7 Things We Learned From Matchday 8 of the 2018/19 Premier League Season

The biggest match of the Premier League season so far, a clash of the titans, a game to decide which side would go into the international break as league leaders...was a complete and utter let down, epitomised by an awful penalty. Oh well.


Fortunately, there was plenty of excitement to be found away from Anfield this weekend, including a stunning comeback from Manchester United, scintillating attacking displays from Bournemouth and Arsenal, and some top-drawer goals, particularly one from a certain Iceland international.


Here are seven things we can stew on over ANOTHER BLOODY international break.

7. Glenn Murray Is One of the Premier League's Best Marksmen

At the age of 35, it's a wonder that Glenn Murray can still step on the football field without his bones turning to dust and his gammy hip giving out. But despite the fact that he could probably qualify for a free bus pass, Murray retains the same goalscoring instincts he's shown for nearly two decades.


Murray scored his fifth goal of the season as Brighton beat West Ham 1-0 on Friday night. That's the same number of goals as Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane, and more than Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku. Only Eden Hazard has scored more.


The Maryport Messi is showing greater consistency now than at any other point of his distinguished career. Go on Gareth, give him a call. 

6. Gylfi Sigurdsson's Got His Mojo Back

The form which made Gylfi Sigurdsson one of the Premier League's most dangerous attacking midfielders when he was at Swansea has rarely been in evidence at Everton, where the Toffees' struggle to maintain consistency has been personified by the Icelandic star.


But with four goals in his last four matches, it would appear that Sigurdsson is getting back to his best. His winner against Leicester on Saturday was arguably his best moment in an Everton shirt yet, as he arrowed a shot into the top corner of Kasper Schmeichel's net with the Dane powerless.


It was enough to give Everton consecutive league wins for the first time under Marco Silva, and an in-form Sigurdsson will give them a chance against any opposition.

5. Sarri-Ball Is Bringing the Best Out of Chelsea

Unlike Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal, Chelsea have never really had a defined style. They win a lot of trophies but the constant chopping and changing of managers means that there is little time to develop a strong identity.


That's all changing under Maurizio Sarri, whose distinctive 'Sarri-ball' style is bringing the best out of Chelsea's players. Eden Hazard, who scored again against Southampton, is the obvious example, but Ross Barkley is another. His first Chelsea goal was a deserved reward for his recent performances.


The concern so far this season has been that Chelsea are over-reliant on Hazard, but if Sarri can also get the best out of other players then that bodes well for a title challenge. When even Alvaro Morata is scoring, you know you're doing something right.

4. Bournemouth Are a Force to Be Reckoned With

Is there a better front line outside the top six than Bournemouth's? I sincerely doubt it. Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson, Josh King and David Brooks have scored 14 goals between them this season, including all four as Bournemouth thrashed Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.


Admittedly this was a very easy victory for the Cherries against a disappointing Hornets side who spent two-thirds of the match with ten men. But the way Eddie Howe's team play makes it look easy. Howe has always been an advocate of passing football and he now has the players to make it work with maximum effectiveness.


Wolves are the team most people are tipping to finish seventh and snaffle that final Europa League spot, but Bournemouth could push them all the way.

3. Arsenal Could Be Surprise Title Contenders

Nobody thought Arsenal had any chance of challenging for the title this season; indeed, very few people thought they could even finish in the top four. After two defeats in two games at the start of the season, Gunners fans were ready to welcome Arsene Wenger back with open arms.


However, a run of six consecutive league wins means Arsenal are now just two points behind the Premier League pace-setters. Sunday was the clearest sign yet that Unai Emery's team will not be content with a Champions League place this season, as they demolished Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage.


Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued their impressive form with two goals apiece but it was Aaron Ramsey's strike - beautifully worked, exquisitely finished - that showed what Arsenal are capable of. Write them off at your peril.

2. Liverpool Need the International Break

Having won their first seven matches of the season in all competitions, Liverpool have suddenly hit a sticky patch. Their winless run stretched to four games against Manchester City on Sunday, but it could have been so much worse if Riyad Mahrez had not skied his late penalty over the crossbar.


Jurgen Klopp will not be pleased that his players are now scattered to the four winds for the international break, but the chance for a tactical rethink is one that he should take advantage of. The defence seems to be in good shape, but Klopp needs to work out how he can get his front three firing on all cylinders as they were last season.


Fixtures against Huddersfield and Cardiff after the international break should provide the perfect opportunity for Mohamed Salah and co to get their collective eye in.

1. Manchester United's Fighting Spirit Lives On

It's probably too early to say that the Manchester United of old is back, because the Manchester United of old didn't usually go 2-0 down at home to relegation contenders. But this was a stirring comeback of which Sir Alex Ferguson would have been proud, and it ensures that Jose Mourinho will have a job for at least another fortnight.


The fact that Mourinho's favourite punchbag Anthony Martial and his most recent sparring partner Alexis Sanchez scored the crucial goals will not have gone unnoticed. Whatever is going on behind the scenes, it would seem that the players are still fighting for their manager.


Whether this will be the springboard for a turnaround in fortunes or just papering over the cracks remains to be seen. With Chelsea and Juventus to come after the international break, Mourinho will hope it's the former. His job depends on it.