Timo Werner outshines grumpy Cristiano Ronaldo as Chelsea seize Premier League advantage – Football.London

Chelsea got back to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon with a dramatic late win over Southampton, as Thomas Tuchel’s Blues survived two disallowed goals and a Saints comeback to send the Stamford Bridge faithful home happy on a very rainy day in west London.

As we enter the October international break following the seventh match-day of this season, the Blues sit in a healthy position on top of the table following a tricky opening set of fixtures for Tuchel’s European Champions.

Looking at the fact the Blues have already completed travels to Anfield, The Emirates and Spurs, the next run of fixtures look favourable and offer Chelsea the chance to solidify their position at the summit.

Moving away from Stamford Bridge, let’s take a look at Chelsea’s closest title rivals this past weekend and how they fared.

Manchester United

I have not watched a lot of Manchester United this season, so sitting down to watch the full game with Everton lent perspective on some of the recent frustrations over Chelsea.

At home to a weakened Everton side struggling with injuries, it was quite staggering how poor Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side were in a game they needed to prevail in. The midfield pair of Fred and Scott McTominay was easily bypassed on several occasions as Demarai Gray put on an excellent performance at Old Trafford to show the talent The Toffees have invested in.



Pressure is slowly growing on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United drew at home to Everton on Saturday.
Pressure is slowly growing on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United drew at home to Everton on Saturday.

Sure Cristiano Ronaldo did not start but even with his introduction, United could have easily lost this game if Tom Davies had taken on the opportunity to win the game rather than squaring to an offside Yerry Mina.

Solskjær is under pressure, but it’s beneficial to the rest of their title rivals he remains in the hot-seat given his commitment to keeping United in this bizarre limbo of looking amazing one week, awful the next and neither following that.

It is still staggering to me anyone could have looked at that squad in the summer and thought they needed more attackers given the lack of quality in central midfield which continues to undermine anything Ronaldo and co. do in the final third.

Liverpool vs. Manchester City

Many of the biggest Premier League clashes are built up beyond realistic expectations and inevitably disappoint. But I doubt you will find a high-quality game between two brilliant sides this enthralling again this season.

Manchester City in the first half looked to be continuing where they left off at Stamford Bridge, pressing Liverpool high, silencing the Anfield crowd and impressively nullifying the Reds best attackers.

But without taking advantage of their dominance, there was always a chance Liverpool would respond and by the time Sadio Mane put Jurgen Klopp’s men ahead the momentum had completely switched.

What followed was an amazing conclusion where two individual moments of quality proved the level these two sides are operating at. First from the brilliant Phil Foden who had caused havoc down Liverpool’s right all afternoon and then Mohamed Salah on a whim, deciding to destroy the Man City defence and score one of the Premier League’s best ever goals.



Liverpool and Manchester City provided an incredibly entertaining clash on Sunday afternoon ending in a 2-2 draw which puts Chelsea top of the Premier League heading into the international break. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Liverpool and Manchester City provided an incredibly entertaining clash on Sunday afternoon ending in a 2-2 draw which puts Chelsea top of the Premier League heading into the international break. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

What this pulsating game for all its quality and tactical brilliance highlighted were the flaws of both teams this season and that is good for Chelsea.

For Liverpool, even with the return of Virgil van Dijk, are still susceptible to conceding, letting in six over their last three games. Kevin De Bruyne’s deflecting equaliser denied what would have been a huge win for Klopp. You cannot help but feel during their pomp in 2019, Liverpool would have found a way to cling on here for the win. It is also seemingly down more than ever to Salah, who set up the first for Mane and scored the second, to orchestrate everything.

Salah’s fitness remains vital to Klopp and does highlight to the smaller squad at his disposal, if he was to pick up an injury, Liverpool becomes a very different team.

For City the already tired debate of no striker remains an issue. The quality of pressing and chance creation is still there for Guardiola with Bernando Silva in particular operating at a high level so far this term, but the Champions should have been at least a goal up going into half-time.

Oh and a quick mention to the truly awful officiating of Paul Tierney who somehow judged James Milner taking out Silva on a yellow was not worthy of further inspection. As Chelsea suffered with on Saturday, for a game of this quality and drama, once again I am left questioning the level of refereeing in this league which remains at an embarrassingly low level and nearly tarnished a brilliant game.

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For Chelsea, the 2-2 draw at Anfield could not have gone better as it keeps Chelsea top of the Premier League going into the international break. Quite the change considering the mood around Stamford Bridge after the defeat to Manchester City last weekend and then another loss to Juventus in midweek.

As pointed out before, although the major clashes attract all the attention, it is the lesser games the Blues need to become masters at winning and so far this season they have. Manchester United dropped points to Southampton, Aston Villa and Everton. Liverpool to Brentford and Man City against Southampton – with favourable fixtures coming up for Tuchel’s team, Chelsea can put themselves in a great place heading into winter.

What are your thoughts on the Premier League title race? Follow our CareFreeChelsea Writer Daniel Childs on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below

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