EPL

Liverpool extend lead as Man City surprisingly slip up - the Premier League Data Diary

By Sports Desk October 06, 2019

Could we have seen a potentially decisive weekend in the Premier League title race?

Liverpool opened an eight-point lead over Manchester City at the summit as James Milner's last-gasp penalty secured a precious 2-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday.

The Reds moved eight points clear with the last-gasp triumph – and City were unable to cut into it as they slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves on Sunday.

As for Manchester United, their torrid recent form continued with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United, while struggling Tottenham were on the end of a resounding 3-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's top games.

 

REDS LEAVE IT LATE TO MAINTAIN PERFECT START

Victory over Leicester means Liverpool have now won their past 17 Premier League games, just one short of Manchester City's top-flight record of 18.

They have also become just the seventh side in history to win each of their opening eight matches in an English top-flight season.

The Reds forged ahead through Sadio Mane's 50th league goal for the club in what was his 100th appearance in the competition for Jurgen Klopp's side.

James Maddison gave the Foxes hope of a point, though, with their first and only shot on target.

However, Milner stepped up deep into added time to seal yet another win for the hosts. It marked the 34th time they have scored a winning goal in a Premier League match in or after the 90th minute, which is at least nine more than any other team

TRAORE DOUBLE DOWNS INSIPID CITY

City were failed to respond to Liverpool's victory, slipping to just a fourth home league defeat in 61 matches under Pep Guardiola.

It was the first time they have lost a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium without scoring since March 2016, when they were beaten 1-0 by neighbours Manchester United.

Wolves were indebted to a superb double from Adama Traore inside the final 10 minutes to claim their second league win of the season. Remarkably, he had failed to score in his previous 32 Premier League matches.

The result marked the first time Wolves have beaten City away from home in a top-flight fixture since December 1979.

LONGSTAFF PILES MISERY ON SOLSKJAER

United's woeful start to the season reached a new low on Sunday. The sorry defeat at Newcastle means they have won a mere nine points from their opening eight games – their lowest total at this stage since the 1989-90 campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's beleaguered squad are now winless in their last eight away league games – their longest such run in the top flight since September 1989, when they went 11 games without victory.

Under-pressure Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, meanwhile, can celebrate after registering his first ever win as a manager against the club he served as a player, doing so at the 23rd attempt.

Victory came courtesy of Matty Longstaff's drilled effort 18 minutes from time, the 19-year-old becoming the youngest player to score on his Premier League debut for Newcastle.

SEAGULLS SWOOP TO TAKE ADVANTAGE

Tottenham's defeat at Brighton means they have now lost 17 games in all competitions in 2019 – more than any other top-flight side.

Brighton went ahead after just three minutes, Neal Maupay nodding in after Hugo Lloris fumbled a cross - injuring himself in the process. Only Asmir Begovic (21) has made more errors leading to goals than Lloris (18) in the Premier League since his debut in the competition in October 2012.

Nineteen-year-old Aaron Connolly then added two more either side of the interval to seal a memorable win for the hosts. The Irishman is the first teenager to start a Premier League game for Brighton and also the first to score in the league for the Seagulls since Jake Forster-Caskey in April 2014.

The win equalled Brighton's biggest margin of victory in a top-flight game and meant they scored more than once in a league home game for the first time in 16 matches.

Related items

  • Keown urges Arsenal to consider Pochettino swoop Keown urges Arsenal to consider Pochettino swoop

    Arsenal should weigh up an audacious move for former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, according to ex-Gunners defender Martin Keown.

    Spurs acted swiftly to replace Pochettino, sacking their manager after five years at the helm on Tuesday before appointing Jose Mourinho.

    While Mourinho's previous spells in charge of Chelsea look likely to make him a divisive figure among the Tottenham faithful during the early stages of his reign, Pochettino opting to switch allegiance in north London would cause a whole other kind of ructions.

    Gunners head coach Unai Emery has come under increasing scrutiny amid a mixed start to the season and, although Keown does not want any rash decisions on the former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain tactician's future, he feels the Arsenal board should be duly aware of unexpectedly changing circumstances.

    "There's no need to panic at Arsenal, we are getting close to panic by the way, because we're not having the best of seasons," he told the Daily Mail.

