The Premier League returned with a bang on the weekend. Shocking results, costly errors and plenty of twists and turns were on display. Here are the Winners and Losers. Bet on the Premier League here.
Before Saturday’s late kick-off at Carrow Road, Norwich City were already written off in their clash against champions Manchester City. It wasn’t a matter of if City could win, but how many goals they were going to score. In one of the greatest shocks of the season so far, the Canaries defeated the Premier League champions Manchester City with a 3-2. The hosts produced scintillating counter-attacking football, exposing City’s weak backline to take all the three points.
Chelsea's young English talent
Chelsea hammered Wolves 5-2 over the weekend in a pulsating encounter at the Molineux. Tammy Abraham bagged a hat-trick in the space of 21 minutes to seal the deal for the Blues. On Saturday, academy graduates Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount also hit the back of the net. The trio are also the only three players to score for Chelsea in the Premier League this season.
Both Teams to Score Bettors
In matchweek five, six matches saw both teams find the back of the net. The Aston Villa and West Ham encounter ended in a goalless draw at Villa Park. Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton all finished their games with clean sheets.
Arsenal's Top 4 Rivals
Despite going 2-0 up against Watford, Arsenal allowed the Hornets to come back and snatch a point. This was a bad result for the Gunners who hoped for a better outcome against the bottom-placed team. What made matters worse was the fact that all of their top four rivals, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, won. Those teams will feel they have the upper hand on the Gunners, even at this early stage of the season.
Playing out from the back
Both Arsenal and Manchester City conceded preventable goals at the weekend. Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Nicholas Otamendi committed calamitous errors which led to the opposition scoring. These errors were caused by playing out from the back. Pep Guardiola and Unai Emery have been proponents of this philosophy and although it always has varying degrees of success if executed properly, sometimes it results in costly errors. Norwich, for instance, were successful against City’s press with this style.
Arsenal’s collapse at Watford on Sunday highlighted a persisting defensive fragility which has plagued them in the last few seasons. The Gunners have faced 96 shots in the league this season, more than any other side. Moreover, Arsenal have made a combined 14 errors leading to opposition goals in the Premier League since 2018, again, an unwanted error. Emery is yet to fix the problems in his team and the pressure is already growing. The Spaniard’s game management on Sunday was also questioned after he made some baffling substitutions. Unless things change the former PSG coach will be in big trouble.
Another manager who is coming under a lot of pressure is Everton’s Marco Silva. Everton would have climbed above Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal into third spot with a win against Bournemouth. However, it was another poor display from the Toffees away from home and a top six fight is looking bleak unless they find some consistency in results. Everton are now winless in six away games in the league, a run in which they only scored three goals.
Wolves won a multitude of new admirers as they went on to finish seventh last season. Nuno Espirito Santo's team took an impressive 16 points from the Premier League's top six. After five matches this season, they’re without a win and are 19th in the table. They must rediscover the ruthlessness and defensive solidity that made them a tough nut to crack last season to get themselves out of this mess.