Premier League, City closing the gap 5/5 (7)

Premier League offered double match-day last week. Only Tottenham managed to take all 6 points at stake. Everybody else experienced hiccups of various kind.

Liverpool even managed to let Manchester City closer despite the latter lost in Newcastle in midwek.

Premier League title race

When City lost in Newcastle and Liverpool managed to extend the lead even without winning, some might think that the race is decided.

However, Klopp and his team couldn’t do better than taking another draw in London on Monday evening. And even that wasn’t too bad for the way the team performed.

In fact, it’s performing for some time now!

Despite the solitary defeat suffered against title rivals, Liverpool’s game looks like stuck in 2nd gear.

The defence isn’t a watertight as it used to be. And that was foreseeable!

Premier League

The midfield can’t sustain both game phases. Not a surprise either.

Attack can’t hit the target. Or better, the back of the net!

Since trashing Arsenal end of 2018, the Reds scored 9 goals in following 6 games. Including 4-3 thriller against Crystal Palace, won in added time.

Otherwise, it’s 5 goals in 5 games. Which meant losing away to City and being eliminated in the FA Cup at the hands of Watford.

Liverpool’s struggles

Every team goes through a rough patch during the course of a season. Premier League leaders aren’t an exception.

Premier League

City had a rocky December, Manchester United a troublesome Mourinho period, Tottenham and Arsenal have already 6 defeats.

Nothing to worry if the Reds are losing ground?

Well, in their case perhaps it could be more into it.

I already expressed my mind on Liverpool’s title aspirations when they were at the peak, undefeated and impenetrable.

The squad simply doesn’t have top quality available in the starting eleven, much less strength in depth.

Another concerning detail is the timing!

Liverpool is catching a breath at the worst possible moment; Premier League is nearing its business end and the Champions League is about to start!

13 more rounds of domestic competition and elite continental tournament resumes with knock-out phase.

February will give us some feedback on the actual condition of the team with clashes against Bayern in the Champions League and the Premier League classic at Old Trafford.

Premier League

The German giants might be living the worst institutional crisis in the last decade and need an overhaul, however, still posses enough talent to trouble anybody on their day.

Manchester United, besides the miss-step last week, are flying high since Solskjaer’s appointment. The opposition encountered in the process, besides Tottenham, isn’t on Liverpool’s level but confidence is sky-high.

And with the abundance of quality available, especially in the final third, self-believe alone can cause a lot of headaches to Klopp and his lately shaky rear-guard. Or defensive aspect, as you prefer.

City closing the gap

Without the complacency shown midweek in Newcastle, Manchester City would lead the Premier League standings at the moment. Due to better goal difference, but at the top.

Premier League

Guardiola’s team is more competitive and balanced and eventually will leap in front of Liverpool. The difficult period is over and they won’t drop too many points in the remaining games.

The setback endured last week will result in fewer lapses of concentration in the crucial part of the season.

First to succumb to the Blues’ regained determination is ever-underachieving Arsenal in the weekend. Next are Everton and Chelsea at the weekend.

If City maintains the standard this week, who’d bet against them retaining the title?

Chasing pack

Tottenham is firmly in third with eyes on the leading duo. With only 2 points short of City pretty much re-entered the title race.

Premier League

Wouldn’t be surprised if they’d be above Liverpool in the final standings.

However, I’d be absolutely astonished if they’d finish above the Citizens!

With Kane at disposal the whole time, perhaps.
Without him leading the line, I’d be even more shocked if Tottenham would end up in front of Manchester City then Liverpool winning the league!

Chelsea needs to watch out for Manchester United as Solskjear has his eyes set on CL qualification. And like a deadly striker as he used to be, once he sees the goal, he’ll go for it ruthlessly!

After the embarrassment suffered against Bournemouth, Sarri’s team rallied up and dismantled helpless Huddersfield Town in home court. Even Higuain presented himself with a brace!

Such a win was desperately needed anyhow real test awaits them in the blue side of Manchester at the weekend.

Premier League

Arsenal’s drop to sixth can’t stun anyone anymore! Wenger’s gone but his legacy lives on. Considering squad at hand, that’s, objectively, their place.

Lacazette and Aubameyang are great attackers but the rest of the material at disposal can’t support the duo adequately. Ozil included, momentarily!

Relegation battle

Burnley accumulated 12 points in the last 6 games. Half on season total up to now!

Premier League

No matter the mauling at the Ettihad Stadium in the FA Cup, January is a month they’ll have as a reference point in their quest to retain Premier League status!

Out of the relegation zone for the moment and looking to keep the fight alive till the very end.

With Liverpools’ degrade, Manchester United resilience and Burnley’s new-found hope, the best in the Premier League is yet to come.

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