    "But the powers that be at the top of the club should be seriously considering Pochettino. 

    "I have a lot of admiration for what he did at Tottenham, the way he nurtured those young players and he didn't spend a great deal of money."

    He added: "I would have stayed with Pochettino. I think he deserved that. I think it's a hugely significant sacking. You're going to have managers now looking over their shoulders.

    "I know the poor record he has recently, but I still would have given him another chance. I don't like the way Tottenham have done it. 

    "There will be a lot of chairmen looking at him now. Manchester United wanted him this time last year. I think Arsenal would have to be interested if they want to take a step forward."

    Mourinho cut a contented figure on his first day as Spurs head coach on Wednesday and Keown believes the embattled figure from his final days in charge of Manchester United must be consigned to the past.

    "He lost the dressing room and fell out of love with the game of football in his quest to be successful," the former England international said. "He has to jettison that part of himself."

  • Spurs appoint Mourinho: Without superclub baggage, Jose might prove he isn't yesterday's man Spurs appoint Mourinho: Without superclub baggage, Jose might prove he isn't yesterday's man

    As football fans in the United Kingdom awoke bleary eyed to take in the Premier League story of the season, one word stood out in the statement announcing Jose Mourinho's appointment as Tottenham's head coach – a ghost of hubris past.

    "I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," Mourinho said.

    Heritage. Football heritage.

    This was the subject of Mourinho's self-pitying soliloquy in the aftermath of Manchester United's limp Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Sevilla in March 2018.

    A much-trumpeted union that returned two trophies in its first season was going south and Mourinho tried to circle the wagons.

    During a 12-minute address where "heritage" was mentioned 10 times, his general point was he had been dealt a duff hand at United. Other rivals were better equipped, having spent more money more effectively to breed cultures of sustained success.

    One of the flaws in his argument – there were a few – was the reality of him talking as the manager of Manchester United, the 20-time champions of England. He selected an £89.3million midfielder on the bench for the 2-1 loss to Sevilla at Old Trafford, where he trudged the technical area forlornly under the glare of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

    Much as he would talk in reverent terms of his second-place in the Premier League that season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, Mourinho failed at United.

    Another press conference rant, where he exited the room demanding "respect" from those present, came after a 3-0 home loss to Spurs five months on from the Sevilla debacle. Mourinho was a man who had lost the thread and any notion of him succeeding Mauricio Pochettino, who so comprehensively bested him that night, felt beyond absurd at that moment.

    Underdog, not top dog

    Similarly, the 2011-12 LaLiga title triumph at Real Madrid took a heavy toll upon coach and squad alike, with his Santiago Bernabeu tenure concluding unsatisfactorily 12 months later. When in charge of greats of the game, clubs familiar with prolonged and recent success, Mourinho's schtick came up short.

    His greatest deeds played out in sharply contrasting circumstances.

    No team outside Europe's "big five" leagues had won the Champions League in the eight years before Mourinho masterminded Porto's march to glory in 2003-04 and none have since.

    Chelsea were flushed with Roman Abramovich's riches but had not won an English championship since 1954-55. The self-proclaimed Special One delivered two in two seasons after arriving at Stamford Bridge as a freshly minted European champion.

    Mourinho reacquainted himself with the continent's big trophy at Inter. The 2009-10 Champions League was the Nerazzuri's third win in the competition but first since 1964-65.

    That triumph symbolically came at the Bernabeu, with the big job lying in wait for a man who had defined a decade in European club football. It concluded Mourinho's imperial period.

    The rancour and recriminations of the past nine years leads to an understandable conclusion Tottenham have appointed a downgrade on Pochettino, replacing one of football's brightest contemporary minds with yesterday's man.

    But if anything should encourage tentative enthusiasm for the third act of Mourinho's coaching career at the elite level, it is that Spurs bear more resemblance to the Porto, Chelsea and Inter teams he took hold of than Madrid or United.

    Pochettino's sustained excellent over the past five seasons in north London does not mean the scars of "Spursy", "St Totteringham's Day" and other mockery do not still sting a little for a club starved of trophy success. Spurs feels like a place where Mourinho can promise the world and demand everyone falls into line far more effectively than when in charge of a superclub.

