There was plenty of drama and talking points once again as the Premier League action continued this past weekend.
Here we look at five things we learned from the latest round of fixtures.
Tired City draw unexpected blank
After netting 16 goals in their previous three home games, having dispatched Norwich and Arsenal 5-0 before sweeping past RB Leipzig 6-3 in their midweek Champions League opener, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was expecting another onslaught. However, the champions were unusually blunt in attack, managing only one effort on target – and that in the 90th minute – as Saints battled to a goalless draw. City boss Pep Guardiola thought the lack of preparation time after their European exploits played its part and also felt guilty for not rewarding the City fans with a win following his midweek rallying call. However, with three tough away games coming up at Chelsea, Paris St Germain and then Liverpool, there is not much opportunity ahead to fully recharge.
While City may have been somewhat laboured on Saturday, Liverpool displayed few signs of fatigue as they swept past Crystal Palace 3-0 at Anfield. Boss Jurgen Klopp made six changes from the midweek Champions League victory over AC Milan, with £36-million summer signing Ibrahima Konate making his debut at centre back. While there are sterner challenges ahead on all fronts, Klopp will be hoping a change continues to prove as good a rest in tackling a busy schedule before the next international break head on.
Having come up short in their own Champions League opener away to Young Boys in Switzerland, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side produced the perfect response to fight back and take all three points at West Ham. Cristiano Ronaldo’s fourth goal in three games since re-signing quickly had them back on level terms after falling behind to a deflected strike from Said Benrahma, before Jesse Lingard’s stunning late goal completed the turnaround. Yes, there was still late drama when Irons skipper Mark Noble came off the bench to see his stoppage-time penalty saved, but dropping two points would have been rough justice on a squad which very much looks ready to mount a long-overdue sustained title challenge.
Silva lining as Blues sink Spurs
There was little sentiment shown by Chelsea on the pitch as they continued their own impressive start with a 3-0 win at Tottenham. Everyone in the stadium was united before kick-off to hold a minute’s applause in tribute to former England, Tottenham and Chelsea striker Jimmy Greaves, Spurs’ record goalscorer, who died at the age of 81 on Sunday morning. Thomas Tuchel’s side, though, have displayed a ruthless streak to adapt to whatever is needed to grind out a result this season. The latest came after working through the first half before making the needed tactical changes during the interval. Defender Thiago Silva crashed in a header from a corner to break the deadlock before substitute N’Golo Kante’s deflected effort and a late strike by Antonio Rudiger wrapped up another hard-earned victory – which also inflicted a second straight league defeat for Spurs under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Farke claims unwanted record
Norwich may have swept to another impressive Sky Bet Championship title under Daniel Farke last season, but their return to the Premier League has failed to get off the ground. A disappointing 3-1 home defeat by fellow new boys Watford on Saturday extended the Canaries’ pointless start, and made head coach Farke the first manager to lose 15 consecutive matches in the English top flight. Should that wretched run of form continue, questions will be grow over whether Farke is the right man at the helm – no matter how much hard-earned credit he has in the bank at Carrow Road.
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