Manchester clubs turn on the style
Coming in the weekend’s fixtures, both Manchester clubs were languishing near the edge of the top 10, but after two breathtaking attacking displays from both clubs, they are well on their way towards changing that. Whilst Manchester City were expected to beat Norwich City, the manner of their defeat would have sent shivers down the rest of the Premier League. Because, when City are in the kind of attacking form like they showed against Norwich, there are few teams that are better to watch or more ruthless.
On the other hand, their cross-town rivals, managed to win back-to-back league games under their new manager for the first time. Although they were coasting for most of the second half, some of the football that United played in the first half, would have certainly pleased Moyes. Although they were helped by some hapless Fulham defending, they were joy to watch and it was only because they completely destroyed Fulham in the first half, that they were able to take their foot off the pedal in the second. Moyes will be hoping for more of the same.
Arsenal‘s midfield master class shows that they are in it, to win it
The weekend’s fixture between Arsenal and Liverpool was billed as a battle between Arsenal midfield and Liverpool’s attack. In the end, Ramsey & co. got the better of Liverpool’s attacking duo of Suarez and Sturridge and stopped them from adding to the 14 goals that they had scored coming in this game. This was exactly the sort of response Arsene Wenger would have been hoping for, especially after a disappointing defeat to Chelsea in the League Cup in midweek.
Arsenal’s midfield totally ran the show and what was even more impressive was the fact that their defense was so water-tight that the two forwards barely had a sniff all game. With games against the big teams on the horizon, Arsenal have some leeway, but with the kind of form they are in, it looks like that wouldn’t be necessary at all.
Mourinho needs to work on Chelsea’s insipid away form
This was billed as the week when the wheels finally came off Arsenal’s impressive start to the season and Chelsea took advantage of that, by beating a Newcastle side who had failed to score in five of their last six home games against Chelsea. But, nobody told Newcastle that. As Pardew’s side put in a counter-attacking display par excellence to notch up only their second home win of the season, to climb into ninth place, just three points behind Manchester United.
Whilst a lot of it was down to Newcastle’s good attacking play, the fact of the matter was that the famed Chelsea attack, just never turned up. And that has happened, once too often on the road, this season. Chelsea have won just one game away from home and that too, was last week, against a Norwich side, who are currently languishing in the bottom three. Although Chelsea have won all five of their home games, their away form is far from impressive and one that Mourinho has to work on, if they are serious about winning the league.
Spurs are struggling for goals but look solid at the back
10 games played, just five goals conceded and only Southampton have conceded fewer goals in the League than Tottenham. The 0-0 draw against Everton was their seventh clean sheet of the campaign and their defense looks rock solid. They are sitting in fourth place, level on points with Chelsea and Liverpool, just five points behind league-leading Arsenal and ahead of the two Manchester clubs. At any other club, this would be a cause for celebration.
But not at Spurs. Especially given the fact, their defensive stability masks their attacking deficiencies, which has seen them score just nine goals in the league so far and three of them were penalties. Only, Hull, who are in tenth place, have scored fewer goals. This, comes on the back of a summer, in which they have spent over £ 100 m on attacking reinforcements to compensate for the sale of Bale to Madrid. After the game, AVB brushed aside questions about his side’s lack of cutting edge, by pointing to their return of 30 goals in 17 games this season, including 15 in the Europa League. But, the fact is, in spite of all their defensive prowess, Spurs still look lacking in ideas, whilst going forward and that is something, the manager has to change, and change quickly.
Crystal Palace and Sunderland are starting to be left behind
10 games into the league campaign and a familiar pattern is already starting to emerge. The bottom two clubs are slowly but surely getting cut adrift. Sunderland and Crystal Palace occupy the bottom two spots and they have well and truly been the worst teams in the league so far. They are the top two in the goals conceded list and are at the bottom two in the goals scored list and both of them are on their way to becoming the two worst sides to have ever played in the Premier League.
Both clubs have sacked their managers and so far, that hasn’t done them any good at all. Crystal Palace have lost nine games so far, the most of any side at this point of the Premier League campaign and neither side looks capable of winning even a single game, let alone putting together a string of wins that lifts them up the table. Something has to give, in the coming few weeks or else both clubs might end up getting relegated before February.