Liverpool hit six to go top of the table while Chelsea fired in five goals and Sunderland finally won to haul themselves off the bottom over another action-packed weekend of Premier League action.
Here are five things we learned…
The Reds romped to the top of the Premier League for the first time under Jurgen Klopp after they stuck six past an abject Watford side at Anfield. There have, of course, been false dawns before, but the energy of Klopp’s Liverpool could just see them last the distance this time, well, maybe.
Klopp was determined to play down his side’s title chances. He said: ”It’s better than being 10th, or whatever. I am really not interested (in talking about the title). For me it is more important that we look like a team who is able to win football games.” Well, they certainly do Jurgen, they certainly do.
With Manchester City having dropped points again by conceding in stoppage-time to draw 1-1 at home with Middlesbrough, Chelsea made the most of their opportunity to stick five past a below-par Everton on Saturday night which saw Antonio Conte’s side take over leadership of the Premier League.
That, though, would change hands again come the end of Sunday’s fixtures with now only two points separating the top four sides. Tottenham are still unbeaten after their 1-1 draw in the north London derby at Arsenal and only five adrift of Liverpool.
When you factor in what a decent run by Manchester United could do to the title race when domestic action resumes again in a couple of weeks, the battle for this year’s Premier League crown looks set to be fought out by more than just a couple of genuine contenders. Bring it on.
Just when you thought Sunderland were down and out for the count, with manager David Moyes set for the sack, the Black Cats go and pull off a remarkable win at Bournemouth, where they had played the last half hour with only 10 men after Steven Pienaar’s red card.
Credit where it is due, though, as Moyes’ beleaguered squad dug in to secure a priceless three points courtesy of a penalty from Jermain Defoe which might just have saved Moyes’ bacon, well, for a week anyway. The Scot, who was serving a touchline ban, said afterwards: “I had nearly forgotten what it felt like to smile”.
Just as Manchester City found out with being unable to follow-up their brilliant performance against Barcelona and also Leicester after all but securing their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League by battling to a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen.
Southampton were also brought quickly down to earth with a 2-1 defeat at struggling Hull just three days after beating Italian giants Inter Milan in the Europa League. Saints boss Claude Puel had been quick to talk of the need to put that result out of the players’ minds and focus on getting “a good answer” on their return to domestic action at the KCOM Stadium. Something which, it seems, is again easier said than done.
Bob Bradley admitted he still did not know his best XI before seeing the Swans stuffed 3-1 at home by a rejuvenated Manchester United on Sunday. “It’s something I’m trying to figure out every day”, he had said in the pre-match media briefings.
Well, the American now will have a couple more weeks to ponder just how to get a positive result at Everton when the Premier League resumes on November 19. But if he continues to take too long to find out, then the Welsh club will only be heading one way for the rest of the campaign.