5 Teams that excelled Premiere League in 2016

With the 25th edition of the Premier League reaching its half way mark, perhaps it is time to take a look at the top five teams that have excelled in this tournament so far. The below list is based on performances so far and there is every chance that a sixth team may end up winning the title. But then, that is the beauty of football, isn’t it?

With Chelsea leading the table with 46 points in 18 matches, closely followed by Manchester City in the same number of matches, football pundits are having a tough time predicting the best team of the tournament. Fans are also finding it difficult to digest the fact the reigning champions, Leicester City is currently in 16th position, their chances of holding on to the title all but nil.

Here is our list of five teams who stand a solid chance of winning this year’s title

Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29:  The Chelsea badge is seen on the corner flag ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on January 29, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The infusion of a new manager in Conte seems to have done the trick for the team, who has brought about some much needed stability which was lacking under the Italian coach Antonio. Having scored 38 goals and conceding only 11, they are easily one of the top favorites in this season. The return to form of Diego Costa have augured well for the Blues’, so has the brilliant coordination displayed by the midfield as well as the defenders. Michy Batshuayi, Gary Cahil, and John Terry all have been in excellent form. The midfield trio of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, and Oscar have been able to set the tone of the matches and aided some excellent maneuvers through the wings.

Manchester City

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Perhaps the biggest positive for Manchester City has been the introduction of the new coach Pep Guardiola whose innovative formations and tactics have done them a whole lot of good.  One of the leading goal scoring teams of the EPL so far, Manchester City has been robust in their defense as well. When it comes to goal scoring, Sergio Aguero has been the go-to man for Guardiola, who has found the nets with alarming frequency. The midfield manned by Raheem Sterling Nolito has equally been up to the task, creating goal opportunities and controlling the pace of the game. Those who are familiar with Pep’s ball possession tactic during his stint with Barcelona are amazed how easily he has been able to infuse it into the EPL as well.

Liverpool

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Leading the number of goals scored with 41 goals against 20 conceded, Liverpool stands a good chance as any to lift the coveted title this year. Jurgen Klopp has been a master visionary, conjuring tactics and formations that has unsettled the calculations of many of his opposite numbers. Liverpool has been able to rise above superstar performances and started delivering as a team which is obvious from their points table. Having lost only 2 matches so far, Klopp’s men are one of the strongest contenders this year.

Arsenal

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The runner’s up of the last season, Arsenal would love to finish top of the table this time around. Arsenal’s bane has always been the finishing touch, however, with 39 goals scored in 18 matches, they have one of the strongest fire power this season, which places them in a strong position to win this year’s title.

Manchester United

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The Red Devils have been a different team altogether under the new coach Jose Mourinho and is currently placed sixth in the list. Pogba has been finding his feet consistently and that is certainly good news for them. However, with the final half of the tournament coming up, they would want more worthy contributions from their midfield if they are to proceed further in the tournament.

Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Southampton are also in the race and it is simply too early to write any one off. There is only thing that we can say with conviction at this point of time and that is we are headed for a brilliant finish to this year’s tournament!

Klopp’s Magic Ensures Conte’s Bright Start Come To An End

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Chelsea was unbeaten prior to this match, and was favorites for the tie at their home ground. But the faithful of Stamford Bridge were in for a shock as a stunning performance by the visitors along with a dominating first-half of the match led to the victory of Liverpool against their rivals, Chelsea with a score of 2-1.

Dejan Lovren, making a return to the first team after an eye injury opened the scoring for the Reds, courtesy of a clinical finish from a Philippe Coutinho cross to make it 1-0.Liverpool started to dominate possession and had full control over the match, after their goal. Liverpool’s domination reaped results when their captain, Jordan Henderson shot them 2-0 up on the night with a vicious strike from 25 yards in the 36th minute. The fine effort of Henderson pumped their manger Jurgen Klopp, who later accepted his admiration of the goal. The 2 goal lead for the visitors resulted in a quite Stamford Bridge till the half time. Chelsea was missing their skipper, John Terry through an ankle injury and his replacement, David Luiz, recently acquired from Paris-Saint Germain got his first start for Chelsea in his second stint with the London based club. Luiz had a decent game, but Chelsea missed their commander in chief at the back.

Chelsea came out as a different team after the break. They pulled a goal back on the hour mark, through Diego Costa, who was very quiet in the first half. But after his goal Costa was a constant threat in front of the goal, and threatened to blow Liverpool’s lead. Chelsea’s manager Antonio Conte ringed in three changes just 10 minutes before the allocated 90 minutes of play, but they were unable to inspire Chelsea for a fight back. Somehow Liverpool held on. They defended well, and in the end went back to Merseyside with all three points. Liverpool now has a cent percent record against all London clubs this season, with convincing wins over Arsenal and Tottenham followed by Friday’s result. They also inflicted the first defeat of Antonio Conte’s era in Chelsea. Liverpool jumped to fourth place in the league standings, courtesy their win, while Chelsea dropped to third place, with goal difference being the factor separating them from second placed Everton. But further changes to the league table are expected with the remaining nine fixtures scheduled to take place during the weekend.

