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EPL week 15 review: Liverpool maintain the pressure on City; Wolves stun Chelsea

TAGs: English Premier League, liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Week 15 of the English Premier League sees Liverpool come back from a goal down to beat Burnley at Turfmoor. Wolves end their seven-game winless run with a shock home win against Chelsea, and much more. 

It’s been quite a morning.

EPL Wk 15 Review: Liverpool maintain the pressure on City; Wolves stun ChelseaTears, pictures of the old and infirmed, text messages from reptilian like ex-wives (Henry VIII must have had it tough). Right now, life seems as illuminating as a pole dance in Kazakhstan. It’s time to put all of that behind me, listen to some Max Richter, read a Bukowski gem or two, steal some of Joan Didion’s pearls and get to work.

I have six English Premier League (EPL) matches to get you up to speed on so let’s get cracking.

The Race For the Title 

Only two teams have big enough golf balls to win the EPL this year. The 1/5 favourites, Man City, switched off rumours of a Champions League axe long enough to ease past Watford at Vicarage Road two nights ago, and last night Liverpool had to respond, and respond they did.

Jürgen Klopp made seven changes from the side that won the Merseyside derby on the weekend, including the rather bold step of dropping Sadió Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, the first time all three have been absent since May 2017.

And it showed.

Liverpool was patchy at best.

Naby Keita and Daniel Sturridge forced Joe Hart into some brilliant saves, but it was the home side that struck first when Jack Cork bundled the ball home in the 54th minute after a goalmouth scramble.

Liverpool reacted well.

Within ten minutes they were level thanks to a sweet James Milner finish from the edge of the box. Klopp sent Firmino and Salah onto the pitch, and on 69-minutes the Brazilian forward scored with his first touch. Xherdan Shaqiri scored the third in injury time. 

It’s the best start to a season for Liverpool in the club’s illustrious history, and they narrow the gap at the top to only two points – quite remarkable when you consider City’s form.

Burnley remains winless in seven, losing five, but Burnley’s performance gave Sean Dyche hope, telling the press that if they muster the same spirit and quality more consistently, they will get out of trouble. The Clarets remain in the bottom three.

The Champions League Race 

Wolves delivered a blow to Chelsea’s Champions League hopes after coming from a goal down to beat Maurizio Sarri’s men at Molyneux. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men were a 4/1 shot to beat Chelsea at home, and the Portuguese manager was quick to calm expectations when he said, “This doesn’t mean all the problems are solved.”

Chelsea took a somewhat fortuitous lead in the 18th minute when Wolves’ captain, Conor Coady, headed Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot into his own net. Willian had chances to bury the match in the first half only to see the keeper save from a free-kick, and a Wolves defender pull off a goal-saving tackle after being put through on goal by Eden Hazard.

Wolves made Chelsea pay.

The West-Midlands club equalised through Raul Jiménez in the 59th minute when his low drive beat the Chelsea keeper, and four minutes later they were ahead when Diogo Jota found space at the far post to score his first EPL goal from close range.

The win moves Wolves to 12th, but they are only four points behind Everton in 6th, showing you how tight it is in the middle of the table. Chelsea drops to fourth after suffering successive away games.

Next up for Chelsea, Man City at Stamford Bridge.

Spurs 3 v 1 Southampton 

Spurs moved ahead of Chelsea after beating Southampton 3-1 at Wembley. Southampton’s new boss, Ralph Hasenhuttl, watched from the stands as his side hit the woodwork three times before Charlie Austin scored a consolation goal in the injury time. Spurs’ goals came from Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min. 

Man Utd 2 v 2 Arsenal 

Arsenal remains fifth after earning a point at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho was at his awe-inspiring best when he said, “As always we made mistakes, and we paid for the mistakes.”

The Special One left Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba on the bench after seeing his side earn three points from a possible twelve, and the team seemed to respond well.

Arsenal took the lead through a Shkodran Mustafi header in the 26th minute, but United pulled level four minutes later when Anthony Martial finished from close range.

It stayed that way until two minutes of mayhem in the second half.

On 68-minutes Marcus Rojo lost the ball inside his own half. Alexandre Lacazette exchanged a one-two with Henry Mkhitaryan, and the ball squirmed past David De Gea after Eric Bailly, and Rojo squashed the Arsenal forward. The officials gave the goal to Rojo. Then as the TV commentators were still talking about the incident, Rojo floated a long ball to Lukaku, and a poor interception and touch by Sead Kolasinac saw Jesse Lingard pounce and score his first United goal in 27-games.

It was a better point for Arsenal than it was for United.

The Gunners are now unbeaten in 20-games in all competitions.

Here are the results in full:

Watford 1 v 2 Man City
Bournemouth 2 v 1 Huddersfield
West Ham 3 v 1 Cardiff
Brighton 3 v 1 Crystal Palace
Fulham 1 v 1 Leicester
Wolves 2 v 1 Chelsea
Burnley 1 v 3 Liverpool
Everton 1 v 1 Newcastle
Man Utd 2 v 2 Arsenal
Spurs 3 v 1 Southampton

Premier League Table

1. Man City – 41 points
2. Liverpool – 39
3. Spurs – 33
4. Chelsea – 31
5. Arsenal – 31
6. Everton – 23
7. Bournemouth – 23
8. Man Utd – 23
9. Leicester – 22
10. Brighton – 21
11. Watford – 20
12. Wolves – 19
13. West Ham – 18
14. Newcastle – 13
15. Crystal Palace – 12
16. Cardiff – 11
17. Huddersfield – 10
18. Southampton – 9
19. Burnley – 9
20. Fulham – 9

Odds

To Win

Man City 1/5
Liverpool 4/1

Top 4 Finish

Man City 1/1000
Liverpool 1/250
Spurs 4/11
Chelsea 4/9
Arsenal 10/11
Man Utd 7/1

Relegated

Burnley 2/5
Huddersfield 4/7
Cardiff 4/7
Fulham 10/11
Southampton 5/2

Top Scorer

Harry Kane 9/4 (9 goals)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 4/1 (10 goals)
Sergio Aguero 7/2 (8 goals)
Mohamed Salah 11/2 (7 goals)

Next Manager to Leave

Jose Mourinho 13/8
Sean Dyche 8/1
Roy Hodgson 8/1

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