In Saturday’s gameweek seven games in the Premier League, top-two Liverpool and Manchester City recorded far from comfortable victories. Here is what happened in the two crucial games:
Henderson gifts Liverpool win at Bramall Lane
League leaders Liverpool recorded a narrow 1-0 win at Sheffield United courtesy of a terrible error by Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
The home side were far from overawed by the visitor’s record of 15 straight league wins and produced a superb display. Chris Wilder’s side had the first shot on goal after just four minutes, as Adrian had to save an Oli McBurnie effort.
The Blades continued to threaten the visitor’s goal, with Callum Robinson firing an effort wide on 21 minutes. Jurgen Klopp’s side took until the 34th minute to mount a serious attack. Virgil van Dijk played a superb ball over the top of the home defence to find Sadio Mane. The Senegalese forward advanced on Henderson, only to fire over the bar with his effort.
The league leaders should have taken the lead just before the break. A typical counter-attack eventually saw Mane hit the base of the post after good composure by Roberto Firmino.
Home midfielder Olivier Norwood saw a dipping volley well saved by Adrian in the visitor’s goal, as Wilder’s team look to open the scoring. Andy Robertson also produced a fantastic last-gasp block to keep out an effort from John Fleck from inside the area.
However, with just 20 minutes left on the clock, Liverpool received a huge chunk of fortune. Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum hot a speculative effort that was pretty tame. Unfortunately, for the home side, Henderson allowed the strike to go through his legs and his hands and trickle over the goal line.
The goalkeeper on-loan from Manchester United did produce a good save from a Mohamed Salah effort soon afterwards, but it will be his error that people will remember. In the end, one goal was enough to seal Liverpool’s 16th straight win in the Premier League.
The victory moved them temporarily eight points clear at the top of the table. The defeat was highly unfortunate for the home side, who are 12th in the standings.
City overcome stubborn Everton
As we predicted, Manchester City’s trip to Everton saw goals galore, as the Citizens recorded a 3-1 victory over the Toffees to reduce the gap at the top of the table back to five points.
City started in ominous fashion, as German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hit the woodwork early on. At the other end of the pitch, Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson saw an effort from 12 yards out blocked by a City defender.
The reigning Premier League champions took the lead on 24 minutes. Kevin De Bruyne swung in a superb cross to the far post and Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus stooped to head past Jordan Pickford.
The lead did not last long and the City goal seemed to bring the best out of the home side. Marco Silva’s team equalised on 29 minutes. Alex Iwobi played in Seamus Coleman and the full-back then dinked the ball over Ederson towards goal, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin diving in to head home on the goalline.
An effort from Everton centre-back Yerry Mina forced Ederson into a good save early in the second period. At the other end, Raheem Sterling fired wide when put through on goal one-on-one with Pickford.
The home side sat back slightly and City took the lead on 71 minutes. Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez curled a free-kick from the edge of the area past Pickford at his left-hand post. The England goalkeeper probably should have done better with the effort.
Ederson then came to City’s rescue, coming out to get a vital touch on a Calvert-Lewin effort with the youngster through on goal. The Brazilian had to be at his best to keep out a Mina header too. Calvert-Lewin also fired wide from the rebound.
City sealed maximum points with five minutes left on the clock. Substitute Sergio Aguero forced Pickford to parry an effort, only for Sterling to follow up and smash home the rebound via the Everton bar.
Despite a spirited display, the Toffees have now lurched to 15th place in the table, having yielded just seven points from seven league games so far this season. City remain the favourites to win the Premier League title.
Saturdays other Premier League results
Aston Villa 2-2 Burnley
Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham
Chelsea 2-0 Brighton
Crystal Palace 2-0 Norwich
Tottenham 2-1 Southampton
Wolves 2-0 Watford
Can Manchester City still bridge the gap to Liverpool at the top of the table?