Manchester City’s unbeaten run was ended in a thriller by a Liverpool side that moved up to third during this round of Premier League games.
Here Press Association Sport looks at five things we learned from the weekend’s action.
1. City not invincible
After opening the campaign by going 27 domestic games without defeat, 22 in the league, Manchester City’s unbeaten streak was finally stopped. Pep Guardiola’s side will not end the season as ‘Invincibles’ having been beaten 4-3 at Anfield by a Liverpool side who have shown the blueprint for how City can be beaten. The Reds disrupted City’s defence with an intense high-pressing style and stunned them with three quick goals. Not many sides will be able to replicate what Jurgen Klopp’s side did but it might have given City’s potential opponents in the latter stages of the Champions League, of which Liverpool could be one, food for thought.
2. Liverpool still have cause for concern with their goalkeepers
Klopp made the surprise decision to drop Simon Mignolet in favour of Loris Karius, who had started just two Premier League games since August. Even in a 4-3 win, the German might have failed his audition. He handed City a route back into the contest by failing to prevent Leroy Sane’s effort beating him at his near post. There was no evidence in this game Liverpool will miss Philippe Coutinho too much but Klopp must again consider whether to invest some of that £142million fee this month on a stopper he can trust.
3. The calls for VAR grow
The week began with the Video Assistant Referee system making its debut in an FA Cup contest between Brighton and Crystal Palace. Had it been made available in the Premier League five days on, one result would have been different. Southampton were denied a first Premier League win in 10 by Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure scoring a last-minute equaliser with his hand – an act that was not spotted by referee Roger East and assistant Derek Eaton. VAR has arrived in England and it is surely just a matter of time before the Premier League implement it too.
4. Tosun can’t solve it all
New Everton signing Cenk Tosun was meant to be the man to solve his club’s striking woes. Yet he endured a debut to forget at Wembley as his side were beaten 4-0 by Tottenham. The Turkish forward was actually one of the Toffees’ better performers but was frequently isolated as their attack’s focal point. This was the third time in their most recent five league games that Everton had failed to register a single shot on target. Manager Sam Allardyce has to find a way to provide Tosun with some more creativity and attacking spark or he seems destined to disappoint.
5. Discontent growing at toothless Chelsea
Allardyce’s men are not the only team struggling to score goals after Antonio Conte’s Chelsea recorded a third successive 0-0 draw when held by Leicester. The reigning champions have looked over-reliant on Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, who have not scored from open play between them in Chelsea’s past five games. There were boos and whistles from some of the Stamford Bridge faithful on Saturday and Conte must try and arrest the slump having seen how quickly things unravelled under Jose Mourinho at the start of the 2015-16 season.
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