EPL Season 2016/2017
Before the start of English Premier League 2016-17 season, quite a few pundits picked Liverpool and Chelsea as underdogs in the title race. Be it for the astuteness of their managers or the clubs’ absence from European action, both these sides were expected to do well. And if the first 11 games of the season are an indicator, then other title contenders have a lot to worry about. Let’s look back at what was dished out this weekend by these two sides.
Chelsea smash five past a hapless Everton
The arrival of Antonio Conte seems to have improved the form of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa – two of their key players. And both were again in cracking form as Chelsea annihilated Everton at Stamford Bridge 5-0 in an exhibition of enthralling football.
Hazard was in superb form scoring twice while Costa, Marcos Alonso and Pedro scored once each. By half-time the game was over as the Blues ran riot and led by 4-0. It was by no means a small achievement as Everton has been around top eight so far this season. But the class from Chelsea in this encounter was too much for them to handle.
Everton spent most of the game camped in their own half – a testimony to the domination of Chelsea. It was a ruthless performance from Chelsea and a definite signal of intent in the title run. And for the first time since August, they led the Premier League table.
Liverpool does better!
The joy for Chelsea was short-lived though, as Liverpool’s emphatic 6-1 victory over Watford propelled Liverpool to the top of Premier League for the first time under Jurgen Klopp. The tennis-like score was achieved with so much ease and style – common factors these days at Anfield under Klopp.
Sadio Mane’s acrobatic header put the hosts ahead before Philippe Coutinho doubled the lead. Emre Can and Firminho added goals of their own before Mane scored his second as Liverpool led by five goals by the hour mark. Daryl Janmaat scored a brilliant consolation goal for the visitors but there was enough time for an injury-time goal by Georginio Wijnaldum – his first for the club.
The stats that Liverpool are raking up this season are scary for their opponents. It is the fifth time that they have scored four or more goals and with 30 goals in the season, they are the highest scorers. With Manchester City and Arsenal slipping this weekend, Liverpool and Chelsea are adding gloss to the predictions that they would be darkhorses.