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Liverpool Continue To Set The Pace For The Premier League

Liverpool continue to set the pace for the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp was grinning like a Cheshire cat in the wake of Liverpool’s deserved 2-1 victory at Wembley over Tottenham Hotspur.

Though it’s still very early days, there is a genuine belief on the red half of Merseyside that this could finally be the season that the Anfield-based outfit finally win the Premier League.

They are behind Chelsea on goal difference only and playing the best football seen by the locals for many a year.

Spurs may have had two-thirds of the possession, but they were toothless in attack. That’s as much to do with a sensational defensive performance from Virgil Van Dijk, who is already looking like a bargain.

Roberto Firmino scored what proved to be the winner after Georginio Wijnaldum had opened the scoring, Erik Lamela’s 93rd-minute reply, a consolation that was too little too late.

Red Devils delight

Had Manchester United lost at high-flying Watford on Saturday, then the knives would almost certainly have been out for Jose Mourinho.

Thankfully for the ‘Special One,’ his team were on the front foot from the first minute and limited the Hornets’ attacking verve.

United was better in all facets bar total shots but was far more economical with six of their nine on target compared to five of Watford’s 14.

Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling did the damage inside three first-half minutes, and though Nemanja Matic’s 93rd-minute red card took some gloss off the win, there was more than enough for the Portuguese manager to be excited about.

The oft-criticised Marouane Fellaini was a towering presence in central midfield, with Paul Pogba diligent alongside.

Whenever Watford did break through, aside from Andre Gray’s 65th-minute goal, David De Gea was equal to anything the hosts had to throw at him.

Could this be the beginning of a long-overdue resurgence?

Eagles soaring in Yorkshire

This time last season, Crystal Palace still hadn’t won a Premier League match, nor had they scored a goal.

Following Roy Hodgson’s miracle act in keeping them up after last season’s appalling start, they had to hit the ground running at the beginning of this campaign.

Three losses from their opening five games are regrettable, but the two wins, including Saturday’s at Huddersfield, has put them in a healthy 11th place. The manner of the victory in Yorkshire will have pleased the south Londoners too.

Wilfried Zaha was on target and was a thorn in the hosts’ side throughout. To pick him out solely would be wrong because there was so much to admire about Palace’s general play.

How Andros Townsend isn’t an England regular on current form is a mystery.

Huddersfield set their stall out in a 3-4-3 formation from the beginning, but with Aaron Mooy marked out of the game it meant that Palace always had the upper hand.

In short, a perfect away performance.

Bournemouth’s seaside special

It was four goals scored from the Cherries, but it could’ve been double that in truth. Bournemouth’s win over Leicester in a six-goal thriller was as good as it gets.

A game for the purists, Eddie Howe’s imprint was all over this match.

Dynamic, purposeful possession with short, sharp passing triangles, Bournemouth was an absolute joy to watch even if two goals from Leicester in the last two minutes skewed the scoreline somewhat.

With the greatest of respect to both sides, they’re seen as two of the less fashionable in the division, though you’d never think so from the quality of the football on show.

Josh King and Callum Wilson were a constant threat on the attack and were ably supported by Dan Gosling as the hosts poured forward at every opportunity.

Harry Maguire was rock solid at the back for Leicester and, though it is scant consolation for him, he can’t be blamed for the goals conceded.

On the day, the Foxes were beaten by the better side, a team that now find themselves in fifth place in the table ahead of the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Wolves’ good run continues

When was the last time you can remember a team having 30 shots at goal in a game?! Yes – THIRTY.

That’s how intensely Burnley was put under pressure by Wolves, though Nuno Santo needs to work on his strikers’ accuracy because only seven found the target – and just one found the net.

The Midlanders’ deserved to end the game with much more than Raul Jimenez’s 61st-minute winner to show for their efforts.

However, Nuno Santo will be delighted with the industry that his side showed throughout the 90 minutes against a dogged Clarets team.

Sean Dyche needs to lift Burnley because even after just five games, they look a shadow of the team from last season. Three goals scored, 10 conceded, no wins, and one point makes grim reading.

But that shouldn’t take away from how good Wolves were on the day.

It’s not often nowadays that teams making the leap from the Championship can do so with such ease, and it bodes well for the short and medium term if they can continue in the same vein.

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