5th-7th October 2018

Results: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 West Ham United, Burnley 1-1 Huddersfield Town, Crystal Palace 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City 1-2 Everton, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Cardiff City, Watford 0-4 AFC Bournemouth, Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle United, Fulham 1-5 Arsenal, Southampton 0-3 Chelsea, Liverpool FC 0-0 Manchester City

October’s opening round of fixtures in 2018 saw the first head-to-head between reigning champions Manchester City and potential championship challengers Liverpool FC. Both teams had made excellent starts to the season, having only dropped two points each in the opening two months of the campaign.

The game at Anfield was expected to be an outstanding exhibition of football, especially after the 4-3 thriller they had shared the previous season. However, it turned into a cagey, tactical battle which ultimately saw the sides cancel each other’s efforts out in a goalless draw. There was one notable moment though which came five minutes from the end. Virgil van Dijk brought down Leroy Sane in the penalty area, giving Pep Guardiola’s side the chance to snatch all three points. However, Riyad Mahrez skied his spot-kick over the crossbar, much to Guardiola and the benches frustration.

The draw allowed Chelsea to draw level with City and Liverpool on 20 points apiece. The Blues sneaked into second place on goal difference thanks to a convincing 3-0 away victory at Southampton. Eden Hazard sparkled again, scoring the opening goal and playing a big part in Ross Barkley scoring Chelsea’s second. It was Barkley’s first league goal for the Blues and his first in the top-flight since his Everton days in May 2017.

Sunday’s fixtures opened up with a London Derby between Fulham and Arsenal. The Gunners put in an irresistible attacking performance to defeat the Cottagers 5-1 at Craven Cottage. The win was Arsenal’s ninth successive success in all competitions which was their best run since April 2015. The game also saw a mesmerising team goal, finished off by Aaron Ramsey as speculation began on whether the Welshman would be remaining longer-term at The Emirates. Strike duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette both scored twice.

That meant just two points covered the top five in the table after eight fixtures. Tottenham sat just outside the Champions League spots, despite an unconvincing display in their 1-0 victory over Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium. Cardiff were still awaiting their first Premier League win of the season and the same statistic hung around Newcastle United too.

The Magpies were involved in a marvellous match at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Old managerial foes Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez clashed for what turned out to be the last time in the current Premier League era and Benitez’s side were in complete control at half-time. Goals from Kenedy and summer acquisition from Mainz, Yoshinori Muto had the Magpies two goals ahead at the interval.

Mourinho, who was under immense pressure after reports leaked out 24 hours earlier from some journalists that he was on the verge of being sacked, saw his side put in a stirring response in the second half. Juan Mata’s 70th minute free-kick started the comeback before Anthony Martial levelled the scores six minutes later. In stoppage-time, Alexis Sanchez came up with his biggest contribution in his tough spell at Old Trafford. His fantastic header sealed a dramatic 3-2 victory for the home side, earning Mourinho some breathing space from the journalists and more importantly, the hierarchy at Manchester United.

What else happened in October 2018?

  • Princess Eugenie gets married at Windsor Castle to Jack Brooksbank.
  • Organisers say 700,000 attend a march through central London during a day of peaceful protests, demanding a final vote on the Brexit deal to be agreed between Theresa May and the EU.
  • Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is among five people killed in a helicopter crash in a car park outside the Foxes’ King Power Stadium.
  • Ex-Chelsea and England manager Glenn Hoddle collapses and is taken to hospital moments after appearing as a guest on BT Sport’s Saturday Morning Savage show. It is later revealed he suffered a heart attack.
  • Zoë Ball is confirmed as the new host of the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show. She will succeed the departing Chris Evans in the role in January 2019.
  • Jair Bolsonaro wins 55% of the vote to become the next President of Brazil.
  • Matt LeBlanc steps down as main presenter of Top Gear. He will be replaced by Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness.

 

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