Premier League Matchday 9 review: Spurs making history

Never thought that title would be written in a positive manner for them…

The Premier League returned from the international break and it came back with a great weekend of football.

The top four is looking interesting while a gap is starting to form at the bottom of the table. Everywhere in between is very close, and this is exactly the sort of season we all love to watch.

Join us for our Premier League Matchday 9 review as we take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly, as well as the biggest winners and top performances from over the weekend.

The good

Overall, the whole weekend could fall under this category. It was an exciting matchday with no boring 0-0 draws or drab 1-0 wins. 33 goals in total across the 10 games must be up there with the most this season and comes out to an average of 3.3 goals per game. Exciting stuff if you ask us.

There weren’t really any surprises this week. The top teams mostly got the results they were looking for, in particular Manchester City, who managed to stay clear of losing three Premier League games in a row for the first time since 2018 after beating Brighton 2-1.

However, Brighton can feel a bit hard done by that, as they were very much their equals. Both shared a 0.8 xG, had a similar passing accuracy and had a fair share of the ball each. On another day, it could very well have gone the other way so the Seagulls can be proud of their performance against the reigning champions.

Chelsea also likely saw their 2-2 draw with Arsenal as a slight victory, mainly because they rather outplayed the Gunners more so than the reverse.

They may have bottled a 2-0 lead, but the xG is slightly in their favour (1.3 to 1.0) and while Arsenal had more of the possession, Chelsea was the side who were taking their chances better, with a 40% shot on target accuracy compared to Arsenal’s 23%.

Liverpool had a very routine win over Everton. They dominated them throughout, having a lion’s share of possession and only gave up one shot on target. It may have taken them till the final part of the game to get their goals, but the result really wasn’t ever in doubt.

Aston Villa also picked up confident wins that see them keep up with the top four, and Newcastle had a dominant win that puts them ahead of Brighton.

Finally, Brentford dominated Burnley to move them up into the midtable battle where one win for them and favourable results elsewhere could see them jump all the way up to the top half.

The bad

Sheffield United lost. Again. Even after having a better xG than Manchester United. But that kind of says a lot about the stat and why it shouldn’t really be measured that much in full statistics of a game. It’s good to show but doesn’t really tell the story.

Arsenal’s David Raya may see his run in the side over Aaron Ramsdale come to an end after he embarrassingly let a Mykhailo Mudryk cross/shot fly over him for Chelsea’s second goal. He was out of position and should not have been conceding in that fashion.

He then almost cost another goal as he made a massive blunder, playing the ball right to Cole Palmer inside his own penalty area and was lucky to scramble and stop the Chelsea man from getting his second of the night.

But the keeper on the other side also made a huge error. Robert Sanchez gifted Arsenal their first goal which got them back in the game, passing the ball straight to Declan Rice who did have a fairly tough shot but an open goal nonetheless.

He also probably could’ve and really should’ve done better for Arsenal’s second goal as Leandro Trossard's attempt was hit really right at him.

The ugly

There wasn’t really anything ugly this week. The referees weren’t as bad as they usually are, although there were still some slightly questionable decisions.

Overall, we’re putting nothing in this category as we don’t believe anyone or anything deserves it this weekend. 

Biggest winner

We’ve intentionally excluded them from ‘the good’ as they fully deserve their own section. Tottenham are flying at the start of this season and have a Premier League record to show for it.

Their win over London rivals Fulham last night takes them top of the table with 23 points, and with that means that Ange Postecoglou has set a new record for most points earned by a manager in their first nine games.

It seems like a very specific stat but it’s a record nonetheless. What the new Spurs boss has been able to do with the team is remarkable for a manager in his first real major role (sorry Celtic).

He’s not only managed without former star man Harry Kane, he’s almost making the club forget about him already, with the new partnership of Son Heung-min and summer signing James Maddison clicking brilliantly already.

Questions do arise over how long they’ll be able to keep this form up, but that won’t matter to Spurs fans who have had to endure a few seasons of disappointment prior to this campaign.

Star players

There weren’t really any big standouts from the weekend, but a few players had a key role in their side's end result.

Son Heung-min

Son is looking as lethal as ever this season. A goal and an assist last night in Spurs’ win over Fulham moves him to joint-second in the Golden Boot race.

James Maddison

The orchestrator of Spurs’ win as he has been many times already this season, Maddison barely put a foot wrong against Fulham, nabbing a goal to show for it.

Mo Salah

The Egyptian maestro bagged both goals in Liverpool’s 2-0 win. He didn’t have the best game in truth, completing zero take-ons and a team-low 72.4% pass accuracy for the starters, but he showed up when it mattered most with the goals.

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