WADE PRETORIUS takes a look back at the week that was in the Premier League.
The Good – Super Sunday
Arguably the most overrated phrase thrown down our throats by the English media, the opening Sunday really did live up to its moniker. First, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his Manchester United teammates found the back of the net three times to breeze past Bournemouth, who for their part scored a consolation goal through Adam Smith. And then came the seven-goal thriller at the Emirates, which dished up some typical Premier League delight with Theo Walcott scoring just a minute after missing a penalty.
The Reds then turned the match on its head with Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane particularly impressive; the Brazilian was at his mercurial best as he beat Petr Cech twice before Mane capped off his splendid debut with a fine solo effort.
Those who left the Emirates were almost made to pay as Arsenal roared back into the contest but ultimately paid the price for conceding four goals to Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The Bad – Leicester opening with defeat
Many neutrals would like to see the Leicester fairytale continue but the defending champions were brought back down to earth with an almighty bang as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Hull, a club in turmoil.
Favourites for the drop, managerless and awaiting a takeover, it was the Tigers that clawed their way for a vital win – every point will be crucial to the Hull cause this season – against the Foxes.
Claudio Ranieri must quickly turn this around or his regular chants of targeting safety and not top spot from last season will be a harsh reality this time around as the men in blue showed little of their grit, clinical finishing and teamwork that proved to be the foundation of last season’s success.
The Ugly – Manchester City’s treatment of Joe Hart
If Jose Mourinho should be jailed for his treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger then what to make of Pep Guardiola’s demotion of England international Joe Hart?
Yes, Joe Hart. The man prone to his fair share of blunders. The same Hart that is a double winner of the Premier League and League Cup, who owns four Premier League Golden Glove awards in just six seasons and has made 63 appearances for his national side. What a difference a new season and a new manager makes.
Guardiola has been chasing a new No 1 for a large portion of the summer but dropping Hart to the bench in the absence of a new recruit smacks of spite and malice..
I guess Guardiola wasn’t watching last season when Hart kept seven clean sheets in his first seven games and won the praise of legend Gianluigi Buffon, a man who knows a thing or two about goalkeeping.