The return of the Premier League was a welcome one, despite the success of the Nations League last weekend. Club football always fills up a weekend, especially now that the post-international break weekends always seem to open with a huge encounter. Liverpool headed to Tottenham in Saturday’s early kick-off, securing a result which has reverberated through the weekend and marked the Reds out as bona fide title challengers.
Jurgen Klopp’s men claimed a 2-1 at Wembley, in the fixture which was set to be Tottenham’s first game at their new ground. That lack of change combined with their failure to make a signing left a stale feeling around Spurs, and they couldn’t cope with an energetic Liverpool side. The Reds claimed just one point at the top six last season, losing 4-1 in this fixture. The nature of that turnaround will raise hopes of a title charge on Merseyside, as the Kop outfit celebrate a perfect start to the season.
Sarri’s Start Sends Blues Top
Chelsea made it five wins from five after they took apart Cardiff with a 4-1 home win on Saturday. That comfortable victory took the Blues to the summit of the Premier League, with Eden Hazard’s hat-trick stealing the show. The Welsh side did take an early lead, but the Belgian’s brace restored order at Stamford Bridge. He completed his hat-trick and saw Willian find the net, as the Blues continue their incredible progress under Maurizio Sarri.
Leicester were hammered in an awful defensive display away at Bournemouth. Ryan Fraser’s brace, Josh King and Adam Smith made it 4-0 to the Cherries, helped by hapless Foxes defending and a red card to Wes Morgan. However, Leicester launched a comeback, scoring twice in the last two minutes to make this one look closer than it really was. That win has lifted Eddie Howe’s men in to fifth, with three wins in five making this a brilliant start to the season for them.
Manchester United had a much needed victory, thanks to acrobatics from Chris Smalling. The defender scored the winner against Watford at Vicarage Road, ending their perfect start to the new campaign. The Red Devils are up to eighth following that win, but they’ve made a much bigger jump by putting in a strong performance for the first time all season. After a turbulent campaign, could this be a turning point for Jose Mourinho and his team? With the start of their Champions League campaign coming in midweek, they’ll be hoping this is the start of some good form.
Saints Pegged Back
Monday night brought an opportunity for Southampton, who made the most of the early stages against Brighton. They raced into a 2-0 lead, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scoring the opener, and Danny Ings converting a penalty. The Saints looked set for a victory at that point, until Shane Duffy’s goal made it a contest again. Brighton fought for an equaliser, and they managed to get a late penalty, converted by Glenn Murray.
West Ham’s wait for a Premier League win finally ended, in what was a nightmare day for Everton. The Hammers had two of their inconsistent front men in form this weekend, with a brace from Andriy Yarmolenko and a strike from Marko Arnautovic giving them a 3-1 win at Goodison Park. That success for Manuel Pellegrini eases the pressure on his job, but the Hammers are far from where they should be after a busy summer window. That goes for Everton, too. The Toffees have one win in five so far, and this defeat must raise some concerns for Marco Silva.
Apparently even a 3-0 win isn’t good enough for Man City anymore. Pep Guardiola came away from a comfortable win over Fulham angered by individual mistakes. However, he’s likely trying to fire up his players as things seem to be coming pretty easy for the champions of late. Leroy Sane kicked off this victory, while David Silva and Raheem Sterling scored to put some gloss on the scoreline. However, with Lyon looming in the Champions League, Guardiola is demanding even more.
Gunners Continue Winning Run
Arsenal secured back to back away wins, something they couldn’t achieve across the whole of last season. Their win at Cardiff was followed by a 2-1 victory over Newcastle, with Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil hitting the all-important strikes to give the Gunners the points. Those goals put them in control of the game, and Newcastle couldn’t reply before Ciaran Clark’s late consolation goal. Yet again, Newcastle were reserved at home, and that’s left them in real danger. Rafa Benitez and his men are among the bottom three after taking a solitary point from their first five games, and that leaves them with the joint-worst start across the Premier League so far.
Burnley have been left propping up the Premier League table after yet another defeat. Their Europa League exit was supposed to ease their worries in the league, but that blow just looks like another downer for the Clarets, who lost 1-0 against Wolves on Sunday. Raul Jimenez scored the winner just after an hour, with the resources of the newly promoted side showing just what Sean Dyche has to compete against this term. After four losses from five, last season’s run to seventh feels like a distant memory for the Turf Moor faithful.
The return of Wilfried Zaha was a huge boost for Crystal Palace, as he helped them to yet another victory. His magnificent goal was the difference in a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield, which has ended a run of three straight defeats for Roy Hodgson’s side. Given that they didn’t win a game without Zaha last season, his influence is clearly still huge for the Eagles, who should be comfortably clear of danger if the Ivorian can stay fit this term. As for the Terriers, they’re into the bottom three, still winless so far this season.