With 16 matches played and the busy Christmas fixture list around the corner, it’s time for a first 2018-19 season EPL review.

In the weekend just gone, Mohamed Salah's commanding hat-trick helped Liverpool equal their club-record run of 17 unbeaten Premier League matches with a 4-0 win at Bournemouth lifting them to pole position in the Premier League table, with an impressive 42 points. 

Chelsea inflicted Manchester City's first defeat of the season in a captivating game at Stamford Bridge which lifted Chelsea to fourth place and pushed City down to second.

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United comprehensively beat Fulham to kick-start their top-four push as Romelu Lukaku ended his Old Trafford drought.

Lucas Torreira's goal ensured Arsenal recovered from the disappointment of Alexandre Lacazette harshly having a goal ruled out to win 1-0 against Huddersfield and extend their unbeaten run to 21 matches. 

Tottenham climbed up to third after Son Heung-min helped them secure a 2-0 win at Leicester.

Prior to the season start, I predicted a slightly different top four:

  1. Manchester City
  2. Liverpool
  3. Arsenal
  4. Chelsea 

With 22 matches still to be played, I’m going to stick with my prediction of City taking the title, although if Salah keeps scoring hat-tricks, I could well be proved wrong. It’s great to see the title race is wide open though and not a certainty for anyone just yet. 

As Pep Guardiola said in his post-match interview: “We are in December - if you [ask] me if Liverpool can win the Premier League, I will say yes. If you [ask] me right now in the position, Tottenham or Chelsea or Arsenal can win the Premier League, I will say yes. Everybody can win the Premier League.”

Manchester United are struggling by their standards and although they secured a good win against Fulham, I think they will find it hard to break into the top four even with the master Mourinho at the helm! 

Burnley secured their third win of the season against Brighton and Hove Albion moving Burnley out of the relegation zone. Brighton dropped out of the top half of the table to 11th, but importantly (for this writer anyway), they sit 11 points clear of the dreaded drop zone. 

Huddersfield, Southampton and Fulham currently occupy the relegation spots; completely different teams from those I predicted of Watford, Palace and Cardiff – who are 12th, 14th and 16th respectivel).

However, there’s plenty of football left to play. I’m certain there will be a few more twists and turns in the bottom half of the table as we progress through the Christmas fixtures, where often injuries start to creep in, and also into 2019 with the January transfer window at play. 

For now, I am content that Brighton look relatively safe and ICYMI, check out the wonder goal scored last week by Romanian international, Florin Andone against Crystal Palace. A truly incredible individual goal (starts about 2m21s).

Mikkel Beck (Maty Ryan’s agent) described the performance which saw Brighton win 3-1 against their rivals Palace, as the best ever since Maty signed for the club.

Categories: Opinion | Premier League

epl, premier league, brighton & hove albion, florin ardone

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