Premier League Table: 2018 Standings, Week 9 Fixtures After Week 8 Results

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2018

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07:  Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City takes a penalty and misses during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on October 7, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City stayed top of the Premier League after earning a 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. The Citizens could have taken all three points had Riyad Mahrez not blazed a penalty over the bar late on.

As it is, City are top on goal difference ahead of Chelsea, who were inspired by Eden Hazard to a 3-0 win away to Southampton.

Arsenal moved above north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and up to fourth after thrashing Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage. The Gunners won a ninth game in a row in all competitions on the back of two goals apiece from strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Like the Saints, Fulham are now a mere two points above the bottom three.

Chelsea will hope to avoid injuries during the international break as they prepare to host inconsistent Manchester United at Stamford Bridge when league action resumes on Saturday, October 20.

Week 9 fixtures will also see City host struggling Burnley on the same day, while Arsenal will be at home to Leicester City on Monday, October 22.

Sunday's Scores

  • Fulham 1-5 Arsenal
  • Southampton 0-3 Chelsea
  • Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City

Standings (Matches Played, Wins, Goal Difference and Points, per the division's official website).

1. Manchester City:

2. Chelsea: 8, 6, +13, 20

3. Liverpool: 8, 6, +12, 20

4. Arsenal: 8, 6, +9, 18

5. Tottenham Hotspur: 8, 6, +8, 18

6. Bournemouth: 8, 5, +4, 16

7. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 8, 4, +3, 15

8. Manchester United: 8, 4, -1, 13

9. Watford: 8, 4, -1, 13

10. Leicester City: 8, 4, +2, 12

11. Everton: 8, 3, +1, 12

12. Burnley: 2, -2, 8

13. Brighton & Hove Albion: 8, 2, -4, 8

14. Crystal Palace: 8, 2, -4, 7

15. West Ham United: 8, 2, -5, 7

16. Southampton: 8, 1, -8, 5

17. Fulham: 8, 1, -12, 5

18. Huddersfield Town: 8, 0, -13, 

19. Newcastle United: 8, 0, -7, 2

20. Cardiff City: 8, 0, -13, 2

Week 9 Fixtures

Saturday, October, 20

  • Chelsea vs. Manchester United: 12:30 p.m. BST/7:30 a.m. ET
  • Bournemouth vs. Southampton: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
  • Cardiff City vs. Fulham: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
  • Manchester City vs. Burnley: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
  • Newcastle United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
  • West Ham United vs. Tottenham Hotspur: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Watford: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET
  • Huddersfield Town vs. Liverpool: 5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, October 21

  • Everton vs. Crystal Palace: 4 p.m BST/11 a.m. ET

Monday, October 22

  • Arsenal vs. Leicester City: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET

Defences were on top early at Anfield, setting the tone for a scrappy game between this season's two main title contenders. City stuck with a back four against Liverpool's prolific front three, a decision seemingly vindicated by the performances of manager Pep Guardiola's centre-backs:

James Robson @jamesrobsonES

Stones has made two important interceptions early on here. This is now Guardiola’s favoured CB pairing, with Laporte - the two defenders he tried to sign in his first summer at #mcfc

The Reds were hampered slightly when James Milner left the pitch injured, and his box-to-box energy was soon notably absent in midfield:

Dominic King @DominicKing_DM

You realise now how much Liverpool are missing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, particularly in a game of this kind. @ManCity couldn't contain his breaks from midfield last season. Naby Keita needs to be that explosive presence

The deadlocked appeared destined to be broken five minutes from time when Mahrez stepped up from 12 yards after Virgil van Dijk had brought down Leroy Sane in the box. Unfortunately for City, Mahrez lifted his spot-kick well over the bar.

It meant a point apiece and three teams on 20 points at the top.

Earlier in the day, Arsenal went in front after 29 minutes when Lacazette slotted one in on the turn. It was a smart piece of finishing, and good enough to continue a prolific run for the Frenchman:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Alexandre Lacazette has now directly contributed to five goals in his last five Premier league starts for Arsenal: ⚽️ 🅰️ ⚽️ ❌ ⚽️🅰️ Becoming a key player for Unai Emery. https://t.co/f0vY3zKICK

The goal also meant Fulham earned an unwanted distinction in England's top flight this season:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Alexandre Lacazette's goal means Fulham are the only side in the Premier League yet to keep a clean sheet this season. Live: https://t.co/ku5V14Kcma #FULARS https://t.co/94Sc0TFkJw

Arsenal's lead evaporated on the stroke of half-time as a poor ball from left-back Nacho Monreal was eventually punished by Andre Schurrle. The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner with Germany chipped a cute finish over Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno after being played in by Luciano Vietto.

Lacazette restored Arsenal's advantage three minutes after the break and was soon accompanied on the scoresheet by substitutes Aubameyang and Aaron Ramsey.

The latter scored a sublime goal to cap a slick and swift team move. Goals have been common for the Gunners recently, with Ramsey and many others getting in on the act:

Mattias Karén @MattiasKaren

Ramsey is the 12th Arsenal player to score a goal this season. Spreading it around. #fulars

Aubameyang had supplied the pass for Ramsey to score, and scored himself after clipping the ball in for Arsenal's fourth following a Hector Bellerin cross.

Roles were reversed when Aubameyang bagged the Gunners' fifth in stoppage time after Ramsey had played provider. Goals and assists have been the norm for Aubameyang since he signed for Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund back in January:

Goal USA @GoalUSA

⚽ 16 goals 🎯 5 assists Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a hand in more goals in all competitions in 2018 than any other player at the club 🔥🔥🔥 @Aubameyang7 @DBZcom https://t.co/7ECyfSPmqd

The Ramsey and Aubameyang combination  also achieved a moment of history in the competition:

Arsenal FC @Arsenal

Super subs 👏 #FULARS https://t.co/5aDLRsoftg

A visit from a Leicester team with its own quality in attacking areas will be tricky for in-form Arsenal. Matches at the Emirates Stadium between the two have been close, with the last four decided by a lone goal, all in the Gunners' favour.

Chelsea weren't surprised to received inspiration from attacking talisman Hazard on 30 minutes. The classy No. 10 profited from being played in by Ross Barkley:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Ross Barkley’s assist for Eden Hazard’s goal was his 1st in 15 PL apps, since April 2017, for Everton v Leicester https://t.co/AfhvUK5YAR

Barkley was on the scoresheet himself 12 minutes after the restart. The former Everton playmaker turned the ball in after Olivier Giroud volleyed across goal.

Hazard turned provider in stoppage time to put substitute Alvaro Morata in for a welcome goal in the league.

Chelsea are in fine form ahead of the visit from United and former manager Jose Mourinho. He hasn't enjoyed his trips to his old stomping ground as the Red Devils have lost on their last three visits to the Bridge in all competitions without scoring a goal.