Premier League: Biggest talking points from matchweek 10 

Premier League: Biggest talking points from matchweek 10

As we enter October, the Premier League is well and truly up and running, and the table is starting to take shape. There are new contenders throwing their names into the hat to qualify for European football, established teams looking nervously over their shoulders at the daunted trap door, and an old gunslinger looking to challenge for their first title in 18 years. Of course, spearheaded by the record-breaking goalscoring sensation Erling Haaland, Manchester City are the overwhelming favourites to win a fifth crown in six years. Online bookmakers such as Virgin Bet, which provides betting and free offers on Premier League football, have predicted exactly that for Pep Guardiola’s Blues, but could Arsenal – managed by Pep’s former assistant Mikel Arteta – throw a spanner in the works?

The Gunners hosted an out-of-form Liverpool at the Emirates on matchweek 10 with the fixture presenting a huge opportunity for both sides. For the hosts, they had the chance to secure a statement-sending win. And for the visitors? Well, they had the chance to get their season back on track, languishing in midtable after a disappointing start to the new campaign.

It was also a big weekend for the teams at the bottom of the table. October may be too early to call a fixture a ‘six-pointer’, but fans of Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, and Leeds United may have called their tussles exactly that. Steven Gerrard’s Villains travelled to the City Ground hoping to build on their recent upturn in form, while Patrick Vieira’s Eagles were hoping to snap a four-game winless streak at home to Jesse Marsch’s Whites. Let’s take a look through the biggest talking points from the recent round of fixtures.

Arsenal announce their arrival as genuine title contenders

One of the biggest topics of fans and pundits this season has been the resurgence of Arsenal. The North London club hasn’t won the Premier League since 2004 and haven’t finished in the top four since the days of Arsène Wenger. It looked as though things would change last season however, two defeats in their final three games away at archrivals Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United meant that they would miss out on Champions League football once again.

The visitors to the Emirates – Liverpool – had endured a similar barren spell up until the arrival of their iconic German manager Jürgen Klopp. The former Dortmund manager has turned the ship around at Anfield, winning the club’s first Premier League crown in 30 years, as well as securing their sixth UEFA Champions League trophy.

The meeting was the weekend’s blockbuster fixture, and it lived up to the billing almost immediately, as Gabriel Martinelli gave the hosts the lead after just 58 seconds. The lead didn’t last long, however, as Darwin Núñez scored his second Premier League goal following his £70m move from Benfica in the summer. Bukayo Saka would restore the hosts’ lead on the stroke of halftime only for Roberto Firmino to once again equalise with a brilliant left-footed finish. With the match approaching the final ten minutes, the Gunners were awarded a controversial penalty and Bukayo Saka – who missed the crucial penalty as England were defeated on penalties by Italy in the European Championship final last summer – held his nerve to slot past Alisson and send Arsenal back to the Premier League’s summit.

Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, and Leeds United in trouble

Major eyebrows were raised in the summer at the City Ground, as Nottingham Forest made an astounding 22 new signings. The new additions haven’t yet gelled though, and the Tricky Trees sat rock bottom of the league after a 4-0 drubbing away at rivals Leicester City on 3rd October. Aston Villa visited the City Ground on matchweek ten, and it looked as though the hosts were on their way to securing three big points when Emmanuel Dennis gave them an early lead. Ashley Young’s 25-yard thunderbolt levelled things up though, and both sides had to settle for a point, leaving them both teetering on the brink.

At Selhurst Park, Leeds looked like they were dragging themselves into the safety of midtable when Pascal Struijk gave them an early lead in South London. But the hosts came roaring back, and goals from Odsonne Edouard and a second-half wonder goal from Eberechi Eze secured a come-from-behind victory for the Eagles. The pair are now level on points, just three points above the relegation zone with tough tests on the horizon.