Another weekend of drama unfolded in the Premier League as Manchester City head into the final international break of 2023 top of the table.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all picked up important wins, whilst Newcastle and Tottenham fell to defeats against Bournemouth and Wolves respectively. Manchester City’s visit to Chelsea led to one of the best games of the season, with their 4-4 draw ensuring both teams picked up a point heading into the international break.
Here are five talking points from gameweek 12…
Second string team fails Ange audition
With a side plagued with injuries and suspensions, Tottenham headed up to the Black Country to take on Wolves, looking to avenge their Monday night 4-1 defeat to Chelsea. Spurs started the brighter of the two sides, taking the lead in the third minute thanks to a Brennan Johnson strike. However, instead of pushing forward, Ange Postecoglou’s side crumbled, conceding two late goals in second half stoppage time to come away with a second consecutive lead defeat. With key players James Maddison and Micky van de Ven out until January, it’s been a week to forget for the north Londoners.
Manchester City show vulnerable side
Who would have thought that a Pep Guardiola side would concede four in a Premier League match. Such have been the heavy heights that his Manchester City side have hit in recent years, that blowing a lead three times in one match sounds unthinkable. Taking on a youth Chelsea side, and scoring first through Erling Haaland, the Blues fought back, equalising deep into second half injury time through City academy graduate Cole Palmer. Guardiola’s men remain top, but only three points separate the top five.
Injury hit Newcastle continue to nose dive
Last week, Newcastle were celebrating a fantastic win over Arsenal, ending the Gunners’ unbeaten league start in the process. This week, they now sit bottom of their Champions League group and languish in seventh in the league. It’s not the end of the World for the Magpies, although an dicey exchange between Kieran Trippier and a Newcastle fan may suggest otherwise. Eddie Howe’s men have been hit with an injury crisis, losing Miguel Almiron and Fabian Schar in the first half at the Vitality Stadium. Still only eight points off the top and with players returning after the internationals, this break has come at the right time for the Geordies.
Brighton continue winless run
Six games without a win in the league and still in eighth place with 19 points, imagine where Brighton would be if they had hung on to get the wins. Dropping another two points, this time against Sheffield United, was another disappointing result for the Seagulls, after picking up a famous win in Amsterdam against Ajax midweek. Mammoud Dahoud was sent off for the hosts who by their own admission were extremely wasteful in front of goal. After a match manager Roberto De Zerbi declared he dislikes ‘about 80 per cent of English referees.’ A win is coming for Brighton, just not entirely sure when.
History maker Mo Salah at the double
There are not enough superlatives to describe just how good Mohamed Salah is, and how important he is to Liverpool’s season. Another two goals against Brentford took the Egyptian’s tally for the season to ten, in the process becoming the first Liverpool player in history to score in the clubs’ first six home games of a season. The 31-year-old also joined Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer in becoming the third player ever to score or assist in 15 straight home Premier League appearances. Liverpool are now one point off the top in second, and keeping Salah fit is detrimental to their title challenge this season.