This weekend was quite spooky, to say the least. Celebrating Halloween in true fashion and adopting a 3-4-3 formation, Manchester United dressed up as Chelsea whilst Liverpool showed the skeleton’s in their closet.
Manchester City went out sad but succumbed to the horrors which arose from Cobham. Gallagher (not Noel or Liam) became the ghost of the Etihad as their empty seats were filled with his presence although Noel and Liam will have likely gone white with the result.
The boys in blue from the Wild Wild West rode themselves to victory and extended their lead at the top of the table. Steve Bruce’s career was laid to rest, buried underneath St James’ Park whilst St Reece James himself silenced the haters across the league.
In case you couldn’t tell from my amazing wordplay, it’s Halloween season and Chelsea are becoming a lot scarier than expected. Whilst we took the three points from our away trip to Newcastle, the rivals around us did not end up so lucky.
The rumours surrounding Ole Gunnar Soljksaer’s future at Manchester United awakened the spirit of Antonio Conte. Poor Ole, being haunted by his predicted successor so much that he decided to set up exactly like him. The scariest part about it is that it worked. If something works why not use it right?
If I had been beaten 5-0 by my longest-standing rivals, I’d copy the current Champions League winners too.
All jokes aside, Man United took on a struggling Tottenham hotspur side and absolutely smashed them 3-0. They sat back and increased their work rate well enough to unleash their attack when it mattered most. Cristiano Ronaldo and Edison Cavani’s brewing partnership could cause some serious problems for the Blues in their pursuit of Premier League glory. If you recall, Chelsea previously changed their system to a 3-4-3 in 2016 following a heavy defeat to Arsenal. They then went on to win the Premier League that season. Could Ole be following this blueprint?
Well, I’ll tell you something, Man United could have a better chance at competing with us than Manchester City if they do not sort their striker problem out.
Of course, Man City are a formidable team, run by one of the best managers currently in the world. They have all the ingredients to become Premier League Champions but they’re missing one major thing. A striker. It’s like making Pumpkin pie, but without the pumpkin.
Man City hosted Crystal Palace in what felt like a trick for the Citizens was indeed a treat for the Eagles. You’d have to go back to 2018 to find the last time Palace had beaten City in the Premier League. Since then, it has been a bumpy road. It was left to the ghost of Cobham’s past to haunt the Citizens and lead them to victory. Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi both played a crucial part in delivering a 2-0 defeat to City over the weekend.
As Chelsea pursue a title challenge, they’ll be thanking the former Chelsea academy prospects for becoming a tumbling block on City’s path.
It’s hilarious to think that Aymeric Laporte was sent off just before half-time. Man City still retained 68% of the possession, had almost double the number of shots on goal (14) than their opposition but still failed to take away a point. It all points back to the same issue here. A number 9 is needed, and fast.
Last but not least our closest contenders, Liverpool.
I have to ask, did Enock Mwepu mean his goal or was that another Halloween spooky special?
Liverpool hosted Brighton in an exciting end-to-end game. What started off as a tactical masterclass with goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane, ended up in flames because Brighton was just too hot to handle. The match ended 2-2 as the Seagulls fought back from 2-0.
With all due respect to Liverpool, how on Earth did Brighton not win this game? With Leandro Trossard running riot and Adam Lallana with a performance of a lifetime, Brighton looked sure to take all three points by the end of the second half. Saves from Allison and offside decisions helped Liverpool salvage a point… but will this be enough going forward?
Liverpool’s midfield injuries had caught up with them as Naby Keita joined the long list of midfielders after 19 minutes of playing time. Curtis Jones, Thiago, James Milner, and Fabinho are all on the list of midfielders injured.
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It’ll be distasteful of me to count Liverpool out of the title race given their past with heavy injury lists. They still have the best-attacking duo in Salah and Mane in the Premier League. It’ll be difficult for them to maintain a healthy distance behind the reigning Champions of Europe but I see them breathing down our necks as the season progresses.
‘Tis the season to be afraid. England is dripping in blue as the Chelsea god’s watch over the league to lead Tuchel’s army to victory come May. We will keep our Cobham friends close across the league but will keep our enemies closer.
Enjoy the spooky season – it’s about to get scarier.
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