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Matchweek 13 Review – Gunners go top, Spurs stutter

Matchweek 13 of the 2023/24 EPL season saw Arsenal go top, Chelsea’s yoyo year continue, and Spurs officially in their first rut under Ange.

Gunners go top after Liverpool’s favour

Arsenal were handed an opening. And while it took a while to walk through, they eventually got there.

Earlier on Saturday, Manchester City’s clash with Liverpool was — as it has become in recent years given both clubs’ on-field success — hugely anticipated. City ($1.70) were expected to get back in the winners’ circle after a pulsating 4-4 draw with Chelsea in Matchweek 12. And when superstar Erling Haaland put them ahead near the half-hour mark ($3.60 first goalscorer), becoming the fastest player to reach 50 EPL goals (in his 48th match), things were going to script. However Liverpool had other ideas. Jurgen Klopp’s men ($4.00) kept pace with last year’s treble winners, and through Trent Alexander-Arnold ($13 anytime goalscorer) equalised to ensure a 1-1 draw. Victory would have seen City equal the longest-ever winning home run by an English top-division of 24 wins. But they fell just short.

That result cut City’s buffer over Arsenal to just two points. Which left the Gunner needing victory over Brentford (as $1.70 favourites) to go top spot on the EPL table. And while they left it late (the 89th minute, to be exact), they ensured three points across town in West London. They got it through an unlikely source, too. Under-fire Kai Havertz, who has struggled since moving to Arsenal, headed home ($7.75 first goalscorer). The result leaves Arsenal into the shortest title price ($4.33) they’ve been all season.

Newcastle further expose Chelsea’s inconsistency

Another week, another predictably unpredictable Chelsea performance. Coming off an incredible 4-4 draw with Manchester City in Matchweek 12 that many termed one of the best EPL games in recent years — and certainly one of the best Chelsea performances in recent times — Mauricio Pochettino’s men travelled north to St James’ Park as $2.60 chances to knock off Newcastle. What transpired, however, was another devastating result. Level at half-time (1-1), the visitors conceded three goals and had captain Reece James sent off in a shocking second half that again asks questions of where Chelsea are at.

The 4-1 scoreline was yet another indicator of Chelsea’s yo-yoing form. Take the last month, for example. Pochettino has overseen the brilliant performance against City, plus a 4-1 win over Spurs. Yet he’s also seen a 2-0 loss to Brentford at home, and now this (Newcastle were $11.50 pre-game at -2.0 with Palmerbet). For all the talk of the Blues being on an upward trajectory after a horror period, the fact of the matter is that they sit in 10th. And just a third of the way through the EPL season, they’re already 10 points off the Top 4.

Spurs in first rut under Ange

Defeat to Chelsea with nine men was understandable. A late loss away to Wolves wasn’t entirely out of the blue. But now, after three straight EPL defeats, Tottenham are in their first rut under Aussie manager Ange Postecoglou. It’s a stretch to say the honeymoon period is over, given they’re still playing pulsating football which the fans are loving. But the early season league leaders are now out of the Top 4. Perhaps most frustratingly for Postecoglou, Spurs took the lead in each of the last three games.

His side ($2.35 favourites) did so again against Villa ($2.55) at home on Sunday after a simply bonkers beginning to the match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with both sides having two clear-cut chances apiece inside the opening five minutes. Giovani lo Celso’s deflected opener ($12 first goalscorer) was cancelled out by Pau Torres ($13 anytime goalscorer) just before the break, before Ollie Watkins ($2.35 anytime) scored a clinical winner on the hour mark. The defeat sees Spurs lengthen from $1.57 Top 4 hopes three weeks ago, now out to $3.00.

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