Slowed down last weekend, Liverpool got back on track against Brentford (3-0) to steal second place in the championship from Arsenal, thanks to superior offensive power, and put pressure on leader Manchester City, visiting Sunday in Chelsea. Before the final clash of the 12th day, the podium brings together three teams with 27 points each. The Citizens must not lose at Stamford Bridge if they want to hold the lead in the Premier League alone before the international break.
The “Reds” regained their momentum and standing at Anfield, damaged by their draw at Luton (1-1) last week and the 3-2 defeat Thursday at Toulouse in the Europa League. As is often the case, the difference came from their handyman, Mohamed Salah, author of a double (39th, 62nd) which brought his total to ten goals in twelve league matches this season.
The Egyptian was not in the least affected by the Saudi offensive launched to recruit him this summer, and he continues the momentum of a remarkable start to the year. The former AS Roma striker controlled a perfect pass from Darwin Nunez with his right foot before striking with his left (39th, 1-0), then expanded his usual palette with a calmly placed header from a cross from Kostas Tsimikas ( 62nd, 2-0).
The third pawn scored by Diogo Jota (74th), with a long shot, is not anecdotal since it allows Jürgen Klopp's team to move ahead of Arsenal in the standings by virtue of a better goal difference.
Aston Villa manage to keep pace with the top group after their 3-1 victory against Fulham on Sunday, the thirteenth in a row at home in the Premier League. Unai Emery's team is fifth (25 pts), just two points from the podium, and has a comfortable lead over their pursuers Manchester United (6th, 21 pts) and Newcastle (7th, 20 pts).
The “Villains” have recovered well from their third defeat of the season, conceded last weekend in Nottingham, thanks to the return to form of their attack, so powerful since the start of the current financial year. Moussa Diaby pushed defender Antonee Robinson to commit an own goal (27th), captain John McGinn scored from outside the area (42nd) and Ollie Watkins scored his sixth Premier League goal of the season , the eleventh in all competitions.
The dynamic is much less positive on the Brighton side, in eighth place (19 pts), after having had another poor performance against Sheffield United (1-1), the former red lantern moved up to penultimate ahead of Burnley. The “Seagulls”, so high up at the start of the season, are stuck in a series of six matches without a victory. We have to go back to September 24 against Bournemouth to find any trace of the last one.
West Ham (9th, 17 pts) is hot on the heels of Brighton after winning late 3-2 on Sunday against Nottingham Forest (15th, 13 pts). The first victory for the “Hammers” since the end of September was enabled by a goal from midfielder Tomas Soucek in the 88th minute.