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Matchweek 12 Review – Classic at the Bridge, Liverpool close gap

Matchweek 12 of the 2023/24 EPL season saw a high-scoring thriller at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool close the gap, and things get tetchy at Newcastle.

Chelsea, City play out classic at Stamford Bridge

It’s been dubbed an ‘instant classic’. The Premier League at its best. And it’s not hard to see why, when two of the competition’s high-profile clubs slug it out at 4-4, with storylines everywhere.

Manchester City travelled to Stamford Bridge as $1.68 favourites to maintain a three-point buffer atop the EPL table, with a somewhat resurgent Chelsea outfit $4.70 at home. And by the end, Mauricio Pochettino only enhanced the feeling that his Blues side were on an upward trajectory. The match had everything. Thiago Silva became the first 39-year-old since Ryan Giggs to score an EPL goal; the veteran centre-back a $18 anytime goalscorer. There was the customary brace from Erling Haaland ($5.00 to score 2+ pre-game). And two former City players scored for Chelsea; Raheem Sterling ($4.30 anytime) and, most notably, 21-year-old Cole Palmer whose ice-cool 95th-minute penalty ($4.90 anytime) ensured a point for the home side.

Most incredibly, though, was the scoreline. Over 7.5 goals was paying $51 pre-match. Things are by no means rosy at Chelsea just yet — they sit inside the top half of the table on goal difference alone. But green shoots are beginning to show.

Liverpool close gap

Prior to the Chelsea and City classic, Liverpool just kept on keeping on at Anfield this EPL season, registering another victory — this time a 3-0 win over Brentford. The scoreline suggests they walked past the visitors, but it wasn’t so easy. “More than 20 years ago when I started my career, I wanted to create a team that nobody wants to play against and we faced that team today,” manager Jurgen Klopp said post-match. It took some Mo Salah magic to get the Reds on the board, and his brace ($5.50 pre-game with Palmerbet) inspired his side to victory.

The win sees Klopp’s men nipping at the heels of City, now just one point behind their title rivals. Arsenal — now level on points with Liverpool too after easing past Burnley — have deservedly been pitted as the key title challenger to City this season. But the Reds have been quietly getting things done. They are the only EPL club to be unbeaten in their last five games. City, though, are still very much the frontrunners in the title market. After starting the season as $7.00 title chances with Palmerbet, Klopp’s men have only marginally shortened, now into $6.50.

Cherries upset Newcastle as things get tetchy

It’s never a good sign when players are arguing with fans. And when that footage is shared widely, it gives the impression all isn’t right at a club.

Newcastle travelled down south to Bournemouth as $1.75 favourites on Saturday evening, but were completely outplayed as the home side ($4.10) got up 2-0. Andoni Iraola’s side were $9.75 pre-match at -1.0 with Palmerbet. This was no smash-and-grab job — the Cherries finished with an xG (expected goals) of 2.56, compared to Newcastle’s 0.59. And it was Dominic Solanke who did the damaged, finishing with a brace ($13 pre-match to score 2+ goals, $7.25 first goalscorer) as his side climbed out of the EPL relegation spots.

But the story was Newcastle United. Defender Kieran Trippier was filmed post-match arguing with fans, and was heard saying: “how many injuries have we got?” Eddie Howe’s side have won just three of their last eight matches across all competitions, and are now sitting in seventh. Things are by no means at breaking point. But the upward trajectory the club has been on for 12 months appears to be plateauing.

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