Premier League Review: United fight, Fulham falter and Bluebirds soar

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Chelsea’s enthralling 2-2 draw with Manchester United dominated the headlines as the Premier League returned with a bang.

Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool all registered wins to keep up the pressure at the top. Meanwhile, pressure continues to grow on Rafael Benitez and Slavisa Jokanovic.

We’ve rounded it all up in our weekend talking points.

Three still unbeaten as United show fight

Only three times in English top-flight history have three teams remained unbeaten after nine matches – 1978-79, 1990-91 and now 2018-19.

Liverpool and Manchester City both retained their runs with wins over Huddersfield Town and Burnley respectively. But it was Chelsea’s draw with Man United which captured headlines.

Ross Barkley’s goal deep into added time rescued a point for Blues against their much-improved opponents. Maurizio Sarri’s men are now 12/1 for the title but this match was more about United.

The Red Devils were disciplined, decisive and formidable going forward in the second-half.

They need to follow that blueprint going forward if they’re to take the fight to the top-four on a more consistent basis – and we don’t mean solely in the dugout.

Fulham falter while Bluebirds soar

Not many would have had Cardiff’s home fixture with Fulham down as the most exciting match of the weekend. Yet fans in South Wales were treated to a six-goal thriller at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The Bluebirds struck twice in each half through four different goalscorers to move themselves outside the drop-zone. Opponents Fulham dropped in it for the first time since August.

Defeat to one of the league’s winless sides prior to the weekend will be worry enough for Cottagers fans. But it’s the manner in which they were carved apart which is the real cause for concern.

Jokanovic’s men have now conceded 25 goals in the league this term. They’ve shipped two or more in eight of their nine games.

The Serbian boss has reportedly been given two matches to save his job in West London. A shift to a more defensive style has to be the way forward for the 6/4 third-favourites for relegation.

More woes for Benitez at Newcastle

A home match against travel-weary Brighton & Hove Albion was meant to prove the perfect tonic for Newcastle United this weekend. Pity nobody told Beram Kayal.

The Israeli striker netted 29 minutes into the first-half to give the Seagulls their first away win in 17 Premier League matches.

It condemned the Magpies to a fifth-straight home defeat and their worst start to a top-flight season in over 100 years.

Upcoming fixtures against Southampton, Watford and AFC Bournemouth before the international break aren’t as easy as they look.

We think their odds of 7/4 for relegation could get shorter before things get better on Tyneside.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket and horse racing.