Two matches last weekend gave further proof of why the English Premier League is the world’s most loved football league. Both matches, played at frenetic pace, had end-to-end action, terrific goals, equally terrific goalkeeping, incredible feints and touches, and an added-time heist. One of them even had a Red Card.

The first, on Saturday, was between defending champions and current table toppers, Manchester City, and Arsenal — a team that was written off by many a pundit at the start of this season.

Arsenal were exceptional in the first half and could have been up by three goals had they been more clinical. Bukayo Saka (is there any player who brings more joy to his game than him?) scored a wonderfully worked out goal. But a penalty and a sending off changed the game’s complexion. Still, Arsenal resolutely defended for more than 30 minutes only to concede a goal well into added time. Arsenal lost, but their fans still cheered for them. Manchester City did what champion sides do — win even during their off days.

Sunday’s Chelsea and Liverpool match lived up to its billing. Liverpool were up by two goals only to concede two by the time the first half ended. Mohammad Salah’s feint in the Chelsea penalty box and scoring from the near post shows why he’s by far the best striker in the world today.

For Chelsea, two wonder strikes by Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic restored parity. The game ended in a draw as it should have. The real winner this weekend was Manchester City who have now opened up a massive 10-point lead.

The real drama this season seems to be for the crucial fourth spot, with four teams — Arsenal, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United — vying for it. In a surreal world still ravaged by the Covid pandemic that refuses to go, football is indeed a much-needed distraction.

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