City Continue To Impress While Koeman Is Sacked
Manchester City moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League table as their unbeaten start continued into match week nine.
The Citizens have breezed past almost everyone this season both domestically and in Europe, and their 3-0 victory against Burnley in their latest success moves them well clear of neighbours Manchester United. Sergio Aguero equalled Eric Brook’s club record of 177 goals with a first half penalty before Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane clinched the three points with late strikes.
Jose Mourinho was livid with his United side as they dropped points once again following their draw with Liverpool in the previous round of fixtures. Huddersfield Town rekindled their early season heroics having failed to win in the league since match week two, and stunned the Red Devils with a 2-1 win.
Both of the Terriers’ goals were the result of individual errors with Aaron Mooy capitalising on a Juan Mata mistake to score the opening goal, before Victor Lindelof misjudged the flight of Jonas Lossl’s goal kick allowing Laurent Depoitre to score. Marcus Rashford halved the deficit with twelve minutes left to play but Mourinho’s side failed to force an equaliser.
Tottenham Hotspur are now joint-second with United on twenty points after their emphatic 4-1 win against Liverpool. Spurs’ Wembley woes were shattered in an excellent first half in which Harry Kane opened the scoring within five minutes, before Heung-min Son soon added a second. The Reds thought they had hope when Mohamed Salah scored, only for Dele Alli to volley in a third shortly before half-time. Kane, the division’s top scorer with eight, swivelled to net a fourth following some calamitous Liverpool defending to cap off an excellent week for the north Londoners.
Meanwhile, Chelsea recorded their first win in three games despite limping past an impressive Watford. The Hornets went 2-1 up at Stamford Bridge when Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra cancelled out Pedro’s wonderful opener. However, they were left to rue two clear-cut chances missed by Richarlison as substitute Michy Batshuayi scored either side of a rare goal from Cesar Azpilicueta.
Ronald Koeman become the third manager to be sacked this season following Everton’s 5-2 defeat to Arsenal. Wayne Rooney continued his excellent personal record against the Gunners when he opened the scoring, but that was as good as it got for the Toffees on a dismal afternoon at Goodison Park. Nacho Monreal, Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez eased some of the Gunners’ own pressure following a poor run in the league. Petr Cech’s error led to a late consolation for Oumar Niasse but the result meant Koeman follows countryman Frank de Boer and former Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare in being sacked.
Michael Appleton was in temporary charge at Leicester following Shakespeare’s departure and he helped the Foxes to their first league win since week two. Swansea City were the architects of their own downfall though, with Frederico Fernandez heading into his own net before poor marking allowed Shinji Okazaki to convert from close range. Alfie Mawson scored late in the second half but Leicester held on for the win ahead of the appointment of former Southampton boss Claude Puel as their new manager.
Puel’s former side have had a staggered start under new boss Mauricio Pellegrino but they earned three points at the weekend with a narrow 1-0 win against a struggling West Bromwich Albion side. Sofiane Boufal has had a quiet first fourteen months in English football but it was his stunning individual goal that won the game. The midfielder received the ball deep in his own half before dribbling forward, evading numerous challenges and finishing from the edge of the penalty area.
The Saints’ south coast rivals, Bournemouth, moved within a point of escaping the bottom three with a 2-1 win against Stoke City. Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas earned the Cherries’ the three points but they remain ninteenth, while Mame Biram Diouf’s goal was not enough for Stoke who momentarily dropped into the relegation zone before Everton’s defeat.
Finally, Crystal Palace remain bottom after their eighth defeat in nine games. Mikel Merino scored his first Newcastle United goal with four minutes remiaining as the Magpies, buoyed by the news that the club is up for sale, move up to seventh.