Match Day 6 of the English Premier League (EPL) sees Liverpool continue their soul-crushing form with six wins from six; Man City move into the second spot with a five-star display in Wales, and Chelsea stutter at the London Stadium.
I grew up in Reddish, Stockport.
Safe to say, nobody, supported Stockport County.
It was Man Utd or Liverpool.
I don’t hate anyone or anything. Wasps come close. As a nipper, I hated Liverpool. Well, I said I did, and I believed it without the benefit of hindsight. You know what I mean.
I despised them because they were the best.
I got into football in 1982, in the midst of a run that saw the Anfield lot win five Division 1 titles, two FA Cups, and two European Cups. They were the Rolex of English football, and they have begun this season smashing that expensive timepiece against the jaws of anyone and everyone who stands in their way.
On the weekend, Liverpool beat Southampton three-nil to record their sixth win from six in the English Premier League (EPL). If you add last week’s 3-2 triumph over Paris Saint Germain (PSG) into the mix, then you’re looking at the best start to a Liverpool campaign in 28-years.
The Saints arrived at Anfield without Liverpool loanee Danny Ings (not allowed to play), and Manolo Gabbiadini (injured), leaving Shane Long to lead the line, with his two goals in 52 appearances hardly inspiring confidence. They didn’t have a shot on target until injury time.
Liverpool killed the game off in a first half dominated by Xherdan Shaqiri. Sadió Mané sent the Swiss powerhouse sprinting down the left, he moved onto his right foot and aimed a shot at goal. First Long got in the way, and then Wesley Hoedt before the ball deflected off his thigh to leave Alex McCarthy stranded.
Liverpool was one-up.
Eleven minutes later, and Joël Matip made it two when he rose higher than Jannik Vestergaard to head home a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner, and the game was over by the time the Anfield backroom staff had gotten the best half-time china out of the cupboard when Mohamed Salah finished from close range after Shaqiri sent a thunderbolt of a freekick into the crossbar. It was the Egyptian’s third goal of the season.
“The boys are in good shape,” said Klopp.
That includes Virgil van Dijk who came off as a precaution suffering from bruised ribs.
And they will need the big man.
In the next four matches, Liverpool faces Chelsea (twice), Napoli in the Champions League and a crunch tie against the Champions Man City on October 7.
Cardiff 0 v 5 Man City
Despite Liverpool’s dynamic form they are still only two points ahead of Man City after Pep Guardiola’s side hammered Cardiff City in a rain-drenched visit to South Wales.
It was a much-needed win for a side that lost to unfancied Lyon at home in the Champions Club in midweek, and it’s the tenth time City has scored 5+ goals in a game since the Spaniard took charge.
City had 79% possession of the football, and the shot clock registered 21 v 2. Sergio Agüero opened the scoring on his 300th appearance for the club. Bernardo Silva made it two with his head, and the impressive Ilkay Gündogan sent City into the half-time break with a three-nil lead finishing an excellent move involving LeroySane and Raheem Sterling.
The second half was the Riyad Mahrez show. The Algerian’s time on the pitch has been sparse since his £60m move from Leicester in the summer, but his confidence will be brimming after bagging a second-half brace, prompting Guardiola to refer to him as an incredibly talented player.
City’s win sees them leapfrog Chelsea into second place courtesy of goal difference.
Cardiff is still the bookies favourite for the drop, and remain the only side yet to win a game in the top division. Only West Ham have a worse point tally, but to be fair, Cardiff has faced Chelsea, Arsenal and City in their previous three games, where they have conceded 12 games.
“It was a long afternoon,” Neil Warnock told the press.
West Ham 0 v 0 Chelsea
Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season ended at the London Stadium, but they remain undefeated under Maurizio Sarri after a goalless draw.
The win, coming after a sterling victory over Everton, eases the pressure for Manuel Pellegrino, who put the point down to tactics.
“They played the way we wanted them to play,” Pellegrino said of their decision to allow Chelsea to play down the right while cutting off their supply to Marcos Alonso and Eden Hazard on the left.
And the Hammers should have won it.
With ten minutes remaining, Andriy Yarmokenko found space six yards out but failed to head home when it looked easier to score.
Chelsea looked tired, and perhaps the visit to Greece to play PAOK on Thursday night stole a few nights sleep from the team. But they had better wake up. They face Liverpool twice within a week.
Chelsea sits third.
The Best of the Rest
Sir Alex Ferguson returned to Old Trafford for the first time since undergoing brain surgery in May, and his old side let him down with a lacklustre display against newly promoted Wolves. Fred grabbed his first Premier League goal for the club in the 18th minute, but a superb strike from Joao Moutinho, also his first for the club, gave Wolves a share of the spoils.
Watford remains in fourth place after a draw away at Craven Cottage. Andre Gray gave the Hornets an early lead, but Aleksandr Mitrovic scored his fifth goal of the season to equalise with 12-minutes remaining. Spurs sit in fifth after beating Brighton at the Amex. Harry Kane opened the scoring from the penalty spot a few minutes before half-time, Eric Lamela scored his fourth goal in four appearances for the London outfit to seal things late in the second-half. Brighton grabbed a consolation goal in injury through Anthony Knockaert.
Unai Emery’s decision to stick Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the same lineup continues to pay off with a comfortable win against Everton on Sunday. The pair has now scored in three of the five matches they have played together after Lacazette opened the scoring in the 56th minute, and the man from Gabon did likewise three minutes later in a two-nil win.
Leicester picked up their third win of the season after coming from behind to beat Huddersfield at the King Power. Mathias Jørgensen opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but a Kelechi Iheanacho, 19th-minute equaliser, put the Terriers back on the leash. James Maddison put the Foxes ahead in the 66th minute, and Jamie Vardy put the tie beyond any doubt with his third in three games against the Northerners.
Finally, Bournemouth’s excellent start to the season unravelled at Turfmoor with Burnley putting four past them for Sean Dyche’s first win of the season. Ashley Barnes grabbed a brace, and Matêj Vydra and Aaron Lennon picked up the other two in a vital win for Burnley.
Fixtures in Full
Fulham 1 v 1 Watford
Man Utd 1 v 1 Wolves
Crystal Palace 0 v 0 Newcastle
Leicester 3 v 1 Huddersfield
Cardiff 0 v 5 Man City
Liverpool 3 v 0 Southampton
Burnley 4 v 0 Bournemouth
Brighton 1 v 2 Spurs
West Ham 0 v 0 Chelsea
Arsenal 2 v 0 Everton
Premier League Table
1. Liverpool – 18
2. Man City – 16
3. Chelsea – 16
4. Watford – 13
5. Spurs – 12
6. Arsenal – 12
7. Man Utd – 10
8. Bournemouth – 10
9. Leicester – 9
10. Wolves – 9
11. Crystal Palace – 7
12. Everton – 6
13. Brighton – 5
14. Southampton – 5
15. Fulham – 5
16. Burnley – 4
17. West Ham – 4
18. Newcastle – 2
19. Cardiff – 2
20. Huddersfield – 2
Premier League Winner Odds
Man City 8/11
Man Utd 40/1
Premier League Relegation Odds