Liverpool Beats Man City 3-1 in a Pulsating Encounter and Other EPL News

| November 11, 2019 7:56 am PST
EPL Weekly Recap matchday 12

It’s still early in the English Premier League season, but Liverpool already has a solid lead at the top of the table. The Reds beat their main rivals Manchester City by 3-1 this Sunday and opened a gap of nine points.

I will take a closer look at the derby of the weekend in this EPL Matchday 12 recap, as well as share my thoughts on the other important events from the league.

Liverpool in Command After a Hectic Game at the Anfield

I think that many people went too far by labeling the game between Liverpool and Man City this Sunday a “title decider” as it’s still only November. And yet, the Reds are certainly in commanding position after winning 3-1.

It was a hectic game, with Manchester City missing some early chances before getting punished by an excellent strike by Fabinho. The visitors feel they should’ve received a penalty moments earlier when the ball hit the hand of Trent Alexander-Arnold in the box.

To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what’s the correct call here, but I agree with Roy Keane and Jose Mourinho’s views on this one. As the two men concluded during the Sky panel’s discussion on the situation, you will see the same incident given as a penalty next week, and that’s the main issue.

The lack of consistency in handballs remains one of the biggest problems in soccer. There are new rules from this season, but they only cover shots on target. Maybe it’s time for FIFA and UEFA to craft a conclusive definition that doesn’t leave room for interpretation and subjectivity.

Either way, no penalty was given, and Liverpool capitalized almost instantly. The Reds then added a second goal five minutes later and a third at the start of the second half. Manchester City had a lot of good moments throughout the game but failed to match the efficiency of Klopp’s men.

The question here is if that puts an end to the title fight, as many people proclaimed. While I do agree that Liverpool is head and shoulders above the rest of the league right now, it’s still too early.

The team was 10 points ahead of City in the previous campaign but surrendered the lead, and Guardiola’s men lifted the trophy at the end.

That’s why I expect at least several more twists and turns in the title fight. And let’s not forget that Leicester and Chelsea are second and third in the table right now. They could be a factor, too, if they can keep the momentum going.

Is the EPL Top 4 Battle Over?

Since I mentioned Leicester and Chelsea, I feel we should talk about the top 4 battle. Both teams are in an excellent position to earn a place in the UEFA Champions League next season, and they are showing remarkable consistency.

Leicester was particularly impressive on Saturday, as the team hosted Arsenal in a key clash for the ambitions of both sides. The Gunners were in a must-win situation, and Unai Emery tried some changes in his system.

The manager started with five defenders, and the first half of the match was close. However, Leicester took over in the second, and Leicester beat Arsenal 2-0 rather comfortably. They had more chances and shut Arsenal after the break.

The result opens a gap of nine points, and the Gunners are in a dire position. The difference to Chelsea is the same after the Blues beat Crystal Palace on Saturday. I don’t think Arsenal will be able to catch their rivals, at least not with Unai Emery in charge.

According to the manager himself, the board is fully behind him, but the supporters are furious. The players look confused too, so I don’t think that Arsenal will start 2020 with the Spaniard at the helm.

Another team that should’ve been in a much better position at this point of the EPL season is Tottenham. The Spurs failed to beat Sheffield United at home and are currently 14th in the table. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but something has to change.

The only in-crisis team from the Big 6 that had a good week was Manchester United. The Red Devils were in brilliant shape, as Man Utd beat Brighton 3-1 at home. I’m not exactly sure if that’s the kind of game that should get the fans too excited, but the performance was strong.

That doesn’t change the fact the Manchester United is 10 points behind Chelsea and Leicester, though. Those two looked poised to join City and Liverpool in the top 4 right now, unless some of the other contenders improve dramatically.

Norwich City Looks Doomed

There was a key clash on the other end of the EPL table too. Norwich City hosted Watford in a game that represented an excellent opportunity for some points for both sides. The visitors showed more composure and earned a vital victory.

They went ahead early and weathered the pressure from Norwich in the first half. A second goal at the start of the second half put Watford in a commanding position, and the Hornets grabbed all three points, despite Kabasele’s red card.

It doesn’t look good for Norwich, as the team’s defense is simply abysmal. It’s the main reason for the last position in the league.

I raised some concerns about that before the start of the campaign, as the Canaries conceded 57 goals in the Championship last season. It seems like Daniel Farke has failed to solve the issue, and this might cost Norwich its place in England’s soccer elite.

As for Watford, there is still hope that the club can beat the drop. The Hornets have lost only one of their last five games in the league. Watford needs to score more goals, but the potential for survival is certainly there.

Final Words

I feel these are the main talking points after this week’s English Premier League action. Don’t hesitate to share your opinion on each in the comments below or mention some other takeaways, such as West Ham’s struggles or the unbeaten run of Wolverhampton.There won’t be a recap next week because of the international break, but I will be back with more news and opinions on the EPL the week after.

Jerry Summer
Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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