A slight sense of normalcy returned to England’s top flight of football over the weekend. The results were less shocking, the goals were less abundant, VAR left certain fan bases in shambles, and we saw our first nil-nil draw of the year. Over the ten matches played, there were 28 goals tallied, much closer to last season’s average per game of 2.72.
My last post came on Friday, and maybe we should ignore that as I went an abysmal 0-5 in my match picks for the week. I was just flat out wrong on Everton/Liverpool, Manchester City/Arsenal Leeds/Wolves, and Leicester/Villa. I can live with that. I can’t accept the result in the Tottenham match however. How do you squander a 3-0 lead with ten minutes remaining in regular time?!?! HOW?!?!?
Here’s the table, and last weeks results list, shouts to ESPN.
So Everton luckily avoid losing to Liverpool thanks to VAR, and remain top of the table. A crucial point for them to take as Liverpool should be level with them on points. Villa have played and won 4 and sit second a match back. The champs sit third, with struggling Leicester, who have lost their last two Prem fixtures, at 4th. I think the real story so far this season is the parity among the top 6 clubs. Arsenal sit 5th, Tottenham 7th, Chelsea 8th, Manchester City at a lowly 11th, and United remain near the bottom at 15th. The two Manchester squads have played on less match than most teams in the league, but that should be no excuse, as Villa who are in the same situation are unbeaten and 2nd. Four teams look to be in contention for relegation- West Brom, Burnley, Sheffield, and Fulham. All four teams have yet to win a match, with just 5 total points accrued by the four clubs through five weeks of play.
Chelsea again look porous defensively. It’s the third time they have conceded multiple goals, and the second they have allowed 3 to a far lesser side. Allowing two goals to Liverpool when you are a man down is understandable, but how do you allow Southampton and West Brom both to score three on you? Kepa was to blame twice this week. His struggles and the injury to Mendy have given way to a surprise return to the team sheet of Petr Cech. I expect Caballero will start ahead of Kepa, with Cech being there in case of emergency.
Tottenham started this weekend so brightly opening up a 3-0 lead after just 16 minutes played. They carried this lead all the way up to the 82′ of the match. Then they unprecedentedly gave up 3 in the last 12 minutes of action. Their lead disappeared quicker than they obtained it. Simply not good enough for Jose Mourinho’s squad.
City too care of business against Arsenal, but you have to feel that they are underperforming. This is a side that should score more. They’ve only scored 7 through 4. The return of Sergio Aguero certainly helps, but they face Liverpool in just three weeks. Liverpool have had no problems scoring, so City will need to be able to keep pace.
The biggest story of the week is the ACL of ventre back Virgil van Dijk. VVD was injured after a clumsy challenge by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. There was some controversy around the non foul, as VVD was offside by a millimeter on the attack. Had he not been offside? Pickford would have been carded with at least a yellow – potentially a red. Obviously this would have given way for a Liverpool penalty as well. Alas offside he was; no card, no penalty, one injured superstar. Van Dijk is likely to be out for awhile as he is scheduled to have surgery on the injured leg.
Plenty of season left to be played, so no need for knee jerk reactions, but plenty to be discussed over the next few weeks or so.
Champions League is back in action as of right now, with a lot of fixtures to be played tomorrow, and matches coming next week as well. The Prem is on again this weekend. The fixtures can be found below:
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I’ll see you all tomorrow with my goals of the week!