In the aftermath of Manchester United’s humiliation, one player told a representative: “Thank fuck the fans weren’t there for that”. At Aston Villa, the feeling was the opposite. The only pity about an incredible win over the champions was that the fans weren’t there to witness it. This was a result that they could scarcely have imagined.
Then again, that’s been the case all over the Premier League, including Old Trafford. Things are happening that we just couldn’t have dreamt up. Football has been turned on its head.
The fact this was the first ever time that both United and Liverpool had conceded a collective 13 goals on the same day seemed fairly tame.
Look at the results. Look at the table. Look… at the play! It’s been wild. As a basic example of the kind of swings we’re seeing, Leicester City can go from beating Manchester City 5-2 away from home one week to losing 3-0 at home to West Ham United the next. Liverpool can look like runaway title winners on Monday to suffering the heaviest ever defeat by defending champions on Sunday.
The wonder is whether that very lack of crowds the players mentioned has been a factor in this.
Because, although it’s a “small sample size” and thereby probably premature to talk about the drastic increase in goals, it’s fair to wonder why so many games have been so drastically unpredictable. This has the feel of a spell that will be long remembered, even if it does all level out.
It is likely a number of factors have combined to create this remarkable combination of events, and all that chaos. Continue reading