, but VAR replays showed that Lundstram’s toe had been marginally offside in the build-up – a decision that was so close it took almost four minutes to make. Bad luck for the Blades. George Baldock equalled in the 78th minute when his cross-shot found its way into the far corner. Mauricio Pochettino’s side’s frailties were quite evident as they gifted the visitors possession on numerous occasions and were fortunate not to have been down by two or three goals by half-time. Tottenham, after the drawn game, find themselves tottering at the 14th spot marking their worst-ever start in decades.

Among the bottom-half sides, Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United have shown a dramatic uptick, coming out of relegation territory a month ago to a very respectable 13th currently. Off the 12 games played so far and 15 points accumulated, the Magpies have earned as much as 10 points from their last five games alone. The North England club’s third win of that 5-match spell came on Saturday when they beat 9th placed Bournemouth 2-1 at St James Park.

Manchester United somehow managed to keep themselves inside the Top ten when they got the better of Brighton & Hove 3-1 at Old Trafford. This was United’s third win at home where they seem to be the most comfortable. Brighton have slipped out of the Top ten to the 11th spot after the loss to United.

Marco Silva’s Everton have extricated themselves from relegation border territory after their 1-2 away win over Southampton and are smartly up the 15th spot. Watford (18th), Southampton (19th) and Norwich City (20th) are in relegation land after their respective defeats last week.

2Leicester City26
4Man City25
5Arsenal Sheff Utd17
7Manchester United16
10Burnley FC15
12Crystal Palace15
16West Ham13
17Aston Villa11

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