After four weekends of the new Premier League season, the international break is upon us with mixed fortunes for clubs up and down the league.
Here are five things we learned from the latest weekend of Premier League football…
Manchester United’s woes
Manchester United suffered their second defeat of the season, both of which came away in north London. The late loss to Arsenal, conceding two goals in added time, was another reminder of how unconvincing Manchester United have been in all four games so far. Having had an Alejandro Garnacho goal disallowed for offside in the closing stages, Arsenal rallied and found a winner through Declan Rice, and a third was added through Gabriel Jesus to send the Emirates Stadium crazy.
Most of United’s threats came on the counter attack, but apart from that, they offered very little. Erik ten Hag’s issues were compounded when Jadon Sancho responded to his manager’s comments questioning his performances in training after the game by stating he has been labelled a scapegoat. For sure, there are some issues to address over the international break at Old Trafford.
Ange has Spurs Purring
They may have crashed out the Carabao Cup in midweek, but Tottenham responded in impressive fashion at Turf Moor as they ran out 5-2 winners against Burnley. After falling behind early on, Tottenham got into gear and replied with two fantastic goals through Son Heung-min and Cristian Romero.
The South Korean went on to claim his hat-trick, after a magnificent goal from James Maddison, to send Spurs well on their way to the three points as they continued their unbeaten start to the Premier League season. The Ange Postecoglou and post Harry Kane era is well underway, and Tottenham fans have been delighted with the start. Can European football return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium?
Chelsea cannot find form
When Chelsea convincingly despatched Luton Town last week at Stamford Bridge, it felt like Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino were finally finding their feet after a summer of plenty of ins and outs. When Nottingham Forest rocked up to West London, most Chelsea fans were expecting a similar result to last week, however the script was flipped as Steve Cooper’s team came out 1-0 winners.
Former Manchester United winger Anthony Elanga scored the only game on a frustrating afternoon for Pochettino. This leaves Chelsea on just four points from four games, two defeats already and a worse start than last season’s disastrous campaign. Lots of chopping and changing in the squad is bound to take time to gel, but it is a worrying start for a squad that cost over a billion pounds.
Haaland’s hattrick helps City reach maximum pointsEmbed from Getty Images
Erling Haaland completed his first hat-trick of the season as Manchester City beat Fulham 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium. All three of his goals came in the second half. His electric pace and devastating finishing was unleashed against Fulham, and he made up for his penalty miss against Sheffield United by converting from the spot to make it 4-1. It took a while for City to get going but after Nathan Ake’s controversial headed goal but Pep Guardiola’s men 2-1 up just before the break, the hosts never looked back.
Haaland now has six league goals in four matches, another fine start for the Norwegian. City sit top of the table on 12 points, the only team to win every game so far. Haaland and co are in pursuit of a fourth league title in a row, which would be a Premier League record and looks a real possibility.
Newcastle’s troublesome start a huge worryEmbed from Getty Images
Newcastle were the standout performers on the opening weekend of the season after their 5-1 demolishing of Aston Villa. Since then, it has all gone pear shaped for the Geordies. Three defeats in a row have followed, albeit against tough opposition in Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton. Eddie Howe will have a lot of pondering to do over the international break as the goals have dried up, and the goals conceded column is growing too. Evan Ferguson grabbed a hat-trick at the AMEX as Brighton completely washed away Newcastle.
Callum Wilson’s consolation goal gave a huge Newcastle following something to cheer about, however after only losing five league games last season, the Toon have already racked up three in four games. There are some more favourable fixtures on the horizon for Howe’s team, however they have the small matter of the Champions League to contend with. They have been drawn in the “Group of Death” against AC MIlan, PSG and Borussia Dortmund.