In the end, after the referee’s whistle, Jurgen Klopp was seen jumping, head locking and hugging his Liverpool players after their overwhelming performance against Chelsea which has already set a benchmark for the entire season. It was a professional display from Liverpool, and a victory for which they had to work hard.  It’s too early in the season, but going by what we saw on Friday night, don’t write Liverpool off this season, because they are showing signs of the Klopp magic we saw at Dortmund. For Chelsea, it was a great loss at their home ground and a devastating end of the match for their club head coach who had his first defeat since the time he took charge of the team.

Premier League kicks off with top teams dominating the game

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The 25th season of the English premier league kicked off on the 13th august 2016 and will take place over the next nine months with 21st May, 2017 being the day when the champions of England are announced. This is the first year of Premier league without the title sponsorship of Barclays. This season is more exciting due to the fact that along with world class players, it embarks marquee managers plying their trade in English football. The bar has been raised this year with the addition of exciting prospects which includes introduction of the new ball sponsored by Nike, which is visible during all conditions and also for the first time we will witness Friday night football. The fixtures for this season were publicized on June 15th, 2016. Man city, Manchester United, Chelsea are among the top teams with glorious victories in their first matches along with a few more names rising to the top of the list.

Manchester City vs Sunderland

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The match between Man city vs Sunderland on 13th August 2016 was on a whole new level of excitement as the managers of both the teams were in charge for their first competitive match. Manchester City got an early goal, courtesy a Sergio Aguero penalty. Sunderland equalised through Jermain Defoe in the second half. As the match looked set for a draw, luck favoured Manchester City as new signing Paddy McNair headed the ball into his own net, as Man city emerged victorious with a 2-1 score line. Where one was celebrating his first success as a manager, David Moyes lost the first game as manager for Sunderland. It was a tough match as admitted by Pep and Moyes.

Manchester United vs Bournemouth

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Well, it was one of the most awaited fixtures of the opening weekend of the Premier League. Everyone was waiting for a glimpse of the Jose Mourinho led Manhester United. The match witnessed a professional performance from the Manchester United players winning the match 3-1. Juan Mata scored due to a double error from Simon Francis just before half time. While Wayne Rooney looked a bit off colour throughout the match, he did not miss the opportunity to score when a miss hit volley from Antony Martial came begging for a touch, and boy he placed it to perfection. The next goal was special, as the 34 year old Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his debut with a 25 yard shot past the opponent goalkeeper. Bournemouth gave them hope in the 69th minute when substitute Adam Smith scored a superb goal, but in the end Manchester United were comfortable winners, ans sit top of the table after the first weekend.

Chelsea vs West Ham

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The Monday night fixture was the last of the opening weekend of fixtures. Chelsea was put in front through their star winger Eden Hazard from the penalty spot. But soon after the half time, the Hammers started pushing for an equaliser, and eventually found it through James Collins. And as it seemed poised for a 1-1 finish, Chelsea forward Diego Costa found the back of the net from 20 yards on the 89th minute, resulting in a dramatic finish and a scintillating 2-1 victory in the very first competitive match for new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

Arsenal vs Liverpool

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The standout game from the weekend fixtures, as everyone was waiting for the clash of the two top teams of the division. And it didn’t disappoint as the score line read 4-3 in favour of Liverpool at the end of 90 minutes. Arsenal started the game as the dominant of the two teams and was fairly rewarded with the opening goal by Theo Walcott, 68 seconds after he missed a penalty. A spectacular free kick from Phillipe Coutinho saw the merseysiders level the gunners, just at the stroke of half time. Like the first half, Arsenal came strong in the second half, but Adam Lallana scored for Liverpool on 49th minute, against the run of play. 7 minutes later, Liverpool’s lead was doubled by another Coutinho goal. And much to the dislike of the Arsenal supporters, Liverpool’s New signing Sadio Mane got a goal to his name, making it 4-1 to Liverpool with half an hour to play. It seemed as the end of the road for Arsenal, but a minute later Arsenal got a goal back through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The match seemed in balance with Arsenal pressing forward and Liverpool trying defending their 2 goal cushion. A 75th minute goal from Calum Chambers for Arsenal made for a nail biting final moments, but Liverpool held onto their nerve and claimed all three points in the end, much to the delight of Jurgen Klopp and disgust and despair for Arsene Wenger, as it was to near yet so far for Arsenal.