The weekend’s Premier League action has made some serious chances to the table.
Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are closing in on second-place Manchester United, while Swansea City look like shrugging off their relegation battle altogether.
We’ve cast an eye over the big movers, top performers and key tussles of the weekend. So, without further ado…
Spurs dominate as Gunners take wrong approach
It’s fair to say the current Arsenal crop are far better coming forward than at the back. So why Arsene Wenger opted to play such a cautious system against Tottenham – including at 1-0 down – is anyone’s guess.
Credit to Spurs, who dominated from start to finish. They had 10 corners to Arsenal’s two, and six shots on target to the Gunner’s solitary one. And in truth, it was the visitors who were flattered by the scoreline at Wembley.
Following another flat display against top-six opposition, and another miserable display from £47m man Alexandre Lacazette, questions need to be asked. Losing a North London derby is one thing, but going down without a fight is quite another.
Never mind survival, Swans could reach top half!
It’s hard to remember a seemingly relegation-doomed side going on a run quite like Swansea have. The Swans have picked up 11 points in their last five games. Only Tottenham Hotspur can match that total during the period.
The Premier League is exceptionally tight this year, with just six points separating 10th placed AFC Bournemouth and Stoke City in 19th. And that leaves Swansea just four points off the top-half.
As well as form, the fixture list suggests they can quickly make up the gap. Each of the next four games for Carlos Carvalhal’s men are against sides in the bottom eight. Swansea to Finish in the Top-Half is a very appealing 16/1.
Hernandez finding his groove for happy Hammers
West Ham seemed to have landed a real coup in the summer, with the signing of prolific former Manchester United hitman Javier Hernandez.
However, it has taken the Mexican time to settle in East London. He found the net in just three of his first 17 Prem appearances for the club. But that’s all changed. The 29-year-old’s inch-perfect header opened the scoring in the 2-0 defeat of Watford, as he registered for the third time in four league matches.
And it’s not just his goalscoring rate which has improved. ‘Little Pea’ linked up well with Marko Arnautovic once again.
Add in the fact Hernandez grabbed a first assist of the campaign in the club’s previous home game – against Crystal Palace – and the future looks bright for him and the Hammers.
Same old story for wasteful Man United
Despite having one of the league’s most star-studded squads, the Red Devils have had one bad day after another against the league’s lesser lights. A home draw with Southampton, defeat in Huddersfield – and now a loss at Newcastle United.
Those losses have a real feel of Groundhog Day to them. Once again the Red Devils dominated play and possession, but struggled to break down a workmanlike and well-organised side.
Jose Mourinho admitted post-match, “we could’ve been here for 10 hours and not scored a goal”. Considering the visitors started the game with Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial in the side, that has to be a concern.
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