With Harry Kane scoring in August, an Aguero hattrick and drama at the AmEx Stadium, it’s safe to conclude that the Premier League is very well under way now.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 22, 2018
As we look ahead to – and also wonder about – the game between Manchester United and Tottenham, among all other things set to go down in MatchDay 3, our analysts take a look at some of the winners from MatchDay 2.
The Reds showed some of the gutsiness they had been lacking in years past to see out the game. Selhurst Park is a real difficult place to go and to go there and pick three points in your first away game of the season is a massive result. It’s all the more delightful given that the defence stood tall.
Take it or leave it, this is the biggest scalp the seagulls will claim this season. It’s easy to underrate them because of the manager and the style. I thought they were going to go down last year, but they have stayed up. This result can generate a fantastic momentum that could see them rack up quite the number of victories.
- Sergio Aguero
Simply classic Aguero. The week City announced the injury of their talismanic play maker, their All time top scorer shows up. The Argentine is playing with renewed hunger. He could be a tad selfish at times, but that’s what makes you a striker.
He has got that eye for goal and on his day is a handful. He tore at the Terriers defence when given the opportunity. Add David Silva’s show of elegance and genius and you would wonder if City will really miss Kevin de Bruyne.
- Tottenham Hotspur
I’ve put Spurs because of the manner they have gone about their business. Many have questioned why nobody came in during the transfers. They have answered well. The World Cup jet lag is still showing fleetingly, yet Poch’s men have got maximum points on board.
Rather than wince and moan like a certain manager, he has knuckled down and faced his business. They haven’t been vintage at any point but they have done the needful. Jose needs to take a leaf from there.
It doesn’t get any better than this: Two wins (back-to-back) over a certain Manchester United has got to go down in the Brighton folklore. What’s more? They breached the United defence on three occasions, threw the Red Army in disarray and got a win that had now become one of the many ressons they may not get relegated this season.
- Benjamin Mendy
Benjamin Mendy for Man City in the Premier League this season:
• Most touches (196)
• Most crosses (16)
• Most blocks (6)
• Most assists (3)
• Most tackles won (3)
• Second-most chances created (5)
• Second-most interceptions (2)
Man City's deep-block siege weapon. pic.twitter.com/tnh8WfTonY
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 20, 2018
Mendy definitely gave the Citizens another dimension going forward against Huddersfield. He was a constant presence around the touchline, sending in terrifyingly-great crosses, most of which ended up being assists for some of the six scored on the day. It’s still scary to imagine how good Manchester City would have been last season with the French full-back fully fit.
White Hart Lane may still be under construction but with no new additions, Pochettino’s squad looks near perfection. Lucas Moura got his first goal as a Spurs player and Harry Kane has started early, with his first August Premier League goal. And to think they face Manchester United next.
Scoring three first half goals against a mourinho team that prides itself on its defensive prowess is something the so called biggest teams would wish for. Brighton did that with style and made the expensive United backline look out of place.
The manner in which they pressed United from the from has to be applauded, they never played like the smaller team in the duel. Defeating United back to back, that’s some achievement.
For all the praise Liverpool’s blistering attack gets, it’s the defensive side of their game that has caught the eye. Looks like the world record purchase of Van Dijk and Allison are bringing dividends already. The way they’ve looked solid so far is worthy of note. Not forgetting their woeful defensive history away at Crystal palace. Monday night football was all about how Vvd and co shut out Zaha and his cohorts.
- Manchester City and Benjamin Mendy
For all of city’s almost invincible form last season, Huddersfield proved to be a difficult hurdle to the champions. They were frustrated to a 0-0 score line and the likes of Sterling, KDB and the entire cast couldn’t find a way.
A 3-5-2 formation with Bernado Silva occupying the RWB position showed the intent from the start. It paid off with a 6-1 win in a dominant display that saw 14 shots on target from City, but the main with the damage was to be Benjamin Mendy.
With three assists and several deadly deliveries, he caused Huddersfield all sorts of problem. Everyone better watch out for the man, he’s proving to be Pep’s real weapon this season.
- Manchester City
There’s really not much to see here except for more awesomeness from Pep and his men. Kun also finally gets off the mark for the season in a brilliant way. He’s looking like a genuine golden boot contender barring injuries and their leader up top. You are not alone if you are thinking “Is this team stoppable?” Just watch the Amazon documentary and you’ll see the drive to get better. The thought of City getting better is quite a scary one.
A big win following a good opening day win is a positive that Sarri will like. He has also made mention of the squad needing to “work” more which indicates his acknowledgment of improvement. Their next 3 fixtures against lesser teams could help improve their initial gelling phase.
They have 6 points in 6 and are looking good for now. Its not just the 3 points in the bag but also the confidence they get from beating West Ham in their backyard. Given their next three league fixtures are against Chelsea, Everton and Leicester I dare say they better savour their first victories of the season as long as they can.
