English Premier League Returns after International Break

The much-awaited club football action returns to our lives as the international break gets over.

Chelsea moves to the top of the league, Liverpool a close second on goal difference, Watford faced with their first loss, Spurs with their second successive defeat and defending champions Manchester City back to winning ways.

Here are the five talking points from this weekend of premier league football in England.

Let’s start with the defending champions:

Manchester City return to winning ways

man city flag
Manchester City FC

A sluggish performance before the international break saw the defending champions drop 2 important points at the rejuvenated Wolves’ home ground.  Pep Guardiola faced some criticism from a section of the City supporters for his continuous faith in error-prone City legend, Vincent Komapny.

Pep has a point to keep him in the team as nobody else brings the leadership and experience to the team like Vincent Komapny does on his day.

Kompany alone is not to blame for the draw as City clearly missed their talismanic midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne. Manchester City always looks dangerous whenever he is there in the middle, dictating play.

However, a win against a tricky Newcastle managed by Rafa Benitez and a convincing 3-0 win against newly promoted Fulham side propelled the City bandwagon forward. They now look ready to mount a fresh challenge to the title and defend their crown.

With KDB joining them later with more hunger, it will again be almost impossible to stop Man City.

Tottenham in a mini downslope

spurs banner 2018/19
Tottenham Hotspurs FC

Spurs continued with their shock defeat against Watford with a second successive defeat against Liverpool. Their target man Harry Kane failed to score in both the matches as Spurs continue to struggle.

Spurs are in the virtual Group of Death in the Champions League with the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan, and PSV in it. So they can’t afford to drop any points at any stage. With the Champions League matches beginning this week, Spurs have a difficult away encounter against Inter within 3 days of this defeat. They will have to quickly go back to their winning ways if they wish to challenge on both fronts.

The next comparatively easier premier league game against Brighton could prove to be the perfect opportunity for them to focus more on the Champions League and then deal with the premier league winless streak later.

Watford faced defeat for the first time

watford fc flag 2018/19
Watford FC

Watford looks like the surprise package this season, much like Burnley from the previous season.

Fans have gone to such extents that they started finding similarities between Watford’s last season statistics at this stage with the Leicester’s season statistics in a similar stage in the season prior to their dream Premier League run to glory; suggesting Watford might pull something of similar sorts this season.

The fans, however, aren’t far off from their wild theories as Watford conjured win after win in their first four games into this season. They couldn’t continue with the dream run as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to a super motivated Manchester United at home. There was a slight possibility of a late comeback as Andre Gray reduced the 2 goal advantage of Manchester United from the first half. But it was not to be and Watford can only look forward to further tricky away fixtures to Fulham and Arsenal.

Expect the unexpected with Watford this season. 

Liverpool mean business this time

liverpool fc flag 2018/19
Liverpool FC

Jurgen Klopp’s appointment was the beginning of an era of revolution at Liverpool. His passion for the game, connection with fans and players alike, and brand of heavy metal football are just what Liverpool fans needed since their glory days of past. It was like a match made in heaven.

Liverpool came painstakingly close to winning the Champions League last season but a couple of unfortunate incidents involving their talisman and the keeper stopped them from achieving this dream. In the premier league too they had the most fearsome attack, but prior to the acquisition of Van Dijk in their team after the first half of the league, their defense was always susceptible to leak goals.

This season however they mean business as they have addressed their weak areas and further solidified the midfield with the transfers of Fabinho, Shaqiri and Naby Keita. But their most important purchase would be acquiring the services of arguably one of the top five goalkeepers today; Alisson.

Liverpool has conceded only 2 goals in their first five matches this season and their defense has never been looked so solid in recent years. This gives their fearsome front three of Mane, Firmino, and Salah a freedom to attack without having any concerns at the back.

You have to be very foolish or very bold to bet against Liverpool this season. 

Sarrismo at Chelsea

chelsea flag 2018/19
Chelsea FC

Chelsea was high and dry by the sudden departure of Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid at the beginning of this season. World transfer record holder for a keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, could be termed more as a panic purchase rather than a well thought out move. However, Chelsea owner made a very smart move by acquiring the services of Maurizio Sarri from Napoli.

Sarri’s attacking style of play is well-known in a league which historically has been famous for being the most difficult league for attackers due to the tactically and physically strong defenders there. Sarri even added an admirer in Pep Guardiola when their teams met in the group stages of Champions League last season.

Sarri’s brought along Napoli’s passmaster, Jorginho, to implement his style of play in Chelsea. His style of play became so famous that people even invented a word for it and included it in the biggest Italian encyclopedia. Sarrismo or Sarriball.

This could well be just the right kind of environment Eden Hazard needed to reach the full potential of his talents. A hat-trick in their latest game against Cardiff City could just be the beginning of a fantastic season for both Chelsea and Hazard.

With five wins out of five and a healthy goal difference, Chelsea already looks the prime contenders to challenge the defending champions, Manchester City, for their crown.

 

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