Liverpool’s unbeaten run, VAR drama, West Ham and Arsenal’s poor run, plus Sheffield United’s great start were some of the highlights of the Premier League this weekend. Here are the Winners and Losers from Matchweek 12. Bet on football here.
Liverpool moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a dominant 3-1 win over Manchester City at Anfield. The Reds looked threatening from the start and after going 2-0 up in the 13th minute, it looked like they had wrapped up the three points. This win was very important against their closest competitors and Jurgen Klopp’s side are building momentum aside from looking unstoppable.
Sheffield United’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur showed they have the tools, confidence and ability to punch above their weight in the top flight. Aside from the VAR drama, they were excellent against an out of sorts Spurs side. The Blades now sit fifth with 17 points and the second-best defence in the league, having conceded just nine goals.
It took 12 games, but Watford finally got their first win in the Premier League this season which moved them out of the bottom of the Premier League. Their 2-0 win over Norwich City was their first victory in the top flight since April, which means they leapfrogged Southampton and the hosts to 18th. This was a vital win which may be season-defining for Quique Sanchez Flores’ side. Their next few games will determine if they’ve turned a corner.
Two brilliant goals from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison were enough to give the Foxes a 2-0 over struggling Arsenal. Although it’s still early in the season, Brendan Rodgers’ side look like a real title contender. Their next five games are against teams in the bottom half of the table and five wins out of five look like a real possibility. Jamie Vardy’s form against the Gunners also continued as he registered his ninth goal in nine appearances against them. He’s also the league’s top scorer with 11 goals.
City suffered their third defeat of the season falling 3-1 away to Liverpool at Anfield. The loss saw City move down to fourth and concede ground to the leaders who are now nine points ahead of the reigning champions. Pep Guardiola’s side created numerous chances to score and will feel they deserved something out of the game. Their defensive vulnerability was evident throughout the game and the absence of Aymeric Laporte and Ederson was clear since they lacked control at the back. They cannot afford to drop more points if they want to retain their title.
The Canaries suffered their sixth defeat in seven games as they lost 2-0 at home to Watford. Although they regained control of the match after conceding after 76 seconds, they never looked like scoring. Even a second yellow card for Christian Kabasele 20 minutes from time didn’t help Daniel Farke’s men. They dominated possession but were toothless in front of goal, perhaps due to Teemu Pukki’s goal drought. Things will definitely not get easier for the Canaries and they’ll need to improve or relegation will soon become a reality.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was at the centre of things in the Premier League at the weekend. In Spurs’ match against Sheffield United, the Blades’ goal was ruled out because John Lundstram’s toe was ruled to be offside after a lengthy decision-making process. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold looked to have handled the ball in the box and Mohamed Salah could have been marginally offside when he doubled the Reds lead but VAR couldn’t give the decisions. The use of VAR has come under heavy criticism, more importantly because of a lack of consistency with most of the decision-taking too long and often overshadowing the action on the pitch.
It seems a distant memory since West Ham’s 2-0 over Manchester United in late September. Mauricio Pellegrini might point to the injuries they’ve suffered but it was another poor display from the Hammers as they lost 3-0 to Burnley on Saturday. They’re winless in six matches in the league, suffering four defeats in that run. They’re now 16th in the table, five points off the relegation zone. Can they turn things around?