As we wait for the marquee match of the round between Liverpool and Manchester United, we take a look back at what happened elsewhere in the English top flight this weekend.

Blues butcher Foxes

Goals from Chelsea’s Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, and Victor Moses downed the side which looted the Premier League trophy from the Stamford Bridge cabinet last term: Leicester City.

Claudio Ranieri’s squad’s title defence has been hitherto underwhelming, but that’s not to take any credit away from Chelsea who deservedly beat Leicester 3-0.

Eden Hazard is freed in a 3-4-3 – a system he adopts for both club and when on Belgium duty – and constantly drifts inside. It’s predictable what he’s up to, but extremely difficult to prevent due to his blurred footwork and low centre of gravity.

The star of the show was N’Golo Kante, though, who hoovered up any loose balls between Chelsea’s midfield and defence and used the ball well – just as he did for Leicester in 2015-16.

Sweet times for the Toffees

It’s a fantastic time to be an Everton fan.

On Friday, the Toffees brass took themselves on a field trip of Liverpool, surveying the potential sites of a new ground. While the Croxteth suburb is primed for development already, the waterfront location of Bramley Moore dock is preferred.

In a footballing landscape which sees many stadiums built as an extension to the Pizza Huts and Argos stores in out-of-town retail parks, Everton’s potential home is rife with character thanks to aspects like the dock gates hailing from 1848. If it happens, it shouldn’t be a tough move like the one experienced by West Ham United.

On the pitch, things are also promising under the tutelage of disciplinarian Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman has shored up the defence – stifling Manchester City for much of Saturday’s 1-1 away draw – and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri’s money and scouting expertise of Steve Walsh means the squad can be strengthened further in January.

Phelan Cherry dropped

Mike Phelan only signed the paperwork to marry him to Hull City last Thursday, but the honeymoon period is already well and truly over.

The sensible work of Jack Wilshere, Andrew Surman, and the reliable Harry Arter in the midfield – all of whom completed over 90 percent of their passes – laid the foundations for Bournemouth to trounce the Tigers 6-1.

Jordon Ibe and Junior Stanislas in particular were potent on the flanks, further enhancing the reputation of their manager Eddie Howe, but Hull didn’t do itself any favours: the visiting defence lost possession on 13 occasions.

Around the grounds

David Moyes’ Sunderland side is in trouble, but it’s no great surprise. A head-scratching policy of buying players with derisory Premier League experience for a relegation battle was daft, and too much expectation lies with Jermain Defoe, 34, especially when someone as painfully inadequate as Victor Anichebe waits in reserve. Stoke City beat the Black Cats 2-0 on Saturday thanks to a brace from Joe Allen.

West Ham got its second win of the campaign in a 1-0 away victory at Crystal Palace, lifting it to 15th and finally showing an ability to defend after weeks of attempting tackles with the bite of a mayfly. It’s time to get points on the board, with the Hammers taking on Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool in consecutive matches heading into the festive period.

Elsewhere:

  • Arsenal 3-2 Swansea City
  • Middlesbrough 0-1 Watford
  • Southampton 3-1 Burnley
  • West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Monday: Liverpool vs. Manchester United

Another installment of the Liverpool and Manchester United rivalry gets the Monday-evening match treatment. It’s one of the most storied bouts in English football, an extension of a feud between two towns with plenty in common but enough needling nuances to transcend generations. It should be a cracker.

Related – Marquee matchup: Liverpool, United rehash region-defining rivalry

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