Tuesday 20 August 2019

Whipped up Liverpool, fighting Cardiff – what we learned from the Premier League

It’s been another busy weekend of action.

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino celebrates (Peter Byrne/PA)
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino celebrates (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Liverpool brought the gap between themselves and Premier League leaders Manchester City back down to a point on Sunday with a 4-2 home win against Burnley, a day on from Pep Guardiola’s table-toppers seeing off Watford 3-1.

Meanwhile, there were significant results in the race for third and fourth place, and Cardiff boosted their survival hopes.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at what we learned from the latest round of top-flight fixtures.

Reds show weather resistance

Liverpool demonstrated their resilience as they came from behind in testing circumstances to beat Burnley. The Reds’ title challenge has looked somewhat shaky in recent weeks, with last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Everton making it four draws in six matches – a contest after which boss Jurgen Klopp had said the windy conditions at Goodison Park did “not help.”

There were high winds and occasional driving rain at Anfield on Sunday, and things did not look good for Klopp’s men when Ashley Westwood put the visitors 1-0 up in the sixth minute. But Liverpool responded impressively, with a Roberto Firmino brace and Sadio Mane effort seeing them go 3-1 up and, after Burnley hit back in stoppage time through Johan Berg Gudmudsson, Mane adding a fourth.

Four-way battle for two places

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino watched from the stands as his side were beaten 2-1 at Southampton (Andrew Matthews/PA).

Not long ago Tottenham were part of an apparent three-team title race, but having failed to win any of their last four league games, it seems they are now part of a four-way fight for third and fourth position.

Spurs lost for a third successive away match as they went down 2-1 at Southampton on Saturday and are now only a point clear in third of Arsenal, whose 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday saw them replace the Red Devils in fourth. United are two points behind the Gunners and one ahead of sixth-placed Chelsea, who were held 1-1 at home by Wolves and have a game in hand.

Wolves looking very much ‘best of the rest’

The draw at Stamford Bridge was yet another eye-catching result for Wolves in their hugely impressive campaign – and so nearly a victory, Raul Jimenez’s finish only being cancelled out in stoppage time by Eden Hazard. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team have caused plenty of problems for the ‘big six’ this season and are on course to finish closest of any club to them, lying seventh with eight fixtures to go.

Brendan is back

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Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester beat Fulham 3-1 (Chris Radburn/PA).

After his first game back in English football had ended in defeat last weekend with his Leicester side beaten 2-1 at Watford, Brendan Rodgers was celebrating on Saturday as the Foxes won 3-1 against Fulham at the King Power Stadium. The former Swansea and Liverpool manager will hope it is the starting point for a strong end to the season for his new club, who are 10th, six points behind Wolves.

Cardiff still in the mix

While second-bottom Fulham, beaten for a sixth successive game, and basement boys Huddersfield, who lost 2-0 at home against Bournemouth on Saturday, appear certainties for relegation, the same does not apply to Cardiff in 18th. After three defeats in a row it looked as if they could be headed that way, but they stopped the rot with a 2-0 win against West Ham on Saturday as Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa got on the scoresheet at the Cardiff City Stadium. Neil Warnock’s team are two points behind 17th-placed Burnley and 16th-placed Southampton.

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