The week’s action provided some surprising results and plenty of goals as always.
The Premier League season rolled on with another exciting week of football, which saw some really surprising results involving the Manchester clubs and some thrilling matches taking place, involving teams outside of the top four. While it’s still too early to judge the title favorites, the race for the championship is being set up really nicely as it seems like the Premier League is more competitive than ever.
We learned some stark lessons from this entertaining week of football and in this article we will take a look at five of these:
5. N’Golo Kante’s new role under Sarri could be vital for Chelsea’s title challenge
Maurizio Sarri lined up a very different Chelsea team against Newcastle, as he opted to play the 4-3-3 formation he played at Napoli. But, it was the role of N’Golo Kante which stood out from the rest. The French midfielder, who has earned the reputation of playing very deep and being the ball-winner for Chelsea in the past, was playing in a more advanced role against Newcastle.
Watch: Newcastle 1-2 Chelsea tactical analysis
It seems like Sarri is giving him the freedom to roam forward and with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic behind him, he does not have to be the Blues’ last midfielder all the time. Kante’s creativity and surprising hunt for goals was seen when he was wondering around the box trying to create for Chelsea. If he continues to thrive in the new role, the Blues could mount a proper title challenge.
4. Burnley hit with the bear of overwhelming expectations
Burnley’s sudden downfall this season has surprised quite a lot of fans, as the Clarets are yet to win a game this campaign and succumbed to a disastrous 4-2 loss to Fulham at the weekend. Not only did they fail to qualify for the Europa League, but Burnley look to be in complete tatters defensively, despite being the other way around last season.
Watch: Fulham 4-2 Burnley highlights
The overwhelming sense of expectation seems to have taken a toll on the team and their manager Sean Dyche, who seems to be crumbling under pressure. The Clarets look quite clueless going forward and even the heroics of new signing Joe Hart have not been able to save them from humiliation so far this season.
3. Midfield changes required for Arsenal to flourish under Emery
Arsenal earned their first win of the Premier League season by defeating West Ham United at the weekend, but it was not the easiest win for the Gunners. The Hammers actually took the lead in the first half through Marko Arnautovic, with Arsenal’s own mistakes in midfield allowing that to happen. The duo of Matteo Guendozi and Granit Xhaka look far from stable and West Ham easily penetrated through Arsenal’s midfield because of that.
Watch: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United highlights
While the Gunners need to improve defensively as well, they need a proper midfield partner for new-signing Lucas Torreira, who is yet to start a game. Emery needs to consistantly start the Uruguayan and form a strong midfield core in order for the Gunners to flourish under him and play the free-flowing football for which they have been widely regarded over the years.
2. Dodging VAR a grave mistake on the Premier League’s part
There was quite a lot of controversy in the Premier League games this week as well, with some shocking incidents proving why the league was wrong to not introduce VAR this season. Chelsea received a really dodgy penalty in their game against Newcastle, while Lucas Moura was robbed of a penalty himself in the game against Manchester United.
Another shocking incident happened in the first game of the week, when Wolves scored a goal which hit Willy Boly’s hand and went in. None of these controversies would have been highlighted had VAR been in play and with so many errors in judgment in the Premier League season already, it seems to be a big mistake on the league’s part to delay it for another season.
1. Clinical Spurs shed further light on Manchester United’s crisis
Manchester United’s horrible start to the season continued when they were humiliated by Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Monday night. A 0-3 drubbing was enough to further shed light on the cracks in Jose Mourinho’s team right now and how they are in for a difficult season. Spurs, on the other hand, looked superb in attack and were inspired by a terrific performance from Lucas Moura.
Watch: Manchester United 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur tactical analysis
United were in tatters defensively, with the duo of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones producing dismal performances. It seems the Red Devils, who were among the best defensive units last season, are currently in a defensive crisis with Ander Herrera’s role as the third centre-back in a back three, further proving that. United’s inability to sign a centre-back in the summer has cost them and could have further implications in the near future.