Wow. What a great start to the weekend. Well, for me anyway.
Swansea claimed a great result at Anfield in the form of a 3-2 victory which lifted them out of the relegation zone. Fernando Llorente scored two, Tom Carroll was awarded man of the match for his two assists and there is some hope in Wales at last!
Paul Clement introduced his two new players and they both played well. Martin Olsson and Tom Carroll slotted straight in and improved the Swansea team, admittedly not much of a challenge, and the latter showed Spurs what they were missing. Then again I don’t think they were that bothered as they sold him quite happily and quite cheap.
Survival looks somewhat achievable now for Swansea but Clement must reiterate to the squad that you can’t let two goal leads slip in the Premier League. We were really lucky that Liverpool are not at their best at the moment. An in-form Coutinho, Mane and Lallana would have ripped us apart.
You have to say, from a Liverpool perspective, you can’t concede three goals against the bottom side and expect to win the title. Klavan, in particular, looked poor with very basic defensive errors. Phil Coutinho looked lacklustre and not up to speed after his injury. Even Firmino was poor, despite his two goals. I would like Liverpool to win the league on a personal level, but performances like this show why Chelsea are five points clear at the moment. Consistency is key in the Premier League.
Being great going forward with huge defensive problems will cost Liverpool the title this season. However, you have to recognise the progress from last season and how much Klopp has improved the team. A Champions League place and a potential trophy at the end of the season will be suitable enough for falling slightly short of the big prize.
Andy Carroll was at it again with a less spectacular goal compared to last week’s bicycle kick. His first was a straight forward headed goal to give the Hammers the lead. Cristhian Stuani, who with a name like that sounds like a perfume brand, equalised for the home side before West Ham went back in front through another Carroll goal. The now prolific Carroll was then taken off in the second half but West Ham made it safe before the end as the very much less prolific Jonathan Calleri with the third for the away side, albeit with the biggest deflection of the day.
Man United went 1-0 behind to Stoke thanks to an own goal from Juan Mata. Something’s never change as Saido Berahino watched from the stands but at least he got to see history being made. No, not Peter Crouch’s 100th Premier League goal. The goal was slightly more significant but no less important. Wayne Rooney is now United’s all-time leading scorer after getting the equaliser in the last minute and what a goal it was too. Classic Rooney? What does that even actually mean? Like Klopp’s Liverpool, Jose’s Manchester United have improved from last season but only in results and not performances as I feel they are still boring to watch, although admittedly slightly less dull than last season. Now that’s saying something.
West Brom recovered from the loss of their number one spectator and water boy Berahino by winning easily against Sunderland. Darren Fletcher scoring the opener before Chris Brunt made it two in an easy win for Tony Pulis men. I have nothing new to report in the fact that Sunderland are still poor, a phrase that is not going to change anytime soon.
The only other game worth commenting on for me was the evening game and the battle between title hopefuls Spurs and the hopelessly out of form Manchester City. Spurs were favourites for this game, particularly since Pep admitted in the week that he doesn’t think he is up to the job at the Etihad. His self-confidence must have gone through the roof after Sane and De Bryune made it 2-0 and then nosedived after an incident that reminded me of the Chelsea visit. City had a great chance to put the game out of site, failed and Spurs showed they are made of tough stuff by getting back into the game thanks to goals from Alli and Son. It was a result nether side wanted as both are now a good margin behind Chelsea at the top.
So it was a great day for me, a poor one for title challengers and a fantastic day for Chelsea who play Hull later at home. It’s safe to say they are in the driving seat at the moment, the title has to be theirs to lose.