English Premiership

Three things we learned from the Premier League

2019-10-28 07:14
Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane
Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane (Getty Images)

London - Liverpool showed they have steel as well as style after battling back from conceding an early goal against Tottenham while Manchester United at last won on the road in the Premier League.

Leicester City kicked things off on Friday with an astonishing 9-0 victory away to 10-man Southampton before they were joined on 20 points by a Christian Pulisic-inspired Chelsea.

On a busy day of action on Sunday, Arsenal blew a two-goal lead against Crystal Palace and captain Granit Xhaka feuded with fans.

AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Premier League this weekend:

Leicester blitz

Leicester proved they are back in the big time by hammering nine goals past sorry Southampton, with Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez both scoring hat-tricks.

In doing so they recorded the biggest-ever victory by an away side in an English top-flight league match - a period spanning 131 years.

Leicester also matched Manchester United's 9-0 hammering of Ipswich in 1995 - the biggest margin of victory in Premier League history.

Brendan Rodgers' side are third in the table behind runaway leaders Liverpool and Manchester City but they look like they are the real deal, with 20 points from 10 games - one more than at the same stage of their title-winning 2015/16 campaign.

Liverpool's mental strength

Liverpool are unbeaten in their past 10 Premier League games when they have conceded the first goal at Anfield, winning each of the last six.

The Premier League leaders saw their eight-point lead trimmed last week when they were held to a draw by Manchester United -- ending their 17-match winning run.

When they fell behind to a Harry Kane goal in the first minute at Anfield on Sunday nerves could have taken over -- defeat against Tottenham would have seen their lead over Manchester City cut to just three points.

Instead, Liverpool poured forward relentlessly. Jordan Henderson equalised and Mohamed Salah won the game from the penalty spot with 15 minutes to go.

Pulisic makes up for lost time

When Frank Lampard was asked about Christian Pulisic's lack of playing time earlier this season, the usually affable Chelsea manager's terse reply told its own story.

While Lampard was polite about Pulisic's situation - he lacked his teammates' fitness levels after a truncated pre-season - he made it clear the United States winger would only play when he felt the time was right.

Pulisic was desperate to kick-start his Chelsea career following his move from Borussia Dortmund and, finally given his first league start since August, Pulisic made up for lost time with an impressive hat-trick in Chelsea's 4-2 win at Burnley.

Attacking with pace and purpose, Pulisic showed he is ready to contribute to Lampard's emerging young side with goals with his right foot, left foot and head.

"The goals were amazing. It's tough to say which was my favourite," Pulisic said.

The so-called perfect hat-trick should keep him in Lampard's team for a while to come.

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 23 November 2019
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v Norwich City, Goodison Park 17:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 November 2019
Sheffield United v Manchester United, Bramall Lane 18:30
Monday, 25 November 2019
Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park 22:00
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