Intense battle for the English Premier title set to evolve

Euro 2016

Although the English Premier League season is only just entering its second quarter, an intense battle for the title is already evolving.

At present Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool are level on 23 points at the top of the table after each of the trio brilliantly matched one another to win their most recent away matches by scoring four goals.

Furthermore Tottenham are just three points adrift of first place, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side being the only unbeaten side in the division, following a 1-1 draw with reigning champions Leicester at White Hart Lane.  That result represented Tottenham’s third successive draw, as Ahmed Musa equalised for Leicester in response to a Vincent Janssen penalty.

Nevertheless Tottenham remain in a strong position to stage a sustained title challenge, whilst they will aspire to enhance their prospects of doing so by winning their next English Premier League game, which is the first North London derby of the season against Arsenal.

The Gunners are currently amidst a superb run of form, with Arsene Wenger’s extending their unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions following their 4-1 away win over Sunderland.  Both Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez scored twice, as Arsenal delivered an accomplished away performance, which was matched by both Liverpool and Manchester City.

Whilst Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 4-2 at Selhurst Park in a pulsating encounter, Manchester City recorded a 4-0 victory over West Brom to end a six match winless run.  During that period, Sergio Aguero had failed to score.

However the 28-year-old Argentinean striker ended his goal drought by scoring twice, with IIkay Gundogan also achieving that feat, as the German midfielder continues to establish himself as a key member of Pep Guardiola’s side.

In addition to concluding their winless sequence, Manchester City’s emphatic win against West Brom also ended Guardiola’s worst run of results in management.

As such Manchester City now lead the English Premier League on goal difference from both Arsenal and Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp’s side showing great character, perseverance and resolve to beat Crystal Palace.

After twice taking the lead through Emre Can and Dejan Lovren, only for Palace’s James McArthur to score in reply to both of those goals, Liverpool recovered from that setback to emerge victorious.  Whilst Joel Matip scored just before half time, Roberto Firmino fifth goal of the season secured Liverpool’s third successive away victory.

Their first win of that impressive run was a 2-1 success against Chelsea, who is currently in fifth place, just one point behind Tottenham.  Subsequently Antonio Conte’s side will have the opportunity to leapfrog their London rivals and move to within a point of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, when they play Southampton at St.Mary’s.

Since losing to Arsenal 3-0 last month, Chelsea have embarked upon a three league game winning run, with them scoring nine goals without conceding in the process.

Therefore on the basis of the first quarter of the season, during which the quintet of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham have performed extremely well, an intense battle for the English Premier League title is set to evolve.  Whether any other clubs, such as Manchester United, can become involved in that battle remains to be seen, although that appears unlikely given Jose Mourinho’s side’s recent struggles.

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