The analysts also had plenty of time to pick out their losers from the second MatchDay of the Premier League.
- Manchester United
£774.53m on new players since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
No Premier League titles to show for it. pic.twitter.com/x6F6QqAIyY
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) August 21, 2018
Everything that can go wrong is going wrong at OT. The manager is disillusioned. The players are been inflicted with a dose of aimlessness. They seem out of sorts. It is ridiculous for a team of Man United’s calibre to go and lose meekly at Brighton. There is the talk about attitude but I think it’s really a management thing. Jose needs to find a good and last solution very quickly, else he won’t last till December.
who else? 4clear-cut chances to win against Chelsea. They paid for it dearly. It’s naive to think this Arsenal are no different to the Wenger era. The fighting spirit is obvious, now they need to convert the losses to wins. The players need to step up and be counted. When you create clear-cut chances that much, conversion is the next thing surely, Emery won’t finish them.. Would he? Arsenal could easily have been top of the league if they had taken those chances.
- West Ham
The Irons were the architects of their own downfall. However I am not surprised. Not even the cool Pellegrini can pull off such a coup of allowing eleven to twelve players gel simultaneously. Ambition is good, but there are prices to pay. West Ham have two key problems now, when the players will gel? It could take long, but they need them in sync as fast as possible. Else, they will stare down that relegation barrel again.
He has had a horrible weekend. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. Maybe if he was sent off earlier, it won’t have been this terrible. The Brazilian was ever lively but once again showed why he has a lot of growing up to do. Kenedy should be the difference between one and three points for the Toon… He is proving to be neither. It is clear why Rafa cried for quality signings in the summer.
- Manchester United
Ironic how at both ends there is a Manchester side. Not much people expect them to win the league but they are still expected to do well by most. Nonetheless its an unforgiving loss for Jose and his men. They need to do a lot of looking inwards to get back on the right track. There is still enough players for Mou to work with and get a good run of results if only he gets in the right frame of mind to see that.
19 – Alex Iwobi's goal for @Arsenal yesterday ended a sequence of 19 passes and involved 10 of their players (all except Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang); the longest move for a goal so far in the 2018-19 Premier League. Encouraging. pic.twitter.com/Z5q8UgyYd7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 19, 2018
Not the start they were hoping for certainly and not looking pretty in 17th either. It was an all round woeful performance that still had glimpses of everything that could go right. Arsenal & Emery did some meticulous work during the transfer window and its time they need to see that work manifest on the pitch of play. And if their next game against West Ham doesn’t start to bring some respite and better performance I’m wondering what will?.
- West Ham
Moyes out and Pellegrini in added to a bunch of new players, it was going to take time. But the manner of the home loss to Bournemouth was awful. Sitting bottom of the log, they need to find stability in their defence and central midfield areas or what’s to come might be more heartache for the Londoners.
- Manchester United
Perhaps one could point to Mou’s third season syndrome as the major reason behind the unpleasant off the field matters going on in the club. But the display against Brighton on Sunday extends it on to the field of play. Conceding three first half goals against a bottom half team whilst possessing one of the best goalkeepers and a fortune reeking defence is inexcusable.
From Bailly’s school boy defending to De Gea’s basic distribution mistake all points to a club that lacks inspiration. Several misplaced passes, lack of movement in the final third and poor positioning were the hallmark of United’s display. Fix up, Jose!
- West Ham
The shivers sent down the spine of football fans during the summer transfer window due to West Ham’s signings have all turned to a cry for help after two weeks into the PL. Sometimes it isn’t about the results but about the manner in which the team lost.
A home loss to Bournemouth was exactly what Sullivan and co wanted to avoid when they got Pellegrini on board along with the statement signing but alas here we are thinking about West Ham’s next fixture away to Arsenal, with both teams still failing to pick up points in two weeks, it’s not looking pleasant for Pellegrini and his boys for a third week running.
The major reason for Arsenal’s inclusion wasn’t due to a poor performance but lack of concentration when it mattered most. After rallying back from two goal deficit in the first half, the manner in which Lacazette gave the ball away for Chelsea’s third goal will leave the gunners faithfuls sulking.
It's been a tough start for Unai Emery, but Arsenal's next 8 fixtures look good…
West Ham (H)
Crystal Palace (A)
How may points will they pick up? pic.twitter.com/calaFHILsx
— Coral (@Coral) August 22, 2018
In the midst of some beautiful first half football, Arsenal managed to create six clear cut chances and could only convert two. Aubameyang summed up the lack of concentration that upfront whilst missing two of those chances, on the defence it was lack of communication and poor tactical discipline that gave the gunners away. It was a mixed performance in a day Arsenal could have left the bridge with something other than regret.
What do you think? Did the analysts miss anything? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with us.
Author: For The Goal
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