Premier League: Five talking points from the week gone by

Liverpool and Manchester City left it late to secure come from behind wins as the top four moved further clear of the chasing pack form.

Liverpool celebrates Sadio Mane's goal.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool and Manchester City left it late to secure come from behind wins as the Premier League's top four moved further clear of the chasing pack with Leicester and Chelsea continuing their fine form.

Manchester United's mini-revival came undone in a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth, while Tottenham and Arsenal's chances of Champions League football next season suffered another blow in 1-1 draws with Everton and Wolves respectively.

Here are the major talking points from the Premier League weekend:

 

Liverpool late shows rile Guardiola

Late winners for Liverpool and City kept the gap between the top two still at six points ahead of next weekend's top-of-the-table clash at Anfield.

Liverpool scored twice in the final three minutes plus stoppage time at Villa Park to turn another losing position into a vital victory.

Jurgen Klopp's men have now taken 10 points after falling behind in just 11 games and the European champion's ability to find a way to win is beginning to get to City boss Pep Guardiola.

Sadio Mane scored Liverpool's winner in the 94th minute after earlier being booked for diving.

The Senegalese also won late penalties at home to Leicester and Tottenham in recent weeks to turn 1-1 draws into 2-1 wins.

“Sometimes he's diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute,” said Guardiola to already ramp up the animosity for next Sunday's mouth-watering clash.

 

Arsenal going backwards

Unai Emery's decision to leave Granit Xhaka out of the Arsenal squad for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wolves removed the poison between players and fans at the Emirates.

But there was an air of apathy rather than anger as another two points were frittered away to further damage Arsenal's top four chances and Emery's long-term job prospects.

After an encouraging start to his reign in charge, Emery's Arsenal is rapidly going backwards.

It has won just twice in its last nine Premier League games and, despite the Spaniard's constant tactical tinkering, he has failed to find the right balance.

After being ostracised for most of the season so far, Mesut Ozil was recalled against Wolves but made little impact, while club record signing Nicolas Pepe spent the whole 90 minutes on the bench.

 

Red Devils suffer another setback

United's miserable start to the campaign continued on Saturday, with Bournemouth registering its first win against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side since December 2015.

The Red Devils were undone by Josh King's first-half goal, the Norwegian ended Bournemouth's run of 358 minutes, three games and 50 shots without a Premier League goal.

That strike means United has failed to keep a clean sheet in its last 11 Premier League away games – their joint-longest run without one on the road in the competition (also 11 between August 2002 and January 2003).

United has amassed just 13 points from its opening 11 games of the campaign – its lowest tally at this stage of a league campaign since 1986-87 when they had 11 points.

 

In-form Foxes move up to third

Leicester City moved back to third in the Premier League table with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The Foxes entered the fixture having scored 12 times in their last two away matches in all competitions but two goals - from defender Caglar Soyuncu and the Premier League's top scorer Jamie Vardy - were enough for all three points at Selhurst Park.

After a cagey first half, Soyuncu gave Leicester the lead in the 57th minute, making the most of some slack marking to nod in James Maddison's corner unopposed.

Vardy wrapped up the win two minutes from time, finishing a brilliant team move that involved Youri Tielemans and Demarai Gray with a clever left-foot finish that gave him his 10th league goal of the season.

 

Top four pull away

Arsenal's woes are compounded by the consistency of the top four with Leicester and Chelsea in pole position to join Liverpool and City in next season's Champions League.

Leicester's 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace means despite being in fifth, Arsenal is now six points off the top four and that gap could easily grow when Emery's men travel to the high-flying Foxes next weekend.

Chelsea goes from strength-to-strength under Frank Lampard with its 2-1 win at Watford a fifth straight in the Premier League and a club record seventh consecutive victory away from home.

And the struggles of Manchester United and Tottenham, which are level on 13 points from 11 games in 10th and 11th, mean it is the unlikely trio of Sheffield United, Bournemouth and Brighton who occupy sixth to eighth.

 

(With inputs from AFP and Omnisport)

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