Chelsea and Tottenham are among the winners of the day on Matchday 6 of ‘PL’, not City or Liverpool.
Manchester City missed the opportunity to temporarily take the lead in the Premier League by being held in check by Aston Villa (1-1) on Saturday for the 6th day and sees Tottenham and Chelsea getting closer, while Liverpool stagnates.
Haaland can’t do everything
A new goal, the 10th in 6 days, from Erling Haaland was not enough for City to temporarily take the lead. With 14 points, the Citizens are no longer ahead of Tottenham, winner of Fulham (2-1) and whom they will face next Saturday, only on goal difference and they are one length behind Arsenal who will challenge Manchester United on Sunday.
The opportunity was however great, against the 19th at kick-off – and 17th after this draw – to mark its territory and strike the spirits. When Haaland only had to push an offering from Kevin de Bruyne to the bottom (1-0, 50th), not many people saw victory and first place slipping away from them. But Steven Gerrard’s men believed in it, playing all the crumbs left to them by the yellow and black machine. And on one of them, Leon Bailey, with a dazzling recovery, punished City (1-1, 74th). A good reminder for the defending champion that he also built his domination of the last 5 years on his rigorous defense, not only on his attack, as amazing as it is.
Four days before receiving Marseille in the Champions League, Tottenham has confirmed its status as a solid candidate for the top 4 final. The Spurs largely dominated against promoted Fulham even if they had to wait for a combination between Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Richarlison, for the Dane to open the scoring (1-0, 40th). With fifteen minutes remaining, Harry Kane doubled the lead, his 188th Premier League goal, making him the third best scorer of all time behind Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer. A relaxation, which Antonio Conte must not have appreciated, allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic to reduce the score in the 83rd and without a good save from Hugo Lloris in front of the Serb, he could even have equalized.
Chelsea tears up
After signing the biggest spending transfer window in the history of the Premier League, Chelsea had to work hard to dominate West Ham (2-1) and not drop in the standings. Ten points in six days will not satisfy Thomas Tuchel, but the provisional 5th place saves appearances while waiting for the recruits, like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, to integrate. The Blues have yet come close to corrections after a goal from Michail Antonio on a corner on the hour mark (0-1, 62nd).
Tuchel’s coaching proved to be very inspired, Ben Chilwell (1-1, 76th) and Kaï Havertz (2-1, 88th), both substitutes at kick-off, putting Chelsea in charge. In the next minute, a goal from Maxwel Cornet, while Édouard Mendy was on the ground after a collision with Jarrod Bowen, was finally refused by the VAR, in a decision which will be commented on but which suits the Blues well.
Liverpool will be satisfied
Despite a large number of chances, Everton and Liverpool could not decide (0-0). Sixth with 9 points, Liverpool took only half of the possible points over 6 days, a record unworthy of a title candidate. The Reds lacked success and fell on a Jordan Pickford man of the match. The goalkeeper notably deflected a shot from Darwin Nunez (43rd) on the crossbar before being saved by his post, in stride, on a shot from Luis Diaz.
In the second half, the English goalkeeper disgusted Roberto Firmino by making two parries in quick succession 64th), then postponing his recovery to the 87th. In additional time, he saved the draw by sending his fingertips a shot from Mohamed Salah on the post (90 + 6). But Everton could also have hoped for better if a beautiful outside of the foot of Tom Davies had not come to die on the post of the opposing skylight (32nd) or without an impeccable Alisson in front of Neal Maupay (65th) or a lobbed strike from Dwight McNeil ( 84th).