City definitely didn’t have good memories about the Selhurst Park, since this is where their 18 games winning streak ended last season, in a thrilling 0-0 game, where Milivojevic had the chance to win it for Palace, but missed a penalty in the 90th minute. Now City “only” had an 8 games winning streak, although this game’s importance was higher as a win would put Liverpool under pressure before their crucial afternoon game against Chelsea.
On Sunday a key game has been played between Liverpool and Tottenham for the title race, with Liverpool grabbing a late win on the game of contrary halves. This win put Liverpool back to the 1st position, leading the table by 2 points over Manchester City, although City can take their position back, if they beat Cardiff in the midweek round -to match the equal number of games played. Spurs meanwhile continued their not-so-impressive form, winning only 1 from their last 6 games in the league, and with Arsenal’s victory on Monday night Spurs dropped to 4th position.
Arsenal and Tottenham have entered the last few seasons with the same objective of claiming a top four position to ensure Champions League football. Along with the geographical rivalry, competing for similar positions has put increased importance on the direct clashes, and this piece will examine the details of both league clashes.
Closing out 2018 on a high note. Liverpool put five goals past Arsenal to continue their nine match winning run into the New Year, with their attacking tempo and speed proving too much for Emery’s side.
Another highly anticipated clash between Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Guardiola’s Manchester City. As recent fixtures between the two teams provide evidence of Liverpool being City’s kryptonite, Guardiola made a series of conservative adjustments to gradually probe the hosts in a cagey affair.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham continued their hot start in league play with a resounding away win over Manchester United. Despite the scoreline, Jose Mourinho’s solution to breaking through Spurs high pressure tilted the run of play in United’s favor for the first half before Tottenham scored.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City commenced their Premier League title defence with a secure victory over Arsenal. For the first time in over two decades, a new manager was on the touchline for the Gunners, as former PSG and Sevilla boss Unai Emery made his English debut. However, the Emery honeymoon was interrupted by the Citizens, who showed signs of last seasons dominance in possession and pressing, alongside some details in attack construction that need ironing out over the course of the year.
“We found a lot of problems when attacking a 5-4-1 when the striker is marking our holding midfielder and 10 players are defending so deep. We are thinking about how you could attack against that system.” – Pep Guardiola when previewing the 2018/2019 EPL season.
The most successful team in German history and the most successful team in English history meet once again, this time in a pre-season friendly. Kovac shows a preview of the well-oiled German machine he will have on the field for the 2018/2019 season, while Mourinho shows potential issues his team will face during the next months, as he warned it could be a “difficult season.”
Guardiola and Sarri face off for the first time in England. Both managers showed a preview of their likely tactical approach for the upcoming 2018/2019 season. City’s pressing game proved to be the big difference between the teams, creating dangerous counterattacking opportunities even when the build-up was not being executed to a high level.