After two weeks of the unwanted international break, club football returned last weekend with games played across all grounds in the English Premier League.
Chelsea opened the weekend’s round of action with a win over Newcastle at St.James Park while Southampton’s draw against Wolves ended match week eight.
Freshsports, in its tradition, highlights some of the talking points from the latest round of games.
Liverpool Show Strength In Depth: The international break was not kind to Liverpool as three of their key players picked up an injury and were subsequently ruled out of the clash against Leicester City.
Captain, Jordan Henderson, picked up a thigh injury on England du. At the same time, Joe Gomez is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury also on England duty.
It did not end there as Mohamed Salah tested positive for Covid-19 on Egypt duty. This is coupled with injuries to Trent Alexander Arnold and Virgil Van Dijk before the international break.
It left Liverpool short going into the clash against Leicester. However, Jurgen Klopp’s men put their injury woes behind them to record a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Foxes.
It was a match that displayed Liverpool’s strength in depth and why they are favourites to retain the title. Diogo Jota has proven to be a superb addition to the squad, and the Portugal international once again proved his worth as he became the first Reds player to score in his first four games at Anfield.
Sunday’s win showed it’s going to take more than injuries for Liverpool to relinquish their title.
Spurs Show Title Credentials: After losing their opening game to Everton, it looked like Tottenham were in for a long season. But seven games after, Spurs now look like title contenders.
Jose Mourinho’s men went top of the table after a 2-0 win over Manchester City. It was really a masterclass from the Portuguese tactician, whose team defended in numbers and were clinical on the break.
The win is the first from a tough run of games. But with their newfound confidence, there’s no reason to doubt Spurs abilities.
Man Utd win But Doubts Still Remain: Manchester United secured their first home win of the season following a 1-0 victory over West Brom.
But the manner of the win did not instil confidence, and there are still questions about United’s qualities. It could even have been a loss for United had David Coote not overturn his initial decision to award West Brom a penalty.
United had to wait until the second half to score the lone goal and that even came from the penalty spot. They are not in the title race, but should their form fail to improve; they could also find themselves out of the top-four race.
Arsenal Struggles Continue: It’s now over seven hours since Arsenal scored from open play in the Premier League following their goalless draw against Leeds United.
Before the international break, Arsenal suffered a crushing 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, and Freshsports highlighted how Mikel Arteta had sacrificed the team’s attack for defensive ability.
It was also the same case at Elland Road on Sunday with Leeds unlucky not to have picked up the three points. Arsenal meanwhile failed to offer any threat going forward and were not even helped by Pepe’s moment of madness.
Chelsea’s Unbeaten Run Continue: After an indifferent start to the season, Chelsea have now won their last five games in all competitions with the latest coming in their 2-0 win over Newcastle.
It was a routine win for Frank Lampard’s men, who were dominant all through. It also appears Lampard has found a solution to their defensive struggles.
The Blues, however, face a stern test next Sunday, when they welcome leaders, Tottenham Hotspur.