London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsenal’s 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool thrust manager Arsene Wenger back into the firing line, while leaders Manchester United now own the last unbeaten record in the Premier League.
Here are five things we learned in the English top flight this weekend:
History is repeating again for Arsenal
The goodwill engendered by Arsenal’s superb FA Cup triumph against Chelsea in May has been wiped away within three games of the new season.
After a slapdash 4-3 win over Leicester City and a disappointing 1-0 loss at Stoke City, the wheels truly came off for Arsene Wenger’s side in Sunday’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at Liverpool.
Wenger was able to select Alexis Sanchez for the first time this season after injury, but Arsenal’s habitual shortcomings were all on show: disorganisation, naivety in both defence and attack and a total lack of fight.
Before the end, familiar cries of “Wenger out!” could be heard emanating from the away end.
With just four days to go until the transfer window closes, Arsenal’s fans are bracing themselves for another season of gloom.
Spurs’ Wembley hoodoo isn’t going away
The longer Tottenham Hotspur’s difficulties at their new Wembley home continue, the harder it is for them to play down talk of a ‘Wembley jinx’.
Leading 1-0 against Burnley on Sunday, they looked on course for a first league win of their season-long Wembley tenancy, only for Chris Wood to equalise for the visitors in stoppage time.
Spurs have won just one of their last 11 games at the national stadium and if they cannot arrest that situation quickly, their title challenge will be over before the campaign has truly begun.
Chelsea’s Morata is a work in progress
Recruited from Real Madrid for a club record £58 million ($74.7 million, 62.7 million euros) to replace the exiled Diego Costa, Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata carries a weighty burden on his shoulders.
He took his tally to two goals and two assists in his first two home games with a goal and an assist for Cesc Fabregas in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Everton.
But the Spaniard cut an isolated figure for long periods, failing to link effectively with Pedro and Willian and supplying none of the muscular menace that Chelsea came to expect from Costa.
Manager Antonio Conte admitted afterwards that it will take time for his new star to blend into Chelsea’s game-plan.
Two into one won’t go for Martial and Rashford
The array of attacking talent at Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s disposal means Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are currently fighting over one starting place on the left flank.
In United’s two opening games, 4-0 wins over West Ham United and Swansea City, Rashford started before giving way for Martial, who scored on both occasions.
The roles were reversed on Saturday as Martial started and Rashford came off the bench to break the deadlock in a 2-0 home victory over Everton.
While both players have contributed to United’s 100 percent start, it will be the player who starts producing the goods from kick-off who nails down a starting place.
Spirited Man City are up for the fight
With just seconds remaining at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, Pep Guardiola was about to lose his cool in the south-coast sunshine.
Manchester City were being held to a 1-1 draw by Bournemouth and it was the hosts who were pushing for a shock winner.
But in the blink of an eye, Guardiola’s frustration turned to jubilation as Raheem Sterling fired in a deflected winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Sterling was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for charging into the away end in celebration, but Guardiola defended his players for wanting to share the moment with their fans.
Crucially, after a damaging draw against Everton, City’s expensively assembled side got back to winning ways by showing they retain a strong appetite for success.
SPORTS – The Independent Uganda: