WADE PRETORIUS takes a look back at the week that was in the Premier League.
The Good – Attacking the day
Arsenal were fantastic in their first half blitz against Chelsea as were Manchester United at home against the champions. Liverpool were sublime against Hull as the Kop grows in belief that their indifferent form is a thing of the past. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were untouchable against the Blues, Zlatan Ibrahimovic failed to score but was outstanding and Philippe Coutinho added another £5-million to his transfer fee with another long range screamer. The Premier League may not be the best league in the world but it sure is entertaining.
For Arsenal in particular, matchday six was sweet relief as they earned their first win over Chelsea since 2011 with Ozil in dazzling form. The German playmaker represents a lot of how fans see his side, brilliant on their day but with a tendency to go missing in the big moments. This did not happen against Chelsea. A point from their opening two games and the naysayers were quick to write the Gunners off, that changed at home against the Blues. ‘Many so-called experts had already written us off after the second matchday’ Ozil said after the game. ‘But a Premier League season is long and we’re currently improving from game to game.’ There’s nothing quite like four consecutive wins to keep your critics quiet.
The Bad – Sunderland snatch defeat from the jaw of victory
2-0 up at home and seemingly on their way to win number one this season, the Black Cats are in danger of failing their legions of passionate fans after their performance against Crystal Palace. Christian Benteke broke their hearts in the 94th minute but David Moyes will be desperately hoping that the lanky Belgian did not also break his side’s spirit in the process.
The Ugly – West Ham lose their way
Maybe the move away from The Boleyn Ground (or Upton Park has every other fan calls it) wasn’t the best idea. The new venue has zero atmosphere (there are reports that the stadium played background noise to try liven things up) and the team are no longer inspired by the cauldron that was created by playing in front of a tightly-packed home crowd. Southampton dismantled Slaven Bilic’s men to relegate the Hammers to their fourth successive Premier League defeat.
‘It’s dark days for them and I can’t remember such an abject display,’ said former England international Chris Sutton told BBC Radio 5 live. ‘It’s been quite frankly embarrassing from West Ham,’ he said. ‘It’s not a crisis, but Slaven Bilic has some major surgery to do.’
There’s trouble in West Ham’s new ‘paradise’ …