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EPL highlights, lowlights, talking points: Manchester City look the goods for EPL title

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NO one will be able to stop Manchester City winning the Premier League title this season.

The boys in blue brushed aside Bournemouth on the week with sort of the casual confidence only the ultra-rich can afford.

OK, it was only Bournemouth, recently promoted and cruelly robbed of their most important players through injury — but still … City were also missing their best three players and still they didn’t miss a beat.

No David Silva? Don’t worry, they’ve got Raheem Sterling. No Sergio Aguero? No worries, how about Wilfried Bony? And no Vincent Kompany? Pfff … Nicolas Otamendi will be alright, won’t he? And, of course, $70m Kevin De Bruyne.

Game, set, match, touchdown, snap, game over!

There is simply no team in the Premier League to rival City’s power-packed squad, fit to bursting like a Kim Kardashian latex cat suit.

Just nine games in and they have already scored 24 goals, with a difference of +16 — almost more than double their closest rivals Arsenal.

The Gunners look to have few worries claiming their usual Champions League place — but a championship? No chance. Another pipe dream, floating around the muted Emirates until their usual flakiness sets in and an injury to one of their front players renders them toothless and again shines an all too bright light on Arsene Wenger’s transfer intransigence.

Manchester United are flattering to deceive. A 3-0 win over Everton looks the goods, considering the Blues’ recent form — but in truth this was more about the home’s side lethargy, perhaps a side effect of the breaking news of former manager Howard Kendall’s death, a loss that would have affected everyone at Goodison.

And Chelsea? Chelsea? Is this really Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea? A scrappy victory over a condemned Aston Villa can’t disguise the issues at Stamford Bridge. Having already lost four games and conceded 17 — three more than they’ve actually scored — the Blues are now 11 points behind City. Sure, there’s a long time to go, it’s a marathon not a sprint, blah blah blah … Come on — it’s too late, they’re gone.

And this isn’t even a bad thing. They’re a great team with fantastic players. Sit back and watch the show. It’ll distract you from the inevitable pain your own team will cause you.

LOWLIGHT

The passing of former Everton manager Howard Kendall. He may not have the fame of some of his peers but for those of a certain age, he remains a legend. Even during cross-city rivals Liverpool’s most dominant era, Kendall’s Toffees still claimed two league titles, and FA Cup and a European Cup-Winners’ Cup. A golden era for the club and a sad loss.

WILEY FOXES

Leicester continue to surprise and inspire in equal measure this season. Outplayed and 2-0 down to Southampton away from home, Claudio Ranieri’s men fought back for an impressive and important 2-2 draw, with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez again at the heart. Vardy’s rise from the lower leagues is stirring stuff and the only problem with Mahrez is how long the club can keep hold of the French winger.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp passes on instructions to his players.

KLOPP EFFECT

It wasn’t the winning debut Liverpool fans were hoping for but the 0-0 draw at Tottenham was still a point well-earned and there were signs of something different for the Reds. After just a few days working with Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool ran more than in any of their previous games this season and even outdid Spurs, a side whose success this has been built on their running. Liverpool still lack quality in key areas and it will take time to fully adjust but when injured players return there is certainly reason for optimism.

HAMMER TIME

Has Slaven Bilic finally found the secret formula to make Upton Park a happy place? After so many years of pain and complaining, West Ham are on the rise. Fourth in the table, just two defeats, some massive wins against Liverpool and Man City — and now this hugely impressive defeat of a very tough Crystal Palace side. Can the Hammers keep blowing bubbles or will it all fall apart as usual?

THE CLASS OF THE CLASS OF ‘92

Man United legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs are renovating a historic Manchester building into a boutique hotel. This weekend, the property was occupied by a group of squatters and housing activists — and rather than chucking them back out onto the street, the pair have allowed the group to stay in the building to see out the harsh Manchester winter (pretty much eight months of the year…). True class.

© 2015 The Daily Telegraph | This article was written by David Hall on 19 October 2015.

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