EPL week 10 review: Man City return to the top after scrappy Wembley affair

EPL Week 37 Review: Man City retain the title after battering Brighton

Manchester City returns to the summit of the English Premier League after beating Spurs on a raggedy old Wembley pitch by a Riyad Mahrez goal to nil.

I used to be a philatelist.

I can’t remember where they all came from, but I had a few photo albums full of the things.

Collecting stamps wasn’t my only hobby. I also had a cardboard box full of Man Utd programs from the 60s and 70s. My Uncle Alan gave them to me, and it was around this time (82/83) that I got into football.

EPL week 10 review: Man City return to the top after scrappy Wembley affairI have always loved the game.

Until recently.

Today, it reminds me of my quiet moments, leafing through my old photo albums looking at my stamps wondering what the word Magyar meant.

Either the game has become boring, it dies with age, or as it slips down my importance pecking order so does its entertainment value. That said, I was excited about last night’s game between Spurs and Man City, so much so, I taped it and woke up this morning at 5 am to watch it before my daughter took over my life.

What a letdown.

Spurs v Man City at Wembley Stadium.

You can’t get much better than that.

And yet, it felt like watching England v Croatia behind closed doors; eerily empty, with the pitch looking horrendous with the aftermath of the NFL clash between the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars scarring the hallowed turf.

The result was more predictable than the setup. City won by a goal to nil and returned to the head of the English Premier League (EPL) thanks to a six-minute strike from Riyad Mahrez.

Ederson sent the ball long, Raheem Sterling controlled it and ran at Kieran Tripper with pace. Trippier couldn’t keep up. The former Liverpool man waltzed past him, cut it back, and the Algerian had raced the full length of the pitch to score his third goal in his last three Premier League games.

Harry Kane nearly equalised with a stunning long-range strike that grazed the top of the bar, Mahrez forced Hugo Lloris into an excellent stop, and before the half time break, Erik Lamela put Kane through on goal, but unusually for the England captain, his first touch let him down, and Ederson gobbled up the ball.

Into the second half and Pep Guardiola booted a few water bottles around after David Silva and Sterling failed to score from close range, and then Sergio Agüero wasted a golden opportunity, firing straight at Lloris from close range before forcing the Frenchman into another stop with a long-range half-volley.

The best word to describe City’s performance is ‘wasteful’, and Spurs nearly made them pay, when Dele Alli robbed Mahrez in midfield. The England star found Lamela with acres of space on the penalty spot, but the ball took a nasty bobble at the last minute, and Lamela skied it when it looked easier to score.

Mauricio Pochettino said he was happy with his side’s performance, but it’s another defeat against a Big Six team. We wax lyrical about Man City’s attacking prowess, but the clean sheet means they have only conceded three at the back all season.

Here are the Week 10 fixtures in full:

Fixtures in Full

Brighton 1 v 0 Wolves

Southampton 0 v 0 Newcastle

Liverpool 4 v 1 Cardiff

Fulham 0 v 3 Bournemouth

Watford 3 v 0 Huddersfield

Leicester 1 v 1 West Ham

Man Utd 2 v 1 Everton

Burnley 0 v 4 Chelsea

Crystal Palace 2 v 2 Arsenal

Spurs 0 v 1 Man City

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 26

2. Liverpool – 26

3. Chelsea – 24

4. Arsenal – 22

5. Spurs – 21

6. Bournemouth – 20

7. Watford – 19

8. Man Utd – 17

9. Everton – 15

10. Wolves – 15

11. Brighton – 14

12. Leicester – 13

13. West Ham – 8

14. Crystal Palace – 8

15. Burnley – 8

16. Southampton – 7

17. Cardiff – 5

18. Fulham – 5

19. Newcastle – 3

20. Huddersfield – 3

Premier League Winner Odds

Man City 4/7

Liverpool 5/2

Chelsea 10/1

Premier League Relegation Odds

Huddersfield 1/3

Cardiff 4/11

Fulham 11/10

Burnley 11/8

Newcastle 7/4

Top 4 Finish

Man City 1/150

Liverpool 1/33

Chelsea 2/11

Spurs 8/13

Arsenal 11/8

Man Utd 3/1

Top Goalscorer

Sergio Aguero – 11/4

Harry Kane 3/1

Mohamed Salah – 9/2

Pierre-Emerick Aubameynag – 5/1

Eden Hazard – 8/1