Weekend’s Premer League Highlights As Dire Man Utd Nurses Wounds Over Home Defeat

Weekend’s Premer League Highlights As Dire Man Utd Nurses Wounds Over Home Defeat

By Spy Uganda

Leeds United claimed their first win back in the top flight, winning 4-3 against fellow new boys Fulham, before Manchester United slumped to a 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men producing a lacklustre display and being suitably punished.

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Both north London clubs claimed victories, as Arsenal beat West Ham 2-1 before Spurs scored five at Southampton – Son Heung-min notching four.

Brighton scores three in their win at Newcastle, while champions Liverpool had Sadio Mane to thank, as he scored twice in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

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Leicester wrapped things up with a 4-2 win over Burnley on Sunday night ahead of Monday night’s fixture double. Ahead of that, here are 10 talking points from the weekend.

Stats life

Dominic Calvert-Lewin stole the headlines as Everton beat West Brom with the England hopeful netting a hat-trick.

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Calvert-Lewin is enjoying an excellent start to the season and his tuition from Toffees legend Duncan Ferguson.

But it was James Rodriguez, the Colombian playmaker, who once more caught the eye at Goodison.

James, now 29, is giving Everton real creative edge and is enjoying working with Carlo Ancelotti once more.

And one stat, as shown on Match of the Day, really jumped out from his latest showing: he didn’t make one high-intensity sprint at all on Saturday.

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There were 47 passes and 68 touches, but not a single sprint. Remarkable.

Manchester United’s defence must improve

If Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are going to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice pairing and stay there, then they need to improve fast.

Because this was awful. Absolutely awful. From both.

Forget the penalty given against Lindelof. Just disregard it.

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The rest of the game, the pair of them were all over the place.

Positioning was dire at various points from both – Maguire was lazy in not covering space on the first goal – they struggled for speed against both Jordan Ayew and Zaha, but continued to put themselves in foot races with the Palace front two.

Their passing out from the back was largely sloppy, and neither was particularly commanding in the air nor in the tackle – witness Lindelof on the third goal.

United have every right to expect better.

Zaha finally makes his mark at Old Trafford

Wilfried Zaha made just four appearances for Manchester United and failed to make his mark at Old Trafford.

On his return this time, he both started up front and wore the captain’s armband for the Eagles.

And he duly put in a match-winning performance.

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His penalty was taken with aplomb, his second was fired hard and low and into the bottom corner but more than just his goals he was outstanding.

Not restrained to the left side, he worked all along the line, used his skill and speed to terrorise the United defence, but also showed intelligence to bring others into play and strength to hold possession and get his side up the field.

An excellent all-round display.

Lacazette hits 50

Alexandre Lacazette has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this transfer window, but he reaffirmed his value by scoring the opening goal for the second game in a row.

The headed effort was also a personal landmark for the 29-year-old, who scored his 50th goal in his 129th game for Arsenal.

Though Arteta is forced to play Aubameyang in a wide position if he fields Lacazette, the pair – who are great friends off the pitch – have a telepathic connection when they line up together.

After finding the back of the net just 12 times in 39 games last season, Lacazette insisted he is “happy” in north London after the win over Fulham.

Given the way he’s started the season, the Frenchman certainly seems to have a spring in his step.

Mane’s improvement

Since joining Liverpool from Southampton back in 2016 Mane has continued to improve season after season after season.

His work-rate is unmeasured, and he simply never switches off deciphering how he can / what he can do to give Liverpool an advantage.

Sunday’s match was drab in the first half with Liverpool – who aren’t quite as intense as they were last season – feeling out this new-look Chelsea team.

And it was Mane who gave the fixture a much-needed shot of adrenaline, forcing Christensen to make an ultimately wrong decision.

After his trickery saw Chelsea reduced to 10 men, Mane took the game to the Blues in the second half with two great goals.

The first a powerful header after he intelligently found space in the box, and the second the result of his, as aforementioned, unmeasured work-rate.

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