After three months of wait, it’s hard to believe that Premier League matchday 3 is in the books. We have witnessed some cracking games over the past three weeks. And this weekend was no different. Manchester United maintained their 100% record. While Liverpool and Chelsea showed their title credentials. There was no shortage of controversy and drama this weekend as we saw many questionable decisions.
Talking Points from Matchday 3
1. Same old Arsenal
Another away game against a top 6 team, another appalling result for Arsenal. This time against Liverpool, who trounced the Gunners 4-0. While the defeat came as no surprise, the manner in which Arsenal surrendered was a surprise to even the most pessimistic of their supporters. Having edged past Leicester City and being beaten by Stoke in their opening two games, Arsene Wenger‘s side came into their match against Liverpool with no great hopes. And once again they were humiliated on the big stage in the same usual manner. Their midfield was bulldozed while their defense was cracked wide open by the pacy Liverpool forwards. Familiar shouts of “Wenger out!” were back all over the world even before half time. Some things really never change.
2. From home comforts to home discomforts
Tottenham Hotspur came as close as anybody to challenging for the title last season. One of the key factors in Tottenham’s title challenge was their home form. Spurs won 17 of their 19 games at the White Hart Lane last season, drawing the other two. However now that their stadium is being renovated, Tottenham have adopted the Wembley stadium as their new home. They only won one of their four European games there last season. In fact, they have won just one of their last 11 games at England’s national stadium. Last week they were beaten by struggling rivals Chelsea. While this weekend they were held by Burnley, thanks to a late equaliser by Chris Wood. Spurs only dropped 4 points at home last season. Two games in and they have already dropped 5 points at home this season.
3. Chelsea’s slump is over
Chelsea started the season with a disappointing defeat against Burnley at home and there was a lot of talk about a crisis at Stamford Bridge. But they seem to have turned it all around with two commendable performances against two strong teams. After beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Wembley last weekend, Chelsea faced an in-form Everton side on Sunday. The Champions turned on the style once again as they dismantled the Toffees, beating them 2-0. Goals from Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata gave Chelsea a comfortable victory, easing fears of a crisis at the London club. It remains to be seen if Chelsea can manage to add strength in depth to their side. But if they can continue to perform like they did yesterday, Chelsea could mount a serious challenge for the title.
4. Manchester United are the team to beat
Three games into the season and there remains only one team with their 100% record still intact. The Red Devils have started the season with a bang, and they were on song again on Saturday against Leicester City. Despite dominating the game for long periods, United had to wait till the 70th minute to make the breakthrough. They had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside, while they were denied the chance to retake the penalty despite the goalkeeper being way off his line before the ball was kicked. However they were not to be denied the three points as Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini came off the bench to sink the Foxes. This was the type of game United would have drawn last season, so the win will come as a huge boost for Jose Mourinho and his men as they look to challenge for the title this year.
5. The sack race has begun early this season
We might only be three weeks into the new season, the managers’ sack race has already begun. And leading it are Frank de Boer and Slaven Bilic. Their teams have yet to register a point this season and they are already under enormous pressure. De Boer’s Crystal Palace have shipped in 6 goals without reply in his first three games in charge of the club. Whereas Bilic’s West Ham have conceded 10 and lie bottom of the table. For a club that has spent heavily on proven Premier League players this summer, West Ham look woeful. Their latest defeat was a 3-0 thrashing to Newcastle United. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have lost at home to relegation contenders Huddersfield and Swansea. Both these teams are firing blanks so far and will need to pick up the pace soon. Otherwise their managers could end up paying the ultimate price of getting sacked.
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