It was a weekend where Manchester City lost to a bedazzling Stoke City team, Newcastle shocked Liverpool, Chelsea lost to Bournemouth and Leicester continued their brilliant run.
Here are the main talking points from the weekend’s action in the Premier League.[Note- Everton and Crystal Palace are yet to play]
Chelsea can’t catch a break
Jose Mourinho once again started with Eden Hazard playing as the false nine as Diego Costa was used as a substitute, but it made little difference to the result. Chelsea couldn’t breach the Bournemouth back-line where every player defended as though his life was on stake. The Blues may find themselves hard done by as they were denied a legitimate penalty and Bournemouth’s eventual late goal seemed offside. But if anything, the Cherries made their own luck by defending with resilience and then capitalizing on a rare second half opportunity
Chelsea and Jose Mourinho need to sort things out very soon. For the first time, the top 4 places genuinely look like an uphill task for the Blues. The rot that seems to have set in needs to go.
Aston Villa improving, but need results faster
Aston Villa are yet to win in four games under new manager Remi Garde but signs of progress are definitely showing. Their sheer will and grit ensured Southampton didn’t inflict a heavy loss on the side.
The big positive for the side would be summer signings Jordan Ayew, Rudy Gestede, Joleon Lescott and Jordan Veretout all had good games.
Villa still find themselves rooted at the bottom of the table with just 6 points in 15 games, but there are signs of progress. However, Garde needs to needs to make sure it happens faster or else the Midland club might be heading to the Championship.
Liverpool’s title talk is overreaction
Jurgen Klopp’s takeover at the club has resulted in the Reds putting in some exceptional performances. The 1-3 win over Chelsea, 1-4 against Manchester City and 1-6 against Southampton [League Cup] has definitely got everyone excited. However, a 2-0 loss to Newcastle United will come as a sobering lesson to people who overreacted and called the Reds the favorites for the title.
Klopp seems to have got his formation, starting 11 and substitutions wrong and would have been let down by the workrate and quality he saw from the players on the pitch. Liverpool were denied a legitimate goal but the German was the first to admit that his side were not good enough and Newcastle deserved their win.
While the gap between Liverpool and Leicester City is just 9 points, the loss to Newcastle showed the side still has plenty to be worked upon. There are learning lessons for everyone after the game including the manager himself.
Manchester City find themselves in a mini slump?
Stoke City overwhelmed Manchester City in the opening minutes of the match and asserted their dominance throughout to ensure they won the game convincingly. The 2-0 scoreline could have been a lot worse and Bojan Krkic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic looked capable of causing a lot more damage.
After having lost the last Premier League game 1-4 to Liverpool, Pellegrini and the players must be concerned about their form.
Pellegrini has a worrisome injury list with Agüero, Kompany and Touré all players who would start every game and can change things single-handedly. But from a club who spends as much as City do, injuries cannot be used as a sorry excuse. If the side has to win the title once more, it needs to buck up and win games like these or at least put on a performance where that looks possible
Leicester City continue winning while Garry Monk might be a gonner
Meanwhile Leicester City continued their remarkable run and a hat-trick from Riyad Mahrez ensured the Foxes find themselves sitting on top of the table. They have a 2 point cushion on second placed Arsenal and now that the league is 15 games old, one can genuinely talk about Leicester being genuine top 4 contenders.
For Swansea a 0-3 home loss just seems to worsen the situation. They’re now in the 15th place and Garry Monk’s position seems to be in trouble. Rumors suggest former boss Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes and Mark Warburton are in the shortlist for the managerial job if Monk were to be sacked.
The current Swansea manager is unanimously loved, adored and respected at the club. However, the facts are damning. The Swans are 2 points off the relegation zone and face Manchester City next.