    Those are the jobs Mourinho aspires to – and probably the roles Pochettino will grace soon enough – but it is hard to escape the feeling he has always been better suited to the rung below, with a point to prove and the spite to fuel a siege mentality his men will buy into. 

    Alli as Lampard, Kane as Drogba?

    So, what of that squad? That all important heritage.

    It feels safe to say Mourinho is far happier with his lot than when he walked into Old Trafford. Not least because the likes of Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Harry Kane were all touted as United targets when he was in Manchester.

    His best teams have featured a potent striker willing to work hard for the cause, hard running wingers and a goalscoring threat from attacking midfield. Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli in tandem could feel instantly more "Mourinho" than anything he threw together at United.

    Behind them, a combination of Dier and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele feel equipped to provide the power and control his most dominant engine rooms boasted.

    As for an aging Tottenham defence, they will probably welcome the defensive line being dropped a touch deeper, in line with their new boss' more reactive principles. Indeed, a squad featuring seasoned, maturing professionals arguably come under Mourinho's charge at the right time – no longer the all-action, do-or-die tyros who served Pochettino so well until recently.

    "It's a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels happiness in relation to the squad that he's going to have," a suited and smiling Mourinho told Spurs TV. The smile won't last over the course of a three-and-a-half year contract – it never does – but in the meantime, he might just have found the right place to earn a little more of that respect he craves.

  • Spurs appoint Mourinho: Jose replacing Pochettino at the 'perfect time', says ex-Tottenham midfielder O'Hara Spurs appoint Mourinho: Jose replacing Pochettino at the 'perfect time', says ex-Tottenham midfielder O'Hara

    Jose Mourinho is replacing Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham head coach at the 'perfect time', according to former midfielder Jamie O'Hara.

    Ex-Manchester United boss Mourinho was appointed by Tottenham on Wednesday, around 12 hours on from Pochettino's five-and-a-half-year tenure being brought to an end.

    The Argentinian was sacked on the back of a poor run of form that has left the club 14th in the Premier League, which O'Hara believes is an indication that change was needed.

    "I think it was the right time to go," he told Omnisport. "We've been struggling, the form hasn't been great. I think we've got 24 points from 25 games. We've not been good in the league. 

    "The form hasn't been good. The Champions League final overshadowed a lot last season in terms of the way we were playing. I think they just looked at it and thought it's time to move on. 

    "The squad wasn't getting the reaction you'd normally get and it was one of those moments where you thought, you've taken us as far as you can and now let's move on."

    Pochettino guided Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes in the Premier League and reached the Champions League final in June, where they lost 2-0 to Liverpool.

    However, the 47-year-old - tipped to take over at Bayern Munich - did not win any silverware during his time in north London and O'Hara thinks that will change under his successor.

    "Poch is going to go on to a massive job. He's not going to be out of work for long," said O'Hara, who spent eight years on Tottenham's books before leaving in 2011. 

    "He's had a good pay-off, he's had a fantastic time here, his stock is high, he will go to another massive football club.

    "There's no-one better in the world at winning trophies than Jose Mourinho. If you talked five years ago about Mourinho coming to Spurs, you probably would have laughed at us because we would never have been able to attract a manager like that. 

    "To be able to attract a manager that's won everything in the game is an incredible feat.

    "To get him over the line, it's the perfect time for him to take over, the club will kick on now, we'll move on, he'll bring his own stamp in and I think you're going to see Spurs competing for trophies very, very soon."

    Mourinho, a three-time Premier League title winner with Chelsea, had been out of work for 11 months since being axed by United.

    O'Hara is confident the Portuguese will be financially backed by chairman Daniel Levy and expects Tottenham's defence to be completely rejuvenated in the coming months.

    "I think he'll have money, for sure. I think he definitely wouldn't have taken this job if there wasn't a good budget," O'Hara added.

    "I think he's got a good squad now where he can galvanise the squad to try and get us up the table. Once January comes, I think you'll be looking at a whole new back four. 

    "I think he's going to bring in a left-back, a right-back and a centre-half. Mourinho's teams, when they've won trophies and dominated, had the best back four you could ever ask for, and I think that's now where he's going to put all his money."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.