Liverpool moves to top of table
LONDON— There’s an upside to missing out on the Champions League for Liverpool and Chelsea as they occupy the Premier League’s top two places.
With no gruelling midweek matches in Europe, Chelsea and Liverpool conserved their energy to produce emphatic domestic victories.
A day after Chelsea routed Everton 5-0, Liverpool overwhelmed Watford 6-1 on Sunday to move a point ahead of its London title rival.
Liverpool’s victory saw it occupy top spot for the first time since May 2014.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City all failed to win this weekend after playing in the Champions League in midweek. City lost top spot after being held by Middlesbrough on Saturday, while Arsenal and Tottenham drew 1-1 in Sunday’s north London derby.
“It’s a little physical advantage for sure,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said about not playing in the Champions League, which boosts the profits and prestige of participants.
What about the less illustrious Europa League where games are played on Thursday night?
Manchester United bounced back from its 2-1 defeat at Turkey’s Fenerbahce by winning 3-1 at Swansea to halt a four-match winless run in the Premier League. Southampton, though, came back down to earth after beating mighty Inter Milan by losing 2-1 to a Hull side in the bottom three.
Watford’s Etienne Capoue and Liverpool’s Emre Can contest a high ball at Anfield on Sunday. Liverpool won 6-1 to top the Premiership standings.