In a highly competitive contest where Manchester United got their fair share of chances to get even, Liverpool got past their traditional rivals 2-0 at Anfield on the back of goals from Virgil Van Dijk and Mohammed Salah and stretched their lead to an almost seemingly unbreachable 18-point gap over the rest.
But for the other protagonists of the Top Four of the EPL table it was a below par weekend. Pep Guardiola’s city were able to salvage a point from a match where they seemed to be heading for defeat after Crystal Palace’s Cenk Tosun gave the visiting Eagles to Etihad a lead in the 39th minute. Sergie Aguero continued where he left off against Aston Villa, banging in a couple of late goals in the 82nd and 87th and putting his side in sight of a sudden 1-2 win. Unfortunately, an own goal by City defender Jorginho undid all the good work by the Argentine and Pep Guardiola’s men had to settle for a point only.
Meanwhile lower-half outfits Burnley and Newcastle played spoil sport as they beat fancied Leicester City and Chelsea 2-1 and 1-0 respectively. The upshot of these games was that it was status quo for all the Top Four – Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City and Chelsea – in that order on the points table as the week 23 got by.
The Wolves came back stunningly in the second half through goals off Pedro Neto and a brace by Raul Jimenez to rally from being 0-2 behind at the St. Mary’s Park and beat Southampton 2-3. Nuno Santo’s men pipped Sheffield United to the 6th spot and share identical points (34) with 5th placed Manchester United to whom they are inferior by way of a poorer goal difference. An Arsenal without their main striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did well to end up with a draw against a visiting Sheffield United at the Emirates on Saturday evening. In fact, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners almost rode home to a win courtesy 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli 45th minute finish, but a deflected shot in the 85th minute from Blades midfielder John Fleck found the far corner of the Arsenal net and put paid to any hopes of an Arsenal win. Sheffield have slipped a notch below to the 7th place and a point behind Wolves, accruing 33 from their 23 outings so far. Arsenal maintain their place on the 10th but have Everton and Newcastle in the 11th and 12th places with equal points (29) and biting at their heels.
Once bottom-scrappers Watford continued their unbeaten run under new coach Nigel Pearson as they played out a dogged 0-0 draw at the Vicarage Road with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday noon. The Watford game was Spurs’ fourth in a row without a win but they somehow managed to cling on to the 8th spot despite that. Watford have still managed to keep themselves a spot away from the relegation zone at the 17th while 18th placed Aston Villa hardly helped their cause by drawing 1-1 to Brighton who for the moment are safely ensconced in the 15th.
Southampton’s defeat to the Wolves have found the Saints slipping a place down from last week to the 13th while Burnley moved a notch up to the 14th after their shock win over Leicester.
West Ham remain in the 16th after being held at home to a 1-1 draw by Everton who are unchanged in the 11th while Newcastle upstaged Southampton to the 12th place after their slaying of Chelsea.
Norwich City beat Bournemouth 1-0 in a rough-tempered match with red-cards earned on either side, but both languish at the bottom of the Premier League table.
Team standings with points on the Premier League table after 23 games
|16||West Ham||23 *|
* Denotes having played 22 games