All but two teams played four games in October, meaning even the international break at the start of the month couldn’t stop some sides from picking up some all important momentum. The battle at the top of the league has now become much closer, with just three points separating the top five. The bottom three however may already being cut adrift from the rest of the division, especially bottom club Sunderland who are eight points from safety. October also saw the first managerial switch of the season, so let’s get straight on in with the review…
What We Can See From The Table
- Manchester City, having been four points clear at the top of the table at the start of the month, are now only top on goal difference and level on points with Arsenal and Liverpool.
- Tottenham Hotspur won just once in four games in October, but are now the only unbeaten side left in the Premier League after defeating Manchester City at the start of the month.
- As well as Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Watford and Stoke City all went unbeaten in October. Chelsea picked up the maximum 12 points to rise from eighth to fourth.
- Stoke and West Ham won consecutive games for the first time this season in October, as both moved out of the bottom three to 12th and 17th respectively.
- Six teams didn’t win a game in October, including Manchester United. Hull City were the only club to not pick up a single point last month, and drop in to the relegation zone, where they are joined by Swansea City and winless Sunderland.
Player of the Month
Joe Allen – Stoke City
Often the butt of jokes at Liverpool, Joe Allen has made an impressive start to life at new club Stoke City after moving to the Bet365 Stadium for £13 million in the summer. Stuck behind an abundance of midfielders at Anfield, the Welshman has been given the space to flourish in an attacking role by Mark Hughes. It’s a role that has seen him score four league goals already – the same tally he achieved in four seasons with Liverpool. Three of those goals came in October, starting with an equaliser against Manchester United to give Stoke their first point at Old Trafford since 1980. After the international break, he netted twice against fellow strugglers Sunderland to give the Potters a first win of the campaign. Xherdan Shaqiri took over the goal-scoring role in a 2-0 win over Hull before Allen turned provider against his former club Swansea City as he set up both of Wilfried Bony’s goals in a 3-1 victory. Allen’s contribution in October helped Stoke rise from 19th to 12th and gain 10 points.
2nd – Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
3rd – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Manager of the Month
Antonio Conte – Chelsea
Incredibly, there were some doubts over Antonio Conte’s future at Chelsea at the start of October with the club eighth in the table. But the Italian put to bed those rumours with four wins out of four last month, to see the Blues rise to fourth and one point behind leaders Manchester City. Goals from Willian and Diego Costa gave them a 2-0 win at Hull City, before they thrashed reigning champions Leicester City 3-0 at Stamford Bridge; Costa once again on the scoresheet along with Eden Hazard and Victor Moses. The following weekend, Jose Mourinho’s return to SW6 was not a happy one, as his Manchester United side were humbled 4-0 with goals from Pedro (after just 30 seconds), Gary Cahill, Hazard and N’Golo Kante. Finally, the Blues ended the month with a 2-0 win at Southampton with Hazard and Costa both getting their third goals of the month. In total, Chelsea scored 11 goals in October and didn’t concede a single one. Conte’s tactical decision to switch his favoured 3-5-2 formation at the beginning of the month was an inspired one, and has seen the West London team cement themselves as title challengers at this early stage of the campaign.
2nd – Mark Hughes (Stoke City)
3rd – Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Goal of the Month
Xherdan Shaqiri vs Hull City
2nd – Dimitri Payet vs Middlesbrough
3rd – Christian Fuchs vs Crystal Palace
Game of the Month
Bournemouth 6-1 Hull
Bournemouth made it three home wins in a row with an impressive victory over Hull City on Saturday that extended the visitors’ winless run to six games. Charlie Daniels opened the scoring after Junior Stanislas’ free-kick came back off a post, before Ryan Mason’s shot deflected in off Steve Cook to draw the game level. Cook headed in moments later to restore Bournemouth’s lead, before Stanislas netted from the spot and then added a smart finish after the break. Callum Wilson headed in late on before Dan Gosling grabbed a sixth. Read the full BBC report here.
2nd – Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United
3rd – Crystal Palace 2-4 Liverpool
- Francesco Guidolin sacked by Swansea on 03/10 (his birthday!) – replaced by Bob Bradley on the same day.
Did You Know?
Sunderland have recorded the worst start in top-flight history this season, failing to win any of their opening 10 games and gaining just two points. The Black Cats have created a league-low 59 chances this season, a figure matched only by fellow strugglers Hull.
Games To Look Out For In November
- Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur (06/11)
- Manchester United vs Arsenal (19/11)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United (19/11)
- Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur (26/11)