Lessons From Premier League Mid-Week Action

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane scored his ninth Premier League goal of the season on Wednesday, as Spurs beat Southampton 3-1 to move into third place in the table.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side went above Chelsea, who were surprisingly beaten 2-1 at Molineux by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Liverpool remained in second, still just two points behind Manchester City, after coming from behind to beat Burnley at Turf Moor.

Arsenal dropped to fifth after being held to a 2-2 draw by Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Gunners twice took the lead, but goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard rescued a point for the Red Devils.
Here are some things we learnt from the mid-week fixtures.

Wolves Defeat Highlights Chelsea’s Lack of Mental Strength
Chelsea struggled to their second defeat in their last three Premier League matches on Wednesday, leaving them well behind Manchester City in the title race. After 15 matches the gap is 10 points.

It never should have happened, as the Blues were in control throughout the first half, especially defensively.

But individual and mental errors created a domino effect after the break. Willian and Alvaro Morata failed to find the all-important second goal, and a mistake from Willian and poor intervention from Arrizabalaga handed Wolves the equaliser on a platter.

Rather than rebound from the setback Chelsea promptly gave Wolves all the space in the world to score a second, with Marcos Alonso out of position at left-back.

And with the Blues in need of an equaliser, the mental errors continued. Both Cesc Fabregas and Olivier Giroud were booked for dissent, and their complaining removed any chance the Blues had of building momentum. Chelsea completely lost their focus and barely mustered real chances in the final 10 minutes.

True title contenders find a way to deal with setbacks like this. Liverpool did it on Wednesday after falling behind early―they were losing to Burnley after 60 minutes―just days after finding a last-minute winner against Everton

Naby Keita Shone In Liverpool’s Midfield
Naby Keita has had a slow start to life in the Premier League and has been forced to wait for his opportunity, but a rain-drenched Turf Moor proved the perfect location for his breakout performance.

Unlike a few of his team-mates who struggled to take their opportunity, Keita’s energy and forward impetus was a shining light in what was a largely dull first half.

He continually looked to put the Reds on the front foot and was not shy in matching Burnley’s physicality in the middle of the park or showcasing the ability we all know he has—which was crucial in addressing the lack of connection between the midfield and forwards in recent weeks.

Keita was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet either after a thumping strike in the second half required a full-stretched Joe Hart to deny him before his deft flick was then blocked on the line.

Performances like that will be more than welcome in the weeks and months to come.

Source: wolexis

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