Oh, Thomas. You didn’t really think you could try the exact same approach four times in a row and Peppy G wouldn’t have finally come up with a plan to stop you?
In the biggest Premier League clash of the season since, well, last week probably, Man City grabbed one of those more-convincing-than-the-score-suggests type of victories beating Chelsea 1-0 at the Bridge.
Tommy T admitted that City deserved their win and they most certainly did – carving Chelsea open several times but only scoring once through Gabby Jesus. The victory ends Tuchel’s brief hoodoo hold over Guardiola and probably suggests that all the people jumping on the Chelsea-for-the-title bandwagon might have bought their ticket a little prematurely.
The win means Pep has more wins than any other City manager in history. It’s almost as if that has coincided with City having more money than they’ve ever had in their history.
I think we can all assume that Bruno won’t be on penalties next week, then. Mind you, that could all depend on who the new Man United manager is by then. Too soon? Surely Ole doesn’t have too many more home defeats left in the bank before the board think that there might be better-qualified people to turn this collection of highly-paid and sometimes highly-talented footballers into an actual team?
Solsjkaer said himself in a somewhat rhetorical manner, “that’s going to be the headline, isn’t it?” after Fernandes decided to abandon his previously almost faultless routine of hop-skip-jump-stroke-it-home (21 out of 22 for United, stats fans) and choosing to stick his laces through it. OGS had had a bit of a pre-match moan about United not getting as many penalties as they deserve in recent months – the moan worked but would have worked better had they actually scored it.
Was Bruno distracted by some classic gamesmanship from Emi Martinez? You’d hope so, really.
I’ll tell you this for nothing, I don’t rate Harry Kane as a left-back. I don’t really rate him much higher as a midfielder. Arsenal sped to a 2-0 lead in the north London derby when Kane sped back to tackle Bakayo Saka in the area – that didn’t go too well as the Arsenal man emerged with the ball and scored the third of the early evening.
Tottenham were, frankly, dreadful but Nuno will have been delighted that bringing on a right-back and a defensive midfielder at half-time impacted the game well enough that Spurs won the second-half 1-0. Aaron Ramsdale gave Arsenal fans an early glimpse of his talent, palming Son’s consolation into the far corner.
Nuno’s honeymoon period is definitely over with Daniel Levy probably going through their marriage vows to see if “I do” really does mean “I do”.
You don’t often get to see Virgil van Dijk a little bit rattled. A round of applause to Brentford’s Ivan Toney who ended up being passed on to Joel Matip by VVD who realised his ego might be getting slightly bruised.
There is no doubt that Brentford’s humdinger with Liverpool was the best action of the weekend – and it saw Mo Salah notch his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool. Personally, I thought Mo had already done this a few weeks ago. Or was that Mane? I really should keep notes. Either way, both teams attacked like their lives depended on it and Liverpool would have won had it not been for the save of the decade (for me) by David Raya.
Jamie Vardy scored the imperfect hat-trick as Leicester drew 2-2 with Burnley. Vardy flicked a header home at the near post to open the scoring – unfortunately, it flew past Kasper Schmeichel and not Nick Pope. He soon made up for it though, scoring twice at the right end to keep Burnley from winning yet. Sean Dyche had a moan about Leicester’s second and the fact that Burnley had another later ‘winner’ ruled out by VAR. Burnley don’t win and Dyche has a moan – a normal Saturday for those of that persuasion.
Ozan Kabak was ruled not good enough for Liverpool but that would make him good enough for Norwich, no? Er, actually, no. Kabak was hapless once more as Norwich’s defeat to Everton gave them the honour of the worst-ever Premier League start in history – despite all their “clever recruitment” that arm-chair analysts nodding with approval this summer.
Everton – now that is a clever strategy. Keep signing ex-Champions League-winning managers in the hope that one works and arm them with hilariously cheap signings like Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend. It was Townsend who got this little victory parade underway, scoring from the spot after Kabak impaled his studs into his opponent’s thigh.
All that cycling must have given Ben Foster chocolate-wrists. Newcastle have actually scored some decent looking goals this season and when Sean Longstaff smashed one from distance it looked like another for the showreel. On reflection, Foster probably should have stopped it if his wrists hadn’t suddenly disappeared. Steve Bruce’s clash with Watford was more Aussie Rules than EPL. Jarred Gillett being the first ref from abroad to officiate in the Premier League will have felt right at home.
An understated question from the weekend is whether Leeds will be OK? This is the longest Marcelo Bielsa has ever been at a club and the longest he has ever gone without spontaneously combusting so surely it is now officially a ticking timebomb?
West Ham came back to beat Leeds 2-1 at Elland Road, Michail Antonio scoring the winner – many felt, understandably, that the striker shouldn’t have been on the pitch following his clash with Meslier which left the keeper bloodied and needing a change of shirt.
The same experts that were tipping Chelsea for the title also expected Leeds to push on to bigger things this season – they certainly didn’t think it would be West Ham raising their own bar.
One of the nicer moments of the Premier League weekend came at St. Mary’s where Raul Jiminez finally scored his first goal since that head injury against Arsenal. I, for one, truly hoped he’d remove his headband in a “taking your shirt off” kind of manner and get booked. I was left disappointed but pleased to see him find the net, of course.