Premier League Notebook: Liverpool are flying as we head towards the Merseyside Derby
Another thrilling weekend of Premier League action is in the bag, as Chelsea's draw with Manchester United allowed Manchester City and Liverpool to close the gap at the top of the league. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have a huge Merseyside Derby on the horizon, and they are set to feast on an Everton side in disarray.
All that and more is covered as we go through the Premier League notebook from the weekend.
Toffees are in a sticky situation
Brentford heaped yet more pressure on Everton as they beat the Toffees 1-0 courtesy of Ivan Toney’s penalty. That means Rafa Benitez’s men have now picked up just one point in their last six games and failed to score in their last three.
It’s a disaster for Benitez, who joined the club in the summer and got them off to a flyer, with 13 points from their first six games putting Everton in fifth place. But since then, they’ve drawn two and lost five to slip down to 14th, and are the worst team in the league on current form.
That’s not good news as the Blues head into a Merseyside Derby with fierce rivals Liverpool on Wednesday. Benitez is a hero at Liverpool for his time there between 2004 and 2010, which saw them win the Champions League among other honors. His reunion with Liverpool will be surreal now that he manages their cross-city rivals, and Everton’s poor from only adds to the tension.
Wed, December 1 2021, 8:15 PM
Liverpool on course to smash record
Liverpool continue to look electric while their Merseyside rivals unravel. Jurgen Klopp’s men won 4-0 against Southampton without ever having to get out of second gear. It continues Liverpool’s run of scoring in every game this season, and takes them up to 39 goals in 13 games.
At that rate they are on course to smash the current goal-scoring record in the topflight, which is held by Manchester City, who scored 106 goals (2.79 per game) in 2017-18. Liverpool have now scored 22 goals in their last six games and conceded just five.
Liverpool’s 254 shots (19.5 per game) are the most in the league and gives them a conversion rate of 15.4% which is the highest in the top flight.
It’s been almost 40 years since Liverpool scored more than three goals in a game at Goodison Park, but the formbook says that might change this week.
Sancho’s break-out weekend
Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United career got off to a rocky start, but his goal against Chelsea, his first in the Premier League, means he now has two goals in the space of a week as he tries to impress new interim coach Ralf Rangnick.
It’s the Sancho United fans were hoping to see after the former Dortmund man scored 37 goals and assisted another 41 in his last three seasons in the Bundesliga – averaging a goal or an assist every 87 minutes.
His goal, a well taken one-on-one following Jorginho’s mistake, won a vital point for Manchester United, who are trying to rebuild following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s slip-up means that Manchester City are now just one point behind in the race for the title, with Liverpool closing the gap as well.
Premier League Winner Odds
The richest relegation
Last month Newcastle United became the richest club in the world when the Saudi Public Investment Fund purchased the franchise for £300 million. The fund has a €320 billion pot of cash to dip into – 11 times more than Manchester City’s owners – and the Magpies are now the most financially secure club in England.
But that won’t stop the bad results. Newcastle were completely outclassed as they went down 2-0 away to Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick-off, and that leaves them rooted to the bottom of the league, without a win in 13 games. They haven’t kept a clean sheet so far this season and have conceded 29 goals, which is more than any other side in the league.
The Magpies have two huge games coming up at home, against Norwich City (19th) and Burnley (18th), and if they come out of those games without a win, they are almost certainties to go down. Money can’t buy you love, and it can’t buy you Premier League survival either apparently...
Stevie G’s perfect start
With all the madness at Manchester United and the thrilling three-way title race, Steven Gerrard’s start as Aston Villa manager has dipped under the radar slightly. But credit where it is due, after two late goals gave them a 2-0 win against Brighton, they then battled to a hard fought 2-1 win away to Crystal palace to climb to 13th in the league.
It’s the perfect start for Gerrard, who now needs to step up as his next three games are a true test, with Villa facing Manchester City (H), Leicester City (H), and Liverpool (A) as Stevie G returns to Anfield later this month.