By 90Min
October 07, 2019

Look, I hate to say it, but the international break is upon us. Commiserations to all of you that enjoy football.

But before we take off to pretend internationals are just as good as club action for a week or so, shall we have another pour over all of the Premier League happenings that transpired over the weekend? 

As the great Eddie Hearn once said, oh go on then. 


Liverpool's Year? 

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Ok, let's all calm down a bit. There are 30 games left to play, 90 points left to contend, and two titanic Liverpool - Manchester City clashes to come. It is far too early for this sort of talk. 

If Liverpool do end their 30-year wait for a top flight title in 2020, however, it is likely that we'll be harking back to match-week eight as one of the big turning points. 

The Reds' 95th minute winner against Leicester, a controversial penalty converted by James Milner, felt massively important at the time, but it took on monumental significance less than 24 hours later when Manchester City lost to Wolves - leaving the Anfield giants eight points clear at the top of the Premier League. 

Until it's mathematically impossible, it would be borderline idiotic to write City off. But it is already looking like a big ask for Pep Guardiola's champions. 


Nuno Santo Has Guardiola's Number

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Leading us quite nicely into lesson number two. Not many managers routinely get the better of the great Guardiola, but Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is becoming a gold medallist in ruining his weekends.

The 2-0 victory at the Etihad, courtesy of an Adama Traore double, was the fourth time the two had come head to head, with City managing just one victory in that time. That came in the form of a 3-0 victory back in January, but the two other meetings - a 1-1 draw at Molineux back in August and an EFL Cup tie that went to penalties in 2017 - have been stalemates. 

Of the managers Guardiola has faced three or more times since joining City, only against Klopp (22%) and Ronald Koeman (0%) does the Spaniard have a worse win rate. Of course, there isn't a great lot of shame in losing to this Wolves side, who now have three wins on the bounce and look to have recovered from an iffy start.


Norwich Might Be Less Wolves and More Blackpool

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Plucky, good to watch, and capable of picking up an eyebrow-raising result or two, but ultimately soft-centred and too leaky at the back to do any real damage.

That was Ian Holloway's Blackpool side from 2011, but if the shoe fits. 

Norwich sit second bottom following a 5-1 thrashing by Aston Villa on Saturday, and have conceded a league high of 21 goals. They now occupy 19th spot, and are well on track - as it stands - to surpass the 78 shipped by Holloway's Blackpool when they fell back into the Championship. Their firepower may prove enough to keep them up, but they have fallen so far short of what we expected of them when they conquered Manchester City, and desperately need to rein it in defensively.


Everton are Spiralling Again

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It had looked as if Marco Silva was the man to tame the poisoned chalice that is the Everton job post-David Moyes, but after a dreadful start to the season was compounded by a toothless defeat to Burnley - albeit hindered by a Seamus Coleman red card - it isn't exactly looking great for him. 

Four league defeats on the bounce have seen the Toffees, pre-season contenders for the top six, slip into the relegation zone on goal difference. They can buy all the £35m strikers they want, but they can't buy a win to save their lives.

It will be a long, quiet couple of weeks at Finch Farm as they prepare to get things back on track against West Ham and Brighton after the break. If they fail to do that, it's difficult to see where Silva goes from there; the local job centre, most likely. 


The Young Guns Shoot Down the Heavyweights

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While everyone else jostles for a place in the European places, Manchester United and Tottenham are embroiled in a battle of their own, looking to assert themselves as the most hilariously terrible 'big six' side.

At the moment it's United who are winning that race, thanks to a stunner from Matty Longstaff - a 19-year-old making his Premier League debut for Newcastle -  that slapped them down to 12th in the league. Tottenham, meanwhile, were slain by another youngster in Brighton's Aaron Connolly, who ran riot with a double at the Amex as Mauricio Pochettino's men shipped three to Brighton. 

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It's early days, but it looks as if both Brighton and Newcastle have gems on their hands in a duo of young players who clearly have the ability and mentality to make a difference against the highest quality of opposition. They will be exciting to watch as the season presses on.


There Is No Point Even Trying to Predict the Top Seven

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Liverpool and Manchester City will finish as the top two in the league, no-one's disputing that. Arsenal and Chelsea third and fourth, probably, although Leicester may have a hand in that. Beyond that, it is anyone's guess.

United and Tottenham look beyond rubbish, and Crystal Palace, Burnley and West Ham have early designs on capitalising on their rubbishness. Wolves don't look like they're giving up that European spot without a fight, while Bournemouth also find themselves propelled into the picture.

Five points separates fourth from 14th at present, and while the chaos may yet sort itself out into a more familiar pattern, it all looks a bit nuts.


There Is No Point in Fantasy Football, Either

Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Callum Wilson, Teemu Pukki. Not one of these guys hit the back of the net this weekend. 

Oh, and Kevin de Bruyne's injured.

Why bother trying?


For more from Robbie Copeland, follow him on Twitter!

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