One final weekend of fixtures before another dreaded international break. Roll on the middle of November where there is guaranteed football worth watching every weekend until the pointless international friendlies in March!
Chelsea 0- Manchester City 1. This game felt like the first real tactical chess match of the season, and unfortunately for Antonio Conte, Pep's gameplan was flawless. He used the pace of Sterling and Sane to exploit the gaps in between Chelsea's wing backs and center backs expertly, and De Bruyne's goal was sublime-- coming back to bite the hand that cast him aside without really giving him a fair crack. The Fabian Delph Left Back Experiment seems to be working out great, and City really look unbeatable at the moment. Had Morata not gone off injured in the 1st half, it may have been a different game, but City definitely deserved all 3 points on the day.
Not a bad weekend for goals... Kane, De Bruyne, Yoshida all could have been goal of the week on another weekend. But there was something extra special about Coutinho's goal for Liverpool against Newcastle. No Premier League player has scored more goals from outside the box in recent years than Coutinho, and it's not hard to see why. He only needs to shift the ball a fraction to the side, and then bang, no back lift, top corner. For the second week in a row, he's proved why Liverpool were so adamant about hanging onto him, but if he keeps scoring worldies every week, it won't be just Barcelona who come calling next summer.
Player of the weekend:
Harry Kane-- Just when you think he's peaked he seems to find another level. A perfect hattrick in the Champions League midweek, followed by another two goals this weekend-- the kid is on fire right now. Is there a better Center Forward in World Football at the moment?
Moment of the weekend:
Tough to look past Kevin De Bruyne's goal for City in terms of title race repercussions, but at the other end of the table, Burnley's 1-0 versus Everton at Goodison Park was just as seismic. Burnley have taken 8 points on the road this season at some of the league's toughest grounds, and this was another performance of grit and determination from Sean Dyche's men. Tarkowski at the back has been at the heart of Burnley's away results this season, and was outstanding again at Goodison. If they can keep up this away form and pick up the odd point at home, they will be well safe come next May.
As for Everton, they look a team completely bereft of confidence and ideas. On paper they did good business this summer, but they still look so disjointed. They lack width, pace, and have not found the solution to the loss of Romelu Lukaku's goal scoring prowess. Koeman should be given time, but questions need to be asked of their summer recruitment. With so much money spent, it is ridiculous that they still look in need of 5 or 6 top quality players.
Team of the weekend:
Trippier Tarkowski Monreal Davies
De Bruyne Fellaini Coutinho
Richarlison Kane Rashford