Matchweek 9 of the 2023/24 EPL season saw Arsenal hand back a lead over City, Mo Salah show his enduring class and Aussie Ange break another record.
Mixed emotions as Gunners hand back City buffer
It was hard for Arsenal fans to know how to feel as their players walked off the Stamford Bridge pitch on Saturday evening. On the one hand, scoring twice in the last 15 minutes against what was an impressive Chelsea side — to snare a point at 2-2 — was a positive, and further evidence of the Gunners’ resolve under Mikel Arteta. An 84th minute Leandro Trossard finish ($3.75 anytime goalscorer) saw his side maintain their unbeaten run to date this EPL season.
On the other hand, however, it was a huge wasted opportunity.
Arteta’s men were $2.10 favourites going into the clash in West London, coming off the back of their most impressive performance of the season that saw them defeat Manchester City 1-0 in Matchweek 8. That victory saw them go two points clear of City and show that the title race was very much on. But a mixture of bad luck and goalkeeper error saw them go 2-0 down against Chelsea just minutes into the second half (Cole Palmer $9.75 first goalscorer, Mykhailo Mudryk $4.80 anytime goalscorer). The fightback that followed was certainly impressive. But by full-time Manchester City — who earlier in the day beat Brighton 2-1 — had clawed back the two-point buffer Arsenal had on them, as the two EPL title favourites are equal on 21 points apiece.
“Probably the worst we’ve played all season.”
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 21, 2023
Salah at the double
We suggested it could very well happen. And it did, as Mo Salah bagged a double in the Merseyside derby to propel Liverpool to three points at home, Prior to the local grudge match, Salah was a $1.85 anytime goalscorer chance with Palmerbet, and $5.00 (in from $5.50) to get the double. But he did exactly that, and showed again why he’s back to his absolute best. After nine matches, no player has more goal involvements (seven goals, four assists) than Salah this season (Man City’s Erling Haaland next on 10; nine goals and one assist). Perhaps even more impressively, the Egyptian has scored or assisted in his last 13 EPL games at Anfield.
The question is: could Salah claim a fourth top goalscorer award this season? Of course, that all depends on outright favourite Haaland. For instance, Salah claimed the award in 2018/19 and 2021/22 with 22 and 23 goals respectively. Haaland, you’d assume, would soar past that mark. But if Salah can reach his best (32 goals in 2017/18, a then 38-game season record), then it may well be on. He’s already shortened from $10 into $6 in that EPL market with Palmerbet.
Mohamed Salah continues to deliver 😤🔥 pic.twitter.com/UTSyZRSicC
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) October 21, 2023
Spurs stay top as Ange breaks record
Top of the league for another week, these are heady days at Tottenham Hotspur. And with Crystal Palace to come on Saturday, there’s every chance they’ll remain there. Sure, even the most optimistic of Spurs fans don’t believe they’re a title chase. But the more points they bank early, the more chance that when (and it is when) a lacklustre patch comes at one point or another this EPL season, they’ll still be in a position to claim a Top 4 spot and return to the Champions League next campaign. Spurs have already shortened from $4.20 into $1.72 in that market.
This week it was fellow London outfit Fulham that Ange Postecoglou’s men brushed aside 2-0 as $1.42 favourites (plus $2.25 at -1.0, and $8.50 correct score with Palmerbet) with goals to the two main men; Son Heung-min ($4.10 first goalscorer) and James Maddison ($2.50 anytime goalscorer). The victory saw Aussie Ange tick off another milestone, too. Postecoglou has now accumulated the most points by an EPL manager in their first 9 games.
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 23, 2023